Interclub Competition By-Laws

1. Any unresolved disputes arising out of these by-laws shall be referred to the Sydney Northern Districts Table Tennis Association (SNDTTA) Committee for determination. If there is a dispute during a game, the players themselves must not argue between themselves. Play must be continuous as per the ITTF rules. The matter must be referred to the umpire for a ‘quick’ resolution so as not to disadvantage any of the players. If the dispute cannot be reasonably resolved at the time, play should continue according to the umpire’s direction and subsequently the matter referred to the SNDTTA Committee in writing.

2.Unless superseded by any SNDTTA rules set out below, the ‘ITTF Laws of Table Tennis’ and ‘ITTF Regulations for International Competitions’, shall apply to matches played in Interclub Competitions and our District Championships.

3. To play in Interclub Competitions, players must be registered with TTNSW as a " District ", " Competition"  or "National"  status player and be financial members of SNDTTA. This also applies to our District Championships. Also captains must advise SNDTTA where there has been change to a team and a new player is to be registered. This must occur BEFORE that player can compete and the relevant SNDTTA and TT NSW fees paid, (or provide proof of their TT NSW Registration.) If not registered properly the players points may be deducted from the teams results and/or at the discretion of the SNDTTA committee, lose all points.

4. Interclub Competition Rules. The composition of teams in the divisions below show the minimum number of players allowed to be registered for a team. While there is no maximum number allowed in a team, teams are encouraged to limit their players to 6 and only a maximum of 8 trophies will be awarded to winning teams or runners up. A player must play at least 4 singles to be awarded a trophy. (But see the rules for ‘Utility Players’ where a club has more than one team in a division.

All teams must have a minimum of three players, with the exception of premier which may have a minimum of 2 players in the team. For division 1 all players must have an RC above 1450 [standard deviation is considered].
For the remaining divisions at least two players must be within that division.

Team Composition 
Premier Predominantly Top-level players with
 RC above 1650 and at least above 1450
Div 1 All players must have RC above 1450 [standard deviation is considered]
Div 2 Minimum two players have RC above 1350
Div 3 Minimum two players have RC above 1150
Div 4 Minimum two players have RC above 950
Div 5 Only players with an RC below 950

The above composition is the ideal situation, but as SNDTTA does not wish to unreasonably restrict team entries from clubs, there will be some flexibility after consultation with the SNDTTA committee. Accordingly where a club wishes to introduce a higher graded player into a lower division, fully completed team entries must be submitted to the SNDTTA at least one week earlier than the usual closing date to give the committee time to assess and comment upon a teams’ player composition.

5. Video and Recording. Permission is required from player/s of a match before any recording is allowed. Permission is also required as to whether the video/recording will be shared in any social media.

6. Grading. Will be done as soon as possible after the previous interclub competition has finished and sent out to all clubs in sufficient time for them to select their desired composition of players in a team. Once the draw has been done, players’ grade will remain the same for the duration of that competition; however new players coming into the event may need to be regraded if it turns out they are significantly wrongly graded. Clubs should endeavour to make up teams for each division according to various players’ grading and ONLY introduce lower graded player/s to the higher division to make up the required number.

7. Grading Rules for Interclub competition play. The rules below apply, as a guide, when grading a player:

Division Players with Rating Central score
Division 1 Above 1550
Division 2 Between 1351 and 1550
Division 3 Between 1151 and 1350
Division 4 Between 951 and 1150
Division 5 Below 950

8. Div Three to Div Five: A player can register one level above their RC range (i.e. you can register for two divisions in the same club). However each team must compose at least 2 players who are within that designated RC range. For instance, a Div Three team must have at least two players with RC above 1150.

Div TwoIf your rating is within the Div Two range and satisfies the Div One condition below, you can register in both Div One and Two.

Div One: All players must be above 1450 [standard deviation is considered, for instance if your rating is 1420 {+/- 35}, you can still register for Div one]. However if your RC is 1551, you CANNOT register for Div two.

Premier DivisionPremier division may be created if there are 6 teams with at least 2 players having RC1650 or above in each team. It means the Committee may split a Premier division if the Div One teams are oversubscribed with sufficient premier quality teams.

9. Order of Play and Doubles combinations.
Order of Play. Upon arrival at a venue and in conjunction with the opposing captain, the visiting captain must decide and schedule his/her three singles players who are to play in this match. Once this has been determined the order must stand and cannot be changed. Doubles combinations can be determined after the game starts. If through some unforeseen circumstances a previously nominated player cannot start to play (i.e. has not arrived at the venue; or is taken ill before playing in any match), then a change can be made provided the opposing captain gives his/her approval to such a change.
Doubles. Where a team arrives for a match intending to play with 4 or 5 players, then the following applies:
Singles matches are the three players nominated (see Order of Play above). But with the doubles, any player who plays singles cannot play in more than two doubles combinations. And all doubles combinations must have different partners.

