Each captain should be familiar with these Rules, with the CALTA Charter and with the Captains' Responsibilities document.  This Rules document specifies procedures for weekly match play, communication between captains, and organizational and scheduling issues that may change annually.  For all general regulations governing membership and team requirements, division structure and match schedule, see the CALTA Charter Each captain should request of all the players on her team that they review the regulations governing membership and the rules on match play and conduct.  The procedures governing changes to the Rules are outlined in Section XX of the Charter.



In the 2021-2022 season, CALTA has six divisions with Division One the strongest level of play.  Each Division has a Division Coordinator, whose functions are described in Section VIII of the CALTA Charter and in the Coordinators' Responsibilities document.



As stated in the CALTA Charter: 

Each team must have a minimum of eight players on its roster.  There is no maximum. 
Each team must designate one team member as captain. 
Only one member may be listed as captain. 

[If the player holding the position of team captain changes during the season, for purposes of recognition at the season-end luncheon and in the website, the incumbent at the time of the luncheon will be noted as captain.]
The captain may appoint another member as co-captain but she is not required to do so. 
There may be a maximum of two co-captains listed in the website.
A player can be on only one team roster in CALTA and can transfer between teams one time after the season has started. 
Each CALTA member must be 18+ years of age at the start of the season.
Since each tennis center has its own eligibility rules for participation in team play, CALTA does not monitor the status of players at a tennis center.  It is the responsibility of the CALTA captain to ensure that each of her players satisfies her tennis center's eligibility rules for team play and retains legitimate status throughout the CALTA season.

Each captain must submit a team roster prior to the start of the Fall season, using the on-line Roster Submission Form in the CALTA web site. 

Addition of new players:  A new member can be added to a team (only by the team captain) at any time during the season. 

Transfer of players: A member already listed on a CALTA team can transfer permanently (i.e., for the rest of the season) to any other CALTA team at any time during the season.

The division coordinator must be notified of an addition or transfer prior to any match play for that member.
If a player participates in a match and is not listed on the team roster at the start of the match, any points earned by her team for her play will be reversed.   It is the responsibility of the team captain to ensure that all her players are listed in the website roster. 

As a condition of membership on a team in CALTA and in consideration of being accepted as a member of a CALTA team, each individual personally assumes any risk arising from her participation in a CALTA match or event -- and holds harmless CALTA, its officers, directors, representatives and members with respect to any injury, disability, death, or loss or damage to person or property arising from or connected with participation in a CALTA match or event, including travel to or from any CALTA match or event, during the time of the individual's membership in CALTA.



The annual dues for 2021-2022 are $40.  Captains must collect $40 from each member and mail one roster dues check to the CALTA Treasurer prior to the team's first match.  A team's games will be forfeited until its initial roster dues check is received by the Treasurer.  Dues are nonrefundable and are not pro-rated; if a member joins late in the season, she must pay the full $40 annual dues.  Dues are not transferable from one player to another.  Instructions for remittance of dues for players added during the season are on the home page of the CALTA website. 



Throughout the Rules, "host team" should be read to mean captain or co-captain or other team member designated by them.  All players fulfilling this function during the season must comply with the Captains' Responsibilities document.

The host team must make contact with the visiting team captain or designated contact person no later than the day prior to the scheduled match.  If done by e-mail, it should be initiated several days in advance and confirmation received.  If no confirmation is received, the host team should follow up by telephone.

On the day of the match, the host team must make contact by telephone with its opponent by 7:30AM if the weather is questionable.  The host team will make the decision whether or not to play the match.  Rule XII specifies the conditions and procedures for rescheduling due to weather.

Host team furnishes new "USTA-approved" balls (must be stated on the can) and of the type appropriate for the surface being played on. 

Host team furnishes light refreshments.



A match consists of four courts of doubles.  A win on one court earns one point.  The maximum number of points that can be earned by a team in one match is four, the minimum zero. 

FORFEIT: the giving up of a court (loss of one point), usually with advance notice. 

DEFAULT: the loss of a court (loss of one point) because of tardiness, misconduct, or violation of the rules. 

RETIREMENT: the loss of a court (loss of one point) due to injury or emergency while the match is in progress.

If, by mutual consent, a court is not played, no point is awarded.



In the 2021-2022 season, all divisions play on Tuesday morning.  Four courts of doubles are played -- each for one point.
All players should be on the court ready to begin pre-match warm-up promptly at 9:30AM
The captains or their designated representatives (who must be team members) will exchange line-ups no later than 9:30AM -- whether or not all players have arrived.  First and last names must appear on the score sheets.  Before line-up exchange, clubs that have courts with different surfaces shall let the visiting team know which positions will be playing on which surfaces.  If this information is not shared before line-up exchange, each captain has the option of changing her line-up.  As stated in Rule II, if a team's line-up includes a player who has not been registered in the team roster prior to the start of the match, that court will subsequently be defaulted. 

