Setting Up Your Match

Frequent Term throughout Rules: “Assigned Week of Play”

When you read through the rules that follow this, you will frequently see the term “Assigned Week of Play”. The Assigned Week of Play begins the day after the Score Reporting Deadline for the previous match, and ends on the Score Reporting Deadline for the match at hand.


Example scenario:

Q: What is the “Assigned Week of Play for Match #3 on the schedule if the Match #2 Score Reporting Deadline is June 10th and the Match #3 Score Reporting Deadline is June 17th?

A: In this example, the Assigned Week of Play for Match #3 would be June 11th – June 17th.


Match Scheduling

  • Players must complete their assigned matches by the Score Reporting Deadline. 
  • Both players are responsible for contacting each other by the Friday night before their assigned week of play. 
  • If a player does not respond to his opponent's calls/Texts/emails or is unavailable for any reason to schedule the match by the Friday before their assigned week of play they can be defaulted. - See "Defaults" below.


Gladiator Tennis is using a flexible match scheduling format that allows you to schedule matches when it's convenient. However, because the majority of the players work, players must follow the nights and weekend playing times outlined below.  Matches can be scheduled outside of the Nights and Weekend time periods only if it is mutually agreeable to both players.


Schedule your matches using the following 4 step system below:

Step 1: Suggest to your opponent what days and times would be most convenient for you to play.  If you find a mutually agreeable day and time, then schedule the match.

Step 2: If you can't find an obvious mutually agreeable time to play, each person must then offer 3 different days to play. Start times for matches must be offered during the following reasonable and customary time periods:
Monday - Friday 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday - Sunday 9:00am - 7:00pm

Step 3: If an agreement cannot be reached the player who is most available during the Assigned Week of Play has 3 options:

        Option #1: Reporting a default win and receiving 10 points

        Option #2: Recruiting a sub to play against (See “Sub Players” section)

        Option #3: Taking a Rain Check (See “Rain Checks” section)

The less available player has 2 options:

        Option #1: Recruiting a sub to play in his place (See “Sub Players” section)

        Option #2: Taking a Rain Check (See “Rain Checks” section)


  • Matches may always be played ahead of schedule!  This is encouraged if you know in advance you will be unable to play certain weeks. Example: A week #5 match can be played in weeks #1-4.
  • Matches may not be played beyond the Score Reporting Deadline or they will be counted as a zero. The only exceptions to this rule are sub matches against "Withdrawn players" (See ”Withdrawn Players" section), and using the Rain Check (See “Rain Checks” section).


Why Scoring Deadlines?

The Gladiator Tennis League match format is intended to provide a balance between flexibility and structure that works well for most people's schedules. Time limits are an absolute necessity for the league to function properly and keep players on track. Without due dates, even as few as two players delaying matches until the end of the season would lead to massive defaults paralyzing entire divisions and creating widespread frustration. With the advent of time limits, non-responsive players can be replaced early in the season preserving play for our active members. Gladiator Tennis has the reputation of a "player's league", where members are responsive and uphold their commitment to complete their matches. Please note: if hard deadlines were not absolutely necessary for the league, they would not be required. Thank you for your understanding and your commitment.


Home Court Location

  • Each player will play 3 or 4 of the 7 matches for the season at his/her home court.
  • If you play other players who share the same home court as you do, then you could play as many as all 7 matches at your home court.
  • If you and your opponent both have the same Home Court, you can see who is the Home player by clicking the "Division Standings" tab.  The Home player will see a House icon and the Away player will see an auto icon.
  • If you and your opponent agree to play at another location besides your homecourt, that is acceptable.  If you or your opponent want to play at another llocation but cannot agree to where to play, then you must play at the court location of the Home player for the match.
  • If you know of courts within your metro area that are not on our list, you can email the League Coordinator, and he will add them to the list if they are in adequate condition, and if they are open to the public with no usage fee required.
  • If you live in an outlying area, you will be required to choose a home court location that is listed on the website.  All home court locations will be approved by the league coordinator.


