T&RA Tennis Tournament Rules and Procedures
- T&FSC Tournament and Fixtures Sub-Committee
- H&RSC Handicaps and Rankings Sub-Committee
- IRTPA International Real Tennis Professionals Association
- RTO Real Tennis On-line
- T&RA Chief Executive
CS Davies Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 07533 418869 (M)
- T&RA Office
Tel: 020 78356937
- Chairman of T&FSC
Ronald Paterson Email: RonaldPaterson@eversheds.com
Tel: 07770 817001
- Chairman of H&RSC
David Bryant Email: email@example.com
- IRTPA Chief Executive
Susie Falkner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0208 3334267
- T&RA Website www.tennisandrackets.com
- IRTPA Website www.irtpa.com
- RTO Website www.realtennisonline.com
A) Purpose of Tournament Rules and Procedures
- The T&RA Tennis Tournament Rules and Procedures are intended to be a reference document for those running, or competing in, Real Tennis tournaments in the UK.
- The Rules and Procedures apply to all T&RA sanctioned tournaments and hard copy should be on display at each of those tournaments.
- The T&RA decides, in consultation with clubs and sponsors, when and where T&RA sanctioned tournaments shall take place.
- The T&RA recommends adoption of the same rules and procedures for other tournaments and normal club activities.
B) Appointment of Tournament Committee and Tournament Officials
- A Tournament Committee should be appointed to organise each tournament at least two months before its commencement. Normally this appointment is the responsibility of the host club, but for certain specified tournaments the T&FSC will appoint the Tournament Committee. In such cases and where possible, the Tournament Committee should include:
- At least one representative of the host club;
- Two members who are independent of the players, and/or teams, competing in the tournament.
- The Tournament Committee shall have overall responsibility for managing the tournament and shall be answerable to the T&RA Tournaments and Fixtures Sub-Committee (T&FSC) for the event' s compliance with these Rules and Procedures.
- The Tournament Committee may delegate responsibility for certain aspects of the pre-planning and day to day running of the tournament to a Tournament Organiser and/or other Officials. If appointed, the Tournament Organiser shall serve as the focal point for all contact regarding the tournament.
C) Authority of Tournament Committee and Officials
- The Tournament Committee and its delegated officials shall be the final authority on the management of the tournament and for initiating the T&RA' s Disciplinary Procedures (See Para G). They shall be empowered to:
- Appoint markers and referees;
- Oversee the availability of an adequate supply of balls of legal size and weight;
- Decide if and when the court is fit or unfit for play;
- Arbitrate in cases of lateness or injury;
- Arbitrate on the acceptability of clothing;
- Intervene, when necessary, to defuse a potentially inflammatory situation and restore good behaviour;
- Take whatever action is deemed appropriate if injury is caused to a player by the unacceptable play of his opponent;
- Rule on any matter not covered by these Rules and Procedures.
D) Responsibilities of the Tournament Committee & Officials
Promotion & Sponsorship
- General Guidelines for Tournament Officials
- The Tournament Committee should consult previous organisers of the corresponding tournament at an early stage in tournament planning.
- A member of the Tournament Committee should contact the Chairman of the T&FSC, if he/she has any queries or problems regarding management of the tournament.
- The Tournament Committee should appoint Stewards as appropriate to assist the Tournament Organiser in the execution of his/her duties. The principle duties of the Stewards, who between them should provide complete coverage during major tournament days, are to:
- Welcome the players & visitors;
- Implement seating plans and attend to any seating problems;
- Control noise and movement in the viewing areas;
- Ensure the T&RA Tournament Rules & Procedures are observed;
- Refer any contentious issues, or problems with lateness, to the Tournament Committee;
- Ensure that full results are entered on the draw sheet;
- Generally assist with the smooth running of the tournament.
- The Tournament Committee should ensure that the Tournament Organiser or, in his/her absence, another member of the Committee is present at the court throughout the tournament.
- The Tournament Committee should appoint one person to be responsible for overseeing local Fire Protection Procedures and for ensuring that the Host Club' s Environmental Health and Safety Policy is observed;
- The Tournament Committee should appoint one person to be responsible for observing the T&RA' s policies on Equity and Child Protection;
- The Tournament Committee should take care in the selection of markers and should avoid appointing inexperienced or unqualified markers to adjudicate in potentially sensitive matches. All Group 1 Tournament matches (See Appendix 1) must have qualified markers. (i.e. who have passed the Marking Section of the T&RA/RTPA Professional Certificate or Club Professional Development Level 1).
