Northeast Michigan Tennis Association League Information

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Tennislink Team Management

A Guide for League Captains

League Captains are a valuable part of the USTA League Program. Along with the District League Coordinators, they form the backbone of organized leagues.

Team Captains have the following Responsibilities:

Before League Play Begins

  • Attend Captain's Meetings or conference calls
  • Organize your team. Make sure you have enough players to cover all matches, but not so many that each player can't play at least twice. Create a contact list of all your players email addresses and phone numbers.
  • Obtain a team number from the District League Coordinator. Each team member will need this number to register for the team.
  • Familiarize yourself with the NTRP rating system so you will be able to assist new players with their self-rating on TennisLink.
  • Establish an account on This will allow you to enter scores, check on player stats, and track your team's standings. Become familiar with the layout and features of TennisLink.
  • Insure that all players have a USTA membership through the league year, and have registered for your team on TennisLink. Email an instruction sheet to all team members with the information needed for registration.
  • Distribute the season's schedule, championship dates, and league rules to all team members.
  • Create a list of contact information of all the opposing captains and clubs. (Names, Telephone, Email) in case it becomes necessary to re-schedule a match or cancel a court.
  • Gather availability information from all team members, and schedule players and alternates for each match. Make sure you have sufficient players for each match, and appoint subs if possible.
  • New Become familiar with the new Team Management Tools on Tennislink. These tools will help you set your lineups and make them available for all your team members online.

Before and during Each Match

  • Coordinate with the opposing captain any change in match date, time, or location. Make sure the clubs involved are informed, and court time is available. Report schedule changes to the league coordinator.
  • Confirm that all your assigned team members and alternates will be there or available for the match.
  • Contact the opposing captain several days prior to match. Verify dates, times, location, and if all courts will play. (no forefits) If your team will forefit a court, you must inform both the opposing captain and the facility at least 24 hours before the match is scheduled.
  • Appoint an acting captain if you will not attend the match.
  • Print out a scorecard and fill in your player's names. If you are the home team captain, have balls ready for the match.
  • About 10 minutes before scheduled match time, exchange lineups with the opposing captain.
  • Start two timers at the scheduled match start time, one set for 1hr, 45 minutes, the other set for 2.0 hrs.
  • Distribute balls and get play started. Handle any team problems
  • When the first timer goes off, inform any players still on court what they must do, using the "Timed Match" procedure provided below.

After Each Match

  • On your score card, Fill in the match scores for all courts. Confirm scores with your opposing captain.
  • Enter the scores on TennisLink on the USTA Website Scores must be entered and confirmed within 48 hours of match completion.
  • Should your team win your local league, you must organize all materials necessary for the team's participation at the championship level. The District League Coordinator will inform you what is needed.
  • Keep your team informed. Try to give players advance notice when they are scheduled to play, and confirm upcoming lineups to avoid no-shows for your team matches.