If the host team's courts are not playable but there are playable courts at neighboring sites, the home team may request that the visiting team play at one of those sites -- but, the visiting team is not required to do so and can request a reschedule of some or all of the courts. (see Rule XII)

Substitutions are allowed after line-up exchange due to injury, illness or no-show of a player.  The substitution is to be made in the position affected. Unless an "emergency" applies as defined below, the substitution should be made by 9:45AM or a default will apply; if there is an emergency situation, the substitution may be made until 10AM.  A default will be in effect if a team is not on its designated court and ready to begin play at 9:45AM, unless an emergency (see next paragraph) has occurred on the way to the match.  The final grace period for such emergencies ends at 10:00AM.  The default will apply to the court for which the late player is listed.  The home team captain should report any such default to the coordinator.

Definition of "emergency":  If someone runs into an unexpected verifiable public situation (major accident, road closed, traffic re-routed) and she communicates with her captain and the captain is able to communicate the situation to the other captain by 9:30AM and the late player is able to stay in communication as she drives and can be on the court by 10:00AM -- in that case the 10:00AM extension should apply.  For any other circumstances 9:45AM remains the default time.  When the emergency deadline is applicable, the home team can either hold the visiting team to the 10:00AM deadline or can choose to play whenever they arrive.  In either case, when the visiting team informs the home team about the situation, the home team captain must communicate clearly to the visiting team what the case will be.



Warm-up is not to be regarded as practice.  Players are encouraged to arrive early to practice with their own team if they desire.  As a courtesy, the home team captain should try to ensure that courts are available by 9:00AM for the visiting team to practice.  Once line-ups have been exchanged and opponents have met on their assigned courts, the pre-match warm-up procedure is as follows:

The home team will "spin" and ask the visiting team to choose "up" or "down" (or equivalent); the winner can choose to 1) serve or 2) receive or 3) pick a side or 4) ask the opponents to choose.  If the winner chooses a side, the other team will choose to serve or receive.  Players will then position themselves on the side of the court on which they will commence play as determined by the spin and will conduct a warm-up for a maximum of 10 minutes, to include:

- ground strokes

- home team moves up for volleys and overheads

- visiting team moves up for volleys and overheads

- service practice

Courtesy dictates that each player should make every effort to hit her shots directly to her opponent and that she not practice her service return when her opponent is practicing her serve.

Every effort should be made to begin play by 9:45AM.

If a player arrives late for the warm-up, a minimum 5-minute warm-up will be allowed.



A match consists of two out of three sets. CALTA is a three-set league and participants should be prepared to allow adequate time for a full three sets.

However, if a match is "split" after two sets, the players can discuss the possibility of playing a 10-point "match tiebreak" (using the Coman format) instead of a full third set.  (It should not be discussed prior to that point.)  The decision to play a match tiebreak instead of a third set must be willingly unanimous.  If one of the four players objects, a third set will be played.  

If all four players agree to a match tiebreak, the team that first wins 10 points by a margin of at least 2 points will win the match (and the set is scored as 1-0).  Either player on the serving team may start service in a match tiebreak. 

Rule added on 9/04/2020:  When the temperature rule (see Rule XII below) is in effect for a match day and a match is "split" after two sets, if one player on the court wants to play a 10-point tiebreak instead of a full third set, a tiebreak will be played.  


Cellular phones and pagers must be set to vibrate or silent before the start of a match.  If a phone rings during play or at change-over and is distracting to the players on any court adjacent to the ringing phone, a let can be called and the point replayed.  At that time (after the end of a game), all players should ensure that their phones are silenced.  This is considered a warning for all players on the courts affected.  If any player's phone then rings, a penalty of one point will be imposed.  (For example, if the score is 15-0 when a player's phone rings, the score will become 15-15 or 30-0 -- depending on whose phone has rung.)

Server will announce the score audibly before each serve.


All line calls are to be made only by the participating players.  If a player is not sure of a line call, she should ask her partner first.  Should she ask one of her opponents, she must accept the opponent's reply.


Timing: 20 seconds allowed between points; 90 seconds allowed during change of side, including after the first game of the set;

2-minute break allowed between first and second sets; 10 minutes allowed between second and third sets; no time allowed before or during a set tiebreak.  (The set tiebreak is continuous play at the end of all sets reaching 6-6.)


