National League Rules 2024 – 2025



  1. Participation in the League shall be open to both Amateur and Professional players of the required standard.

  2. a.        If any player improves beyond the lower handicap range by 2.6 handicap points, their singles match will be played off full handicap to the lowest range of that division.  For example, if the division range is 45 – 50; the player’s handicap is 42.4; for handicap rounding down to nearest whole number –  42 they will give 3 handicap points Rec ½ 15.

    b.        Any player that worsens to 5 points above the division range will not be eligible to play and every effort must be made to re-nominate to replace that player. 

  3. a.       Teams from all Divisions will comprise two players.  

    b.       A maximum of 4 players may be nominated in Div 3-5 and a minimum 3 and maximum of 5 players in Div 6-10. A suggested 4 for all divisions is suggested by the committee due to injuries and commitments to avoid any walkovers or subbing.

    c.         Winning teams will receive 3 individual trophies in 3-player divisions and 2 in 2-player divisions.  Further trophies can be obtained on request with the cost borne by the requesting party.


  1. A schedule of matches for the first half of the season shall be arranged by the National League Organiser and will be emailed to the team captains by the last day of August.

  2. All teams must then make any changes they need to and confirm completed fixture list by the end of September to the National League Organiser.

  3. Fixtures for the second half of the season will be sent out on 1st November and must be confirmed to the organisers by 1st December.

  4. League matches must be finished by mid of April and finals concluded by end of May.

  5. Travel Rules

a.      It is expected that all away teams will play at each home team’s designated day and time, except as provided in b).

b.     Change of day if travelling exceeds two hours: if the normal weeknight travelling time from the visiting team to an away fixture starting at 18:30 exceeds 2 hours, this fixture may be re-scheduled for a weekend.  It is the responsibility of any home team that requires a re-schedule under this rule to notify the National League Organiser within 2 weeks of receiving the fixtures list.  The home team must then offer a range of dates (weeknights and weekends) that do not conflict with any of the away team’s other NL fixtures.  The away team cannot unreasonably refuse all of these dates.

All teams please bear in mind that with the hopefully shorter structure to matches, teams can be more flexible with their timings for matches on weekends and weekdays. National League is built on teams helping each other out so please honour this.

  1. Once finalised, the dates of the matches shall not be changed unless agreed by the National League Organiser and by both the teams involved.
  1. If either of the following should happen the National League Organiser will accept a reschedule:

a.    courts are unplayable due to dangerous playing conditions on court (but please note ADMINISTRATION 3 Weather Rule), or

b.  where travelling conditions due to the weather are deemed to be unreasonable by both teams.

  1. Format of Fixtures

 a.  All Divisions will have both players play a best of 3 set (to 6 games) singles match against their opposite number off level except where ELIGIBILITY 2 a) applies and will then team up to play 1 set (to 8 games) level doubles off scratch.

b.  All doubles matches no matter of an improved player will be played off level

c.   All matches for an NL fixture must be played on the same court.

d.   All results must be emailed to the National League Organiser within 48 hours of the match being completed by the home captain. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a 1 point deduction from the home team’s points total.

  1. Forfeit of matches

a.   If a team does not field a full complement of players, the team shall still play in order and shall forfeit any matches for which the team does not field a player.  (Teams shall forfeit the 3rdsingles first then the 2nd).

b.   The home team will forfeit any match played which does not comply with ORDER below (i.e.  it is for the home team to double check the details). 


  1. In divisions 3-10 by handicap on  (Handicaps are to be to the nearest whole number – e.g. 8.5 and 9.4 are both 9.).  In the event of even ranking, the player last ranked higher (better) shall play higher in the team.  Where possible Division 1 nominated and replacement players should be no worse than 5.  Division 2 handicap 10 and Division 3 should be no worse than 15.  The divisions from Division 4 will be 15-20, Division 5 20-25, etc to Division 10 45-50. 

