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League Rules

League Rules

Explore the world of competitive play with Florida Team Pickleball Leagues (FTPLI). Dive into the excitement and embrace exhilarating matches governed by our official league rules.

  1.  GENERAL. The following rules apply to all leagues in the Florida Team Pickleball Leagues, Inc.  (FTPLI) organization unless otherwise specified.  All FTPLI leagues will follow current USA Pickleball rules other than those noted in the FTPLI Rules.

  1. PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS

    1. All participants in FPLI pickleball are bound by the FTPLI rules, as well as those of the USA Pickleball.  Not all possible incidents and ramifications may be covered in the following rules.  Participants in unusual or undocumented situations will have to abide by the decision of the Rules Committee and/or the Board of Directors.  If there is a conflict in an interpretation of any rule, FTPLI Rules shall supersede.  The FTPLI Rules as provided herein shall apply to all FTPLI players unless such rules are revised, amended, or otherwise changed by the FTPLI Board of Directors and/or the Rules Committee.  In such an event, the FTPLI Rules shall be updated on the FTPLI website.

    2. All leagues are open to men and women players in their respective gender divisions and mixed divisions.  Players participating in FTPLI regional leagues must be 16 years of age or older.

    3. There are 2 age defined leagues in each region in each division (Men’s, Women’s & Mixed).

      1. Open Age League: All teams are not age restricted.  Players must be 16 years or older by the first day of play in the season.

      2. 55+ League: Players must be 55 years or older during the calendar year of the season start.

    4. Players may play in either or both of the age defined leagues within a region provided they meet the requirements for each league.

    5. Players may play in more than one region provided they meet the requirements for the league they are participating in. Players must “declare” what region they are committed to for playoff purposes prior to season starting.

  2. ROSTER REQUIREMENTS

    1. MEMBERSHIP FEE. All players must have paid the player registration fee for each team they participate in prior to participating in the league each season.

    2. WAIVER. All players must have agreed to the waiver release of liability prior to participation in the league each season.

    3. PLAYER SKILL LEVEL RATINGS. Team rosters must consist of players with skills that are consistent with the skill level in which their team is playing.  The list below indicates the priorities of the ratings that should be used when registering:

      1. UTPR, DUPR or WPR and Pickleball Brackets: FPLI will recognize national ratings from DUPR, UTPR, WPR and Pickleball Brackets. The player’s highest published USA Pickleball (USAP) UTPR rating, Pickleballtournaments.com rating, (WPR),  DUPR rating or Pickleball Brackets rating effective 1 month prior to the season start will be used for players with such a rating throughout the season.  Players with UTPR or DUPR ratings for both gender and mixed will use the higher rating for all FPLI leagues and divisions they play in.  Note: A player’s FTPLI performance has no effect on a player's UTPR, DUPR or WPR rating.

      2. If a player played in the previous season of FTLPI, then the rating earned will be effective for the next season.

      3. Rating by a Certified Ratings Clinician: There are certified raters (e.g., IPTPA.com and IFPickleball.org) throughout Florida. See their websites for information.

      4. Club Rating: If a rigorous process is in place at a player’s club that is based on published ratings criteria, a club rating is acceptable.

      5. Captain’s Rating: If a player doesn’t have a UTPR/WPR/DUPR/Pickleball Brackets rating, rating by a Certified Ratings Clinician or Club rating, the player is required to discuss the rating to be used with the captain and will enter the agreed upon rating as a Captain’s rating.

 

NOTE:  DUPR will report a provisional rating for a player and denote this rating with an asterisk.  DUPR states that the provisional rating does not have enough data (games) for the algorithm to provide an accurate rating.  Upon registration, players should NOT use this provisional rating when registering for a FTPLI team.  Use the next highest rating.

