Enrollment and Free Challenge (FC):

1. Ladder play is open to all members (18 years and older) as soon as the secretary receives their application and membership fee. You will then be placed on the ladder  according to your choice of "holding" your position or your level of play and then can then start arranging your matches.  Play begins on August 1st and ends on January 15th.  Members holding their positions must do so by JUNE 30TH.

2. Members obtain their position on the ladder by exercising one of the following options:
  • By holding last year's position (deadline to hold this year- JUNE 30th)
  • By joining at the bottom of your NTRP/Self Rating. (There is no deadline to join.....only to HOLD your position from last year.)

3. All players have one Free Challenge per season per ladder. See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for an explanation on Free Challenges.  If you lose your Free Challenge you will drop to below the last player/team within your NTRP rating. 

4. When registering a match with your ladder captain, make sure you email your NAME, YOUR PARTNER'S NAME (if doubles) along with the DATE(not day) and THE NAME/S OF THE MEMBER/S YOU ARE PLAYING whether the match is an UP, DOWN, or FREE CHALLENGE.  The winner of the match reports the win to the captain.  

5. Player/s who do not have a NTRP rating may Self Rate.   

6. For doubles teams, BOTH must fill out an application and pay their ladder fees before the team will be allowed to play any matches.

7. Players who have not completed an application form AND PAID their membership fees will not be allowed to register or play a match until they do. Anyone who has not registered/ and or paid will be dropped from all ladders they signed up for or whose partners signed them up for after August  31st.

Ladder Matches:

1. To play, call/email someone on the ladder who is in your range of 7 up and 7 down and set up a match no more than 2 weeks in advance.  Required play is 2 matches per month.  One of those matches must be a down. You may play two downs in a month to satisfy the 2 match minimum, but never 2 ups.  The month of December and the partial month of January will be considered one month, therefore only two matches will be required in this time period. The last 3 players on the lowest ladders do not have to play a down unless called from below.   A free challenge match is considered an up match for the player exercising the FC and considered a down match for the player being challenged.  You must play the minimum of two matches per month, or you will drop 7 positions on the ladder. Players joining the ladder after the 15th of the month are not required to play two matches for that month. If you only play two matches a month, you must play two different players/teams.

2. You may challenge any player within your range of 14 players/teams (7 up and 7 down).  The ladders will be updated on the website, but you may want to check with the captain for your range of 14.  After you have arranged a match, you must register it with the captain.  Call/email both ladder captains when challenging from the A1 to the A2 ladder and vice versa.  

3. The player/s looking for the match is responsible  for registering it.  Failure to do so will deny him/her/team credit for the match.  However the opponent will receive all credit, unless the match is a free challenge, the credit will go to both players/teams.

4. The winner of the ladder match is responsible for reporting the win to the captain within 3 days.  Failure to do so will deny him/her/team credit for the match.  However, the opponent will receive all credit.  The winner assumes the position of the defeated player/team and the defeated player/team drops one position.  If the player/team in the higher position wins, both players keep their previous positions. 

5. If a captain receives a call/email that a player/team is trying to challenge another member/s, and that member/s  do not respond to that challenge, the members being challenged will not be allowed to register another match until he/ she/ they arrange a match with the challengers player/team. Also, you will be allowed to challenge out of your range of 7 up and 7 down if you are having problems getting a match with the players in your range. Email your Captain and let her know if you find yourself in that situation. If you do not have a response to a challenge within two weeks, a forfeit may be in order. Check with your Captain.

6. There are only 2 legitimate reasons to cancel or reschedule a registered match:  Rain or the temperature or wind chill temperature is below 32 degrees (players/teams option)

7. Any match interrupted by rain, darkness, or being bumped off the court must be played from the point of interruption within 10 days.  

8. If you are inactive on the ladder for 2 consecutive months (unless you have notified your captain) your name will be removed from the ladder.  If you have not exercised your free challenge, you may free challenge back in at any future point during the season.  If you have exercised your free challenge, you may contact the captain and resume play from the bottom of your level on the ladder.  


1. It is a forfeit if you are 15 minutes late for your match.

2. Even if you have played 2 matches early in the month, you must accept a match within 2 weeks if you have no unplayed matches registered with your captain. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit.  Call/email your captain if you are injured or going out of town; this would excuse you from playing more than 2 matches. 

3. The player giving the forfeit receives no credit for the match.  The player receiving the forfeit is considered to have won the match and receives all credit.  

Court Rules:

1. Any dispute not covered by WTL rules will be settled by USTA rules and/or WTL Officers.

2. The player/s with the higher position has the choice of court and the responsibility of court reservations and fees for all players if it is at a private club.  The fee for reservations made on public courts will be split equally among all of the players.   

3. All matches will be played in New Hanover County, unless by mutual agreement all players agree to play elsewhere.  

4. . Both players/teams bring new balls to the match.  Balls must be USTA approved.  One can is opened, the loser takes home the used balls and the winner takes home the unopened can.  If you mutually agree to play with used balls, no new balls are exchanged. 

5. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated - members who have multiple complaints may be removed from the ladder by the WTL Officers. 

Match Play:

1. The player who wins the best 2 out of 3 sets is the winner of the match. A SET TIEBREAK (first to 7points by 2) should be used at 6-6 in any set to determine the winner of the set. The winner of the third set tiebreak, is the winner of the match.

2. However, if all players mutually agree, a MATCH TIEBREAK can be played IN LIEU OF THE THIRD SET.  A MATCH TIEBREAK is the first to 10 points by 2.

3. Also, if all players mutually agree, an 8 game pro-set may be played for the match, in lieu of the three sets. The winner is the first to win 8 games by 2 games. If tied at 8-8,  a SET TIEBREAK  ( first to 7points by 2) is played to determine the winner of the match.

Playoff Tournament Rules: 

1. End of the year tournament will be at Echo Farms Country Club the last weekend in January.

2. Top 4 players/teams on A1 ladders (each category) will qualify.

3. Tournament format will be 8 game pro-sets.

4. #1 will play #4 and #2 will play #3 in the first round (semi-finals) and the Winners of the semi-finals will play for 1st and 2nd position during the end of the year tournament on January 31st.

5. Players unavailable for playoffs must notify the president and the #5 player(s) will move into playoff position.  The unavailable player(s) from the top 4 will move down to the 5th position. 

6. You must have a minimum of 10 matches in order to be eligible for the playoffs.  The month of December and the partial month of January will be considered one month and therefore, only 2 matches will be required in this time period.

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