LEAGUE RULES (amended for season 2019/2020)

1.   The League shall be called


Administration and Management

2.   The League shall be governed by a Committee elected annually at the Annual General Meeting and shall consist of the following:

      Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Match Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Lancashire & Cheshire Inter-League Secretary, Hon. Table Tennis Development Officer, Hon. Tournament Secretary, along with eight elected representatives.

      This Committee shall have power to decide all questions relating to the eligibility of players, the interpretation of the League Rules and shall have full jurisdiction over all matters or business concerning the League whether covered in these Rules or not and its decision shall be considered final, subject to appeal.

      Should any member of the said Committee be interested or concerned in any dispute, claim or protest, they shall not remain in the room whilst such a case is being decided.

      The Committee shall appoint annually a President and Vice-Presidents.

      The Committee shall have power to co-opt other persons qualified to assist in administering the affairs of the League. The quorum necessary for the Management Committee shall be five. If any member of the Committee absents themselves from three consecutive meetings without submitting apologies for absence, he will be deemed to have resigned.

3.   Notices of Motion for new rules, amendments or alterations to existing Rules must be made in writing to the League Secretary not later than the last Saturday in April of each year for consideration at the AGM. Nominations for Officers of the League and for the Committee for the following year must also be made in writing to the League Secretary by the last Saturday in April.

All outstanding debts must be settled before the AGM for a team to be invited back into the league the following season.

4.   (a) At the Annual General Meeting the Officers of the League and the elected members of the Committee shall have one vote. Teams that completed the previous season shall have one vote per team. A proxy may be nominated in advance to vote, who are themselves not already a team representative.

      (b) Any club not represented at the Annual General Meeting shall be fined the sum of £6.00


5.   The annual team subscription fee shall be paid upon application for entry in the League. All team subscriptions shall be paid as a condition of entry in the official handbook and are non-returnable. For a team consisting entirely of juniors, the team fee shall be waved.

League Set Up

6.   All players must be registered and fully paid up Player Members in accordance with ETTA rules prior to playing in any league or cup match.

A junior is a person under 18 years of age on 31st December during the current administrative year.

Should a team member play in any league or cup match without being a fully registered Player Member, any wins gained by that player within the match will be forfeited. The non-defaulting players will retain their own wins.

Any person associated with a registered team e.g. Non-Playing Team Secretary or Non-Playing Team Coach must also be fully registered Associate Members in accordance with Table Tennis England  rules.

No player may sign on for more than one club.

All teams entering the league do so on the understanding that their players will abide by the Code of Conduct and that any disciplinary procedures are dealt with by and through the Committee.

7.   (a)  The signing on of any player to a club shall be subject to the approval of the Management Committee. In particular, the Management Committee shall approve the signing on of any player after 31st January.

      (b)  A player who wishes to transfer to another club shall make application to the Match Secretary who shall place the application before the Management Committee. If the application is approved, the player will be eligible to play for their new club immediately.

8.   The signing on of any player normally residing outside a radius of 20 miles from Bolton Town Hall will be accepted only on the understanding that the player will play in at least six League matches subsequent to signing on. Once this number of appearances cannot be attained, the player's playing record will be expunged

9.   A player must have played in 50% of League matches to qualify for inclusion in the leading averages.

10.  (a) The Management Committee shall have power to divide the League into Divisions when deemed advisable.

      b)   At the end of the season teams shall be promoted and relegated at the discretion of the Management Committee.

11.  The various Divisions of the league shall be decided as follows: In each match the total number of points to be played for by a team shall be a maximum of 27. A team will be awarded points equal to the number of ends won. In the event of a tie on points at the end of the season the record of match wins will decide.

A further tie on match wins will be decided by a play off. This Rule will apply to both Championship and Runners-up positions in every Division.

12.  (a)  Apart from players forming parts of relegated teams, no player is allowed to play in a lower division than in the previous season without the prior approval of the Management Committee.

     (b)  Clubs with more than one team shall enter each team separately stating the players for each team. Further signings will be to a specific team in the club.

      (c)  The step up rules are as follows:

(i) Any player may play for another team in their own squad providing that the team is higher in the league tables and the player’s % average of their own division is less than the third placed player for the team in the divisional averages. After the first week, one player only may be used from a different club or squad providing they are assigned to a team in a lower division and there are five teams between them in the league tables. They can only represent the one team in any one fixture. The bottom six teams in the league may use any player from any team in the bottom six.

 (ii) Any registered player may play as a substitute for any other player within the league a maximum of six times within a season.

