Universal Tennis Flex Leagues - Rules and Regulations


Rules and Regulations

General League Information

1. Commitment: We ask if you sign up for a Universal Tennis Flex League that you commit to playing all your matches. Following through on your commitment to your local Universal Tennis Flex League will make it a fun and rewarding experience for you and for your fellow players.

2. League Options and Ages: Players registering for the co-ed league are segmented into two leagues:

    a. Co-ed Adult league (ages 16 and above)

    b. Co-ed Junior League (ages 12 - 18)

    Note: 16, 17, and 18-year-olds may be placed in either the Junior or the Adult league at the discretion of the  Flex League Manager, based on UTR rating and location.

    c. Ladies leagues are available in select markets and are for players 16+ years of age. Should there not be enough players registered for the Ladies league division, players may opt to either play in the co-ed Adult league or be withdrawn/refunded in advance of the league matchups being posted.

    d. Doubles leagues are available in select markets, are co-ed, and are for players 16+ years of age.

3. Cost:

  1. Singles league cost is $29 for Power Subscribers or $41 for non-Power Subscribers
  2. Doubles league cost is $58 per team for Power Subscribers or $70 for non-Power Subscribers.

4. Scoring format: All matches must be best 2/3 full sets with a ten-point tiebreaker for the third set. You must play this format for your match to count toward your playoff standings.

5. Player Divisions/Matchups: Each player will be placed into a 4-10 person round-robin player group and assigned 4 matches over the course of the 5-week league session. Makeup matches may be played up to one week after the league session end date.

Note: Divisions will be based on UTR Rating (or NTRP/equivalent rating) and approximate location.

IMPORTANT: If you are an unrated player, please read the “Determining your UTR Rating” information at the bottom of this page.

6. Guaranteed Matches: All players will be guaranteed 4 matches in 5 weeks (one per week) unless a player withdraws from the league, is unresponsive, or there is a limited number of players registered at your level (UTR rating).

7. Reporting Match Score: When your match is complete, the winning player must post the score using the "Post Score" option on the matchcard found on the homepage of the mobile app or at UniversalTennis.com. Choose your opponent, and report the score. If the match is not listed please reach out to your Flex League Manager. We also recommend you get your opponent to confirm the score on-site.

8. Confirming Match Scores: Players have 7 days to confirm or edit the score once posted. If no action is taken, the match will be automatically confirmed at the end of 7 days. If a score is not able to be agreed upon by the two players, please fill out this match protest form. The match outcome will then be decided by team Universal Tennis and/or the local Flex League Manager.

Please note: All flex league match results must be entered and confirmed within one week after the league end date in order to be included in the session Standings.

9. Withdrawal from a League: Players must provide valid reasoning for withdrawal. No refunds will be given unless we cannot find a league that fits your level.

10. Finding your Match Schedule: League schedules can be found within the flex league event page under the “Matchups” tab.

11. Standings: League standings can be found by selecting the “Standings” tab where your matchups are shown on the event page and this will update automatically when your posted score is confirmed.

12. Match Protests: You can formally submit a match protest here. This should be a last resort between you and your opponent. Three match protests against a player may result in a ban from participation in future Universal Tennis Flex Leagues.

13. Prizes: All Division winners will receive prizes for their Universal Tennis Flex League. To receive a prize you must complete at least 3 matches. If one player is undefeated, and another has one loss but has completed more matches, the prize will go to the player who completed more matches. Prize notifications are sent out approximately two weeks after the league end date. Any match results not submitted within a week after the league end date may not count toward the final league Standings. 

Scheduling Rules

1. Scheduling Match Times and Locations: Players are responsible for scheduling their own match times with their opponent at a mutually agreed-upon court location. We do not specify home vs. away courts in order to allow players the most flexibility when scheduling their matches.

Pro Tip: Try to meet in a neutral location with your opponent if it’s too far of a drive to one of the player’s local courts.

Balls: Both players should bring a can of balls.

2. Contact information: Contact information can be found on the matchcard by clicking "Schedule Match" or by going to the “Matchups” tab and clicking the phone icon next to your opponent's name. You must be logged into the player who is playing the event’s profile in order to see those details. It will also be provided in a text message from your flex league manager after the start of the flex league session.

IMPORTANT: You must have your phone number, email, and home club correct on your profile before the league begins. Please see the directions on how to update your home club here and your phone and email here.

3. When to Contact your Opponent: We recommend being proactive and contacting all 4 of your match opponents as soon as the matchups are released. Be courteous when contacting your fellow players. Call/text your opponent before 9pm and after 9am. Email is okay any time.

4. Canceling Matches: If you need to cancel a match, please try and reschedule for a different week or during the 5th week which is given as a makeup match week. If it cannot be played during a different week or the makeup week, please send your opponent an email with your Flex League Manager’s email copied. You will receive a default for this match or be given a new opponent. For more information on defaults, please see the full default policy below.

