USTA Local Regulations

2019 Championship Year

Mobile Area League Tennis

New Local 2019 Regulations in Red


Adult 18 & Over, 40 & Over, 55 & Over, and 65 & Over

Mixed Doubles, Tri-Level and Southern Combo Doubles



Jeannie Harrell
Local League Coordinator

Ruth Anne Bendall

USTA Alabama State League Coordinator 


USTA LeagueNational, Southern and AlabamaRegulations have full force and applicability at all levels of play inUSTA League Tennis in the USTA Southern Section and there is no authorization to modify, amplify or change them by local or State League Coordinators, or Grievance or Grievance Appeal Committees.USTA League Regulations (National, Southern and Alabama) are available on the USTA Alabama website:

(Note:The Southern Regulations are incorporated in green into the corresponding Paragraphs of the 2018 USTA League Regulations and should be applied in conjunction with those paragraphs)

(Note:USTA Alabama regulations are incorporated in purple into the corresponding paragraphs of the 2018 USTA League regulations and should be applied in conjunction with those paragraphs)


All players participating in the USTA League Program, as a condition of their participation, agree to abide and be bound by the USTA Constitution, By-Laws and Standings Orders; the

National, Sectional, District and Local USTA League Regulations and the standards of good conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.


Section I. Eligibility



All players shall have reached the required minimum age for the league in which they wish to play prior to or during the calendar year in which such player participates in their first local match. Players must be current (paid) members of the USTA through the respective season of play including playoffs and must register for a team via Tennis Link. When registering, each player must pay the present local league fee plus an internet Tennis Link fee per league season. Refunds may be given if a level doesnít consist of two (2) teams.The local league coordinator can transfer registrations within the same championship year if the player has not played a match or received a default.Refunds are not given for any other reasons. Players must use their current NTRP rating when registering.If they do not have one, they must "self-rate" when registering for a league using the NTRP Guidelines.Failure to provide accurate information will subject the player and/or the captain to sanctions and disqualifications.




Each team shall appoint a team captain and he/she may only captain one team per level per league. Teams must have registered on TennisLink a minimum of 5 players for levels 2.5 and 5.0+, 8 players for levels 3.0 through 4.5+ and 6 players for all levels that play a three line format. Teams playing ††the Adult 40 & Over Women leagues will need a minimum of 9 players to field all courts in a scheduled match due to a format of 1 individual singles and 4 individual doubles. Each team is required to have a facility to play their home matches and at their option could have an alternate site for playing during inclement weather.All teamsí host facility selection must be approved by the local league coordinator.All host facilities used in prior years are considered approved; any new facility for home matches will have to be approved by the LLC prior to registration on TennisLink,


If any Adult Division Age Group consists of only two teams in a level of play, each team must maintain its roster with at least 40 percent of its players at the designated NTRP level of play.The exception is the Adult 55 & Over 9.0 level of play that uses combined NTRP levels and will not be required to comply with this Regulation.


TennisLink is the official system for registering teams, reporting scores, and providing standings.



Section II. Team Captainsí Duties


The captains should read and be familiar with the rules and regulations of the USTA, STA, ATA, and Local League found on each organization's website. They should ask each team member to thoroughly read and understand the Local USTA League Regulations prior to the start of league competition. Captains must have a current email address in order to receive league information throughout the season and is responsible for updating changes in email with the Local League Coordinator and with the USTA. Email is the primary means of communication used by the coordinator. It is the captain's responsibility to create his/her team via TennisLink each season and notify the players of the team number so they can register for the team. Any non-playing captain can ask the Local League Coordinator (LLC) to create their TennisLink team number. The Registration Deadline Dates are published on the local MALT (Mobile Area League Tennis) website ( under Leagues. The LLC may amend the dates as needed. The Adult 18 & Over and 40 & Over teams should have their initial roster of 8 players registered by the published registration deadline. The Adult 55 & Over, 65 & Over, Mixed Doubles, Tri-Level and Southern Combo Doubles teams should have their initial roster of 6 players registered by the registration deadline.


