Liberty District Tennis Coaches Handbook

Liberty District Tennis Coaches Handbook
Liberty District Teams:
Thomas Jefferson, Langley, Stone Bridge, Madison, Marshall, McLean, Fairfax and
South Lakes
First Practice Date:
This date is determined by the Virginia High School League and is established in each
year’s Virginia High School League (VHSL) Handbook. February 18
After the first legal practice day, practices may be held as often and for as long as desired
with the exception that no practices are permitted on Sundays. No practices may be held
after the conclusion of your final match of the season.
Each coach or a designated representative is required to attend the post-season district’s
seeding meeting ( May 3, 2013 at McLean HS in room R194/196 at 7:30).
Match Regulations:
A match consists of 6 singles and 3 double matches. The team winning at
at least 5 of the matches will be declared the winner. All matches must be
played unless mutually agreed by participating coaches, at the start of the
team match.
Each regular season match is a 10 game pro-set with standard scoring. A
twelve (12) point USTA tie-breaker will be used at 10-10.
Match results must be recorded on the standard district score sheet which
will be distributed at the pre-season meeting.
All match results must be faxed (703 714-5859) or e-mailed Fernando. to the district tournament director the day after a match is
complete so that he/she can determine standings. Home coaches are
responsible for getting regular season match results to the local
The rules of tennis set forth in the current rule book of the USTA shall govern all
League tennis matches and tournaments, except in those instances where the rules
Conflict with the special rules set forth by the VHSL Handbook, in which case
These special rules shall take precedence.
Home Team:
1. Home coaches should have their team ready to play when the visiting team
2. Home coaches will have 9 cans of new, pressurized, tennis balls available for
Match (3 new balls per match).
3. If a school has fewer than 6 courts, it is suggested that the home team coach
secure nearby public courts to comply with the 6-court minimum.
Visiting Team:
Players who need to use restrooms, secure ice and/or water have up to 10 minutes
to do so after arriving at the home site. The home coach will have managers of
players available to direct the visiting team’s players to the restrooms and water.
Both Teams:
1. Matches are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. or as soon thereafter the visiting
team arrives. In the early spring, it is important to start the match as soon as
possible because of limited daylight.
2. Players must wear school issued shirts throughout the match.
3. Skirts and shorts must be school colors and may not have boxer shorts extending
below the shorts. White or matching color spandex may be worn at the coach’s
discretion, but is not recommended.
4. In cold or inclement weather, appropriate sweat clothes and/or warm-up suits may
be worn.
5. Coaches must exchange full lineups before the match and results of any
challenge matches played since the last team match.
6. As soon as the visiting team arrives or completes restroom use, the coaches will
read the district’s opening statement and introduce the players who will
immediately commence their warm-up period.
7. The warm-up period will be limited to 10 minutes including serves. The home
coach is responsible to start the warm-up, give a 5-minute warning, end the warmup period and start the match.
8. At the conclusion of each individual match the player(s) must report results to
their respective coach and the host player is to collect the three game balls from
the court and return them to their coach.
9. Doubles matches must commence no more than 15 minutes after the conclusion
of the final singles match involving one of the doubles players.
10. There will be a maximum of 10 minutes warm-up for each doubles match. Due to
the on-going match the home coach needs only to monitor the doubles warm-up.
11. Only contracted coaches can coach during the 90-second changeover time.
Exceeding 90 seconds interferes with the natural flow of the game
12. For doubles play, substitutes may replace designated players, if the match
has been decided after singles. Doubles matches may be shortened by mutual
consent of both coaches to a standard six or eight game set.
13. No matches may be suspended due to darkness, unless either coach has notified
the other coach at least 10 minutes before play is to stop. At the time of the
notification, players from both teams will be informed of the impending
suspension of play. A game in progress must be finished.
14. During the early spring, if matches begin after 4:00 p.m. coaches may agree to
shorten the sets of 8 game pro-sets, in order to complete the match before
15.Each coach is responsible for enforcing the VHSL and Liberty District
sportsmanship code for all players. Prudence and reflection upon the pre-season
language and equipment discussion is strongly recommended.
16.Either coach can give any spectator, who violates the sportsmanship rules, a
warning. If a warning is issued, the opposing coach must be notified. If a second
offense occurs, the spectator will be required to leave the match.