5. Playing Multiple Matches in a Week: Remember, matches can be played during any week of your Flex League session… you can even play all 4 matches in the first week if you’d like!

6. Unresponsive opponents: Universal Tennis is not responsible for unresponsive opponents. That being said, we have some helpful guidelines for steps to take should an opponent be unresponsive to match scheduling attempts!

  1. When reaching out to your opponent initially, reach out via both the preferred phone and email contacts listed on the match cards. Sometimes, players are more responsive via one contact method over the other. Allow your opponent 72 hours to reply.
  2. If there is no reply after 72 hours, contact your opponent once more via both contact methods. Allow them another 72 hours to reply.
  3. If there is no reply at that point, you may contact your Flex League Manager at the email listed for them on your league session event page. Your Flex League Manager will then reach out to your opponent on your behalf with you copied on the message. 
  4. If there is still no reply from your opponent 48 hours after the Flex League Manager reaches out, you may mark the match as a default on the match card. 

In the case of unresponsive or injured opponents, our team will do our best to ensure you have a replacement match in your league group. However, after a certain point in the league, finding a replacement match may not be likely. Due to this, the last day to request an extra regular group match due to an unresponsive/injured opponent is four weeks from the league start date. 

Keep in mind, if you would like additional matches in the meantime, you can absolutely utilize the Challenge Match option to connect with other players in the league session!

Match Day Rules

1. COVID Safety Measures: All local & state health guidelines should be followed at all times.

2. Local Court: If you and your opponent choose to play at your local court, know your court. Factors such as when the lights shut off, when you have the court reserved until, and cracks in the court should be communicated to your opponent ahead of time. If a match is interrupted for any reason, please try to agree on another day and time to complete the match during the 5-week session. If this is not possible, the match score may be posted as an incomplete score.

Note: If your local court has court fees, you are required to notify your opponent in advance. If they don’t want to pay court fees, you will have to cover their cost or find a new facility. Universal Tennis is not responsible for and will not reimburse any court fees.

3. Rain: Do not assume the match is canceled. If you don’t show up and the courts are okay to play, you will receive a default.

4. Line Calls: There are no officials on site and players must call their own lines and scores. We expect the highest level of honesty and integrity. Flex League Managers reserve the right to disqualify you from the league if they receive two or more complaints.

5. Warm-up: A 10-minute warm-up is our recommendation. Please do not go over 10 minutes for your warm-up.

Game Changeovers: Complete game changeovers within 90-seconds to keep play moving.

6. Set Breaks: There should be up to a 3-minute break between the first and second set of play. If players split sets, a 5-minute break may be taken if they are playing a 10 point tiebreaker. If they are playing a full third set, a 10-minute break may be taken. Remember, there are no umpires, so we ask that you be courteous and do not go over the recommended times above.

Tiebreakers: Tiebreakers at 6-6 should be played to 7, win by 2. The super tiebreak, after you have split sets, should be played to 10, win by 2. They should be played in the traditional format with the first server serves 1 point, and after that, each player serves 2 points.

7. Parents/spectators: Under no circumstances should parents be on the court or coaching players in any way. If both players agree, spectators may be allowed on the court benches but may have no interaction with the players.

8. Unsportsmanlike Behavior: We ask that you DO NOT play this league if you cannot act mature and respectful. If someone is not upholding these values, please report it to the Flex League Manager. Three reports and a player may be banned from the league and any future Universal Tennis Flex Leagues.

9. Coaching: No coaching is allowed during Universal Tennis Flex Leagues at any time during a match, including if players split sets.

10. Hindrance: If there is a hindrance caused by a player (hat falls off, ball falls out of pocket, etc) there will be one replay of the point. After the second offense, the point goes to the opposing player. If there is any sort of hindrance from outside the court (ball from another court rolls in), please redo that point. 

11. Filming: Filming of matches is allowed only if you have obtained written permission from your opponent in advance.

12. Canceling Matches: If you are canceling a match more than 24 hours in advance and cannot play it later in the session, you may simply leave the match score blank. 

13. Late: Players have 30 minutes from the agreed-upon match time to show up. After 30 minutes, the player has the right to leave and submit the match as a default. 

14. No show: If a player does not show up to a scheduled match, this will go on their record as a default.

15. Injuries: We know injuries are a part of tennis. If you drop out of a match once, you may still play the league. If it happens twice, you may be defaulted from the league.

16. Leaving the court/bathroom breaks: You may only leave the court during a Flex League match to use the bathroom or get treatment for an injury, such as a bandaid. We ask that you try to save your bathroom breaks for set breaks unless an emergency. You may not leave the court during a Flex League match for any other circumstances. If you do, your opponent has the right to submit the match as a default. 

17. Injury breaks: Players may take an injury timeout, up to 5 minutes for an injury. If another extended timeout is needed for the same injury, we ask that you default the match. At the same time, players can choose to give their opponents as long as needed for injuries if they would like to continue the match. 

