USTA Southern Regulations (Rules & Regs)
SECTION I. GENERAL
These Regulations are established under the authority of the USTA Southern Bylaws.
These regulations are subordinate to USTA Regulations and in any instance of conflict the national regulations govern. State Associations within USTA Southern may supplement these regulations but may not alter or modify them.
The USTA Southern Regulations are approved by the USTA Southern Executive Council and shall be observed and followed by USTA Southern Committees, Officers, Directors, and Members, and will apply to all USTA Southern programs and events specified in these Regulations, including those that are conducted by clubs, associations and organizations belonging to USTA Southern.
All individual and organizational members of USTA Southern are subject, during USTA Southern sanctioned events, to the USTA Southern Constitution and Bylaws and the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.
The authority to establish guidelines or regulations for programs conducted within USTA Southern that are not specifically covered in these Regulations (NJTL, Schools, Special Populations, etc.), is granted to the USTA Southern committee established for their oversight and administration. Any such guidelines or regulations are subject to review and approval by the USTA Southern Board of Directors.
Residents of USTA Southern are defined as: Individuals who have established a legal residency in one of the nine states of USTA Southern whose geographical boundaries are determined by USTA Southern. Legal residency for juniors is that of his/her legal supporting parent(s).
Individuals must be citizens of the United States or permanent resident aliens.
Requests to resolve any discrepancy regarding residency requirements in order to participate in Southern Closed events or to gain eligibility to be ranked in USTA Southern shall be submitted in writing no later than 15 days prior to commencement of the tournament of interest or within the prescribed appeal period for ranking purposes to the USTA Southern Executive Director.
i. Requests will be resolved by a committee composed of the following:
The President of USTA Southern or his/her appointee, who shall serve as Chairman of the committee.
The Chairman of the USTA Southern Grievance Committee.
The President of the State Association where the player claims he/she is a resident.
ii. The burden of proof of eligibility rests with the player. The decision of the committee shall be final and binding.
Administration and Conduct :
The Officers of an organization holding any USTA Southern sanctioned event, or an event committee appointed to act on their behalf, shall have full control over the details concerning the event. The Officers or event committee shall keep order and resolve any issues arising from the competition, except those concerning tennis rules (which shall be decided by the Referee), and shall enforce all rules governing conduct of players and spectators.
All USTA Southern sanctioned events, except eight (8) and under, shall have a Referee (certified by USTA) appointed by the event officers or committee. The Referee will have the authority to appoint a substitute to act in their stead and the substitute shall be present at all times while serving as such. The Referee may not serve as an umpire or participate in a match unless an authorized substitute is present to act as Referee.
The Rules of Tennis, USTA Standards of Conduct and USTA Standing Orders, and all other USTA and USTA Southern Rules and Regulations shall be observed in all sanctioned program activities and tournaments of USTA Southern.
i. Proper behavior and good sportsmanship is expected from every player. If a player is accompanied by a parent, coach, friend or any other person, the same standard of conduct is expected of them.
ii. Any unacceptable conduct or unsportsmanlike behavior shall be brought to the attention of the Referee, event committee, designated USTA Southern official or representative and shall be investigated. Upon verification, the player and/or spectator so involved shall be given one warning. If there is a second offense, the offender shall be defaulted if a player and removed from the premises if a spectator.
iii. In the event that the Referee or any member of the event committee fails to enforce the event regulations, direct appeal may be made to a designated USTA Southern official at the event who shall have authority to act immediately and, if necessary, direct compliance with the rules. A full report shall then be made to USTA Southern Director of Adult Competition or Director of Junior Competition.
iv. A grievance may be filed with the USTA Southern Grievance Committee for flagrant violation of the Rules of Tennis or USTA Standards of Conduct.
D. Tournament Sanctions:
All USTA Southern tournaments must receive an official sanction. Such sanctions shall be administered by USTA Southern Sanction and Schedule Subcommittees of the Junior and Adult Competition Committees, according to requirements of the USTA and amplified by USTA Southern (through the Sanction and Scheduling Committees). Requirements for sanctions will be published annually. All sanctions and tournament schedules shall be approved by the USTA Southern Board of Directors and published annually.
USTA Southern sanctions for all Southern Championship Tournaments may be awarded only if the Tournament Director, or their designated representative, has attended a USTA Southern Tournament Director’s workshop within two (2) years of the date of the sanctioned event. Individual waivers to this requirement may be granted by the Sanction & Scheduling Subcommittee having oversight responsibility for sanctioning the event.
