Bergen County Women's Tennis League

BYLAWS AND RULES (Revised April 2018)


The name of the league shall be the BERGEN COUNTY WOMEN'S TENNIS LEAGUE, hereinafter referred to as the BCWTL.


The purpose of the BCWTL shall be to promote tennis and competition in a courteous, honest, sporting and friendly manner.

  1. Structure
    1. The BCWTL consists of two separate leagues, one on Tuesday and a second on Thursday.
    2. Each league has provision for six divisions: A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, C-1. C-2.
    3. A division will consist of a maximum of ten teams, each fielding three doubles partnerships per match.
  2. Officers
    1. The Officers of the Executive Board are: President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer.
    2. The Advisory Board consists of past-presidents, scheduling chairpersons, divisional secretaries, and any individuals appointed by the President as she may deem necessary.
    3. The duties of the Officers of the Executive Board are as follows:
      1. President
        1. The President presides over all Executive Board, Advisory Board, and general meetings.
        2. She has the authority to call special meetings and conducts the league's business in a fair and orderly manner.
        3. She appoints league officers whenever an elected officer resigns.
        4. She appoints special committees when needed.
        5. She holds executive and advisory board meetings before each general meeting and may call additional meetings as she may deem necessary.
        6. If teams are unable to resolve disputes, the President must be called to render a ruling. The call must be made within twenty-four hours of a disputed occurrence. The President, after consultation with the Executive Board, may declare a forfeit of a match if an infraction of the rules has clearly occurred. Any member of the Executive Board whose team or club is involved in a dispute will abstain from participation in discussion or resolution of the issue. The President must present the Board's decision to the disputants by the end of one week.
        7. On odd-numbered years, at the Fall meeting, the President will ask for volunteers for a nominating committee consisting of a chairperson and four members, one of whom shall be a member of the Executive Board.
      2. Vice-President
        1. The Vice-President will act in all matters of business whenever the President is unavailable.
        2. She may select and chair a Rules and Bylaws Committee, whenever she deems it necessary, consisting of a representative from each of the following: private club, town team, indoor team.
        3. She will be in charge of the annual Spring picnic.
      3. Recording Secretary
        1. The Recording Secretary will keep minutes of all general meetings.
        2. She will make copies of minutes available to the Executive Board within one month after meetings.
      4. Corresponding Secretary
        1. The Corresponding Secretary will handle all league correspondence.
        2. She will notify the membership of all general meetings.
      5. Treasurer
        1. The Treasurer will collect dues for the leagues.
        2. She will deal with all financial matters, including careful record keeping.
        3. She will report the status of the treasury at the general meetings.
      6. Scheduling Chairperson(s)
        1. Scheduling Chairpersons are responsible for scheduling each division of league play.
        2. Schedules will be made available to Captains prior to the start of league play.
      7. Divisional Secretaries
        1. There will be a Secretary for each division until such time as this post is no longer necessary.
        2. The Divisional Secretary will communicate all information from the Executive Board to teams in her division until such time as this is no longer necessary.
  3. Elections
    1. League officers will be elected on the even-numbered years at the Spring general meeting.
    2. The two-year term of office will begin at the Spring picnic.
    3. There will be no term limits.
  4. Meetings
    1. Meetings of the general membership will be held semi-annually in the Fall and Spring.
    2. Each team will sign in at the general meetings. The sign-in will constitute a record of the teams present and be used to declare the presence of a quorum.
      1. A quorum will consist of representation from a minimum of 25 teams.
      2. A quorum must be present to vote on any league business.
      3. A majority of the quorum will decide the vote.
      4. One vote per team will be in order for any and all matters.
    3. Dues will be collected at the annual Spring meeting.
  5. Team Eligibility
    1. Anywhere the word team is used, it shall refer to a private club, town, or indoor facility. Teams will not be able to move from one private club, town, or indoor facility to another location without the approval of the Executive Board.
    2. Facilities must have three courts available for league play per team.
    3. A team will have three doubles partnerships.
    4. All new teams seeking admission into the BCWTL must apply to the Executive Committee.
    5. Teams must pay dues at the annual Spring meeting.
