San Carlos Tennis Club

Team Tennis Rules

Season & Location

Team Tennis Matches are played one Sunday per month starting in April and ending in October. The October match will be a playoff, involving only the top four teams, to establish the season's final standings.  Matches start at 09:00 AM and run until completed (8:30am to 1:30PM for Traditional and 1PM for advanced). Matches are played at Arguello Tennis Courts.

Team Structure

Teams have consisted of 6 players: 3 men, 3 women. One of the players will be the team's captain. In an ideal year, each gender will have one 3.5 (NTRP rating), one 3.0 and one 2.5 player. Players will be properly positioned within the team: Highest rated player of a gender = "A" Next highest rated player = "B" Lowest rated player = "C" If two players are of equal ability, then the captain can switch their position for any given match, but not during a match. Team members will be drafted with the intent of achieving parity among the teams--ideally all teams will have the same sum of each individual’s NTRP rating.  

Advanced team tennis teams are typically made up of four teams, 3 men and 3 women per team, rated 4.0 or above. Registration will be limited once gender requirements are met.


All Team Tennis leagues will maintain a SUBSTITUTION list from players that were interested in playing but unable to register in time.  Please check with the Organizer of your league (Tradtional: Laureen Cortez or John Yarley; Advanced: Ravi Mantena or Vicky Leong) for Substitute players.  In the event Substitutes on the Wait List are unavailable, Captains should find substitutes that meet the following requirements: the substitute must be of the same gender and possess an NTRP rating equal to the missing player, or their NTRP should bring their team’s total NTRP into parity with their opponent team’s.  First calls should be made to players on the substitute list, unless no available player meets the previous requirements. If the substitute need is not filled or arises the day of the match, then a player of the same gender from the team may be used subject to the Substitution Rule Table. If a player arrives after the start of the first set but prior to the start of the second, the late player may replace the substitute and play the second set.

Match Setup (See also Player Pairings Sheet)

A match will consist of six doubles sets. Each player will play 2 sets. Each player shall play their two sets with different partners. "A" players may not play with "C" players, (the intent is to not have players more than 0.5 NTRP playing with each other), unless the “B” player is injured or missing. The Team having the choice of serve, return or side will be determined with a racquet spin.

Before the first match of the day, captains calculate the total cumulative ratings for their teams and compare the total amount with the other team. The cumulative team rating is used to compensate for any differences. The ratings differences for any individual match do not matter.

For any differences in the total summed ratings, the team with the lower rating gets a 2 game advantage for every 0.5 difference in 2 matches of their choice. For example, if team A has a cumulative rating of 18.5 for their 6 players and team B has a cumulative rating of 19.0 for their 6 players, team A gets to start 2 of their matches at 2 games to 0.

The 2 games must be credited at the beginning of the match they will be used in. If there is a full point difference in the ratings, the team with the lower cumulative rating gets a 4 game advantage in 2 matches of their choice, and so on.

Match Scoring

The team winning the most number of sets wins the match. If each team has won 3 sets, the winner of the match will be determined by a 10-point match-deciding-tie breaker. The "tie break" team by default (unless both captains agree otherwise) will be the team playing the last set of the day's regular match.

For Traditional Team Tennis, in the event there is a tie 3-3 sets won, then the highest number of games won will determine the winner of the day.  In the event there is a tie for the highest number of games won, then a 10-point match-deciding tie-breaker will be played, time permitted.  Coin toss will be last resort.

Set Scoring

Sets are to be "Pro sets" - the first team to win 8 games and be ahead by 2 games wins. If the set score reaches 7-7, then a 5-point tie breaker will be played.

For Traditional Team tennis, the first team to win 7 games and be ahead by 2 games wins.  If the set score reaches 6-6, then a 5-point tie breaker, sudden death, will be played.

Game Scoring

Games are to be no ad - the first team to win four points wins the game. For mixed doubles with the score tied 3-3, the receiving player shall be of the same gender as the server. For regular doubles with the score tied 3-3, if the lower rated player is serving, then the receiving player shall be also be the lower rated player. For regular doubles with the score tied 3-3, if the higher rated player is serving, then the receiving player shall be chosen by the receiving team.

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