Player Participation

Local leagues will limit the number of players that appear on a team roster to no more than 16 for Adult 18 & Over and Adult 40 & Over, all other leagues will be limited to 14 players on a roster.  The only exception to this regulation would be when a player needs to be placed on a higher level team after being disqualified from his/her present team before the end of the season's local round robin competition.  Adult 40 & Over 4.5+ may register (3) 5.0 players but the restriction of two 5.0 players in each match still applies.  The 18 & Over 5.0+ men and women will play local at state, teams may request local play if only league in the state.  See USTA-Alabama 1.04G. A higher rated player on a + team must play in the 1st position, either doubles or singles.Two such players may play together at #1 doubles if there are four or five lines.


Players may play on only one team in an NTRP level within an age group in the same local league during the same season.  In local leagues where NTRP levels are divided into flights, a player may not play in more than one flight 1.04G (2). A player may play up to one NTRP level above the player's current NTRP level. (For example: a 3.0 can play up to a 3.5).  Players may be added to a roster prior to the last two regularly scheduled TennisLink matches for the Adult 18 & Over, 40 & Over and 55 & Over Age Groups, as well as the Mixed Division.  Additions can be made prior to the last scheduled match for Southern Combo Doubles and Tri Level. If any of these leagues are played as a weekend tournament, the LLC will establish the deadline date for adding a player. The State League Coordinators (SLC) will establish a roster addition deadline for all leagues that play their local league at the state championships. Roster additions cannot be made for play-off purposes only.


To generate a computer rating, a player must have played three (3) times during that yearís rating period for an Adult league.  Defaults do not count towards computer ratings.


Section III.Match Requirements


Each home team shall identify and reserve its home courts. If your facility does not have water on the courts, the opposing team captains should be advised. The home team provides new balls which must be a standard Type 2 USTA approved ball and any USTA "transition" ball is prohibited. The home team will be responsible for court fees for the visiting team, if applicable. If a match is scheduled and the home teamís courts are not playable one and one half hours prior to match time and the home team does not have an alternate location, then the captain should consider playing at the opposing teamís courts if those courts are playable and available. Any team having to split their times of scheduled matches due to court availability should notify their opposing captain at least three (3) days prior to the match, not including match day or the day of notification. ††Players feeding in should be present one half hour before the designated start time agreed upon by the two captains


All women teams playing a scheduled USTA Winter Night League match should have all 5 courts (3 courts if 2.5) available at match time for Adult League and 3 courts if Combo League.  This is to avoid players having to be out any later than necessary.  Matches can be played earlier than the scheduled match time if courts are available and both captains agree.  


A player may not use electronic devices such as cell phones or any device capable of receiving communication.

Format of Play
All matches will be the best of two sets, with a set tie break at 6-all. In the event of split sets, a match tie break (first to 10 by 2) shall be played in lieu of a third set with the two minute set break and no coaching allowed. The tie break shall be scored as 1 set & 1 game for tie break procedures. All tie breaks should be the Coman tie break format in which ends are changed after the first point and then every four points(Click for Details).


Team format for the Adult 18 & Over shall be two individual singles and three individual doubles matches for 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 levels. For 2.5 and 5.0+ levels the format shall be one individual singles and two individual doubles. The format for the Adult 40 & Over Men shall be two individual singles and three individual doubles for 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5+ levels. The format for the 40 & Over Women in levels 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 45+ shall be 1 individual singles and 4 individual doubles. The format for all other leagues (Mixed Doubles, Combo Doubles, and Tri-Level) is three individual doubles.  A team will be awarded a point for each individual match won.


Match play format may be changed by the local league coordinator in order to complete a specific round.


Team Line-Up


Captains should exchange line-ups simultaneously prior to the beginning of the team match. Match numbers are located on the schedule. A 15-minute default rule is in effect, starting at the exact time the match is scheduled to begin and subjects players to being defaulted.  In the event of illness, injury, disqualification, or no-show of a player prior to the start of an individual match (once the lineup has been exchanged), a team may substitute a player in the affected position within the 15-minute default time using a player not already listed on the lineup. If no such substitution can be made, the affected position will be forfeited.  If a team does not have enough players to field a full lineup, the team not having enough players will forfeit from the bottom spot of either singles or doubles and move other players up (exception is Tri Level where defaults are by the NTRP level). If a team shows up without the minimum number of required players for the team match based upon the number of players present, or to be present, it will be a full team default in favor of the opponents.


