Team play rules
For the first match of a tie, players must be on court not later than three minutes after the scheduled start of the match, according to the dedans clock. For subsequent matches, players must be on court not later than 5 minutes after the conclusion of the previous match. At this time, one game will be awarded to the player’s opponent(s) and an additional game will be awarded to the player’s opponent(s) every three minutes until either the player is on court or the match is forfeited.
Players are permitted a warm-up period ending not later than three minutes after the scheduled match start time or 5 minutes after the completion of the previous match in the same tie. If a player arrives late (see “Late arrivals”), the warm-up period will not be extended.
Matches are expected to be played expeditiously, with only short refreshment breaks taken at change of ends. A player may take a break of up to 5 minutes to receive treatment or to replace or repair equipment and clothing. The player is expected to resume play at the earliest opportunity.
Markers will be appointed by the Head Professional. The decision of the marker is final and cannot be protested (see “Conduct”). If unsighted, the marker may seek the opinion of a member of the gallery or a player but is not obliged to accept their call.
Distractions during play
If, in the sole opinion of the marker, a player was unfairly distracted by their opponents while making a shot, for example dropping a racket, falling or calling out after taking a shot, the marker will award the point to the disadvantaged player. If the player was unfairly distracted by a spectator, the marker may, at their sole discretion, ask for the point to be played again or a serve to be served again, without penalty.
A player or team forfeits the match if:
- a player is unable to complete the match for any reason,
- a player fails to appear on court within the allowed time (see “Late arrivals”), or
- a player suspends play or leaves the court for more than 5 minutes for any reason (see “Interruptions”).
Players must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the etiquette, sportsmanship and standards of behaviour expected of the sport. In particular, players must:
- Ensure that play throughout is expeditious, especially in changing ends and in being ready to serve and receive service.
- Play in a safe manner at all times. In particular, in handicap competitions, players must take due account of their opponents’ ability when forcing the ball. Regardless of ability, no forces shall be struck forward of last gallery at the service end or forward of the fault line at the receiver’s end. Furthermore, a ball should be made safe at the earliest opportunity on call of “fault” or “out of court”, whenever a chase is made, whenever a point is won or lost, or time is called.
- Accept decisions and directions of the marker without question or protest. A player may, however, check the accuracy of the score, confirm a previously marked chase, and seek clarification on the rules of play.
- Exercise self-control at all times.
- Not behave in any way likely to bring the game into disrepute.
If, in the sole opinion of the marker, any player fails to abide by these rules of conduct, the marker will issue a verbal warning that continuation of such behaviour will result in forfeiture of the match. If the player fails to heed this warning, including arguing with the marker about the original warning, the marker will award the match to the player’s opponents.
Players on court can receive coaching from another team member provided it does not unduly interfere with the natural flow of play. Coaching by a spectator or non-playing coach during a match is not permitted.
All disputes concerning tournament rules will be decided by the Tournament Referee or, in their absence, by the Head Professional.