Tennis Rules and Procedures




A. Tennis is a team championship sport for boys and girls that is based on region play in all classifications. Beginning and ending dates for practice and competition can be found at the front of this publication.


B. All tennis matches will be played according to tennis rules published by the U. S. Tennis Association (USTA) unless otherwise specified by the Georgia High School Association.


1. The rules of the USTA Handbook relating to lateness for a match will apply to GHSA matches.

2. There will be continuous play except that a coach may talk to players as they change ends of the court after a game, but the players must stay on the court.

3. In regular season play and in the region tournament, the 8-game Pro Set format is allowed. The host coach shall notify all opponents of the format to be used at least 24 hours before the competition. 8-Game Pro Set: First player to win 8 games by a margin of 2 games (ie, 8-5, 8-6, 9-7) wins the set - if score gets to 8-8, the tie-breaker as outlined in this section is used.


C. Teams are restricted to no more than eighteen (18) varsity matches excluding region and state tournaments. The 18 matches are for the complete team (singles and doubles). There will be no singles tournaments allowed.

1. Each match played in an invitational tournament or multiple match counts toward the maximum of eighteen (18).

2. No school shall enter any invitational tournament unless it has been approved by the GHSA Executive Director.

3. In accordance with By-Law 2.66, only one night before a school day per week may be used with competitions beginning at 6:00 p.m. or later.

4. It is permissible for coaches to use "split squads" during the regular season. However, the use of split squads

will count as two (2) of that school's maximum allowed competitions.

5. There shall be no interscholastic practices and/or scrimmages.


D. The format for all GHSA tennis matches shall be three (3) singles matches and two (2) doubles matches. With prior agreement of both coaches, JV squads may use a format of two (2) singles matches and one (1) doubles match.

1. A player may play in either one (1) singles match or one (1) doubles match.

2. No player is permitted to play in both a singles and a doubles match.

3. Substitution is not permitted once a match has begun. If any injury occurs during play that prevents a player from completing the match, that player defaults and the opponent is awarded the victory.


E. 12-Point Tie-Breaker for Singles (Team A vs B)

1. This is used when the score is tied 6-6 (or 8-8 in Pro-Set) in any set (1st, 2nd, or 3rd).

2. Player A serves the first point from the right service area.

3. Player B serves the second and third points from the left and right service areas respectively.

4. Player A serves the fourth and fifth points - again alternating the service areas.

5. Player B serves the next two points and ends of the court are changed between these two points.

6. Player A serves the eighth and ninth points.

7. After this, the serve is alternated on every two points.

8. If the tie-breaker ends with a 6-6 score, the players change ends of the court and alternate serves until one player is ahead by two (2) points - which gives that player a set victory of 7-6.

9. Players switch ends of the court after every six (6) points and at the end of the tie-breaker.


F. 12-Point Tie-Breaker for Doubles (Team A & B vs C & D)

1. Player A serves the first point from the right service area.

2. Player C serves the second and third points - alternating the service areas.

3. Player B serves the fourth and fifth points.

4. Player D serves the sixth and seventh points, and ends of the court are changed between the points.

5. After this, play continues with the same service rotation until one team has either won seven (7) of the first twelve (12) points, or a team established a two-point margin after twelve (12) points have been played.

6. Teams change ends of court after every six (6) points and at the end of the tie-breaker.




A. Each region will determine how it will choose its top four (4) teams.

1. The top 4 region representatives shall be determined no later than April 21, 2012.

2. The results must be submitted to the GHSA by 9:00 a.m. on April 23, 2012.

3. Five percent (5%) of the gross gate receipts (if admission is charged) will be sent to the GHSA, and then the region will decide how to handle expenses and disbursements.


B. Beginning at the region/subregion tournament (based on the integrity of the coach), each coach will submit to the tournament director an official playoff roster (form to be found on GHSA website) listing the singles players as Nos. 1, 2, and 3 and the doubles teams as Nos. 1 and 2, in proper order of ability. This roster will be the lineup used in ALL tournament play thereafter, unless an alternate is used under the restrictions listed below. NOTE: If no region/subregion tournament is held, the lineup must be submitted to the Region Secretary at the end of the regular season and prior to the start of the state tournament.

1. Any attempt to "stack" a lineup or use a player below his/her relative ability level on the team may result in the immediate disqualification of the entire team.

(a) The best singles players in ability MUST be listed at #1 singles. The player who has played the majority of the team's regular season matches at #1 singles must be listed at that position.

(b) No singles players may be listed more than one slot lower or higher than they have played during the regular season. Example: A player who has played even one match at #1 singles during the regular season may not be listed on the playoff roster at #3 singles, or vice-versa.

