New Rule change for best of 3 or best of 5

Notes and examples

  • Playing "best of 3" or "best of 5" means playing each set the same way on a given evening. So this need to be decided before start of play. LeagueScorecard_bestof5or3
  • Clubs, captains and teams should discuss their policy and preferences ahead of the season.
  • As always, clubs/teams should appoint a captain to speak for the team and a delegated person to deputize if the captain is not present at the match.
  • As a courtesy, we would ask teams to be prepared to give brief indications of their reasons, e.g. venue constraints; junior finish time; adult finish time issues. However, even if the other team does not agree, the right to insist on best of 3 stands.
  • Again as a courtesy, we would ask for team captains to indicate their preference to opponents in advance, e.g. by email or phone.
  • One special case: League rules allow (exceptionally) a team to play with 2 players (with payment of a fine). In that event we would normally envisage playing best of 5 even when the team's normal policy was for the shorter form, as the time saved should be sufficient to meet constraints. 
  • The decision to play best of 3 or best of 5 needs to be made before the start of the match. The match may then be scored either on best-of-3 scoresheets, or on best-of-5 scoresheets with the first two columns blocked out. On the website, best-of-3 matches will be shown formally with 11-0, 0-11,.. in the first two columns corresponding to the "blocking out" on the paper scoresheet. This will be obvious when you see it.
  • Time-keeping rules and guidance still apply as previously. The official start of League matches is 7.15pm (or earlier by agreement) and play should be continuous apart from short breaks in line with standard competition practice (2mins knockup, 1min between ends). If players are late, then (at the very least) apologies in order.

Examples of possible conversations:

  1. Team A: "I'm just emailing/phoning you to say we will be playing best of 3 tomorrow as the venue closes at 10". Team B: "ok thanks for letting us know, understood. see you tomorrow".
  2. Team A: "Just to say, we prefer best of 5". Team B: "OK, understood, but we need to play best of 3 due to player(s) needing to finish early". In that case, because the teams have different preferences, the match will be played best of 3.
  3. Team A: "We have no strong preference". Team B: "ok, then let's play best of 5".
  4. Team A: "Apologies but we had a late withdrawal and couldn't get a reserve so we'll have to play with two players". Team B: "ok, although we usually play best of 3 due to venue, as you only have two players we can play best of 5 this time".
  5. Team A: "We need to be out by 10pm but we suggest playing on two tables". Team B: "ok" or Team B may say "we're not keen on playing on two tables so we will exercise our right to play best of 3 instead".

Specific club or team preferences notified to the league website

  • Met Office Whirlwinds will play best of 5 unless opponents request otherwise - Steve Derbyshire 17/9/18
  • Newton St Cyres (Div 3) happy to play best of 5 (but will of course play best of 3 if requested). - Roger Wilkins 13/9/18
  • West Exe will play Home matches best of 3 due to venue (except possibly for 2-player cases). Teams will communicate individually re Away matches. - John Shearman 11/9/18
  • Wingfield B will play all matches best of 3 - Paul Wood 16/9/18
  • Wingfield G prefers best of 5 - Jane Gillard 14/9/18
  • Wingfield E prefers best of 5 - Bob Landberger 28/9/18

Note however that it is perfectly legitimate for teams to agree a different preference for a particular match. For instance, it may be obvious to both sides that a given team match is unlikely to be close, and that the common-sense option is to play the longer format. By agreement, of course.


Author: via Exeter Table Tennis League
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