Image result for tennis images

Calgary Southwest Tennis League:

Guidelines and Rules

Last Updated March 20, 2018



By playing in our league, players agree to the terms and conditions here. The organizers reserve the right to vary or amend the rules and regulations as necessary to ensure the smooth running of the league. Matches are self-umpired and should be conducted in the spirit of fair play.


No one connected with the League can take responsibility for the safety or security of players whether playing on the neighborhood courts or at other. Players compete at their own risk and it is the player's responsibility to ensure any courts used are safe for play. If they are not, you should not use them and, if appropriate, please report any concerns to whoever is responsible for managing the courts. Players are solely responsible for court hire, tennis ball provision etc. Players must be 15 or older as of the start of the season. By playing in the league, players confirm that they are not aware of any medical conditions that would prevent them from taking part in an active sport. The contents of this document form the rules and regulations of the league. Sometimes the interpretation of the rules requires fine judgements to be made and the organizers’ decision is final.


At the start of each Season, the league organizer will group players into groups of 4-8 based on their ability and performance in previous Seasons.  Players are then responsible for contacting the other players in their group to agree times to play each of their matches.  Players receive a point for each set won (maximum 2 per match).  Match results are reported to the organizer.  Two bonus points and a can of balls are awarded for players that have completed three matches by the mid-way point of the Season.  A prize is awarded to the winner of each group at the end of each Season (Spring, Summer and Fall).


We will send you the email addresses and telephone numbers of all the players in your group (do check yours – if we have anything wrong, or your contact information has changed, let us know as soon as possible).  Organizing matches can be hard! Juggling schedules is never easy, but everyone who has joined is keen to play.

We suggest:   

The more proactive you are, the more likely you are to get your matches in. Email your opponents, reply to their emails (even if it is to say you can't play) and follow up by phone if you do not get a reply.


Courts: Matches can be played at any venue agreeable to the players.

Balls: Balls must be of a good quality if not new and both parties should provide a set. Either party has the right to object to poor balls (prior to the match).



Matches are best of three tie-break sets. That means that the winner of the match is the first playing to win two sets.

If "player A" wins set one and set two, the match is over. But if for instance, "player A" wins the first set but loses the second, the match would be decided by who wins the third set.

So typical scores might be:

Milos Raonic bt Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-3


Eugenie Bouchard bt Sharon Fishman 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

All the sets are tiebreak sets – which simply means if a set reaches 6-6 in games, a tiebreak  is played. A typical match which includes a tie break might look like this:

Milos Raonic bt Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)


Tiebreaks are the penalty shoot-outs of tennis, though actually the system makes a much better job of reflecting the play so far in a match. 

In league matches, when a set reaches six games all, a tie break is played. A tie break would conclude each level six all set, not just a final set.

The player whose turn it would be to serve in the next game starts the tiebreak. He or she serves normally to the deuce court (the left-hand court as the server perceives it).
The opponent serves the next TWO points, starting with a serve to the ad (right-hand court).  It feels a bit odd till you have played several tie breaks.

Points are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc, rather than 15, 30, 40 Deuce.

From the second point, each player has two serves. The tiebreak is over when one player reaches seven points, provided he or she is two clear points ahead of his or her opponent. From 6-6 in a tiebreak a player must have a two point advantage to win the tiebreak.

A typical tiebreak score would be 7-5, or 8-6, or 9-7. Where a Match Tiebreak is played (at the end of short format matches) the set is  won when a player reaches 10 points and is two points clear of his or her opponent e.g. 10-7, 11-9, 14-12 etc)

After 6 points have been played, players change ends, i.e. at 3-3 or 6-6. The players also change ends at the end of the tiebreak to begin the next set.

The player who served first in the tiebreak, RECEIVES at the beginning of the next set (assuming there is one!).

You don’t need to report actual tiebreak scores to the League, but if you do they will be recorded. So a final score for a match might be:

6-2, 6-7, 6-4


6-2, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4

In doubles should we play this format, service alternates between the teams - the same player serves for both points (his or her partner) serves for the entirety of the team's next service game.  

