Rules and Regulations of Play

  1. Introduction to Love Stinks
  2. League Structure and Governance
    1. LSTL Committee
    2. Two-Session Format
    3. Ability-based Divisions
      1. Open Divisions
      2. Ladies 3.0
    4. LSTL Summer Social
  3. Division Assignments and Schedules
    1. Division Rosters
      1. Returning Players
      2. New Players
    2. Challenge Matches
    3. Divisional Match Play
      1. Schedule of Matches
      2. Match Formats
      3. Division Standings
      4. Tiebreaker Criteria
      5. League Awards
    4. Replacement Players
    5. Promotion/Relegation
  4. Rules of Play on the Court
    1. Scheduling a Match
    2. Providing Balls
    3. Rules of Conduct
    4. Disputed Calls
  5. Player Grievances and Appeals
    1. Code of Conduct Violations
    2. Uncompleted Matches
    3. Probationary Status
    4. Black List Status
    5. Defaults & Forfeits
  6. Miscellaneous

Introduction to Love Stinks

Welcome to the 10th season of the Love Stinks Tennis League (LSTL), York's premier non-profit, player-powered tennis league. Founded in 2004, the LSTL exists to provide local and area players a slate of matches against other members with similar skill sets and playing abilities during the course of the Spring, Summer, and Fall outdoor seasons. Not affiliated with or organized by any club or organization, the LSTL is a league designed by player, for players, and run by players, and allows players of both competitive and recreational backgrounds the ability to compete against each other within a structured, yet flexible, league format. Popularized by its player-friendly "make your own time and place" scheduling method, the Love Stinks Tennis League allows players to schedule matches on their own time, and at a place and time convenient to both competitors. Site locations all over York County have been utilized by players, including (but not limited to) the courts at Central York HS, Dallastown HS, Farquhar Park, Penn State York Campus, Red Lion HS, Springettsbury Park, Susquehannock HS, West York HS, York College of PA, York Suburban HS, and many more. The league encourages players to always select a free, outdoor location as the site of their matches in order to avoid the costs that come with club-run courts and/or indoor facilities and remain within the spirit of a low-cost, "wallet friendly" league.

While 2004 may have been the first season of play, it wasn't until the 2005 season that the name "Love Stinks" was selected by the league and its players. What began ten years ago with a handful of players has grown into the sizable league that Love Stinks is today, with over 80 different players competing across six divisions during the two sessions of the 2012 campaign. Players ranging from beginners and recreational players up to USTA rated 4.5's of both the male and female gender have participated in Love Stinks over the years, and continue to return each season.

Many league members are also members of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the governing body of USA Tennis. Membership in the USTA is open to any player of any gender, age, and skill level, and the majority of LSTL players are also involved in USTA Leagues, including summer, fall, and winter competitions that culminate in National Championship tournaments. The Love Stinks Tennis League is one of many organizationsrecognized by the USTA as a "grassroots" organization, providing the most local and personal interaction between players in the same area or region. And that local and personal feel is what makes Love Stinks the success it is with the players it serves each and every year.

The LSTL is open to both men and women of all ages and skill levels, and sexism, racism, excessive gamesmanship or poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated. While the LSTL is an independent organization and functions outside the normal operational model of the area's established tennis clubs, the league still believes in the importance of promoting participation in local clubs and club events. Through meeting new players over the course of a season, players not belonging to a club have the opportunity to meet and talk with various club members and explore the possibilities of club membership and the benefits of joining.

League Structure and Governance

LSTL Committee

Beginning in 2007, the Love Stinks Tennis League formed the first of its annual Committees, giving players the opportunity to participate in the development and decision-making process of the league. Two positions, that of League Coordinator and League Webmaster, are always represented on the committee, while the remaining positions are filled by players representing a cross-section of the league's demographics and skill sets/divisions. The size of the committee fluctuates, but typically holds around 6-7 members each season.

During its annual pre-season meeting, the Love Stinks committee lays out the divisional formats, approves any additions, changes, or deletions to the existing league rules, and makes determinations on the matters of awards (including but not limited to the prize money amounts, and player gift options). The committee is also responsible for approving the list of participating players, particularly in the case of those players who currentlyare on, or are returning from, probationary or black list status, as well as determining if any players from the previous season should be classified into one of these two groups.