17. Players may leave the court only to go to the restroom or for emergency
equipment problems. Players will be given a maximum of 10 minutes.
18. Injury time will not exceed 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, play must continue or
the match will be forfeited.
19. In the event a match has begun and inclement weather intervenes, the home site
coach is responsible for determining the playability of the courts. The safety of
the players will be of paramount importance in making the decision. Both
coaches are responsible to agree upon and write down the match score, game
score, who has service, doubles placement, and on which side of the court players
are, if the match is stopped. This is to be done before the visiting team leaves.
20.Matches postponed by inclement weather, or suspended by darkness, must be
reschedule for the first compatible open date.
Substitution Rule:
Any player listed on the entry form, as an alternate may be a substitute. Any of the
school’s top six singles players who is not in the school’s top three doubles team line-up
is considered an alternate for doubles competition. Any member of a school’s top six
singles line-up is considered an alternate for the singles tournament competition.
Substitutions shall be made by the following provisions or the match at the
vacated division shall be forfeited:
1. Substitute alternate in the vacated position/or
2. In singles, substitute alternate in the 6th singles division and move all
other players up on division until all divisions are filled; or
3. In doubles, substitute alternate in the 3rd division and move all other
players up on division until all divisions are filled.
Substitutions may be made after one team wins five matches if the procedure in the above
mention is followed.
Ladder Rules:
Each coach must have a clearly established set of criteria to govern ladder play.
Each coach will explain at the pre-season coaches meeting their challenge criteria.
(Possible criteria could include but not be limited to such schemes as pyramid, even-odd
challenge days, arrow lists, etc.) After the first district match, all line-ups cannot be
changed, except by the results of challenge matches. Challenge matches must be a
minimum of a 6 game set. All players must play a minimum of 1 challenge every other
week. This applies to both singles and doubles, unless weather and/or schedule prohibit
the challenge.
The team ladder used for Regional tournament play must be the ladder used
during the last regular-season district match, barring injury.
It is suggested for the fall season, that if a school has fewer than 6 courts, that the
school should have as many of its home matches during the first half of the season as
possible. No longer applicable.
Sportsmanship Rules:
The Liberty District tennis teams will adhere to the following rules during the
regular season. The rules will be enforced from the beginning of the warm-up for singles
to the conclusion of the final doubles match.
A player shall not display unsportsmanship conduct such as but not limited to,
throwing/abusing equipment; hit a ball in the direction of an opponent, official, or
spectator, using profane or obscene language in any way that may be heard by other
persons, using obscene gestures; or threatening bodily injury. (See USTA Code
1. First offense: Loss of point
2. Second offense: Forfeit game in progress or one game from total
Accumulated by the offender.
3. Third offense-Disqualification from the match and disqualified from
doubles play if the offense occurs during singles.
4. In the Liberty District regular season matches, either coach may apply
the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. In the District tournaments,
coaches and or the tournament director may apply penalties.
Coaches are reminded that any player or coach ejected from a match is ineligible
to participate in the school’s next tennis match. A player or coach ejected from
the second contest during the season is ineligible to participate in the next two
tennis matches. Ejections must be reported by the principals to the VHSL office
within 48 hours of occurrence. Be sure to report any ejections to your principal
immediately following the contest. Review player/coach ejections in VHSL
Handbook sections 27-13-7(page 48) and 30-5-1(page 73). In addition, review
and enforce the VHSL tennis playing etiquette rules.
Regular Season:
The regular season matches consist of double round robin play between the
Liberty District teams. Team matches consist of nine matches – six singles and three
doubles. One team point shall be scored for each singles or doubles match won.
District Championship:
The Liberty District Champion will be the team that finishes first in the regular
season. The top three teams will advance to the Northern Region Tournament. In the
case of a tie, the tie-breaking procedures in the Liberty District Handbook will be
In the event that a tie exists for determining the #1 and #2 tennis teams from the
Liberty District for the Northern Regional tournament, (in the absence of a team
tournament) the following steps should be used to break the tie:
Head to head competition.
Standings against other seeds; highest to lowest.
Records against common non-District opponents (regular season only)
Records against common non-District opponents (including tournaments)
A play-off match between two tied teams will be held.
Both teams will be considered District Champions.
