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Revised October 25, 2021

Team Tennis Commissioner:
Christopher Barrera -


Team Tennis is a weekly competition that includes singles and doubles pro sets between SDTF teams. The teams are chosen at a captains’ meeting, where captains have the chance to draft 3-4 players (depending on team size). Each team selects a theme and each player chooses an alias consistent with the theme to encourage team spirit and unity.

This time, we are keeping the combined format of one longer 10 week regular season running from November 2018 through the beginning months of 2019, which was first introduced last season. There are still 8 teams with two divisions of 4 teams each. In the regular season, each team will play two matches against the other 3 teams in their own division and one match against each of the 4 teams in the other division. At the end of the regular season, there are two playoff weeks.

One change to last season is that instead of 3 teams in each division advancing to the playoffs, it’s just the top 6 overall teams. This means that one division could have 2 teams advance to the playoffs with the other division having all 4 advance -- resulting in the strongest teams overall being the ones making the playoffs.

Team Tennis is one of the San Diego Tennis Federation's most popular events. It provides players with the opportunity to meet fellow SDTF members and exposes participants to the varied playing styles of their many opponents. You will be ranked according to your skill level, and you will only play others at or near your skill level, so ALL ARE WELCOME, regardless of your playing ability. The themes chosen are always clever or funny, but the competition is real. The champion of Team Tennis gets bragging rights until the next season and has their team name emblazoned on the Team Tennis trophy.

Team Tennis is a great way to meet friends, build team camaraderie, practice your tennis skills and MOST OF ALL...HAVE FUN.

Are you in?


  1. This event is a paid SDTF event. Team Tennis participants pay a team fee which covers associated costs.

  2. Roster players must be current members of the San Diego Tennis Federation for the duration of the season. This means that if a season of Team Tennis spans two calendar years, annual memberships must be current for both. Similarly, alternates must be current members for the year in which they are subbing.

  3. The deadline to register is Monday, October 29, 2018. The application must be completed online. Payment should be through Venmo or PayPal, or hand-delivered to the Team Tennis Commissioner or SDTF board member.

  4. The player roster will be limited to 8 teams with 8 players per team (possibly expanded to 8 teams of 10). A waiting list will be maintained once 64 (or 80) registrations have been received, and those not assigned to a team may serve as alternates.

  5. The Captains’ Meeting and Draw is scheduled for Friday, November 2nd.

  6. The regular season will encompass ten Sundays between fall and winter, followed by two weeks of playoffs. The season may be extended to allow for one or more makeup weekend(s) in case of cancellation due to inclement weather during the regular season.

  7. There will be two divisions of 4 teams - teams in one division play the other 3 teams in their division twice and each of the 4 teams in the other division once (for a total of 10 regular season matches).

  8. Matches will take place at either 9 am or 11:00 am at San Diego High School and 9 am or 11:00 am at Peninsula Tennis Club. It will be especially important to have a timely start at Peninsula as we don’t have as many guaranteed courts as we do at SDHS.

  9. Each player plays one singles no-ad pro-set (first to 6 games) and one doubles no-ad pro-set (first to 8 games) against opponents from each team. The receiving team/player will choose the side (ad or deuce court) to receive the serve on the deciding point.

  10. Playoffs will consist a first round (quarterfinal) between the #3 and #6 seeds and another quarterfinal between the #4 and #5 seeds (across divisions). The top team in each division has a bye). The semi-final matches follow the quarterfinal matches on the same day, and will pit the top team in each division against a first round winner. The last week of the season will have only the final match between the winners of the semis.

Creating Teams

  1. A Ranking Committee will consist of the Team Tennis Commissioner, Captains, SDTF President, and any other person(s) the Commissioner deems necessary to assign fair rankings for the participants.

  2. The Ranking Committee will rank the top 8 (or 10) regular players as # 1 players; the next 10 (or 8) will be # 2 players, etc.