If a team defaults an entire team match during local or local at state competition the Alabama State Regulation 2.01C (5) #E will be adopted as determined by the State League Coordinator.

At the conclusion of each match one of the captains, no matter which, should enter scores on TennisLink by match number. Confirmation must be done within 48 hours of posted scores by the team captain that did not enter the scores. Both captains are responsible for ensuring the scores are entered.Deliberately entering or confirming incorrect scores destroys the integrity of the ratings system and any captains found doing so may be suspended from USTA league play.Score confirmation or score disputes must be made within 48 hours of score entry.Captains should keep a hard copy of each of their scorecards.

Rescheduling Matches

The following weather conditions - rain, lightning, or severe temperature (below 32 degrees F, wind chill is below 32 degrees, or temperature is in excess of 100 degrees) existing one and one half hours prior to match time shall authorize the cancellation and re-scheduling of a scheduled match.  Either captain may elect to reschedule.  In the event that rain or inclement weather forces the cancellation and re-scheduling of a team match, unrestricted substitutions from the team roster may be made in any individual matches that have not begun. This includes moving a player from one position to another. Completed matches will stand as played and incomplete matches must be resumed by the same players at the exact point, game, and set that existed when play was halted. Rescheduled matches should be completed within 14 days of the scheduled match. Notify the coordinator within 24 hours of the originally scheduled match, giving the coordinator the rescheduled dates and times. Rainouts of the last match of the season must be rescheduled within 7 days of the original match date or before the published end date of the league whichever comes first. The only exception would be a league played as a weekend tournament. In this case, the LLC will reschedule the matches.
If a match is not played due to inclement weather, the following procedures should be followed::

The home team captain should contact the opposing team captain in two days and offer three (3) possible days for rescheduling.  These offered dates should be within the 14-day rescheduling timeframe. The opposing team captain should try to field a team on one of those three offered days of play. Notification should be made to the home team within two days of the offering. If a rescheduled date is agreed upon, the only reason for not playing on that agreed upon date would be inclement weather. Once a date has been agreed upon, the local league coordinator should be notified. It is the home captain's responsibility to make court arrangements for rescheduled matches.


Once a captain advises an opposing captain in writing via email that a line(s) will be defaulted in their match, that statement stands even if the team finds players prior to the start of the match, The only exception to this rule is when the match is calleddue to inclement weather,


Tournaments are not a legitimate reason for rescheduling a match.

Captains may request the rescheduling of a match due to a conflict with 3 or more player(s) involved in USTA National, USTA Southern, or USTA Alabama Championship play . No more positions may be rescheduled than the number of players registered or participating in said championship.  Eligible players for rescheduled positions are defined as players listed on the championship roster submitted. These rescheduled matches must be played either prior to the originally scheduled match or within 14 days of the completion of the championship event. If earlier arrangements have not been made, captains needing to reschedule should exercise courtesy and good sportsmanship and notify the opposing captain at least 10 days prior to the scheduled match date about his conflict.


The local league coordinator may administratively reschedule a match.

Section IV:Progression to State Championships

Local season champion shall be the team with the greatest number of team matches won (including any playoff) and shall represent the local league at the State Championships. In the event that there is more than one flight in a level the winning flight team will advance to a local flight playoff.A flight winner shall be the team having won the most team matches in its flight competition.


Comment: If a team wins more than one flight at the same level of play, that team may elect to represent only one team in the flight playoffs. The second place team from the vacated flight does not advance to the local flight playoff.


In the event of a tie, whether in round robin or single elimination local competition or in a local flight playoff, the tie shall be broken by the first of the following procedures that does so:

     Individual matches: Winner of the most individual matches  

     Head-to-Head: Winner of the head-to-head match
Loser of the fewest number of sets
Loser of the fewest number of games
    A Coin Toss


Effective the 2019 championship year, local league flight playoffs will be part of championship play; therefore, all championship rules would apply to local league (flight) playoffs including but not limited to:


Players needing at least the minimum 2 matches required for advancement to a state championship.A minimum of 1 match which could be a default received is required for tri-level and combo doubles advancement to a flight playoff.