For further info on tiebreakers, click here.


The league is a great way to make new friends and build up your own network of tennis partners. But there are a few things you can do to keep the cogs of the machine running smoothly...

Respond to requests for matches – even a note that you are out of town and will get back to the person will be helpful.

If you have to reschedule a match give as much time as possible - and if you are on the wrong end of a rescheduling, try to be sympathetic; you never know when you may have to do the same. There are rules for walkovers and forfeits, but everyone would much prefer to see matches played.


Follow a few simple tips and matches become less stressful and more fun:


Winners (or losers) should report matches promptly. Please email the Match Reporting form.  Here is the recommended format in which to report matches: Roger Federer bt Novak Djokovic (August 23) 6-1, 7-5. If there was a tie break, you write it like this: 7-6 (9-7) with the score in the tie break in brackets

Both players should check the results published by the organizers. Please contact us with corrections and omissions prior to the end of the season. Once the season report is issued the season is locked and results stand as is. No further corrections or additions will be accepted except in special circumstance and at the discretion of the organizers.


Groups of 4-8 players will be formed by the organizer based on the ability of the players.

All things being equal, the winner of a group (and sometimes the top two) will be promoted to the group above in the next season, and the bottom one or two players will be demoted. But this is not a strict ladder. If the top or bottom one or two players do not rejoin, the next in line may be promoted or demoted and as no two seasons are the same, we reserve the right to rebalance the groups in any way that we believe will provide players with the best possible matches. Injury and other factors may be taken into consideration. 

(Please note: group numbers are not comparable between seasons as the number of entries varies: this means someone who won 'group 5' in one season is promoted but is still be in a group called 'group 5'. This is because the overall number of players playing has changed)

Though we will take into account players' preferences to be put with stronger or weaker opposition, we can give no guarantee about which group they will be placed in. Players will not be moved from one group to another once a season had begun except in exceptional circumstances.

We may, at our discretion, allow latecomers to enter a group.

The size of a group may vary but will not consist of fewer than four players. The bonus point and prize rule is unaffected by the number of players in the group.

Please note, as the number of groups can vary enormously from season to season, what may look like a numerical demotion may be a promotion!


Prizes are offered to group winners and bonus prizes (including the option of a can of tennis balls) to players who play and complete three matches by the advertised midpoint of a season). Bonus prizes are a "bonus" of playing in the league and the organizer makes no guarantees of players being available to play matches, or the total number of possible matches in a group.  Prize packages will be delivered to the recipients. No cash alternatives can be offered.

If weather shortens the spring or fall season, prizes will be the same as for a regular season except


As organizers we reserve the right to alter or amend the published season dates. Season extensions for individual matches will not generally be granted. Exceptions my sometimes be made within a few days of the end of the season, primarily to allow a head to head to be played between two players tied at the top of their group or for a match which would not affect who won the group.

Very occasionally, if the weather is terrible for example, we may decide to extend the whole season by a week or even two weeks. In these circumstances, no refund can be given even if a player can no longer participate.


Season payments are per person and are not transferable. You may cancel for a refund any time before the notification of the groups has been sent. Email us to request a refund and we  will get in touch with you. Once the groups are organized and shared, fees are not refundable. If, however, we are unable to hold a season or find you a group to play in, the fee will be refunded. ​Players who join after the deadline but before the season starts will be included at the discretion of the organizers. If we can't place you in a group, you will be automatically included in the subsequent season (normal refund rules will apply).


For seasons where doubles leagues are offered, standard rules for doubles play will apply.  Scoring, reporting, fees and prizes all work similarly as for the singles league.   Scoring for league standings is by team.  Fees and prize amounts are per person.


By consenting to play in the League you are authorizing us to share your contact information with other members of the League. The information submitted will not be shared with third parties. Your contact details will not otherwise be shared with third parties. As this is a public league, your name will appear on generally accessible tables of results and in end of season reports. 