Inclusion on the Love Stinks Committee is often on an invitation basis when a lack of interested persons exists. If, however, a player is interested in serving on the Committee they should contact the league coordinator (James Hollenbaugh) with their interest and to see if an open position exists on the committee for that season. Participation on the LSTL Committee is purely on a volunteer basis and helps the Love Stinks Tennis League maintain its non-profit and low-cost status for all participating players.

Two-Session Format

Beginning in 2012, the Love Stinks Tennis League switched to a new yearly format, consisting of two separate and distinct "sessions". The move to the two-session format provided the opportunity to give players the chance for additional matches that year (up to a maximum of 18 matches from the previous maximum of 12 matches) while effectively making the fall season a new chance at competitive success. Players are welcome toparticipate in just one, or both, of the sessions at their leisure. For those players heavily engaged in the USTA summer seasons, the second session's advantageous timing allows them to compete with their league teams during the first session's time frame, and then join LSTL in time for the start of the second session, without putting them at a disadvantage in completing their matches.

In both sessions, players begin with a "clean slate", and every player has an equal opportunity to compete for the division title. (Each player begins with 0 points, and records from previous sessions do not carry over.) Players are given approximately 9 to 10 scheduled matches within their division, and each player within a division will play all of the other players in their division at minimum one time.

Participation within a session is subject to all of the rules and regulations regarding match completion with no respect to any other session. Probationary or black list status can be applied to a player who does not make a serious & diligent effort to complete their matches by the designated league session deadline.

Ability-based Divisions

Since the third season of play (in 2005), the Love Stinks Tennis League has been divided into a series of "tiered divisions" that provide a progressively higher level of competitive balance amongst the participating players. Beginning with the upper-most division, down through the lower levels, the skill level will decrease, while keeping players of a similar caliber paired with players at the same level of play. This creates a more balanced and enjoyable level of competition amongst all players and helps minimize the potential of one or two players acting as "ringers" in a division below their ability level.

Division assignments are based on several factors, first and foremost being participation and results in previous sessions of the Love Stinks Tennis League. A player's results against common opponents in previous sessions provides the Committee with a direct comparison between players and a gauge of how a player matches up against other players at the same level. Additionally, the committee may consider a player's USTA rating,performance in other local organized events, and high school/collegiate team results when evaluating where a player should be placed. No player is guaranteed a certain division, as placement of players in the various divisions can greatly differ from session to session based on the number of players participating and the range of skill levels within that group.

Open Divisions

All players (with the exception of those in the Ladies 3.0 Division) are grouped into what are termed "Open Divisions", meaning open to all players regardless of age or gender. Anyone may participate in these divisions with the aforementioned determination of division placement being left to the league administrator, contingent upon committee agreement.

Ladies 3.0

Beginning in 2012, the Love Stinks Tennis League began offering a division for ladies with skill levels equivalent to a player with a USTA 3.0 NTRP or below. With an increasing number of ladies at the lower end of the rating spectrum, the ability to offer a ladies-only division for female players at this level became a reality. Varying in size based on the number of entrants, the division provides an all-female slate of matches designed to provide match play away from the bigger (and often wilder) hitting male counterparts.

LSTL Summer Social

With the adoption of the new two-session format in 2012, the LSTL Social has moved to late-July, directly between the two sessions. Held often at Farquhar Park in northern York City, the social offers an opportunity for non-competitive tennis play, socializing, food, awards, and distribution of the player gifts. Players from all divisions are able to meet, eat, and compete in a fun and laid-back atmosphere with players they would not see during the competitive sessions.

The date, time, and location of the Summer Social is always announced by early in the first session by the League Coordinator once the details of the event are finalized. Players are encouraged to bring a dish to share, as well as a chair (if they want to sit) and their own beverage (non-alcoholic).

Division Assignments and Schedules

Division Rosters

Prior to the start of each session, the LSTL League Coordinator will distribute to all players participating in that session a preliminary list of the divisions and the players assigned to them. This list represents the initial set of assignments by the committee, and is subject to change prior to the official start of the session. The list will include players who participated in the previous calendar session (Returning Members) as well as new league members and those who have played in past sessions and were not in the previous calendar session (New Members).