Amendments: In accordance with the USTA Southern Bylaws, these Regulations shall be subject to alteration, amendment or repeal and new regulations may be made by an affirmative vote of a majority of the USTA Southern Executive Council, provided notice of the proposed changes be provided to the Executive Council no less than 30 days prior to the date such changes are to be presented for approval.
SECTION II. JUNIOR PROGRAMS:
USTA Southern Tournaments
i. USTA Southern will offer junior tournament competition for members of the USTA, including championship closed and open tournaments. Such events will be sanctioned and scheduled according to procedures defined by the USTA Southern Junior Competition Committee and approved by the USTA Southern Executive Committee. Only members who satisfy the residency criteria defined in Section I of these regulations are eligible to enter Southern Closed Tournaments.
ii. All players must have a current USTA membership in order to participate in USTA Southern Tournaments/Events
iii. Junior Tournament schedules will be published annually by USTA Southern for all tournaments sanctioned by USTA Southern.
iv. All players shall be limited to three (3) events in any single tournament. No player shall be forced to play more than two (2) singles matches in one day unless inclement weather forces doubling up on matches or if short scoring is used. If short scoring is used, three (3) or more singles matches may be scheduled per day. If, due to rain or other unforeseen circumstances, a player’s presence in any event other than his/her age group is causing delay, that player may be defaulted from that division.
v. Boys’ and Girls’ matches shall always be scheduled so that a player will compete in his own age classification before playing in an older classification the same day.
vi. All Southern Junior Championship Tournaments (with exception of Southern 10s) must use deuce-add scoring with the set tiebreak played at six-all in all sets in championship and feed-in consolation singles matches, except when the players are scheduled to play two (2) singles consolation matches in a day. In that case, the players may play a match tie-break in lieu of a third set. If scheduling is disrupted by inclement weather, alternative scoring may be authorized by the Director of Junior Competition or a designated representative.
vii. All Southern Junior Championship Tournament doubles matches shall consist of at least an 8 game pro-set or short sets.
viii. All eight-and-under age group tournaments in USTA Southern shall be held on 36 ft. courts and players must use appropriate equipment and approved scoring.
ix. All ten-and-under age group tournaments in USTA Southern shall be held on 60 ft. courts with an orange ball or 78 ft. courts with a green ball and players must use appropriate equipment and approved scoring.
i. USTA Southern junior rankings will be based on the USTA Southern Points-Per-Round system which shall be determined by the Junior Competition Committee and published annually.
ii. Only results of sanctioned events will be considered for ranking purposes.
iii. The USTA Southern ranking year and age eligibility for all age divisions shall be the same as that adopted by USTA and shall be published by USTA Southern annually.
iv. All players must have a current USTA membership in order to be ranked in USTA Southern.
v. The minimum requirements for ranking may be waived only by the Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the USTA Southern Junior Competition Committee.
vi. Players earning a minimum of two hundred (200) points earned in the Points-Per-Round system used by USTA Southern will be included in the USTA Southern year end rankings.
vii. Singles matches consisting of any approved scoring format shall count for USTA Southern ranking. Doubles matches consisting of at least an 8-game pro-set count for USTA Southern ranking.
viii. Only the results of those tournaments using the approved internet posting of results shall be considered for ranking purposes.
ix. Ranking Appeals: Any player who wishes to appeal the ranking which is published online at year-end, or whose ranking may have been omitted, may appeal in writing to the USTA Southern Junior Competition Committee no later than January 31st.
c. Suspension Point System:
i. The point penalty system as sanctioned by USTA Southern shall be used as the basis to impose suspension points. Code violations shall only be given by a USTA certified official. The suspension point system shall be developed by the USTA Southern Junior Competition Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. This system shall be published annually.
ii. Suspension points shall be accumulated from the following events:
1. USTA Southern Level 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Tournaments.
2. All Events in the National Junior Tournament Schedule.
iii. Suspension points accumulate over a twelve (12) month, advancing, calendar period. Points that have been on a player's record for twelve (12) months shall be expunged.
iv. When six (6) points or more have been accumulated, the USTA Southern Director of Junior Competition shall send a letter to the player informing him/her of being in jeopardy of suspension.
