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“Playing Up” Rules for Junior Tournaments

Jan 13, 2016
written by: Tennis Manitoba
written by: Tennis Manitoba
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New “playing up” rules will be in effect for Tennis Manitoba junior tournaments in 2016. Here are the changes:

It is recommended, as per the Long Term Athlete Development Plan, that players ideally choose competition that will allow for a 3:1 win-loss ratio (see LTAD guidelines for additional details).  This will help ensure that young competitors are playing in the appropriate competition for their age and stage of development and not just chasing ranking points. To help ensure that this is the case, Tennis Canada in conjunction with our Provincial Tennis Associations have agreed that each Province adopt a policy that limits the number of age groups an Under 10 and Under 12 competitor can “play up” above their official age group.

The specific recommendations are as follows:

Under 12 players are only allowed to compete up to 2 age groups above their actual playing category. In the case of Under 10 players, the same rule would apply but the specific provincial rules will prevail because of the differences in the competitive structures. This means that:

  •       U10 players: only be allowed to compete in the U10, U12 and in certain provinces, depending on the provincial rules, in the U14 categories
  •       U12 players: only be allowed to compete in the U12, U14 and U16 categories

It has also been agreed that each province will have an “exception clause” to this recommendation which will allow players who have demonstrated results in top provincial or national level events to compete in more than two age groups above.

Please see the chart below for specific details for each province:

 “Playing up” Rule – by Province, As of January 1st, 2016

playing up TC

Note: Tennis Canada and the Provincial Tennis Associations will review this recommendation in 6 months, to insure it is meeting the objectives mentioned above and may, take additional steps if it is not.

How will this rule be enforced in the case where an out of province player, wants to enter an event, in another province?

In this case, all provinces have agreed to enforce the stricter rule that is in place. In other words, which ever rule is more limiting between the host province or the province where the player has officially registered as a competitor.

Below are some examples:

If a U12 player from Ontario tries to enter an U18 tournament in Nova Scotia, then the Ontario rule would apply and the player would not be allowed to enter. Rationale: Although the tournament is in Nova Scotia, the Ontario rule would apply as it only allows U12 players to compete in U16 tournaments. 

If a U10 player from Ontario tries to enter an U14 tournament in Quebec, then the Quebec rule would apply and the player would not be allowed to enter. Rationale: The rules of Quebec, the tournament host would apply as Quebec rules only allow a U10 player to compete in U12 tournaments. 

If a U10 player from Quebec tries to enter an U14 tournament in Ontario, then the Quebec rule would apply and the player would not be allowed to enter. Rationale: Although the tournament is in Ontario, the Quebec rules would apply as they only allow U10 player to compete in U12 tournaments. 

If a U12 player from Newfoundland tries to enter an U18 tournament in Alberta, then the Alberta rule would apply and the player would not be allowed to enter. Rationale: The rules of Alberta, the tournament host would apply as Alberta only allows a U12 player to compete in U16 tournaments.

Note: Players are responsible for knowing the aforementioned “Playing up Rule.”  If a player enters an event/category for which he/she is ineligible based on the playing up rules and it is not caught at the time of entry, the PTA reserves the right to remove the player from the tournament draw. In the case where a player is allowed to play the event by mistake, the rankings points earned in the tournament will not be counted.

Exceptional Player Clause (for BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)

U10s: if they qualify on their own merit for U14 Nationals or are meeting the published performance levels for 2nd year U10 Players (see below), then they can compete in U16 events.

U12s: if they qualify for the U16 Nationals on their own merit or are meeting the published performance standards for 2nd Year U12 players then they can compete in U18 event.

Tennis Canada Performance Levels

performance levels TC