- In the interests of safety, the Tournament Committee should ensure that a BSI approved cricket helmet with visor is readily available for any marker and that no marker is required to mark more than two consecutive three set matches from the net, without a break of at least 15 minutes.
- Subject to availability, the Tournament Committee should appoint a referee:
- Whenever the marker requests one, or the circumstances of a match deem it necessary;
- Whenever a suitably qualified and experienced marker is not available for the latter stages of a Group 1 Tournament; and
- At any time during a tournament when the support of a referee for a young, inexperienced, or unqualified marker could be beneficial.
- If no qualified referee is available, a person may be appointed, to carry out those duties of the referee for which he/she is considered competent (i.e. a referee may be appointed to arbitrate solely on fault calling, or discipline).
- In any case where the Tournament Organiser or other Official is faced with a decision which may involve either a real or perceived conflict of interest, he/she should depute that decision whenever circumstances permit to an independent body or party.
- Financial Arrangements
- Except for professionals and players under age 28 on the day before the start of the tournament, entry fees shall be at the discretion of the Tournament Committee, and should take into account:
- Court fees;
- Marking fees;
- The cost of prizes/mementos;
- Administration expenses;
- T&RA grants to clubs for running tournaments;
- Gate receipts (if applicable);
- The proceeds from programme sales or any fund raising activities.
- Professionals shall not be required to pay entry fees, and entry fees for players under age 28 shall be discounted in accordance with guidelines advised by the Chairman of the T&FSC.
- Any advertising to raise funds which uses or refers to any new sponsor, must be approved by the main sponsor. In the first instance, contact with the main sponsor should be made through the T&RA Chief Executive.
- Grants made to clubs for running tournaments are decided by the T&FSC and endorsed by the T&RA Tennis Committee before the start of each season. The grants will be paid on receipt of the Tournament Committee' s Financial Report (see Para 12b)(v) below.
- Any money allocated for prize money and expenses in professional and open events is decided by the T&FSC and endorsed by the T&RA Tennis Committee. It is distributed according to a formula agreed by the International Real Tennis Professionals Association (IRTPA) and need not concern the Tournament Committee.
Determination of Tournament Format and Scheduling
- The Tournament Committee shall be bound by the decisions of the T&FSC on the format of:
- All Group 1 Tournaments that do not have specific rules;
- Any other tournament for which there are specific rules agreed by the T&FSC;
- The Tournament Committee may decide the format of any tournament that does not have specific rules, but should take into account any views of the Chairman of the T&FSC.
- The Tournament Committee shall decide the dates and times of play. In so doing it shall take into consideration, but is not bound to comply with, requests from competitors to avoid certain times.
- Except where the rules of specific tournaments allow otherwise, UK based amateurs entering T&RA sanctioned tournaments must be Full Members of the T&RA.
- Whenever possible, the Tournament Committee should allow an interval of one day between the Semi-final and Final of major championships.
- If a competitor requests alteration of a match time after the draw is published, this may be accepted at the discretion of the Tournament Organiser, but only after consultation with any players involved, or other interested parties.
- In no circumstances may competitors agree to play a match at a revised time, or at another court, without the prior agreement of the Tournament Organiser.
- Design & Despatch of Entry Forms
- Entry forms should be:
- Despatched not less than six weeks before the scheduled start of the tournament, with the closing date for entries set approximately three weeks before the start date;
- Sent to the T&RA Office for insertion on the T&RA Website.
- Sent to the IRTPA, whenever entry qualifications permit participation by professionals;
- Sent to all clubs, all professionals and any targeted amateurs that meet the entry qualifications;
- The entry forms should:
- State that all entries shall be in writing (fax, email and website included);
- Acknowledge the sponsor and include the sponsor' s logo;
- Specify the venue and date of the tournament;
- Specify the format of the tournament (e.g. round robin, 3 x six game sets, etc.);
- State any entry qualifications (age, handicap etc.);
- Specify the closing date for entries and where to send entries;
- Specify the entry fees payable by amateurs entering the tournament;
- Request full contact details and, where applicable, relevant details for the competitors' doubles partners;
- For Group 1 Tournaments, specify the venue, date and time that the draw will be held;
- State that the tournament will be run in accordance with the T&RA Tennis Tournament Rules and Procedures, and stipulate any special regulations that will apply to the Tournament;
- State, in the case of applicable T&RA sanctioned tournaments, that entries will only be accepted from UK amateurs who are Full Members of the T&RA;
- Ask competitors to state any scheduling constraints which they would like the organisers to take into account;
- State that by entering the tournament, competitors agree to abide by the rules of the tournament.
