Scheduling Local Tournaments


 I.            Objectives of Scheduling


A.           Ensure fairness to all players 

B.           Use available courts efficiently

 II.          Limits on Scheduling


A.           Duration of tournament (Days) 

B.           Courts available 

C.           Size of draws expected 

D.          Average length of matches (early vs. late rounds) 

E.           Restrictions on matches per day for different age divisions 

        F     Offering consolation events: 

1.           First Match Losers (FMLC) 

2.           Feed-In Consolation (FIC)

 III.       Pre-schedule the Entire Tournament


A.           By Referee and some Committee members 

B.           As soon as possible after draws are made 

C.           Why? 

1.           Be sure sufficient courts are available to complete tournament on schedule 

2.           Help in assignment of officials 

3.           Allow notification of player’s first match time


IV.    Two Approaches to Pre-Scheduling (Choose one)


A.      Start with all finals on last day and work backwards (Small draws may finish before the last day)

B.           Schedule all available courts the first days so that (5 day event for instance) finals for smaller draws are finished early

1.           Allows flexibility in case of rain delays 

2.           Playing some finals early may enhance news coverage


NOTE: Often small draws will have to start later than the first day in order to utilize courts for the larger draws

 V.           Scheduling guidelines


A.           Normally player’s singles precedes their doubles, but not mandatory 

B.           Don’t bunch matches one day, then leave open days (Consider lodging and meal costs for out-of-town players) 

C.           Schedule play as early in the day as possible on all available courts 

D.        Balance the brackets in each draw so that players have equal time before next round matches (strive for equal rest time between matches) 

E.           Avoid back-to-back singles (Back-to-back doubles less a problem) 

F.    When scheduling late day matches, try to avoid earliest time slot for the following day for those late matches

G.          Know the Section and District Regulations for maximum matches per day per player

1.      Juniors “playing up” and seniors “playing down” must comply with all regulations of the division in which they play 

2.     Players competing in two divisions may have to play the maximum matches for both divisions in a single day

3.    Players allowed to compete in more than one age division often cause scheduling problems. Players must understand the risk of playing back-to-back-to-back matches all day long

   H.    When scheduling courts try to allow "catch-up-time" throughout the day to avoid long delays. Leave a court unscheduled from time to time. 

I.           Rest Periods.  Review Tables 11 & 12 in FAC


VI.    Referee’s Scheduling Responsibilities During a tournament


A.           Post next match times early, long before players need to know 

B.           Assign competent/reliable person to post match times, if you delegate this 



VII.   Weather rescheduling nightmares and player control during weather delays




1.           Do not let them scatter 

2.           Always be specific:


a)           “All matches are postponed one hour” 

b)           “Your match is re-scheduled for (time)” 

c)           “Your match will not be played before (time)” 

d)             Never allow a player to leave the site saying-“I'll be right back” Always specify a time


B.           Catching up after weather delays


1.           Use authorized alternate match formats for your Section/ District. 

       Players usually enter tournaments for ranking possibilities


2             Some considerations


a)           Enforce warm-up times and rest periods 

b)           Switch to no-add scoring 

c)           Move matches or change court surfaces 

d)           Begin play earlier the following day(s) 

e)           Cancel part of the tournament -Consolation rounds -Doubles before singles -Certain draws


C.           For tournaments not totally completed


        1. Matches completed are reported on official draw sheets 

        2. Incomplete/partial matches are not reported  - just shown as 

            “canceled due to weather” 

        3.           For matches not started or completed it is permissible to allow players to play off-site and report the results

 VIII. As with other aspects of a tournament, the following also applies to scheduling: “The Referee shall use best judgment in all situations not specifically covered by the rules and regulations.”