v. When a player accumulates ten (10) suspension points during a twelve (12) month period, he/she shall be suspended from all USTA Southern sanctioned events for three (3) months and from the next USTA Southern Championship. The suspended player shall not be eligible for endorsement to any Nationals during the three (3) month suspension.
vi. A suspended player shall be ineligible for selection to USTA Southern team events (including Zonals and Intersectionals), Competition Training Centers and Training Camps for the twelve (12) months following the suspension.
vii. Following completion of a suspension, the oldest recorded ten (10) points will be expunged from the player's record.
viii. Appeal Process:
1. Following notice of suspension, the player shall have the right to a hearing by the USTA Southern Grievance Committee, if requested in writing within five (5) days following the receipt of the suspension notice. Players may not compete in USTA Southern sanctioned events during the appeal process.
a. If a player has begun competition in a tournament before receiving notice of the suspension, the suspension shall commence upon the player’s completion of that tournament.
b. If a player has entered tournaments when notice of the suspension is received, he/she must withdraw from those tournaments.
2. There shall be a two hundred fifty dollar ($250) filing fee to appeal. If the suspension is overturned in its entirety, the filing fee shall be refunded.
3. Any suspension affirmed by the USTA Southern Grievance Committee may be appealed by the suspended player to the USTA Southern Board of Directors. Any such appeal shall be submitted in writing within five (5) days following the receipt of the USTA Southern Grievance Committee decision, to the Executive Director, USTA Southern. It is the player’s responsibility to submit any pertinent information he or she wishes to be considered in this appeal process. The Board of Directors is not required to hold a hearing during this process and the decision of the Board of Directors shall be final and binding.
4. Stay: Upon written request and good cause shown, the Chair of the Grievance Committee may stay the imposition of any penalty or suspension pending outcome of a request for a hearing before the Grievance Committee or an appeal to the Board of Directors.
B. USTA Southern Closed Championship Tournaments
a. General: Each junior player entering a Southern Closed event who does not advance to the final round is required to play the consolation event (which includes a third place-fourth place playoff) unless the failure to play is attributable to a bona fide reason such as illness, injury or personal emergency as verified by the Tournament Director or referee.
b. Entry Quota System:
i. The draw size in every age division in USTA Southern junior closed tournaments shall be determined by the USTA Southern Junior Competition Committee. Each of the State Associations within USTA Southern will be assigned a quota computed on the basis of their percentage of individual junior members of the Section as reflected in the previous year-end figures. Alternates shall be evaluated and accepted in the draw in order according to current USTA Southern standings. Any alternates remaining after the draw is completed shall be posted in the draw in order and accepted as vacancies occur until the completion of the first round of play.
ii. Each State Association within USTA Southern shall appoint a Selector/Endorser to take applications to fill State quotas for Southern Closed Championships taking place in June of each year. All juniors who desire to apply for entry to Southern Junior Closed Championships must apply to the appropriate State Selector/Endorser. The State Selector/Endorser shall send an ordered list of selected players, both in-quota and alternates, to the USTA Southern Director of Junior Competition immediately following the completion of their state qualifier.
iii. The quota assigned each State Association, the State Selectors/Endorsers and the basis for selection adopted by each State for the Southern Junior Closed Championships for the current year shall be published on the official USTA Southern website.
USTA Southern Boys' and Girls' Intersectional Teams & Boys and Girls National Team Championship Teams.
a. General :
i. USTA Southern shall annually select teams to represent USTA Southern. USTA Southern shall appoint a coach/chaperon to travel with each team.
ii. The team will consist of up to eight (8) players chosen from the top juniors in the 18 and 16 age divisions.
iii. Selection of the teams shall be made by the USTA Southern Team Selection Subcommittee of the USTA Southern Junior Competition Committee.
b. USTA Southern Standard for Selection: The USTA Southern Team Selection Subcommittee has the authority to invite the players that will best represent USTA Southern. Many factors may enter into the decision of the Team Selection Subcommittee, and its decision shall be final. The Committee may require round-robin play or a play-off to obtain additional data for use in making the team selections.
USTA Southern World Team Tennis Junior National Team:
a. USTA Southern may select up to three (3) boys and three (3) girls to represent the Section at the World Team Tennis Junior Nationals.
b. Team selection shall be made by the USTA Southern Team Selection Subcommittee and will be based on sportsmanship and a current season’s National standing of not higher than 151 as of the date prescribed by the National World Team Tennis Junior National Program.