Returning Players

Returning members are assigned to a division based on their performance in the previous season as well as the range of players participating in the new session. It is not guaranteed that a player finishing at the top of his or her group will "move up" or that a player finishing at the bottom will "move down". While this would be the case in an ideal situation, a shift in the range of skill sets from one session to the next may cause a player to move up who otherwise would not have, remain in the same division, or move down where they would have remained. The first priority of the committee is to create a set of divisions that are both competitive and fair to those players involved. It is standing policy to avoid placing a player in a division where they will face a significant disadvantage or enjoy an equally unfair advantage whenever and wherever possible.

New Players

New members are placed in divisions based on the knowledge of the committee of the player's skill sets as well as other available information (including but not limited to USTA NTRP ratings, historical participation in LSTL in past years, participation in other area tennis events, and direct observation by LSTL committee members). Where returning members have a defined set of results on which to base their placement, the committee must often make a "best guess" on new players and will place players based on where they believe that player will best perform and have competitive, yet winnable, matches. Unlike returning players however, new players are subject to the very real possibility of a Challenge, and may have to defend their placement in a given division through a Challenge Match (see below).

Challenge Matches

Challenge matches are designed as a recourse for a returning player who would like the opportunity to play in a higher division than what they were placed in with the pre-session division rosters. If a returning player believes they have the ability to earn their way up into the division above through their play, they may issue a "Challenge Match Request" to the league coordinator. A returning member may not make a direct challengeagainst a new member; the challenge must be issued to the league coordinator, who will then randomly select a new member from the next higher division to play the challenge match. If there are more challenge match requests than new members, then the returning players with the worst records (and/or from the lowest division) from the previous session would be next in line to get assigned a challenge match.

Once the league coordinator has selected the challenge participants, the players have ten (10) days in which to schedule and play the challenge match. A challenge may be issued only once per session, and once a player has participated in a challenge match, he or she cannot participate in any additional challenge matches that session.

If a returning member wins their challenge match, that member will exchange places with the new memberthey have defeated. If a new member wins their challenge match and defends their placement, they and thechallenging returning member will be locked into their original positions for the session. If a new member failsto make a good-faith attempt to schedule the match in a timely manner, the challenge will be automaticallyawarded to the returning member, and the players will exchange places. If the returning member fails to makea good-faith attempt to schedule the match in a timely manner, the challenge will be voided and both playerswill play that session in the divisions originally assigned.

Note: For verification purposes, it is best to make arrangements for a challenge match at a minimum by email, as this will provide a "traceable" conversation that can be provided to the League Coordinator in the event there is question as to the timeliness and efforts to schedule a match.

Divisional Match Play

Once players have been assigned to their divisions and all challenge matches (if applicable) have been completed, match play may begin at the pleasure of each player. There is no "assigned order" to the matches a player must play, only the requirement that ALL matches must be completed by the announced session deadline. Players may play their matches in any order depending on the availability of their opponents.

Schedule of Matches

As mentioned above, there is no defined order to the match schedule for each player. At the start of each session, players are provided the list of opponents they will face in the division. Those opponents may be contacted and played in any order throughout the session.

When scheduling matches, it is best to contact 2-3 opponents at a time, in order to increase your chances of finding a player who is available on the days/times you are proposing. You should also include 2-3 dates/times in order to improve the odds that they will be available on one of those times. Note: It is not recommended that you contact a player and provide only one date/time for play. Any player receiving a request to schedule a match that contains only a single date/time is within their right to propose an alternative date/time if the one originally suggested is not feasible. As everyone's schedule is always in flux, it is good scheduling practice to provide each other options in order to find the best date/time for all involved.

Each session is approximately three months in length, and it is the recommendation of the league that players adopt a "three-per-month" rule, meaning three matches played per month in order to stay on schedule (see chart at right), when participating in a full, 10-player division. During the course of the session, the League Coordinator will use this rule as a gauge to evaluate the progress of each player and alert players who are falling behind by a significant margin that they are in danger of potentially not completing their matches in time.

Match Formats

There are two types of match format approved by the Love Stinks Tennis League, and all matches must be played in accordance with one of these two formats. The formats available are "Best-of-3, Full Third Set" and "Best-of-3, Super Tie-Break". Both players must agree on the format before the match begins. The only time the format may be altered is if both players agree prior to the start of the third set due to extreme heat, impending weather, approaching darkness, or unforeseen time constraints. (Players should take these factors into account before the match, however the league recognizes it is not always possible to foresee all issues that may arise during a match.) If no format can be agreed upon, the match format will always default to "Best of- 3, Full Third Set". If either player insists on this (before the match), this will be the format.

