League Rules

How it all works? 

These singles and doubles Leagues, for Men, Ladies & U18 Juniors, are divided into divisions called groups e.g. group 1, group 2, group 3 etc. Players can play their matches anytime during each term, each term will normally last 6-9 weeks and run in the Spring, Summer & Autumn (term dates indicated online). Players can either write their contact details on the Club notice board (sheet provided) or login and find their opponent's email by clicking the opponent's name. Either way you make arrangements to play matches in your own time. Admin can not give out your opponent's contact details. On the last day of each term (aka round) promotions and demotions will take place on the specified date, the points in each division (group) are then reset to zero ready for the next term. At the end of each term you are automatically entered into the next round - no need to re-register if you have played at least 1 match. At the end of each term, for doubles, players can change partners, be put on hold for a term or withdraw completely. You will need to do this within 1 week of the start date of the next round (just email Admin) or you will be automatically included in the next round. All we ask is that you stay active once you’ve signed up to play!

For many players the major benefit of these Box Leagues is having a pool of players of a similar ability to call upon to play fun/social/competitive tennis while improving their game. For those that want a bit more, the challenge of reaching the higher group/divisions will be their goal - something for everyone, but remember; playing and competing regularly is the key to improving your tennis!


How do you get promoted/demoted?  

Players/Teams (doubles) within their division (group) can play each player/team once per term. Players/Teams are encouraged to play as many matches as possible each term against a variety of players, aiming for at least 3 matches. It's highly recommended not to leave matches until the last week . On the specified term end date, two (2) players at the top of each division may be promoted and the bottom two (2) may be demoted. In Doubles, and groups with 5 or less players/teams, only one (1) player/team may be promoted/demoted. 

Each player/team receives points for playing a match, winning games and winning sets. We will use an algorithm for match points. More points will be awarded for just playing, extra points for close matches and for winning by a greater margin a wider gap in points awarded. However, players are still rewarded for playing matches regardless of the final result. The algorithm is to encourage more participation and for players to try to win more games or sets, even if they lose the match.

The Box League final positions are decided on; firstly points earned, secondly if two players/teams finish level on points, then the result between them counts and finally if players/teams are level and they haven’t played it will be game percentage that decides promotion/demotion. The points system algorithm is designed to encourage participation and close hard fought matches, nevertheless, a player/team that wins a Grand Slam (Gran Slam = plays and wins ALL their group matches) over ALL other players/teams in their division (group) wins the League and gains promotion regardless of the final points tally.

INACTIVE DEMOTION/PROMOTION NOTE: A player (singles ONLY) that has played less than 3 matches may not be promoted regardless of the position he/she finishes. Likewise, if a player plays less than 3 matches he/she may be demoted (by more than 1 division) and replaced by a player in the lower division(s), especially if the player in the lower division(s) has played more matches. Activity will always be rewarded in these Box Leagues, aim to play at least 3 matches to avoid Inactive Demotion.

What if I can't play my matches this round?

The onus is on the player to be proactive and mindful of the term dates once you join these leagues, you need to advise Admin or withdraw before the next round/term starts.

If you know that you are unable to play the next round please email within 1 week of the current round’s start date. We can then put you on hold for that term (round) and you will not need to pay to rejoin - in fact, you can even return the next term (round) in the same division - please just give us 1 week notice.

If the round has started (e.g. the draw has been made) and you can not play (for any reason) the onus is on you to withdraw during the round by login in to your LTA account and click ‘withdraw’. This method politely, and very importantly, notifies all other players that you are unable to play matches. You will need to rejoin the box League next round/term (£10 re-join fee) but you will only drop down 1 League and not be required to start from the bottom all over again.

These Leagues are completely FREE of charge providing that a player/team plays at least 1 match each term/round. Admin will remove ALL non active players at the end of each round and the non active player will not be included automatically in the next round. Non active players are the principal reason that active players lose interest in any Box League. NOTE: There is an Admin fee (£10) to rejoin the Box League once removed for inactivity or if you withdraw once the next round draw has been made.


General Match Rules: 

After a 5 minute warm up matches to be played using ANY score format that ALL players agree on. If you can not agree then the default format is FAST4 (with sudden death deuce) - please see LTA Fast4 . Whatever format is agreed you must record the matches as FAST4 matches, e.g. : 6-0 = 4-0, 6-1 = 4-1, 6-2 = 4-1, 6-3 = 4-2, 6-4 = 4-2, 7-5 = 4-3, 7-6 = 4-3, and the final set always recorded at a match tiebreak to 10 points, with 2 points clear. Top Tip: if you are really short on time then maybe just play 3 tiebreaks sets as follows: 2 very short tiebreaks first to 4 points (sudden death ay 3-3) and a match tie break to 10 points if 1 set all (less than 15 minutes - but at least you've played a match and kept the Leagues active and flowing ).

  • Play with yellow balls (as new as possible please), the winner(s) sweeps the clay courts and enters the match score ASAP after the match. 
  • See also ITF Clay Court Rules for un-umpired matches on Club notice board.
  • Any player that does not show for an agreed match within 15 minutes of an agreed time (for WHATEVER reason) will forfeit the match, the winner MUST record a walkover win against the 'no show' player. Admin will record this as 4-0, 4-0, the match CAN NOT be replayed. The 'no show' player's points will be deducted when the league finishes. Top Tip: message your opponent(s) and check 24 hours before the agreed start time!!!
  • A player that cancels an agreed match within 24 hours (for WHATEVER reason) will lose the match, and a forfeit (walkover) MUST be recorded i.e. a walkover win to your opponent. Admin will record this as 4-0, 4-0, the match CAN NOT be replayed. Note:matches canceled by BOTH players (maybe weather) can be re-played at another mutually agreed time.
  • ENJOY YOUR MATCHES, CALL LINES & SCORE FAIRLY - if in doubt see ITF rules clay court rules on Club notice board!
  • In the very unlikely event that we receive 3 complaints (in writing) about the same player/team this player/team maybe be removed from the League without warning. Top Tip: Please respect your opponents time, if you have agreed a match then make every effort to turn up and play!!!
  • Your ladder admin is Tony Symons-Hicks and can be emailed at tonysymonshicks@gmail.com if you have any questions NOT covered on this page. IMPORTANT NOTE: Tony runs these Leagues voluntary and does not receive money from Lisvane Tennis Club nor the LTA for the administration work carried out. Note: Admin receive more emails about NON ACTIVE players than any other reason, therefore NON active players are automatically removed at the end of each round.


We welcome any suggestions (by email ONLY) for improvement of future Leagues . Please note; we will NOT reply to any email, text or WhatsApp query that has been covered on this page and within the current rules. The above rules are NOT negotiable under ANY circumstances.  They also may be subject to change by Admin if the amendment helps to promote more matches being played and/or the smooth running of these Leagues. 

Many thanks and enjoy your tennis!