10. Further Interclub Rules. Players must play singles in at least three competition matches (6 singles rubbers) in their team to qualify to play in semi-finals, finals and grand finals. (This is to stop a team from introducing just prior to the finals, a new player of a higher standard). At other times, new players may be added during the competition provided their details are provided to the SNDTTA Committee (usually the Secretary), before competing. In the interests of fairness there may need to be some flexibility where a team reaches semi/finals and through sickness/overseas leave etc is unable to field a nominated registered team player. In these circumstances a player from that club who plays in a lower division, (or is a ‘Utility Player), may compete in the semis/finals even if they have not played the requisite 6 singles matches/rubbers for the higher division team. In the situation where the team is in the lowest division in the competition, a player from another team in that division, from the same club, may compete in the semis/finals even if they have not played the requisite 6 singles matches/rubbers for the team requiring the replacement. This replacement player cannot have a higher Rating Central Rating above that of the player being replaced, at the time the match is played. A singles rubber is defined as a match between two players from opposing teams.

11. Players from a lower division may fill in for any team in a higher division up to a maximum of FOUR matches (8 singles rubbers) without jeopardising their ability to play back in the lower division. Therefore once they have played FIVE matches in a higher division, they may not play for any other team in that division, NOR can they play back in the lower division.

12. Some venues have time restrictions particularly at closing time. We don’t wish to disadvantage home clubs so the committee may enforce the forfeit rules for teams/players that arrive unreasonably late to start with. Note that the home club has the discretion to allocate and use extra tables as required. Furthermore there are things which can be done to reduce wasting time. For instance – warm up time may need to be short; a willingness to use two tables; readiness to play just as soon as the previous match is finished. It is the responsibility of team captains to ensure that matches are played expeditiously – particularly when you are a visiting team. See point 5 on the forfeit list on our web site.

13. Utility Players:  In the interests of avoiding forfeited rubbers and/or matches, each team can nominate one utility player who can play for the same division in the same club. The utility player must be the lowest or second lowest RC player in that team.     
    That utility player is a full-fledged member of their original team.
    When playing for another team that utility player can only play if:
    The other team in the club for that division cannot field a team of 3 players for that competition night due to sicknes, unforseeable circumstances, etc...
    For a utility player to play in any team's finals, they must have had played in three matches (i.e. 6 singles for that team). 
    Also for a utility player to play in the finals of another team, apart from playing three matches, there must be no regular members of the other team that can play.

14. Competition balls. SNDTTA will provide the standard competition balls. The two teams can use another ball if they both agree. Where the match is played in a squash court with white walls, an ITTF approved orange celluloid ball may be used if both captains agree. If no agreement can be reached between the 2 teams, the standard SNDTTA ball shall be used.

15. Player clothing and footwear must not be of a standard likely to reflect adversely on the Association and member clubs. In addition, clothing colour must not be unreasonably similar to the ball colour. Players should preferably wear uniform sports clothing or club shirts. For example, no predominantly white shirt with white ball, and no predominantly orange or yellow with orange ball.

16. Toweling – as per ITTF rules brief intervals for toweling every 6 points from the start of each game, and at the change of ends in the last possible game of a match, is allowed.

17. Timeouts - ITTF Rules of Table Tennis for timeouts shall apply only to the Premier Division. For all other divisions, no timeouts shall be allowed.

18. SNDTTA is not going to introduce the ‘Expedite System’ as covered in the ITTF Rules of Table Tennis

19. Change of rackets and rubbers allowable under the ITTF rules. In accordance with ITTF rules, players must not change their racket/rubber once a match has commenced unless it is accidentally damaged so badly that it cannot be used.

20. Results and scoresheets. All scoresheets shall show, in legible writing, the full names of all players with first names first and surnames last. It is the responsibility of the winning team to communicate the result of the match within two days after the match. Preferably this is done immediately after both captains have signed the scoresheet. The preferred method is for a photo to be taken of the scoresheet and messaged or emailed to the recorder. If the scoresheet is not received by the recorder within a week of the match being played, a 1 point penalty may be applied and thereafter an additional point for each week delayed in submitting the result.

21. Deferred Matches
i. Matches are to be played on dates and at locations shown in the competition draw unless exceptional circumstances occur. Clubs need to plan ahead to avoid deferrals. There should be a sufficient number of players registered in each team to enable matches to be played as scheduled. If a player is unable to play in a scheduled match, a player from a lower division team (same club) should be brought up as a replacement, or a ‘utility player’ (By-law 12) included, rather than defer a match.
ii. In exceptional circumstances (for example, player/s unable to play due to illness, injury, prior commitment to a TT training camp, absence on holiday, no lower division player available), a match may be deferred with agreement of both team captains. The captain of the team requesting the deferral must make the request as soon as possible and the opposing captain should not withhold agreement unreasonably. The deferred match must be played before the end of the competition preliminary rounds i.e. the start of the finals. If the deferral games are not played before the end of the round robin series, the team requested the deferral match in the first place will lose all their rubbers and games. The competition Recorder must be immediately advised of the deferral, and also when the captains have an agreed date for the deferred match. 

iii. Once competition preliminary rounds have ended, Finals Matches commence. These consist of Preliminary Finals (if any), Semi-finals and Grand Final. Any deferral of Finals Matches must be approved by the SNDTTA Committee in advance. An e-mail request for deferral must be submitted to the committee (copy to competition Recorder) at least 3 days before the scheduled match date. The e-mail must contain details of the exceptional circumstances justifying the request.

iv. Any unresolved disputes or disagreements about deferred matches should be promptly submitted to the SNDTTA Committee for consideration and resolution. The committee has the authority to decide the date and venue of the deferred match. If only one team turns up at this revised schedule they will be awarded the points. In the event neither team turns up, the committee will award the points to the team who did not cause the deferral in the first place. 18. All clubs have the right to raise and communicate to SNDTTA about any ruling of the SNDTTA committee, whether or not they are represented on the SNDTTA committee.

