SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SECTION RULES
EACH AREA MAY ADOPT THEIR OWN LIST OF LOCAL LEAGUE RULES (IN ADDITION TO THE FOLLOWING) BASED ON THE NEEDS OF THAT AREA.
NEW "Call The Score Rule" Implemented in Fall 2018
A Player is now required to call out the score before they begin the point. The score is to be called loud enough for their opponent to hear and before the bounce of the ball/start of the service motion.
All players will be reminded of this rule 3 times.
Once, will be in the coaches introduction period when all players and parents are given the pre-speach.
Second, will be when on the court in which only the player's own coach will give them a reminder.
Third, will be on court as well by their own coach.
On the 4th reminder, the player's opponent will then be given a point. If the score is 30-40 and the score is not called by the server for a 4th time, then the server will lose the point and in turn, lose the game. Each time after the 3x rule has been
stated, a point will be taken away.
Note: Please know that an opposing player or opposing coach cannot be the one to call this infraction. It must be brought to
the player's own coaches attention in which the player's own coach will then remind their player or take away the point.
The purpose of this rule to help with all players keeping track of the game score so that there is no confusion.
1. Inappropriate behavior from coaches/captains, parents, or players will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to: cursing, threats, violence, cheating, ect. This is a NO TOLERANCE policy and violations will result in a ban from the league.
2. The “Official Rules” of the USTA will govern all league play, with the exception of those rules adopted by the league.
3. SCTA League Fee: The fee charged by the Section is $25.00 per player to sign-up.
4. The Area League Commissioner sets the schedule for the league.
5. The “Official League Schedule” will be posted on TennisLink prior to the start of the league.
6. There are no Sectional Championships for Novice teams.
7. The Section will post its eligibility list prior to the start of the season.
1. For all league matches, each team must be supervised by at least one adult over the age of 18.
2. Coaching during matches is allowed. One coach per team must be designated before the match to coach all of his/her players on the changeovers only for 3.4 and 3.5 levels. Coaching between points is allowed for the OB, GB, 2.4 and 2.9 levels. This must not stop the momentum of play and the coach cannot go into the court of play while coaching. It can be only through verbal communication while outside the court of play.
3. Coaches, or a parent (one from each team) designated and agreed upon are allowed to act as umpires/referees during the matches. Designated Parent or Coach cannot be the parent of the player who is playing to make it arbitrary. Therefore the designated coaches or parents are encouraged to make sure their own players are calling the lines, score and all other match logistics- accurately. This is to ensure our young players are learning the etiquette and correct ways of tennis at an early stage of the game. Coaches may at any time call a ball “out” while overruling a call ON THEIR TEAM PLAYERS ONLY.
4. Coaches can move players around during the season so all can play a mix of singles and doubles as long as no stacking occurs. Please note- at Sectional Championships, line-ups will be in order of strength.
5. It is the responsibility of the Team Captains to ensure that all members of his/her team and their parents/guardians are aware of all the ethics rules and USTA rules.
6. The online system (TennisLink) allows for a captain and co-captain.
7. The captain and the co-captain will be the only two individuals recognized by the league to speak for their team in all matters.
8. The Team Captain is responsible for reading all materials associated with the league (this includes e-mails from the Area League Commissioner and the SCTA Team Tennis Coordinator, materials distributed at the local league meetings, mailings, etc.).
9. It is the responsibility of the Team Captain to distribute the schedule to their team members and parents.
10. Both Coaches must complete a score sheet and sign them both at the end of the match and keep these for their record in case the Area League Commissioner need to view it for any and all disputes.
1. All players must be on the online roster before their first team match.
2. 10 & Under who have never been a USTA member previously can sign up for a free membership!
3. Players are to adhere to the SCTA Code of Ethics (refer to All matches must be completed by the end of the season date set by the SCTA.
4. Age verification is a manual check (TennisLink will not automatically check for you when signing players up). It is the responsibility of the team’s coach, captain or team manager to manually verify the age of each team player.
MATCH SCHEDULING (Including Rain)
1. The visiting Team Captain is responsible for contacting the home Team Captain the Monday prior to the scheduled match.
• Contact may be made sooner at the visiting Team Captains discretion.
• Contact may be made by phone call or e-mail (if e-mail, only copy the Area League Coordinator if it is a match that is a deviation from the set schedule).
2. If a team needs to reschedule a match, it will need to be brought to the opposing Team Captain and Area League Coordinator no later than the Friday prior to the match.
