Standard required and grading process
Players need to be at weekend senior competition level in local tennis associations such as WDTA, BRTA and Tennis Victoria Pennant. Beginners, near-beginners and most "intermediate" standard players are not at this level although "intermediate" can be a very unclear description of a player's standard.
To evaluate a player's standard, we rely heavily on previous competition results (whether seniors or juniors), particularly in the tennis associations in which we compete.
If we don't have sufficient information, we encourage the player to participate in the Friday Nights Social Competition run by club coach Sam Soo - some matches in this comp can gives us a good estimate of the player's level.
Simply watching players hit is a very unreliable grading method. Matches are important and these are very difficult to organise at training.
In deciding whether or not to offer membership, the club also considers at what levels players are needed and whether or not the club has a team suitable for the player.
When is competition played?
Winter season is from late April to early August, Summer season from early October to early March with a long break from mid-December to early February. Please note that team entries close 6-8 weeks before the season starts.
Most competition is played Saturday afternoon from 1pm to between 3.30pm and 5.30pm although there are some winter formats which play Saturday morning (starts 9am and finishes by 1pm) or Sunday afternoon (from 1pm to between 3.30pm and 5.30pm). See "Competition Formats" below for more information.
Availability of players
Players choose how often they play (anything from 50% to 100% of matches) but they must decide before teams are selected and treat their chosen number of matches as a committment and play when rostered to play unless ill or injured. This information is used in team selection so that only viable teams are entered. Player shortages result in fines from tennis associations and emergency players are not obliged to fill in when asked. The emergency list can cope with occasional illness/injury but not with large numbers of players playing less than originally promised.
If you believe that work, social or family matters may affect your availability, you should take this into account and ask to play less than 100% of matches.
It's important that players are available (not necessarily every week) but regularly throughout the season including the Uni exam and holiday periods. The club usually does not offer membership to players unavailable at these times as they will not be able to play many matches.
The club also prefers to sign up players who are long-term prospects i.e. likely to play several seasons of comp, as opposed to players who are only here for a semester.
Where is competition played?
Half the matches are at home at Monash Uni Clayton and half at other club venues.
Pennant is played all over Melbourne.
WDTA clubs are mostly within about 5km of the Monash Freeway from Chadstone to Berwick.
BRTA clubs are mostly within about 10km of Port Phillip Bay from Port Melbourne to Mt.Eliza.
Competition Formats (all formats seniors - no junior teams!)
WDTA 2-player Mens Singles/Doubles - Sat PM winter & summer - each player plays a singles rubber & doubles rubber - range of sections from A grade down to Cspecial grade.
Pennant 4-player Mens/Womens Singles/Doubles - winter only - Mens Sat PM or Sun PM - Womens Sat AM or Sun PM - each player plays 2 doubles rubbers (doubles rounds) or 1 singles rubber (singles rounds) - lowest pennant grade is at least Csp WDTA seniors standard.
BRTA 4-player Mens/Womens Singles/Doubles - Sat PM winter & summer - each player plays a doubles rubber + singles set first to 8 games.
4-player Doubles Formats (Mens, Womens or Mixed) are also offered winter & summer in WDTA & BRTA. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like more information.
Club practice/training times
Practice/training times are 6.30-8.30pm Wed nights for most of the year. Regular training is encouraged but not compulsory and players are not penalised for not training.
Court hire discount
Full Members receive a 50% discount on non-student tennis court hire rates at Monash Uni Clayton - only one member is needed to book.
Team selection process
Teams are selected so that (1) all players are about the right standard for the grade/section applied for (the club will not apply for grades/sections clearly too weak/strong for the team or players in the team) and (2) based on player's stated availability, the team will have enough players each week throughout the season.
Associations sort teams into grades/sections of 6 to 8 teams based on standard. Associations rely heavily on previous results although WDTA and BRTA generally accept club's gradings of new players unless the club has a history of inaccurately assessing new players.
Monash Uni TC normally enters about 8 teams in summer and about 8 in winter.
Can players join a team or be promoted or dropped during the season?
Teams are fixed for the duration of the season although players can fill in for a higher team if asked provided they're not rostered to play for their regular team. New players can be added during the season but only if there is room for them and they're the appropriate standard. Players cannot be dropped from a team during the season, in fact players can't even fill in for a lower team no matter how badly they're playing!
Players can of course move to a higher or lower grade or section in future seasons provided their form warrants the change and a suitable team is available.
What should players wear and what should they bring to matches?
There are rules about correct tennis attire, which can be found in competition handbook/fixtures, but these are rarely enforced. Keep correct gear in your car just in case. You're expected to bring afternoon (or morning) tea to home matches - bake a cake, make sandwhiches and you'll impress but a packet of biscuits is fine. Tea, coffee, milk, sugar, cups, crockery, cutlery etc. are in the clubhouse kitchen.
How do players get to matches?
There is no team bus! Players are expected to find their own way to matches although it's possible to get a lift from a team-mate with a car - but players cannot expect team-mates to travel a long way out of their way to provide transport. Players for whom transport to matches is a major problem will be difficult to place in a team.
General player responsibilities
The team captain usually organises a playing roster after consulting players once the draw is out. However all players are responsible for ensuring things run smoothly on match days, results are entered on time and duty team responsibilities are carried out. You can get some idea of player responsibilities from reading the Competition Guide