LEAGUE RULES. Issue 9.1, December 2001
An up to date version of these rules should be downloadable from the web,
currently at http://www.tvbsl.org
The changes since issue 9 only affect document formatting.
The changes since Issue 9 are to rule 4b., related to ex-employee eligibility
and rule 7f., related to the abolition of match fees. These changes
were voted in at the AGM, August 2001
- The Rules represent the current set as approved by the Committee after
consultation with all teams.
- Any changes to these Rules may be made only after agreement by a full
Team Representatives Meeting. Requests for any change should be made to the
Chairman in advance of such meeting, in adequate time for any preliminary
investigation should this appear desirable.
- Any question of interpretation of the rules or queries concerning matches,
etc. should be referred in the first instance to the appropriate Division
Coordinator. If he cannot resolve the matter it will be referred to the Committee.
2 ARRANGEMENT OF FIXTURES
- Fixture lists are published showing fortnightly periods during which
matches should be played.
- The fixture lists are drawn up on a home-and-away basis. the left hand
column is the home team. It is the home team's responsibility to contact
their opponents as early as possible, provide courts, and nominate a date
for the fixture. Fixtures should be on a weekday evening unless mutually agreed
otherwise. It is the away team's responsibility to do everything possible
to accept the nominated date. If, in exceptional circumstances, the nominated
date is totally unacceptable to the away team, they may offer their courts
and date as an alternative. This, in turn, must be totally acceptable to
the home team.
- Court time booked should be a minimum of three and a half hours; preferably
3 FULFILLMENT OF FIXTURES ON TIME
- In the majority of cases it is expected that matches will be played
during the appropriate two week period.
- It is, however, recognised that difficulties may occasionally arise,
e.g. no courts, which prevent the match being played in the allocated period.
If reasonable grounds exist, an extension of a further two weeks may be allowed.
Note: It is not considered reasonable to postpone a fixture solely
because one or two regular players are unavailable, if reserve players are
- Any proposal to play a match outside the allocated two week period should
be referred by the home team to the Divisional Coordinator for information
and approval. If, after the agreed extension period, a fixture has still
not been fulfilled, it is expected that one team will recognise itself as
being at fault and will concede the match to the other team. In such instances
a 5-0 win (20-0 in terms of points) will be entered on the results sheet.
- In the exceptional circumstances of teams not being able to agree on
which team was at fault, the Committee will adjudicate. If they can clearly
decide fault, then a 5-0 win (20-0 in terms of points) will be awarded to the
non-offending side. If fault is not clear then the match will be declared
void, and no Rubbers or Games will be awarded to either side.
Note: It is earnestly hoped that all teams will wish to win points
through playing matches rather than through claiming concessions.
4 ELIGIBILITY OF PLAYERS
- Players may be drawn from parent companies or organisations and 100%
subsidiaries whose locations are in the Thames Valley. Each player's normal
place of work or his home must be at such a location.
- At the time of playing, each player must be one of:
One exception, is that ex-employees who are made redundant or resign
may continue to play for that team for the remainder of the season, provided
they do not join another company which fields teams in the league.
- full-time or part-time employee of the eligible company
- agency/contract person working for the company
- retiree of the company.
- No player shall play for more than one company or organisation in any
one season, without prior approval by the Committee.
- In the case of doubt concerning a person's eligibility, the circumstances
should be referred to the appropriate Division Coordinator before fielding
the person as a player. If he cannot resolve the matter it will be referred
to the Committee.
- If it is proved that a team has played an ineligible player, the result
of this rubber will be declared void and a 3 games to nil win will be awarded
to his opponent.
- The committee reserve the right to allow players that do not stricly
match the above criteria, providing that the team under investigation is
regarded as working within the "spirit" of the league. Essentially,
the rules above are intended to guard against "ringers" and seeking unfair
advantage, not limit the flexibility of the league.
5 COMPOSITION OF COMPANY TEAMS
- Some companies may field more than one team in the League. If company
team selection procedure allows any eligible player to qualify for any company
team, those teams must be designated 'A' and 'B' (and 'C' if applicable),
and ranked in descending order. Any other selection procedure (for example
by geographical location or department) requires the teams to be differently
named. In such cases any player who is eligible to play in the League is
eligible to play for one team only, and any transfer in the current season
must be justified to and approved by the Division Coordinator.
- Before the first league match in any season, those companies having
both 'A' and 'B' teams must nominate three players who will be designated
'A' team players and who will not be eligible to play in any other team during
the season. These three designated players will be the first three players
in the current order of merit. If, at any stage during the season, a designated
player becomes permanently unavailable for selection, a new designated player
must be nominated for the remainder of the season. Designated players must
be notified to Division Coordinators.