 

For all ratings, (UTPR/WPR/DUPR/Pickleball Brackets, FTPLI, Certified Ratings Clinician, Club, Captain’s), it is the responsibility of the team captain (and club administrator where applicable) to assure the ratings are accurate and defendable to USAP rating criteria no matter what the level.

 

    1. TEAM ROSTER SKILL LEVELS.

Skill levels to be offered are:  2.5, 3.0. 3.5, 4.0. 4.5/5.0 combined.  Each skill level is that level plus .49 to be qualified for the level.  EX.  Someone rated and 3.87 in DUPR would be a 3.5 player.

Single Skill Level Flights: Teams may contain up to 50% of the players rated one half of a rating point below the flight skill level.

Combined Skill Level Groups: Teams in combined skill level groups (ex. 4.5/5.0 or 4.0/4.5) may contain up to 50% of the players rated one half of a rating point below the lower of the combined skill levels.  In addition, teams in the 4.5/5.0 combined skill level group may not contain more than 3 players rated at the higher skill level of the combined skill level.

 

Combined skill level teams will be provided at the following level and divisions: women’s doubles 4.0/4.5, men’s doubles 4.5/5.0 and mixed doubles at 4.5/5.0.

 

For all groups, players count fractions .5 and higher round up, below .5 round down to the nearest whole number.  In no case may a player play in a skill level group that is below the player’s rating.


 

    1. PLAYER RATING APPEALS. On occasion, a player’s UTPR, DUPR or WPR, Pickleball Brackets, FTPLI rating may not accurately reflect the player’s skill level.  To appeal a player rating, captains shall submit a request for a rating appeal to the Rules/Appeals committee using the form (Rating Appeal Request) located on the FTPLI website explaining why it is felt that the player’s true skill level is different from the formal rating published.  It may be required to appeal a rating to the rating organization prior to FTPLI approval of a rating appeal.  Note:  Ratings appeals are valid for 1 season or until the next player registration whichever is shorter. 

 

    1. UTPR/WPR/DUPR RATING CHANGES. If a player’s quarterly UTPR, DUPR or WPR rating changes upward during the FTPLI season and the player wishes to play for a higher skill level team, contact the League Coordinator.

 

    1. TEAM MEMBERS. Team members may play in more than one age defined FTPLI league (open age, 55+ (or 65+ where it is offered)) and more than one division (Mixed or Gender Doubles ) but cannot be on more than one team in the same division and skill level within a league within the same region.  (Example: a player may play on a 3.5 Men’s division team in the open age league and play on a Men’s 3.5 team in the 55+ age defined league but not on two Men’s 3.5 teams within the same league, either open age or 55+).  A player who registers for a team may not switch teams within the same group once the season has started unless approved by the League Coordinator.  The following requirements apply to the specific Regions and their areas:

Central Florida, NW Florida, WE Florida, Panhandle:  Team members are not required to be from any particular area.  Captains may recruit players from any location. It is the captain’s responsibility to ensure their roster meets the requirements of their home court venue if there are specified requirements or restrictions defined by the venue.

 

    1. TEAM NAMES. Captains will submit an initial team name to the league during team registration.  First come first served in case 2 submittals are identical in the same group.  Team names can be changed after registration provided no other team in the same group is using the same name.

    2. ROSTER SIZE. There is no limit to roster size.  Captains should be aware that for players to participate in the next level of competition (playoffs, state championships) players must meet the player playoff qualification criteria.

    3. PLAYER PLAYOFF QUALIFICATION CRITERIA. To participate in a sub-group playoff players must have played in at least one complete FPLI regular season match.  To participate in a regional or State Championship players must have played in at least 2 regular season matches.

    4. ROSTER ADDITIONS. Captains may add players to their roster through the player registration process until the cutoff date published on the league calendar on the regional website, generally the first half of the season.

 

  1. TEAM REGISTRATION

    1. DEADLINES. All teams must have registered online by the published registration deadline.

    2. CAPTAINS. All teams must have a designated captain and co-captain. Captains shall monitor their rosters as players begin to register for correctness and adherence to league rules.