  6. Leave of Absence
    1. A team may take a leave of absence, without penalty, for a period of one year by notifying the President in writing by February 14th.
    2. A team on a leave of absence must pay dues by the date of the Spring meeting.
    3. A team must notify the President in writing of its intention to re-enter active play or to leave the league by February 14th of the following year.
  7. Player Eligibility
    1. A player's membership will be determined by her club, town team, or indoor facility.
    2. A player must be at least 18 years of age by April 1st.
    3. A player may only be rostered on one team per league.
    4. A player currently or formerly ranked in singles or doubles at the national, sectional, or intercollegiate level may compete in the BCWTL on a club's highest fielded team, unless otherwise sanctioned by the Executive Board.
  8. Substitution Eligibility
    1. Wherever possible, when a substitute player (sub) plays, her team captain must register her name on the website or call the Divisional Secretary prior to the match. If the Divisional Secretary is not available, the captain must call the President. If the President is not available, the captain must call another Executive Board Officer.
    2. A substitute player's name must be entered on the website by her captain with 24 hours of the conclusion of a match. Failure to do so will result in the match being forfeited.
    3. A player may not substitute within her own division.
    4. A player may only substitute from a lower ranking division of the same club.
    5. A substitute player may only be brought into the higher ranking division a maximum of two times.
    6. A sub is a player rostered on a lower level team within the leagues.
  9. Captains
    1. The Captain's responsibility at the annual Spring meeting is to pay dues.
    2. Captains will register their rosters on the website by April 1st.
    3. Home Captains will call visiting team captains no less than 24 hours before each match.
    4. Home Captains will advise visiting team captains of any special dress codes or club rules.
    5. Captains are responsible for communicating directions and locations to her team members from information posted on the website.
    6. Captains are responsible for assuring the accuracy of directions and locations of her club on the website.
    7. Line-ups for matches will be exchanged by the Captains before play. Once the line-ups have been exchanged, no changes may be made.
    8. The Home Captain will record match scores on the website within 24 hours of the conclusion of all of her team's matches.
  10. Rosters
    1. Two copies of a roster of eligible team members and substitutes for each team will be presented at the annual Spring meeting.
    2. Captains must enter additional permanently rostered players' names on the website during the season.
    3. Added permanently rostered players' names must be entered prior to such a player's participation in a match.
    4. Line-ups should reflect strength of players available to play on a particular day. All teams are called upon to obey the spirit of this rule and to avoid placing a superior player or partnership in a lower position in order to win that position. A Captain is on her honor to uphold this rule which implies that the number one partnership should be able to defeat the number two partnership and that the number two partnership should be able to defeat the number three partnership. In a weekly line-up of positions, a partnership may move up and down only one position. An individual player may play any position with a different partner.
    5. No new players or substitute players can be added to a roster for a team's last two matches played.
  11. League Play
    1. All league play will follow rules, regulations, and courtesies of the USTA. All matches are best of three tie-break sets and must be played to completion. A minimum of a 2-hour block must be booked by the home captain. The twelve-point tie-break will be used.
    2. Home teams will provide new USTA approved balls appropriate to the surface.
    3. Proper tennis attire is required and any dress code of the home team will be observed.
    4. The season will begin ten weeks (or fewer) prior to the week of July 4th. All matches will commence at 10:00 AM. Matches may start earlier or later if both captains agree.
    5. A fifteen-minute grace period is allowed, but a default will be given to either team if players arrive more than fifteen minutes late. The on-time captain will register the default.
    6. In case of inclement weather, the match will move to an indoor facility. The home captain will arrange for the facility for the scheduled day of play and both teams will share the court cost equally. During inclement weather, if an outdoor team can provide courts starting between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, the visiting team must be available. If the match is unable to move indoors on the scheduled day of play, play should be scheduled for the next day. Every effort should be made to play the match on the scheduled day. Any match that cannot be played on the schedule day must be concluded within no more than one week. The league President must be notified within 24 hours if match play is postponed from the original league day of play.
