Bamford Tennis Club Tournament 2024

This year's Bamford club tournament is underway! It runs through the summer from May to September, culminating in a Finals’ Day of Sunday 29th September.

The tournament organisers are Janette and Gail who will check games are played in a timely fashion to ensure we have no slippage and a full line up of finalists in place for Finals Day.

The tournament is split into a number of categories, each of which  consist of a series of knock-out rounds.  Competitors will be responsible for arranging their own matches before a specified deadline for each round.

The final of each of the categories will take place on the same day, Sunday 29th September.  Finals’ Day is a fun day for everyone, not just those taking part in the tournament.  There’ll be good tennis to watch, hopefully good weather, and it will be great if everyone can bring at least one item of food/drink to share. So put Sunday 29 September in your diaries now!

As in previous years, there will be the standard 5 categories:

  • Men’s singles
  • Women’s singles
  • Men’s doubles
  • Women’s doubles
  • Mixed doubles

Pairings for doubles events will be semi-randomly chosen to mix people up into pairings that are as balanced as possible, with the potential for fixed handicaps to be assigned by the tournament organizers if a balanced draw can’t be produced.  When signing up, feel free to indicate if there’s someone you’d like to be paired up with.  The draw will be done to try and respect these if they’re compatible with a balanced competition.

Juniors from Year 7 upwards are welcome, providing they can play sufficiently well to be able to join in with adults playing on a club night and serve and rally well.

The Overriding Rule for everything related to the tournament is that this is a club competition designed for friendly, competitive tennis and should be played in the spirit of Bamford Tennis Club.  The format of the tournament has been designed with this in mind and any gaps in the rules will be adjudicated by the Tournament Organisers accordingly.

Entrance Criteria

In the spirit of being a friendly, social event, all members who wish to take part should do so.  Assuming a minimal bar of being able to serve and rally sufficiently to play a proper match, no one should feel they’re “not good enough” to enter.

However, there are a few restrictions on entry:

  • All competitions are limited to people who are currently a member of the club
  • All entrants should be available for Finals’ Day.  Please don’t enter on the premise “I won’t get to the final anyway” and if you become aware you can’t make Final’s Day, please inform the Tournament Organisers as soon as possible.

Finally, those entering should be comfortable with their contact details, either email or phone number, being shared with other entrants.  This is necessary to allow matches to be arranged.

Tracking the Results

Results will be tracked through this an online spreadsheet to keep things simple and lightweight.

To get your results inputted into this document please email the tournament organiser.

Format of Matches

By default, matches should follow the ITF tennis rules (here) using the “Match Tie-Break (10 Points)” rule in Appendix V, i.e.

  • Best of 3 sets
  • The first two sets go to a standard tie-break at 6-6
  • The final set is a championship tie-break (first to 10 points)

The purpose of this is simply to provide a balanced default, players can agree to use a different format to either shorten or lengthen the match.  The only hard requirement is that the format must produce a definitive winner, there can be no draws. 

Some alternative options:

  • Standard 1, 3 or 5 set matches
  • Short sets (e.g. first to 4 games)
  • A single, longer set, e.g. first to 9 games
  • No lets / no deuces

Fixed handicaps

In the spirit of this being a friendly club competition, everything in the draw was done randomly with some cheating to produce balanced partnerships. Where balance hasn't been possible, or to allow people who wanted to play together to do so, we've added some handicaps.  No-one's played a whole lot of tennis over the last two years, so the handicaps are heavily influenced by whether people have played team tennis for the club.

The handicap works by altering the score that each game starts at.  The possible options are:

  • Both players have the same handicap => Start each game at 0-0
  • Player 1: handicap -15, Player 2: no handicap => Start each game 0-15
  • Player 1: handicap 15, Player 2: no handicap => Start each game 15-0
  • Player 1: handicap -15, Player 2: handicap 15 => Start each game 0-30

If you have a handicap but just want to play a normal game of tennis, then by all means feel free to waive the handicap at the start of the match.

Arranging Matches

To ensure that all required matches are played in advance of Finals’ Day, there will be hard cut-off dates for each round and a clear set of responsibilities for each player/couple.  The exact cut-offs will be determined once the full draw is completed, and the total number of rounds known.

In general, the person/couple who appears first in the draw (referred to as “Upper”) is responsible for proposing options and the person/couple who appears second (referred to as “Lower”) is responsible for choosing their desired option in a timely manner.

The below rules are designed to provide clarity of roles and to be a worst-case fallback.  As this is a friendly club competition, it is hoped that entrants will act compassionately, and we will not need to fall back on automatic elimination.

The specifics of the scheduling rules should look familiar to past entrants, as they are similar to those used in past years.

  1. Every round of each event has a specified completion date.
  2. It is the responsibility of Upper to initiate contact with Lower. 
  3. If Upper does not initiate contact promptly enough for the round to be arranged before the completion date, Upper will be disqualified.  However, in the spirit of the Overriding Rule, it is encouraged that Lower be proactive in the event that Upper doesn’t initiate contact.  Entrants should not expect any chasing up by the Tournament Organizers to arrange matches.
  4. Upper should offer 3 dates to Lower. At least one of the 3 dates must be at a weekend.
  5. Lower must accept one of the provided dates within 4 days, or they will be eliminated
  6. Once accepted, Upper is responsible for booking a court for the expected duration of the match.
  7. Both players should come prepared to provide the balls, which should be in good condition.
  8. If the weather is bad, Upper may offer to rearrange the match.
    - If Lower declines to rearrange, then the match must go ahead.
    - If both sides agree to rearrange, then 2 more dates must be offered by Upper. (If there are less than 5 days to cut-off only 1 date need be offered). Failure to accept a date results in elimination of Lower.
  9. Once the match is completed, Upper is responsible for reporting the result of the match to the Tournament Organizers.  While failure to do so is unlikely to result in disqualification, it has the potential to do so if the delay results in next round not being able to be arranged.
  10. If special circumstances arise that are not covered by the rules (e.g. changes in Covid restrictions), then the decision of the Tournament Organizers will be final.
  11. If either Upper or Lower are deemed by the Tournament Organizers to be acting in bad faith, the Tournament Organizers reserve the right to intercede.  Examples of behaviour that would trigger intercession include, but aren’t limited to:
    - Insisting on playing in torrential rain to make the other player concede
    - Upper deliberately providing sets of dates that they know in advance Lower cannot make

If you have any questions or concerns, please email contact us at