Format for all flight playoffs must be the same as the USTA Alabama championship format.For example, if your local league format is 1S, 4D for the Adult 40 & Over league, then your local league (flight) playoff must adhere to the 2S, 3D format for local league (flight) playoffs.


In the Adult and Mixed Division, a player is eligible to progress to championship level below National Championships if that player has played on the same team in at least two (2) matches at the same NTRP level in the same Age Group during its local league season.  A maximum of one default received by a player during local league competition shall count for advancing.  Retired matches shall count toward  advancing for all players involved in both USTA League Divisions 2.03A(3).  In order to advance out of local leagues to Combo Doubles and Tri Level Championships a player must have participated in one (1) match with one default counting.


Players who qualify for an Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over, Adult 55 & Over and/or Adult 65 & over team(s) may advance on more than one team within an age group only if they are different NTRP levels.Players who qualify for a Mixed Doubles 18 & Over and/or Mixed Doubles 40 & Over team(s) may advance on more than one team within an age group only if they are different NTRP levels.No accommodations for scheduling will be made at any championship for teams with players that may be competing on two or more teams during a championship.


Teams entered in the State Championships that withdraw after the state entry deadline will be subject to a fine of $75 per person payable to ATA. Any team that defaults a court throughout the championship is also subject to the $75 fine unless excused by the tournament committee.  Said players will be ineligible to compete in any USTA league, including Tri-Level and Combo Doubles leagues, until the fine is paid.  Appeals may be submitted to the chairman of the Adult League Committee within one week of the said championship.  All entry fees will be forfeited.




Section V: Grievance Procedures


 All complaints alleging a violation of USTA League Regulations or standards of good conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship shall be filed in writing by email to  Grievances must be filed by a team captain prior to the commencement of whichever occurs first: (a) the involved team's next match in that flight, whether or not the involved player participates or (b) within 24 hours after the end of the local league season. The Local League Coordinator will send a copy of the complaint to each party against whom the complaint has been made.  Upon receipt of the grievance and responses, the Local League Coordinator shall immediately send a copy to the Chair of the appropriate League Grievance Committee. The Local League Grievance and Grievance Appeals Committee may consist of the following women:  Kati Arata, Brenda Barter, Kim Barton, Megan Cooper, Sue Eways, Lisa Hansen, Bebe Lindsey, Becky Lund, Kelly McGinley, and Lizbeth Stanton;  plus the following men:  Jason Antoine, Louie Brackett, Bryan Cooper, Andrew Fusaiotti, James Giddens, Michael Jackson, Barry Lund,  Mark Pawlowski, Kenneth Sands, and Todd Shirk.


The above list of the grievance and grievance appeal committee members may be amended by the local league coordinator in the event a conflict exist.   

For full Grievances Procedures refer to Section 2.0 of the USTA League Regulations.


The following procedures apply for NTRP Grievances:


A complaint may be filed by a captain or a Local League Coordinator against a player and/or captain who commits or condones entering at one level when their actual skill level is at the top of the next NTRP level or higher. 

The party that files the NTRP grievance must provide documentation to support their complaint at the time of their filing.

The USTA Southern Section NTRP Grievance Committee will have jurisdiction, augmented as necessary by experts in NTRP ratings, and may ask the alleged violator to complete a USTA Player Background History sheet and submit it to the committee for review.  After review, and in consultation with the NTRP experts who have augmented the committee, they will take action, as they deem appropriate.

This action may include disqualification, suspension from league play or other league sanctions.

Send NTRP Grievances to for forwarding to USTA Southern Section Grievance Committee.  The Local League Coordinator serves only as a pass through entity to the Southern Section.

An NTRP Grievance may be filed at any time.




The Local League Coordinator may amend and/or interpret the 2019 USTA Local Regulations, Mobile Area, at any time if warranted.