Women’s Team Tennis Guidelines 2020


Introduction. Women’s Team Tennis is a dynamic part of the overall tennis experience. Ladies’ teams add energy and excitement to the club, while functioning as a social outlet, offering ways to meet fellow members and compete amongst players of all levels. Women’s Team Tennis is an active part of the overall tennis experience of our Club. It is a fun, rewarding and social way to meet fellow members and compete at a level you feel comfortable. All members in good standing of the NCFC (age 18 and over for FCWTL matches, and age 21 and over for the Interclub League) are eligible to play on our teams. The guidelines by which the women’s teams are formed and managed are not entirely new, however all ladies wishing to play team tennis and all those currently playing should be aware of some standard procedures and rules by which the women’s teams are managed.

These guidelines provide a basic framework for team formation that ensures broad player representation and collective decision-making. The process is not formula-driven; rather it allows for some flexibility and discretion in decisions regarding roster sizes and player movement, and the specific steps taken to achieve goals. It allows pro input, but decisions are made by a committee of player members, i.e., the captains, in accordance with Club Rules.

We currently have 3 teams in the Darien-New Canaan-Norwalk Inter Club League; A, B and C teams. Additionally we have 4 teams in the Fairfield County Women’s Tennis League (FCWTL); playing in Divisions 2, 4, 6 and 9.

Interclub Committee. The Captains Council Interclub Committee (“the Committee”) is comprised of the Captain and Co-Captain of each of our 6 teams. It also includes the current Women’s Tennis Chairperson and the non-voting Director of Tennis. In 2020, the captains from the 6 teams serving on the Committee represent a growing program of over 100 players.

The Committee is charged with forming the Interclub teams and their FCWTL corollaries each year in early May; the Ladies’ Tennis Chair organizes and oversees this process. The guidelines below are used to aid this process. (See year end ratings)

Roster Size. With guidance from the Director of Tennis/Women’s Chairperson, the Committee determines ideal team roster sizes, giving consideration to the number of registered participants (overall and by division), player availability, league schedules, team history and goals, etc. The Ladies’ Tennis Chair assists in the process by gathering information on player availability and commitment to the weekly practice and match schedules.

Philosophy of Play. It has been decided that our teams will compete based on the following philosophy: Teams A, B, Div 2, 4 and 6 will put out their best players on all lines on a weekly basis. Team C will put out their best players in lines 1-3, as determined and re-evaluated each week based on the standards set forth below under the section entitled “Movement Within the Team’s Roster”, and will rotate other available players in lines 4-6 on an equal basis. This philosophy is up for review each season and is based on the voted Interclub Committee’s decision for the upcoming season. 50+ will field teams so everyone gets a chance to play, regardless of ability.

Sportsmanship. It is imperative that all members competing for the NCFC conduct themselves in a way that is respectful and courteous. High standards of sportsmanship are held for all NCFC members and their guests. Poor sportsmanship of any kind will not be tolerated and if observed, the Committee will be notified and appropriate steps will be taken to correct the situation.

Player Movement. Committee decisions on player movement consider team roster needs (i.e., is there room for more players) and player readiness (has the player succeeded at the current division level?). Here as well, the Director of Tennis/Ladies’ Team Chair make the decisions.

Candidates for movement can be “pulled up” by the upper team’s need to fill out a roster, or can “rise up” by achieving an exceptionally strong performance record at the lower level. Ideally, both conditions exist to support player movement.

Year End Ranking. Additionally, to aid this process a “Best Winning Percentage” will be used from the previous season. This process is weighted with higher position wins being rewarded to a greater degree. This will be called a “power ranking” This is an effective tool in deciding who is ready to move up if a position becomes available. An example is as follows:

  • A win at position #1 is valued at 10 points.

  • A win at position #2 is valued at 8 points.

  • A win at position #3 is valued at 6 points.
  • A win at position #4 is valued at 4 points.