“Home” players should be aware of the following issues when scheduling a Home match: 

  • Make sure your home courts are not already reserved with high school matches/practice, or park district lessons. High School schedules can be found at this link: - click the high school and look for the tennis team schedule.
  • Know when the courts are typically full from the public.
  • Know when the lights go off.
  • Know if there are cracks in the courts, broken nets, or anything about the court conditions that will hinder clean play.
  • Know if the courts will be inaccessible for any reason.


If the Home Court player is unaware of any of the issues above, and it results in the match being interrupted or not played, the Home Court player can be defaulted if the Away player is unwilling or unable to reschedule the match.  If the Home Court player believes the condition of the courts is suitable for play, but the Away player disagrees, either or both players can submit photos via phone to the League Coordinator who will then arbitrate and come to a decision. Keep in mind that this rarely happens. Almost all players are amenable to cooperating with each other and finding a reasonable solution.


Head off potential problems when scheduling the match: If you are unsure if the courts will be available, or unsure about whether you can play your match before the lights go off, or unsure if your opponent will be comfortable playing with the conditions of the court, please inform your opponent about as much as you can, then agree on a plan. You could suggest coming to the court site, then having an alternate site to go to in case your home court is full, unsuitable, or unplayable in anyway. Make sure your opponent agrees to this when scheduling the match.


Division Size/Location/Travel distance for “Away” Matches


The number of players in each division can range from 4-12 players. By varying the division sizes we can keep people who are from the same part of town together and dramatically reduce the driving time for our members. Because all players must play the same number of matches each season, in smaller divisions there may be some players you play twice. In larger divisions there will be some players you don't play. You may have a slightly harder or easier schedule than someone else in your division. Keep in mind this same slight variation occurs in every league due to simple geography. If stronger players sign up from your area this season, you will have a tougher schedule than if you had played in a neighboring division. The next season, the opposite could occur. Thus the slight variations in strength of schedules are a natural occurrence. However, the overwhelming advantages flexible division sizes offer are very real. They provide the opportunity for both a greater variety of players in each division and dramatically reduced drive times.



Your home court location, not your street address, will be used to determine which division you will be placed in. From season to season, players should expect to be playing out of the same general area but not necessarily in the same exact division or with the same players.  This is because players may be moved up or down to another skill level, depending on their performance.  Also, as the league grows, groups get bigger and separate into smaller geographic areas.

The ideal is for all Gladiator Tennis members to drive no more than 20 minutes to their “away” Singles matches, and 30 minutes to their "away" doubles matches.  This will not be possible for some of you who live in the outlying areas of the suburbs. The more players we have in every area, the less travel we have for “away” matches.


Can't Contact Opponent

If you can’t contact your opponent, it’s possible that there has been an update to your division. If there are any updates to your division, you will immediately be sent an email notifying you of the change. Updates may include new phone numbers, email addresses, withdrawn players, sub players, and new replacement players.


If you have attempted to contact your opponent at least twice by email and text at all listed numbers, and received no reply by the Friday before your assigned week of play, you may choose from one of the following options:

  • Recommended: Sub - Recruit a sub to play against (See "Sub Players" section). 
  • Default win - worth 10 points. Just click "update" on the schedule, then click the default box under the "opponent's scores" column, and "submit" at the bottom of the screen.
  • Rain Check– Just click “Update” on the schedule, then look for the Rain Check button in the lower left corner of the screen. Hope that you can reach your opponent later in the season. See Rain Checks for more information. 
  • Continue to attempt to contact your opponent, up to the Score Reporting Deadline.


You can let the League Coordinator know if this player is not playing anybody else either.  Otherwise, just choose an option and move on to scheduling your next match.



Opponent Unable to Play

If your opponent is unable to arrange a match with you by the score reporting deadline, one of the following options are available:

1. Recommended: Your opponent can recruit a subplayer. See Sub Players for more information.

2. Your opponent can take a Rain Check. See Rain Checks for more information.

3. You can recruit a sub - your opponent would receive a zero point default. Only take this option after you have communicated with your opponent and he is unable to take one of the first 2 options above.

4. You can take a Rain Check - This would be a generous move on your part, but not obligatory. It is appropriate if your opponent has already used his Rain Check and cannot find a sub.