- Designated players (if selected) and the remainder of the 'A' team and
all the 'B' team (and 'C', 'D' teams if applicable) will play in current order
of merit. Due to changes in order of merit, it is recognised that some players
may be selected for both 'A' and 'B' (and possibly 'C', 'D') team matches.
This is permitted, but the total number of matches for which such a player
is fielded may not exceed the number of matches in a Division for the season,
or the greater number if the Divisions concerned differ in size. Team Captains
may, however, be asked to justify to the Committee excessive movement between
6 RANKING ORDER WITHIN TEAMS
- Teams must play in current order of merit. Compliance with this rule
rests firmly with the Team Captain.
- Team Captains will normally take internal ladders/leagues as the main
guideline for deciding order of merit. Discretion is given to them to make
allowances for recent injury or illness, freak results, or any reasonable
- The Team Captain's knowledge of his players and his judgement will be
respected. Team Captains may, however, be required to justify to the Committee
apparently 'suspect' ranking orders.
- Team Captains must arrive at a fixture with their ranking (string) order
already written out on the match result sheet. This will then be declared
'blind' to the opposing Captain.
7 MATCH PROCEDURE
- A match shall consist of five rubbers. A rubber is the best of five
- Rubbers should be played in accordance with current SRA Rules.
- Matches should normally be played in reverse order of strings, i.e.
fifth string rubber first, finishing with first strings. Any variation from
this (e.g. due to an individual's constraint on the time he is available)
must be arranged between Team Captains in advance.
- It is desirable that all rubbers should be marked/refereed. Team Captains
should arrange before the start of a match who is available as markers/referees.
- Ball speed (spot colour) should be mutually agreed between players.
Failing agreement, the team captains should decide. In the event of team
captains being unable to decide, the usual rule at the club where the match
is being played should be followed.
- Match related expenses (courts and balls etc) should be met by
the home team. What teams do about funding of any drinks
and food that the home team chooses to provide needs prior agreement
8 UNPLAYED/UNFINISHED RUBBERS
- Unfinished rubbers, e.g. when court time expires, will be awarded to
the player leading at the time by games; by points in the unfinished game
if games are equal; and by 'in-hand' if both games and points are equal.
- If there is no time (or only a few minutes) left to start a rubber,
the two players and captains may mutually agree to play the rubber 'privately'
at a later date. This should be as soon as practicable after the match proper,
and in any case no later than two weeks after.
- A team knowingly arriving for a fixture one player short will concede
the fifth string rubber by three games to nil.
- If a player unexpectedly fails to turn up for a fixture, the corresponding
rubber will be conceded by three games to nil. However, an eligible substitute
may be played at the appropriate 'missing' string level. A person who has
already played (or will play) in the match as another string is not eligible.
Note: The main causes of unfinished matches have been identified
as late arrivals and unmatched players in terms of playing order. The message
to team captains is clear
- Talk to the opposing captain.
- Agree the playing order in advance.
- Ensure those playing first get on court promptly.
- Change over quickly between rubbers.
- Ensure all players know how much court time is available.
- Use common sense to achieve a proper result on the night.
9 MATCH RESULTS AND SCORING
- Following a match, the team captains should sign on the form provided
to indicate agreement of the result as entered. The home captain is responsible
for sending the result to the Division Coordinator.
- One point is awarded for the winner of each individual game, (each
completed rubber scores 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2). An unfinished rubber as in Rule
8 (a) above scores point(s) for the completed game(s) only, but counts
as a rubber win (as determined by 8 (a)). An additional five points are
awarded to the team winning most rubbers.
10 LEAGUE RESULTS
- Teams are ranked in order of points scored as in 9(b). In cases of
equal points, ranking is determined by number of team victories, then the
difference of individual games won and lost.
- If a team withdraws from the League during the season, points gained
from its matches shall be ignored.
- At the end of each season, normally TWO teams are promoted and TWO
relegated between Divisions. The committee has discretion to vary this
to accommodate abnormal circumstances such as:
As a guideline, teams in the league should aim to finish above 3rd
from bottom to avoid relegation.
- A need to reduce the number of teams in each division to balance
the sizes of all divisions
- The fast promotion of exceptionally strong teams
- Stated team preferences (usually for exceptional demotion)
- The bottom three teams in the lowest Division may be subject
to scrutiny to determine their acceptability to continue in the