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The Spring League
The Spring League - Rules
Set: 16-02-2017

To organise Leagues in the Birmingham Area, to formulate and enforce the League rules and to run other tennis competitions as required

The League is currently managed by a Committee consisting of a Chairman (acting Secretary), Treasurer and Divisional Secretaries. Anyone wishing to join the committee should contact the Chairman.

A General Meeting shall be held annually in February. A Special General Meeting shall be held if requested in writing by at least six League clubs. Each League club may send two voting representatives to any General Meeting. A quorum for any General Meeting shall be ten members. Written notice of General Meetings shall be given by the Secretary to all League clubs not less than fourteen days prior to the meeting, together with a copy of any proposed amendments to the rules.

Ammendment to rules
The rules of the League can only be amended prior to a season starting. Written notice of any proposed amendment by a club must be received by the Secretary not less than twenty-eight days before the fixture/annual general meeting.

On general matters voting shall be by a simple majority. Where a tie results, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. Where a resolution calls for alteration to the League rules, a two-thirds majority is required for adoption.

All members of the Committee, shall be elected each year by the Annual General Meeting. Nominations for election, other than re-election, must be received in writing by the Secretary not less than fourteen days prior to the meeting.

The Treasurer shall keep records of the subscriptions paid and due and of all payments made on behalf of the League and shall prepare an Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31st December and a Balance Sheet as at that date for submission to the next Annual General Meeting. This meeting shall decide the annual subscription to be paid for each team entered in the League for the forthcoming season.

Membership of the League is open to all clubs in Birmingham and District who are affiliated to the appropriate County Association or have been accepted by the League Committee.

The Leagues shall consist of a number of divisions, each consisting of up to nine teams (except where neccessary). Each division shall be represented by an Secretary, who shall arrange the fixtures, record the results and be a member of the League Committee.

Player Eligibility
* 10 . a   Amended February 2017
Subject to the approval of the Committee, clubs may enter a maximum of three teams. Where more than one team is entered they shall be distinguished from one another by calling the highest ranked team “1”, the next “2” the next “3”.
10 . b   
No player may play for more than one team, should a player do so (i.e. to make up the numbers) his result must be recorded 0-6 0-6, failure to notify opposition of such a player will result in all the offending players points gained throughout the season, for both teams, being awarded to the opposition.
10 . c   
No player may play for more than one club in any one season. The following players, after not less than fourteen days’ bona fide membership of a club immediately prior to a match, shall alone be qualified to represent that club in matches :
10 . c . (i)   
Members elected in accordance with the rules of the club at an annual subscription entitling them to the usual playing privileges;
10 . c . (ii)   
Members elected on payment of a recognised commutation of such subscription or for some valuable service to the club;
10 . c . (iii)   
Permanent officials of the club, if members of the same. It is the responsibility of each club to ensure that they adhere to this rule. Should a player contravene this rule, points scored by the offending player shall be awarded to the opposition and the player shall be suspended from playing in League matches for the rest of the season.
Note: All appearances count, even voided matches.
Each team will play the other teams in the division once during the season (If unfinished/postponed completed by end of May, outside of this see rule 18). Where two teams from the same club are placed in the same division, their first or second fixture must be against each other * (If unfinished/postponed any outstanding sets/games will become void if the match is not completed within 21 days). Equal numbers of ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ matches are to be played unless the clubs, by mutual agreement, decide otherwise and the Divisonal Secretary approves the alteration (* = later only with league consent).

All divisions shall play two-pair matches, two sets (i.e. Eight sets in total). A tie-break will operate if teams arrive at the score of six games all in any set. (Note; Ladies are welcome to participate.)

Playing conditions
The ‘Home’ club shall provide two courts of the same surface for a match, the choice of surface being at the ‘Home’ team’s discretion. In the event of the courts becoming unfit for play for any reason during the course of the match, it may be completed on alternative courts or using floodlights, providing both captains agree. The ‘Away’ team has the option of returning to finish the match under the original conditions. Questions of light and weather should be mutually settled by the captains. If they are unable to agree the ‘Home’ captain shall decide.

Tennis Balls
The ‘Home’ club shall provide two new tubes of balls (four balls per court) for the match.

