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League Rules

(September 2019)

These rules apply to the OSRA Men’s & Ladies inter club leagues and supersede all others.

(OSRA LS = OSRA League Secretary).

1 - The Competitions

1.1 They are round robins, played home and away, for teams of five players.

1.2 The Winter League (WL) will be split into two separate competitions with the first competition starting in September and the second commencing the following January. All matches from the first competition must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the second competition.

Each division will ideally have 8 teams unless the total number of teams is not a multiple of 8 in which case the lowest divisions will have 5 or 7 teams accordingly, as decided by the League Secretary (LS). The Men’s & Ladies Summer Leagues (SL) will be single competitions with ideally 8 teams per division or 7 if the total number of teams is not exactly divisible by 8.

1.3 Promotion will generally be on a 2 up 2 down basis.

1.4 Individual matches are decided by the best of 5 games playing PAR to 11 for Division One and Two teams (Winter and Summer) and PAR to 15 for all other Divisions. The whole match is decided by the number of ties won. Points are awarded on the basis of one per game won, plus 4 bonus points for the winning team.

1.5 The total number of points accrued governs team positions. If a tie occurs, the number of team wins is firstly taken into account followed by the aggregate points awarded in the matches between the teams involved and then the overall points for/against difference.

1.6 In the WL, the winners of each division of the two separate competitions will play-off for the overall division titles.The team who wins the respective division in the first half of the season will host the play-off match. Both teams must mutually agree a date and the match must be staged within three weeks of the completion of the second competition.

The result of the match is to be emailed to the OSRA LS. Any court costs incurred must be split equally between the two teams. It will be up to the teams involved as to whether food is provided. Only players that have played at least two matches for the team in the relevant competition will be allowed to play in the Playoff. If teams are unable to field five eligible players then upon agreement with the OSRA playoff organiser they may be allowed to field players from lower teams as long as those players have also played at least two matches.

If a team wins two consecutive titles then it will play off for the higher divisional title and the lower will be uncontested. Similarly, if a team wins Division 1 twice then there will be no Playoff Final.

1.7 Trophies are presented to the overall winners only at the OSRA AGM.

2 - Administration

2.1 The competitions are managed by the respective OSRA Men’s & Ladies League Secretaries and the elected divisional mangers. The divisional managers are to be the first port of call for all complaints and they may seek advice from the League Secretary as necessary. If teams wish to appeal a decision then they must follow the procedure given in Rule 2.2.

2.2 If a Divisional Managers ruling is disputed an appeal must be made to the LS in writing within 7 days of the ruling. If an OSRA LS ruling is disputed an appeal must be made to the OSRA County Secretary in writing within 3 days of the LS ruling being notified. The matter will be brought before the OSRA Committee at the next scheduled meeting or earlier depending on the nature of the appeal. In all appeals the decision by the OSRA Committee will be final.

2.3 Complaints of disciplinary nature will be heard by a disciplinary committee made up of three current members of the OSRA committee including the County Secretary and relevant LS.

3 - Entry Conditions

3.1 Application to take part in the OSRA League Competition may be made by member Clubs affiliated to England Squash and with the use of at least two adjacent courts of suitable standard. The Clubs must also be situated in Oxfordshire or near to its boundaries in a neighbouring County. Only Dunlop balls should be used in the competitions.

3.2 Applications for teams to play in the league may be accepted on condition that entry forms are properly completed and returned, together with entry fees and any arrears or penalties that may be outstanding, to the OSRA LS (Fixtures) by the specified closing date. Separate entry forms are to be completed for each half of the winter season and for the summer season. The entrance fee for each half of the Winter Season and the Summer Season will be determined at the AGM.

Each team must have a nominated team captain whose mobile telephone number and email address, at least, are included on the form.

NOTE: Penalty fees are charged for late entry to the league and for clubs not sending representatives to the OSRA AGM. The amount of these fees, currently £40, will be set annually at the OSRA AGM.

