Mobile Area League Tennis Local League Rules
2024 Championship Year
Adult 18 & Over, 40 & Over, 55 & Over, and 65 & Over
Mixed Doubles, Tri-Level and Southern Combo Doubles
Local League Coordinator
USTA Alabama Director of Adult Leagues
USTA National, Southern and Alabama Regulations have full force and applicability at all levels of play in USTA 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: www.alabamata.com.
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.
TennisLink is the official system for registering teams, reporting scores and providing standings.
The Local League Coordinator implements and administers all USTA League Programs and interprets all local league regulations.
MAJOR REGULATION CHANGES FOR 2024 (USTA)
1. For the USTA League program organization at the National level for the Adult division, 40 & Over age group, team matches at National Championships will consist of 1 Singles and 4 Doubles matches, beginning with the 2024 National Championships. Sectional Associations have the option, but are not required to adopt this format for the 2024 Championship Year. Conforming changes are reflected in 1.04(A) and 2.03(E) and the Glossary.
Additional conforming changes:
œ 1.04(D)4 Minimum number of rostered players increases from 7 to 9 players
œ (2.03A(5) Minimum number of rostered players required at National Championships increases from 7 to 9 players
œ (2.03K) Minimum number of players at all championships with a 5 court match format of 1 Singles and 4 Doubles changes from 4 to 5 players
2. For two team leagues, Sectional Associations have the authority to require from 40–100% of the rostered players to be at level.
1.04D(5) Two Team Leagues. If any Adult Division Age Group consists of only two teams in a level of play, each team must maintain its roster with a minimum of 40 percent of its players at the designated NTRP level of play. A Section may increase the required minimum percentage. The Adult Division 55 & Over Age Group that uses combined NTRP rating levels will not be required to comply with this Regulation.
3. A player may not have more than one USTA membership account/USTA Number
1.04E(2) Membership. All individuals who compete in the USTA League must be current USTA members in good standing through the local league season. Any individual who progresses to a championship level in the USTA League must be a current USTA member through each championship progression. Individuals shall only have one USTA membership account/ USTA number. Individuals who obtain more than one USTA membership account/ USTA number may be subject to a grievance and such suspension penalties as outlined under the League Suspension Point System.
4. For the Mixed division, in both the 18 & Over and 40 & Over age groups, straight level play is authorized at the Sectional Championships and below. Conforming changes are reflected in 2.01(A)4.
NTRP LEVELS OF PLAY
BELOW NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
18 & Over
3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0
6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0
3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5
6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0
6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0
40 & Over
3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0
6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0
3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5
6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0
6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0
New Local Regulations in Red
Section I. Eligibility
Players must be 18 years of age prior to participating in the USTA League program. Each player over the age of 18 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 TennisLink. When registering, each player must pay the present local league fee plus an internet TennisLink fee per league season. If a level doesnft consist of two (2) registered teams then any players registered on the one remaining team can be transferred to another team within the same championship year. The Local League Coordinator (LLC) can transfer registrations within the same championship year if the player has not played a match or received a default. 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.
A captain must be appointed for each team. All teams playing the 18 & Over Adult leagues must have registered on TennisLink a minimum of 5 players for levels 2.5 and 5.0 and 8 players for levels 3.0 through 4.5. Teams playing the 40 & Over Adult leagues must have registered on TennisLink a minimum of 9 players for levels 3.0 through 4.5, and 5 players for level 2.5. The Adult 55 & Over, Adult 65 & Over, Mixed Doubles, Tri Level, and Southern Combo Doubles must have a minimum of 6 (six) players registered on TennisLink. Local leagues will limit the number of players on a team roster to no more than 16 players for Adult 18 & Over and Adult 40 & Over. All other leagues will be limited to 14 players.
Each team is required to have a host facility to play their home matches and at their option could have an alternate site for playing during inclement weather or scheduled court repair. All teamsf host facility selection must be approved by the LLC. 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.
Section II. Team Captainsf 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 LLC 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. The teamfs name should be limited to the Facility Name, Captain Name and/or Location. Any non-playing captain can ask the LLC to create their TennisLink team number. The Registration Deadline Dates are published on the local MALT (Mobile Area League Tennis) website (www.maltennis.com) under Leagues. The LLC may amend the dates as needed. The Adult 18 & Over teams should have their initial roster of 8 players registered by the published registration deadline (5 players for 2.5 and 5.0 levels). The Adult 40 & Over teams should have their initial roster of 9 players registered by the published registration deadline. The Adult 55 & Over, Adult 65 & Over, Mixed Doubles, Tri-Level and Southern Combo Doubles teams should have their initial roster of 6 players registered by the registration deadline.
Section III. Player Participation
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 night before the last scheduled match for the Adult 18 & Over, 40 & Over and 55 & Over Age Groups, as well as the Mixed Division, Southern Combo Doubles and Tri-Level. Roster additions cannot be made if the last team match is a makeup. Roster additions cannot be made for play-off purposes only. If any leagues are played as a weekend tournament, the LLC will establish the deadline date for adding a player. The Alabama Director of Adult Leagues will establish a roster addition deadline for all leagues that play their local league at the state championships.
