Warwickshire League Rules

Squash & Racketball League Rules

Section 1 – General League Administration

  • The Warwickshire Squash and Racketball Leagues will be open to teams whose home club and playing members are currently and appropriately affiliated to the England Squash and Racketball (subsequently abbreviated to ESR) [See Appendix below].
  • Teams from Warwickshire based clubs will be eligible for entry into the leagues and teams from clubs in adjacent counties will be allowed into the leagues at the discretion of the WSRA Management Committee.
  • A League Secretary, under the jurisdiction of the WSRA Management Committee will be responsible for routine administrative activities. A League Sub-Committee will work with the League Secretary should any disputes regarding the leagues occur [See Appendix below].
  • Entry forms will be dispatched to the previous winter and summer league contacts at least 4 weeks before the closing date for entries. The team entry fee will be determined by the Management Committee of WSRA.f Teams whose fees have not been paid when the Leagues structure is compiled will not be entered into the league. Dates for later payments are only possible after agreement with the League Secretary.
  • Each year the County Committee will advise clubs of the “200 Club” prize draw levy currently £10 per team and this will be become part of the winter league entry fee and applies for all sections of the leagues. A club not having a representative at the AGM will forfeit the right to win from the prize draw.
  • If a team withdraws after the league structure has been decided then no return of entry fee will be allowed.
  • The league rules will be posted on the WSRA website. Changes to the rules must be proposed at the WSRA AGM and each club will have one vote.
  • The League will consist of three sections: Men’s League, Ladies League & Racketball League. The same general rules apply to all sections however the number of players and scoring system will vary and are detailed below.
  • The duration of the leagues will vary from year to year but in general the winter leagues will conclude on or before the last day of March and the summer leagues by the second Monday of September. Once the actual dates are determined each year, matches must be played within the agreed league season.

Results received after those dates the be classed as void matches and not included in the final tables

  • The number of teams in each division can only be decided after entries have been received but the aim is to have a minimum of 7 and maximum of 10 teams per division. In other exceptional circumstances the League Committee will decide.
  • Each team will play all other teams in its division, both home and away. But if divisions are especially small additional fixtures may be added at the League Committee’s discretion.
  • At the end of the season the league table will be arranged on the basis of the number of league points scored by each team. Should there be a tie on points then the number of matches won, then rubbers won, the rubbers lost will be taken into account.
  • End of the season promotions and relegations: The top two to be promoted and bottom two relegated.

It may be necessary on occasions for this to altered but only with the agreement of the League Committee and the WSRA Management Committee

  • The League Committee retains the discretion to offer special promotion or relegation to additional teams in order to level out the leagues.
  • The champion team in a division will always be promoted. Variations of promotions and relegations may be decided by the League Sub-Committee after written representation from the clubs to the Management committee.
  • New teams will be normally placed in the lowest division. However in exceptional circumstances the League Committee may allow a team to enter the League at an appropriate level but never directly into the top division and not to the detriment of existing teams
  • If a club has more than one team in any section of the league and finds it cannot field teams from the previous season it will be the lower team/s that will be withdrawn but in exceptional circumstances the League Management committee reserve the right to amend this principle.
  • Any club wishing to enter or withdraw a team from the league must inform the League Secretary before or no later than the closing date.

