with effect from 1 April 2013




Please be aware that whilst most rules for the 2 leagues have been aligned, there are some important differences which are specified in this document.

Please ensure that all players are conversant with these rules before playing matches

In the case of any problems or complaints please do NOT telephone or email the Competition Secretary, Paul Neighbour. Complaints or disputes will only be considered if set out in writing (or forwarded with endorsement) by the relevant Match Secretary and sent within 48 hours of the occurrence to







1.1          Each team consists of 4 players arranged in 2 pairs in strict order of merit by their respective captains


2              FORMAT OF MATCHES


2.1          Order of Play        Round 1. Home 1 v Away 2       Home 2 v Away 1       ( AWAY team remain on                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Round 2. Home 2 v Away 2       Home 1 v Away 1       the same courts for the duration of the match)


2.2          Thames Valley Winter League: Each pair plays 2 sets against each opposing pair with the tie-break operating at 6 games all in every set. 1 point is allocated for every set won. The team with the greatest number of points shall be the winner of that Division


2.3          Wilson Summer League: Teams competing in Divisions 1-4 MUST play the best of 3 sets in both rounds. The tie-break will operate at 6 games all in every set.   In Division 5 and below the first round will consist of 2 tie-break sets.  In all matches the second round (1 v 1 and 2 v 2) shall be the best of three sets with the tie-break at 6 games all. If BOTH Captains agree a Match Tie Break (a tie break to 10 points with 2 points clear and with change of end every 6 points) may be played in place of a third set in any Division. If one captain does not wish to play a Match Tie Break then a full set (with normal tie break at 6-6 games) must be played.In any match the team which wins the majority of rubbers shall be declared the winner of the match.  Should the rubber score be equal the match shall be declared a draw. Three points shall be scored for each match won and one point for each match drawn. 


2.4          Both Leagues: In the event of a tie on points, the result of the match between the two tied teams will decide the higher team position.  If more than two teams are tied final standings will be determined by the percentage of sets won out of sets played (if, after this calculation only 2 teams remain tied the result in the match played between them will be used to break the tie). If more than 2 teams have the same percentage of sets won out of sets played, then the percentage of games won to games played shall decide.


2.5          If a team is unable to raise 2 pairs on the day of a match:

Thames Valley Winter League:   on TWO occasions ONLY during the course of the season they may field just one pair. If on a third occasion a team can only field one pair then it must concede the match (see 3.5).

Wilson Summer League: on ONE occasion ONLY during the course of the season they may field just one pair. If on a second occasion a team can only field one pair then it must concede the match (see 3.6).

Both Leagues: Teams fielding only one pair must make every effort to inform their opponents of this before the match so that they can make appropriate travelling and start time arrangements.




Confirmation of matches.  

3.1          It is the responsibility of the HOME team to phone the visiting club at least 4 days prior to the match. Team captains must always confirm the match START time, DATE and LOCATION OF COURTS. Email contact is also acceptable but confirmation that any email has been received must be sought. If no such confirmation is received then telephone contact must be made.   If, on the day of the match, the visiting team captain has had no contact from the home team and has him/herself attempted contact but been unsuccessful, then that team should arrive at the venue of the match regardless.  If a visiting team arrives, and the home team is not present, then the visiting team will be entitled to claim a walkover provided that the home team is at fault (see 3.9).


Start time

3.2          The time of start of play shall be Saturday or Sunday with players on court and ready to play at 1pm (Thames Valley Winter) or 1.30pm (Wilson Summer). If an alternative time is mutually agreed, players must be on court and ready to play at that time.


3.3          If any player(s) are absent at the agreed start time, the opponents shall be entitled to one love set for every half hour of lateness in each event in which such player(s) should have competed. However if no member of a team is present after half an hour a walkover can be claimed.


3.4          All clubs must arrange their home matches so that there is no restriction on the time available for the completion of such matches. It is not acceptable to allocate a fixed time for a home match on the basis that if a match overruns this allocated time, the match cannot be completed. By their very nature, matches can have quite different finish times, depending on a number of factors, including weather interruptions and how long individual sets last, but each match must have as much time as necessary to run its course, including time for warm ups.



3.5          Should a Club be unable to raise a team and thus concede a walkover to another Club in any match, an 8-0 score may be claimed by the team receiving the walkover, while the team conceding the match shall have 8 points deducted from their current league table score (Thames Valley Winter).   