 

  1. COURTS AND BALLS

    1. COURTS AND FACILITIES. Each team is required to guarantee the use of 3 hard outdoor courts. Indoor venues are acceptable provided they use typical hard outdoor court surfaces. Pickleball courts for match play must be at an FTPLI approved facility.  For facility approval contact your Venue Coordinator.  Courts must be available simultaneously for a minimum of 2 hours (2.5 hours preferred).

    2. BALLS. For all FTPLI leagues balls must be Dura 40, Franklin X or core outdoor ball and either new or in good condition.  The team listed as the home team supplies the balls.  It is recommended that at least 6 balls be available at each match.

 

  1. SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS

    1. SCHEDULING REQUIREMENTS. For all leagues captains must submit their home team match location, days, and times when they register online prior to the deadline published.  (See Team Registration Section IV)

    2. MATCH TIMES. Match times posted on the schedule are the times the match is required to begin.  Captains are expected to contact their opposing captains in advance of the match and inform them if there are courts available prior to the match start time for warm-up.

    3. MATCH LOCATIONS. Match locations will be published in the schedule.  Teams will typically play a minimum of 2 matches against each team in its flight (1 - home, 1 - away).  This may change depending on the size of the flight.

    4. SCHEDULE CHANGES. Any changes to the published schedule must be approved by the League Coordinator.  Schedule changes that involve public courts must be requested a minimum of 5 days in advance of the original scheduled date.  Note: See the FTPLI Rescheduling Policy for the complete requirements for all schedule changes.

    5. SHORT LINE-UPS. If a captain (from Team “A”) cannot field 3 doubles teams from their roster, and rescheduling the match is not feasible, then that captain shall bring 2 doubles teams to play (line 1 and line 2 on the scoresheet) and default all of its line 3 doubles team games. The opposing team (Team “B”) shall still bring all 6 of its players as each of its team pairs will play against the opponent’s line 1 team and line 2 team.  The scoresheet will not reflect a score for each defaulted game in each round but Team “B” will be awarded 2 team points for each defaulted game (i.e. 4 points per round).  Scoring of the games played will be the same as found in the “Match Process” section VII.D. If a captain can only field 1 doubles team pair, the match will be defaulted earning the winning team 36 points and 1 win in the standings.

 

  1. MATCH PLAY

    1. All team matches will be three (3) rounds of three (3) lines, two (2) games each.

Round Robin (as follows)

Round 1:

      1. Home team line 1 plays Visiting line 1.

      2. Home team line 2 plays Visiting line 2.

      3. Home team line 3 plays Visiting line 3

Round 2:

      1. Home team line 1 plays Visiting line 2

      2. Home team line 2 plays Visiting line 3

      3. Home team line 3 plays Visiting line 1

Round 3:

      1. Home team line 1 plays Visiting line 3

      2. Home team line 2 plays Visiting line 1

      3. Home team line 3 plays Visiting line 2

Home teams stay on courts each round. Visiting teams switch courts after each round.

 

    1. MATCH DAY TEAMS. On match day the captain will bring 6 players to play on 3 doubles teams.  Line-ups identifying the doubles teams and substitute(s) on the scoresheet will be exchanged prior to the start of the match after which they may not be changed.  The 3 doubles team partners will stay together for that day’s match unless substitutions are made (see substitution rules).  Captains or their designees are required to be on-site at each match.

    2. LATE PLAYER. Unless otherwise specified the schedules state the time matches are to start.  It is always a good idea to verify the start time with your opposing team captain a few days prior to the match.  The following rules apply to late players.

