Proposed Rule Changes for 2019

Tyldesley TC

That in the bottom division of the Junior League, teams should consist of four players, two boys and two girls, with four mixed sets and one set of boys and one set of girls doubles making six sets in all.

Background: We and other clubs struggle to have enough players available in the bottom division. Also, this may attract some smaller clubs to field a team.

Amendment from Hawkshaw TC

That in all divisions of the junior league teams should consist of 4 players per team (2 boys and 2 girls)

Background: Following conversations with Tom Lemon (Holcombe Brook), Tom Luke (Bradshaw), John Lister (Markland Hill) and Lisa we are suggesting the above. It was a real struggle this year to get full teams of 8 for the teams I have spoken to. Court space and the waiting time between matches has also caused issues and this could alleviate both these problems. This could also give smaller clubs a chance of getting a team out as well, which would be good for division 3 as there weren’t many matches to be played this year. Each junior will still play 3 sets - 2 Mixed doubles against both pairs and a boys/girls doubles. Everyone inputted a lot of good ideas including splitting age groups, a ratings clause, changing the rule of a boy playing as a girl etc but we have run out of time to sort these this year so it may need tweaking some more next year.

I do think it would need to be all divisions though otherwise if a team wins in division 3 and moves up they would then have to find additional players which might not be easy for some teams? From the people I have spoken to the problem finding players is not limited to division 3.

(Although we won't be voting until the AGM, please be clear on procedure. We take the amendment first. If passed that's the end of it. If not passed, we go back to the Tyldesley proposal. If passed, that becomes the rule. If you want things to say as is, you vote no to both)

Markland Hill TC

That Mixed Competition Rule 3 should be reworded as follows:

All matches must commence not later than 6.30pm on weekdays. Should any team fail to be ready for play by 6.30pm the non-defaulting captain has the right to claim the last mixed set 6-0 before play commences but not thereafter. If play has not commenced on the second court by 6.45pm, the non-defaulting captain has the right to claim the penultimate mixed set (or the last mixed set if play has commenced on the first court,) 6-0 at that time but not thereafter. All clubs having teams playing on two courts and marked $ will have all the above times brought forward by 15 minutes. All clubs having teams playing on fewer than 3 courts for parts of the match and marked $ will have all the above times brought forward by 15 minutes.

Background: Clubs that have 5 courts but only 3 floodlit, don't put the lights on until play on the unlit courts has finished resulting in finishing 2 matches on 3 courts and consequently late finishes.

Lostock TC

That in men’s matches in the men’s league there is a tie-break decider at 6-6.

Background: We would like men’s matches to be resolved within the normal LTA rules. We accept that the tie break 5-5 was brought in last year to avoid draws, however in discussions with players from other clubs as well, it has never been fully accepted as the appropriate solution to avoid draws. 6-6 tie breaks and or 7-5 wins seems more palatable.

That in the matches in the mixed league that there is a tie-break decider at 5-5.

Background: To remove any advantage for the team that wins the toss.

That it is no longer a requirement for the away team in Cecil Cup matches to supply a tin of balls. Delete Cecil Cup rule 6 (a)

Background: This is an old rule that seems a bit obsolete in this day and age; in addition many teams fail to remember/abide by this rule; it is not a considerable cost outlay to the home team to provide the balls.

That in the mixed league the format is changed such that each player will play 2 mixed matches and 1 men’s or ladies match (as compared to the current 1 mixed and 2 men’s or ladies).

Background: In the current format, especially for the men who play both men’s and mixed league tennis, the majority of the tennis is actually men’s doubles. Despite it being called a mixed league players only get a limited amount of mixed play. In general other competitions that local clubs participate in (Ralph Bint Lancashire Cup/AEGON etc) are also men’s/ladies doubles and so generally in tennis there is limited mixed double play. This proposal is to try and increase the amount of mixed doubles play available to players).

The Committee

That Registration of Players Rule 6 should be amended as follows:

(6) In order to field a team, the bottom team of any club may use registered players from another club providing those players have not played in that division or higher for their own club that season. A team in the lowest division may use players from any club in that division whether they have played or not.

(6) In order to field a team in a league match, (cups excluded), the lowest team of any one or two team club in the bottom two divisions may loan registered players from another club with the approval of the loaning club,apart from in the last two fixture weeks when loan players sets will be lost 6-0.

Loaned players must not have played in that division or higher for their own club that season. However, a team in the bottom division may use players from any club in that division whether they have played or not. Loaned players should be of no higher standard than players of the team they are loaned to.

A loaned player must be declared as such on the match card and sets scored as normal.

See Match Rule 8 re playing unregistered/ ineligible players in order to field a full team.

Background: This rule has been the subject of numerous correspondences between a small sub-committee and the full committee. It is thought that large clubs with lots of players and in the higher divisions should not be borrowing from other clubs to perhaps swing a result while their existing team members look on from the side-lines. It should be reserved for those small clubs in the lower divisions who are genuinely short of players.

The Committee: That Match Rule 4 be amended as follows:

4. All clubs must use net adjusters during the matches. For BSF League and Cup matches, net adjusters are desirable but not mandatory.

Background: The present rule is thought to be impractical, especially considering clubs that use school courts who have no rights on this matter.

The Committee Re rules revamp.

Prologue background info: The rules have been added to and amended over the years. The result is that many rules connected with registration and eligibility are mixed in with match rules making it difficult to see the wood for the trees. The idea is to put all registration and eligibility rules together leaving the match rules without these mixed in. There is no need, but if you wish to know more, you can see the effect of this here:

http://www.bsftennisleague.co.uk/2019RulesRevampColour.pdf

If you pull out the green Registration & Eligibility bits, then the illogical order, constant repetition & unneeded sentences becomes apparent.

http://www.bsftennisleague.co.uk/2019RulesRevampLarge.pdf

Although moving paragraphs around and cosmetic changes to make the rules flow better should not result in a rule proposal itself, as it is not a rule change there are few which are technically rules changes which will need voting on.