• This does not include cancellations for weather or other circumstance out of our control.
3. In the event of match needs to be rescheduled due to weather or other circumstance out of our control (Fires, natural disasters, etc), both coaches will look to reschedule with a double header or a separate date agreed upon. If a double header is to be played a coin flip needs to occur for the home "match site" if both coaches cannot agree on a site. The coin flip will be done by the League Coordinator or an outside representative.
4. In the event rain or any other circumstance occurs in which a match stops midway through play, both coaches will look to find a date, site and time that is agreeable to both for a reschedule. If a date, site and time cannot be agreed upon, the League Coordinator will determine one for them. If a match that has been stopped due to rain or any other circumstance has no bearing on the final results for 1st and 2nd place in the division, those two coaches can elect “to not reschedule and play the match that was interrupted”
5. If Rain or any other circumstance out of our control occurs before a match is to begin then a reschedule will need to take place for the entire match. Therefore any set number of matches, line-ups or other factors that were set in place will be reset. In other words, if a team had only 4 players ready for the first match that was rained out or stopped due to other circumstances out of our control, then that team has the opportunity to reset and play the rescheduled match with 6 players if it deems possible. This rule is in affect for the good of the league so that more players are able to play due too circumstances out of our control.
6. What happens if it rains in the middle of the match..... Match is at 6-4, 2-2 when it rains. Teams elect to call it???? We will take each match and rain situation on a case by case basis. Hopefully the match can be rescheduled and if it does, we will start off from where we left. The only reason we will look to reschedule a rain match is if the overall scores have an affect on who goes to sectionals.
7. No reschedules will be permitted due to weekend tournaments unless both coaches agree on it.
8. Any deviation from the schedule must be consented by both the Team Captains. Once the date and time are scheduled they must then report the new date and time to the Area League Commissioner. The Key word is that both Coaches agree on the reschedule. If one coach cannot accommodate enough players and the opposing coach decides to take the default, that is within league rules.
MATCHES AND SCORING
1. If there are only 5 players available for a match on a given team, the #2 singles will be the default match. This is to allow all players to start play immediately.
2. The fewest amount of players that are allowed to compete without a default is 3 players. Therefore if one team has 2 players and the other team is ready with 3, 4, 5 or 6 players, the team with 2 players will take a complete match default. If 3 players are able to play then that team will have their 3 players play two times to keep the integrity of the league in good standing with players and parents while maintaining a level or professional standard so all players are able to play each week.
Please note that when 3 players are in the line-up, they will need to play #1 singles and #2 doubles. Not 3 separate singles.
3. Our league rules state that if "Coach A" communicates with "Coach B" prior to the Sunday match that they plan to bring 5 players (or any number of players lower than 6), than the opposing "Coach B" is only obligated to bring 5 (or other designated number of players) themselves. If "Coach A" shows up on Sunday with more than 5 players, this will not matter as "Coach B" will still receive the default. In this case with 5 players "Coach B" would receive the default in #2 singles.
4. Team Captains will exchange line up 10 minutes prior to the start time.
5. Players are allotted 5 minutes for a warm up.
6. Spectators are not allowed inside the court area.
7. Home Team Captain is responsible for entering scores after a match. However either captain can input the score as long as both coaches agreed upon final score.
8. Scores must be entered by Monday evening following the match.
9. Scores that are not entered by Monday evening will have their last match defaulted by the program coordinator. Therefore if the score in the #2 doubles is 8-4 in their favor and the score is not imputed, it will be changed as 0-8. If the format is in sets of 4 games, then 4-2, 4-1 will be changed to 0-4, 0-4. If the format is in sets of 6 games, same rules apply and so forth. If the #2 doubles was already a default of the score was already 0-4, 0-4 or 0-0, than the #1 doubles will be a def and so forth.
10. When teams playoff for sectionals, we will abide by the following tie-break rules:
1st: Games won, if tied
2nd: Matches won, if tied
3rd: Sets won, if tied
4th: #1 Singles winner (Coaches need to put their best player in the #1 singles position)
When we have 7 teams in a division and all teams get their 6 matches in, we will then have 1st play 2nd, 3rd play 4th and 5th play 6th. 7th place will not be scheduled for a 7th match.
When 1st and 2nd place teams play off for this last match, we will keep the season “games won” total going into the match.
