AVAC® USTA Policies & Procedures

All Almaden Valley Athletic Club® tennis league policies are put forth through the AVAC® Tennis Policy Committee. The Committee meets at least quarterly to discuss league policy.

It is the responsibility of each AVAC® member choosing to play USTA League tennis to know the AVAC® policies. Changes to the policies are member driven. The AVAC® website always has the most current version of these policies, which supersedes all earlier versions.

AVAC® has different policies for two categories of leagues – those that affect a player’s USTA rating (most of the “Adult” leagues), and those that do not. Many provisions apply to both categories, and are described immediately below. For unique provisions, see the sections that follow on: Rated League Provisions and Non-rated League Provisions.

AVAC® Registration: It is the intent of AVAC® and the Policy Committee to provide quality playing opportunities for all AVAC® Tennis Members. This is facilitated by a registration process for both players and volunteer captains. All players must register before they can be placed on a team. This helps us determine the number of teams needed to accommodate the greatest number of players, with enough playing-time for team members.

AVAC® strives to place all players who registered for a league onto a team, but this often requires recruiting additional players and/or captains beyond those who initially registered. AVAC® gives a measure of control to its volunteer captains, and will not degrade the team experience by forcing them to take an unreasonably large number of players onto their teams. 

Waiting List for Late Registrants: Captains may only accept players who have registered by the AVAC® deadline. A player who misses the deadline will be placed on a waiting list. These players may only be placed on a team to achieve desired team size and composition. Players who registered, but have not yet been placed on a team, and new AVAC® tennis members will also be on the waiting list, and will have priority over those who could have registered on time, but did not.

Playing at Multiple Levels: Members at AVAC® may register to play at multiple levels in a particular league, as long as USTA level requirements for the league are met. However, in placing players onto teams, priority will be given to those playing at their own level. (Note that for Combo teams, players of both levels are playing at their own level.)

Players who are “playing up” are not guaranteed any playing time. Captains should schedule players who are playing at their own level for at least 2 matches if at all possible.

Non-Member Provisions: Teams may include players who are not members of AVAC®, but only to fill requirements that cannot be met using AVAC® members. Non-members must pay a $50 fee before they can play, may only use AVAC facilities for team matches and practices, and have lower priority than AVAC® members for match play.

Refer to Non-member Policies and Procedures for further details.

Registration of Teams: All teams will be registered with NorCal by the AVAC® USTA Coordinator, and overseen during the team formation period. The captain role will be transferred to the appropriate member before NorCal begins to schedule matches.

Even after this transfer, the AVAC® USTA Coordinator may remove a player from the team roster if the player was added in contradiction to the policies stated here.

Grievance Procedure: Any player or captain who believes and has evidence that an AVAC® League Policy has been violated may seek redress through the AVAC® Tennis League Policy Committee.  The player or captain should first direct the issue to the AVAC® USTA Coordinator, who will bring the issue to the committee. All grievances should be given to the committee in writing. The full committee will meet on the issue, determine a finding and communicate this finding through the coordinator, back to the person who filed the grievance.

Rated League Policies and Provisions

For:

Adult 18 & Over

Adult 40 & Over

Adult 55 & Over

Adult 65 & Over

These Leagues’ results are used in USTA’s year-end rating calculations, and therefore have a special status at AVAC®. For each level in these leagues, AVAC® will have a competitive “First Team” on which players are selected so as to make the strongest possible team. Additional teams will be formed for players not on the First Team. 

Number and Size of Teams: At any given level of play, the number and size of teams will be determined by the number of players registered by the deadline, number of lines played in the league, availability of captains, ability to meet requirements for players at-level, and the maximum number of teams that AVAC® can field.

The AVAC® USTA Coordinator will determine a minimum and maximum team size for each group based on these factors. If there are special circumstances requiring more players (such as limited player availability), the captain may petition the AVAC® USTA Coordinator.

Selection of First Team Captain: If more than one person registers to captain the First Team at a given level, an online vote will be held during the week specified in the AVAC® USTA calendar to select one of them as captain.

Only players with ratings equal to the level of the team are eligible to vote for the First Team captain.

The First Team captain must have a rating (at the time of registration) equal to the level of the team. An exception to this rule is made when no player with that rating wishes to captain the team.

Selection of First Team Players:
After being elected, the First Team captain will choose players from those who registered, to form a team within the specified size range.

The captain should consider a combination of past experience with a player, performance at tryouts, player match results, and advice from AVAC® tennis pros.

A captain may choose to schedule tryouts only for players he or she lacks current experience with, and not for more familiar players. This should allow the captain to focus on a smaller number of candidates to fill open spots. However, any player may request to attend a tryout.

Captains are encouraged to arrange for an AVAC® pro to be on hand to advise them at tryouts, particularly captains new to AVAC® or new to the captain role.

The captain must confirm that all selected players will play, and submit the roster to the AVAC® USTA Coordinator by the selection deadline specified in the AVAC® USTA Calendar.

The AVAC® USTA Coordinator will immediately share the roster with all players and captains who registered for that level, with the exception noted below for leagues affected by year-end rating changes.

Selection of Remaining Captains and Teams:
After selection of the First Team, it will be known how many additional teams should be formed. If the number of people who have registered to captain these teams exceeds the number of teams, an online vote will be held. All registered players not on the First Team may participate in this vote.