22. To qualify for the Top 5 after the Autumn Competition, a player has to play at least 10 singles. Top 5 competitions are only on for the Autumn season.
The semi-final and final matches individual results are not used for deciding the top 5.

23. Wheelchair athletes Service: If the receiver is in a wheelchair, the service shall be a let under the following circumstances:

  1. After touching the receiver’s court, the ball returns in the direction of the net.
  2. The ball comes to rest on the receiver’s court.
  3. In singles, the ball leaves the receiver’s court after touching it by either of its sidelines. If the receiver strikes the ball before it crosses a sideline or takes a second bounce on his or her side of the playing surface, the service is considered good and no let is called. Doubles
    The server shall first make a service, the receiver shall then make a return but thereafter either player of the side with a wheelchair athlete may make return.

24. The Umpire – Refer to the Umpiring rules in this website:

25. Forfeits – It’s unfortunate that forfeits happen occasionally. It is only fair to other players that players should try to play, no matter what the circumstances. The forfeit rules are as follows:

  1. When no opponents turn up, a team is to claim a forfeit: 9-0, 27-0. (Or 5-0, 15-0 in Premier & Div'n 1 Grade) after I hour has elapsed from the official starting time. Note that leaving before 1 hour is up could result in claimed forfeits as per the draw up to the time of departure, but could result in forfeiting all other rubbers if the opponents turn up eventually within in the hour.
  2. When a team turns up with only 1 player after the hour has passed and the opponents have at least 2 players present, a part forfeit should be applied and the possible matches should be played and the results will count to personal performance and grading. The forfeited scores should be shared against the missing players and doubles combinations: 1-0 and 3-0 each.
  3. When both teams have only 2 players of their 3 persons team, 4 matches cannot be played and the forfeited matches should be shared and recorded 1-0, 3-0 for each match.
  4. If one team has 2 players and the other 3, all the matches forfeited are recorded against the team missing a player: 1-0 & 3-0.
  5. The draw sheet describes the situation of late arrival that has not been agreed between captains. The team with the players present and ready to play may claim a forfeit after each quarter of an hour, but flexibility should prevail or extra tables used where possible to avoid possible forfeits.
  6. Assuming the first rubber has been played, the next rubber must be played within 5 minutes otherwise a forfeit could be applied. Teams may vary the order of play to ensure continuation of play to avoid the forfeit.
  7. The score sheet should always be filled out completely and legible, ie: Christian and Surname. In case of missing players use “Forfeit”.
  8. Forfeited rubbers do not count for individual performance, but matches abandoned after being started, do!
  9. If a venue is not available on the night and the match cannot be rearranged on another night, a forfeit may be claimed by the visiting team. Also, when a rubber cannot be played because of early closure of a venue, it is a forfeit to the away team player.
  10. A team that forfeits more than 25% of their matches will have all their scores wiped including the ones that they have played.

26. Ranking of Teams:
The ranking of the team is determined by the number of winning rubbers. If the winning rubbers are the same between the teams, then the ranking would be based on the number of winning games. If the number of winning games are the same, then the ranking would be based on the team that has less losing games.
END of By-laws.

27. Serve must follow the ITTF 2022 Handbook Rules (page 36 and 37). Nets can be called for illegal service for up to 5 times at each point, then a point will be deducted.

2.6.1 Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server's stationary free hand. 
2.6.2 The server shall then project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16cm after leaving the palm of the free hand and then falls without touching anything before being struck.
 2.6.3 As the ball is falling the server shall strike it so that it touches first his or her court and then touches directly the receiver's court; in doubles, the ball shall touch successively the right half court of server and receiver. 
2.6.4 From the start of service until it is struck, the ball shall be above the level of the playing surface and behind the server's end line, and it shall not be hidden from the receiver by the server or his or her doubles partner or by anything they wear or carry. 
2.6.5 As soon as the ball has been projected, the server’s free arm and hand shall be removed from the space between the ball and the net. The space between the ball and the net is defined by the ball, the net and its indefinite upward extension. 
2.6.6 It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect. If either the umpire or the assistant umpire is not sure about the legality of a service he or she may, on the first occasion in a match, interrupt play and warn the server; but any subsequent service by that player or his or her doubles partner which is not clearly legal shall be considered incorrect. 
2.6.7 Exceptionally, the umpire may relax the requirements for a correct service where he or she is satisfied that compliance is prevented by physical disability. 


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