Team Ladder Guidelines

Shorter, overlapping seasons have reduced the number of matches in our USTA leagues. Concomitantly, the size of our team rosters has had to increase (tennis players lead complicated lives). One way for teams to adapt to the new regimen (larger rosters but fewer matches) is to introduce intra-team play that 1) extends competitive playing opportunities (more tennis/dollar) and 2) defines a team’s top doubles and singles players.

Think of the team ladder as a “never-ending qualification tournament” …get through the initial “teammate” rounds of the tournament and advance into the main draw against other clubs.  Benefits include:

  • pre-reserved courts and play that “counts”
  • equal opportunity to determine team lineups
  • partner with any teammate to define a mutual “highest level of play”
  • team pairings that are better prepared for USTA match play
  • team improvement throughout the season, better preparation for playoffs/sectionals/nationals

Here’s How Your Ladder Works!

  • league, playoff & sectional lineups are influenced by both ladder position & recent team court activity (preparation for match play)
  • team courts may be pre-reserved at Irvington, PTC, Grant and/or Irving Parks
  • to find the optimal partner, enter with as many partners as possible (this is encouraged)
  • during the first half of the season (before our 4th usta match) team members may choose any new partner and challenge at any position
  • if you win, insert your team one position above the vanquished!
  • if you lose, place your team at the bottom of the ladder (team members will realize these first attempts are strategic challenges)
  • once you and your partner are on the ladder, you may challenge any of the four teams above (not counting any of your or your partner’s other entries)
  • during the second half of the season (after our 4th usta match) new ladder entries may only challenge the bottom 4 teams (thus, an incentive to configure partners early in the season)
  • when splitting sets, a 10 point tie-break determines the winner
  • when time does not allow completion of a second set, the team winning a majority of games triumphs (yes, you can win the first set and lose the match, i.e. 6-4, 1-4)
  • when time is running out and games won are equal, a 7 point tie-break will determine the winner (or players may choose to continue the match at another time)
  • top 10 teams who are unable to respond to a challenge over a 10 day period are subject to moving down one position (down 2 positions over 14 days)
  • Inform the captain if you expect extended travel or are otherwise unable to participate