- Tournament Draws
- Draws shall be made by the Tournament Committee and in the case of Group 1 Tournaments shall be carried out in the presence of at least two witnesses. Entrants for Group 1 Tournaments are entitled to attend the draw, but not the discussion on seeding;
- The qualifying date for entry in all T&RA age-limited tournaments shall be the day before the start of each tournament.
Note: In the case of the World Masters Championships, any player who reaches the qualifying age during the calendar year in which the Championships are played shall be eligible to compete in the relevant section of those Championships.
- Late entries and entries not made on the official entry form may be accepted up until the time of the draw at the sole discretion of the Tournament Committee.
- Draws once made should not be altered, except to substitute players who have withdrawn. In such cases, the substitute player should be selected from losers in qualifying tournaments, in preference to new entrants, and should be no better than the player he/she is replacing in the original draw. It is not permissible to make changes to a tournament draw once the first ball of the tournament has been struck. However, matches may be rescheduled at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.
- A copy of the draw should be sent as soon as possible to:
- Each competitor;
- The sponsor;
- The T&RA Office, for insertion on the T&RA Website
- The IRTPA (email@example.com), if any professional is competing);
- All relevant national and local Press.
- In the case of T&RA appointed Tournament Committees, copies of the draw should also be sent to:
- The host club;
- Other clubs that may attract interest;
- Members of the Tournament Committee;
- The Tournament Stewards
- Notes accompanying the draw should:
- Emphasize the match regulations regarding lateness;
- Highlight the requirement to wear white clothing and comply with advertising restrictions on clothing;
- List any local rules that will apply to the tournament;
- State that all decisions of the Tournament Organiser will be final.
- The handicaps used in T&RA sanctioned tournaments shall be based on criteria set from time to time by the T&RA Handicaps & Rankings Sub-Committee (H&RSC). As the handicap criteria are currently still evolving, the Tournament Committee should regularly check the T&RA Website for updates and if in doubt may contact the Chairman of the H&RSC to see whether the guidelines shown below have been superseded.
- The Tournament Committees shall use the singles handicaps displayed on the RTO Website for entrants to singles tournaments sanctioned by the T&RA.
- In the case of doubles tournaments handicaps should be based on the combined doubles handicaps and calculated using the T&RA Calculator for Doubles Handicaps.
- The Tournament Committee shall have the primary responsibility for reviewing and accepting the handicaps of the entrants to all T&RA sanctioned tournaments.
- Providing that adequate evidence exists to support the accuracy of an entrant' s singles handicap, no further action shall be required by the Tournament Committee. In this context:
- Three or more singles handicap results recorded on RTO in the previous three months shall constitute adequate evidence for entrants with an established handicap;
- A player shall be regarded as having an established handicap if that player has had a handicap registered on the RTO Website for at least six months or, if not, has had at least six results entered on RTO.
- In cases where:
the Tournament Committee shall obtain confirmation of the entrant's handicap from the senior professional, or his nominated deputy, at the entrant's primary club.
- Adequate evidence of a competitor's handicap is not available; or
- If the entrant has submitted an estimated handicap; or
- If the Tournament Committee is, for any other reason, in doubt about the handicap of the entrant;
- In cases where there is any doubt about a player's handicap, the Tournament Organiser may seek a ruling from the Chairman of the H&RSC, who shall be the final arbiter in any dispute.
- In computing the handicap odds for both singles and doubles matches, the difference in players' handicaps shall be calculated to one place of decimals first and then rounded to the nearest whole number before determining the odds.
- Unless specified otherwise in the rules for specific tournament, a nominal (or rounded) handicap relates to handicaps in the range 0.4 below to 0.4 above that nominal figure (e.g. Handicap 20 covers all handicaps in the range 19.6 to 20.4).
- Unless otherwise specified in the rules of a specific tournament, the maximum handicap applicable in T&RA sanctioned tournaments shall be 80. Tournament Committees may accept entries from players with handicaps higher than 80, but they must play off handicap 80.
- The Tournament Committee should give assistance to sponsors as appropriate. In particular, it should make early contact with the T&RA Chief Executive to find out what is required by way of:
- Media promotion through the National Press, Local Press, Radio and Television;
- Displaying the company name and logo on publicity material, entry forms, draw sheets, tickets and programmes, etc.;
- Displaying promotional material on the court;
- Distributing copies of the draw;
- Acting as host to sponsors and their guests;
- Providing free tickets and favoured seating for sponsors and their guests;
- Providing facilities for corporate entertaining;
- Providing facilities for displaying other advertisements, promotional material and products.
