Rules

Last updated 4.11.2021

  1. What is AC Tennis?

    AC Tennis is a social tennis league.
    a. The league consists of eighty-four (84) men and women who play pre-scheduled singles matches Wednesday evenings in the months of May through September at the outdoor courts located at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI and Wick Park in Milwaukee, WI.
    b. The league’s members participate in weekly social gatherings at Leff’s Lucky Town after their matches, attend and host parties throughout the season, and are friendly on and off the court.
  2. Club Mission
    AC Tennis’ mission is to provide a combination of fun, yet competitive tennis matches and a variety of social opportunities for members.
  3. Membership Expectations
    a. Members must be able to commit to the majority of Wednesday evening matches. Potential new members and returning members should not join if they are unavailable to play on most Wednesday evenings May through September.
    b. Members are to arrive prepared to play tennis at their assigned time and locations. This includes bringing a can of new tennis balls of standard size.
    c. Members are expected to exhibit excellent sportsmanship and common courtesy on and off the court. This includes timely notification to the AC Tennis scheduler of planned absences (vacations, business trips, etc.) and clear communication with all parties involved if changes are needed to the schedule (substitutes, postponed or make-up
    matches and rainouts).
    d. AC Tennis exists to offer exciting, competitive tennis matches to its members. The league also takes pride in being a fun, social league. AC Tennis fully realizes that not every member has the same amount of free time or flexibility in their lives to attend every social function the league offers. However, AC Tennis is distinctive in its spirit and camaraderie among its members. The expectation is that each member should make an effort to foster this unique environment.
    e. AC Tennis prides itself in being affordable with low cost membership dues. This means, however, that members are expected to contribute financially in other ways, for instance by bringing food or dishes to pass at parties, etc. Furthermore, at times the league is given group deals or discounts for food and drink. Members should tip wait staff for the full value of the food and service. Similarly, members will often buy pitchers of beer or other food/drink for fellow members. Members are expected to observe common courtesy by reciprocating in an equitable manner.
  4. Probationary Year for New Members
    AC Tennis is a league with a limited capacity for members (84 men and women). In general, every year the priority for the 84 slots in the league goes to prior members after which new members are invited to join. Starting in 2015, AC Tennis reserves the right to withhold its invitation to a first year member to return the subsequent year if AC tennis determines that the new member failed to meet the league’s expectations or otherwise violated rules and/or demonstrated inadequate sportsmanship or poor courtesy to fellow members.
  5. Removal of Any Member
    AC Tennis reserves the right to remove any member who fails to meet league’s expectations or otherwise violated rules and/or demonstrated inadequate sportsmanship or poor courtesy to fellow members.