In case of a three way tie, the above criteria (#1-5), will be used to determine seeding
for the Regional Tournament. The play-off among the three tied teams will be done
as follows:
1. A series of coin tosses will determine a bye for one team, the other two teams will
play a match, and the winning team will advance to play the team with the bye.
2. The winner of the next round will be the #1 seed for the Regional Tournament,
and the second place team will be the # 2 seed and 3rd place team the 3 seed.
3. All three teams will be considered District Champions and advance to regionals.
Individual (Singles/Doubles) Tournament:
A district tournament for singles and doubles will be played at the conclusion of
the regular season to determine individual singles and doubles representatives to the
Northern Regional Tournament. The District Tournament director will schedule a
seeding meeting for the following purposes:
Distribution of the rules, sites, and times for the tournament.
Each coach declaring the 2 singles players and 2 doubles teams to participate
in the tournament.
In order to participate in the District Singles/Doubles Tournament, individual
players must have played in at least 50% of the regular season matches, or
have been injured and unable to participate certifiable by the player’s Director
of Student Activities. In addition, the athlete must have clearance by the
school’s athletic trainer to resume play.
To break a tie for District Tournament Seeding in singles and doubles, the
procedure will be
i. First:
head to head competition at that position
record against district opponents at that position
the greater margin of game victories at that position
head to head
flip a coin
The top 8 singles and doubles seeding will be based on consensus of the
coaches. The remaining singles and doubles players will be placed in the
draw randomly. The only stipulation is that no two players from the same
school will play one another in the first round.
The first two rounds of the singles/doubles tournaments will be 10 game prosets. The semi-finals and finals will be 2 of 3 sets.
All district tournament matches are to be schedule so students miss a
minimum of class time.
At the district tournament, the tournament director and coaches will give
penalties to any player who violates Liberty District VHSL equipment and
language abuse rules.
Selection of the All District Team:
At the annual seeding meeting for the Liberty District Tournament, the district
coaches will select the All District Team. The All District Team will be announced by
the tournament director just prior to the beginning of the first round of the tournament
doubles matches. Local media will be informed of the selections. The team will be
composed of 12-15 players based on the following guidelines:
1. Six players will be chosen for the 6 singles positions and 6 players will be
chosen for the 3 doubles teams based upon the records compiled during the
regular season play. These players will be the ones who compiled the best
records at those positions. In order to be eligible for consideration in this
category, a player must have participated in at least one half of the regular
season district matches at that position. The player with the best winning
percentage subject to the match participation restriction will be named as the
All District player.
2. After number one has been completed, coaches may nominate additional
players based upon their personal performance. A vote by the coaches will be
taken after all nominations have been submitted with the players receiving the
most votes being selected to the All District Team
3. A District Coach of the Year will be selected by secret ballots of the coaches.
Liberty District Pre-Match Welcome:
The following should be read, by the home coach, for each Liberty district tennis match:
Welcome to ________________________ High School.
We will be playing a ten game pro-set with standard scoring. A seven of
twelve point tie-breaker will decide the match if the score reaches ten to ten in
The server is to call out the score before each point and at the start of each
game the server is to call out the match score.
Players are to use hand signals with every “in” or “out” call
Any disagreements between players shall be resolved at the net.
A player may only leave the court for an emergency restroom break or for a
change in tennis equipment.
At the changeover, players are allowed 90 seconds before the next service, to
change sides, drink fluids, and talk with a contracted coach.
Players are requested to call a “let” as soon as a stray ball comes onto either
side of the court. This is a courtesy and safety call for all players.
The warm-up period lasts for ten minutes with as 5-minute warning. The
match begins immediately after the 10-minute warm-up.
A player shall not display unsportsmanlike conduct such as but not limited to,
throwing/abusing equipment; hitting a ball in the direction of an opponent,
official, or spectator; using profane or obscene language in any way that may
be heard by other persons, using obscene gestures; or threatening bodily
injury. (see USTA Code Violations)
First offense: Loss of point
Second offense: Forfeit game in progress or one game from total
accumulated by the offender
Third offense-Disqualification from the match and disqualified
from doubles play if the offense occurs during singles(this applies
to the team tournament as well as the singles/doubles tournament).
Each player is required to report the final score to her/his coach. The host
team player is responsible for clearing the courts of the three balls and return
the balls to the coach.
Good Luck to both teams…….and now for the line-ups: