1. General Format of play

1.1 Each Team shall play 5 Matches in a Tie with each Match comprising 3 Games. Consequently, each Tie shall comprise 15 Games.

1.2 Each Game shall have Players competing with each other to score 11 points first, meaning in the event that scores are level at 10-all then the 11th point will be a Golden Point and shall decide the winner. Whichever individual/pair scores 11 points and is termed as the winner of each Game shall receive 1 point towards the Team’s total for each such Game win.

1.3 The winning Team in a Tie shall be decided by the number of total Games won i.e. total team points won in the relevant Tie, meaning a Team that wins 8 or more Games out of the 15 Games shall be termed as the Winner of that respective Tie with variations for League Stage and Knock Out Stage as provided in Rule 2.9 and Rule 3.4.

1.4 The tentative order of play for each Tie is listed in the table below; however, this is subject to change by ESPL at its discretion based on broadcast requirement or other factors, as required. The order of play for a Tie may particularly be changed for the Knock Out Stage. The determination of whether a Team shall be Team A or Team B in a particular Tie shall be done by a toss of coin on the morning of the Tie, the exact time of which shall be communicated later to the Teams.

Order of Play for a Tie

Match No. Match Team A vs Team B
1 Men’s Singles Indian/Foreign Player vs Indian/Foreign Player
2 Women’s Singles Indian/Foreign Player vs Indian/Foreign Player
3 Mixed Doubles Foreign - Indian Player vs Foreign - Indian Player
4 Men's Singles Indian/Foreign Player vs Indian/Foreign Player
5 Women's Singles Indian/Foreign Player vs Indian/Foreign Player

1.5 No Player can play more than 2 Matches in a Tie, including the mixed doubles.

1.6 No Player can play more than 1 singles Match in a Tie. However, the same Player can play the mixed doubles.

1.7 No Player can play more than 1 singles Match in the semi-final Tie and 1 singles Match in the Final Tie. However, the same Player can play the mixed doubles.

2. Competition format – League Stage

2.1 UTT shall have a total of 23 Ties of which 20 Ties shall be held during the League Stage and 3 Ties shall be held during the Knock Out Stage.

2.2 UTT shall be held over a period of 17 days of which 11 days shall have a Single Tie scheduled and the remaining 6 shall have double headers i.e., 2 Ties held on each such day.

2.3 During the League Stage, each Team shall be assigned to either group A or group B. Each group shall comprise of 4 Teams.

2.4 Unless otherwise determined by ESPL, during the League Stage each Team shall play a total of 5 Ties. A Team shall compete against all other Teams within its group (group A or group B) and against 2 Teams from the other group.

2.5 For the purpose of dividing the Franchisees into the two groups as mentioned in the preceding Rule, a team pool draft shall be conducted in accordance with UTT Rules of Team Pool Draft. Following the draft, all Franchisees allotted even numbers shall be assigned to group A, while all Franchisees allotted odd numbers shall be assigned to group B.

2.6 At the end of the team pool draft, the groups shall be formed as follows:

Group A Group B
Franchisee 2 Franchisee 1
Franchisee 4 Franchisee 3
Franchisee 6 Franchisee 5
Franchisee 8 Franchisee 7

2.7 The matchups between Franchisees from different groups have been pre-defined to ensure clarity and fairness:

  1. Franchisee 2 shall play against Franchisee 1 and Franchisee 3;
  2. Franchisee 4 shall play against Franchisee 1 and Franchisee 3;
  3. Franchisee 6 shall play against Franchisee 5 and Franchisee 7; and
  4. Franchisee 8 shall play against Franchisee 5 and Franchisee 7

2.8 The Team that wins 8 or more Games out of the 15 Games shall be the Winner of that respective Tie. This is relevant only to decide the position of Teams in the League Table in accordance with Rule 2.11 and Rule 2.12.

2.9 Teams shall play all the 5 Matches and 15 Games in a Tie even if one Team has secured the winning 8 Team points in a Tie in the League Stage as the team points won by winning each Game by a Team will be added to their overall tally and Teams’ rankings in the League Table will be decided on the total team points won by each Team in all League Stage Ties as the primary criteria.

2.10 The results of the League Stage shall be recorded in a table used to help determine who may advance to the Knock Out Stage (the “League Table” )

2.11 The position of Teams in the League Table while the League Stage are in progress shall be determined by (in this order):

  1. most number of team points obtained in the League Stage amongst all 8 Teams;
  2. most number of Ties won in the League Stage;
  3. most number of Matches won in the League Stage;
  4. most number of Game points won in the League Stage.

2.12 However, the final position of Teams in the League Table (when all Teams have played all their League Stage Ties) shall be determined by (in this order):

  1. most number of team points obtained in the League Stage amongst all 8 Teams;
    If two or more Teams are equal on the basis of the above criterion, their place shall be determined as follows:
  2. most number of team points obtained in the League Stage between the Teams concerned, provided that such Teams have competed against each other;
  3. most number of Matches won in the League Stage between the Teams concerned;
  4. most number of Ties won in the League Stage;
  5. most number of Matches won in the League Stage;
  6. most number of Game points won in the League Stage;
  7. draw of lots by ESPL

3. Competition Format - Knock Out Stage

3.1 After the completion of the scheduled League Stage, there shall be Knock Out Stage concluding in the Final, to determine the eventual winner of UTT in that Season. The top four Teams from the League Table, irrespective of the individual group standings within their respective groups, in the Season will qualify for the Knock Out Stage.

3.2 The Knock Out Stage will comprise of two semi-finals between the first placed Team in the League Table playing the fourth placed Team and the second placed Team playing the third placed Team.