    7. If inclement weather interrupts a match already in progress, both captains will write down the score, the positions of players on court, the position of both teams (north, south, east, west), the order of service, and the exact point at which play was interrupted. If resumption of the match is impossible within a reasonable length of time, the teams will complete the match as soon as possible but no later than within one week.
    8. Matches begun indoors will be completed using the 9-point tie-break rules as follows: At 10 minutes prior to the end of the 2-hour block, a game in progress should be completed using no-ad scoring. If a team is leading by 2 games in the set in progress, the set is awarded to that team. If a team is leading by 1 game another no-ad game will be played. If that results in a tie, a 9-point tie-break will be played to determine the set in progress. If teams split sets, a 9-point tie-break will be played to determine the set in progress. If teams split sets, a 9-point tie-break will determine the winner of the match.
    9. Home teams who do not have courts available at their facility for scheduled play must make other arrangements for the match. The home team will pay any and all costs. If the home team can provide courts between 10:00AM and 2:00 PM, the visiting team should make every effort to be available.
    10. When an indoor club is the home team, if courts are not available due to contract time, the matches may be played outdoors if both captains agree one week ahead of time. In case of inclement weather, section XI.E applies. If both captains do not agree to play outdoors, the home indoor club must provide indoor court time at its own expense. The matches must be scheduled to begin between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on the scheduled day of play. If the home team cannot provide indoor courts during this time frame and the visiting team can provide indoor courts, the match must be played at the visitor's indoor courts at the home team's expense.
    11. Coaching will be allowed only between the second and third sets. The coach must not be on the court.
    12. A ten-minute break may be taken between the second and third sets.
    13. The use of cell phones and beepers on all courts during match play is prohibited until the completion of all matches. Should electronic devices be engaged, penalties will be assessed as follows for each infraction by a partnership: 1st infraction-point, 2nd infraction-game, 3rd infraction-set, 4th infraction-match.
  12. Forfeits
    1. In any given match, if a team must forfeit, the forfeit will occur in the third position.
    2. If a team must forfeit two positions, these will occur in the second and third positions.
  13. Challenges
    1. Challenges will be played only on the Tuesday and Thursday respectively during the week following the end of scheduled league play. Non-fielded positions must be forfeited. If the challengee?s facility is indoors, or in the case of inclement weather, the challenge will book three courts at or about 10 am for no less than two (2) hours. Court costs will be equally shared by both teams. Challenge matches must be played on the original league day of play.
    2. The challenger will call the challengee.
    3. Play will take place at the challengee's courts.
    4. The challenger will provide USTA approved tennis balls and refreshments.
    5. The winner of the challenge match will call the President and enter the results on the website.
    6. Inclement weather rules apply.
    7. The order of the challenge will be:
      1. The two teams will the best final standings in a division may challenge the two bottom teams of the next higher division.
      2. The order will be: #1 of the lower ranking division may challenge #10 of the higher division, and #2 of the lower division may challenge #9 of the higher division.
      3. The challenge match will consist of three fielded positions. All three matches must be completed.
      4. The two winners of these matches will be included in the higher division for the following season and the losers will be included in the lower division.
      5. A team wins the challenge with a minimum of two position wins.
      6. If a division has ten teams or fewer, in order to be eligible to play, a player must have played at least two matches during the season.
      7. If two teams within a division have the same number of wins and losses at the end of the season, the team that defeated the other team during the regular season match will be ranked above it.
      8. In the case of a three-way tie, the team that has defeated the other two teams outranks them. If there is still a tie, a "5-3-1 point system" will be used:
      9. 5 points - 1st position

        3 points - 2nd position

        1 point - 3rd position

        If there is still a tie, the number of games lost in the matches won will be calculated. The teams with the fewer games lost will win.

    These Bylaws and Rules will be effective as of April 10, 2018 and will not be retroactive.