  3. The Ranking Committee will make every effort to rank players prior to the captain’s meeting so that each participant will play matches against opponents of relatively the same skill level. No players will be moved in the team rosters once the Commissioner has deemed the team draws to be official.

  4. The Ranking Committee may assign a "provisional ranking" to a player if they do not have enough information on that player’s skill level to make an informed decision. The provisionally ranked player may be re-ranked by the ranking committee within 48 hours after the player’s first Team Tennis match and moved to the appropriate position on the same team. The other players on the team will be moved to accommodate the re-ranking. If no one communicates a concern with a provisionally ranked player upon completion of first matches, the Commissioners will deem that ranking is appropriate for remainder of the season.

Captain's Meeting

  1. The captain’s meeting will take place on Friday, 11/2 at BTC at time TBD.

  2. Captains can sort out among themselves if they have a division preference. Division A matches start at 9am the first week and Division B matches start at 11am. Rules and rule changes will be reviewed (especially if there are new captains).

  3. Captains on one side of the table will be in Division A, and captains on the other will be in division B. Seating order determines the numbering. So:

    a. A1, A2, A3, A4 are on one side

    b. B1, B2, B3, B4 are on the other side

  4. One of the 8 captains is drawn to draft a first (by name). That captain is either A1 or B1 depending on what division they are in.

  5. If A1 is first:

    a. draft pick 1 is then in a zig zag:

    b. A1 > B1 > A2 > B2 > A3 > B3 > A4 > B4

    c. draft pick 2 is the reverse:

    d. B4 > A4 > B3 > A3 > B2 > A2 > B1 > A1

  6. If B1 is first:

    a. draft pick 1 is then in a zig zag:

    b. B1 > A1 > B2 > A2 > B3 > A3 > B4 > A4

    c. draft pick 2 is the reverse:

    d. A4 > B4 > A3 > B3 > A2 > B2 > A1 > B1

  7. For draft pick 3 (and draft pick 4, if applicable), the captain's names will be pulled from a envelope / hat / some other random method one by one.

    (NOTE: For all picks, captains can choose from any roster level -- this is a change from previous seasons, where the picks needed to be split into top and bottom halves for the first two picks.)

  8. After all draft picks are complete, the remaining names for each team will be drawn at random so that each team will consist of one #1 player, one #2 player, etc. Each captain will make these 4 (or 5, if 10-person teams) random selections all at once based on the roster levels they have remaining in sequence.

    a. For example, say captain A1 has to fill a #1, a #3, a #5, and a #7 on their team

    b. That captain will be given the #1, #3, #5, and #7 envelopes to draw from, in sequence.

    c. Then team A1 will be complete, and we move to the next captain (order is not important as this is random).

After the meeting

  1. Once their team is complete, captains should contact players on their team ASAP, and see if any subs might be needed for the first week or future weeks.

  2. Captains should then come up with a team name with their team. Team members should then select or be assigned a nickname that fits accordingly. Have fun with this!


  1. All SDTF members not assigned to an official team roster are considered eligible alternates as long as they sign up as an alternate online.

  2. If a non-roster alternate is not current with their SDTF membership yet for 2019, they will not be allowed to be an alternate in a match happening in 2019. The Commissioner will let captains know who on the existing alternate list is not 2019-current by early in the first week of January, and contact such alternates to let them know they need to be a member or else they cannot be used in a match. Submitted lineups with an alternate that is not current with their SDTF membership will be accepted, but if the membership is not current prior to the start of the match, then it will be treated as if the alternate is a "no show". (See #10 below.)

  3. The Ranking Committee will assign each alternate a rank relative to the regular player rankings.

  4. Captains are responsible for securing their own alternates when needed. A player from another team or from the membership at large can be used as an alternate, but ideally, a good faith effort should be made to find one from the list of registered alternates first.

  5. If a Captain wants to use a sub from membership at large who is not on the list, that Captain must request a ranking for that player from the Commissioner before submitting their lineup by noon Friday (to provide enough time to ensure the ranking requested is appropriate). Captains must not assume a ranking for any sub not on sub list.