USTA Southern Endorsement Procedures to USTA National Junior Championships and Zonal Team Championships:
USTA Southern Endorsement Procedures apply to:
USTA Closed Regionals
ii. USTA National Clay Courts Championships.
iii. USTA National Hard Court Championships.
iv. USTA National Winter Championships.
v. USTA 12, 14 & 16 Zonal Team Championships.
Section Quota System. Each of the seventeen (17) sections of the USTA has a guaranteed quota for every USTA National Junior Championship. The quota is calculated annually and varies for different size draws.
Eligibility Criteria for Endorsement to USTA National Junior Championships.
i. Clay Court, Hard Court, and Winter National Championships. Minimum requirements are one (1) USTA Southern Level 1 Championship in the age group for which endorsement is sought.
Zonal Team Championships: Any player seeking endorsement to the USTA Zonal Teams Championships must play in the appropriate Southern Closed Championship in the age group for which the endorsement is desired.
i. Jr. Waiver Subcommittee: A Jr. Waiver Subcommittee of the Jr. Competition Committee will be appointed to consider applications for waiver of USTA Southern Criteria for Endorsement to USTA National Junior Championships. The Subcommittee will adhere to the following guidelines in considering waiver requests:
1. Waiver for illness or injury:
a. Waivers shall be considered for those who have qualified for the Southern Closed but are forced to withdraw prior to the tournament due to illness or injury.
b. Any request for a waiver must be accompanied by written medical documentation of illness or injury, signed by the treating physician, stating that in the physician's opinion the player will be in adequate physical condition to participate in the National tournament.
2. Waiver for USTA Southern Level 1, 2, 3 events: Waivers for endorsement to the Nationals shall be considered for, but not limited to, the following:
a. Injury or illness.
b. Players acquiring residence in USTA Southern after the last USTA Level 1, 2, 3 event of the year.
c. Participation in International Events conflicting with USTA Level 1, 2, 3 events.
When a waiver request is approved, the player’s endorsement position shall be based on their current standing.
ii. Other substitutions for Southern Closed: Consideration may be given by the Jr. Waiver Subcommittee to waive requests from Southern Closed participation made by players seeking participation in other events of national or international nature if such event is scheduled in conflict with a Southern Closed Championship. Waivers of this type will be granted on a selective basis and only with the approval of the Jr. Waiver Subcommittee.
Entry Procedure to National Tournaments
i. Entry to USTA Nationals must be completed online at USTA.com.
ii. Any endorsed player who must withdraw shall advise the USTA Southern Director of Junior Competition and the Tournament Director of the USTA Championship immediately so the next USTA Southern player can be added to the draw. Failure to do so could bring disciplinary action.
6. Jr. Team Tennis:
The USTA Southern Jr. Team Tennis program shall be governed by the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Regulations.
USTA Southern may adopt additional regulations for Jr. Team Tennis, not inconsistent with USTA Jr. Team Tennis Regulations. Any USTA Southern additions to USTA Jr. Team Tennis Regulations shall be adopted by the USTA Southern Jr. Team Tennis Committee and shall be published annually.
SECTION III. ADULT PROGRAMS:
USTA Southern Tournaments:
USTA Southern will offer adult tournament competition for members of the USTA. Such events will be sanctioned and scheduled according to procedures defined by the USTA Southern Adult Competition Committee and approved by the USTA Southern Board of Directors. Both open and closed tournaments shall be offered. Only members who satisfy the residency criteria defined in Section I of these regulations are eligible to enter USTA Southern Closed Tournaments.
All players must have a valid USTA membership in order to participate in USTA Southern Tournaments/Events.
Online entry is mandatory for USTA Southern Championships.
Adult USTA Southern tournament schedules will be published annually for all tournaments sanctioned by USTA Southern.
All Southern singles Adult/Senior Championships shall hold a minimum of a first match loser’s consolation.
In the event that the draw size in a Southern Adult/Senior Championship is four (4) or fewer a round robin shall be played.
