Local League Play-offs are the first level of postseason play. Play-offs determine the winning team(s) from each local area.
Currently, USTA Northern California offers eight different leagues that advance to a championship. They include men's and women's adult, mixed, and combo categories. At the end of each local league season, teams begin postseason and championship play.
Flights of five or less teams generally have a play-off consisting of the two top teams. Flights of six or more teams have a play-off consisting of the four top teams, two rounds of play-offs. In the first round, the team in first place will play the team in fourth place, and the team in second place will play the team in third place. In the second round, the winners of the first round play each other. The winner of this match is deemed the Local Area Champion and moves on to District/Sectional Championships.
All captains may agree not to hold playoffs and may so announce to NorCal before the season starts. Playoff matches may always be held earlier than the designated timeframe, if both captains agree. Please remember that no extension of time will be given to complete any playoff match.
All playoff matches shall be played. If a playoff match is not completed by the scheduled deadline, the winner will be determined by a draw done by USTA NorCal League staff. The draw will be weighted to reflect the playoff position of the two teams.
EXCEPTION: If a league has a wild card, and the playoff match is not required for advancement, the captains must agree not to play the playoff match. 2.00D(3)
NorCal encourages all teams to expect to play in a playoff round. If for some reason a team is not able to participate, NorCal will always attempt to offer the playoff opportunity to another team.
Scheduling Playoff Matches – How do captains do this?
The designated dates for playoffs can be found on the team standings page. The responsibility of scheduling playoffs resides with BOTH teams. The team higher in local league standings will be the Home team and must post and/or notify the Away team of the date and time of the playoff match by posting this information on the Playoff Scorecard and/or by email with a copy to NorCal if the scorecard is not yet available.
The deadline for this notification will be 9 PM, the Monday following the conclusion of the previous segment of play. Thus, the deadlines are the Monday following the conclusion of the local league season for the first round of playoffs, and then the Monday following the conclusion of the first round of playoffs for the second round. All teams should always be working on obtaining courts well in advance since there is not an abundance of time to secure them on short notice.
Once posted the playoff date and time may not be changed unless there is agreement from BOTH captains. If the Home captain does not post or notify by the deadline, the Away captain may take home court advantage by so notifying NorCal and the opposing team by that week’s Tuesday at noon. The Away captain then has until that week’s Wednesday by 9 PM to post the date and time of the playoff match.
Cooperation between playoff captains in setting up their final matches sets a tone of good sportsmanship between teams for these very important season ending matches. Home captains may always give the courtesy of early notification of the playoff schedule by email particularly if their position is secured and their courts are obtained. The Away team may always remind the home team that it would appreciate a posting of the schedule should the home team be late.
The standard procedures for playoffs are described in more detail below, but please be aware that NorCal may always modify the standard procedures and schedules when needed. Always check your team standings page for the most current information.
Calculating Winners At Championship
Number of team matches won. In the event of a tie in the number of team matches won, the tie shall be broken by the first of the following procedures that does so:
- Individual Matches. Winner of the most individual matches in the entire competition.
- Head-to-Head. Winner of the head-to-head match.
- Sets. Loser of the fewest number of sets.
- Games. Loser of the fewest number of games.
- Coin Toss