» USTA League Tennis

Team Quick Tips

General League Information

·         Be the organizer & cheerleader for your team
·         Recruit enough players and alternates necessary to field a complete team for every match.
·         Distribute all materials to team members including:
·the team number required for registration on TennisLink
·schedule of play
·current year’s rules and regulations, including local, sectional and national regulations
·list of team members and contact information
·         Know the rules, and make sure your players know the rules. Print or e-mail copies of the rules to your teammates, and suggest that they keep copies in their racquet bags in case they need them during a match.
·         Confirm home and away matches with the host tennis club and opposing team captain
·         Ensure that all players are properly registered on TennisLink prior to playing a match for your team
·         If you are the “home” team, your team is responsible for bringing the balls. As a social, friendly gesture the host team typically provides snacks and drinks after the match. Make sure your players all have an assignment to help with this task! Note that the home captain also will assign the positions to a court and determine which color scorecard will represent the home team and which will be for the away team.
·         Record or confirm match results on TennisLink within the required posting deadline (24 hours).
·         Attend or send a representative to all League meetings
·         Register for the team on-line promptly as requested by your captain
·         Check your e-mail regularly for updates and schedules from your captain
·         Show your commitment to fellow players on the team by being willing to compete at both home and away matches during the season.
·         Let your captain know in advance any dates you will not be available to play.
·         Read and be knowledgeable with the current year’s rules, including local, sectional & national regulations. We suggest you print and keep a copy of the rules in your racquet bag in case you need them during a match!
·         Always be on time.
·         If your team is the home team, you are responsible for bringing balls & snacks to the match
·         Be supportive of your captain and teammates and remember, the main objective of the USTA League Program is FUN!
·         Warm up, including serves, for 10 minutes, then play best 2 of 3 sets. Maximum match time (including warm-up) is 2 hours. See rules regarding tiebreak procedures in case match not completed by 10 minutes prior to the end of the 2 hour limit.
Captains are responsible for confirming the courts and match with the host club and the opposing captain. Typically, the home team will confirm the courts, then contact the opposing captain to confirm the match and that the courts have been secured. If the away captain has not heard from the home captain, the away captain should initiate the confirmations.
In the event that a team is unable to field a complete roster, the captain is responsible for canceling the court at least 48 hours in advance. Note that if courts are not cancelled 48 hours in advance, the canceling team will be responsible for payment of those courts to the club.
In the event that cancelled court fees are not paid at the time of the match, the defaulting captain will need to bring and provide to the club a completed VOUCHER, approving the club to seek reimbursement from the team’s league escrow account.
Captains should also take note of the rules regarding the order of position default, as well as the notification requirement/timeline to the opposing team.
Also note the number of positions that NEED to be played in order for the match to be valid. EVERY EFFORT should be made to field all positions. If a team is ever in a position that they believe they will not be able to get enough players for a valid match, the captain should contact the league coordinator immediately.
TEAM ESCROW – Each team needs to fund an escrow account with the league. The escrow amount will equal the total amount of a full match. This money is only used in the case of match forfeiture (above).
TENNISLINK – TennisLink is the system on the USTA website that holds all USTA League statistics, team and match information. You can use this site to join the USTA, register for a team, view your team details and match schedules / results. Captains will also use this site for score entry.
Three ways to go to the TennisLink site are:
·         The easiest access to TennisLink is on our Western Mass website. www.westernmass.usta.com
·         You can also access TennisLink from the USTA New England web site: www.ustanewengland.com then click on USTA league tennis on the left hand side of the page, and select TennisLink from the menu.
·         Or go to the USTA official web site: www.usta.com. Click on TennisLink, on the top right hand side of the page.
Before registering for a team, you will need a USTA membership that is valid through the entire match season. If you are not currently a member, or need to renew your membership, you can do this on-line using the following instructions from TennisLink:
On the right side of the screen, click on “Not yet a USTA member?” or “Renew Your Membership”. Follow the prompts to either Join or Renew your membership. Note that, if you are renewing, you will need to know your USTA member # to complete this step.
Once your USTA membership is in order, you are ready to register for a team. From the TennisLink site, click on Register for a Team on the right side of the screen. Enter your:
·         USTA#, team #, and, if you are the captain or co-captain, check the {box} indicating that you are the captain. Add your phone# (optional), and Press 'Submit'.
Note that you can only register for a team at or above your NTRP rating. For example, if you are a 3.0-rated player, you can only play on a 3.0 or 3.5 team (or above); you will not be able to register for a 2.5 team.
If you don’t have an NTRP rating, you will be prompted to answer questions related to ability in the team registration process. Based on your responses, the system will assign an NTRP rating. If you have no background history, you will likely be assigned a 2.0 rating. You have the option of selecting a higher rating. (Note that if you believe you are a 2.5 player, you should input 2.5 here.)