3.6          In the Wilson Summer the Club receiving the walkover shall receive 3 points, 4 rubbers to 0, 8 sets to 0 and 48 games to 0 while the team conceding the match shall have 3 points deducted from their current score.


3.7          In the event of a walkover, the team receiving the walkover must complete the online match card.


3.8          Any team conceding 2 walkovers in the same season shall have its record deleted from the tables for that season and will be relegated by one Division.


3.9          A walkover may be claimed by a Club in the event that the opposing Club has made an error in terms of the agreed date, start time, or venue subject to 3.3 above.




4.1          Dates of matches agreed at the Fixtures Meeting cannot be altered except at the discretion of the Leagues Committee. Matches may only be cancelled because of the unfit state of the courts or the weather (including cancellation by a visiting team which considers the roads unfit for travel).


Rearrangement of matches. 

4.2          If a match is postponed owing to the weather the HOME Club is responsible for notifying the Competition Secretary via the online match card of the postponement within 48 hours of the original match time. Under these circumstances, clubs must agree to replay on a mutually acceptable date. 


4.3          The Home Team must provide at least 3 dates which should not clash with the opposing team’s existing fixtures.  The Home Club must complete the online match card section informing the Competition Secretary of the rearranged date within 21 days of the original date. If no new date can be agreed, then the Competition Secretary will fix the date.


4.4          All Thames Valley Winter matches must be completed by the second Sunday in April (rearranged TV matches may be played under floodlights if necessary).


4.5          All Wilson Summer matches must be played by 30 September.


Matches stopped after the arrival of the visiting team.

4.6          Play shall be suspended in matches when it is raining, except where the captains mutually agree that play shall continue.


4.7          If a match has to be stopped and cannot be completed after the arrival of the visiting team, any replay of the fixture (see     4.9 and 4.10 below) will take place at the same venue unless mutually agreed otherwise.


4.8          A date for the replay shall be fixed as set out in 4.3 above.


4.9          Thames Valley Winter: An unfinished match should be replayed unless the Captains mutually agree to let the score of any completed sets stand.


4.10        Wilson Summer: An unfinished match will not be replayed where one team has won sufficient rubbers to win the match.  


4.11        If a player retires through injury or any other reason during a rubber, the opponents shall be deemed to have won all the remaining games and sets necessary to win the rubber.


5              BALLS


5.1          Eight NEW Tennis Balls (ITF Approved) shall be provided by the HOME team. The OLTA is sponsored by Wilson so please try to use Wilson balls.


6              NOTICE OF RESULTS


6.1          The Captain of the winning club (or the Home team in the event of a draw) is responsible for notice, on-line, of the result of a match, with full names of players and with the full score of all rubbers/sets and games won or lost, within 48 hours of the conclusion of a match. No results will be accepted if the names of all the players are not included. A record of the score and names of players should be retained by both captains. Match cards can be downloaded from the website.


6.2          Penalty points for late results and incorrect details will be deducted from the league table score of teams who are persistently in breach of 6.1.


6.3          The result of the match should be agreed between the two captains immediately at the conclusion of the match.  It is not permissible to change scores or alter the result in any way after the away team has departed. If the two captains cannot agree the result, within 48 hours of the end of the match they must notify the Leagues Committee at  giving a full explanation for the reasons for being unable to do so. The Committee will then determine what result should prevail.


6.4          The Leagues Committee shall be under NO obligation to accept the result of any match, notice of which has not been submitted to the Competition Secretary in accordance with 6.1.




7.1          A Player may represent a Club if he/she is a full playing member of the Club and if his/her subscription for the current year has been fully paid. No Player may represent more than one Club in either League in the same season except that a player may play in a Mixed team for another Club. 


7.2          Any Player whose subscription to a previous Club is unpaid shall render himself/herself ineligible to play in either the Thames Valley Winter League or Wilson Summer League.


7.3          A Club shall not be bound to play the same team throughout any Competition but no change shall be made in the composition of the teams engaged in any match after the start of play. If, however, an unfinished match is replayed in its entirety, the composition of the teams may be changed.


7.4          In the spirit of the competition Clubs are asked to respect the rule that NO PLAYER MAY PLAY FOR A LOWER TEAM THAN HIS/HER NORMAL TEAM.