Best-of-3, Full Third Set: In this format, three full sets of ad-scoring games are played. Each set is a first to six (6) games, win by two format, with a "Set Tie-Breaker" (first to 7, win by 2) played at six (6)-games-all. A set is winnable by scores of 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, or 7-6(?) where the "?" represents a played tiebreaker. The winner of the match is the first player to win two sets.

Best-of-3, "Super Tie-Break": In this format, two full sets of ad-scoring games are played. Each set is a first to six (6) games, win by two format, with a 12-point tiebreak (first to seven (7), win by two) played at six (6)-games all. A set is winnable by scores of 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, or 7-6(?) where the "?" represents a played tiebreaker. If one player wins both the first two sets, that player wins the match. If, however, the first two sets are split between the players, a "Super Tie-Breaker" is played on the same format as a regular set tie-break, except the first player to 10 (instead of 7) points, win by two., wins the match. Thus, a Super Tie-Breaker can be won 10-0, 10-4, 10-7, 10-8, 11-9, 12-10, 13-11, etc. A tiebreak always continues until one player has reached the target threshold and holds a two (2)-point advantage.

Division Standings

Standings are based first and foremost on a "league-style point system". Players earn points in each match based on their performance. A win in any match earns a player two (2) points, while a loss in a match earns a player one (1) point. If for some reason one player does not schedule a match, does not play a scheduled match, or retires in a match prior to the completion of at minimum one (1) set, the match is considered a default win for the opponent who will receive the standard two (2) points for the win, while the defaulted player will receive zero (0) points and have the match classified as a "default". Similarly, if both players fail to make a timely effort to schedule a match prior to the completion of the session, the match will be declared an "unplayed" match and both players will receive zero (0) points. You can only earn points by playing a match, unless you are receiving a default.

Division standings are maintained via the website, and are available for each division of play. The standings provide a measure of a player's success in their matches throughout the session, and the results of the standings at the conclusion of the session are used to determine a player's final standing and qualification - if properly placed - for one of that division's awards. Each standings page will always display the current standings and updated standings are available immediately following the entry of a score. Players are listed in standings order based on the following criteria: (1) Match Points, (2) Number of Matches Played, (3) Head-to-head Results, (4) Fewest Sets Lost, (5) Fewest Games Lost.

There are three columns defining matches: Wins ("W"), Losses ("L"), and Defaults/Unplayed ("D/U") and the number of points a player has earned from their matches can be taken by using the formula "(W x 2) + (L x 1) + (DU x 0)". The number of sets lost ("SL") and games lost ("GL") are also listed. In the event of a tie, the website should display the players in the proper order, however the standings of each division are only considered final once they have been confirmed by the League Coordinator.

Tiebreaker Criteria

Ties between players are always broken under the method shown below. In the event that multiple players are tied, the tiebreaking criteria are applied in order until one player has definitively separated themselves ahead of the others or behind them. At that point, the placement of that player is determined and the appropriate tiebreaking criteria begin again from the beginning.

Two-player ties: If two players find themselves tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria are applied:

  1. Players are ranked based on the number of countable matches played.
  2. Players are ranked based on the head-to-head record in the match played between the two players.

Multiple-player ties: If more than two players are tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria are applied:

  1. Players are ranked based on the number of countable matches played.
  2. Players are ranked based on the head-to-head record amongst the tied players only.
  3. Players are ranked based on the fewest number of sets lost in matches played amongst the tied players only.
  4. Players are ranked based on the fewest number of games lost in matches played amongst the tied players only.
  5. Players are ranked based on the fewest number of sets lost in all matches played.
  6. Players are ranked based on the fewest number of games lost in all matches played.

If any ties can still not be broken using the rules listed above, then the League Committee will determine and utilize an appropriate method of determining which player(s) is/are considered winner(s) of the tie only where necessary to determine players receiving awards.

