Seattle Area Cup Tennis



A.         Time Allotment
B.         Court Fees and Balls
C.         Lineup Exchange
D.         Timers
E.          Late Arrival
F.          Court Defaults and No-Shows
G.         Continuous Play
H.         Scoring
I.           Recording Scores


The core of the mission of SACT is to play tennis. All players are expected to conduct themselves with courtesy and responsibility. Cup tennis plays by the ITF Rules of Tennis and the USTA Code for unofficiated matches, with the exceptions listed below. If issues arise outside the rules listed herein, players are to make every effort to mutually resolve the issue and conclude matches within the time allotted, including use of the USTA Code.
A.    Time Allotment
1.      Court time is either 1¼ hours (75 minutes) or 1½ hours (90 minutes), per regular court time allotment of the home club. Match time is two (2) minutes less than court time. Play is not to extend beyond the allotted match time.
2.      A 10-minute warm-up will be used for all matches regardless of length of court time. Warm-up time is not practice; all efforts should be made to hit the ball to the opponent.
B.     Court Fees and Balls
1.      Court fees are to be paid by each member of the visiting team to the club where the match is being played.
2.      The home team provides a new can of balls for each of the three courts.
C.    Lineup Exchange
1.      Team Captains* exchange written lineups before the designated starting time and before players are assigned to the courts.
2.      If, at match start time, a player has not yet arrived but is expected, the two Team Captains are encouraged to discuss the ramifications of a late arrival or possible no-show issue with their players before the two teams take the courts.
D.    Timers
1.      It is recommended that two timers be provided for each match, one for the warm-up time and one for the total court time less two (2) minutes; for example, if the court time is 90 minutes, one timer is set for 10 minutes, the other timer is set for 88 minutes. Both timers are started at the same time.
2.      If there is only one timer, it must be set for the entire court time, less two (2) minutes.
3.      If the home captain is not playing, she will designate a player to manage the timer for the match.
4.      The timer manager is responsible for letting all the players know when the warm-up time is over.
5.      When the end-of-match timer goes off, all play stops immediately, even in the middle of a point. The timer manager is responsible for calling time so that all three courts know that match time is up.
6.      There is to be no monitoring of the match timer during the match. If court time is obviously over as indicated by the court clock or by other players entering the court, the timer manager will use the court clock and call time when the court time is up so that all three courts can hear.
E.     Late Arrival
1.      A player must be on the court and be making good-faith efforts to begin the match at the start of the match timer, or will be deemed a late arrival. If a player is taking excessive amounts of time beginning the match warm-up, a courteous reminder that late penalties may be levied is acceptable.
2.      Late arrivals will incur penalties to their court as follows:
a.       5:00 minutes or less: Loss of toss plus one game.
b.      5:01 minutes – 10:00 minutes: Loss of toss plus two games.
c.       10:01 minutes or more: Default.
3.      A full ten-minute warm-up is afforded every player, including late arrivals. The penalties assessed due to the late arrival give the on-time team an advantage; therefore they are not penalized by the additional time allotted to warming up a late arrival.
4.      No agreements may be made between two teams to split points for a match not played, or to split the penalty points for a match default.
F.     Court Defaults and No-Shows
1.      In the event of a court default before the court time begins, (see Sec I.3) court #3 will be defaulted first. If defaulting two courts, then court #3 and court #2 will be defaulted.
2.      If a player is anticipated to arrive but is late, the warm-up is to begin as customary. After 10 minutes, the player is deemed a no-show, and the court is defaulted. The team receiving the default has the following two options:
a.       Accept the default on the court which had the no-show, or
b.      Require the lower court(s) to move up, in accordance with these rules wherein lowest courts are defaulted first.
3.      The 10-minute warm-up time coincides exactly with the time allowed for a late arrival. Therefore, the two Team Captains (or acting Team Captains) are to encourage all courts to refrain from starting their match play before the 10-minute period has passed. If a no-show does happen, the lower courts may be required to move up a court.
4.      If courts are required to move up due to a no-show default on a higher court, warm-up will be handled as follows:
a.       If all players were present for the prior 10-minute warm-up, the match is to begin with no further warm-up.
b.      In the case of a singles match, a player awaiting the no-show player will not have had a warm-up, therefore would be entitled to a full 10-minute warm-up.
5.      If one partner of a doubles team is a no-show, the court is defaulted and the player on that court is not allowed to move to a different court. Further, if two doubles courts each had a no-show and the lineups have already been exchanged, the players are not allowed to join together to play on a different court. Both courts would be defaulted.
6.       In the event of a default no player names will be recorded, in order to avoid the appearance of a loss for a player who was present but didn’t get to play.
G.    Continuous Play
1.      Play is to be continuous. Players are expected to use good-faith efforts to maintain a constant pace of play throughout the match, whether it is the first game or the last. Stalling will not be tolerated; complaints about the pace of play are to be addressed in accordance with Section L of the SACT Regulations.
2.      Between Points – A maximum of twenty (20) seconds between points is allowed. The time is measured from the moment that one point finishes until the first service is struck for the next point.
3.      Between Games - Players will switch sides at the end of each set. If all four players agree, they may switch sides on odd games. A maximum of ninety (90) seconds are allowed at the end of odd games. However, after the first game of each set, between even games, and during a tie-break game, play shall be continuous.
