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Northampton Lawn Tennis League

RULES :General : Fixtures : Player eligibility : Tie-break


The competition shall be called the 'NORTHAMPTON LAWN TENNIS LEAGUE' and shall be open to any LTA affiliated clubs. Such clubs may apply to enter an unlimited number of teams.

2. League

The League shall be divided into as many divisions or sections as may be deemed necessary by the governing Executive Committee.

3. Executive Committee

This shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting. Officers on this Committee shall include:

a) President b) Treasurer c) Secretary d) Fixtures Secretary

The Committee shall comprise a total of 12 members, including officers, plus a representative from the Northants LTA for liaison purposes.

This Committee shall have the power to co-opt members but shall not contain more than 2 members, including officers, from any given club.

4. Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting shall be held on a date to be fixed by the Executive Committee, at which each competing club shall be entitled to two representatives with power to vote, in addition to the voting power of all Executive members. Votes taken at the AGM to be decided by a simple majority of those entitled to vote.

Annual General Meeting notices shall be sent to clubs 3 weeks before the date of the meeting.

5. Fees

The annual team entry fees, payable at the Annual General Meeting, shall be fixed by the outgoing Executive Committee and notified with the AGM notices. 

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6. Fixtures     

Fixtures for the ensuing season shall be arranged by the Fixtures Secretary and must be played between April and August inclusive, unless otherwise varied at the Fixture Secretary's discretion. 

All internal fixtures in the summer leagues must be completed by 30th. June latest. Failure to do so will result in the match being declared null and void and no points awarded to either team

7. Matches may not be postponed for any reason other than bad weather. Postponed / abandoned matches must be re-arranged by the Captains concerned and completed within 1 calendar month of the originally scheduled date or by the end of August, whichever is the earlier and reported to the Results Co-ordinator within 7 days of the original date. Abandoned matches must be played in their entirety.

Failure to agree a suitable date or complete a match within the prescribed period must be reported to the  Results Co-ordinator within 7 days by the Home Team Captain - to avoid the risk of the match being awarded to the opposition or declared void.

8. Playing arrangements applicable to every branch of the Summer League:

All evening matches start at 6.30 PROMPT. Each player plays 4 sets. Tie-break operates at 6 all in every set.

Visiting players remain on the same courts throughout the match:

Results are based on a points system: 1 point is awarded for every set won.

If two or more teams involved in Championship/Promotion/Relegation finish level on points then Matches Won , Matches Drawn , Head-to-Head result(s) and Games Ratio , in that order , shall decide. If all these are equal , the teams concerned shall play-off."

Each pair plays 2 sets against each opposing pair in the following sequence:

  Court 1 Court 2
HOME  TEAM 2 v 1 1 v 2
HOME TEAM 1 v 1 2 v 2

In Mixed Doubles, pairs shall comprise 1 man and 1 lady.

Promotion and Relegation between Divisions shall be automatic for the 2 top / bottom teams.(except for 'reduced' divisions when only one team shall be promoted/relegated automatically)

No more than 3 teams from any one club shall play in the same division.

9.   Once a team has played in the lowest division for a full season, the Northampton Lawn Tennis League's Executive Committee may review the team's performance and, at its discretion, place the team in a more appropriate division.

10. Late arrivals: (see the penalty points section 12 below)

Any couple not on court and not available to commence match play within 10 minutes of the official starting time, forfeits the 1st set to love to the non-offending team - the score being recorded as x-6. This would normally occur at 6.41 pm.

Any couple still not available to start the match within 20 minutes of the official time also forfeits the 2nd set to love. This would normally occur at 6.51 pm. -

No one arriving more than 45 minutes late may take part in the match - whereby both remaining sets are forfeit to love (normally applicable from 7.16 pm.

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11. Player Eligibility:

In any given branch of the League (Men's / Ladies / Mixed) NO PLAYER MAY, within one season:

a) Represent more than one club.


No player may play for a lower team if they have played more than two matches for a higher team, irrespective of divisions. Upward movement is not restricted.  


c) *Exceed the match quotas - as defined as: either 10 matches or the quota for the teams in the division in which he / she most frequently plays - whichever is the greater.

d) * Play against any opposing team more than:

1) ONCE in divisions where the teams only meet once.

ii) TWICE in divisions where teams meet twice.

iii) 3 TIMES in divisions where teams meet 3 times.

12. Penalty Points:

Whenever points are conceded to an opposing team, the same number of points shall also be deducted from the season's total of the offending team. This does not apply to teams fielding ineligible players (change agreed at the AGM 2011).

13. Penalty Points:

In the event of a team conceding 10 points or more during one season, the offending team's results (all points won / lost / conceded) are null and void and that team is automatically placed bottom of its division and relegated. The accumulated total will include those points conceded for late arrivals.

14. BaIls:

The home team shall provide 4 new LTA approved balls per court and meet any other court costs incurred.

15. Results:

Results must include the first names of all the players to ensure correct identification, and must be posted within 48 hours to your Results Co-ordinator.

16. Disputes / Irregularities:

Any disputes or complaints shall be submitted immediately, in writing, to the Executive Committee. All disputes, irregularities and deviations from the true spirit of the game will be scrutinized and dealt with by the Executive Committee, whose decision will be final.

17. Rules:

Any Club shall be entitled to submit propositions for alterations to the rules to the Executive Committee at any time for consideration. Approved amendments to the rules will be forwarded to the Clubs with the Annual General Meeting Notices, and voted on at the Meeting.

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Regulations for the Tie Break

The tie - break will operate when the score reaches 6 games all in any set except in the third or fifth set of a three set or five set match respectively when an ordinary advantage set shall be played in accordance with rule 25 (L.T.A Rules).



A player who first wins seven points shall win the game and the set provided he leads by a margin of two points. If the score reaches six points all the game shall be extended until this margin has been achieved. Numerical scoring shall be used throughout the tie - break.

The player whose turn it is to serve shall be the server for the first point. His opponent shall be the server for the second and

third points and thereafter each player shall serve alternately for two consecutive points until the winner of the game and

set has been decided.

From the first point, each service shall be delivered alternately from the right and left courts, beginning from the right court.

Players shall change ends after every six points and at the conclusion of the tie - break game. The tie - break game shall count as one game for the ball change.


In doubles the procedure for singles shall apply. The player whose turn it is to serve shall be the server for the first point.

Thereafter each player shall serve in rotation for two points, in the same order as previously in that set, until the winners of the game and set have been decided.

Rotation of Service:

The player (or pair in the case of doubles) who served first in the tie - break game shall receive service in the first game of the following set.

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