Match Format

  • An adult league match consists of five individual matches played on five courts... two singles matches, and three doubles matches. Seniors, Super-Seniors, Combos, and Mixed Doubles matches consist of three individual doubles matches played on three courts.
  • All individual matches are the best of two sets with regular scoring and a Set Tie-Break (first team to 7 points with a two point lead) at six-all in each set. In the event of split sets, a Match Tie-Break (first team to 10 points with a two point lead) shall be played in lieu of a third set with no rest period or coaching allowed. Both the Set Tie-Break and Match Tie-Break will use the Coman Tie-Break Procedures.
  • The team captains shall exchange their team lineup cards simultaneously prior to the beginning of the team match. No substitutions may be made in an individual match after the lineup has been presented, except for injury to, illness of, or disqualification of prior to the start of such match and as described in item 201C(5) of the Midwest Standing Orders. If the substitution is made during the warm-up, the substitute player is entitled to a five (5) minute warm-up. The default principles in 2.03K of the USTA League Regulations, Team Defaults shall be applicable. Midwest Regulation 2.01C(5) In the event of a no show, a rostered player may be substituted in the position of a missing player after the exchange of lineups and before the set default time in local competition. In the event of a no show, the team match may not begin until all positions comply with rule 2.03K In the event that two players from different doubles teams are no shows, that team may combine the remaining two players at the higher of the doubles positions. Rule 3.03L A team must have the minimum of four eligible players available for play in each match or the entire match must be defaulted. A team may default a maximum of two positions in a match without defaulting the entire match.
  • Forfeits are from the bottom up. Adult division teams (NTRP level 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5) must forfeit the #3 doubles or #2 singles first. No more than two courts can be forfeited for a valid match.
    Senior, Super Senior, Senior Mixed, Mixed and Combos Division playing only 3 courts must forfeit the #3 doubles first and no more than one court can be forfeited for a valid match.
  • Timed Match Procedures
    Northeast Michigan Clubs reserve two hours of court time for each USTA match. The following procedure is to be used to insure that our matches do not interfere with courts booked after our matches.
    Two timers should be preset for the following:
    Timer #1 1 hour, 45 minutes
    Timer #2` 2 hours
    At the scheduled match time, start both timers. When the first timer goes off:
    • If you are in the first set:
      Player(s) ahead by two games wins the first set. If the score is tied, play a Set Tie-Break.
      If one team is ahead by one game, play one more game to determine if the set is won (ahead by two games). If neither team is up by two games, play a Set Tie-Break. Then, play a Set Tie-Break for the second set.
      If you split sets, play a Match Tie-Break for the third set.
    • If you are in the Second Set:
      Player(s) ahead by two games wins the set. If the score is tied, play a Set Tie-Break.
      If one team is ahead by one game, play one more game to determine if the set is won (ahead by two games). If neither team is up by two games, play a Set Tie-Break.
      If you split sets, play a Match Tie-Break for the third set.
    • If you are in the Third Set:
      Complete the Match Tie-Break.
    • If the second timer goes off before you are finished:
      The player(s) ahead by one point wins the match.

General Information About Score Reporting

Both teams must be involved in the score reporting process. If neither team reports the scores within 48 hours of the scheduled match time, a default will be recorded for both teams. The first team to access the score reporting area in TennisLink reports the scores. The second team must confirm or dispute the entered scores.
If the match has not been confirmed or disputed within 48 hours, TennisLink will automatically confirm the match. Any team that does not dispute the score within 48 hours loses the right to do so.

How to Re-Schedule a Match

The District League Coordinator schedules all matches, taking into consideration holidays and court availability. When you run into a conflict, you may reschedule matches with the consent of the opposing captain. To reschedule a match, proceed as follows:

  • Agree with the opposing captain on a new date. The new date must not be past the end of the league schedule.
  • Contact the home team club and make sure that court time is available for the match on the new date.
  • Inform the District League Coordinator of the change in schedule.
  • Reserve the courts for the re-scheduled match, and cancel the courts for the old scheduled match.
  • If the Captains cannot agree on a new date, the original schedule stands.

You can always contact me, Nancy Berger, at:
Home: 810-714-5582
Cell: 810-701-6556

NOTE: If you would like to order a "Friend at Court" you can go online at Under the heading USTA MERCHANDISE
Click on books/videos on the left side.

Extras that Some Captains Do

Hold a Team Meeting
The two primary reasons players join USTA League teams are because they love tennis and love the camaraderie of playing on a team. Team meetings are a way to get everyone together in a social setting and build team unity and cohesiveness.
Team meetings are also the ideal time to tackle the nuts and bolts of the league season, so take the time to distribute the schedule, explain match formats, league rules, and team expectations. Make sure each team member has the address of this website, as it is a good quick-reference.
It is also important that your teammates understand the overall philosophy for the team. Is your goal to win a national championship? Is winning fun but not the most important thing? Whatever the philosophy is, remember to have fun and give your players an opportunity to do what they signed up for - play tennis.

Schedule Practices
Getting the team together to play more tennis builds team chemistry and sharpens your skills as a captain, coach and talent evaluator. It will also give you an opportunity to evaluate compatibility between doubles partners.

Arrange Clinics
Clinics and lessons will help your players improve their game, and build a closer relationship between the team members and the coaching staff at your club. Many instructors will offer deals for team workouts, which in turn, helps them get to know individual club members and book additional private lessons. Local tennis pros can also be very helpful in recommending additional members when you are forming a team.

Keep your Team Informed
Many team captains send emails to their players after each match, informing the non-playing members how the match went. This keeps the lines of communication open and reminds everyone that they are members of the team, whether or not they played that particular match. The new Team Management Tools on Tennislink can also help you set your lineups and make them available for all your team members online. If you make changes in Team Management, it's a good idea to email the team members and remind them to check out the changes. The Team Management Tools can be a great help to both Captains and Players.