 

Matches shall start no later than 5 minutes after the posted match start time.  If a player has not arrived 10 minutes after the posted start time the team will default on the game the player would have normally played.  If the team has a substitute player in attendance to be used in case of injury or physical ailment to a player in the lineup, that player may be used as a substitute until the late player arrives and the game will be played in its entirety and will count.  If the late player has arrived during the game the late player will wait until the end of the game and then replace the substitute player.  It is the captain’s prerogative to switch the late player to the role of substitute for injury or physical ailment purposes in which case the player that replaced the late player will continue as the lineup player.

 

Unless a substitute fills in as defined above, all games will be defaulted and scored 11-0 against the team with the late player until the late player arrives.  The 5 minute rule applies to the start of each round.  Once the next round has started the late player has 5 minutes to arrive or the first game will be defaulted. If the late player arrives during the 2nd game, in any round, more than 5 minutes after the other pairs have begun play, that game will also be defaulted 11-0.

 

    1. MATCH PROCESS. To begin a match, the visiting teams choose to serve, receive, or side.  Each doubles team will play 2 games to 11 (win by 2). Teams shall switch sides after the first game.   At the end of the second games (first round), and the fourth games (second round), the visiting doubles teams switch courts to play the next home doubles team noted on the line-up/scoresheet. Therefore, on team match day, each doubles team will play 6 games (three rounds): 2 games against the opposing line 1 doubles team, 2 games against the line 2 team, and 2 games against the line 3 team. Two team points are awarded for each game won by a doubles team. If the losing team scores 6 or more points in a game, they are awarded 1 team point.  No team points are awarded for a score of 5 points or less. Whichever team earns the most team points in all the games played in a match, will be the winner of the match and will be awarded a win in their league skill group team standings.

    2. BREAKS. A break of 1 minute is allowed between games. After each round of 2 games, a break of up to 5 minutes is allowed commencing at the time the last 2 opposing doubles teams in the round complete their 2nd game.

    3. TIME OUTS. One (1) time out is allowed per game per team.  Bathroom breaks should be taken between rounds.

    4. COACHING. Per USA PIckleball rules coaching by anyone is only allowed after completion of each game, between rounds and during time outs.

    5. SUBSTITUTIONS DURING MATCH DAY. Each team is allowed 1 substitute once play has begun but only if the substitute had been identified on the line-up sheet prior to the start of the match and only in the event of: a) an injury that occurs during the match and prevents a player from continuing to play; or b) a physical ailment that develops during the match which prevents a player from continuing to play. Any such substitution is permanent for the remainder of the match. Players removed due to injury or physical ailment may not return to the match. Substitutions may only be made with players on the current team roster. There is no warm-up time allowed for the substitute unless a time out is used.  The scoresheet shall reflect the player who finished the game and match.  Captains should not include in the line-up players who are injured or sick prior to the start of a match.  For Mixed Doubles one substitute for each gender is allowed.

    6. WARM UP COURTS. FTPLI does not require facilities to provide warm-up courts before a match is scheduled to begin. Visiting team captains should check with the home team captain in advance of the match to determine if warm-up time is available.  In any event, teams are allowed a 5-minute warm up after the posted match start time, to be monitored jointly by the team captains.  No team is to ask any players to leave a court before their scheduled court time.

 

  1. OTHER CAPTAIN AND PLAYER RESPONSIBILITIES

    1. SCORE REPORTING: The home team captain must report the score within 48 hours.  After the score is posted, the visiting team captain will have 48 hours to contest the score.  The score will become official if not contested after the 48-hour period.

    2. RECORDS: All captains are to keep records of all match results until the end of the season in case of discrepancies or disputes.

    3. CONDUCT: Captains and players are to monitor behavior to assure conduct is in accordance with the FTPLI Code of Conduct.

    4. RULES: Captains and players are to read and understand the FTPLI rules and USA pickleball rules.

    5. DISPUTES: Players involved in a dispute during a match that can’t be resolved on the court can declare that the match is being played under protest and must continue the match to its conclusion.

    6. GRIEVANCES: A player or captain may file a formal grievance for a Rules/Sportsmanship issue with the League Coordinator using the form and process posted on the regional website.