3.3 The victorious Team from each of the semi-final Ties in the Knock Out Stage shall compete in the Final to determine the UTT champions for the Season.

3.4 In the Knock Out Stage, the Team that wins 8 Games out of the 15 Games first shall be declared the winner of that respective Tie such that Teams will not be required to play all 5Matches and 15 Games in a Tie unless it is necessary to do so to have a winner.

3.5 If any of the semi-finals at the Knock Out Stage are cancelled/abandoned and cannot be played for some reason, the Team that finished higher in the League Table (having taken into account Rule 2) shall proceed to the Final.

3.6 If the Final is cancelled/abandoned and cannot be rescheduled and played for some reason, both Finalists shall be declared as joint-winners and there shall be no runner-up.

4. Time Outs and Practice before start of Match

4.1 Players shall be allowed to practice on the Match table for up to 1 Minute immediately before the start of their Match but not during toweling breaks

4.2 During an emergency suspension of play the Referee may allow Players to practice on the show court, if available and not required for other purposes by ESPL.

4.3 Play shall be continuous throughout a Match except:

  1. A break of up to 15 seconds will be allowed for toweling after one of the Players or pairs reaches 5 points from the start of each Game. This will be the only break during the Game.
  2. Other than the official toweling break mentioned in Rule 4.3 (a) above, a Player/pair can use the towel without the permission of the Umpire only when that Player/pair is serving
  3. There will be a break of 45 seconds after the end of each Game.
  4. There will be a break of 3 minutes after the end of each Match
  5. The Referee after consulting the League Doctor may allow a suspension of play, of the shortest practical duration, and in no circumstances more than 10 minutes, if a Player is temporarily incapacitated by an accident, provided that in the opinion of the Referee the suspension is not likely to be unduly disadvantageous to the opposing Player/s.
  6. If any of the Players competing in an ongoing Match is bleeding, play shall be suspended immediately and shall not resume until that Player has received medical treatment and all traces of blood have been removed from the Playing Area.
  7. The Players playing in a particular Match shall remain in or near the Playing Area . throughout a Match, except with the permission of the Referee

5. The Order of Servicing, Receiving and Ends

5.1 The right to choose the initial order of serving, receiving and ends shall be decided by a toss of coin before the start of each Match and the winner may choose to serve or to receive first or to start at a particular end of the table.

5.2 When one Player or pair has chosen to serve or to receive first or to start at a particular end, the other Player or pair shall have the other choice.

5.3 After every 2 points, the receiving Player or pair shall become the serving Player or pair and so on until the end of the Game, unless both Players or Pairs score 10 points or the expedite system is in operation. At 10-10 the sequence of serving and receiving shall be the same but the Player/Pair shall serve for the Golden Point. When the expedited system is in operation, the sequence of serving and receiving shall be the same, however each Player shall serve only for 1 point each.

5.4 In each Game of a mixed doubles Match, the pair having the right to serve first shall choose which one of them shall serve first and in the first Game of a Match, the receiving pair shall decide which of them shall receive first; in subsequent Games of the Match, the first server having been chosen, the first receiver shall be the Player who served to him in the preceding Game.

5.5 In a mixed doubles Match, at each change of service the previous receiver shall become the server and the partner of the previous server shall become the receiver.

5.6 The Player or pair serving first in a Game shall receive first in the next Game of the Match and in the last possible Game of a mixed doubles match the pair due to receive next shall change their order of receiving when first one pair scores 5 points.

5.7 The Player or pair starting at one end in a Game shall start at the other end in the next Game of the Match and in the last possible Game of a Match the Players or pairs shall change ends when first one Player or pair scores 5 points.

6. Team Sheets

6.1 Each Team shall submit its Team Sheet to the Referee 90 minutes prior to the start of the Tie. The Team Sheet shall list the names of its Players competing in each Match according to the order of play as listed in Rule 1.4. The Team Sheet shall also include the name of the Team Officials who will be seated in the Team Box for the relevant Tie.

6.2 The Team Sheet shall be signed by either of the Coaches or the Team Manager before submission.

6.3 Once the Referee signs the Team Sheet, such a list shall become an official document, which shall be used to distribute to broadcast, Media and the public.

6.4 After the Team Sheet has been validated by the Referee under the preceding Rule, a Team cannot make any changes to its nominated Players for any Match except in the case of injury to a Player. In the case of an injury to a Player, a Team may be allowed to reorganize its order of play and resubmit its Team Sheet after approval from the Competition Director who may consult the League Doctor before giving such approval. Such a change to the Team Sheet shall only be allowed up to 10 minutes prior to the Match, and in such a case the opposing Team shall also be allowed to reorganize and resubmit its Team Sheet. Both Teams shall ensure that their revised Team Sheets are also in compliance with Rules 1.5 and 1.6. And in the event of a semi-final Tie and/or final Tie, both Teams shall ensure that their revised Team Sheet are also in compliance with Rules 1.5 and 1.7. The opposing Team must submit its revised Team Sheet within 5 minutes of the Team with the injured Player having submitted it.

6.5 No reorganization of its nominated Players according to the order of play in the Team Sheet will be allowed post the 10 minutes deadline mentioned in the preceding Rule.

6.6 If a Player is injured post the 10 minutes deadline mentioned in Rule 6.4, the relevant Player shall forfeit his Match with a score of 11-0, 11-0, 11-0. If the Player forfeits his Match due to injury after the commencement of the Match, the actual score at the time of forfeiting will be taken into account in the final score such that if a Player forfeits at the score of 11-4, 5-2 in his favour then the final score shall be 11-4, 5-11, 0-11.

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