League Awards

League awards are given to those players finishing first, second, and third in each division, unless otherwise specified by the League Committee. These awards are based on a cash amount that is representative of the number of players within the division. Trophies are not typically awarded, however if a player wishes a trophy, he or she should inform the League Coordinator immediately after the awards are announced, and the cost of the trophy will be deducted from the player's prize money. If a player does not wish a trophy, or has a balance remaining after receiving their trophy, those amounts will be provided to players in the form of a gift card to a restaurant, retailer, or other organization (minus any card fees). Once the league awards are announced, it is the responsibility of those players receiving awards to indicate where they would prefer their gift card be from, otherwise a generic card will be provided (recent default has been a Sheetz gift card). Players will be notified when their awards are available and when/where they can be collected. Prizes not collected in a timely manner will revert to the League for future distribution as prizes.

Replacement Players

Replacement players are players not originally scheduled to participate in a league session, but who have been added due to the withdrawal or default of an originally scheduled participant. If a replacement player is added to the division, their schedule and standings will be adjusted based on the following methods.

Replacing a player with two or fewer played matches, and within one month of the session's start: In this situation, the one or two matches played by the original player - if any - are voided from both the replacement players schedule and standings and the schedule and standings of the other players involved. Those matches - if played - must be replayed prior to the end of the session with the replacement player receiving full credit for their performance in those matches. The replacement player will owe the full session registration fee as they will be playing a full match schedule.

Replacing a player with three or more played matches, or after one month of the session has passed: In these situations, the matches played by the original player to this point are reverted to default wins for the players against which the original player had already played, with the replacement player receiving 1 point for each of these matches (so as to have a fighting chance in standings). The replacement player will only be responsible for playing those matches that remained on the original player's schedule, and can only earn points for their performance in those matches they have played. The replacement player will owe a pro-rated registration fee as determined by the League Coordinator based on the match commitment they have been handed.


Movement between divisions (up - promotion, down - relegation) is dependent on a player's performance in a session, the number of players participating in the subsequent session, and the skill set of those players. While it is the philosophy that a player achieving a top ranking in one division should have the opportunity to play in a higher division, this can only be accomplished if the quality of the field in the subsequent session allows.

Because divisions are "fluid" in their skill sets each session (i.e. the "A" Division of Session I may be weaker than the "A" Division of Session II), a player may remain in the "same" division as the prior session, though find that the level of competition (both in his or her division or the division(s) ahead) has increased.

Likewise, a player who finishes at the bottom of a division may find that they remain in that division for the subsequent session as there are fewer players participating ahead of him or her, or the overall skill set of the field for the upcoming session has decreased. It will always be the responsibility of the League Committee to determine the best distribution of players across all divisions in a way that provides both a balanced and competitive league structure and does not place any one player at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Rules of Play on the Court

The Love Stinks Tennis League is a players league; by this we mean that the responsibility for scheduling, playing, and reporting the scores of a match lie with the players. The league maintains very few rules with regard to how matches are conducted (except in terms of the standard rules of play and match formats). We have included below the league-suggested guidelines that players should follow with regards to their matches.

Scheduling a Match

As mentioned previously, it is best practice when contacting members of your division, to provide multiple dates as options for scheduling your match. You should never attempt to force your opponent into a single date and time of your choosing. Likewise, you should be flexible in your location choices, taking into account both the location of yourself and the location of your opponent. For example, if you live in Dallastown and your opponent in West York, you may suggest either Dallastown High School or West York High School, but should also consider a location between you, such as York Suburban, York College, or Penn State York.

Also keep in mind court availability at the locations you are choosing/suggesting. Many court locations around the county are utilized by high school or collegiate teams, and these groups always have first priority on these courts when scheduled. Many other locations are "first-come-first-served" and you should consider the timing of your match if the location preferred by both players is considered a heavily-used location.

Finally, consider the day of the week, availability of lighting, and potential weather concerns. It is never permissible to schedule a match with an opponent with the knowledge that you will likely not complete the match in the available time. If there is a strong likelihood of inclement weather, you and your opponent should consider postponing the match to another evening/day when the weather will permit you to start and complete your match. If you choose to begin the match even when it is clear it will not be completed, you must resume the match from the point at which it was halted.

Providing Balls

It is the responsibility of each player to bring a fresh, new, and unopened can of balls to each match. There is no league-standard for balls, however when beginning a match the balls should be in playable condition and should not be flat or previously used under any circumstances. Either player may open their can of balls, however only one player should open their can, as the winner of the match will receive the unopened and unused can as their "prize".