3.3 As a condition of entry to the OSRA League, clubs must be prepared to provide adequate after-match entertainment in the way of food and a maximum of two drinks

3.4 If a team drops out of the League after the first round of matches is played then it will be subjected to a fine of £50, though this will be reduced to £25 if paid within two weeks of being notified of the imposed fine. In addition, the team will forfeit their entry fee. If a team drops out once the fixtures have been prepared but before the first round of fixtures, they will forfeit their entry fee.

4 - Qualification of players

4.1 Players must be fully paid up members or professionals of the club they represent. Membership of OSRA for all team players is included in the team entrance fee. All players are bound by the OSRA Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see downloads).

4.2 Players may play for one Club only during a competition unless, in exceptional circumstances, the OSRA committee decides otherwise.

4.3 Players who play in positions 1, 2, and 3 should not play for a lower team unless the strengths of the available players dictate. Where a club has two teams in the same division these players (1-3) may split between the teams rather than playing in strict order of merit. However, once they have played for a team, they may not play for the rest of that league competition for another team(s) in the same division.

4.3 (i) Rule 4.3 does not prevent other players from moving between the respective teams but they must adhere to the club’s perceived order of merit.

NOTE: A player who has been away from match squash due to being unwell or injured but who returns to play will be deemed to be fit again and play in the position that they would have commanded prior to their illness or injury.

4.4 No player may play for more than one team in the same round.

4.5 If a player has not played at least once for their respective club in previous rounds of a Division’s fixtures (in Winter 1, Winter 2 or Summer) they may not play in the last two rounds of that particular fixture list.

4.6 A team must play strictly in their perceived order of merit. No player may move positions with respect to others in the same team by more than one position from one match to the next and this should only be done regarding recent playing performances and not for “tactical” reasons. If an opposition captain objects to a team’s playing order then he/she should inform the opposition captain on the match night and the LS within one week of the match being played. If a player is deemed to have played above or below his proper position 3-0 results to be awarded against all of the affected players.

5 - Fixtures

5.1 In the Men’s Leagues, Tuesdays are the preferred 'home' nights for divisions 1 & 2 and either/or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights for the remaining divisions.

5.2 Re-arrangement of fixtures throughout the season will not be allowed unless extreme weather conditions dictate. The divisional managers and league secretary will determine if weather conditions were poor enough to allow re-arrangements. If not, then the match will be deemed as cancelled and the appropriate penalties applied.

Teams cancelling matches will get 10 penalty points and concede the match 19-0. The team which cancelled will also be obliged to give their opponents £30 towards match costs if it was an away fixture. If, however, the team that cancelled gives at least 72 hours prior notice to the official start time of the match they will only incur the 10 point penalty and the 19-0 match result. If the fee is not paid within 14 days from the cancelled match the team will be disqualified from the league.

In order to discourage teams cancelling matches late in the season: Teams cancelling matches in the last two rounds of any competition will automatically have an additional 10 point penalty (per cancelled match) imposed on them for the start of the following season. If a match is cancelled in the last two rounds of Winter 1 then penalties are applied at the start of Winter 2. If a match is cancelled in the last two rounds Winter 2 then penalties are applied at the start of Winter 1 for the following season. Finally, if a match is cancelled in the last two rounds of the Summer season then penalties are applied at the start of the following Summer competition.

5.3 Courts must be available so that concurrent matches are underway no later than 7.45 pm. A minimum of 4 hours court time should be reserved.

5.4 A captain wishing to make special arrangements, e.g. for a player to play late or in a particular order, must give the opposition captain at least 24 hours notice.

5.5 The home team is responsible for making sure that all matches are marked by the 'home' players or by other competent markers/referees. At least four 'home' players should be available to play or mark at the specified on-court start time.

5.6 The home team captain will provide two new Dunlop brand balls for each home fixture.

5.7 Double header matches are the playing of two concurrent matches on three courts, which is permitted without affecting any of the rules.

6 - Notification of results

6.1 The home team captain is responsible for submitting the match results online at the OSRA website before 9am on the following Saturday. Rule 7.6 covers penalties for late submission.

