Team Play

Team play rules

The order of precedence of the rules of play are:

  1. Local rules as instructed by the Tournament Referee at the team briefing.
  2. Team play rules as defined below.
  3. ARTA rules of play.

Late arrivals

For the first match of a tie, players must be on court not later than 3 minutes after the scheduled start of the match, according to the dedans clock. For subsequent matches, players must be on court not later than 3 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 3 minutes until either the player is on court or the match is forfeited.

Players should endeavour to arrive for their matches well in advance of the scheduled start time. Once the schedule for the day’s play is published, substitutions will only be considered by the Tournament Director under special circumstances and only if time permits. Time penalties will still apply, regardless of the reason for arriving late.


Players are permitted a warm-up period ending not later than 3 minutes after the scheduled match start time or 3 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. For example, if a player turns up 3 minutes after the scheduled start time, they will have no warm-up and the match starts immediately.

Change of receiver

If a team is three or more games behind their opponents in a match, they can elect to swap receivers, but only when they are at the receivers end and only at the start of a game. Each team is permitted to swap once in each match.


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. Players must always request permission from the marker before leaving the court. 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 may ask for the point to be played again or 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. The marker may ask any spectator who is causing a distraction to leave the dedans or galleries.


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”), or
  • a player leaves the court for any reason without the permission of the marker.

Where a match is forfeited, a score of 8-4 in an eight-game set will be recorded to the winning pair or, in the case of a set of different length, as determined by the Tournament Director.


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, at the service end, with the exception of forces to the galleries, no forces shall be struck forward of last gallery. At the receiver’s end, with the exception of forces to the galleries or main wall force to the dedans, no forces shall be struck forward of the fault line.
    • 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.
    • With the exception of a late call of “fault”, if an obvious fault is struck by the receiver and the ball ends up on the service side of the net, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the marker will award two serves to the server.
  • 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. Players should not display any excessive emotion on winning or losing a point, game or match.
  • 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 formal 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.


No coaching is permitted from the dedans. Players on court can receive coaching on no more than two occasions in the same match from the team captain at change of ends from the side galleries 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 the rules of play will be decided by marker. The marker may consult with the Tournament Referee on any point of law.