Late Arrival
Play shall commence not later than 10.00am unless otherwise agreed between the teams. In the event of a pair not being ready to play within 30 minutes of the agreed starting time, their opponents may claim one 6-0 set; in the event of a pair not being ready to play within 45 minutes of the agreed starting time, their opponents may claim the sets 6-0, 6-0. If neither pair is ready to play within 30 minutes of the agreed starting time, then that contest shall be reduced to one set only; if neither pair of a contest is ready to play within 45 minutes of the agreed starting time, then those sets shall be void (0-0, 0-0).

In the event of a pair not arriving to play, their opponents shall record four sets and twenty-four games to nil. Should a team fail to play a match on the set date, the defaulting team shall have four points deducted, if a team fails to play two matches or sixteen sets in a season, all their fixtures for that season will become void and will be RELEGATED.

Any Team Relegated for falling foul of this Rule will have the Four point deduction carried over to the following season.

Defaulting the final match of the season
16 . a   
If a teams divisional status is not effected by the four point deduction, the penalty will also be carried over to the following season.
In the event of a pair retiring before the completion of a match, completed set and games shall stand as scored and their opponents shall record the games and sets required to give them the match (e.g. should a pair retire when leading 5-0, their score shall be recorded as 5-7, 0-6.

Postponed matches
In the event of a match being postponed due to weather, the TWO clubs concerned must notify the Divisional Secretary within forty-eight hours by text or email. Matches may only be postponed due to weather conditions or (subject to reason) with league approval.

Unfinished and postponement matches
18 . a   
Home team must provide a minimum of three dates, with at least one date on an alternate week BY DIRECT CONTACT (phone) with a minimum of seven days notice to the first date offered.
18 . b   
The away team can ask for another date only if a date offered clashes with a tennis match already arranged.
18 . c   
The home team must inform the Divisional secretary of the new date once known.
18 . d   
Outstanding Games and Sets will be awarded to the away team at the end of the season. UNLESS the away team refused all the dates offered (home team must notify the Div Sec should this occur). Then all outstanding Games and Sets will be awarded to the home team.
18 . e   
If the rearranged date is postponed due to weather rules 18 a, b, c and d apply again.
18 . f   
If the closing date for the league (end of May) is reached before conclusion, rule 18 d applies.
Matches not started by the closing date
18 . g   
The Home team will be classed as the defaulting team if rule 18a was not administered. Otherwise if no date is agreed the Away team will be classed as the defaulting team. Rule 16 and 16a will then apply.
Unfinished matches
If a match is left unfinished owing to weather or light, it must be completed at a later date on the same courts. Both clubs must phone (or use the Internet link) the partially completed score to the Divisional Secretary within forty-eight hours. Completed sets MUST stand; unfinished sets shall be continued from the exact point where they were abandoned, unless the two captains have previously agreed otherwise. Should a set remain unfinished at the end of the season see rule 18 d.

Are to be submitted and confirmed on the internet within 48 hours of the match date and start time. It is essential that both teams keep a copy of the submitted players and set scores, as this may affect the League positions in cases of dispute. (Please do not post the result unless requested to do so by a league committee member). Should any team not do their bit on the Internet within 48 hours a reminder will be sent to the offending team. If still missing after 14 days it may result in the offending team being penalized, this will be at the discretion of the Committee.

League Positions
One point to be scored for each set won. Final League positions to be decided on points total.
(a) Where equal on points, games difference.
(b) Where equal on games difference, lowest games lost.
(c) Where equal on lowest games lost, result between the teams (Difference = Totals ‘For’ minus Totals ‘Against’)

End of season
All fixtures must be completed and the results in by May 31st. Any result not received within seven days of this date will be treated as per rule 18. Defaulting team will be awarded 0 points and depending on the circumstances the opposition between 2 & 8 points.

Promotion and Relegation
At the end of the season the two top teams in each division will be promoted and the two bottom teams relegated, more teams may be promoted/relegated should the structure of the league require, this will be at the discretion of the Committee.

In the event of a team withdrawing from the League after the fixtures have been made, no additional team shall be placed in the vacancy for that season. The necessary adjustments will be made at the end of the season to bring all divisions back to normal again (teams will be moved strictly in the same order as they finished the season). All resignations, withdrawals, etc. must be received by the Divisional Secretary by the 1st of January. Teams withdrawn after this date will still be liable for league entry fees

Any club joining the League for the first time or re-joining or entering an additional team shall commence in the lowest division (Subject to places being available) unless the Committee determines otherwise.

Any disputes which may arise should be referred to the Leagues Organizer Rory Lynas whose decision shall be final and binding on all parties concerned.

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