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Texas Cup 2015 Rules

I. Lineup Development and Submittal

1. All Texas Cup participants must be members in good standing of their respective clubs prior to the Texas Cup competition.

2. Team captains must rank their lineups according to the strength of the team’s players in order to foster fair and competitive play for all event participants.  “Sandbagging,” i.e., listing a strong player or team below a weaker player or team is strongly discouraged.

3. The ranked team lineup should consist of at least 24 singles players, and 12 doubles teams, present at the event and physically capable of competing. Players do not have to play in both events.

4. The ranked team lineup shall be reasonably based on each participant’s relative playing ability and experience.  Team captains should base their ranking decisions on regularly scheduled league play, ladder results, intra-team competitive play, and results in tournaments sanctioned by the GLTA and USTA.  However, it is ultimately up to each team to set their own criteria for ranking the strength of individuals and teams.

5. Team captains must submit the FINAL team lineup for both singles and doubles at 8:30 a.m. on the Saturday morning on which Texas Cup is to begin.

6. For singles match play, only alternates listed on the official team roster may replace a participant listed on the singles team lineup after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.  The alternate must be placed in the same position on the ranked team lineup occupied by the injured or sick participant.  All team captains must approve the use of any alternate.

7. Only alternates listed on the official team roster may be used for the doubles competition.  Moreover, alternates may be used in the doubles competition only in the case of injury or illness to a participant originally listed on the ranked team lineup.  Doubles teams may not be rearranged to accommodate the alternate.  Rather, the alternate must be placed in the same position on the ranked team lineup occupied by the injured or sick participant.  If a team has placed all its alternates in the doubles competition and there are spots remaining to be filled, the team must forfeit those doubles matches for which it does not have a complete doubles team ready to compete.  All team captains must approve of the use of any alternate.

II. Match Format and Play

8. SINGLES – Each team will play twenty-four (24) ranked singles players.  Each of the twenty-four (24) singles players will play one (1) match against a player from one (1) of the other teams.

9. DOUBLES – Each team will field twelve (12) doubles teams on Saturday and Sunday.  Each of the team’s doubles teams will play two (2) matches – one (1) against each of the other teams.  Once a doubles team starts the first match, that same team must play the second match. Alternates cannot be substituted once the first match has been started.

10. At 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, team captains will draw team Letter assignments (A, B, and C.) An already-existing play schedule will then be populated with each team’s line-ups based on the letter drawn by the team captain.

11. USTA Rules will apply to all matches.  Every participant should understand and follow the “Rules of Tennis and Cases and Decisions,” as well as “The Code” as a handbook of ethics and fair play.  The Home team shall have copies of “The Code,” and the “Rules of Tennis and Cases and Decisions,” available for consultation during match play.  Additionally, the Host team is responsible for having a non-playing USTA official present on-site for all matches.

12. A match is considered underway once the individual participants begin their warm-up on the court assigned for match play. Warm-up is limited to ten (10) minutes, including practice serves.  The coin toss, or racquet spin, for serve shall occur prior to the start of the warm-up period.  Once the match has begun, play must be continuous throughout the match as specified in USTA Rules.  Retirement from play will result in a win for the opposing team.  Unless otherwise agreed to by all match players or otherwise specifically provided in these Rules, no one other than the participants is allowed on the playing court, or an adjacent court, except in the case of injury or illness.

13. All matches will be the best two (2) of three (3) sets.  The 12-point tie-break, as specified by USTA Rules, will be in effect anytime the score reaches 6-all in any set.  At the conclusion of the second set, any player shall be entitled to a rest period of ten (10) minutes.  Good sportsmanship and conduct are expected from the participants and spectators.  In the spirit of fair competition, participants are expected to make accurate line calls.

14. In the event of continued disputes over line calls, a participant may request a linesperson, who will be provided if available.  Play will continue within five (5) minutes while attempts are made to obtain a linesperson.  The first choice for a linesperson should be a non-playing USTA official.  Second choice should be a non-participating spectator who is familiar with the rules of tennis but is not a member of any team.  Third choice should be a member of the team that has no participants in that particular match.  A participant can call a foot fault on an opponent after one warning.  Moreover, a participant, team captain, or acting team captain, may request a foot-fault judge.  Foot faults shall be enforced strictly during all matches.

15. Coaching is allowed only during changeovers, the two minute breaks between sets and the optional ten (10) minute rest period between sets two (2) and three (3).  Coaching may be done by the team captain or by any team member.  Only team captains are allowed to remain on the court during play.  Abuses of coaching rules will be addressed by calling the Tournament Referee; complaints about coaching abuse may be made only by players involved or team captains.
III. Match Schedule

17. The Host team captain must inform the other team captains what time matches will be scheduled to begin each day (Matches start at 9am). The Home team must furnish one unopened can of USTA approved yellow balls for each match.  If a match extends to a third set, any match participant may request a new can of balls for use during the third set.

18. Each team captain is responsible for informing their participants of scheduled match times.  A fifteen (15) minute default time will be imposed for all matches.  Defaults will not be official until all three (3) team captains approve that the match should be defaulted, but this approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.  If a player is less than fifteen (15) minutes late for the scheduled start of a match, then the progressive point and game penalties included in the USTA Rules shall apply.  Accordingly, participants should arrive for their matches more than 15 but less than 30 minutes prior to their scheduled start time to expedite play.

19. Each team must have a team captain or acting team captain present at all times during all match play.

20. Each match win earns a team one point.  Total number of points earned at the end of the competition determines the winner of the Texas Cup.  In the event of a tie, the following tiebreakers shall be used, in order, until the tie is broken:
(a) the difference between each team’s total number of sets won and total number of sets lost;
(b) the number of each team’s matches won in two sets versus three sets;
(c) the head-to-head match-ups between the tied teams; and
(d) the total number of games given up to all opponents.
If none of these methods breaks the tie, the teams shall be declared Co-Champions.

IV. Inclement Weather

21. In the event of rain, completed matches will stand as played.  The same participants must resume incomplete matches at the exact set, game and point that the match stood when halted.  Line-ups for matches not started must conform to the ranked team lineups, and substitutions for incomplete matches must conform to the rules for the placement of alternates.

22. If the teams have assembled to play and the event is delayed or interrupted by rain or wet courts, teams should be prepared to wait one (1) hour to determine if the courts become playable.  If the courts are still not playable after one (1) hour has elapsed, teams are free to leave and reschedule, unless all team captains agree to wait longer.  If rain delays prevent the completion of full matches, the team captains must agree on alternative scoring methods, such as eight (8) game pro sets with no-ad scoring.

23. If the temperature on the court is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and all team captains agree, matches may be postponed.  Teams must wait one (1) hour to determine if the temperature at the courts falls within the playable range.  Court temperature must be taken at the top center of the net by thermometer.  If no thermometer is available, no match delay is permitted.  All participants scheduled to play in a match must be present at the courts to cancel that match because of temperature.

24. Once a match has begun, it must be completed except in the event of rain or other inclement weather that creates hazardous playing conditions.  High winds, by themselves, are not grounds for stopping play.

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