HAVE A LEAGUE QUESTION?
USTA Pacific Northwest | February 28, 2019
League Captains are the largest group of volunteers in the USTA. Their willingness to serve your team and the League in this leadership role is greatly appreciated. The following suggestions were put together for new and veteran captains alike to help make your role easier. If you have never been a captain before, you can read below about what it takes and perhaps in the future you will consider it. As a former captain, I can attest that being a captain was one of the best times of my USTA League paying career.
NOTE - For One Weekend Leagues, only refer to the "Before the Season Starts" and "Throughout the Season" Section. Your Regional League Coordinator will communicate with you on match schedules, recording scores, etc.
BEFORE THE SEASON STARTS
- Forming a Team - Teams are formed in many ways. ADVERTISEMENT Some are groups of friends who start a team because they enjoy being together. Others are structured by club pros or directors from their membership ranks. If you are looking for more players, check with your facility, local pro shops, or other teammates. They may know of others would love to join you. Don't limit your team to only those you may know. Half the fun of USTA League tennis is meeting and making new friends!
- Getting Registered - All team members must be registered on your roster in TennisLink prior to playing a match. To register, players must be a current members of the USTA and have either a valid Computer Rating or will need to self rate. To purchase a USTA Membership, click here. For more information on NTRP ratings, click here. To access TennisLink, click here.
- League Regulations - The captain, as well as all league players, must read and follow the rules and regulations. National and PNW regulations are available by clicking here. It is your responsibility to know and convey these to your players. It is also a good idea to acquire the Friend at Court which highlights the rules of tennis. To access a digital copy of Friend at Court, click here.
- Home Matches - Verify all home matches with your facility. Check for court availability, court fees, guest fees, and any other requirements of your home facility. Does your facility provide new balls for home matches or does the team supply those?
- Player Availability - Ask each team member to go through the schedule and let you know of any non-availability.
- Team Meeting - Have a team meeting and agree on the team philosophy. Is the team playing to win or playing for fun? Will only the strongest players play matches or will everyone play equally? Who will decide the match line-ups? If everyone on the team is aware of these issues and agrees, you will have a much more successful season as captain. Having a coach, pro, or team manager assist you with team line-ups may be helpful.
ONE WEEK PRIOR TO MATCH
- Verify Home Matches with Your Facility - Are they reserved for your team?
- Contact the Opposing Captain - Confirm when the match will be (day and time), where the match will be (get directions if necessary), and match duration (will all courts be played at the same time or will this be a split match? You also want to know if there are any court fees, are spectators allowed and who is the acting captain is if the captain is unavailable for the match.
DAY BEFORE MATCH
- Verify Your Starting Line-up - Make sure all of your players are still available. It might be best to have a "sub" on standby just in case of a last minute cancellation.
- Check Your Roster on TennisLink - Make sure all players in your line-up are registered.
- Plan Transportation and Arrival Time - Know in advance how long it takes to get to your match and allow for extra time. Also it's recommended you carpool if possible.
MATCHDAY - BEFORE MATCH
- Print Match Scorecard - This can be found in TennisLink. All eligible players, including last day additions, will be included.
- Collect Money (if necessary) - If your need to collect court/guest fees for your match, do so before the match so you can pay the front desk.
- Provide Balls for Home Matches - Every match should be played with new USTA approved tennis balls appropriate for the court surface. Penn is the official ball sponsor for USTA Leagues.
- Meet with the Opposing Captain - Go over any ground rules. Discuss which match will be played on which courts and which color of scoretender will be used.
- Exchange Line-ups - This should always be done before players walk onto the court. All players should be present prior to exchanging line-ups. If the match time comes and a player is late, exchange line-ups and put the late player at #2 singles or #3 doubles. Appropriate late/default penalties will apply.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MATCH
- Get score from each court - Record on your scorecard. Note the winner and record the score from the winner's perspective.
- Get opposing captain's signature - You want to make sure both teams agree on the score. Both captains should verify with their players the scores are correct. Captain's should then sign the scorecard confirming the scores are correct.
- Meet with your Players - Discuss any questions or disputes. Then go have a meal/beverage and promote team bonding!
AFTER THE MATCH
- Record your match scores in TennisLink - Scores should be recorded within 48 hours of match completion. If the opposing captain has already entered the scores, carefully check the entered scores and confirm or dispute the entry.
- If a Score is Incorrect - Confirm with the opposing captain or players and come to an agreement on the score. Then send an email to your Regional League Coordinator to update your scores.
- File Any Necessary Protest/Grievance - Though rare, a grievance may need to be filed if there were unusual circumstances due to poor sportsmanship or players playing out of level. Be sure to review the USTA League National and PNW Regulations regarding grievances as their are strict timelines as to when they must be filed by.
THROUGHOUT THE SEASON
- HAVE FUN!!! It may seem like there is a lot to do, but once you do it a few times, it is usually pretty smooth. Treasure the camaraderie and friendships with your teammates and enjoy the spirit of competition.
Click here to see who the Regional League Coordinator is in your area. They are a great resource and always happy to help.
If you have an “Ask Adam” regulation question or FAQ that you would like answered, please e-mail it to Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.