5. You can take a Default win, worth 10 points. Just click "update" on the schedule, then click the default box under the "opponent's scores" column, and "submit" at the bottom of the screen.



A "sub" can be any Gladiator Tennis player at your skill level.  Even regular players from other divisions that are not listed as a subplayer may play as subs.


Reasons to enlist a subplayer, rather than taking a default or default win:

  1. You are awarded whatever points your subplayer earns for you.
  2. The match is played rather than unplayed. We all sign up to play, right?
  3. The subplayer gets 3 Bonus Points for playing the match. See Bonus Points

If you want to be a subplayer, click "Profile", then click "Yes" for Subplayer on the page that appears.


Where to find subplayers:

  1. "Find Substitute", located in the bottom right corner of your schedule.  Only phone numbers are listed. 
  2. Play another player in your division.  It's ok if you have already played them.  If you are in a division of greater than 8 players, then you should pick one of the players in the group that you are not already scheduled with.  If you cannot find that player's contact info in the "Find Substitute" link, ask the League Coordinator for it.
  3. Play any other player at your skill level in the league.  You can see players at your skill level from other divisions by clicking the "Division Standings" tab, then clicking the link where it says "If you want to check other divisions click here".  If you need the contact information of a particular player who is not in your division, or who is inactive, you can email the League Coordinator to ask.


Scenarios involving a subplayer:

  • If you recruit a subplayer to play for you - you get whatever points the subplayer earns for you. The subplayer should report the scores to you. Before the Score Reporting Deadline, you would record the scores and check the "substitute" box under the "Your Scores" column.
  • If your opponent recruits a subplayer for you - you get a default, zero points, for the match. Your opponent would record the scores and then click the "substitute" box, and the "Who is defaulting" box under the "Opponent Scores" column.
  • You recruit a subplayer in place of your opponent - Click "Find Substitute" on the screen that shows your schedule.  Find someone on the list that is able to play you.  You can also ask another player in your division.  When finished playing, report your score and click the "Sub" and the "default" box under the Opponent Scores column.


Matches involving Subplayers do not factor into Player Rating.   All matches against subs count towards your point standings and Wildcard Points Race but do not count toward your rating.  The reason sub matches are not counted towards a players rating is:

  1. Players can choose their own subs, and can pick a player who is the weakest in the group, thereby artificially inflating their rating.
  2. Substitute player opponents may not be motivated to play as hard as if the match counted towards their own point total.
  3. You must check the "Sub" box under the column of the player who is a sub - you or your opponent.  When you click the sub box, your scores will not count towards the Player Rating.


Withdrawn Players


If your opponent has withdrawn from your division, you must select one of the following options:

Option #1. Playing a sub (You have the entire season to play a sub or the replacement player, if one has been added.)

Option #2. Reporting a default win and receiving 10 points.


  • Defaults wins must be reported before the last day of the season.
  • The League Coordinator will try to replace the withdrawn player as soon as possible. 
  • If you know of a friend that is at the same level and might like to fill in the open position, please contact the league coordinator ASAP.  Replacement players will pay a prorated entry fee based on the amount of time left in the season, at the discretion of the league coordinator.
  • If a withdrawn player is replaced with a new player, you have the option of replaying this match anytime during the regular season. (See "Replacement Players" section).


Please DO NOT call or email the League Coordinator and ask what to do when your opponent has withdrawn due to injury or other reason. This is a normal occurrence in any league. Choose option #1 or #2 above and move on to scheduling your next match.


Replacement Players

Replacement Players may enter your division after the season has begun. All Replacement Player information will appear on your schedule, and an email alert will be sent to all the players in the division by the League Coordinator.


Replacement players must first arrange matches that have not already been played and are not past the Score Reporting Deadline. If there is still time left in the season, Replacement Players may contact earlier opponents to see if they have time to replay matches already played, or unplayed matches that are past due. It is up to the opponents to decide if they want to replay any matches that have already been played or are past due. Matches behind schedule with Replacement Players can be replayed anytime before the end of the season.


Replacement players may qualify for the playoffs if they meet the 2 criteria below:

1. Play at least 4 matches,

2. They earn enough points in the Wildcard Points Race for a wildcard spot.