Set tiebreak:  Sets reaching 6-6 will be decided by a 7-point tiebreak -- using the Coman format.  The team that first wins 7 points by a margin of two or more points shall win the set.  The player whose turn it is to serve shall be the server for the first point, which is delivered from the deuce court.  Thereafter, each player shall serve in rotation for 2 points (first from the ad court, then from the deuce court) in the same serving order until the winners have been decided.  Players change sides after first point and every 4 points thereafter and at the end of the tiebreak.  The team that served first in the set that ended in a tiebreak shall receive service in the first game of the following set.


Coaching: Pros may not coach at any time during the match (but can be consulted about rules -- see below).  Players may receive coaching from team-mates between the second and third sets.   

Resolution of On-court Rule Disputes:

- If, during play, a question arises that is not addressed in the CALTA Rules, the matter should be settled according to USTA Rules governing play.  A pro, if present at the court, can be consulted.

- For issues that are addressed in the CALTA Rules, if the players do not have a CALTA Rules document available on the court, they should request guidance from a captain or her designated representative for the match -- or can request a copy of the rules from another player if readily available.  (Any one player can make the request; it is not necessary that all four request guidance.)

- If a captain or her designated representative becomes aware of a rules disagreement on one of her team's courts, in the interest of expediting a resolution she can take the initiative to request the facts and assist the players in identifying the applicable rule.



A team receives one point for each court won.  With four courts played, the total number of points that can be awarded to a team ranges from minimum 0 to maximum 4.  If two teams mutually agree not to play a court, no point is awarded for that court. 

Immediately after a match, the host team captain or her designated representative will send to her coordinator the Total Points for each team.  She should also immediately send to the coordinator a copy of the score sheet -- using the instructions on the score sheet.  Each team captain should keep a full set of score sheets for her team. 



When a court is forfeited, it must be in the fourth position.  The team that forfeits should communicate the forfeit by telephone to the opposing team by 8:00AM the morning of the match unless there is a last-minute emergency.  It is considered common courtesy to forfeit the night before, if known, but it is not required to forfeit before the morning of the match. 
If a team decides to communicate a forfeit early, it may not be retracted.  
In the case of a "mutual forfeit" (i.e., both teams needing to forfeit one or more courts), it is permissible to reschedule those courts.  
If a match has not begun and is rescheduled due to weather conditions per Rule XII, any forfeits that have been communicated are rendered null and void, and the line-up can be redone with no forfeits. 



After play has begun, if a player cannot continue a match because of an injury or personal emergency, a loss by "retirement" will result.


As noted above, "host team" should be read to mean captain or co-captain or other team member designated by them. 

Matches are to be rescheduled only in the event of bad weather or when there is an unscheduled public school closing. If the local authorities close the public schools
on a day that was originally scheduled to be open on the public school calendar (and that was a scheduled match day for CALTA), either team can request that some or all of the courts be rescheduled. Once the public schools have officially reopened, all teams are subject to the regular CALTA Rules. (edited Sept. 13, 2019)

See below for Temperature Rule.

Once a match has been rescheduled and agreed upon by both teams, it will be regarded as a regularly scheduled match and no further rescheduling may be done except for bad weather.  The agreement of a date for a rescheduled match should be documented by an e-mail and copied to the division coordinator.
[The four courts of a rescheduled match may be played at separate times if both teams are agreeable.  See below for Rescheduling Courts Separately.]

  When weather conditions are such that court playability may be in question:

Rescheduling Courts Separately:
If the captains decide to have the courts played separately, either the courts can be scheduled by the captains or the names of the players can be communicated and the players themselves can reschedule.  An email record of communications/decisions should be maintained until the court has been played.  Once a court has been rescheduled, no change can be made in the date/time -- except for bad weather.  If names have been exchanged and a match date/time set and a player on one of the courts becomes unable to play, another player not already in the line-up can be substituted on her court; the opposing team should be promptly informed of the change. When informed of a player change, the other team can substitute on that same court another player not already in the line-up.   

Temperature Rule:
In the event of a local forecast for very cold or very warm weather, the following procedure should be followed:

Between 7:00AM-8:00AM on match day, players should check the "" website hourly forecast for the location of the home court (link available at the bottom of the CALTA website home page).  If the forecast for "RealFeel" at 10AM in the location of the home court is either below 40 degrees or 90 degrees or above, either team may cancel some or all of the courts by 8:00AM and require a rescheduling on the next official make-up date available for both teams.  If both teams agree that some of the courts will be played, those courts will be played as scheduled. 



Any player may file a grievance.  She should send the information requested in the Grievance Form to her coordinator within one week of the incident.



Poor conduct will not be tolerated.  The Rules Committee may penalize an individual or a team for poor conduct.  The Code, as a handbook of etiquette and fair play, should be understood and followed by every CALTA player.


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