RULES FOR LEAGUE MATCHES FOR WPS (amended January 2015)
1. DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.1 “Fixture” shall mean a contest between two teams.
1.2 “Match” shall mean a contest between two players. All matches shall be the best of five games.
1.3 “WPS” shall mean Western Province Squash.
2. TEAMS ELIGIBLE
2.1 All clubs affiliated to WPS may apply for one or more teams to play in the league.
2.2 Club dues must reach the Treasurer by no later than the due date of the invoice. Clubs that have not paid their dues by that date may not be allowed to participate in the league. Interest will be charged at 2% above the prime lending rate charged by the Bank on all late payments.
Unless a club notifies WPS within 1 week of the final allocation of fixtures being sent out that it wishes to withdraw a team, clubs will be liable for full league fees for all teams in the final allocation.
2.2.1 A club in default of payment of Affiliation Fees to Squash SA will be automatically banned from further participation in the WPS leagues nor may its members participate in any national or provincial events.
2.3 A player may not change clubs for league purposes after the 14th day of February of the year in question, unless there are valid reasons, which have been accepted by the player’s existing club and the WPS Committee. 1st league players shall however not be permitted to change clubs after 31 January of that year.
A Letter of Clearance on the prescribed form from the current club President must be supplied to WPS by any player who transfers from one club to another for the purposes of participating in the WPS league. Contravention of this rule will result in the application of Rule 3.10. (See Rule 3.10 for appropriate penalty)
2.4 A play-off system, if deemed necessary by the WPS Committee, will be used at the beginning of the season to determine the strength of new clubs/teams wishing to enter the WPS league. This system may also be used in the case of too many teams requesting a position in a particular league.
2.5 If, after the first 2 league fixtures of a new season, a team is deemed, by general consensus, to be too strong or too weak for that league, option will be given to such team/s to move to vacancies which exist in a more appropriate league.
2.6 The relocated team must make up the first two fixtures within one month of relocation.
3. COMPOSITION OF TEAMS AND ORDER OF PLAY
3.1 Men shall not be permitted to play women’s league. Women playing men’s league are also required to register for women’s league and play at least 50% of women’s league fixtures.
Women playing in Men's league are permitted to play Women's league for one club and Men's league for another, providing the lady is a bona fide member of both clubs.
3.2 All league teams shall consist of 4 players, who must be fully paid up members of their club.
3.3 A club team in men’s first league may not include more than two (2) players in the top ten (10) South African national rankings in the same team for any one league match on a given date. For this purpose, ranking will be based on the first official South African ranking of the year or the last official ranking done before league commences, whichever is more recent.
3.4 Players must play in order of strength as indicated by the club’s current ladder. This rule also applies when a replacement player is used. The practice of continually changing the playing order of teams is not considered to be in the spirit of the game and undue movement of players from week to week will result in penalties being imposed. (See Rule 3.10 for appropriate penalty).
3.5 A player may play in only one round of fixtures per week, the exception being if one (or more) of the fixtures is (are) a rescheduled fixture, officially sanctioned in writing by WPS. Once a club becomes aware that its player falls into this category, prior permission to use the player must be obtained from WPS. Failure to do this may result in rule 3.10 being applied. Due to the complexities regarding player eligibility, if a club has any doubt regarding a player being eligible for a fixture, please consult WPS in writing.
In this context, a league fixture shall include a situation where a player’s team has a bye or receives a walkover. In other words, any player whose team has a bye or walkover may not play in another fixture during that week. Knock-out matches shall however not be considered to be a “fixture” in terms of this Rule. The rule relating to one fixture per week shall not restrict players from playing morning or Masters League, or women from playing a Men’s league match where she has already played in a women’s fixture that same week.
Contravention of this rule may result in penalties being imposed in terms of Rule 3.10.
3.6 If a player is not available on the day of a fixture, for a reason other than as indicated in Rule 6.1, an alternative player shall be moved up from a lower league into the No. 4 position and the other players shall be moved up one position to close the gap in that team. An infringement of this sub-rule will result in the player’s match, and all matches in that fixture below the number for which he/she was selected, being awarded to the opposing team.
3.7 A team playing with three or fewer players may be penalised by five points being deducted from their total league points.
In the event of a team playing short, all players must move up in the order to fill the team from the number 1 position down and the offending team must concede matches from the lowest position upwards. The penalty for infringement of this rule will apply on each occasion such offence is committed.
3.8 The use of "floating reserves" is discouraged. Any club using such a floating reserve must ensure that such player plays only within a range of two contiguous teams, at a level appropriate to his/her own playing strength and correct ladder position.
3.9 To be eligible to play in the last 3 matches of the league season, a player must have played, in that league or a lower league, a minimum of 33.3% of the league fixtures that have been played for the current year up until, and including, the fourth last match. Teams must continue to play in strict accordance with the club’s current ladder. Permission MAY, in exceptional circumstances, be granted by WPS to field a player who might not otherwise be eligible. Such circumstances may apply to:
3.9.1 A player who has not qualified because he has played more matches higher up ( in accordance with ladder) is allowed to play if his ladder position has been moved down, by an injured/absent player returning to a higher position on the club ladder or having lost a challenge.