Registration of Players and Eligibility

All player registrations are subject to the approval of the Management Committee. Following the initial group registrations of players, any additional player will be automatically registered when they play their first match provided that the name and address of the player is in the hands of the Registration Secretary within 14 days of their appearance. Otherwise, their sets will be forfeited.
(g) A player becomes committed to a match and club in any one competition once he/she has played his/her first point.

Background: To emphasise that the player is also assigned to that club in that competition.

(2) During the season, all players are deemed to be ranked to the highest team for which they have played for on two occasions. They may play in that team or one team down. Should they play for a higher team on two occasions, they are automatically re-ranked to that team. At the start of the season 3 men in the men’s, 2 men plus 2 ladies in the mixed and 2 boys plus 2 girls in the junior competitions must be nominated as permanent members of the ‘A’ team below which they cannot play. They will be expected to represent the team in at least two of the first four league matches. If a club has two teams in Division 1 the above numbers should be increased by 1.
(3) A player may be re-ranked for a lower team but will not be eligible to play for that team until 6 days after the receipt of the application to allow for Committee consultation and the Registration Secretary notifies them.
(4) The Match or Registration Secretary should be consulted on any queries regarding eligibility before the match. If needed at all should be at the end disrupts flow. See end.
(5) Player registration closes on July 31st.
(6) In order to field a ....... See separate Committee rule proposal above.

Amend rule 6 (a) as follows

6. (a) In multi team clubs, players should be selected in order of ability. Lower ranked players shall not play above higher ranked players. without the permission of the Match Secretary in advance. If permission is not obtained and If it appears that a lower team has been artificially strengthened as a consequence, the Administrative Committee may score sets in the lower team's match 6-0.

Background: Match Secretaries would not allow lower ranked players to play above higher ranked players, so the reference to the Match Secretary is not needed. Any default would be looked at re the individual situation.

(b) A player in a lower team may play in a higher team but cannot represent two teams in the same fixture week, unless the fixture date has been altered by the Administrative Committee. However, in the Junior League players may play more than once in the same fixture week on 2 occasions during the season.

Delete (c) - see the end.
(c)  Anyone who plays in a lower team to the one in which they are  permitted will have their sets recorded as lost to love (0).

Reword (d) for slightly better English - the last bit deleted is a rule proposal.
(d) A player cannot play for a lower team when a higher team does not have a match for any reason if they have played at least two or more league matches more for higher teams than the number of league matches played for the lower team. except by agreement with the Match Secretary.

Background for last bit deletion: It is the Committee's opinion that this was not meant to be a bartering system to try and get the best team. It should be a simple case of are they eligible or not as with other rules? This would be covered by the general statement at the end.

Reword (e) for better English. The subject is what happens in the second half of the season.
(e) If a player who has played half or more of their matches for a higher team, plays for a lower team during the second half of the season, leaving the higher team weakened or short of players, then any sets won by that player will be recorded as lost to love (0).
In the second half of the season a player who has played half or more of their  league matches for the higher team cannot play for the lower team if that leaves the higher team weakened or short of players.

Delete 5 as not needed.
5. Full teams must be played in all matches, the defaulting team to lose its sets to love (0).


In the event of a team being short of players, a scale of fines shall be imposed as follows:
No. of players missing        Men's League        Mixed League       Junior League
1 or 2                              £5                    £5                      £2.50
3 or 4                             £10                   £10                    £5.00
5 or 6                             N/A                   £15                    £7.50
When a club's higher team is short of player(s) for a particular match, then points may be deducted from all lower teams, with fixtures on that day, as follows:
First offence - 1 point;  Second offence - 2 pts; Third Offence - 3 pts.
In the event of a Cup match, the lower team is eliminated.
See also Match Rule 7 (iv) for juniors.


Tidy (h) as follows also the student item seems out of order in the original being mixed in with junior bits. The reference to 'prior to the last two fixture weeks' is a rule change.
(h) In the last two fixture weeks of  Division 1 of the men’s and mixed competitions a player must have represented their team or a lower team in at least 4 league matches prior to the last two fixture weeks in order to play in any of the last two fixture weeks. Full-time students aged 18 or over, living away from home in term time (who must be registered as such on registration night only), are exempted from this restriction. Any club having more than one team in Division 1 have their second team exempt from this rule.
In Division 1 of the Junior competition a player must have represented their team or a lower team in at least 3 league matches prior to the last two ficture weeks in order to play in any of the last two fixture weeks.
In all other divisions only players who have represented their team or a lower team at least twice prior to the last two fixture weeks are eligible to play.
The Match Secretary must be informed in advance of the match of any player that is required for the lowest team who has not played at least twice and confirmation given that they are clearly of no higher standard than the player they are replacing.


Very exceptional circumstances must be approved by the Match Secretary.

Background: Is this another unecessary reference to the Match Secretary?

  1. Any queries regarding a player's eligibility should be referred to the Match Secretary before the match.
  2. Ineligible players will have their sets recorded as lost to love (0). See end:

8. In the case of a club playing an unregistered ineligible player or players, the matter shall be referred to the Administrative Committee for a decision. See next bits


All ineligible players’ sets will be recorded conceded as zero 6-0.
In order to field a full team, unregistered or ineligible players may be included providing that they are declared as such and their results counted to zero conceded 6-0.