In recent league meetings, timekeeping has been much discussed and we agreed to issue further guidance to captains and players. Many players would like to see matches finish typically by 10-10.15pm and some venues also have problems with late finishes.
The rules are unchanged, as per last season's handbooks but here is the guidance.
Matches should start by 7.15pm and there is no objection to them starting early by agreement. So please normally aim to arrive by 7pm to start 7.15 prompt.
A short period of playing-in time (2mins) may be allowed (but this does not mean 100 forehands and 100 backhands!). Similarly a short (1min) pause between legs if you need it (e.g. a swig of water). If we take 5mins extra every time then 12x5mins makes a whole extra hour and we finish very late.
Where practicable it is preferred to offer refreshments during play rather than a separate refreshment break (unless of course all sides are happy to take a break).
Captains please take responsibility for managing the timekeeping of the match, including the readiness of your players to play or umpire when needed. Also home captains please check any venue issues with your club officers, and do what you can to ensure the match can start on time (e.g. table setup, security, whatever).
Captains should briefly discuss timekeeping at the beginning (eg "let's keep it moving", "sorry we were slightly late" or whatever). By mutual agreement of course you can take it slow.
Please also consider reasonable adjustments for individual players (especially juniors) who might need to finish early. Captains can agree a change to the playing order.
If the normal team captain isn't present, please appoint an acting captain.
Players and umpires please also do your part to keep things moving.
Best wishes to all for an enjoyable season