LEAGUE RULES (LATEST AMENDMENTS PASSED AT AGM ON 4TH JUNE 2013)
NAME & OBJECTIVES
1. The League shall be called the Towcester and District Table Tennis League and shall be affiliated to both the English and the Northamptonshire Table Tennis Associations.
2. The aim of the League shall be to promote table tennis throughout the district in a friendly manner and membership shall be open to clubs having suitable facilities within eight miles of Towcester crossroads or at the discretion of the Committee.
3. The League shall have a President, Vice President(s), Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Registration Secretary, Divisional Secretaries, Statistics Officer, Publicity Officer, Coaching Secretary, Tournament Organiser and Honorary Auditor who shall all be elected annually.
COMMITTEE & MEETINGS
4a. The League shall be administered by a committee which will consist of a representative from each Club and include the League Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Registration Secretary, Divisional Secretaries and Statistics Officer.
4b. At committee meetings a quorum consists of at least five members of whom two shall be officers.
4c. Clubs who fail to send a representative to committee meetings shall be fined £5.00.
5a. The Annual General Meeting shall be held within two months of the end of the playing season and the agenda shall be sent to club secretaries at least seven days before the meeting.
5b. To form a quorum at a general meeting, 50% of member clubs must be represented.
5c. Clubs who fail to send a representative to the A.G.M. shall be fined £10.00.
5d. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time by two officers, four committee members or 10% of the registered playing membership. The League Secretary will forward the agenda in advance to club secretaries and the meeting shall only discuss the business for which it has been called.
6. Alterations to league rules may only be made at a general meeting. Each member present shall be allowed one vote and a two thirds majority will be needed to carry any proposal. Twenty eight days notice of any proposed alterations must be given in writing to the League Secretary. All clubs must be notified of any proposed changes to the rules seven days before the meeting.
MEMBERSHIP & REGISTRATIONS
7a. Application for membership must be made by clubs to the League Secretary by the date of the first committee meeting each season (as agreed at the A.G.M.). No registration will be accepted without the correct fee.
7b. All players must ensure they are individually affiliated to the English Table Tennis Association and have paid their annual fees before playing in any league competition. Each player's registration must also be lodged with the Registration Secretary at least 48hrs prior to playing in any match, except that no new player shall be registered after the 1st of January in any season without the consent of the committee.
7c. Where more than one team exists in a club, no player may play in a team lower than that for which they are registered. In any season, a player may play up in a maximum of three matches regardless of the number of teams in the club. If this denies a player a regular game, application may be made to the committee for re-registration. However, if a player has been registered in a team lower than their personal standard or ranking would suggest is appropriate and by playing up in league matches would strengthen the other team, then playing up is not allowed.
7d. Any games won by an ineligible player shall be awarded to the opposing team.
8a. A team shall consist of three players and a league match shall consist of nine singles sets and one doubles set (best of five games). No player shall play in more than three singles sets and one doubles set per match.
8b. Matches must start no later than 7.30 pm and play must commence no later than 7.45 pm unless an alternative time has previously been agreed on by both teams.
8c. Players competing in more than one league must not postpone, delay the start of or alter the order of play in matches due to commitments in other leagues unless previously agreed with the opposition.
8d. Matches must be played in accordance with E.T.T.A. rules and the home team will provide the scorecard and E.T.T.A. approved 3 star balls. Before the match begins, the home team shall enter their players' names on the scorecard with the away team then following suit. Matches will proceed according to the order given on the scorecard unless agreed otherwise by both teams.
8e. The umpire for each set should be chosen alternately from the home and away teams. The umpire's decision shall be final.
8f. Refreshments shall be provided by the home team.
8g. The home team must send the completed scorecard, countersigned by a member of the away team, to the relevant Divisional Secretary within 24 hours of the match being played. Failure to comply will result in the team being fined £2.00. If posted, a first class stamp must be used.
9a. Teams are permitted up to two league matches outstanding at any one time. If this is exceeded for any reason, a five point penalty will be incurred. Postponements must be by mutual consent and notice given immediately to the relevant Divisional Secretary.