(iii) Any player achieving an average of 80% or over in the previous season and remaining in the same division are excluded from stepping up for other teams.

(iv) If either (i), (ii) or (iii) are broken a team may choose that the player remains with their own team, pays a £3 fine and forfeits any wins or is permanently transferred to the higher team at the discretion of the Committee.

      (d) All teams will be charged a fee to cover the cost of the Individual Championships. Only those players who return the form by the required date will be entered in the draw. Prizes will be assessed by the Committee after expenses have been deducted.

      (e) The following players should be “starred” as only being eligible to play in the Division of their deemed standard for any Individual Championship.

(i) Any player who has played in a higher division during the last three years who is now playing in a lower division without having been part of a team relegated to that division.

(ii) Any player whose team finished in one of the top two places in the division the previous season, who voluntarily did not take part in promotion to the higher division.

13.  All protests regarding match procedure or results must be made in writing and be in the hands of the League Secretary within seven days after the match, and must be accompanied by a fee of £5.00 which will be returned if the protest is upheld.

14.  If a team resigns from the League after enrolment, no money shall be refunded and all matches played by the team shall be expunged from the League table.

15.  Any correspondence sent out to a club or player from the Management Committee which requests a reply must be answered within 14 days or the offending club or player may be fined a sum not exceeding £3.00 and depending on the gravity of the offence may be further dealt with by the Management Committee. Non-payment of fines within one month of being imposed will result in a further fine of £1.00 per week or part of a week that the money remains unpaid. 

Match Procedure

16.  A team shall consist of 3 players. Nine singles (sets) will be played, each to be the best of five games. The home team shall enter their players on the match card followed by the away team and the sets to be played as follows:

1x2, 3x1, 2x3, 3x2, 1x3, 2x1, 3x3, 2x2, 1x1. Home team first, in each case, to be played as far as possible in the above order. The visitors' umpires must officiate in the first and alternate games.

17.  Both Captains shall see and initial the card before the Home Captain posts it. Should the match card fail to reach the Match Secretary by SEVEN postal days after the match, a fine of £3.00 will be imposed in the first instance; the Committee will deal with any subsequent offence.

18.  Full teams must be played in all matches, which must start not later than 7.30pm.  By 8.15pm teams must be represented by at least two players.

Beyond this time the 3rd player of either side may absent themselves for as long as the match can continue without stopping.

19.  If one player from each team is present at 7.30pm then they should play their game even though it might not be according to the card.

20.  Clubs not playing a full team shall be fined £3.00 for every player short of a full team. Subject to non-compliance with Rule 21 any full team failing to attend a fixture will be fined £12.00. Should any infringement of this Rule by insertion of fictitious entries on the Score Card come to the notice of the Committee, a fine of £12.00 will be imposed.

21.  All league matches must be played on, or before by agreement, the date stated in the Official Handbook or at the latest with the agreement of both the opposing Team Secretary and the Hon Match Secretary, at any point during the fixture week stated within the official handbook.

Teams in the lowest division only consisting entirely of juniors may opt for home fixtures only.

A match can only be rearranged:

(a) If the home team's venue is not available as shown in published fixtures, otherwise a letter/email of confirmation is required from the Secretary and validation must be expected by a member of the Committee.

(b) If extreme weather/road conditions prevailed on the fixture night.

Any team, which concedes a match without informing the Match Secretary and opposition, will be fined £12.00. The Secretary of any club team requiring rearrangement in accordance with 21 (a) or (b) above must inform the Match Secretary of the new date that they have agreed with the opposing Captain/Team Secretary. This must be played by the end of the fourth fixture week from week 1 which contained the original fixture. (Cup weeks and Individual Championships are not classed as fixture weeks.)

Beyond this, should the match remain un-played the result will be determined by the Committee at the next appropriate meeting. This also applies to any match not completed by the end of the first week following the end of the league season.

Any team which defaults on a fixture will lose the match to 0. The non-defaulting team will be awarded an averaged score based on the number of matches played or the first seven matches whichever is the latter (.5 and above are rounded up.)

The minimum number shall be 3 sets awarded. The players due to play the fixture will be awarded the sets.

Any team which defaults on playing three fixtures will be expunged from the league along with their playing record.

22.  It shall be the responsibility of a club changing its Secretary, headquarters or match night, or the Secretary changing their address, to notify the League Secretary and Match Secretary in writing and to advise the Secretary of each club in the Division or Divisions to which they are attached. Where a club changes its match night, all opponents for home matches must be sent a reminder at least seven days and not more than ten days before each fixture.

