Step-By-Step Guide to Captaining

League Captains are the largest group of volunteers in the USTA!
Your willingness to serve your team and the League in this leadership role is greatly appreciated.


Forming a team

Teams are formed in many ways. Some are groups of friends who start a team because they enjoy playing together. Others teams are structured by club pros or directors from their membership ranks. If you are looking for more players, check with your facility, local pro shops, or contact the Local League Coordinator. They may know of others who would love to join you. Don’t limit your team to only those you know. Half the fun of League Tennis is meeting and making new friends.

Getting Registered

  • The minimum number of players required must be registered on your roster in TennisLink prior to the team registration deadline. Check the website for dates and minimum number of players required for a team.
  • To register, players must be current members of the USTA, and have either a valid computer rating or self-rate.

Team Meeting

  • Have a team meeting and agree on the team philosophy. Is the team playing to win or playing for fun? Will only the strongest players play matches or will everyone participate equally? Who will decide the match lineups? If everyone on the team is aware of these issues and agrees, you will have a much more successful season as captain.
  • Having a coach, pro, or team manager assist you with team lineups may be helpful.

League Regulations

  • The captain, as well as all league players, must read and follow the rules and regulations.
  • National, sectional, state and local regulations are available online on the USTA League Program Resources Page. It is your responsibility as well as your players to know the rules. It is always a good idea for all players to keep a copy of the local regulations in their tennis bags. It is also a good idea to acquire Friend at Court to use as a general reference for the rules of tennis.

Player Availability

  • Ask each team member to go through the schedule and let you know of any conflicts.

Home Matches

  • Verify your match schedule online at TennisLink and confirm all home matches with your facility.
  • If lines need to be staggered, please contact your opponents at least 48 hours in advance of the match date.
  • Home teams provide tennis balls for matches.

One Week Prior To Match

  • Contact the opposing captain. Confirm when (day/time) and where (get directions if necessary). Confirm that the captain or an acting captain will be present for the match.
  • Verify home matches with your facility again and be sure courts are reserved.
  • Appoint an acting captain if you are not scheduled to play.

Day Before the Match

  • Verify your lineup.
  • Arrange alternates.
  • Check your roster on TennisLink. Make sure all players are registered.
  • Plan transportation and arrival time. Arrange carpools if necessary.

Match Day – Before Match

  • Print match scorecard from TennisLink. All eligible players will be listed on the scorecard.
  • Provide balls for home matches. Every match should be played with new USTA approved tennis balls appropriate for the court surface.
  • Meet with the opposing captain, exchange lineups, make court assignments, and provide any pertinent information about the courts or club/facility (location of restrooms, water, etc).
  • Exchange scorecard lineups BEFORE players walk onto the courts. See Local Regulations for specific details.

Immediately After the Match

  • Get the scores from all players and record on your scorecard.
  • Both captains should agree on the winners and scores.
  • When entering the scores into TennisLink, do so from the winner’s perspective.

After the Match

  • Winning team captain records the match scores in TennisLink within 48 hours of the match.
  • If the opposing captain enters the scores, carefully check the entries and confirm or dispute the entry.
  • If the winning captain does not enter the scores within 48 hours, notify your League Coordinator for follow up.

Throughout the Season

Have fun! Treasure the camaraderie and friendships with your teammates and enjoy the spirit of competition!