If it rains or snows before the match starts, the match must be re-scheduled. (Please be careful about making assumptions about the weather, and to avoid the possibility of a no-show walkover, if cancelling because of the weather, always contact your opponent and get a reply). 

If it rains during the match... or court conditions deteriorate either player may decide to call a halt to the match, but the match must still be completed. Matches should be re-started with whatever the score was when play stopped. If re-scheduling becomes impossible, the score can be reported as it stands.

If court must be conceded to other players waiting to use the court…  Existing local rules for the match venue remain in effect so if the match has to be suspended to allow others to use the court, the match will be treated as if rain occurred during the match (see remedy above).  

If before the match (or after a first few points have been played) one player feels the court condition too slippery, or otherwise unsafe, they have the absolute right to ask for a postponement.

If a player retires injured, unwell or for any other reason that constitutes a retirement, he or she loses the match - it cannot be re-played. The player who could have continued (the winner) will receive two points. If the retired player has won a set he or she receives 1 point. Retirements primarily refer to unavoidable circumstances that force a player to quit a match. Injury is the usual reason. Very occasionally another event forces a retirement. For instance, a doctor on call who has to leave a match. Matches abandoned because of a dispute can be referred to us for a ruling. Matches where players have explicitly set time conditions for the match, but where one player elects not to continue may also qualify as retirements, but players are advised to ask for guidance. Ideally matches should be continued to a conclusion then or at another date.

If a player does not turn up at the agreed time, or is more than fifteen minutes late, the other player can claim a walkover and receive 2 points or the match can be re-scheduled. If the match is unfinished, even if it is because court time ran out, points will be awarded on the score reached. (Ideally the match would be completed at a later date.) If player causes a walkover for a planned resumption of a to be completed match, their opponent receives points for the win, but the original set score stands and points are recorded accordingly.
NB If you are cancelling a scheduled match make sure you get an acknowledgement from your opponent. If the message does not get through, the match may be deemed a walkover.   

If a player wants to reschedule a match he or she must give his or her opponent a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. If a court cost is incurred the player who postponed the match is solely responsible for the cost of the unused court (subsequent court costs are split in the normal way). If less than 24 hours’ notice is given, the match may be recorded as a walkover in favor of the opponent and points awarded, although it is still preferable to play the match if possible. (If you are claiming a walkover, send a polite email to your opponent setting out the reasons and copy us in. This gives your opponent the opportunity to respond in case there has been confusion.) Please claim the walkover at the time. If the players do subsequently play the match we may swap the walkover for the match played (but see the rule below). We will not necessarily retrospectively award walkovers.

A walkover, once posted, will be assumed final. If a match recorded as a walkover is subsequently played, the organizers reserve the right to decide whether to accept the result or not. (A last minute replay may be deemed to disadvantage other players in the group.) If in any doubt, check with us.

If one or another player simply decides they don't want to play a match they cannot offer a walkover to the other. That is, for points to be awarded a match must be scheduled and played. Aside from retiring through injury, players may not concede a match either before, during or after a match.

If the agreed time simply runs out for a match - say you have played two hours, but the match is not concluded - neither player should concede the match. If the match can't be played to a conclusion at a later date, points are simply awarded for the completed sets.

Players may not normally agree to play their match after the season has ended. Though it seems harsh, to be fair to all players, the cut off point for play (and for the result to count) must be observed.

If a player wins a match through a walkover they receive two points for a win, but walkovers do not count to bonus points. For bonus points to be awarded, matches must be played and completed.

Bonus points are awarded when three matches are played and completed by the midpoint of the season (two matches for Pre-Season). (Unfinished matches don not count as completed matches). 

If a player withdraws from a season... Even though it can seem unfair that one player receives points because they have played a particular player but another doesn't because that player becomes unavailable, we don't offer compensatory points for matches not played (even though it is no fault of the challenger). 

Let’s all get on the courts and have fun!