Section 2 – Match Organisation, Fixtures & Timekeeping

  • Two courts are required for each squash match, where there are two or more courts available.
  • The home team shall provide some food and refreshment at no cost to the away team after the match [See Appendix below]. In the Summer League if after-match refreshment is not being provided the opposition must be informed in advance.
  • The home squash team shall provide two new ESR approved balls to be used i.e. standard mark double yellow dot unless both players agree otherwise. In Racketball Division 1 approved “Black” balls will be used. In Racketball Divs 2 and below the approved “Blue” ball will be used unless mutually agreed by the individual opponents when alternative approved ball can be used
  • The fixture list will be compiled by the League Secretary and be posted on the WSRA County Website and if possible distributed to team contacts. All matches are expected to start within 10 minutes of scheduled start time usually 7.15 p.m. Ladies and Racketball matches will be on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings.
  • In all cases Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday are not considered as allowable alternatives. However in exceptional circumstances Sunday afternoons will be allowed after permission from the League Committee.
  • It is each club’s responsibility to update the league management system of Team Captain contact names, addresses, telephone number and email addresses BEFORE each new season commences. Any changes to these details, during the season, MUST be updated via the system.
  • Team make up:-
    • Men’s Leagues: Each match will consist of 5 strings, each the best of 5 games. One point will be awarded for each game won and a bonus of 5 points for the team winning 3 or more strings.
    • Ladies Leagues: All Ladies matches will be of 5 strings each the best of 5 games. One point will be awarded for each game won and a bonus 5 points for the team winning 3 or more strings. Modifications to the number of players in Ladies teams only are allowable and will be well publicised prior to start of the playing season to allow teams to withdraw and a new league structure be arranged. If  4 Lady Teams are agreed three bonus points will be awarded to the team winning the most games and if again equal to the team with the most points for and then least against. If a tie still exists then each team will receive one bonus points.
    • Racketball Leagues: Each match will consist of 4 strings, each the best of 5 games. One point will be awarded for each game won and a bonus of two points for the team winning 3 or more strings. If it finishes 2 strings each the bonus points will be awarded to the team winning most games. If the games won are still equal then a count back of most points for and then least points against will receive the two point bonus. If a tie still exists then each team will receive one bonus point.
  • The Scoring system for all leagues will be as follows
    • Best of 5 games
    • Point a Rally to 11. At 10 all by two clear points
  • The order of play, unless mutually agreed otherwise by the teams prior to the commencement of the match, will be String 5 followed by 4,3,2 and 1, as the courts become available or 4,3, 2 and 1 for 4 person teams.
  • It is the responsibility of the home team to provide Referees/Markers. Any complaints about biased refereeing should be sent to the League Secretary. If persistent complaints are received about named individuals or clubs the League Committee reserves the right to take appropriate action which could lead to a suspension period and/or a deduction of points of both team and player.
  • Both team captains must enter the full names i.e. forename and surname names of its players before commencement of play. Results are to be registered by the home team within three days of the match otherwise an automatic 5 point penalty is deducted. This will not be reinstated if the result is recorded later.
  • In the event of a result not being posted on the League management system then the home team will have 5 points deducted. These will not be reinstated if the result is submitted afterwards.
  • The schedule of matches must be adhered to. If there are extreme weather conditions or court conditions which prevent play, then the League Secretary must be informed immediately and hopefully another date can be scheduled. If a team game is a walkover the team is awarded 20n points for a 5 person match and 14 points for a 4 person match.If a team does agree to a postponement then the League Secretary must be informed of the new date within 7 days of the initial scheduled date. If no claim or new date is received within 10 days then the match will be declared void, and no points awarded. [See Appendix below]
  • It is expected that a club with two or more teams in a section of the League will honour the highest team’s fixtures first and the lowest team’s fixture should be postponed first. It is also expected that clubs will field a full team for their highest teams and if not must note why they failed so to do. This will be monitored by the League Secretary who will recommend action be taken by the League Committee if necessary Where possible a club having two teams in the same division will have their matches against each other arranged to be the first one each half of the season.
  • A team conceding three matches may, after ratification by the League Committee, be immediately withdrawn from the league and all their scores cancelled. All players must wear clothing which is in accordance with the relevant Appendix to the WSF Rules of the singles game and current ESR regulations.
  • Any player under the age of 19 who participates in any WSRA Squash League match MUST wear ESR approved eye protection in all games and the knock-up.
  • The home team is responsible for providing sufficient court time for the completion of all ties. If there is insufficient court time to complete the match the home team shall concede any outstanding or unfinished ties. If the lack of time is a result of the late arrival of the away team then the away team shall concede unfinished ties. Where court time is restricted and a team arrives late then the start time should be recorded and agreed by both captains as to when the first two players commenced the knock up. [See Appendix below].

Section 3 – Nominations, Player Eligibility and Rank Order

  • Teams shall consist of 5 (or 4) players from each club. Any team knowingly having less than 5/4 players will be deemed to be without their lowest ranked player(s).
  • Only nominated and affiliated players may compete in the leagues. They must be bone-fide members of the club before they play their first match. They should also be individual player members of ESR 6 weeks grace will be given to ensure players are properly affiliated from the date of the match. If a player has not been affiliated after 6 weeks then 1 point will be deducted for each appearance and not returned should the player subsequently become affiliated to ESR.
  • A player may not compete in the league unless he/she has played at least one match before 28 days of a league ending date unless they have had the written permission of the league secretary/management committee.
  • Clubs must register players in their ranking order on the league management system before the commencement of each season. Once the season starts they will be locked and released at the half way stage for clubs to alter the rankings.
  • If a club has two teams in the same division and they must advise the League Secretary at the start of the season if they are playing them as split strength team or in a nominated order. If they are playing as split strength a player can only play for one of those teams for the complete season. This is especially relevant for reserve players as once they have played for one of the teams in the split strength division they cannot play for the other. They may however return to play for the 3rd or lower team in the lower divisions.

Penalties for playing out of order or for highly ranked players appearing for lower teams than eligible are detailed in elsewhere in these rules.