7 - Penalties

7.1 Aborted or unfinished matches. All remaining games in unfinished matches will be forfeited by the home team, e.g. a match standing at 1-1 between two players will be awarded 1-3 to the away team player (unless this is due to the late arrival of away team players, see 7.2 & 7.3).

7.2 Match Night Management & Late Players. If, at the start time, or at any time during the match, a court stands idle due to the lateness of a player then the opposition player or captain may claim one game for each complete period of 10 minutes lost.

NOTE: This rule is mandatory and will always apply in cases where the opposing team has all players, present and ready to play. In the case of 'missing' players rule 7.3 (i) applies.

7.3(i) Unless rule 5.4 applies, if a player fails to be ready on court within 30 minutes of the court becoming available he/she shall concede a walkover and the following scale of penalties will apply: 10 points in respect of a 1st string, 8 for 2nd, 6 for a 3rd, 4 for a 4th and 2 for a number 5.

(ii) On the second and all subsequent occasions that any team fields 3 or fewer players then any penalties applied to that team will be doubled and automatically applied to their adjacent lower team, i.e. if a club’s 3rd team field three or fewer players for the 2nd time in a season then the 4th team are penalised double, no other teams within the respective club are affected. This rule is to discourage teams playing less than 5 players in order to strengthen their lower teams.

7.4 If a team is found to have included an unqualified player, or a player clearly out of order, see rules 4.3 to 4.5, it will be deemed to have lost that individual match and all affected lower matches by 3-0.

7.5 A team conceding 2 match walkovers in any competition will cease to take part and all points gained or conceded by that team will be deemed null and void.

7.6 Match results must be submitted and verified within the time frames specified in rule 6.1. Failure to submit/verify the result on time will attract an automatic penalty of 2 points for the guilty team. The home team captain is responsible for ensuring that all participating player’s names are properly recorded on the online match card. Each incomplete or blatantly incorrect name will result in a penalty of 1 point for the home team.

7.7 The committee will investigate all adverse reports concerning playing conditions of match courts and actions may be taken against offending clubs as deemed necessary.

7.8 The committee reserves the right to penalise any teams not acting within the spirit of the rules.

8 - Discipline

NOTE: See rule 2.1 reference disciplinary procedures as set out by the SRA.

8.1 The OSRA Committee insists that as a matter of routine a complaint is made in writing (email acceptable) to the OSRA LS, following an incident. The OSRA LS will request a statement from the accused party and on receipt of this will attend to the matter within the disciplinary procedure as set out by the England Squash (see rule 2.1).

NOTE: The procedure for dealing with on court incidents are described in the rules of the game as provided by England Squash.

8.2 When information concerning an incident is requested of a team captain, by the OSRA LS, anything other than an immediate response in writing (7 days maximum) will result in the accused player(s) being barred from playing in the league until the matter is resolved.

9 - Amendment of the rules

9.1 Proposals, in writing, for change to these rules will be accepted by the OSRA County Secretary seven days in advance of the AGM. Any proposals received will be circulated to clubs and any written amendments to these will be accepted up to the day before the AGM.

Proposed changes will need to be ratified at the OSRA AGM when, after further discussion, a vote will be taken. Any rule changes agreed at the AGM will come into effect in September in time for the new Winter season.

9.2 At the discretion of the OSRA League Committee an urgent issue may be put to a postal vote.

10 - Meetings

10.1 The Club Captain, as notified to the OSRA LS (Fixtures) on the Winter League entry form, or his/her Representative, MUST attend the Annual General Meeting. Fees for non attendance are currently set at £40.00. See rule 3.2

Disputes

Please do note that if there is a particular issue to be addressed in respects of certain matches played within the Oxfordshire county leagues; that in the first instance these issues must be taken up with the relevant Divisional Manager - whether conduct or penalty related. Items will be adjudicated at a Divisional Manager level first and if necessary an appeal can be forwarded to the OSRA committee for due consideration.