Second, Third, and Fourth Team captains may pick their teams in either of two ways. Second team captains may pick their teams first, followed by Third and then Fourth team captains. Or, if captains choose to split the players evenly, they will meet to divide the players. Tryouts are not required for these teams, but those interested in captaining these teams are invited to attend the First Team tryouts, and to schedule further individual sessions with specific players they wish to observe.

In order to get as many registered players as possible onto teams, captains may be requested to take a few extra players, or more players and/or captains may be recruited to form more teams. This will be a joint effort between those players needing a team, and the AVAC® USTA Coordinator.

If this fails, some registered players may not play in this league at this level. Captains will not be forced to create arbitrarily large teams to accommodate everyone.

Special Provisions for Leagues Affected by Year-End Rating Changes
: For leagues that form at the end of the year, team rosters may need to be adjusted to accommodate changes in the players’ USTA ratings. For these leagues, team rosters will only be shared among team captains, not with the players, until year-end ratings have come out.

Non-rated League Policies and Provisions

For:

Mixed 18 & Over

Mixed 40 & Over

Mixed 55 & Over

Combo Doubles

These leagues either are not used in USTA’s year-end rating calculations, or are only used if a player has no results in a rated league. AVAC® does not designate a “Competitive” or “First” team.

Selection of Captains and Players: Any member who registers to captain a team, and is approved by AVAC’s USTA Coordinator may immediately begin to recruit players. However, no player may be placed onto the team roster until that player has registered. A captain who wishes to make tryouts a factor in their team formation may do so.

Throughout the registration period, players will be kept informed of who has registered to captain, and captains will be kept informed of who has registered to play. Players and captains are expected to contact each other to develop team rosters. 

One week prior to the close of player registration, team captains must submit an initial (probably partial) roster to AVAC’s USTA Coordinator. This will highlight any desired players who have not yet registered, and will also allow those who register during the final week to be directed to captains who need more players.

Number and Size of Teams: Captains should invite between 14 and18 players. This is suitable for leagues that play 3 lines, as is the case for all leagues in this “non-ratings” category. If there are special circumstances requiring more players (such as limited player availability), the captain may petition the AVAC® USTA Coordinator.

Once registration has closed, in order to get all registered players onto teams, it may be necessary to enlarge teams by 1 or 2 players, or to recruit additional players and/or captains beyond those who initially registered, to form another team. This will be a joint effort between those players needing a team, and AVAC’s USTA Coordinator.

If this fails, some registered players may not play at a desired level. Captains will not be forced to create arbitrarily large teams to accommodate everyone.

Special Provisions for Leagues Affected by Year-End Rating Changes: For leagues that form at the end of the year, team rosters may need to be adjusted to accommodate changes in the players’ USTA ratings. Because of the way teams are formed in the “non-ratings” leagues, team rosters will NOT be withheld from players pending announcement of new ratings. Rather, both players and captains should recognize that teams may grow or shrink from what was initially planned, and have a willingness to be flexible.

Non-Member Policies and Procedures 

AVAC® teams may include players who are not members of AVAC®, but only to fill requirements that cannot be met using AVAC® members.

For each USTA league, AVAC® strives to field at least one team per level, composed predominately of "at-level" players. For leagues and levels with too few "at-level" AVAC® members to fill even one team, a captain may recruit enough "at-level" non-members to make the team competitive. This maintains a vibrant, active environment for members at all levels who enjoy competitive tennis.

When we have enough AVAC® members to form more than one team at a given level, a captain should supplement “at-level” members with members who have registered hoping to “play up”.

If this is still inadequate to create a viable team, a captain may invite non-member players for these purposes only:
· To meet minimum USTA requirements for “at-level” players.
· To have a large enough team to avoid defaulting matches.
· To have enough singles players to avoid defaulting matches.
· To have enough “at-level” players of either gender to partner with “at-level” members of the other gender.

For mixed doubles teams, we consider an “at-level” player to be one who can play with a partner of the same level. I.e., a 3.0 player on a 6.0 team, a 3.5 player on a 7.0 team, etc. 

Approval Process: Prior to adding players, the captain must first petition the AVAC® USTA Coordinator. The Coordinator must approve the recruitment and addition of any players to any team roster. Petitions must include the purpose for adding a player, as well as the name and email address of the player.

Fees and Privileges: Each non-member will pay a fee to be determined by AVAC® management. The fee is currently set at $50. It must be received by the AVAC® Tennis Office and verified by AVAC® Accounting Services before a non-member can play with an AVAC® team.

It is the responsibility of the team captain to know which players have paid the non-member fee. A captain who plays a non-member in a match before the fee has been paid will be billed personally for the fee, and can be reimbursed by the player at their convenience.

Non-AVAC® members may play on AVAC® courts during USTA matches and team practices, but do not have access to the rest of the Club as a full AVAC® Member.

Participation: AVAC® members playing at their USTA rated level will have priority for playing time over non-members. Non-members may play either singles or doubles after priority has been given to AVAC® members. 

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in removal from the team.

Any extreme circumstance(s) caused by the above restrictions for the viability of a team are encouraged to be presented to AVAC® USTA Coordinator for consideration of exemption to the policy by AVAC® management.