1. All fixtures will be played in accordance with Winter League Rules, except that a fixture will normally consist of nine sets of singles. There will be no doubles set except possibly as in Rule  4 below.  Each set will consist of two games of 21 points up. Deuce will not be played at 20 all. Ends will be changed at the completion of the first game at which point coaching is allowed. Scoring in each game will commence at nil – nil.  Services will be two at a time for each player as in the Winter League for games up to 11 points.  Both competitions will be organised on a knockout basis.

2. All players shall be registered in accordance with Winter League Rules. Teams need not be entered in grading order nor need they comply with current winter league nomination. All players and reserves must be registered with the Competitions Secretary, with the Match Secretary and with Table Tennis England and the grading list in order of merit must be submitted at the time of entry. No equal gradings will be accepted. Current winter league gradings will apply to these competitions.

3. Each player will be allocated an individual group number based upon an allocation to one of 30 possible ranking groups. At the end of each set the handicap will be added to the combined game scores of  the lower ranked player and the player with the higher points total resulting from this calculation will gain one point for their team. If the scores are equal after the handicap adjustment then both players will gain half a point for their teams. The Handicap is determined by taking the difference between the group numbers of the two players and applying the handicap from the table supplied. Players will use the same group number whichever team they play for. Handicaps will be set before the first round of the Shepherd Trophy and at the end of the season in time for the Shepherd/Machell semi-finals and Summer League. They will only be changed outside of these two dates in exceptional circumstances.

Where a Club enters more than one team, a player will be limited to playing in a maximum of two teams only. A player must have played in at least five Winter League matches or at least one fixture in either event (the Shepherd or the Machell) prior to the semi final round to be eligible to play in the semi-finals and/or finals. (These provisions enable the handicappers to review the results of players such as newcomers, returnees and those not playing regularly in the Winter League so as to ensure that no single player has an undue influence on the outcome of the Competitions).

4. There will be a total of nine points available to be won in each fixture and the team winning most will go through to the next round. In the event of a tie in the result a bonus point system will decide the winner without the need for a replay. The bonus point will be awarded to the team having the bigger points total in the fixture including the handicaps and the points won N.B. a walk over will be awarded 42 - 0. In the unusual event of a tie in a fixture after allowing for the bonus point a doubles set will determine the result. Prior to the start of the doubles set the umpire must toss up twice, once to determine service and once to determine which pair will win in the event of a tied result. He should clearly state which toss relates to which situation. In order to calculate the doubles handicap add together the group numbers for both players and divide the total by  2. Round down to eliminate any halves. Further details of the Group/Handicap System and an example of how to complete the Scorecard will be provided in a separate document. Teams failing to turn up will forfeit the fixture to their opponents but teams playing ineligible players will only forfeit to their opponents the sets/points won by the ineligible player.

5. All fixtures shall be played by the time limit fixed for the round unless an extension has been granted. The home team shall be responsible for notifying the result to the Competitions Secretary within 72 hours of the fixture being played. Where one team fails to turn up, the other team shall be responsible for submitting a scorecard claiming the fixture.

6. Those teams losing their first Shepherd Trophy fixture will normally be entered for the consolation event (Machell Trophy). However any team which forfeits its first Shepherd Trophy fixture will be ineligible for the Machell. Fixtures will not be considered fulfilled unless at least 6 sets have been played. Fines detailed in Association Constitution and Rules may be applied to these competitions.

7. The Constitution and Rules of the Association shall apply in all respects where provision is not made in these rules. In the event of any questions arising not provided for in the rules, the decision of the Competitions Committee shall be final.

8. Fixtures may finish when one team has won at least 6 sets and each player has played at least  2 sets. I would prefer teams to play all 9 sets. This is particularly important where a team plays an ineligible player and sets/points are forfeited to opponents. Any sets played after one team has won 5 sets should be ringed on the scorecard accordingly so that these can be ignored from any results or averages. If fixtures are played out of order, the revised order should be shown on the scorecard.

9. Competitions Secretary :- D C Atkinson, 106 Bramble Dene, Woodthorpe, York YO24 2RJ. Telephone :- 704743 (H) (Day/Evening).

10. Entry Fee £4-50 per team.


11 December 2017 to 7 January 2018 - Stage 1 (four weeks)

Two weeks commencing 12 February 2018 – Stage 2

Two weeks commencing 26 March 2018 – Quarter Finals

First Semi Finals – Tuesday 1 May 2018.  Second Semi Finals – Thursday 3 May 2018.

Finals – Week commencing 7 May 2018.

Hopefully all Semi Finals and Finals will be staged at York R I.

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