  6. Once a valid alternate is reported to the Commissioner by the reporting deadline, they become a member of the official line up for that week.

  7. Alternates must have the same, or lower, ranking than the player they are replacing.

  8. Alternates must play both the singles and doubles set.

  9. There is a half-point deduction for each alternate used. There are no "free" alternates in Team Tennis, except for players who are verifiable entrants in an official GLTA event and except for the special case when there are no replacements available for a player who has dropped out (see below for more info).

  10. If an alternate is reported after the lineup deadline or is a "no show" for the match, the opposing team captain may allow a last minute substitution. The usual ½ point substitution penalty and an additional ½ point “late sub” penalty will apply for using the substitute.

  11. If a regular team member is unable to play for an extended period of time due to injury or another reason, that player will be replaced by a random draft of remaining players in the alternate pool who are available to complete the season (or at least until the regular member can return).

Note: If there are no available replacement players of the same level, the Captain is entitled to a free alternate to replace the player each week. To not incur a penalty, the Captain must notify the opposing Captain and the Commissioner at least 24 hours before the lineup submission deadline of who this free alternate shall be. Otherwise the alternate will no longer be free and incur a standard alternate penalty.

The regular team member can return to a team after 3 match (not calendar) weeks of absence with no penalty. A fully canceled match does not count towards this return timeline, but a partially completed match (where the replacement played) does count (and the replacement player would need to continue the partially completed match at a later date). Returning earlier will result in a standard ½ point sub penalty as the regular member would be a sub for the replacement.

Creating Line-ups

After appropriate alternates have been placed on a team, the Team Captain may shuffle their line-up based on the following tables. Note of Emphasis: Alternates must first replace a player of the same or higher rank, then they can be shuffled within the lineup.

Positions a ranked player can be placed in the singles line-up


Positions a ranked player can be placed in the doubles line-up


Singles and doubles

Captains may challenge the validity of a line up prior to the start of a player's set. The lineup will then be corrected if possible -- only corrections directly related to the lineup errors are allowed. The Captain making the challenge must approve the lineup correction -- otherwise the set is defaulted. After set begins, a Captain may not challenge the player's position for that set and the lineup remains the same.
NOTE: This should, in practice, never happen since lineups are reviewed ahead of time.

If the lineups are correct but a set is played with the wrong players playing each other (in part or in full), the set needs to be replayed. Any result or partial result is void.

NOTE: This should not normally happen as long as each Captain makes sure the right players are playing each other in the first place.


  1. Captains must update their lineups online in the worksheets provided and notify The Commissioner by noon the Saturday before the assigned match. If not, the official team roster will be used as the team's lineup. The deadline was shifted to Saturday at noon instead of 11 PM Friday to avoid last minute Friday night scrambling with Friday Night Doubles and other commitments captains may have on Friday evenings. This should also easier for captains to find last-minute subs (e.g. at Friday Night Doubles).

  2. The Commissioner will send a confirmation upon receipt of a lineup and will instruct the Captain to make any necessary corrections. A Captain may make these changes prior to the finalization of the rosters.

  3. Assuming no issues with the lineups, the Commissioner will send out the final lineups to the Captains by 6:00 pm (or as close as possible to this) the Saturday before the scheduled match. Once this is done, no further changes may be made to the lineups without the applicable penalty rules being in effect, or without the consent of the Commissioner and opposing Captain.

Match Format & Playoffs

  1. Each team plays the three other teams in their group twice and the four teams in the other group once during the regular season.

  2. Once the lineups have been turned in, players in position # 1 plays # 1, # 2 plays # 2, etc.

  3. Each doubles match will consist of an 8-game, no-ad pro-set worth 1½ points. Each singles match will consist of a 6-game, no-ad pro-set, worth 1 point. The first player to either 6 (singles) or 8 (doubles) games wins the point(s) for their team.