(c) No player who has played more than half of the team's scheduled regular season matches at any singles position may be listed as a doubles player on the playoff roster, or vice-versa.

(d) A player listed as a singles player on the playoff roster shall not switch over to doubles competitions in any later round, or vice-versa.

2. Designate up to four (4) alternates to be used under the following conditions:

(a) Alternates should not be better in ability than ANY of the players listed on the playoff roster in the positions of Nos. 1, 2, or 3 singles OR Nos. 1 or 2 doubles.

(b) Alternates may be used in either singles or doubles competitions, but the same player may not be used for both in the same round of competition.

(c) No individual alternate may be used more than a total of two (2) times during the cumulative rounds of the sub-region, region, or state tournaments.

(d) Substitutions made after the official playoff roster has been submitted must be made at the lowest level of singles play with all others moving to the higher level of competition. In doubles competition, the coach has the option to place the alternate in the open slot or to place the alternate on the No. 2 doubles team and move a player from the No. 2 doubles team to the No. 1 doubles team, if the original vacancy is on the

No. 1 team. A player may never be used in a position lower than his original position.

(e) If the original contestant(s) resumes play, everyone moves back to their original positions listed on the submitted playoff roster.

3. A serious injury, illness, suspension or other conflict MAY warrant a waiver of the anti-stacking restrictions listed above. Such waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis upon receipt of proper documentation to the GHSA office, including a letter signed by the school's principal.

4. The objecting school must provide documentation (newspaper articles, scorebooks, or written confirmation from opposing coaches) of any stacking violations.




A. The State Tournament is considered a continuation of the Region Tournament.

1. Tournaments will be held for both boys teams and girls teams in each classification.

2. Trophies shall be presented to the champions and runners-up in each classification - both boys and girls.

3. In order to host a State Tournament match beyond the region level, the host school must have available a minimum of two (2) courts. Four (4) courts is preferable.

4. All State Tournament matches must be played on composition (hard) surfaces unless the competing schools agree to play on a non-composition surface prior to the matches.

5. The First Round of the State Tournament will take place on the "home" courts of the higher seeded teams and must be completed no later than April 27, 2012. The Second Round will take place on the "home" courts of the higher seeded teams and must be completed no later than May 2, 2012. The Quarterfinal Round will take place on the "home" courts of the higher seeded teams and must be completed no later than May 8, 2012. If the teams are equal seeds, then the (H) in the bracket will determine the host school. In each round, the following will apply:

(a) Coaches will contact each other and set up a mutually agreeable time and date.

(b) In the event an agreement on time and date cannot be reached, the GHSA Executive Director will set the time and date.

(c) In situations where fewer than five (5) courts are available per team match, the order of play shall be as follows: No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles, No. 2 singles, No. 2 doubles, No. 3 singles.

(d) The home team is responsible for reporting the winners and scores to the GHSA office by noon the day after the match.

6. On May 11-12, 2012 the State Semifinals and Finals will be held for both boys and girls for all classifications at the Clayton County International Park Tennis Center.

The order of competition is as follows:

Friday, May 11, Classes AA and A Boys and Girls, and AAAAA Boys:

(1) 9:00 a.m. Class AA Boys and Girls report to site

(2) 10:15 a.m. Class A Boys report to site

(3) 11:00 a.m. Class A Girls report to site

(4) 12 noon Class AAAAA Boys report to site


Saturday, May 12, Classes AAAA and AAA Boys and Girls, and AAAAA Girls:

(1) 9:00 a.m. Class AAAA Boys and Girls report to site

(2) 10:15 a.m. Class AAA Boys report to site

(3) 11:00 a.m. Class AAA Girls report to site

(4) 12 noon Class AAAAA Girls report to site


B. All team matches shall be the best three of five (3 singles/2 doubles) matches, using the 12-point tie-breaker.

1. A team winning three (3) of the five matches (3 singles/2 doubles) shall be the winner.

2. A team match is concluded as soon as three (3) points have been won.


C. Each team shall furnish five (5) cans of high-quality, heavy-duty tennis balls.

1. New balls will be used in the first team match.

2. After the team match, the losing team will keep the balls used in that match, and the winning team takes the unopened cans of balls to the next round of competition.

3. In the final match, the winner will be given the choice of the balls used in that match or the can of unopened balls.


D. During the first three rounds of the state playoffs, the host school shall provide a designated "site manager" to make rulings concerning sportsmanship, lateness, or other rules violations that might occur during the match. This person should be a certified USTA official when possible, hired and paid for by the host school. In instances where a USTA official cannot be secured, a school administrator must be the replacement. For the last two rounds, the GHSA will secure the site manager.

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