7.5          Thames Valley Winter: A player may only play TWO matches for his/her higher team and remain eligible to play in his/her normal team. On the third occasion of playing up, he/she will be committed to that team for the remainder of the season.


7.6          Wilson Summer: A player may only play ONE match for his/her higher team and remain eligible to play in his/her normal team. On the second occasion of playing up, he/she will be committed to that team for the remainder of the season


8              DRESS


8.1          Players’ dress must be suitable sports clothing and footwear.




9.1          Should a dispute take place between 2 clubs, then any complaint must be put in writing to the Leagues Committee at . This MUST be sent with the endorsement of the Match Secretary of the Club, and NOT directly from a Team Captain or individual player. Communications from Team Captains or individual players will not be considered. A copy of the email from the Match Secretary will then be sent to the opposing Match Secretary. The Leagues Committee will take any necessary and appropriate action.



9.2          Teams will be disqualified if any form of cheating on match results comes to the attention of the Leagues Committee.



9.3          The Leagues Committee shall consider all formal complaints of misconduct received in writing at . It will penalise any misdemeanour on its merits. If necessary the advice or intervention of the LTA Disciplinary Officer shall be sought.



10           APPEALS


10.1        An appeal may be made against a decision of the Leagues Committee in accordance with the procedures set out in the Disciplinary Code of the Lawn Tennis Association Limited.








1.             The Thames Valley Winter League and Wilson Summer League will consist of Men’s Doubles, Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles competitions. 


2.             The Leagues shall be open to all Clubs affiliated to the Lawn Tennis Association.


3.             Matches must be played on any LTA approved surface, in accordance with the League Rules and within the Laws and Regulations of Lawn Tennis for the time being sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association, so far as they are applicable.



3.             The Management of the Competition shall be entrusted to the Leagues Committee which shall be a sub-committee appointed by the Management Committee of the OLTA. No changes to these Rules shall be made without the consent of the Management Committee.



4.             A Club wishing to enter any Competition shall give notice, in writing, to the Competitions Secretary of the Association not later than 1June (Thames Valley Winter) and 14 November (Wilson Summer). Such notice must be accompanied by an entrance fee to be decided by the Leagues Committee annually, per team, per Competition.



5              (a)            Each League Competition shall be divided by the Leagues Committee into Divisions and the Leagues Committee shall determine the Division into which each Club shall be placed.

                (b)           For the Competitions in the following year, the Leagues Committee will where possible, re-arrange the Clubs, in each Division in such a manner that Clubs which were respectively first and second in the previous year shall be placed in the Division immediately above the one in which they last competed, and the Clubs which were respectively last and last but one shall be placed in the Division immediately below the one in which they last competed.  

                (c)            The Promotion and Relegation procedure shall apply only so long as the Leagues Committee is satisfied that correct interpretations of the League Rules have been applied to all matters.

                (d)           The Leagues Committee may re-arrange each year the number of Clubs in all Divisions in such manner as it may deem necessary.

                (e)            If any Club, which was not previously entered for any Competition or which having previously entered has dropped out of such Competition shall give notice of its wish to compete, it shall be placed in the lowest Division, unless the Committee shall decide otherwise.


6.             The Leagues Committee shall, immediately after the date fixed for receiving entries:

                (a)            Determine the Division into which each Club entries shall be placed in accordance with 5 above.

                (b)           Make the arrangements for and fix the dates on which the matches in all Competitions are to be played.


7.             The Competition Secretary shall give notice to the Match Secretaries of the Clubs from whom entries have been received by him/her, of the Division into which each Club has been placed; and furnish a list of the relevant fixtures; and the dates on which all matches must be played. Dates of matches may be altered at the Fixtures Meeting, organised by the Competition Secretary and all revised dates must be notified to the Competition Secretary within seven days of the meeting.


8.             All Clubs MUST be represented at all Fixture Meetings and if a Match Secretary is unable to attend it is the responsibility of the Match Secretary to arrange a replacement representative.


9.             The League fixtures shall take precedence over Club activities, but are second only to National, County or AEGON Team Tennis fixtures (Regional only), and only when such fixture dates are unknown by 31st March, or officially re-arranged by the organising body.  The absence of one player does not constitute a valid reason for changing a League fixture.  Any change of fixture other than for the unfit state of the courts, or the weather, must first be authorised by the Leagues Committee (see Rule 4.1).



10.           It is customary to provide teas / light refreshment after the match.

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