If a player does not have an unopened can, and loses the match (assuming the opponent's can is used), that player will owe the opponent $3.00 as the league-designated equivalent of a single can of balls. If neither player has a new, unopened can of balls, the two players must find and agree to three "good condition" balls from amongst themselves, and the loser of the match will owe the winner the $3.00 can equivalent fee.

Note: If neither player brings an unopened can, then once three "good condition" balls have been selected and the match has begun, it will be considered that both players have consented to play with the chosen balls. No match result may be protested under this situation if the match has commenced. If three "good condition" balls cannot be agreed upon, the match should be rescheduled (no default will be considered as both players failed to provide new balls) by both players at a time when one or both can provide new balls for play.

Rules of Conduct

Players should conduct themselves in a cordial, polite, and fair manner when on court. It is considered poor sportsmanship to smash and break racquets, throw a "temper tantrum", swearing or cursing, or exhibit a generally sour attitude while on court. Violations of these codes should be brought to the immediate attention of the League Coordinator so they can be addressed and appropriate action taken if necessary.

Racial or ethnic slurs, or other comments regarding a player's sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, orientation, religion, or appearance WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Such comments should be immediately referred to the League Coordinator, and players found in violation of this section may be subject to immediate dismissal and/or permanently black-listed from the league.

Players should show courtesy to their opponents at all times, returning all balls to the server (except between first and second serves) and complementing them when appropriate. "Critiques" of a player's game should only be offered after a match, and even then only in a constructive manner. It is never appropriate to tell an opponent, either during or after a match, that they are "doing it wrong" or "out of control". If you feel so compelled, offer constructive advice while remembering that you yourself may one day also receive such advice; treat others with the same respect with which you would have them treat you.

Finally, consider the "Ten Commandments of Tennis Sportsmanship" as listed on the Philcrest Hills Tennis Club's website:

  1. Thou shalt know the "Rules of Tennis" and the "Code".
  2. Thou shalt not enter a court when play is in progress on adjacent courts.
  3. Thou shalt congratulate they opponents when they hit good shots.
  4. Thou shalt always announce the score.
  5. Thou shalt always begin a point with two balls if thou art serving.
  6. Thou shalt always wait to serve until thy opponent is ready to return.
  7. Thou shalt not ask for balls that have strayed to adjacent courts when play is in progress.
  8. Thou shalt call all shots in unless the shot is clearly out.
  9. Thou shalt not shout across adjacent courts for any reason.
  10. Thou shalt do unto thy opponent as thou wouldst want thy opponent to do unto thee.

Disputed Calls

"Lets" and line calls should be clearly and audibly called immediately. If during the course of a match, a dispute arises over a line call or rule, the disputing player may question their opponent as to the call. It is, however, the opponent's call, and the decision is theirs to make. If a player believes that multiple bad calls are being made, that bad calls are being intentionally made, or that there is a misunderstanding of the rules, that player should bring such a situation to the attention of the League Coordinator, who will determine if the situation has been handled correctly, if action should be taken, or (in extreme situations) if a match should be replayed.

It is never acceptable to make a deliberately incorrect call, especially as "payback" for an earlier perceived slight. The most common issues are calls with lines, and the rule is always if you did not see the ball CLEARLY out, then the ball is in so long as ANY portion of the ball is touching the appropriate line. Remember that the darker the lighting, the more difficult it is to see the ball clearly, and matches should be scheduled at locations with adequate (and available) lighting if you believe the latter stages of a match may enter a period of decreased visibility.

"Lets" can be called in the event of an interruption in play. If a let is called in the middle of a point, the point is replayed, with the server receiving a first serve. If a let is called between serves or during the service motion, the server will receive a first serve if the distraction or interruption is not of that court's causing (a ball rolling in from an adjoining court is a first serve, while an incorrectly called score or ball falling out of the server's pocket would be considered an on-court distraction and would not be grounds for a first serve).

Player Grievances and Appeals

Code of Conduct Violations

Players who violate the Code of Conduct as set forth in various sections of these rules, may be subject to penalties by the League Coordinator, including in this order: 1st complaint - issuance of a warning, 2nd complaint - the loss of 2 standings points (& forfeiture of chance of winning a multiple player tie in standings), 3rd complaint - disqualification from the session, and/or permanent "black-listing" from the league. Complaints are started fresh for each session. In any situation, the League Coordinator may refer the matter to the League Committee for review and determination, and in such a situation the League Committee will determine the appropriate course of action & execute through a committee vote.

