By Cameron Turner, Mixed Doubles Vice President
With spring on the horizon, we all look forward to warmer weather and more time on the tennis courts. We also know that rain showers and inclement weather may challenge week-to-week play, and makeup matches are never fun to maneuver. One question that is frequently asked is: “How do you define rain delays and unforeseen circumstances?” Let’s take a minute to walk through these similar yet different situations.
Per ALTA rule VI-B- Inclement Weather: If the match is delayed or interrupted by inclement weather, which includes lightning, teams should be prepared to wait one hour to determine if courts are playable. Another question that comes up is “What if the home courts are wet, but the visitor courts are dry?” With the inclement weather rule, if the home courts are wet, and the wait time has expired, then both teams are free to leave and reschedule the match. In this situation, the home team is not required to relocate to the visitors’ courts if the conditions are better there. Of course, if both teams agree, they can choose to play the match at the visitors’ courts. Teams do have the option of waiting more than one hour if they would like, and it is mutually agreed upon. If you do reschedule, please let your coordinator know as soon as possible about your match delay.
The ALTA rule that includes how to handle unforeseen circumstances is sometimes misinterpreted. Unforeseen circumstances could be when a home team’s lights don’t work or bathrooms are out of order. Per ALTA rule IV-J: If, for any unforeseen circumstance, the home team is unable to provide its home courts for any scheduled dual meet, the visiting team has the first option of providing its home courts. The host team is considered the home team. If the visiting team does not elect to provide its home courts, the responsibility reverts to the home team, which must provide courts within the approved ALTA area at the scheduled time. If alternate courts cannot be found, the captains must contact their coordinator.
These rules are sometimes confusing, so this information should help clarify the difference between unplayable courts due to inclement weather and a team’s inability to provide its own courts because of unforeseen circumstances. If you ever have questions or need help, please reach out to your coordinator. Being familiar with the rules helps eliminate misunderstandings and conflicts on match day. We always want to promote the highest level of sportsmanship and encourage giving people grace and patience through hard situations. Our goal is to have fun and play tennis. Let’s get people on those courts and be kind to one another!