4.      Between Sets – At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of one hundred and twenty (120) seconds. The maximum time starts from the moment that one point finishes until the first service is struck for the next point.
5.      Medical Time-Out – A player suffering from a treatable medical condition may be allowed one medical time-out of three minutes for the treatment of that medical condition. If a player is unable to continue play after a medical time-out a retirement will be recorded and the win awarded to the opposing team(See Section I.4)
6.      Restroom Time-Out – One emergency restroom/change of attire break per match will be allowed, with a maximum time of three minutes. However, this break may not take place during the match warm-up.
7.      Coaching by anyone other than the four players playing the match is not allowed at any time.
8.      Cell phones – All cell phones must be turned off during match play. The first time a cell phone ring is heard, a let may be played if it is called immediately. If a cell phone rings a second time, the opponents on the court where the cell phone is may claim a point based on a hindrance. A cell phone ringing on a different court is not a hindrance.
9.      Players must settle their own issues during a match without resorting to anyone not on their court. If play is discontinued early, the conflict resolution process must be followed per SACT Regulations Section L.
H.    Scoring
1.      Standard scoring will be used for all match play. Deuces are to be played out in all three sets.
2.      A match consists of the best of three sets. The single exception is in the event of a court forfeit, default or retirement by a player or team, for any reason. That match is deemed completed and the beneficiary of the court forfeit, default, or retirement is the match winner.
3.      A “12-point tie-break” (first to seven points, win by two points) is played when any set is 6-6.
4.      In the event of a scoring dispute mid-match, play from a score mutually agreeable to all players. All points played in good faith stand as played.
5.      Play to the conclusion of all of the match time. A point in play at the expiration of time does not count.
6.      At the end of match time the match points will be awarded as follows:
a.       Each match is valued at one (1) point.
b.      A set is deemed to have started the moment the first ball of any individual set is delivered in service. Therefore, if a single serve has been delivered in service (regardless if a fault or good service) in a new set, that set is deemed to be unfinished if the timer sounds after that single service delivery.
c.       Allsets must be won by two games or a tiebreak to score full value, otherwise partial value will be awarded.
d.      A game, or a set tiebreak, must be completed to count (e.g., if in the middle of a game at 30-40, or 4-1 in a tiebreak,and time is up, this game does not count).
e.       Winner of two sets out of three is the match winner, and receives one point.
f.       Unfinished first set scenario:
(1)   A player or team ahead by two games is the match winner, and would receive three-quarters (0.75) point. The player or team behind by two games would receive one-quarter (0.25) point.
(2)   If no one is ahead by two games, the match is split, and each team would receive one-half (0.5) point.
g.       If the first set is completed, but the second set has not yet started, the winner of the first set would receive three-quarters (0.75) point and the loser of the first set would receive one-quarter (0.25) point.
h.      Unfinished second set scenarios:
(1)   The winner of the first set is ahead by two games is the match winner, and would receive one (1) point.
(2)   The loser of the first set is ahead by two games the match is split, and each team would receive one-half (0.5) point.
(3)   If neither team is ahead by two games, the winner of the first set would receive three-quarters (0.75) point and the loser of the first set would receive one-quarter (0.25) point.
i.        Unfinished third sets scenarios:
(1)   A player or team ahead by two games is the match winner, and would receive one (1) point.
(2)   If neither team is ahead by two games, the match is split, and each team would receive one-half (0.5) point.
I.       Recording Scores
1.      Upon completion of each match, each captain records the scores on her score sheet and confirms the scores with the opposing captain.Each captain signs both score sheets. If there is a disagreement as to the correct score, that is to be indicated on both score sheets. It is recommended that all score sheets be retained until the end of the season.
             2.       A forfeit is recorded when, prior to the match, a team informs the opponents that they will not be providing players for all three courts and will                only be bringing x number of players for the match. To be considered a forfeit the captain must inform the other team at least 3 hours prior to the                   match. (Three hours gives the other team enough time to inform players that they need not play.) In the case of a “forfeit” no player’s names are                     entered and no score for the court is recorded on the Website. Once the intent to forfeit a court is communicated to the opposing captain, she may                 not then change her mind and play that court unless the opposing captain agrees. 
3.      A default is recorded when the players are more than 10 minutes late or no-show for the match, or the other team was told less than 3 hours prior to the match that they will not be filling all 3 courts. No player names or individual scores for either team are entered onto the website.
4.      A retirement is recorded as a win for the opposing team when a player becomes ill or injured during the match and has to stop play. All player names and scores up to that point are recorded.
5.      The home team is responsible for entering the scores on within 48 hours. If difficulties arise in posting the results, the Team Captain is to inform the individual Cup Scorekeeper by phone or email within the 48 hour time requirement of her efforts and any issues. The Scorekeeper is empowered to assess a one-quarter (0.25) point penalty to a home team if reasonable efforts are not made to post the scores or to contact her within the 48 hour time requirement. The Scorekeeper shall notify the Cup Coordinator and the SACT Executive Committee when a 0.25 point penalty is assessed.
* In all cases where the word “captain” is used, this refers to the player who is acting as captain for that match, whether or not she is the actual Team Captain.
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