Challenge Ladder Guide
Copyright 1998 by Greencourt Software, Inc.
A challenge ladder is a mechanism for ranking tennis players
according to their skill levels. As members of the ladder
play each other, their relative positions are adjusted to
reflect the results of their play.
The purpose of a tennis challenge ladder is to allow all
tennis players, from the beginning novice to the serious,
experienced player, to meet and play other tennis
enthusiasts at their own skill levels. Whether you play
only occasionally, "just for fun," or prefer to compete
several times a week, you can meet others at your level.
You will also have the opportunity to improve your play by
challenging others who are slightly more advanced.
Operation of the ladder
Approximately every week or two, you will receive an updated
list of the members on your challenge ladder. The list will
show the current ranking of players and the results of
recent matches between ladder members.
The following section describes the rules that apply to
challenge ladder play. The primary purpose behind the rules
is to allow the ladder to operate properly, contributing to
the enjoyment of all players on the ladder. The most
important rule of the challenge ladder is that common sense
and sportsmanlike courtesy should be applied in every
Challenge Ladder Rules
The initial ranking of players on a ladder is based on
their positions at the end of the previous season. New
players are added to the bottom of the ladder.
In general, a player may challenge any other player
above his or her position who is within the legal challenge
range. The legal challenge range will contain about 25% of
the ladder members; the precise number appears on each copy
of the ladder listing that you receive. Invalid challenges
are not accepted for use in the adjustment of relative
position on the ladder. The challenger is responsible for
verifying the validity of the challenge.
The top four members of a ladder may challenge members
below them within the legal range, if so desired.
Members are not required to accept more than one
challenge per week. Otherwise, however, members must accept
valid challenges from other members, or accept a loss by
default. Players are not required to accept a challenge
from another player they have defeated within the past two
Players may issue or accept more than one challenge at
a time. A ladder match is only valid, however, if the
players are within legal challenge range at the time of the
match. Of course, members are free to play matches that are
not valid; the results will simply be ignored.
The challenged player may select the time and location
of the match; however, the time and location should be
mutually agreeable to both players. Court fees, if any, are
to be shared, and must be agreeable to both players.
A match should be completed within ten days of the
challenge, unless extenuating circumstances prevent it. A
withdrawn or canceled challenge is a default loss for the
The challenger is responsible for providing tennis
balls, in good condition, for the match. It is generally
best to have a new can available in case it is needed.
The standard rules of the United States Tennis
Association (USTA) apply to ladder matches. The usual
method of scoring is based on winning two of three sets,
with a tie-break at the end of any set that reaches a score
of six games each. In the tie-break, the first to win seven
points wins the set, but must win by at least two points.
Alternatively, players may use any mutually agreeable method
The winner of the match is responsible for reporting
the results within 24 hours, by contacting the ladder
coordinator, and providing the following information:
date of the match,
and the match score.
The ladder listing is reissued approximately once
every week or two, with updated results and rankings. A
player who is inactive for four periods is moved down in the
ranking at that time, with additional penalties each
succeeding period of inactivity.
The rules will be interpreted and disputes between
members will be settled at the sole discretion of the ladder
As is prudent in any recreational activity, and
especially when involved with others, members should
exercise due care in their involvement in a challenge
ladder. The operators of the ladder cannot be responsible
for injury to members or others, damage to property, or
other liability arising out of membership in and use of the
challenge ladder. By participating in a challenge ladder,
each member accepts and agrees to abide by its rules.
Tips for Greater Enjoyment
A new member on a challenge ladder may find that the first
one or two matches played on the ladder appear to be
mismatches (in terms of skill levels). Don't be discouraged
-- as the season progresses, the ladder sorts itself into
order. You will soon discover other members with whom you
can play comfortably. In addition to the relative rankings,
you may find it useful to look at the results of specific
matches. This can give you a further clue to the levels of
other players, and gives some indication of players that you
may want to challenge.
So don't just sit there -- make a phone call! Like you, the
other members of your challenge ladder are eager to play.
And, regardless of your frequency or level of play, there
are tennis matches waiting for you!
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