3.9.2 A player joining a club during the season who does not qualify having played too few league matches, should be allowed to participate in terms of his ladder position.
3.9.3 An injured player returning to the team should be allowed to participate even if he/she has not played sufficient matches.
The onus is on the Club to obtain such permission before the 3rd last match. An infringement of this rule will result in rule 3.10 being applied.
3.10 The match result of a player deemed to contravene one or more of the WPS league rules shall be recorded as a 3-0 walkover to the opposition.
Similarly, the match result of every player below him/her in that fixture may also be recorded as a 3-0 walkover.
WPS is entitled to enforce a further 3 point penalty on this team if, in his opinion, the above penalty is not sufficient for the infringement.
3.11 A player in a league team that has completed all its scheduled matches may not thereafter play for a lower league team. An infringement of this rule will result in the application of rule 3.10.
3.12Every club shall, before the commencement of the first league fixture of the season, submit its current ladder(s) to WPS. It shall be the duty of every club at the start of any week in which any of its teams are playing league fixtures, to submit an updated ladder if there have been any changes to the ladder since the previous one submitted to WPS. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in the club contravening Rule 3.3 and incurring penalties in terms of Rule 3.10.
4. TWO TEAMS IN THE SAME LEAGUE
4.1 A club with two teams in the same league must ensure that they are approximately equal in strength. No variation to this rule will be allowed unless a written application is received by WPS by the end of February of the year in question.
4.2 A player returning to a lower league from a higher league must return to the team from which he was promoted to the higher league. A breach of this rule shall result in the Rule 3.10 being applied.
4.3 A player may not play in both teams in the same league, and when he/she has played for one of the two teams, he/she must stay in that team throughout the season. The only exception is that a player who is being promoted from a lower league may, with the prior permission from WPS, be promoted to the team other than the one for which he played before moving to a lower league.
4.4 Reserves filling in the number 4 position, may play in either team of a higher league, provided they abide by the rule of not playing in more than one fixture per week.
5. FIXTURE AND COMMENCEMENT TIMES
5.1 All league fixtures shall commence at 6.30pm for both men and women. The captains shall ensure that two players from each team are ready and able to play their corresponding numbers in the opposing teams at the designated commencement time (i.e. that there are two sets of matched opponents ready to begin at such time). In the event of the first match not having commenced within 15 minutes (by 6.45pm) of the designated commencement time, the offending team or teams may have five points deducted from their score. In the context of this rule the words “ready and able” shall mean that players are changed and ready to go on to court, and are physically able to play a match of the best of five games.
5.2 All players must arrive at the venue of the fixture within 45 minutes of the designated commencement time. Any player who cannot arrive within this time must ensure that both his/her captain and the opposing captain are notified before 3.00pm on the day of the fixture. Should this courtesy not be observed, the match shall be awarded to his/her opponent. Furthermore should any player not present him/herself at the venue of the fixture within 90 minutes of the commencement time, it will be assumed that he/she is unavailable for the fixture and his/her match and all matches below the number for which he/she was selected will be awarded to the opposing team.
5.3 The team nearest to the date on the fixture list shall be the home team, unless otherwise indicated.
6. PLAYING MATCHES/FIXTURES ON ALTERNATIVE DAYS
6.1 Players must play as a team, and no individual matches will be permitted, except where a player has been selected to play for his/her district, province or country, is playing in an individual tournament officially recognised by Squash SA on their calendar, or is obliged to fulfil duties as a provincial or national squash administrator on the date of the fixture. In this event a player shall play his/her match within a period of 14 days before the date of the fixture, and must notify WPS immediately of the change. If the first round of a tournament starts on a Sunday or Monday, all league fixtures for the preceding Tuesday must be played as scheduled.. No player will be allowed to play a match after the date of the fixture. In the event that the match has not been played by the fixture date, Rule 3.6 shall apply. Players are alerted to the fact that they must contact their opponent before the period of the two weeks dispensation commences.
6.2 Teams may not play on an alternative night other than as scheduled in the WPS fixture list. In the event of a team finding itself unable to fulfil a fixture on the designated date, the captain shall contact WPS to seek approval for an alternative earlier date. However, should WPS or the opposing captain find the proposed alternative arrangement unacceptable, for valid reasons, the fixture shall be played as scheduled or shall be conceded by the team seeking the indulgence.
6.3 If both teams agree to an earlier alternative date in terms of rule 6.2, and the fixture is played on such date, the players who participate will then not be eligible to play in the week in which the fixture was originally scheduled to be played.
6.4 University and school holidays are deemed legitimate reasons for bona fide student teams to apply for an alternative fixture date which must comply with rule 6.1 above with regard to the 14 day period.
7. DATE CHANGES BY WPS
In the event of it being necessary for the WPS to change the date for one or more fixtures after the final fixtures have been published, all affected clubs will be notified in advance. It shall be the responsibility of individual team captains to ensure that their teams and their opponents are aware of any changes and any misunderstandings resulting in a failure to play fixtures will result in either team, or both teams losing all points for the fixture in question.