 

  1. REGULAR SEASON GROUP STANDINGS

    1. STANDINGS PUBLISHING: Throughout the season the standings of each division skill group will be posted and updated on the FTPLI website.  Placement in the standings is based on Standings Pts and is determined and published as follows:  Teams get 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss.

    2. TIES: In case of a tie in Standings Pts, the team with the highest Total Team Pts is placed higher in the standings.  In case of a tie in Total Team Pts the team with the lowest Total Opponent Pts is placed higher in the standings.

    3. FINAL STANDINGS: Section A and B above illustrates how the standings will be published throughout the season.  At the end of the season, if there is a 2-way tie in the Standings Points, head-to-head results will determine the winner of the flight.  If there is a tie in head-to-head results the first tiebreak criteria between the 2 teams will be total team points scored during their matches against each other. If both teams scored an equal amount of team points against each other than total team points scored during the regular season will be used followed by lowest total opponent points if necessary.  If there are more than two teams tied in Standings Points the teams with the lower total points will be eliminated until there are two teams remaining.  At that point the 2-way tie process will take effect.

 

  1. CHAMPIONSHIPS GROUP STANDINGS AND MATCH TIES TIEBREAK CRITERIA

    1. INDIVIDUAL MATCHES: If both teams have an equal number of team points at the end of a championship playoffs match the team with the most games won will be declared the winner.  If both teams have an equal number of games won, the team with the most game points earned will be declared the winner. If both teams have an equal amount of game points earned, then the team with the fewest game points allowed will be the winner.

    2. ROUND ROBIN FLIGHTS: If two teams have the same win/loss record, the head-to-head winner of their match will be declared the champion. If more than two teams have the same win-loss record, the team(s) with the fewest total team points will be eliminated until there are two teams remaining.  If more than two teams have the same win/loss record, and there is a tie in total team points, the team(s) with the fewest games won will be eliminated (or fewest game points if games won is tied) until there are two teams remaining.  Then the head-to-head winner of their match will be declared the champion.

 

  1. INCLEMENT WEATHER

    1. RESCHEDULING. Rescheduling of matches due to inclement weather is warranted in cases of rain and/or sustained winds of at least 25mph.  The Captain or Captains seeking to reschedule the match due to inclement weather shall take a screenshot of the weather forecast for the locale where the match is scheduled to be played and email the screenshot to the League Coordinator then follow the Rescheduling Policy instructions to identify a new match date.

    2. MATCH CANCELLED PRIOR TO START. In the event a match cannot be played due to inclement weather the match can be rescheduled to play any time prior to the end of the season.  Captains shall follow the procedures for rescheduling the match and notifying the League Coordinator outlined in the FTPLI Rescheduling Policy.  Matches that are rained out during the last week of the season will not be rescheduled. If this happens the team’s winning percentage will be used to determine the final standings.

    3. MATCH CANCELLED AFTER START. If a match is forced to be discontinued due to inclement weather before the first round is completed it will be rescheduled and replayed in its entirety. If the first round has been completed and it is discontinued before the second is completed it will be rescheduled and replayed at the start of the second round.  If both the first and second rounds have been completed and the match is discontinued before the third round is completed it will be rescheduled and replayed at the start of the third round.  However, it is not required that the players all convene to play at the same time and location if only the third round is needed to be completed.  Captains/players may arrange their own independent foursome and report the third round 2 game scores to their captains.

    4. LINE-UPS AFTER MATCH CANCELLATION. If the match is to be replayed in its entirety the captain is not required to field the same team lineup.  If at least one round has been completed, the captain may bring 1 different player in the new lineup as the permanent player to replace a player that is unavailable to play in the rescheduled match and 1 different player to serve as the substitute for injury or physical ailment of a player during the rescheduled match.  Substitution rules for injury or physical ailment still apply.

 

Rev: 7/8/23

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