SATA League Rules Rules for Managing Non-Officiated Matches

Revised December 11, 2019 League Regulations



Team registration may be extended by the League Coordinator to establish the required number of teams for a level. Captains must secure their home facility prior to requesting a team number by submitting their form on the SATA website. Home teams are responsible for court fees incurred during all scheduled home matches, even if the facility changes, except in the case of TBD matches, which is outlined herein.


Adding Players

Players may be added up to the point when there are two (2) matches left in the regular scheduled league, with the exception of Combo and Tri-Level.


Removing Players

Any player registered on a team in a league season shall remain on such roster for the balance of the league season unless any of the following occurs:

*Relocation outside greater San Antonio area, verified by League Coordinator

*The first match of the league has not been played and the player requests to be removed

*The player is subject to USTA TX Section and USTA National rules that result in removal

League Competition

Match Times Match start times are as listed in the schedule. The 15-minute default begins at match time. A match can only be stopped due to inclement weather or retirement.



Lineups must include first and last names of each player and should be exchanged by the scheduled match time. At the time of exchange, all players will be assigned their courts and be ready to start the match. No line shall begin play before the 15-minute default time if any scheduled player is absent, unless both captains agree.


Alternate Surface

If an alternate surface must be used, the visiting captain will select which individual lines will be played on the alternate surface prior to the exchange of the lineup. If both captains do not agree on the alternate surface, the lines will be postponed and rescheduled according to the 21-day make-up rule. The home team captain will be responsible for securing the courts for the makeup. Alternate surfaces include indoor courts and/or clay courts.



Known defaults must be announced prior to the exchange of lineups and the captain must declare which line(s) will be defaulted. If a known default is not announced prior to the exchange of the lineup, the opposing captain may change the lineup to accommodate the default. Once a team declares a line(s) has been defaulted, that default will stand unless both captains agree to play the line. If a default is declared in a match that becomes postponed due to weather, the captain may play the full lineup when the match is rescheduled, provided no play in the match has begun.

A. Player Defaults: If match play begins without a full complement of players for the lineups, the defaulted line(s) must be from the bottom up (#2 singles before #1 singles; #3 doubles before #2 doubles). A player may be replaced or switched under the following conditions:

1. If an injury occurs during warm-up, then an eligible replacement may be made. The eligible replacement must replace the injured player.

2. If more than one player from different lines are unavailable for play, and there are no replacement players, the available player from the lower line MUST take the place of the unavailable player at the higher line to form a new team at the higher position, as defaults must be from the bottom up. 

B. Team Defaults: For each scheduled match, a team must fill the minimum number of lines needed to win a match, or the entire match must be defaulted. If a team defaults an entire match for any reason during round robin play, then all matches of that team played, or to be played during that round, shall be null and void. If all teams in contention for the championship have already played the defaulting team in good faith, the matches shall stand as played. The local Leagues Committee may impose further sanctions or penalties on said team.


Reporting Scores

Scores must be reported by the winning captain within 48 hours of match completion, and reported scores shall be confirmed or disputed within 48 hours of reporting. Defaulted names cannot be changed after the 48-hour confirmation time has expired.



Tennis courts must have drinking water and public restroom facilities within 100 yards to be used for league play, unless both captains agree on a different facility.


Medical Timeouts

The maximum time allowed for evaluation and treatment is 15 minutes.


Weather and Make-Ups

When a make-up match is played one line at a time, lineups are exchanged as each line is played. No substitutions may be made in an individual match after the lineup has been presented except for injury to, illness of, or disqualification of a player prior to the start of such match. If a substitution is made during the warm-up, the substitute player is entitled to a five (5) minute warm-up.



If, at match time, the courts are not playable due to weather, under the 21 day rule as described below, the match must be rescheduled, unless both captains agree to delay and the facility can accommodate. Once a match is rescheduled and confirmed by both captains (date, time and site), the match cannot be changed unless it is rained out or weather is too severe to play (agreed by both captains). In the event a match is not played or completed on the scheduled date due to weather, the match must be made up within 21 calendar days or prior to 7 days of the end of regular league play, whichever occurs earlier (regular league play refers to scheduled matches and does not include flight playoffs). If there are fewer than 21 days left in the regular season, the match must be completed 4 days prior to any playoffs, and if there are no playoffs, within 7 days of the end of league. If a match is interrupted by weather, the lineup shall stand only for those portions that had already started their match (first service attempt). All other positions, even those that were in warm-up, may be changed for the makeup match.

Both captains are responsible for coordinating the make-up match. If neither captain is able to schedule the makeup match in the time allotted, the League Coordinator shall be notified, who will schedule a match date and time at a neutral site. The expense of a neutral site shall be paid equally among the two teams involved. Captains failing to notify the Leagues Coordinator within the 21 days of Captains inability to play the missed match will result in an immediate review by the leagues committee with a high potential for a match forfeit.