  4. Regular 12-point tie-breakers are played at 5 games all for singles and at 7 games all for doubles.

  5. Default time is 15 minutes from the time a court is available for play, as determined by the Commissioner on-site . If no Commissioner is on-site, both captains should agree on the starting time of when a court was available to play, and track the time accordingly. USTA point penalties are in effect up until that time (up to 5 minutes = loss of toss and1 game, 6-10 minutes = loss of toss and 2 games, 11-15 minutes = loss of toss and 3 games, 15+ minutes = default). There are no exceptions for any player, or for any reason.

NEW THIS SEASON: if a player is 15 minutes late (defaulting their doubles match), the default timer is reset once a court is available for singles. The penalties are the same as for doubles (up to 5 minutes = loss of toss and 1 game, etc….). This is done to let the opposing team’s player at least play a set of singles potentially.

  1. The same player must play both singles and doubles. The following default rules apply:

    a. If a player is unable to play the first scheduled set, a default is issued for the doubles only. doubles (1½ points) and singles (1 point).

    b. If a player plays the first set but is unable to play the second set, then the games and appropriate number of points for the first set are recorded and a default issued for the second set.

    c. If a player begins a set and is unable or unwilling to complete it (retired), the number of games won is recorded, and the opponent is awarded the appropriate number of points.

    d. Defaulted sets will be recorded as 0-0 games won; Retired sets will be recorded as whatever the set score was at the point of retirement (e.g. if someone quits while losing 2-3, 15-30, the score is recorded as 2-3)**.**

  2. In the event of inclement weather, a match will be cancelled no less than 15 minutes prior to the start of the match. The Commissioner will make the final decision of whether to dry the courts or cancel the matches. If the early matches are cancelled, then so are the later matches.

  3. The team winning the most points wins. Ties will be broken by the following (first to do so):

    a. Most games won.

    b. Most doubles sets won.

    c. Most singles sets won.

    d. Least number of alternates.

    e. Coin toss.

  4. Team standings within each division will be determined by results in the following order:

    a. Overall win-loss record

    b. Head to head results

    c. Most points (after penalties)

    d. Number of games won

  5. At the end of the regular season, the top 6 teams overall will advance to the playoffs, and the playoff seedings will be determined the same way as the team standings -- except that they will be assigned across divisions. Exception: The top team in a division can be seeded no lower than #2.

    NOTE: This is a slight change to last season, where the top 3 teams from each division made the playoffs regardless of record.

  6. In the quarterfinals, the #1 team in each division has a bye to the semis as a reward for being #1. Because the seeds are now ordered across divisions, the top overall seed will choose the match whose winner they face in the semis; either winner of the #3 vs #6 quarterfinal, or the winner of the #4 vs #5 quarterfinal. This choice is done BEFORE the match and determines the site of the semifinal as well, and is done so a quarterfinal winner does not have to travel.

  7. In the semis, the #1 team in each division plays the winner of a quarterfinal. The winners of the semis will play in the final (on a separate week) to determine the overall team tennis champion for the season.

Here’s an example of how the playoff structure works below…if this were last season, the 2-8 team would make the playoffs, but the 4-6 team would not. This is the sort of situation the new playoff structure would prevent. And in the example situation below, it’s likely that the #1 seed would choose to play against the #4/#5 winner.

Team tennis divisions


  1. Teams should arrive 15 minutes before scheduled match times to facilitate warm-ups and begin match play on any vacant courts.

  2. A 5-minute warm up will be allowed after courts are assigned.

  3. The schedule table is as follows (PTC = Peninsula Tennis Club)

  4. All matches are from 9-11 and from 11-1.

  5. There are 3 sections to the season: a first divisional section, a cross-divisional section, and then a second divisional section. If there is a cancellation, then the makeup will be done at the end of the season.

  6. Playoffs: The first round and semis will be at SDHS and PTC, with the finals at Balboa Tennis Club. (Timing of finals is TBD based on BTC court availability.)

Check out the Live schedule.