Once a player has been informed of the determination of the League Coordinator or Committee, he or she will have five (5) calendar days to appeal the decision and any penalties or punishments included. All appeals will be handled by the League Committee within ten (10) days, and the determination/judgment of the committee regarding the appeal will be considered final.

Uncompleted Matches

Once the final day of play for a given session has passed, all unplayed and unreported match scores will be considered "Unplayed" matches and will be recorded as such. It is the responsibility of all players to make sure they have recorded their match results in a timely manner and prior to the deadline for that session. If a match has been played, and not recorded, and the deadline for that session has passed, the league considers them "Unplayed". Only by providing testimony from both players that the match was scheduled and played by the session deadline will the League Coordinator consider including the result of that match in the final standings. Once the final standings for a division have been announced, they will not be adjusted if a late match score is reported.

Probationary Status

A "Probationary Status" can be assigned to a player in the event they have not completed all of their matches in the previous session, have assigned this status due to Code of Conduct violations, or are a first-time player. If a player is declared to be on "Probationary Status", that player must adhere to several rules and guidelines and finish the next session in good standing to remove themselves from this status.

First and foremost, a player on "Probationary Status" must complete all/100% of their assigned matches in the following session. This shows an active or renewed commitment to fulfilling their obligations to match play as a league member.

Second, a player on "Probationary Status" must complete that same session without significant violation of rules regarding play and conduct to show themselves in good standing with the league rules.

If a player on "Probationary Status" successfully completes these and all additional guidelines provided, they will be removed from this status and enjoy full participation and league membership privileges. If a member is assigned "Probationary Status", and does not believe he or she should be classified as such, he or she has five (5) days from notification to appeal the decision to the League Coordinator. If he or she so chooses, the League Coordinator may refer the matter to the League Committee for review at which time the League Committee will determine the appropriate course of action.

Black List Status

If a player has been designated "Black List Status", that player will not be eligible to participate in any Love Stinks Tennis League matches or events until such time as that designation has been lifted. "Black List Status" may be applied to a player who has failed to make any concerted effort to complete their matches to the detriment of their division, their opponents, and the league, to any player found guilty of a serious offense or violation of the Code of Conduct, or to any other player so deemed as qualifying by the League Committee.

The "Black List Status" can only be removed from a player by vote of the League Committee, and a player who has been designated as such must appeal directly to the Committee and provide grounds on which the status should be overturned or why such a status should not be applied. Any player whose "Black List Status" is overturned must complete two successive sessions - without incident or violations - under "Probationary Status" before they can be returned to "Good Standing".

Defaults & Forfeits

Default victories are awarded to players for the following reasons:

  1. E-mail communications evidence is provided to the league administrator to demonstrate a diligent effort to contact an opponent to schedule their match & the opponent did not respond promptly or follow through to schedule the match in a timely manner. Note: The initial e-mail must be dated at least 2 weeks prior to the session deadline to be a valid default request.
  2. No-Show for a scheduled match that can be documented (to the league administrator) w/e-mail conversations between the 2 players involved.
  3. A player may forfeit their match to their opponent. However, this action is frowned upon by the league. The player forfeiting the match will not receive any points in standings & will not receive credit for this match as "completed", while the player receiving the forfeit will be awarded the 2 points in standings for a victory & it will count as a "completed" match.
  4. Lateness for matches. Players showing up more than 10 minutes late for matches should be reported to the league administrator, so we can track repeated lateness patterns by players. This is a situation we've all been in & can understand. It is always best to try to reschedule the match or finish it another time if lateness by your opponent causes a problem in completing your scheduled match. But for the record, any player showing up more than 20 minutes late for their scheduled match without contacting their opponent via cell phone call or text will forfeit their right to count the match as played. In other words, the player standing around hitting serves, wondering where their opponent is & if they're even showing up, will earn the prerogative to claim the match as a win, regardless of the actual result. The match must still be played in order for the "late player" to still get credit for the "completed" match & to receive their 1 point in standings.


There are no miscellaneous rules, regulations, or codes at this time.

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