TBD Matches

TBD matches (To Be Determined) are indicated on the schedule when neither the home or visitor facility has courts available. A TBD is not a Float match. The home team captain is responsible for locating alternate courts for the scheduled match date at a time beginning at 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 3:00 pm, within seven (7) days of notification by the League Coordinator or when the schedule is published. If the home captain is unable to secure courts within the 7 days, the visiting captain must be notified and given 7 days to secure courts. The League Coordinator must be notified upon securing of courts. If neither captain is able to secure courts in the time allotted, the League Coordinator shall be notified, who will try to locate courts at a neutral site. The expense of a neutral site shall be paid equally among the two teams involved. If neither captain nor the League Coordinator can find courts, then the 21 day make-up rule applies. The League Coordinator must be notified within the 21 days to avoid a double team default. Captains failing to notify the Leagues Coordinator within the 21 days of Captains inability to play the missed match will result in an immediate review by the leagues committee with a high potential for a match forfeit.


Team Declaration

Championship is defined as any post-season play (flight playoffs or city playoffs). Players may, however, play at more than one level in a Championship. Players who qualify to play on more than one team for championship competition within a division (i.e. Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over, Mixed being a division) are required to choose which team they will represent at a championship. This choice is demonstrated by the player choosing which team they will play on at match time. Once the player strikes a ball during a match, the player must play on that team throughout the local championship and may not play on any other team at that level for that Championship.


Post-Season Eligibility Requirements

Players must play at least two matches during the regular season to qualify for local playoffs or sectionals (one default received will count as a match played). A Self rate or Appeal player must play at least two matches, with no defaults counting, to be eligible for local playoffs or sectionals.


Playoff Parameters

For leagues with a single round robin, there will be a top two playoff. For leagues with multiple round robins, there will be no playoff.


For leagues with two flights, the first team from flight A will play the second team from flight B, and the second team from flight A will play the first team from flight B. Then the two winners play each other.


For leagues that have a weekday vs weekend city playoff, the top two teams from the weekday league will playoff against the top two teams from the weekend league in the following format: the first team from the weekday league will play the second team from the weekend league and the second team from the weekday league will play the first team from the weekend league. Then the two winners play each other.

Fall vs. Spring League Playoffs

In the event the same team wins both the Fall and Spring leagues, the Captain(s) may choose to either play off for the city championship or simply declare either the Fall or Spring the city champion. This will be done via an email to the SATA Leagues Coordinator. The same team is defined as having more than 50 percent of the same players on both teams. If the same Fall and Spring teams have two different captains, both can either decide to play off or choose the city champion. Players that qualify on both the Fall and Spring team may advance regardless of the eventual winner. If SATA receives a wildcard to advance the second-place team, the first-place team that was not chosen to advance gets first right of refusal for the wildcard if this is a viable team, otherwise the second-place team from the Fall will play the second-place team from the Spring to determine the wildcard. If the same team is in second place for both the Spring and Fall, the same process for determining the city champion as outlined above will apply.


Temperature Guidelines

Matches may be postponed for the following weather conditions, unless both captains agree to play:

Cold: Temperature is 40º or colder.

Heat: Temperature is 105º or higher



Filing a Grievance: All complaints alleging a violation of any rule or conduct by an individual or team during local league competition must be filed, by the team captain, in writing, with the League Coordinator.

Deadline: The complaint must be filed prior to the commencement of the next team match in the flight involving such individual or team, or within twenty-four (24) hours after the end of local league play, whichever occurs first.



Cell Phones

Cell phones are to be in the “OFF” or “SILENT” mode during the entire duration of the match. If a player’s cell phone rings, the player loses the point. A second violation from that player/team will result in loss of one game. A third violation will result in the default of that individual line.


Line Judges

USTA League play is conducted according to The Code. The Code is the players guide to unofficiated tennis matches—it applies to all local USTA League play and everyone should not only be familiar with this document, but adhere to it every time you step on a court. However, to facilitate a fair and continuous match, any player competing in USTA League matches may request a line judge(s) in the event opponents continue to disagree on line calls made during the match. Players should attempt to resolve any line disputes themselves and calling for a line judge(s) should be a last resort to complete a USTA match. Both affected team Captains will then determine who will serve as a line judge(s) for the match. Both Captains may select a person, or both Captains can agree on a single person to serve as a line judge. Once the line judge(s) is determined, the match will continue with the players continuing to make line calls per The Code. Line judge(s) shall only intervene after a point is complete and when asked by a player to do so. If a line judge(s) overrules a player’s call, the point is awarded to the opponents. The line judge(s) call is final and cannot be disputed. If there are two line judges(s), and they disagree on the call, the point will be replayed. The line judge(s) should position themselves to best see the court.


Float Match

A “float match” is defined as a match that may be rescheduled due to conflicts with a SATA, San Antonio Major Zone or Little State Tournament, as determined by the SATA USTA Leagues Committee. Captains will be required to reschedule lines or the match if either captain makes the request, provided the requesting team has member(s) registered for the event, and those players are scheduled in the lines of the make-up match. Each line in the make-up match that was floated must contain at least one player from the SATA tournament that resulted in the floated line. The requesting captain must give a minimum 72-hour notice to the opposing captain to declare a float line. The rescheduling will fall under the 21-day make-up rule. Float matches also include Texas Sectionals and Nationals and fall under the 21-day makeup rule


Facility Requirement

Players must adhere to the tennis facility rules where the match is played. If violation of those rules results in the expulsion of the player, that player will forfeit the affected match.

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SATA, Inc.  |  1503 San Pedro Ave. |  San Antonio, TX 78212


Phone  210.735.3069   

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