If you are assigned a rating that is higher than your desired rating (i.e., you want to play 2.5, but are assigned a 3.0 rating), you will have the option to submit an electronic appeal. Note that, if this happens, you will not be able to register for the team until you hear more from the USTA regarding your appeal.
Otherwise, after you have finished the self rate process, press submit and confirm the information on the next page, enter your credit card for the registration fee to complete the transaction and print a receipt, if desired.
We recommend that all captains and players familiarize themselves with the information on TennisLink. To view your team roster and find other important team information, go to the TennisLink.
·         If you are the captain or co-captain, enter your USTA number in the field provided on the right hand menu. TennisLink will recognize you as the captain and you will have access your team player information and be able to input match scores.
·         Or scroll down and enter your team number, team name or player name in the appropriate field and you will go to a page that has all your team information, titled Stats and Standings.
There are five buttons near the top: Team Summary, Match Summary, Match Schedule, Player Roster, and Blank Scorecard. Without choosing any of these you will be able to view how many players have registered on your team, who they are, and what their rating is.
Match Schedules with Match Numbers are found on TennisLink Leagues.
·                 Using the Stats and Standings instructions from above
·                 Click on Match Schedule at the top of the page.
How to find your match numbers:
·                 From the Stats and Standings page
·                 Choose Match Summary
·                 Look for the match# that corresponds with the home & away team.
·         How to print a Blank Score Card prior to your match:
·         Go to TennisLink home page
·         Enter your team number under View League and Championship Stats & Standings
·         Click on Blank Scorecard
·         Make copies to use at each match
·         You may also go to Record a Score' on the TennisLink home page, enter the match number and print a blank scorecard, which will show both team rosters at the bottom of the scorecard
·         Both Captains MUST SIGN the completed scorecard. Failure to sign may negate a captain's right to dispute a match.
·         Each captain is responsible for retaining the scorecard until the match scores are entered and confirmed on the USTA website.
·         One team reports the scores (can be either home or away team)
·         The other team MUST confirm or dispute the entered scores within 48 hours of the match
·         If the match has not been confirmed or disputed within the 48 hours of score entry TennisLink will automatically confirm the match.
·         Any team that does not confirm or dispute loses the right to dispute their match after 48 hours
·         On the TennisLink home page, 'Under League Players' on the top right hand side of page Click on 'Record a Score'
·         Enter USTA # then enter match #
·         The next screen will indicate whether match scores have been entered by your opponents
·         If the scorecard is blank, enter the scores and click on FINISH. You cannot re-enter or make changes on the scorecard after you click Finish. If you find you have made an error, contact your league coordinator at wma-league@newengland.usta.com and provide your team #, match #, players’ names and scores.
·         If the opposing team has already entered the scores you must review them for accuracy and CONFIRM or DISPUTE them
Process to record scores:
·         Verify date of match and enter the date the match was played.
·         Select players from the drop down lists for home and visiting teams
·         Click WINNER (below player field) identifying winning team for each court
·         Enter scores for each match reporting the WINNER’S SCORE FIRST
·         Select final outcome for each match from the drop down list below each team position (Completed, retired, default, double default, and timed match). (If the system does not accept an incomplete match with one of the previous descriptions then choose retired)
·          Completed means that the players had enough time to finish the best of three sets.
·          Timed means that the players could not finish the best of three sets and needed to invoke the timed match rules to determine a winner
·          Retired means that a match has started and a player is unable to continue due to injury, loss of condition, or emergency.
·          Defaulted means that a team could not provide players for the match or the players arrived 15 minutes beyond the match start time.
·         When you have finished entering the results, click next and the system will check to see your entries comply with the USTA scoring rules. If parts of the entries are incomplete you need to click the Back button and resubmit the correct information.
Warm-Up / Standard of Play
There is a 10 minute warm-up at the beginning of the match, including serves. Decide the server through a racket spin or a coin toss. Play the best of three sets switching court ends every odd game. Players have 20 seconds between serves. If the first serve is a fault, there is no time between the first and second serve (not another 20 seconds) the second serve should immediately follow the first (except for clearing of the balls). There are 90 seconds at the change of ends, except, in between the 1st and 2nd game of any set – there is no rest – just switch sides and play until the next change over.
Late to a Match
·                 5:00 minutes or less: Loss of toss plus 1 game.
·                 5:01-10:00 minutes: Loss of toss plus 2 games.
·                 10:01-15:00 minutes: Loss of toss plus 3 games.
·                 More than 15:01 minutes: Loss of match.
No matter how late you are, before the loss of the match, you always get a 5-minute injury prevention warm-up.
Timed Matches
Players must be off the court two hours after the scheduled match time. At exactly 10-minutes before the end of the match the players should assess their match using the information below.
If Tied
2 sets done Play 12-point tiebreak using the Coman Tiebreak Procedure
1 set done Play 9-point tiebreak for set. If split, 9-point tiebreak for match
Up 1 Game
Play 1 game If tied 9-point tiebreak
Up 2 Games
Win match
Time-Up: if tied, a sudden death point must be played. Receiving team chooses receiver of serve. Or the team who is ahead in points is the winner
Before the players leave the court, they must declare a winner.