  2. Order of PlayPlayers must play in order of merit, with the highest ranked (best) playing at No. 1, the second highest at No. 2. The order of play should be confirmed between captains when they communicate to confirm the fixture.  In the event that agreement cannot be reached, matches in all Divisions shall be played in the following order, 2nd singles, 1st singles, doubles.  

  3. Shortening the matches – in all divisions, should both teams agree prior to the start of any individual match, a match may be shortened to three games all in the final set, with the exception of any finals match.

  4. Replacement, Re-nomination

a.     Replacement players may be any player that falls within the handicap range of that division.

b.     Replacement players will not be eligible for any final unless they have played at least two matches for the team they are representing.

c.      Nominated players in a division may not play for another team in that same division.  At the discretion of the National League Organiser for injury or exceptional circumstances in another team may allow certain replacements in handicap brackets lacking players.

d.      Nominated players can though play in higher divisions at the discretion of the National League Organiser.

e.       Nominated players must play a minimum of 2 matches during the season to be eligible for the final and or play-offs.

f.    A team may re-nominate players:

i)    up to 31st December due to injury or relocation,

ii)  at any time to replace a player who has become ineligible under ELIGIBILITY 2 c) or iii) in exceptional circumstances with the agreement of the National League Organiser.




An entry fee of £185 per team is payable for all divisions.  All payments to be made as one by the club and must be received by the IRTPA with entry forms.  Entry fees are the responsibility of the club being represented. 




  1. Teams will be awarded 1 bonus point for each fixture where their whole team is made up of nominated players

  2. Each rubber is worth 2 points with a bonus point for winning the overall fixture.

  3. Tiebreakers and eligibility for final

    a.      in the case of a tie on points the following criteria will be used in order as tie-breaks:
    1.      Most matches won;
    2.      The ratio of sets won to sets lost;
    3.      The ratio of games won to games lost;
    4.      The overall result between two tied teams in points, sets and games respectively; 
    5.      Finally, by lot.

    b.     In all Divisions only 2 teams will qualify for the Finals. (The Top two of the group stage). This is for setting up the 2025-2026 season’s plan for more incentives for the winners of each division.

  4. The MVP will be awarded in the case of a tie on points by matches won, matches won ratio, sets won ratio, games won ratio.

    The MVP points will be awarded as follows:

    1)   3 points for away wins
    ii)  2 points for home wins
    iii) 1 point for all loses

    For this upcoming season 2024 – 2025 MVP will only count for Singles. There will be a separate prize for any team that wins all their doubles matches.



  1. Teams must appoint a captain, who is responsible for liaising with their club professionals, opposition teams, submission of results and being the primary point of contact for the team.


  1. Booking of courts and cost of courts


a.      An absolute minimum of four hours court time should be booked. 

b.      In all divisions home teams will bear the cost of hosting all matches UNLESS the away side cancels the match within 72 hours of the fixture’s start time. In this instance the away team will be liable for the cost of any unsold courts.

  1. Weather Rule

Should any court have a propensity to become dangerous or unplayable due to adverse weather conditions, it is the responsibility of this court’s professional staff to take every reasonable measure to make the court playable, and contact the away team and the National League Organiser with 24 hours (previous day) notice of likely difficult conditions.  The National League Committee supports the decision of health and safety responsibilities at any National League venue. 


4.      Marking

a.      In all divisions Singles matches must be marked. For Doubles matches the home team should arrange to have a competent person to keep score whilst players do their own calling, if no marker is available.

b.      Home teams shall be responsible for the marking whether they mark it themselves or employ a marker.

c.      All league finals must be marked by a qualified marker, subsidised by the league if that marker is a professional.

5.       Supper or hospitality relevant to the time of the match is expected to be offered by the home  side. 

When arranging the match the Captain of the visiting team should let the home team know how many will wish to eat, otherwise the home team are under no obligation.

6.     A photograph of the final in each division and a report should be emailed to the National League Organiser by the home team within 1 week of the final being played.


The decision of the National League Committee is final on any dispute.  All queries or new information on teams and matches should be sent to the National League Organiser, Alex Machin