Box League Rules



Each round of the box league lasts about 2 months. Each player gets to play all other players in the same division, up to 5 matches per round. At the end of the round, the 2 players who come top and second in each division gain promotion to the division above, while the 2 players who come last move down to the division below. If there is a significant amount of bad weather, the round may be extended.

Players should contact each other player in their division to arrange a match at a time that is suitable to both players. Contact details for all players are included in the files sent to all players at the beginning of the round. By participating in the league, all players agree that their contact details will be shared with the other players in the league.


Match Format

Box league matches will be played as best of 3 sets. The first 2 sets will be regular sets with a standard 7 point tie break played if the score reaches 6 games all.
If the score is one all after 2 sets have been played, a championship tie break (first to 10 points, 2 points clear) should be played as a final set to decide the match.

Some players have expressed a wish to play a full set as the third set. They may do so, as long as they are both agreed, and make the decision before the start of the match, but the score for the set should be entered as 1-0 to the winner, to keep the scores the same as players who play the tie break. If both players are not agreed, the tie break must be played.


Promotion / relegation

To gain promotion a player must win the division or come second, and the 2 players who come last will drop a division. Position within the group is worked out using the criteria in the following order.

1 – Players in each division will be arranged in order of the number of matches they have won in the round.
2 – If 2 players finish with the same amount of wins, the higher position will go to the player who won the head to head match between those 2 players (if played).
3 – If 3 or more players have the same amount of wins, or if 2 players have tied but have not played each other, then the positions of these players will be decided by the most matches played. If this decides 1 or more of the players positions, but still leaves 2 players equal, the positions of those 2 players will go back to the head to head result.
4 – If there is still a tie, then the percentage of sets won out of total sets played in the round will be used.
5 – Finally the percentage of games won out of total games played in the round will be used.

When no matches have been played in a division, then no players will move up, and therefore no players will move down from the division above. If players will be moving up from the division below, then the players who will move down will be decided by looking back to their results in the previous round to establish the order in which they will be placed.

Players should play a minimum of two matches to be eligible for promotion, or to avoid relegation. If a player only plays one match, this may result in another player gaining a higher position over them. Playing no matches in a round may result in demotion to the next division below.

Occasionally adjustments to positions may be necessary due to players dropping out of the league, or new players entering. While players may be moved up a division due to these adjustments, every effort will be made to ensure that nobody is moved down. If a player is moved up in this way, it will normally be a player who has retained their place in the lower division who moves up, rather than one staying in the higher division when they have come in the bottom two.

To ensure that the players are put in the correct positions, it is essential that all players submit their results at the end of the round, giving details of the number of matches won, matches played, and the full scores of each match played. Without this information it is very difficult to ensure the correct players are promoted and relegated. Please ensure your results are given in as soon as possible after the end of the round.


Submitting results

Your results should be sent in an email to

You may send them all in together at the end of the round, or separately as the matches are completed. Please give the full scores of the matches if possible.

Alternatively your results can be written onto a printed copy of the PDF file, and sent to or given to Chris or a club official to be passed on.


New players

New players entering the box league will usually be entered into the lowest division available, from where they can try to move up in the next round. Players who are returning after having previously withdrawn from the league will usually be put into the division where they would have been in the round following their withdrawal, although if there is no place available in that division they will be put in the highest available division below that one. Occasionally, depending on how many players are in each division, a new player may need to be placed in a higher division if it is necessary.



A player may claim a walkover if they are unable to arrange a match at any time during the round with another player, due to the opponent being unable to play. To be able to claim a walkover, the player must have offered at least 3 dates to play, and the opponent must have refused these dates, and not offered any alternative dates – if both players have suggested a date then no walkover can be claimed.

If two players arrange to play a match, and one fails to turn up on the arranged date, the other player should claim a default win.

When submitting results, please list any walkovers separately from results of matches played.


Other information

This competition is free for members of the Winton Tennis Club. It is advised that members should book a court in advance for the match.