Oceanport Men’s Tennis Group: Rules, Scoring, and Suggestions

Contact Your Opponent

  • Make an effort to contact your opponent a couple days in advance of your scheduled match via phone or e-mail.  Everyone should have reliable contact information listed.  Click on a player’s name on the schedule to find their contact information.  This is simply to confirm that you both have the right day and time and that there are no conflicts or reschedules.
  • There should be no reason for one person to show up and have no opponent.  If, however, this does happen, there may be other members who would be willing to come down to the court on short notice and hit the ball.  If I am available I would be willing to do this so keep my number handy.  It may be a good idea to have your cell phone with you along with a player list with contact numbers.
  • If you need to cancel a match, let your opponent know well in advance and make an effort to offer times to reschedule.  Hopefully you will be able to reschedule that same week or on the weekend.  Rescheduled matches may be made for any day and time that works for both players.  It will be your responsibility to make up missed matches and send in the results after completion.

Arrive Early – Not Late!

  • Try to arrive early to your match.  If there’s no one on the court you can jump on and get in a good pre-match warm up before beginning.
  • If both courts are occupied, politely let the people on court #4 know that you have the time reserved in the scheduling book at Borough Hall and that you are part of the Oceanport Men’s Tennis Group.
  • If court #4 is occupied and the other one is not, you can either play on the open court or politely ask the other players to shift over.
  • Try to be respectful of anyone finishing up their match when you arrive.

Bringing Balls

  • Each player is responsible to bring a new unopened can of balls to each match.  Open and use one can – and the winner of the match gets to take home the other unopened can to bring to his next match.  The loser takes the used (but still quite new) balls home with him to practice with.  So there’s some more incentive to winning your match – you don’t have to keep buying new balls.  And those who lose will have plenty of relatively new balls to practice with.

Match Play

  • Begin with a 5-10 minute warm up – or whatever amount of time you both feel is necessary
  • The player listed as HOME for this match will serve first.  If you forget who this is supposed to be, decide between yourselves who will serve first.
  • A set consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating from one player (or side) between games, ending when the count of games won meets certain criteria. The players also swap ends of the court after each odd-numbered game. The score is announced by the server at the start of each game.
  • Assuming everyone knows the “basic” rules of tennis and game scoring, the match will consist of the best of 3 sets.
  • In the interest of saving time, a set is won by the first player to have won at least four games (contrary to the traditional six) and at least two games more than his or her opponent.  In order to shorten matches, a tiebreaker system will be used. If the score reaches 4-3, one further game is played. If the leading player wins this game, he wins the set 5-3. If the trailing player wins the game, the score is tied at 4-4 and a special tiebreaker game is played. The winner of the tiebreak wins the set by a score of 5-4.

***ADD IN***
At the onset of match play in our league, there has been some interest in playing the traditional 6 game set scoring. This is fine as long as certain circumstances are met.

  1. Both players must discuss and agree upon the scoring method before beginning match play. If an agreement can not be made, the default scoring as outlined above will have priority (4 game sets).
  2. Time availability - depending on the situation you should determine whether you will have sufficient time to complete a match using traditional scoring.
  3. Court availability - self explanitory.
  4. If you start with traditional scoring, you should try to end with it as well. If time runs short, an effort should be made to mutually pick a time for a continuation of play until one player wins 2 sets. The primary objective here is to have one person win 2 sets. As long as both players agree to the amount of games to determine a set, then there can be no complaints of unfairness.
  5. If traditional scoring is chosen, tie breakers will also be traditionally scored, 7 point, win by 2.

Scoring a tiebreak game

  • At a score of 4-4, a set is determined by one more game called a "five point tiebreak" (again, traditionally this is a seven point tiebreak.)  Points are counted using ordinary numbering. The set is decided by the player who wins at least five points in the tiebreak but also has two points more than his opponent. For example, if the score is 4 points to 3 points and the player with 4 points wins the next point, he wins the tiebreak and the set. If the player with 3 points wins the point, the tiebreak continues and cannot be won on the next point, since no player will be two points better than his opponent. Since only one more game is played to determine the winner of the set, the score of the set is always 5-4 (or 4-5).
  • The player who would normally be serving after 4-4 is the one to serve first in the tiebreak, and the tiebreak is considered a service game for this player. The server begins his service from the deuce court and serves one point. After the first point, the serve changes to the first server's opponent. Each player then serves two consecutive points for the remainder of the tiebreak. The first of each two-point service starts from the server's advantage court and the second starts from the deuce court. In this way, the sum of the scores is even when the server serves from the deuce court. Traditionally, the players would switch ends of the court after every six points.  For our purposes, we will not switch ends of the court at all during a tie breaker but at the end of the tiebreak, the players switch ends of the court since the set score is always odd (9 games).

(Credit to one of our players: Roy – for devising this scoring system in an effort to get a traditional type scoring match completed in the allotted time – thanks Roy)

Scheduled Times

  • Currently our group has 6 reserved time slots on Blackberry Bay Park Court #4 each week.  The schedule will be for the following days and times.

Monday                 7-8 pm and 8-9pm
Tuesday                 8-9 pm
Wednesday            7-8 pm and 8-9pm
Thursday                7-8 pm and 8-9 pm

  • If you have a 7pm match and you are running over time, feel free to continue if the other court is available – or if the 8pm players are there use the other court if the 7pm match is unfinished.  Please try to only use the other court if no one else is there – one of the stipulations of the REC committee was that the second court be available for general “open tennis” for the public.
  • This is meant to be a fun social league but we can also have some healthy competition.  On the schedule I have included a tentative top 8 playoff tournament at the end of the season.  It is important that everyone try to make it to their scheduled matches AND make up any missed matches.
  • Play with honesty, integrity and sportsmanship and be a good representative of this tennis group.
  • After your match, choose one person to send in your scores.  Email results of your match to dpeterson@sportcow.com


End of Season

  • The tennis schedule will run from June 22 through September.  The top eight players will advance to a single elimination tournament style playoff.  More rules to follow regarding ranking systems and breaking ties based upon score results.