- In any cases where the tournament has no official sponsor the Tournament Committee may arrange its own sponsorship. In such cases, the choice of sponsor should not be contrary to the best interests of the sport and should not involve the sale of the title of the event (i.e. the event must not be called The XYZ Domestic Singles Championship, but can be The Men's Domestic Singles Championship, sponsored by XYZ).
Ticket Sales and Seating
- The Tournament Committee should appoint one person to be responsible for the prompt communication of tournament results and match reports to the appropriate contacts;
- The results and reports of all tournaments should be forwarded to the T&RA Office for in-house use (see also Para D12 below) and for onward transmission to the Press, as and when appropriate. This information should be sent by email on a daily basis, or as soon after the conclusion of the event as possible. Emails should include a name and contact number in case of queries and the subject box should show the sponsor' s name and tournament title.
- In addition, Tournament Organisers should check with the T&RA Office on the possibilities and procedures for reporting results live on the T&RA Website.
- The reporting of major tournaments and any exceptional occurrences should normally be handled through the T&RA Office, although results and brief reports can also be sent at the Tournament Committee' s discretion directly to the Press Association and/or National Newspapers.
- The National Press will not normally publish reports of lesser tournaments, but they may publish the results, which should be sent directly to the Press Association and/or individual newspapers
- The Tournament Committee should deal directly with Local Radio Stations and Regional Newspapers. Both are normally amenable to reporting minor sports, especially if there is any local interest, and they may be prepared to send a feature writer and/or photographer to report on the event.
- In order that sub-editors can process reports with the minimum of alteration and to improve the chances of publication, reports should be set out as below and submitted on the day of the event or early the following morning:
The Tournament Committee may at its discretion charge for admission and/or seating. In so doing, it should ensure that appropriate free space is reserved for the referee, sponsors, VIPs, T&RA officials, competitors and competitors' relatives.
Arrangements for Tournament Finals
The Tournament Committee should arrange for:
- The sponsor, or a suitable dignitary, to attend the final to present the trophies and prizes;
- The correct trophies and a modest prize/memento to be available for presentation to each winner and runner-up;
- The Tournament Organiser, or a VIP, to introduce and thank the sponsor for his support;
- A Photographer to attend the presentation ceremony.
- In the case of Group 1 matches, the Tournament Committee should send the results and brief match reports to the T&RA Office (preferably by email), for display on the T&RA Website as the tournament progresses. Similar information should be submitted for other T&RA tournaments, if possible.
- Immediately following completion of each tournament, the Tournament Committee should send a report to the T&RA Chief Executive for display on the T&RA Website and subsequent inclusion in the Annual Report. This report should include the following material and should be despatched (preferably by email) and copied to the T&RA Office and Chairman of the T&FSC.
- A full set of match results, including players initials;
- A report on highlights of the tournament;
- Any suitable photographs;
- A short report giving an overview of the management of the tournament;
- A financial statement detailing income (from entry fees, T&RA grant, etc.) and expenditure (on court fees, marking and administration).
E) Match Regulations
- Play in all matches shall be subject to the T&RA Laws of Tennis.
- Predominantly white clothing shall be worn during match play, although coloured track suits are permissible during the warm-up. In this context predominantly shall mean not less than 80% of each article of clothing.
- Footwear is classed as equipment, and whilst white footwear is encouraged, players are permitted to wear whatever shoe they find suitable for their style of play. However, if the model of the shoe is supplied in various colours then the player should wear the one which is closest to predominantly white.
- In order to comply with the T&RA’s Amateur Status Rules, clothing worn by amateur players may only bear a manufacturer’s small emblem, not exceeding 26 cm2 on shirts or shorts/skirts. Otherwise, Club logos and advertising on clothing shall be restricted to three separate areas of up to 26 cm2 and one of up to 52 cm2. No other advertising shall be permitted without the approval of the Tournament & Fixtures Sub-Committee.
- Players late on court shall be scratched, except in exceptional circumstances. A player is late if he/she arrives on court more than ten minutes after the scheduled start time of the match or, if the previous match has run over time, ten minutes after that match has finished. In cases of force majeure, the Tournament Organiser may exercise discretion over lateness, provided that this does not impact severely on the tournament schedule and that the person involved has given notice of impending lateness.