  • Players may not play for more than one club (regardless of which division the teams competes) in the same section of the League in any one season. Those sections being Men’s Squash, Ladies Squash and Racketball. Should a player infringe, that tie and all lower ties will be forfeited for each occasion. A team short of players forfeits the 5th (and 4th) string match but teams may not play a match with fewer than 3 players in a 5 person team or 2 for a 4 person team. Teams playing out of rank order will lose that and lower ties. So team captains are advised to have copies of their submitted ranking list. A ranking list will be posted on the WSRA County Website for reference as soon as is reasonably possible. [See Appendix below]
  • For squash – players nominated in positions 1 to 5 on any club ranking list may play only in the club’s 1st Players in positions 6 to 10 may play only in the 1st and 2nd teams. Players from 11 to 15 may play in 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams.

For racketball – players nominated in positions 1 to 4 on any club ranking list may play only for the club’s 1st team. Players from 5 to 8 can only play in the 1st and 2nd teams.

  • Players may only play a maximum number of matches for the club based on the calculation of twice the number of teams in the largest division of that section of the League. [See Appendix below]
  • The nomination list showing current playing order should be prominently displayed in the clubhouse. If a list is not submitted then the order will be created from previous appearances for the teams/club with higher ranked teams taking the high ranking places. This list will be published within the League Management system.
  • A player can only play one match in a week Sunday to Saturday in a section of the League.
  • Captains must declare their team order before the start of the match (match cards can be used). False names will result in automatic disqualification of the individual from the League for the remainder of the season. At the discretion of the League Committee disqualification may also be applied to the Team and/or Club.
  • If a player arrives 30 minutes later than the documented start time, and no other strings can commence then the other team can claim the lowest string. However if the tie in question is played then the results achieved on court will stand. Should play commence and be completed between the teams without a full complement of players in one of the teams then the team without all of their players will forfeit each of the matches played from the playing number one down to number five, irrespective of the results already achieved in those matches.

Section 4 – Complaints, Misconduct and Appeals

  • An individual, team or club wishing to make a complaint on any matter should make written representation (email is acceptable) within 7 days of the occurrence to the League Secretary and the matter will be referred to the League Committee. The decision of the League Committee will be given in written form to the individual (if appropriate) and to the club or team contact. If both parties do not agree then appeal can be made to the Full Management Committee [See Appendix below]. The decision from the Management Committee will be final. In very exceptional circumstances ESR may be informed and their advice sought. If ESR makes a decision there is no further means of appeal.
  • Where a player has been banned from playing in the Warwickshire Leagues, ESR will be asked to approve the ban in all forms of sanctioned squash and County leagues throughout the Country. Similarly if the League Secretary becomes aware of a player who has a National ban then the club/team will be made aware ASAP. If the player does compete in Warwickshire League matches then his opponents will be awarded a walk-over and all lower ties awarded to the opposition.
  • The League Secretary with the approval of the League Committee reserves the right to declare matches null and void in exceptional circumstances. However appeal is possible to the County Management Committee.
  • Where a team infringes any league rules it will be brought to their attention ASAP to prevent them from repeating the error. Any penalty points will usually be implemented immediately so that all clubs are aware of the effect of the correct position of teams in a division. If points are not immediately implemented then a note will be posted against the match in the League Management System advising people that matters are under consideration.

Appendix to Rules

Rule 1

Affiliation is not complete until ESR has received payment and the names of affiliated players. ESR will be the arbitrators of whether a club is affiliated. WSRA Management Committee will consider elimination from the League if a club is NOT affiliated.  As each club will potentially have a different affiliation renewal month they have been rationalised into the most suitable i.e. 1st March or 1st September). It is appreciated that there are occasions where affiliation rules are difficult to confirm with ESR and this may not be the fault of the Club.

Rule 2

A League Committee shall be selected by the League Secretary and WSRA Management Committee from volunteers who have had associations with the league over a number of years usually as a team contact. A pool of six people from the following areas will sit on the League Sub-Committee. A quorum shall consist of at least two people plus the League Secretary.

  • Have experience in Div 1 and 2
  • Have experience in Divs 3, 4 and 5
  • A Ladies League Representative
  • A Racketball representative
  • One other person
  • Ex Officio: The League Secretary

The names of the League committee will be announced at the AGM each September. You can find them on the Management page.

Rule 20

In the Winter League reasonably substantial hot food is expected. If a club is unable or unwilling to honour this then the opposition should be informed prior to the first match of the season such that they can make alternative arrangements on the return leg. Should a team not be satisfied with the efforts made then the League Secretary should be informed within 5 days of the match.

