Local Program Rules

USTA Junior Team Tennis
2024 Regulations

USTA Safe Play
USTA Junior Team Tennis coordinators and coaches/managers are required to complete USTA Safe Play background screening and the online education from U.S. Center for Safe Sport on a biennial basis. Coordinators and coaches/managers who do not have current screening will not have access to TennisLink to create teams, register players, enter scores, etc. This is a very streamlined process and like with USTA membership, coordinators and coaches will receive a notice before their Safe Play approval expires. 

League Fee
The local participation fee is $22.00 per season. USTA Membership is required for participation in Junior Team Tennis. There is no cost associated with Junior Membership.

Age Eligibility
Players participating on teams advancing to State Championships must remain age eligible through the date of the event. Otherwise, for the Junior Team Tennis program players should be age eligible through the duration of the season in which they are playing. Exceptions based on ball type or limited team options at a given site, must be approved by the Program Coordinator. Players may not play up more than one age division.

Ability Level
Coaches should consider these Play Level Guidelines when organizing teams and placing players.  

Rules Regarding Ranked Players
All questions regarding placement, especially exceptions to the stated criteria, should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Team Composition
Each team roster must be submitted with a minimum of 7 players (any combination of boys and girls), however, more are recommended.

Entry Deadline
The team entry deadline will be strictly enforced. Teams must have the required minimum number of players at the entry deadline. Teams that do not have the minimum number of players must be deleted by the team entry deadline. Team entries after the deadline and prior to the start of the season may be considered for a flight/division where there is a Bye, and only if the team has the required minimum number of players.

Adding Players
Players may be added to a registered team after the initial team registration deadline.  Players must be officially registered on TennisLink prior to participating in a match.

Ineligible Player
Any player not listed on a roster in accordance with these rules shall be considered an ineligible player, and match results of ineligible players will be considered a default. 

Championships Eligibility
All players must have credit for participating in two team matches during the regular season to be eligible for Championship play. If a player is scheduled to play and his/her opponent forfeits the match, that match will count one time as a match played towards the two-match history.

Confirming Matches                     
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!  Home team coaches/managers must contact visiting team coaches/managers at least three days prior to the scheduled match (by end of day on Wednesday)  to confirm location, time and line up status.. Everyone is encouraged to work out any time or line-up conflicts that may arise during the season. With the agreement of both coaches/managers, scheduled matches can be played earlier than the scheduled date. However, if a match is scheduled early, the Program Coordinator must be notified in order to make the match official. Team coaches/managers must keep one another informed regarding the status of their line-up.  

Home Courts
If for some unforeseen circumstance the home team is unable to provide courts for any match at the scheduled time, the visiting team has first option of providing their courts. If the visiting team does not elect to provide its home courts, the responsibility reverts to the home team to provide an alternate site, or teams may agree to adjust the start time or stagger matches.

Match Times
Participants are encouraged to be flexible and willing to slightly adjust start times (i.e. 1:30 instead of 1:00 or 2:30 instead of 2:00), in advance, in the case of overlapping league play conflicts. 

In the spring and fall seasons the match times are as follows:

  • Sunday, 1:00 PM
    8&U Beginner and Intermediate
    10&U Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

  • Sunday,  2:00 PM
    12&U Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

  • Sunday, 3:00 PM
    14&U Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced
    18&U Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

Team Line-Up
Team coaches/managers, or representatives may communicate their line-up in advance via email, otherwise, must provide their line-up in writing and exchange simultaneously prior to starting play. If line-ups have been communicated by email any changes must be communicated before lineups are exchanged. Last-minute substitutions may be made only in the event of illness, injury or absence of a player. Substitutions may not be made after a point has been played in that position.

Score Entry
Scores of each match must be recorded and confirmed by representatives for both teams. Although both teams have access to enter match scores, it is the responsibility of the home team to enter the scores online, within 48 hours – no later than 5:00 PM on Tuesday following Sunday matches. Scores that are not entered on time may be recorded as zero, one week following a verbal/written request issued by the Program Coordinator. Scores that are not entered on line within 48 hours following the last scheduled match of the season may be recorded as zero.