To generate a computer rating, a player must have played three (3) matches for an Adult League during that yearfs rating period, Defaults do not count towards computer ratings.
It is a playerfs responsibility to update changes in their email address with the LLC and with the USTA. Email is the primary means of communication used by the coordinator.
Any player that is granted a new rating after an appeal, up or down, should notify the LLC by email so their NTRP rating on any current roster can be updated.
Telephones must be on silent anytime when on the court. If the phone rings during a point, the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance.
Section IV. Scheduling
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 if applicable. If a match is scheduled at a home teamfs courts that are not playable one hour prior to match time and the home team does not have an alternate location, then the visiting team may ask to move the match to the visiting teamfs facility if those courts are available.
For Day Leagues only, facilities are required to provide for the league a minimum of three (3) courts. If only three courts are available for play, any team having to split its time of a scheduled match due to court availability should notify their opposing captain at least five (5) days prior to the match. The doubles positions will begin first at the scheduled match time with the singles position/positions feeding in. Lineups for the entire team match will be exchanged between the two captains before the start of the early matches. Players feeding in should be present one hour from the scheduled match time, ready to feed in. Any player not present when a court becomes available at the designated start time will be subject to the 15-minute default rule.
If a facility provides five (5) courts and two teams are scheduled at that facility at the same time, the team that is given three (3) courts will begin their doubles positions first with the singles position/positions feeding in. The team that is assigned the remaining two (2) courts will begin with #1 and #2 Doubles positions if 18 & Over followed by #3 Doubles and #1 and #2 Singles feeding in, or if 40 & Over followed by #3 Doubles and the one Singles feeding in.
All women teams playing a scheduled USTA night league match should have the maximum number of required courts available at match time. This is to avoid players having to be out at night any later than necessary. Matches can be played earlier than the scheduled match time if courts are available and both captains agree.
Depending upon the number of teams that enter the league, a minimal number of matches may be scheduled on days different from those normally specified for your level. If those different days will not work for your team, the LLC should be contacted immediately upon receiving the posted schedule for resolution.
Section V. Match Format
All matches will be the best of two sets, with a set tie break (first to 7 by 2) 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 players change ends after the first point and then every four points.
Team format for the Adult 18 & Over shall be two (2) individual singles and three (3) individual doubles matches for 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 levels. For 2.5 and 5.0 levels the team format shall be one (1) individual singles and two (2) individual doubles. The Adult 40 & Over format is one (1) individual singles and three (3) individual doubles for 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 levels. The format for all other leagues (Mixed Doubles, Combo Doubles, and Tri-Level) shall be three (3) individual doubles. A team will be awarded a point for each individual match won.
Match play format may be changed by the LLC in order to complete a specific round. If a round of scheduled play cannot be completed by the state regulation deadline, the final standings and local champion will be determined by using the results of the last round of completed play.
Round Robin 2.01C(1) :Each NTRP level within a local league shall play at least one round robin competition wherein every team plays every other team. When any NTRP level consists of only two teams, each team is required to play a minimum of three team matches, which is a triple round robin. When any NTRP level consists of only three teams, each team is required to play a minimum of four team matches, which is a double round robin. Any NTRP level may be divided into flights and each team shall play every other team in its flight. The flight winners may enter a playoff structure to establish a local league champion for that NTRP level. The local championship playoff may be scheduled over several days, or on a day different from those normally specified for a specific level, and must follow the Alabama Championship rules. The playoff schedule and match number will be available on TennisLink.
Partial Round Robin 2.01 (2): Each NTRP level within a local league may play a partial round robin competition wherein every team plays the same number of matches against randomly selected opponents. A minimum of the top two teams shall progress to a single elimination playoff to establish a local league champion for that NTRP level.
Section VI. Team Line-Up
Captains should exchange line-ups simultaneously prior to the beginning of the team match. Match numbers are located on the schedule in TennisLink. A 15-minute default rule is in effect, starting at the exact time the match is scheduled to begin, possibly resulting in a player/players 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 default 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, a Full-Team default will be charged to that team in favor of the opponents. A majority of the courts must be played in order for there to be a mathematical chance for either team to win. Please see National Regulation 2.01 C (2) below:
Number of players required for a valid team match:
2 singles 3 doubles: 3 courts must be played
1 singles 3 doubles: 3 courts must be played
1 singles 2 doubles: 2 courts must be played
3 doubles: 2 courts must be played
In the event that the correct number of courts is not played, the match is determined illegal by USTA and the State League Coordinator (SLC) must be contacted to determine how to proceed.
Once a captain advises an opposing captain by phone or in writing via text or 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 called due to inclement weather. In this case, any defaults awarded in advance may now be played.
If a team defaults an entire team match during local or local at state competition the Alabama Regulation under 2.01C(6) Team Line-Ups will be adopted as determined by the Director of Adult League Tennis.
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 correctly 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. The LLC should be informed immediately of any noted score dispute. Captains should keep a hard copy of each of their scorecards in case it is determined later in the season that a match was never entered in TennisLink.