It is very discourteous for members of either team to leave prior to refreshment which may have been ordered. If they know beforehand that players will not stay or have a special dietary requirement they should let the home team know, although not all clubs will have the facility to cater for all needs. Should things become unavoidable then the opposition should be informed at the start of the match.

In very extreme circumstances when no notice has been given then the home club has the opportunity to put in a claim via the League Secretary for the cost of uneaten food by two or more people to a maximum value of £4.00 per person. Receipts will be expected and if the defaulting club/players refuse to pay then the matter will be brought to the attention of the League Committee. This sanction has never yet needed to be applied on the last 20 years.

This clause also applies when a team cancels less than 24 hrs prior to the scheduled date of the match. Courts costs are not included in the arrangements although it is appreciated courts sometimes need to be paid for but the home team can at least have a knock up!

Rule 28

Referees should be conversant with the Rules Squash/Racketball and the ESR Code of Conduct, particularly with abusive language or aggressive behaviour towards the opponent. It is advised that the referee selected to mark a match be of a suitable standard to mark the tie to be played and if necessary a marker and referee be used.

Members of the team either playing or otherwise should not/must not challenge the referee on decisions made and players must not be offensive to the referee, cause distraction or unwelcome level of noise. If matters are reported to the League secretary full written details should be provided, The League Committee will be convened and if appropriate action may be taken. There is appeal to Full Management Committee. See (Appendix).

Where a referee has to award penalty strokes or when a player retires after dissatisfaction of referee’s decision or the opponent’s behaviour then the score card should indicate this or when the result is posted on the League Management System and the League Sec informed ASAP.

Rule 31

The only perceived acceptable reason for a match postponement is severe weather conditions affecting travel or flooding of courts. Such a judgement is to be made by the League Secretary as soon as is practical and a new date will be supplied.  Illness or shortage of players is not an acceptable reason for a postponement. It should be appreciated that the late cancellation of a match inconveniences the host club who have given up court time for team matches which their members are unlikely to use at short notice.

If a postponement is requested and refused it must be made clear immediately. The League Secretary needs to be informed and points will be allocated accordingly. If there a mutually agreed postponement is agreed then a new date needs to be set at that time and the match is effectively re-scheduled Retrospective claims will not be allowed and if the match is not subsequently played then it will be declared void. It is anticipated that the home team will not be obstructive in offering alternative dates and claims should be last resort.

Rule 42

If a player plays out of order the following interpretation is given

Case 1 a Number 3 plays at 1st string, Number 7 player plays at 2nd string above players ranked at 4 5 and 6  at 3rd 4th and 5th string.  So 1st string match stands and Strings 2, 3 4 and 5 are all conceded

Case 2  No 1 plays a 1st string, Nos 3 and 4 swap round at Strings 2 and 3. and No 5 and 6 play at 4th and 5th string. So No 1 string stands, No 2 & 3 string are conceded but the Number 4 and 5 strings remain unaffected

Rule 44

A player nominated in the 1st five can only play the number of team in that division times two LESS 2 ie Div 1 with 9 teams then the No 2 nominated player can only play 16 matches for the Club

A Player eligible to play for lower teams is often needed to play in higher teams as well as being available for the original team So for example a Club has a 1st team in Div 1 which has 10 teams and and a 2nd team in Div 3 which has 8 opponents then a player can play 20 matches in total e.g. 12 matches for the 2nd team and to play up for a further 8 matches. If the total matches are exceeded then it will be the last chronological matches that are conceded regardless of which Division. The restriction of only one match per week still applies regardless of division/ In the Warwickshire League the rules allow one re-nomination by a club and with a maximum number of matches allowed players do not become team tied to a higher ranked team for playing to many matches.

Rule 48

A club which has a time limit at the end of the evening should inform the opposing team so that a team arriving late will always forfeit any unfinished matches. If both matches start on time then the home team will forfeit any unfinished matches. Tolerance is expected if the match starts on time and the management of a facility requests a change of court to allow the match to finish

Rule 49

If The League Secretary receives an appeal he will forward it to the other members of the League Committee but will not include anyone who has an association with either club He reserves the right to not include the team names involved.

There is a further appeal to the full WSRA Management committee who will make judgement on written evidence only collected by the League Secretary. The League Secretary and members of the Management Committee who have connections with either club will not take part in this final appeal process

If a player has an ESR ban it will be no defence if the club / team are unaware and loses points as a result. If they play during the ban that and all lower strings will be forfeited.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HOPE OF THE WSRA COMMITTEE IS THAT ALL CLUBS PLAY IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF SPORT!

OUR MOTTO: PLAY HARD- PLAY FAIR