A minimum of 4 matches needs to be played to utilize the system and all points will be averaged for consistency. This process can also be an aid in determining whether a player could be used more effectively on a lower team.

Winning Percentage. A secondary criterion may be used in determining who may be a candidate to move up or down. If a player is unable to play in many matches due to travel, injury or work; the Interclub committee can also use a winning percentage based on the level that was played as well as results of these matches. For example if someone played in three matches and was 2-1 at line #1, this player’s winning percentage would be 6.66 (20 points divided by 3 matches)

Partner Selection. The Captain sets the partnerships each week with the aid of the pro team liaison. All participating team players may submit to their captains the names of 3-4 players they would like to play with. These players should be comparable in ability. Ultimately the Captain may not be able to accommodate these requests as schedules and factors change. 

Availability for Play. The League Management system of our Club website is used by all Team Captains and will act as an aid for communication between players and Captains. Each week, a query goes out to all players on the rosters of each team. All the player has to do is click “Available” or “Not available” in the email and then the captains can make their lineups accordingly. The query is repeated every day until the response is received, so please click it as early in the week as possible. After the captains email the lineups each week, it is recommended that you practice with your assigned partner that week if possible to encourage good chemistry and superior tactics. It is expected that all team players will be available for at least 30% of all the matches for which they are eligible during the course of the season. In the event your availability changes after you have submitted the response, please let your captain know or just click again in the email if you saved it.

Movement Within the Team’s Roster. Movement within the team’s roster will be determined by success. A team that has lost two times in succession may be switched with the team below them based on the lower team having a winning record. It should be noted that if a team has had three losses, that team will explore another partnership. If there is another team partnership that is in a similar situation, a switch may be made. Breaking up a winning partnership will be avoided at all costs.

Other Situations. New members joining a team are typically assessed by the Director of Tennis or his designate, and placed appropriately. Newcomers assigned to A or B are expected to perform at a high A or high B level, respectively. Players assessed as low A’s would start on B; low B’s on C.

Placement of members returning to team tennis after a season or more hiatus is determined by the Ladies’ Chair and the Committee.

Captains. Positions are typically filled as early as possible to facilitate pre-season planning for the that year, including representation at league meetings. Captains are selected by the Director of Tennis and Women’s Chair.

Team Liaisons. Each of the teams will be assigned a staff liaison who will assist in making recommendations for the line-ups each week and will provide match critiques for home matches. The final composition of the line-up is ultimately within the discretion of the team captains.

Teams, Practices, Matches. With teams in Interclub, and FCWTL, the NCFC Club offers women’s league play at all levels from mid May to early August.

Team practices are held according to the Interclub match schedule:

Team Practices Matches: Day / Start time
A Mondays, 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays, 9:15 a.m.
B Wednesdays, 9-11 a.m. Thursdays, 9:15 a.m.
C Tuesdays, 9-11 a.m.  Wednesdays, 9:15 a.m.
C-training Fridays, 9-11 a.m.  none
Div 2 Mondays, 9-11 a.m. Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.
Div 4 Wednesdays, 9-11 a.m. Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.
Div 6 & 9 Tuesdays, 9-11 a.m.  Fridays, 9:30 a.m.
50+ [not in 2020]
Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, between 5-6 p.m. 

FCWTL. Clubs are permitted up to 4 teams in this league, two in Divisions 1 – 4 and two in Divisions 5 – 9. Players are rostered from the Interclub teams. In 2020, we will have teams in Divisions 2 (A level), 4 (low A level and B level), and 6 (C level). There are no team practices, apart from those for A, B and C.

Involvement in Team Tennis is an excellent way to improve your individual tennis skills while experiencing the camaraderie and excitement of being a member of a team. Team tennis requires a commitment of time for each member. It is required that you be available for weekly practices, matches and clinics. As a member of a team you will receive a professionally run team practice, a team warm-up prior to each home match, a match critique from the professional on duty, the match balls, and refreshments for each home match. Come out and join in on the fun!