18. Incomplete Matches: If you cannot finish your match for reasons outside of player control (ie: court time is up, court lights are turned off, weather makes play dangerous, etc.), you have until the end of the season to complete it. At the end of the season, all incomplete matches will be input with the score when the match was stopped. You and your opponent may also agree to not post the match at all. Should play be stopped due to player personal reasons during the match (ie: injury, illness, or being tired), the score should be entered as it is and marked as a defaulted/withdrawn match.

19. Match Format if Facing Time Constraints: You may play best 2/3 fast four sets with a ten-point tiebreaker only if you are constrained on time. Tiebreaks should be played when the sets are tied 4 to 4.

20. Default Policy: If an opponent cancels the match within 12 hours or more of a scheduled match, we recommend rescheduling the match at a later date or leaving the matchcard blank with no score if rescheduling is not possible. If an opponent cancels between 12-1 hour before the match start, we recommend rescheduing if possible but it may be marked as a default if rescheduling is not possible. If an opponent no-shows or cancels the match less than an hour before the scheduled match time, it may be noted as a default and win for yourself. If an opponent is completely unresponsive, please follow the 'Unresponsive Opponents' section above under 'Scheduling Guidelines' and reach out to your flex league manager if the opponent remains unresponsive.

Playoff Rules and Regulations (New for 2023)

1. Universal Tennis Flex League playoffs are split into two seasons consisting of four six-week-long sessions.

2. Playoffs are determined by your first 4 matches played in the Flex League. This does not include Challenge Matches.

3. At the end of the league session, the top two players of each division will qualify for the end-of-season playoff tournament.

4. Your opponents will be the qualifying players closest to you in UTR Rating.

5. You must compete in at least two of the four season sessions and complete at least three league event matches to qualify for the season playoffs.

6. Your playoff bracket will consist of a four-person bracket with all four players starting in the semi-final round.

7. Flex League Managers may promote players to the playoffs on a need basis.

8. You will have one month from the date the season playoff matches are scheduled to complete the match(es).

9. If you need an extension on your playoff match, it must be approved by your Flex League Manager.

10. Your opponent must be within 2 UTR of you, otherwise, we will select an alternate (a finalist) from another league.

11. The same rules and regulations that apply to regular league event matches, apply to season playoff matches. 

12. Universal Tennis Flex League managers have the final say on all playoff decisions.

Challenge Match Rules and Regulations

1. You may only challenge once you have completed all 4 matches or have exhausted all outlets to get in touch with your 4 opponents.

2. Challenge matches must be submitted to Flex@Universaltennis.com.

3. Your Flex League Manager has the right to deny a challenge match if you have not completed at least 2 of your regularly scheduled matches or do not have proof of unresponsive opponents.

4. Challenge matches do not count toward your division standings or season playoff eligibility.

5. Challenge matches must be played during the league dates listed on the event title.

Determining your UTR Rating for Flex Leagues

Players with an NTRP rating typically range across 3 or more UTR rating levels. To make Flex League matches level-based, fair, and fun, players in the same division should not exceed 2 UTR levels.  If you have played USTA Leagues go to www.universaltennis.com to find/claim your profile and discover your UTR Rating - all free.  If currently UTR unrated, check to see if you were previously rated and/or use the following chart and the NTRP to UTR conversion table to identify your most appropriate UTR rating to type in when asked the required questions during registration.

Women: NTRP to UTR Conversion Recommendation

If your NTRP is...

Your UTR League is...

2.5/3.0
1-2.99
3.5/4.0
3-4.99
4.5/5.0
5-6.99
5.0+ (recent college)
7+

Men: NTRP to UTR Conversion Recommendation

If your NTRP is...
Your UTR League is...
2.5/3.0
1.0-2.99
3.5
3.0-4.99
4.0
5.0-6.99
4.5
7.0-8.99
5.0+
9.0+

12 & Under Flex League Rules (available in select markets)

1. Regular Flex League Rules & Regulations apply unless noted here below.

2. Players must use Yellow ball in all Flex League matches.

3. Parents may not be on the court, but may sit outside the fence.

4. No coaching allowed unless it is for score/rules confirmation and asked for by the players.

5. Parents may ONLY communicate with the players if they ask for help with scores/rules.

6. Parents may only speak to their own children, no exceptions. 

7. Players must use scorecards. If your facility does not have a scorecard available, please print out scorecards and use them at the match.

8. Players must use the Fast4 format for matches in the 12 & Under division. (First to 4, tiebreaker at 3 games each, no ads, 10-point tiebreak for the third set.)

9. Players must use the full court (no reduced court format).

10. Parents must not get into arguments. The 12 & Under league is for players to learn how to play matches on their own in a fun, competitive atmosphere. 

11. If two match protests are submitted for inappropriate parent behavior, the player will be banned from all future 12 & Under Flex League sessions. 

12. Most Importantly: Make sure your kids have fun!

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