Prestwood Tennis Club is hosting its first ever Friday League, with the first set of matches on Friday 16 October. We know there are lots of questions, and ultimately these will be answered once we start playing – but here’s our attempt to answer the most common.

What’s the big idea?

We have six teams that each consist of six players: three men, three women. We have split players into three rough ability levels, so for example you have a “Man 1” and “Woman 1” who we consider to be among the best match players in the club.  

Each Friday evening will see two of those four teams play off against one another. So one court might have Woman 1 and Man 3 from each team playing against each other, another with Woman 2 & Woman 3, and the third with Man 1 & Man 2.

How often will I be playing?

We’ve pasted a full schedule below, but on average you will be playing once every three weeks. Please check the full schedule and put it in your diary!

What if I can’t play?

If you can’t play, please try and find a replacement. If you’re a Woman 2, then any other Woman 2 can replace you. A Woman 3 can also replace you, but a Woman 1 can’t. In other words, you can play up but you can’t play down.

Once you’ve found a replacement, please let your team captain know.

What if I can’t find a replacement?

Don’t panic: your captain should be able to help if you haven’t found someone. But please don’t leave this to the last minute!

How long will the matches last?

Each match will last precisely 20 minutes, at which point you move onto a different match with a different combination of players. With five different matches each night, you will play with every other player in your team. The matches will end when a set concludes or when the 20-minute time point is reached. (To speed sets up, if a game reaches deuce then it will be decided by a “golden deuce”.)

Are there any other rules?

We ask that all players play fairly and with consideration to others. In this particular format, that means no timewasting: for example, if you think you’re about to lose a game and the time is nearly up then you can’t go deliberately slow!

We also ask for hard-hitters to avoid hitting the ball directly at players who might struggle to get out of the way. 

What time do I have to be there on a Friday evening?

The evening starts sharp at 7pm, so we ask for everyone to aim to arrive at around 6.45pm. 

How will winners be decided?

We will simply count up the total number of games won by each team. The winner gets three points, a draw is one point. The team with the highest number of points at the end of the league wins – but please don’t get too excited about this, because the league is about enjoying competitive tennis rather than walking away with a big prize.

We will use the entry fee to cover the cost of balls and to go towards a prize of the winning team at the end of the season.

How much does it cost?

Each round will cost £3 per player. 

How might an evening work?

We’ve drawn up this schedule:

ROUND 1: 7pm Man 1 & Man 3 Woman 1 & Man 2 Woman 2 & Woman 3
ROUND 2: 7.25pm Man 1 & Woman 2 Woman 1 & Man 3 Woman 3 & Man 2
ROUND 3: 7.50pm Man 1 & Man 2 Woman 1 & Woman 3 Woman 2 & Man 3
ROUND 4: 8.15pm Man 1 & Woman 3 Woman 1 & Woman 2 Man 2 & Man 3
ROUND 5: 8.40pm Man 1 & Woman 1 Man 2 & Woman 2 Man 3 & Woman 3

For example, at 7pm the Man 1 and Man 3 from each team will line up against the opposing team’s Man 1 and Man 3.