All players shall be limited to three (3) events in a single tournament with a maximum of two (2) singles and one (1) doubles or one (1) singles and two (2) doubles. Family and/or Mixed events may be added to the three event limit at discretion of the tournament director.
i. USTA Southern rankings shall be established, provided there are sufficient events, for the following divisions: Men's and Women's singles and doubles Open, Men's and Women's 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, and 90 singles and doubles, Father and Son doubles, Mother and Daughter doubles, Husband and Wife doubles, Mixed Doubles Open and 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75,and 80 Mixed Doubles. Rankings will also be provided for NTRP 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 singles and doubles tournament participants and combined NTRP doubles and mixed doubles. Wheelchair singles and doubles rankings will also be established.
ii. USTA Southern adult rankings will be based on a Points-Per-Round system which shall be determined by the Adult Competition Committee and shall be published annually.
iii. The USTA Southern ranking year and eligibility for all divisions shall be the same as that adopted by the USTA. This information shall be published annually.
iv. Only results of sanctioned events will be considered for ranking purposes.
v. Players must win at least one match to be listed in final rankings
vi. Minimum requirements for Wheelchair Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles rankings are one (1) Southern Championship and one (1) other tournament sanctioned in USTA Southern, one (1) of which must be played outside the player's State, but within USTA Southern.
vii. Ranking Appeals: Any player who wishes to appeal their year-end ranking which is published online, or whose ranking may have been omitted, may appeal in writing to the USTA Southern Adult Competition Committee no later than January 24th .
USTA Southern Senior Cup:
i. USTA Southern will conduct the Southern Senior Cup Championship Tournament annually. This tournament will provide competition on a team basis between State Associations within the Section. Each state will be invited to enter one team that will consist of members in odd-year age groups from 35 thorough an age level to be determined by the USTA Southern Senior Cup Subcommittee.
ii. The Southern Senior Cup Championships will be conducted during the first weekend in June at a location to be determined by the USTA Southern Senior Cup Subcommittee. The host site must be approved by the USTA Southern Board of Directors.
i. Format of play for the competition will consist of two (2) singles and one (1) doubles match in both Men’s and Women’s play for each age group. Play will be organized as deemed appropriate by the Senior Cup Subcommittee.
ii. The USTA Southern Senior Cup Subcommittee may reduce the playoff structure in any specific age-grouping if a limited numbers of teams in the event warrants.
i. Each State Association within USTA Southern electing to participate in the Southern Senior Cup will develop procedures to establish a team to represent their state in the event.
ii. Each team participating in the Southern Senior Cup consists of a minimum of two (2) players per age group, with a maximum of four (4) players per age group.
iii. Members of a State Association Senior Cup teams must be residents of the state they represent. Geographical boundaries of State Associations are determined by USTA Southern.
Scoring and Awards:
i. Team standings shall be determined according to a scoring procedure to be approved by the USTA Southern Senior Cup Subcommittee. Scoring procedures will be published by the Senior Cup Subcommittee no later than three (3) months prior to each championship.
ii. Awards will be presented as determined by the USTA Southern Senior Cup Subcommittee and such information shall be published.
USTA Southern Intersectional Team:
General: USTA Southern will make every effort to field Men’s and Women’s Intersectional Teams to participate in Intersectional competition sponsored by the USTA.
Team Selection: The USTA Southern Adult Competition Committee, through its Intersectional Subcommittees, will develop and administer selection criteria for teams representing USTA Southern. Selection criteria will be published by USTA Southern.
Adult League Programs:
i. USTA League Regulations govern USTA League play within USTA Southern.
ii. USTA League Regulations may be expanded by the USTA Southern League Committee as authorized by USTA League Regulations to facilitate administration of programs within USTA Southern. Such additional regulations adopted by the USTA Southern Adult League Committee cannot be in violation of USTA League Regulations and shall be published annually.
USTA Southern Leagues:
i. USTA Southern may establish adult league programs not included within the USTA League program. Any such additional USTA Southern Adult League programs must be approved by the USTA Southern Board of Directors.
ii. Regulations to facilitate the administration of USTA Southern league programs will be developed and administered by the USTA Southern Adult League Committee and published annually.
iii. USTA Southern League Tennis Regulations may be expanded by the State Associations to facilitate the administration of these programs in the States. Such additional regulations cannot be in violation of USA Southern Regulations and shall be published annually.
The USTA Southern College Tennis-on-Campus program shall be governed by the USTA College Tennis-on-Campus Regulations.
USTA Southern may adopt additional regulations for the Tennis-on-Campus program, not inconsistent with USTA Regulations. Any USTA Southern additions to USTA Regulations shall be adopted by the USTA Southern Collegiate Committee and shall be published and made available to all program participants.
Revised January 1, 2017