For example, if team A is in 1st place with 200 games won total and Team B is in 2nd place with 195 games won. Team B will need to win the match by more than 5 games to win the league. In other words when the final match is played between 1st and 2nd, there “will not be” a of games won from the season.
LATE ARRIVALS AND DEFAULT RULES FOR MATCHES
Let me start off by saying that with team tennis, the idea is to have all players play. In the event a player is running late, we will leave it up to the coaches to decide if the below should be implemented.
Please know that it is up to the coaches. Should either coach want to instill the default, they have full power to since this is a USTA league in which we will follow the USTA rules on defaults.
0-5 minutes late: 1 game and loss of toss
6-10 minutes late: 2 games and loss of toss
11-15 minutes late: 3 games and loss of toss
16 minutes and after: Up to the coach to decide if they want to implement the default.
Note: Should a phone call be received from the parent or player to state they are running late due to an unforeseen factor, we encourage empathy and understanding.
NO SHOWS AND SUSPENSION
Any player that fails to show up to a match on a first and a second offense will be unable to participate in the current league season and the following season.
On the first offense, the opposing coach will contact me, the league coordinator, of the player who failed to show for the match and I will follow up with a letter to their parents and their coach.
On the second offense, the opposing coach with contact me and I will contact the player/parents to let them know they are on suspension from the league and unable to finish out the season or the following season.
For example, if a player does not show for a match, once they have been confirmed with their coach and thus opposing coach then a notice will go to me and then to the player/parents.
Effective April 20, 2015
Please know that since this is a usta league, we will go by the "Friend at Court" rules which can be found online.
It will be up to the coach to confront his/her "own" opponent first, so that calls do not get out of hand.
18. FOOT FAULT
During the service motion, the server shall not:
a. Change position by walking or running, although slight movements of the feet
are permitted; or
b. Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or
c. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with either
d. Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot.
If the server breaks this rule it is a “Foot Fault”.
Case 1: In a singles match, is the server allowed to serve standing behind the part
of the baseline between the singles sideline and the doubles sideline?
Case 2: Is the server allowed to have one or both feet off the ground?
USTA Comment 18.1: Where may the server stand? In singles, the server
may stand anywhere behind the baseline between the imaginary extensions of
the inside edge of the center mark and the outside edge of the singles sideline.
In doubles, the server may stand anywhere behind the baseline between the
imaginary extensions of the inside edge of the center mark and the outside
edge of the doubles sideline.
USTA Comment 18.2:
What does the rule mean when it says that the
server may “not change position by walking or running”? One key to
understanding this rule is to realize that the server’s feet must be at rest
immediately before beginning to serve. The delivery of the service then begins
with any arm or racket motion and ends when the racket contacts the ball (or
misses the ball in attempt to strike it).
To define walking or running with precision is difficult. This rule is
intended to prevent the server from taking advantage of the receiver by serving
while “on the move” and requiring the receiver to guess the position from
which the serve will be launched, and the rule should be enforced with that
intent in mind.
• A server who takes more than one step with either foot after the
“feet at rest” position described above is at risk for being called for
a foot fault. The serve becomes a foot fault when, in the judgment
of an experienced official, the server has materially changed
12 RULES OF TENNIS
position before or during any racket or arm motion.
• A server whose footwork changes significantly from one serve to
the next is at risk for being called for a foot fault.
• Serves that look like the running volleyball serve violate the rule.
Serves in which the server runs or walks from a point well behind the
baseline to the baseline are also illegal, as are serves in which the
server walks or runs along the baseline before choosing a spot from
which to deliver the serve.
USTA Comment 18.3:
When does a foot fault occur? A player commits
a foot fault if after the player’s feet are at rest but before the player strikes the
ball, either foot touches:
• the court, including the baseline;
• any part of the imaginary extension of the center mark; or
• beyond the imaginary extension of the outside of the singles sideline
in singles or the doubles sideline in doubles.
USTA Comment 18.4:
Is it a foot fault if the server’s foot touches the
baseline and then the server catches the tossed ball instead of attempting
to strike it?
This is not a foot fault as long as the server makes no attempt to
strike the ball.
USTA Comment 18.5:
When an official calls a foot fault and a player asks
which foot touched the line, should the official tell the player?
USTA Comment 18.6:
When may the receiver or the receiver’s partner call
The receiver or the receiver’s partner may call foot faults only after
all reasonable efforts such as warning the server and attempting to get an
official to the court have failed and the foot