    Tennis Match Structure, Rules, and Fines


  6. General Structure & Scoring
    AC Tennis matches are played in a non-traditional, condensed manner. Instead of playing games/sets/match, AC Tennis matches are scored by total games won and lost within one (1) hour, which includes warm-up time. The games themselves are played as conventional “ad” games. The reason for this non-traditional play is to accommodate our reserved court time with number of players scheduled. Courts at Hart and Wick are reserved for two (2) hours total on a typical Wednesday evening during the AC Tennis season. During those 2 hours, there are between 48 and 56 members scheduled to play matches. The remainder of the league’s members is either on the substitute list or scheduled off due to another commitment.
    Example: Jim and Jane played their scheduled match at Hart Park, Court 1 starting at 6:00pm and finishing at 7:00pm last Wednesday. Jane beats Jim with 9 games won and 7 games lost. The final score of that match is reported as 9 (Jane) to 7 (Jim).
  7. Scheduling
    a. Tennis matches between players of approximately the same ability are scheduled by the AC Tennis Scheduler.
    b. Scheduled matches are established approximately every three (3) to four (4) weeks in batches of three (3) to four (4) weeks at a time.
    c. The tennis schedule is released to the league via email and/or the AC Tennis website.
    d. Matches are generally scheduled at 6:00pm and 7:00pm (there are some variation on times depending on high school tennis practices at Hart Park). If a member has a preference for a time slot, the AC Tennis Scheduler will do their best to accommodate. There are no guarantees.
    e. The AC Tennis scheduler should be notified of any foreseen absences (vacations, business trips, etc.) as soon as possible in order to ensure that the member will not be scheduled for a match or placed on the sub list for that particular Wednesday.
  8. Ranking & Reporting
    a. Ranking is initially established by the AC Tennis scheduler through a combination of methods including but not limited to phone call/self-report, other players’ recommendations and/or a trial match between the AC Scheduler (or other player) and the new member.
    b. Ranking is based upon a number of factors such as match score, point differential, and opponent ranking.
    c. Members’ ranking can increase or decrease throughout the season.
    d. Ranking is also weighted as the season progresses by match score differential. This means that matches played earlier in the season “weigh” less, or affect a member’s ranking less than compared matches later in the season. This forgiving algorithm is to allow for more errors or mistakes at the start of the season. Contact the AC Tennis Scheduler if you have questions about your ranking or the scheduling algorithm.
    e. The winner of the match is to report the score to the AC Tennis scheduler either in person at Leff’s Lucky Town or via https://actennis.com/scores. The score should be reported no later than the end of the day on Thursday.
    f. If the score is not reported, the match is considered a “no play”.
  9. Match Completion & Etiquette
    a. Matches are to be played for one (1) hour including warm-up. Matches are to start at their scheduled time and location – especially those matches that are scheduled in the first hour of a two hour block since there will AC Tennis players scheduled to follow your match on your court.
    b. Opponents should jointly agree upon whose can of balls to use and whether or not the winner takes the unopened can of balls. This is optional and should be agreed upon prior to the start of the match.
    c. Minor ground rules are to be jointly agreed upon (i.e. amount of time spent warming up with each other, practice serves vs. first serve in, etc.)
    d. Opponents should spin a racquet or toss a coin to determine the first server.
    e. Game scores should be clearly verbalized by the server to his/her opponent prior to each game and serve.
    f. All shots are called out or fair by the receiving player. Lying or cheating will not be tolerated by AC Tennis and should be reported to the AC Tennis board members.
    g. Opponents should switch sides every odd-numbered game in order to balance any advantages or disadvantages due to the sun, wind, etc.
    h. If there is a tie, play out the tie-break to determine a definite winner. A win with a margin of one (1) is permissible. Be reasonable in the amount of time spent on a tiebreak, especially if another match is scheduled after yours on your court.
    i. If the match on the court preceding yours is in the middle of a tie-break at the start of your scheduled hour, be courteous and allow the players to finish. The Hart Park Courts and Wick Courts generally do not have other groups or players scheduled to play on them following the AC league reservations.
    j. Members are encouraged to come early or stay late to watch their fellow members complete their matches. However, no player should enter the fenced court area until it is clear that the prior match has completed. Please be courteous and sensitive to the game and the players’ wishes.
  10. Rain Outs & Inclement Weather
    a. All scheduled matches are played outdoors and are thus subject to the weather.
    b. AC Tennis will never cancel matches for the league. The responsibility for that decision lays with each individual member and his/her opponent. AC Tennis respects each member’s comfort level and will not penalize players who chose to cancel due to risk of slippery courts, heat stroke, etc.
    c. Members should not assume that a match is cancelled due to inclement weather, and also should not assume that the just because it is raining at their location that the courts are wet or that it has rained at Hart or Wick.
    d. If in doubt, one of the opponents or a member designated by the players in the match should physically inspect the court prior to the match and make a determination.
    e. Matches cancelled due to weather may be made up by members at a later time, if they desire. This is optional.
  11. Substitutes
    a. As previously stated, every effort should be made to notify the AC Tennis scheduler in advance about known absences (i.e. vacations, business trips, etc.) Nonetheless, unforeseen circumstances do arise and are to be expected. The AC Tennis scheduling paradigm accounts for this and typically has about fifteen (15) or twenty (20) of the regular eighty-four (84) members listed as substitutes.
    b. Once the AC Tennis schedule has been released or “gone to press” it is the responsibility of the individual member to find a substitute if needed. Members must either obtain a substitute or reschedule with their opponent. The member with the conflict should give the option to their original opponent of either playing against a sub vs. rescheduling the match. It is important that the decision to reschedule the match and
    the fact that the court is open is reported to the AC Tennis Scheduler soon as possible. The AC Scheduler will do their best to offer it to another AC match. The league pays fees for court time and the use of the court should go to other AC members.
    c. Selecting a substitute:
    i. Select someone close to your ability (ranking) to ask to be your substitute. The general guideline is to select someone within +/- 6 ranking points from your opponent.
    ii. Keep your opponent updated on the results of the search for your sub. If this process is being conducted via email the easiest method is to copy your opponent to your inquiry email.
    iii. If you are unable to obtain a substitute from the sub list, another option is to ask a similarly ranked player who is scheduled to play before or after your scheduled match. As long as the player agrees to play two (2) solid hours of tennis as opposed to the previously expected one (1) hour of tennis, that player can serve as a substitute for you.
    iv. Once a substitute player is confirmed, inform your opponent (if not already informed via the joint email). At this point your responsibility for the match has now formally passed to your substitute.
  12. Make-up Matches
    a. If members plan to reschedule/make-up the match, they must notify the AC Tennis Scheduler. The AC Tennis Scheduler will ask other unscheduled members to play if they would like to take the court time. Please do not waste court time that was paid for by the league.
    b. The responsibility for scheduling the date, time and location of the make-up match rests with the players. The AC Tennis Scheduler will not schedule these matches.
    c. Members may choose to play their make-up matches traditionally or in the nontraditional AC Tennis manner. This should be determined prior to the match and all other rules/common etiquette should be followed.
    d. If a make-up match is played in the traditional format, opponents must agree in advance to the total number of sets (i.e. best of 3 sets or best of 5 sets). Furthermore, the final score of each set must be reported to the AC Tennis Scheduler (i.e. Jane won the match against Jim, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3).
    e. The winner of the make-up match must report the score to the AC Tennis Scheduler. The results of this match counts towards the players’ overall ranking as usual.
  13. Forfeits
    a. Members that fail to show up for a match within ten (10) minutes of the scheduled start time without notifying their opponent by noon on that day constitutes as a forfeit.
    b. A “no show” is not a forfeit until it is reported to the AC Tennis Scheduler by the “stood up” player.
    c. Emergencies or accidents do occur. A “no show” due to a true emergency is understandable. Please contact your opponent and the AC Tennis Scheduler as soon as possible. Please note that true emergencies constitute circumstances such as a medical crisis, car accidents, mechanical failures, etc. and will not count as a forfeit.
    d. Fines and Consequences of Forfeits
    i. First offense incurs a $25.00 fine payable to the AC Tennis Treasurer. The offending member’s name is removed from the future editions of the schedule until the fine is paid.
    ii. Second offense incurs a $50.00 fine payable to the AC Tennis Treasurer. The offending member’s name is removed from the future editions of the schedule until the fine is paid.
    iii. Third offense constitutes the removal of the member from the league.

    By signing up to join AC Tennis and paying membership dues, every member (including the AC Tennis Board Members) is agreeing to abide by the rules and expectations laid out above.

    Welcome to AC Tennis. We look forward to the fun times on and off the court with you!