Regular Season Format

  • The number of teams in each division/flight will determine the number of weeks of play. All divisions/flights will typically play a seven to nine-week season, regardless of the number of teams in the flight. 

  • 12&U and 14&U Beginner and Intermediate Divisions, and 12 & Under Advanced: will play best of 3 – 4 game short sets with a match tiebreak in lieu of the third set. The set tiebreak is played at 3 all. 

  • 14&U Advanced, 18&U Intermediate and Advanced: will all play best of 3 – 6 game sets with a match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. The set tiebreak is played at 6 all.   

  • A match tiebreak is the first to 10 points by a margin of 2 (rather than first to 7 for a set tiebreak).

  • Team matches will consist of 3 singles matches and 1 doubles match.  Players should be lined up based on their ability (i.e. strongest player at 1 singles and weakest player at 3 singles). 

  • Team winners will be determined by the team with the most individual match wins. In the event a team match ends in a tie that cannot be broken by TennisLink, the team win will be determined by the Line 1 singles win.

  • Flight winners will be determined by the team with the greatest number of team matches won. If two or more teams are tied, the team with the most individual matches won (then most games won) will advance. In the event there is a tie in games won, the winner of head-to-head during the regular season will advance.

Substitute Players
Only the match results for players listed on the team’s roster will count towards standings.  Technically, the match is forfeited when registered players are not available, however, coaches/managers are encouraged to promote play by finding a substitute to play the match against the opponent, when registered players are not available. Only subs that meet the criteria for age and skill level for a division/flight should be used. Players may not sub down.

Monitoring Forfeits
Each week the Commissioners will be reviewing the standings page and team match results to be sure that scores have been entered, and to monitor forfeits. Forfeits, especially those that have not been communicated in advance, are the greatest source of frustration among league players, parents and coaches. Please be sure to communicate with the opposing Site Coordinator as well as the Commissioners regarding forfeits – yours and your opponents. Excessive forfeits (above an average of 2 per team or over 5 per any one site) may result in site probation/suspension for the next season.

Please be as lenient as possible, within reason, about defaults, such as for tardiness.

It is the responsibility of the home team to provide a new can of balls for each individual match (four cans per team match). All match balls should be returned to the home team coach/manager, or representative.

Low Compression balls are required for the following divisions: red for all 8 & Under; orange for 10 & Under Beginner and Intermediate; and green for 10 & Under Advanced and 12 & Under Beginner and Intermediate.

Warm Up
Warm up is limited to 10 minutes, including practice serves.

Coaching is not permitted for any division or flight, except “assistance” is required in the 10 and Under Divisions. Team coaches/managers, teammates or spectators may not volunteer advice on line calls or scoring. Excessive cheering or clapping is not permitted. It is the responsibility of both teams’ coaches/ managers, or representatives, to work together to control the conduct of the spectators during the match.

Team Practices
The weekly practice component is very important in the USTA Junior Team Tennis program. Learning opportunities will be identified, by coaches/managers/parents, during team match play. Organized practices are a fun time for players to get together with their teammates for instruction and play. 

The home team is responsible for providing water. It is optional for the home team to furnish additional refreshments. This is a common practice for other team sports and a great idea for parents to coordinate, especially in the younger age divisions.

Rain Out Rules

  • A decision to cancel matches due to inclement weather must be announced by 11:00 AM. It is up to each individual site to communicate with the opposing team point of contact and to have a process to inform their players.

  • In the event of rain, incomplete individual matches will stand as played. The same players at the exact game and point must resume incomplete matches as they stood when play was halted. Players will have ten days to make up their match. If no day can be agreed upon, the match must be played on the 11th day. If it rains on the 11th day, the match must be made up the next day there is no rain. Incomplete matches (not retired matches) not made up by the end of the season will be entered as a default for both teams and players will not receive credit for a match played. The first point in a match signifies the start of that match and sets the match. The existing line-up and forfeits stand.

  • In the event a match is canceled due to rain, teams must follow the same procedure.  However, in this situation, individual matches that had been forfeited in advance may be reinstated. Also, there may be a built-in rain date at the end of the regular season for the first rained out match. 

Player Suspensions
Any player who has been suspended from USTA competition will be suspended from any local or Championship USTA Junior Team Tennis play falling during the suspension period.