Section VII. Rescheduling Matches
The following weather conditions - rain, lightning, or severe temperature (below 32 degrees F, wind chill below 32 degrees, or temperature in excess of 100 degrees) existing one hour 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. Teams in contention must have all their matches played and ready for a tentative playoff.
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 within two days and offer three (3) possible days and times for rescheduling. These offered dates should be within the 14-day rescheduling time frame. The opposing team captain should try to field a team on one or all 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 LLC should be notified by email. It is the home captainfs responsibility to make court arrangements for rescheduled matches,
When both captains agree to reschedule a match for any reason other than inclement weather, the required number of courts must be reserved by the captain of the agreed upon facility for the agreed upon date and time. The match must be played within the 14-day rescheduling time frame. Once a date and time has been agreed upon, the LLC should be notified by email.
If a match is scheduled at a home teamfs facility that (for some unforeseen reason) failed to reserve the necessary courts for the match, the visiting team can then ask for the match to be moved to the visiting teamfs facility to be played on the day, time and court selection of the visiting team. The visiting captain must follow the same rescheduling procedures stated above for a match not played due to inclement weather and within the 14-day rescheduling time frame. Notify the LLC within 24 hours of the originally scheduled match, giving the coordinator the rescheduled dates and times
Captains may request the rescheduling of a match due to a conflict with 3 or more player(s) involved in USTA National, USTA Southern, USTA Alabama or a local league flight playoff championship. 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, or within 7 days of the last match of the season, or before the published date of the league season whichever comes first. If earlier arrangements have not been made, captains needing to reschedule should exercise courtesy and good sportsmanship and notify the opposing captain at least 7 days prior to the scheduled match date about his/her conflict. Consideration will be given to teams/players that do not become aware that they are advancing to a league program event before the 10-day period due to last minute wild card invitation or schedule/reschedule delays,
The LLC may administratively reschedule a match. A match scheduled by the league coordinator is not subject to the 14-day rule.
Non USTA tournaments are not a legitimate reason for rescheduling a match.
Section VIII: Progression to Playoffs & 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. Only the winning flight team can advance to the local playoffs.
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
Sets: Loser of the fewest number of sets
Games: Loser of the fewest number of games
Game winning percentage: Total games won divided by total games played
Winner of #1 Doubles if a tie still exists
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
Each player must have at least a minimum of 2 matches required for advancement to a local playoff and/or a state championship for Adult Leagues (18 & Over, 40 & Over, 55 & Over) and Mixed Doubles, with 1 default counting. Each player must have at least a minimum of 1 match require for advancement to a local playoff and/or a state championship for Tri-Level and Combo Doubles with 1 default counting. Retired matches shall count toward the advancement for all players involved.
Playoff format may be the same as was played during local league play or may be amended by the LLC should issues arise for finishing the league.
Alabama invitational championships do not require any local league play.
(Exception): Players playing their local league at state may participate in their local league and one other league type during the championship. Those included will be the 18 & Over 5.0 men and women, the 55 & Over 9.0 men and women, the 18 & Over 9.0 and 10.0 Mixed, the 40 & Over 9.0 Mixed. Also included will be 55 & Over Tri-Level. No accommodations for scheduling will be made at the State Championships. For these levels all roster addition deadlines must occur by the date set by the State League Coordinator.
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.
A team winning both seasons without identical rosters for both seasons must choose which season roster will represent their local league at championship. A team winning both seasons with identical rosters will represent the season chosen by the Alabama Adult League committee.
Section V: Grievance Procedures – (For full Grievances Procedures and Grievance Types refer to Section 3.00 of the USTA League Regulations)
Any grievance alleging a violation by an individual or team during local league competition shall be filed in writing with the Local or District/Area League Coordinator or designee having jurisdiction. The grievance must be filed 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 except for eligibility grievances (see Reg. 3.03B(3). Upon receipt of the grievance, the Local or District/Area League Coordinator or designee shall immediately send a copy to the Chair of the appropriate League Grievance Committee and to the party/parties against whom the grievance has been filed.
The following change to the Grievance Procedures has been approved. Previously, each Section had the option to honor the sanction(s) imposed in another Section. Now, the decision of a Grievance Committee in any Section will apply to the USTA League program in all Sections.
3.03D(4) The decision of the USTA League Grievance Committee shall conform to the USTA League Suspension Point System, which shall be established prior to each League Year by the USTA National League Committee.
The Mobile Local League Grievance and Grievance Appeals Committee may consist of the following: Bebe Lindsey, Becky Lund, Delia Camp, Kelly McGinley, Kim Barton, Lisa Hansen, Lynn Barlow, Megan Cooper, Shannon Blake, and Sue Eways: Barry Lund, Brian Lindsey, Bryan Cooper, Charles Mathison, Ed Lagman, Jason Antoine, Kenneth Sands, Reeve Cabral, Todd Shirk, and Will Fusaiotti.
The above list of the grievance and grievance appeal committee members may be amended by the LLC in the event a conflict exist.
USTA Mobile Local League Coordinator