Rules

Format & Scoring

Format

  • Teams will play two matches per night.
  • Each match will consist of a single set:
    • The first team to win 6 games within the set/match (provided that there is a margin of two games over the opponent) will be the winner.
    • If each team wins 6 games, a tie-break game will be played (dependent on time).
    • If the EC is required to call 'time' on a match, the current game will be played out. The score will stand as-is, even if neither team has won 6 games yet.
    • Ties are possible in the regular season.

Scoring

  • All Tennis Leagues use a rally-point scoring system.
    • The first team to win 4 points will win that game.
    • Advantage rules will apply to all games, meaning that each game must be won by two points.
    • Tie-break Game: The first team to 7 points wins the tie-break (advantage still applies).
       
      Points 0 1 2 3 4
      Score Love 15 30 40 Game

       

    • A score of 40 - 40 is referred to as "Deuce"
    • Deuce + 1 point = "Advantage"
    • Advantage + 1 point = Win

General Playing Guidelines

Service

  • Teams can use any suitable means to determine who gets first serve or pick a side.
  • Teams will switch sides are one complete serving rotations (every 4 games).
  • The serving player alternates serves between the deuce court (right) and the advantage court (left) at the start of each point.
  • The serve is a let if:
    • The served ball touches the net, strap or band, and lands in the correct court.
    • The served ball touches the net, strap or band and then touches the receiver, the receiver’s partner or anything they wear or carry before hitting the ground.
    • The ball is served when the receiver is not ready.
    • When it is a let serve, that particular serve does not count and the server shall serve again. However a let serve does not cancel the previous fault.
  • Receiving players are to call the ball in or out of bounds. If there is a dispute, re-serve with no point awarded.

Service Rotation

  • Service alternates between teams at the start of each new game within a set.
  • Service alternates between teammates at the start of each new service game within a set.
  • Please see the pdf diagram above for more information on the serving rotation.

Receiving the Serve

  • Prior to the start of each game, teammates must opt to receive serves in the deuce court or advantage court. Once this is decided, each player on that team can only return serves from his or her designated service court for that game.
  • Switching service courts to receive serves is not an option until the game is over.

Tiebreaker

  • Please refer to the full rule book for tiebreaker format and corresponding service rotation.

Violations & Faults

  • Players are expected to know the Tennis rules and call their own faults. If an obvious fault is missed, a player on the opposing team may politely point this out, assuming that their opponent either does not know the rule or missed their own fault. Generally, teams should not call faults against their opponents.
  • If any of the faults below occur, the opposing team gets a point.

Service Faults

  • The server foot faults; touching the baseline or court during the serve.
  • The server misses the ball when trying to hit it.
  • The ball touches a permanent fixture, singles stick or net post before hitting the ground.
  • After serving the ball touches the server’s partner, or touches anything the server is wearing or carrying.
  • It is not a fault if the server tosses the ball in the air and then decides to catch it.

The serving player is allowed one fault; after a second fault (double fault) a point will be awarded to the other team.
 

Ball / Boundary Faults

  • Lands outside the doubles boundaries of the court.
  • Fails to pass over the net.
  • Touches the side walls.
  • Touches a player or their clothing.
  • Touches any other object or person outside of the court.
  • Is caught and held on the racquet and then slung during the execution of a stroke.
  • Is hit more than once by the same team (double hit).

Player Faults

  • Touches the net or its supports with their body, racquet or clothing.
  • Crosses the plane of the net with their body, racquet or clothing.
    • Exception: Players can cross the plane (without touching the net) if they have contacted the ball on their side of the net first.

Hard smashing is discouraged in ESSC Tennis leagues.