23.  The top two teams in each Division shall receive a set of mementoes. Clubs having one or more teams competing shall not allow players to compete for mementoes in more than one team.

24. The League allows only for three mementoes to champions and runners-up of each Division. All extra mementoes above three per team should be ordered and paid for in advance direct with our preferred supplier by the team concerned.

25.  The Committee shall have power to withhold the trophies from any club at its discretion. The General Secretary must be informed if collection will not take place on finals night before the trophies are ordered otherwise they will be fined £12 towards the cost of those trophies. Monetary prizes will be forfeited.

26.  When a game is being played the home Captain must ensure that there is no interference.

27.  Members of all teams competing in all sections must wear officially approved clothing. A playing shirt, shorts or skirt shall be mainly of a uniform colour other than white, but the collar and sleeves of a playing shirt may be of contrasting colour or colours other than white.

28.  Matches shall be played in accordance with the current Laws of Table Tennis as adopted by Table Tennis England.


1.   All premises should have adequate lighting over

(a) the table and

(b) the adjacent playing area as defined in Venues rule 3.

2.   For those rooms with a light background, an orange ball should be used if one can be made available.

3.   There should be a clear playing area of not less than 21 feet by 13 feet.

Code of Conduct

1.   All players must show respect for their opponents, umpires and spectators by conducting themselves in a sporting manner. Gratuitous swearing, intimidation or misuse of equipment must not take place at any time on the premises of any match under the control of the League.

2.   Any complaint must be made in writing to the General Secretary within seven days of the match. A justified complaint can result in the withdrawal of a player's registration.

3.   Any complaint will be delegated by the Committee to be heard by a Disciplinary Committee. This will be chaired by a member of the League Committee and consist of members of the Committee not involved, plus Secretaries of clubs or any other proxy senior club representative not involved in the complaint to make up a quorum of at least five. Any decision will be decided by a secret ballot.

Cup Competitions

‘Warburton Cup’  -                 (This competition is for all teams in the League).

‘Brian Gittins Cup’

            (This competition is for the Premier Division and Division 1.)

‘George Yates Trophy’

            (This competition is for teams in Divisions 2 & 3.)

‘Ron Hindle Memorial Trophy’

            (This competition is for teams in Divisions 4 & 5.)

1.   Teams may opt out of one or more cup competitions at the time of team registration.

2.   The entire control and management of the Competitions shall be vested in the Table Tennis Committee.

3.   Matches are played under the same rules as league matches with the following exceptions.

4.   All cup competition players must have initially played one league match.

In order to play a semi-final and final a player must have played in a minimum of five league matches up to the semi-final and final for their own club.

No fines will be levied for playing incomplete teams under the foregoing circumstances.

Should any team include a player who is not eligible according to this Rule then it shall forfeit three sets for each ineligible player.

5.   The first two rounds of the Warburton Cup are to be played in two sections. The entries shall be placed in rank order by the Committee and divided into two sections. Each set of a cup match will consist of 4 games. The total points from the four games will be entered on the scorecard. The total points from the 9 sets together with the handicap shall determine the result.

All cup competitions are handicapped. The handicaps are calculated as follows:

Add the three player places together for each team as published online from the cumulative averages. Subtract one total from the other. Divide by three and round down to get an average separation. Teams with an average separation of five or less will be on scratch. For the rest, the handicap will be 33 plus 1.15 per place separation with 0.5 added to the total, subject to a maximum handicap of 301.5. The handicap for each average place separation will be put online. 

6.   All cup ties are to be played on the home night of the home team. If this is shared with another team then whichever team has to change must offer convenient dates to their opponents as far as possible within that cup week. Failing that, it must be played by the next cup round. The Match Secretary must be informed of the new arrangements by the home team. All cup finals should be played at a neutral venue, if requested by one of the teams.

Cups and Trophies

7.   Cups and Trophies cannot be won outright and at all times will remain in the custody of the League. Should a club following presentation of a cup/trophy wish to take temporary custody then the recipient shall sign a receipt undertaking full responsibility as per regulations laid down by the League.

Cups and trophies must be returned to the Match Secretary (if necessary via the Hilton Centre) in good condition at least two weeks prior to the presentation evening, otherwise a £3.00 fine will be imposed.

8.   The interpretation of these Rules and any matters not provided for in the Rules shall be dealt with by the Committee as it deems fit.


1. All Inter-league teams must be entered through the Committee.

2. All senior Inter-league teams should pay their own expenses and fines.

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