Interpretation and application of these rules is at the discretion of the League Secretary (LS) (currently Derek Bray), as directed by the Wilts Squash Committee. He may also be assisted in any decision-making by a Deputy League Secretary (DLS) (currently Neil Marshman). Any appeals against any decisions made must be submitted within 72 hours of the result being published on the Wilts Squash website to the LS or DLS. Any such appeal will then be considered independently by a rules sub-committee (comprising three members of the Wilts Squash Committee, as selected by the LS). A Club may apply for dispensation from any of the following rules in advance to the LS, though these will only be granted in exceptional circumstances after consultation with the DLS and rules sub-committee if necessary.
Any Squash Club or Facility, within or bordering Wiltshire and affiliated to England Squash (ES), may apply to join the Wilts SRA Winter League with one or more teams. Note: The stipulation of ES membership may be relaxed for teams entering the League for the first time. Each Division of the League shall normally consist of six teams, with a minimum number of five. The overall season will be split into two halves (normally pre and post Xmas break) with promotion and relegation (normally 2 up, 2 down if divisions of 6 teams) at both half-seasons, with the exception of promotion/relegation between Divisions 1 & 2, which will be 1 up/down. If there are any divisions of 5 teams then promotion/relegation may also then be just 1 up and 1 down. Each half-season will include a free week, to normally coincide with school half-term holidays.
The breakdown of teams at the start of the overall season will be made by the League Secretary once the final list of entrants is known. This breakdown will be based on the previous half-season's final tables, though teams may apply to the LS for a change in this if they have been substantially strengthened or weakened in the meantime. The entry league position of any new team will be decided by the LS. The deadline for entries will be the Thursday closest to September 9th. All Clubs intending to enter must have provided by that time the playing details for each team (captains, home match nights/times, contact email/telephone numbers, names of at least 5 individually registered players, etc) and due subscriptions.
There will be no team subscription payable, as of the 2008/09 season. However, each team is required to register a minimum of 5 players by the due date and must also pay an annual subscription fee per player (£5 for 2009/10). All cheques should be made payable to "Wilts SRA". 5 penalty points shall be imposed on any team not paying their full subscriptions prior to the start (Monday) of Week 1 of the full-season. Any player may be newly registered at any stage after the season has commenced, with the annual £5 subscription payable.
Male and female players are eligible to compete. No player may represent more than one Club per half-season. A player may not play for more than one team in a given week. Once a player has played twice for a higher-ranked Club team in string position 1 to 3 then he/she shall normally be barred from representing a lower team for the rest of that half-season (except if a player is no longer able to command a place in a higher team due to the higher team being strengthened). If a Club has more than one team in the same Division, then players may only play for one of those teams during that half-season. A Club may not introduce any new players for the last two matches of the half-season. A player must be registered with the WSRA if he is to play three times or more for a Club in a half-season (the registration form plus payment may be sent in at (or close to) the same time as the match result). Any points gained by an illegal player (as defined by any of the above rules) will be forfeited to the opposition as a 3-0 win. This may also be applied to all those playing below the offending player in the team order, at the discretion of the LS, DLS and Rules sub-committee.
A team must play in an order appropriate to the perceived playing abilities of its players (the most recent County rankings scheme may be used for these purposes). New players must be inserted in a position appropriate to their playing standard. If a player plays out of order, in the opinion of the LS, a 3-0 win will be awarded to the opposition and similarly to all others affected in the lower playing order (a slight order switch is permissible beforehand for the sake of playing convenience).
A match will consist of five ties, each being the best of five games in accordance with the standard rules of squash. If court time runs out before completion of a match then the remaining games and part-games will be awarded to the away team, unless the away team has turned up late (by more than 15 minutes) in which case the unfinished scores will count.
The home team shall normally be responsible for all marking and refereeing duties.
A match should be played in the week and on normally the exact date stipulated in the fixture list. There should be no rearranged fixture except for when inclement weather makes travel unreasonable or when courts are unavailable.
All matches for the first half-season must be played within two weeks of the scheduled final week and those of the second half within two weeks of the season-end. If a match is not played on the due date, then a walkover shall be awarded against the offending team; if both teams are deemed to be at fault then points will be awarded to neither team.
A team may apply to the League Secretary for a walkover should the opposition fail to turn up on the scheduled match night. Teams successfully claiming a walkover will normally be awarded 19 points while the team conceding the walkover will be penalised by 10 points. Exceptionally, 16 points may be awarded to the team claiming the walkover if, in the League Secretary's judgement, they would normally not have won should the match have taken place under normal circumstances. Any team having three walkovers awarded against it will be withdrawn from the League and all of its previous matches will be declared null and void.
Start times will be published by the League Secretary in the fixture lists at the start of the season and may be changed only by the mutual consent of the team captains. At the appointed start time each team should strive to have at least three players present and the remaining two must arrive within one hour of commencement, unless previously agreed otherwise. If a player is unavailable to play on a free court in reasonable time then the opponent is entitled to claim the tie 3-0.
If a player fails to turn up, and was due to play at above 5 in the team order, the team will be penalised
in accordance with the following tariff:
4 string: 3 points, 3 string: 6 points, 2 string: 8 points, 1 string: 10 points.
The affected string match will be awarded 0-3 but the results of the matches already played will be unaffected.
Example: Team A wins 3-0 at strings 1, 3, 4 and 5 but string 2 fails to show. This is awarded 3-0 to Team B so match points are 12+4-8 (=8) for Team A and 3 for Team B. If a team notifies the opposition in advance that they will be turning up with less than 5 players then there will be no penalty points applied (this will be assumed by the LS unless he is informed otherwise by the opposition captain, in which case there will be 1 penalty point per non-attending player).
Each game won in a tie is worth one point; four bonus points will be awarded to the team winning the most ties.
The home captain is responsible for the completion and electronic submission of the result to the LS (preferably using the online system). Failure to do so within one week will result in one penalty point being awarded against the home team.
After the match the home team is expected to provide, at its own cost, suitable meals plus drinks (typically two) for each of their opponents.
These will be decided by the total points scored. In the case of a tie, then the games difference (for – against) will be used. If a team wishes, it may refuse promotion to a higher Division if it feels unable to provide suitable opposition for the other teams in the higher Division the following half-season. In this case, the relegated team above will normally remain in place.
The overall Division winner will be determined by "play-offs" between the divisional winners in the respective half-seasons, to be played within 4 weeks of the completion of the League on mutually agreeable dates. If a team wins 2 consecutive divisional titles then there will be no play-off required for the lower division. Only players that have played a minimum of 3 matches will be eligible for the play-offs, over the relevant half-season.