9b. Within two weeks of the original match date, new dates must be agreed and the relevant Divisional Secretary informed.
9c. All league matches must be completed by the end of the season, i.e. one week after the last scheduled league matches. Note that it is not acceptable for teams to 'double up the points' to avoid playing a match. In the event of any match remaining unplayed, the committee will decide if and how many points should be awarded.
9d. Any disputes arising from postponements will be dealt with by the committee at its absolute discretion.
10a. League positions shall be determined primarily by the number of points won, secondly the number of matches won and thirdly the number of matches drawn. If at the end of the season all three items are identical, promotion or relegation shall be decided by play-offs without doubles.
10b. Promotion and relegation shall be on a two up, two down basis, subject to the number of membership applications at the beginning of the season.
11a. Any registered player may apply to enter the annual closed tournament provided they have played in at least 40% of league matches prior to the closing date for entries. Any player not having played in sufficient matches may still be considered eligible provided they are not a registered player in another table tennis league. No entry form will be accepted without the correct fee.
11b. All players will abide by regulations or conditions set by the tournament organisers to help stage and complete matches as efficiently as possible.
12a. In the Handicap Cup competition, matches will consist of thirty games i.e. nine singles sets of three games and one doubles set of three games. Each game shall finish as soon as one player or pair has reached 11 points. At the end of the match the team with the most points including any handicap shall be the winner. In the event of a tie the doubles set shall be continued for a fourth game with the handicap being applied pro-rata. All other relevant league rules also apply.
12b. Handicaps and decisions relating to the cup competition and matches shall be decided by a sub-committee consisting of the Handicap Cup Secretary, Divisional Secretaries and Statistics Officer.
12c. No player shall play in a cup match unless they have previously played in at least three league matches in the current or immediately preceding season. Handicaps will be jointly based on the current County Ranking List and Towcester league averages and are subject to change throughout the competition.
12d. Cup teams should ideally comprise players registered for their particular league team and all players having played in their first cup match will be cup-tied to that team for the duration of the competition. Playing for a higher ranked team will count towards the maximum times players may play up as per Rule 7c.
12e. Home teams may change the match night within cup weeks, but should agree any change with the opposing team at least one week in advance and inform the Handicap Cup Secretary.
12f. All cup matches will be played by the due date or the defaulting team will be automatically scratched. If the home venue is not available, an alternative venue shall be found at the home team's cost, giving at least one week's notice. Unavailability of players is not a valid reason for postponement and a player's absence shall result in an 11-0 score for the appropriate games - i.e. no handicap applied.
12g. Comments or complaints regarding any individual handicap must be made to the Handicap Cup Secretary.
13. All fines must be paid within fourteen days of notification. Clubs and individuals who have fines outstanding at the A.G.M. will have their membership considered by the Committee.
14. Any club with a grievance should submit the same in writing to a committee meeting. The grievance will not be discussed unless representatives of the club or clubs concerned are present at the meeting.
15. The committee's interpretation of these rules and of all matters affecting the administration of the league shall be final.
In common with other leagues in the county, the following format for league matches has been adopted. Under this format, games will be won by the player or pair first to score 11 points. If both sides have scored 10 points the game is won by the side subsequently scoring 2 points more than their opponents. Each set will be the best of 5 games. Service will change after every 2 points except that if both sides have scored 10 points, the service will change after every point. In the 5th game of a set, the players will change ends when one side first scores 5 points.
In the Handicap Cup Competition, matches will consist of thirty games i.e. nine singles sets of three games and one doubles set of three games. Each game will finish when one player or pair reaches 11 points. Players will change ends in the third game when one side first reaches 5 points. In the event of a tie the doubles set will continue for a fourth game with the handicap being applied pro-rata. The default score for an absent player will be 11-0 for the appropriate games.
Notes on Rule 9: Postponements
You should only ask for a postponement in extreme circumstances. If it is your home game, be able to offer at least one alternative date immediately. You are not obliged to agree to a postponement, and should only do so if you are given or can offer an alternative date, so that the fixture is cleared as quickly as possible. Avoid agreeing to a postponement if you already have a match outstanding.