8. DISPUTES AND DISCIPLINARY COMPLAINTS
Any disputes or disciplinary complaints must be submitted in writing by the Club President together with a detailed account, to WPS within 10 days of the fixture. WPS may then refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee or the Rules Committee, either of which shall have the power to enforce the necessary penalty against any player, team or club. A decision of either of the abovementioned sub-committees shall be final and binding on all parties to the dispute. WPS shall have the power to submit any perceived violation of the Rules, of which it becomes aware, to the Disciplinary Committee or the Rules Committee, notwithstanding that it has not received any complaint.
9.1 Each individual game won by either team will earn one point. In addition there will be a bonus of two points for the team which wins the greater number of matches i.e. 4-0 or 3-1. In the event of a fixture being 2 all in matches, then the team winning the greater number of games shall be the winner. In the event of the games being equal, then the team with the greater number of points shall be the winner. Should matches, games and points be equal, the fixture shall be declared a tie and each team will score one bonus point.
9.2 In the event of two teams having equal points at the end of the league season, the winner shall be the team which has won most fixtures in the season. In the event of the two teams winning an equal number of fixtures, the winner shall then be the team which has won most matches in the season. If fixtures and matches are equal, the winner shall be the team that has conceded the lesser number of games in the season. If fixtures, matches and lesser number of games conceded are equal, there shall be a playoff to decide the winners, which shall be played within 7 days of the last scheduled league fixture. In the event of a playoff, each team must ensure that the members of their team have played at least 50% of the league fixtures in that league or a lower league during the year.
10. COMPLETION AND SUBMISSION OF RESULT CARDS
10.1 The result of each fixture must be input into the online league database on the WPS website by both teams. The first team to do so shall input the full result, and the second team shall verify that the result has been correctly entered. The deadline for entering results is the Monday following the week in which the fixture was played. Results for Women’s and Men’s 1st League are to be entered, and faxed to the WPS office by 10:00 on the day following the match to facilitate press coverage.
10.2 Captains shall ensure that the names of all four players in each team are recorded on the online league database.
Failure to comply with this will result in a 3 point penalty being imposed.
It is recommended that captains state both the first and surnames of players in question for identification purposes.
10.3 A result must be entered in respect of any bye. This must show the names of the players who would have played in the team that week. 14 points are awarded to a team having a bye. As with other fixtures, a bye result must be entered by the following Monday. Failure to do so may result in no points being awarded for the bye.
10.4 If a team has a walkover, the result should be entered as such.
10.5 Any team that withdraws from a league after completing one or more matches shall have all points for and against removed and such team will be relegated to the bottom of the log. A Club whose team withdraws once the fixtures have commenced will not be eligible to be considered for either the Clive Corder or Carollyn Guthrie trophy. All teams scheduled to play against the aforementioned team, as per the printed fixture list, must submit a score card recording a walkover/bye as per rules 10.3 and 10.4
11. EQUIPMENT & APPLICABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL RULES
For all matches, the non-marking, yellow dot black ball shall be used, and all racquets shall conform to the criteria approved by the World Squash Federation. All matches shall be played under the Rules of the International Singles Game of Squash, which came into effect in South Africa in February 1997 and in the rest of the world on 1st May 1997.
Clothing shall be neat and of a colour which will not clash with an opponent’s or marker/referee’s visibility of the ball. Men may not wear shirts without sleeves and bermuda, cycling, pyjama or similar type shorts will not be allowed. In all cases white shoes not having black soles shall be worn.
All matches shall be marked. Teams are to co-operate in this regard and to take their turn at marking. Proficiency at marking/refereeing can be enhanced by attending one of the courses run by WPS.
14. PROMOTION AND RELEGATION
14.1 Promotion to and relegation from 1st and 2nd League shall be entirely at the discretion of the Committee, who shall have regard to a number of factors, in particular the preservation of a high standard and a balance between allocation of teams to various clubs.
14.2 As regards other leagues, the Committee will follow a guideline of promoting the top two teams into the next higher league, and the last two teams in the league above will automatically be relegated. The Committee shall however have the final discretion in this respect, and shall be entitled to take into account any other relevant factors which may facilitate the efficient running of the league.
In the event that clubs experience a power cut during the course of a league match, WPS has ruled as follows if a fixture is affected:
1. All postponed fixtures MUST be played within 10 days of the date of such fixture and the same players who were listed must play in the postponed fixture at the assigned venue.
2. If the fixture has commenced and the first match has not been completed due to power cuts and subsequent abandonment of that match and the rest of the matches, the entire fixture shall be replayed within 10 days.
3. If any one match of a fixture has been completed, the result of that match shall stand on the resumption of the fixture at a later date.
4. If one or more matches have been completed in the fixture and a subsequent match is interrupted, the scores shall stand and such match will be resumed at the same point when the fixture is replayed. (e.g. J Smith was leading 2-1 and 6/4 against B Brown - the match will be resumed at this point).
5. WPS office must receive a copy of the incomplete fixture card of a match that has been abandoned at any point due to a power cut. Upon completion of the fixture the card is to be submitted again with full results recorded.