- Unless the tournament rules specify otherwise, players shall be permitted a warm-up period ending not more than five minutes after the arrival of the last player on court.
- Should a player be taken ill, or sustain an accidental injury during a match he/she shall be entitled to a five minute suspension of play during which he/she may receive treatment. Should the player be unable to continue play after this time he/she shall forfeit the match.
- Subject to any host club conditions, competitors may use free court time for practice. This should be allocated fairly between competitors and in the case of matches finishing early, priority should be given to competitors about to play over those who have just finished.
- A player may not receive coaching during a match, except from his/her partner in a doubles match, or from his/her captain or acting captain in a team match. In team matches, the advice may only be given when the players change ends and provided it does not unduly interfere with the natural flow of play.
- If one player wants artificial lighting, his/her wish shall prevail.
F) Players' Conduct
Players shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the etiquette, sportsmanship and exemplary standards of behaviour expected of the sport. In particular, competitors must:
- Aide by the laws and spirit of the game;
- Not use excessive force when aiming directly for the Dedans from in front of the Service Line at the Hazard End. Observation of this rule shall be the responsibility of each player, but the marker shall warn any player who he considers to be non-compliant;
- Ensure that play throughout is expeditious, especially in changing ends and in being ready to serve and receive service;
- Accept the decisions of referees, markers and other officials without question or protest;
- Exercise self control at all times;
- Treat their opponents and fellow participants with due respect at all times;
- Accept success, failure, victory or defeat with good grace and without excessive display of emotion;
- Not behave in any other way likely to bring the game into disrepute;
- The T&RA is opposed to competitors using any nationally banned substances (i.e. drugs). In the event that any tournament official suspects that a player is in breach of this policy, he/she should report the matter immediately to the T&RA Chief Executive, who is empowered to arrange appropriate testing and, if proven, to invoke the T&RA' s Disciplinary Procedures.
- The T&RA recognises the long tradition of gambling in Tennis, but players should abstain from any form of organised betting.
G) Disciplinary Procedures
In the event of any incident, either on or off the court, which has in any way brought or might bring the game of Tennis into disrepute, either by contravening the provisions on . Conduct. in the Laws of Tennis or in these Tennis Tournament Rules and Procedures, or by any other manner, the Tournament Organiser and/or any other member appointed by the Tournament Committee to handle disciplinary matters, or any other party who feels offended by the incident, should:
- Report the breach or incident (hereafter called 'the complaint') to the T&RA Chief Executive as soon as possible
- Investigate the complaint and forward a detailed written report with statements from all the relevant witnesses and a statement by the respondent, to reach the Chief Executive by mid-day on the eighth day after the incident.
- On receipt of the report, the Chief Executive may make further enquiries and shall then forward the report, together with his own findings and recommendations, to the T&RA Tennis Committee Chairman.
- The T&RA Tennis Committee Chairman may decide to deal with the complaint himself, or refer it to the Tennis Disciplinary Committee.
- If the T&RA Tennis Committee Chairman decides to deal with the incident himself and finds the complaint justified, he may censure the respondent.
- A respondent found guilty and censured by the T&RA Tennis Committee Chairman may appeal through the T&RA Chief Executive to the Tennis Disciplinary Committee against the finding and/or sentence. The outcome of such an appeal shall be final and he/she may not subsequently appeal to the Council Appeal Board.
- If as a result of interviewing the respondent or the Tennis Committee Chairman decides by any other means that the complaint is more serious, he may refer it straight to the Tennis Disciplinary Committee.
- A respondent found guilty and punished by the Tennis Disciplinary Committee, other than a respondent found guilty and punished as a result of an appeal to that Committee, may only appeal to the Council Appeal Board against the finding and/or sentence.
APPENDIX - Tournament Status List
All the Tournaments listed below are on the Group 1 Category List, but will not necessarily be played in the UK every year.
- GROUP 1 CATEGORY LIST
- THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Specific Rules
- WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES Specific Rules
- EUROPEAN SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
- OPEN SINGLES AND DOUBLES QUALIFYING TOURNAMENTS Specific Guidelines
- *OPEN SINGLES AND DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS Specific Guidelines
- AMATEUR SINGLES QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
- *AMATEUR SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
- *AMATEUR DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
- *PROFESSIONALS SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
- *PROFESSIONALS DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
- THE LADIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Specific Rules
- LADIES OPEN SINGLES and DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS Specific Rules
Note: Matches in Tournaments with asterisks shown against them are all to be played, in total or in part, as the best of 5 six game sets.