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SATA Rules


Team registration may be extended by the League Director to establish the required number of teams for a level. In the event of a missed deadline for NON-ADVANCING seasons, the captains in that league can vote on whether or not to allow the late team to sign up. The team will be allowed to register if the majority of the responding captains vote yes. 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 to Combo and Tri-Level. 


SATA 70% Rule for League Team Rosters    

70% of the players for each team roster must be NTRP rated at the level of play.   

(Example: If your roster has 20 players, at least 14 must be on level)   

  • Violation of the rule will result in the removal of players, without a refund, until the team meets the rule. Removal of players in violation of the rule will begin with the last ineligible registered player. 

  • Captains are strongly advised to confirm the USTA rating of each player on their roster.     

  • This rule does not apply to leagues using a combined NTRP level (Mixed, Combo, Tri-Level), nor to Fire & Ice.    

  • This rule does not apply to age groups with combined ratings (6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0) or the  

  • 4.5 and 5.0 leagues.    


For calculating the 70%, please see the table in the Captain & Player Resources section of the “League Resources” page on the SATA website: 


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 Director 

*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. 



Official lineups must include first and last names of each player and are to be exchanged on the match date at match start 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. Lineups are exchanged in accordance with USTA regulation 2.01C(6). 


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 is 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 either captain within 48 hours of match completion in accordance with USTA Regulation 1.04C(2) Official Score Reporting and Standings System to avoid a grievance. 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, official lineups are exchanged on the match date at start time. 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 Procedure 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). 


The 21-Day Procedure: Weather Make-ups, TBDs, Floats  

In the event a match is rescheduled due to weather, TBDs or floats, the match must be played within 21 calendar days from the original scheduled date.  If there are fewer than 21-days left in the regular season (regular league play refers to scheduled matches and does not include flight playoffs), the match must be played, and scores entered in Tennislink within 7 days of the end of the season or 4 days prior to any playoffs, whichever comes first.   

When a makeup match is played one line at a time, official lineups are exchanged on the match date at start time.  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.  

Once a match (or any line) is rescheduled and confirmed by both captains (date, time, and site), the match cannot be changed unless it is due to weather and agreed by both captains. The match must still be completed within 21-days of the original, scheduled match.   

Both captains are responsible for coordinating the rescheduled match. Captains must inform the Leagues Director by the 21st day of the number of incomplete lines.  The League Director will then schedule any un-played lines at a neutral facility if one is available. The Leagues Director will determine who is responsible for court fees on a case-by-case basis. Captains failing to notify the Leagues Director within the 21 days of captains’ inability to play the missed match will result in an immediate review with a high potential for a match forfeit. Inability to complete any lines scheduled by the Leagues Director will result in a default.   

If a team did not play the minimum number of lines needed to win a match, that match is defaulted, per USTA Regulation 2.03L.  


* USTA Regulation 2.03L: Scoring of Full Team Defaults. If a team defaults an entire team match for any reason during round robin play, that team is ineligible to continue play at that championship. All matches of the defaulting team already played shall be null and void when determining standings but will be used for individual player ratings and individual player advancement purposes. If all teams with a mathematical chance to advance have played the defaulting team in good faith, those matches shall stand as played when determining standings. The Sectional Association may impose further penalties on the defaulting team.  


·         Weather Makeup  

If at match time, the courts are not playable due to weather (wet courts, wind, or temperature guidelines), the match must be rescheduled under the 21-Day Procedure, unless both captains agree to delay, and the facility can accommodate.   

In the event a match is interrupted by weather, the lineup shall stand only for the portions that had started their match (first serve attempt).  All other positions, even those that are in warm-up may be changed for the makeup match.  


·         TBD Matches  

TBD (To Be Determined) matches are indicated on the schedule when the home team’s facility has no courts available. The home team is responsible for court fees and the visiting team is responsible for the match balls.   

TBD matches are played on or before the scheduled date.  However, if the match is not played prior to, or on the scheduled match date, captains must follow the 21-Day Procedure.  


·         Floats  

Floated lines will now follow the 21 Day Procedure.   

A “float” match is defined as a match that may be rescheduled due to conflicts with a SATA Tournament, San Antonio Major Zone, or Little State Tournament, as determined by the SATA Leagues Committee. Captains will be required to reschedule lines or the match if the captain makes the request, provided the requesting team has rostered players registered for the event at the time of the request, 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 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 Procedure. Float matches also include Texas Sectionals and Nationals and fall under the 21-Day Procedure.  


Note: All single weekend leagues are ineligible to float including but not limited to Combo, Tri-level, and Fire & Ice.  


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 

All Advancing Leagues:  Computer Rated Players (C) must play 2 matches on the same team at the same level in the same age group (one default received shall count) to be eligible for Local League Playoffs, City Championships and Sectionals. Self-Rated Players (S) and Computer Appealed Rated Players (A) must play 3 matches on the same team at the same level in the same age group with no defaults counting to be eligible for Local League Playoffs, City Championships and Sectionals. 


Playoff Parameters 

Playoff Parameters will be determined by the leagues committee at the start of each season and will be based on court availability and the number of teams participating in each division.   


Temperature and Wind 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 

Wind: Sustained wind speeds of 30mph 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 Director. 


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. 


Grievance Fee: $100   

Grievance Appeal Fee: $100   


Either fee will be 100% refundable if the grievance or the appeal is won by the filing party.  



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 non-officiated 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. 


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 and may be subject to a grievance and suspension points. 

*Updated December 2023

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