Ballarat Tennis Club – Club Championship Rules

(Last revised Apr 2024)

Club Championship Policies:

1. Draws

The championship draws will be finalised based on player handicaps in the Real Tennis Online (RTO) system, as of the week prior to the 1st round of the relevant event.

Level club championships will be seeded according to Handicap, Handicap championships will be drawn at random.

2. Scheduling

Once advised of their opponent in each upcoming round, each player is to make every reasonable effort to arrange a time for the match. The preference is for players to liase directly with their opponents to organise matches and advise competition organisers once this is done, but the organisers nominated by the BTC Tennis Subcommittee for the relevant competition category will make at least two attempts to confirm each match with the players concerned.

Once a match is confirmed, a player may cancel once without penalty, provided this is done at least 24 hours before the match. An opportunity to reschedule this match will be offered, so long as it can be arranged within competitive timelines allowing the prompt completion of each draw. On the second such occasion, the player will forfeit the match. The Tennis Subcommittee shall oversee the tournament scheduling and warn players if forced walkovers will be applied to unscheduled matches which are delaying the progress of the draw.

3. Matches

For best of 3 set matches (third set to start at 3 games all), A 1.5-hour time slot will generally be booked for matches, except the Open Club Championships which are best of 5 sets, and will require 2-3 hours booking, at the Organisers’ discretion.

Matches running into the next court booking may be completed with the consent of the players with the booking. If a match cannot be completed in these circumstances, then it will be continued at a later date. For the purposes of scheduling, the continuation will be treated as a new match, with the scores starting from where the original match left off. Should time not permit a match to be finished, and players are required to re-schedule, a full third set shall be played.  Five full sets will be played in all five set matches.

4. Penalties

In addition to the rules on pre-match forfeits outlined in the Scheduling section above, the following rules apply to in-match penalties.

Late arrivals:

Where a player is not on court ten minutes after the scheduled start of the match, one game will be awarded to the player’s opponent(s) every three minutes until the player is on court.


A player who is not on court for a confirmed match will forfeit the match.

A player who cannot complete a match which has started will forfeit the match. The only exception is where the match has not completed before the next booking (see above).

5. Finals Forfeits

Matches forfeited prior to the final will result in a walk-over being awarded to the opposition. In the event of a forfeit in the final, the losing semi-finalist(s) that lost to the player who forfeited will replace them in the final. Should this player not be available, the position shall be awarded to the next best performing player in the draw.

6. Handicaps

It is the individual player’s responsibility to ensure that handicaps are correct for any match they play, regardless of what is called by the marker. If a player considers the handicap to be incorrect, they should confirm the handicap themselves. It is permissible to leave the court once for this purpose after the match has commenced.

Where a match has commenced with the incorrect handicap, the score for any completed games and sets will stand, with the correct handicap being applied for any remaining games and sets. The score for an incomplete game may be adjusted based on the correct handicap, if the marker can remember the result of each point played in the game.

It is expected that players understand how to score with handicaps. A marker for any match may be organised by the Tennis Committee, or by agreement between players. Players are entitled to request a marker for all Finals.

7. In-Match Rules and Conduct

All matches are to be played within the Rules of Tennis, and within the general BTC code of conduct.

Players are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the etiquette, sportsmanship and standards of behaviour expected of the sport. In particular, players must:

  • Ensure that play throughout is expeditious, especially in changing ends and in being ready to serve and receive service.
  • Accept the decisions of the marker without question or protest.
  • Where a match is self-marked, players should mark chases and strokes in a sportsmanlike manner and accept the call of the opponent with good grace.
  • Exercise self-control at all times.
  • Not behave in any way likely to bring the game into disrepute.

For multiple-set matches, players are permitted to take a bathroom break of up to 5 minutes duration at the change of sets.

8. Disputes

All disputes regarding the draw, scheduling, handicaps/grading, playing, and completion of Club Championship matches will be decided by the BTC Tennis Subcommittee. If a marker is appointed, the marker’s call is final and cannot be disputed. In a self-marked match, all disputes between players will be decided by the Club Professional.

9. Changes to rules

If a situation arises during the championships that is not adequately covered by these rules, the BTC Tennis Subcommittee will adjudicate and amend the rules as/when required.


Any questions or queries regarding Club Championship matches or these rules should be directed to the chair of the BTC Tennis Subcommittee.


Good Luck to all entrants.