League Rules - September 2022
These Rules apply to the OSRA Inter-Club Leagues and supersede all others.
OSRA LS = OSRA League Secretary
DM = Divisional Manager
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 (Winter 1) starting in September and the second (Winter 2) commencing the following January. All matches from Winter 1 must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to the start of Winter 2.
Each division will ideally have 8 teams unless the total number of teams is not a multiple of 8 in which case teams will be divided as equally as possible across the Divisions (eg 31 teams = 3 Divisions of 8 and one of 7).
The Summer Leagues (SL) will be single competitions with ideally 8 teams per Division unless the total number of teams is not a multiple of 8 in which case teams will be divided as equally as possible across the Divisions (eg 31 teams = 3 Divisions of 8 and one of 7).
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 in Divisions One and Two (Winter and Summer) and PAR to 15 for all other Divisions. The result of the fixture is decided by the number of Strings 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 Divisional positions. If a tie occurs, firstly, the number of team wins is 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 in the two separate competitions will play-off for the overall Divisional Titles.
If a team wins two consecutive titles then it will play off for the higher Divisional Title and the lower will be uncontested. If a team wins Division 1 twice then there will be no Playoff Final.
The team which wins their respective Division in Winter 1 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 Winter 2.
Only players that have played at least two matches for the team in the relevant competition will be allowed to play in the Playoff Final unless agreement is reached with the OSRA LS. If teams are unable to field five eligible players then, upon agreement with the OSRA LS, they may be allowed to field players from lower teams.
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.
The FULL result of the match is to be emailed to the OSRA LS.
1.7 Trophies are presented to all the overall winners at the OSRA AGM.
2 - Administration
2.1 The competitions are managed by the OSRA LS and the elected DMs. The DMs are to be the first port of call for all complaints and they may seek advice from the OSRA LS as necessary. If teams wish to appeal a decision then they must follow the procedure given in Rule 2.2.
2.2 If a DM’s ruling is disputed an appeal must be made to the LS by email within 72 hours of the ruling.
If an OSRA LS ruling is disputed, an appeal must be made to the OSRA County Secretary by email within 72 hours of the OSRA LS ruling being notified. The matter will then be brought before the OSRA Committee at their 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 a disciplinary nature will be heard by a Disciplinary Committee made up of the OSRA LS and two members of OSRA clubs unrelated to the matter.
3 - Entry Conditions
3.1 Application to take part in the OSRA League Competitions may be made by Member Clubs affiliated to England Squash.
In addition, venues must provide 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.
3.2 Applications for teams to play in the Leagues may be accepted on condition that entry forms are properly completed and returned, together with entry fees and any financial arrears or penalties that may be outstanding, to the OSRA LS by the specified closing date.
Separate entry forms are to be completed for Winter 1, Winter 2 and Summer.
The entry fee for each competition will be determined at the OSRA AGM.
Each team must have a nominated team captain whose mobile telephone number and email address, at least, are included on the entry 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 post-match refreshment by the way of food and a maximum of two drinks.
3.4 If a team drops out of the League after the first week of matches has been played then it will be subjected to a fine of £50, although 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 week of matches has been completed, 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 OSRA website).
4.2 Players may play for one Club only during a competition unless, in exceptional circumstances, the OSRA LS and DMs decide 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 one team, they may not play for any other team(s) in the same Division for the rest of that league competition.
4.3A 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 therefore 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 of fixtures.
4.5 If a player has not played at least once for their respective club in previous rounds of a Division’s fixtures (Winter 1, Winter 2 or Summer) they may not play in the last two rounds of that fixture list unless permission is obtained from the OSRA LS.
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 his/her opposite number on Match Night and the OSRA LS within 24 hours of the match being played.
5 - Fixtures
5.1 In the Leagues, Tuesdays are the preferred 'home' nights for Divisions 1 & 2 and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or 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 DMs and OSRA LS will determine if weather conditions are 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 receive 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 of the cancelled fixture, 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. Consequently, 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 of Winter 2 then penalties are applied at the start of the following season’s Winter 1. Finally, if a match is cancelled in the last two rounds of the Summer then penalties are applied at the start of the following year’s 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.
(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 also be doubled and automatically applied to their adjacent lower team, eg if a club’s 3rd team field three or fewer players for the second time in a season then they are penalised as normal and 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 4.6, 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 may result in a penalty of 1 point for the home team.
7.7 The OSRA LS and DMs will investigate all adverse reports concerning playing conditions of match courts and actions may be taken against offending clubs as deemed necessary in accordance with the OSRA Disciplinary Procedure.
7.8 The OSRA committee reserves the right to penalise any teams not acting within the spirit of the League Rules.
8 - Discipline
NOTE: See Rule 4.1 - reference Disciplinary Procedures as set out by OSRA.
8.1 The OSRA Committee insists that as a matter of routine a complaint is made by email to the OSRA LS, within 48 hours following an incident. The OSRA LS will request a statement from the accused party and on receipt of this will attend to the matter in accordance with the OSRA Disciplinary Procedure.
NOTE: The procedure for dealing with on court playing incidents is described in the Rules of Squash 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 (48 hours maximum) by email will result in the accused player(s) being barred from playing in the Leagues until the matter is resolved.
9 - Amendment of the Rules
9.1 Proposals, by email, for change to these rules will be accepted by the OSRA County Secretary seven days in advance of the OSRA AGM. Any proposals received will be circulated to clubs and any written amendments to these will be accepted up to the day before the OSRA 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 OSRA AGM will come into effect in September in time for the new Winter season.
9.2 At the discretion of the OSRA Committee, an urgent issue may be put to a vote.
9.3 On any matter not covered above, the OSRA LS, in conjunction with the DMs, will be the final arbiter.
10 - Meetings
10.1 The Club Captain/Contact, as notified to the OSRA LS 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).
Oxfordshire Squash Rackets Association
OSRA League Secretary - OSRA LS
1. In the first instance, the Referee/Marker shall be responsible for dealing with disputes on court and with any spectator problems during the match in which he/she is officiating.
2. In the event of this not being resolved satisfactorily at the time, the Referee/Marker shall request the two captains to settle the dispute.
3. Any exceptional dispute shall be brought to the notice of the OSRA LS by any person within 48 hours of the incident. The OSRA LS will request a statement from the accused party and on receipt of this may:
(a) Dismiss the complaint
(b) Pass the matter direct to the League Disciplinary Committee (LDC) (see Rule 5 for composition of LDC)
4. Upon notice of a Hearing of the LDC, the OSRA LS shall inform the Player and the Player’s Club of the Hearing and the Player and a representative of the Player’s Club shall have the right to attend the Hearing in person and/or submit evidence in writing
5. The LDC shall consist of the OSRA LS and two other members from OSRA Clubs unrelated to the matter in hand.
6. The LDC shall have power, whether or not the player or the club representative is present:
(a) To impose against the Player a suspension penalty of up to one season
(b) To impose against the Player’s Club a team suspension of up to one season
7. An appeal against the decision of the LDC must be lodged within 72 hours. The appeal will be heard by the OSRA Committee whose decision will be final and binding.