Photo by Keith Warren

Rules and Guidelines for MHSAA Tennis Division Tournament 

General information: 

  1. Duties of the tournament host:
  • The court surface should be clear of debris (leaves, soil, trash). Make sure it is safe for all players.
  • All matches must be played on hard courts.
  • Reserve courts as soon as possible if utilizing a public facility. Have a plan for inclement weather.
  • The nets on each court shall have a center strap and be checked for the correct height (36 inches at the center strap).
  • Print blank tennis tournament draws to be used during the coach meeting. Avoid using basketball brackets.
  • Report all results of each event to the MHSAA including full names of players who participated.
  1. Duties of each head coach:
  • Coaches and teams should arrive on site at least an hour before the start of the tournament.
  • After arrival on site, prioritize a team warm-up. Share courts equally with other teams during warm-up.
  • Provide player results from their division play during the on-site coach meeting prior to the tournament.
  • All coaches, head and assistant, should be registered and in compliance with the MHSAA.
  • Coaches shall provide full names, first and last, of players participating in the tournament.
  1. Tournament coaches meeting to determine seeds:
  • The meeting should be done on site, on the day of the tournament. All head coaches should be present. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to send the best players from each draw to the State Tournament to represent the division.
  • Coaches shall provide all division results for a doubles and mixed doubles pairing where the two players played together. If players did not play together, coaches will need to be in agreement regarding the strength of the paired players when considering seeding.
  • Coaches shall provide all division results for boys and girls singles players. If any player did not play singles in division play, the coaches will need to be in agreement on the strength of the player when considering seeding.
  • Teams from the same school shall be placed in opposite halves of the draw.
  • Consult USTA Friend at Court on seeding placement.


Event format: A total of five draws shall be played.

  • Each school can enter one player in boys and girls singles and one team in mixed doubles.
  • Each school can enter two teams in both the boys doubles and girls doubles draw. One boys and one girls doubles draw shall be made, no exceptions.
  • The winner of each draw will advance to the state tournament as the Division Winner. The runner-up of each draw will advance to the state tournament as the Division Runner-up.
  • If two teams from the same school meet in the finals in boys or girls doubles, it’s up to that school to play the final match. If they don’t play the final match, the team that had the higher seeding at the start of the tournament will be the division winner, and the lower seeded team will be listed as the runner-up.

Tournament matchplay information:

  • Matches will be best two out of three tie-break sets  with a 10 pt. match tie-breaker in lieu of a full set. (Set TB to be played at 6 games all in the set). 
  • On Court warm-up  – 5 minutes.
  • Players will receive a 3 minute break before starting the 10pt match tie-breaker. Players stay on court during this time. Coaches are allowed on court to coach during this time.
  •  Players will receive up to an hour break between matches.
  • Schedule and start matches in the same round at the same time or very close to the same time in order to have similar rest times before the next round.
  • After the completion of a match, all match participants shall report the score to the tournament desk. The winning team is responsible for turning in the match balls.
  • In the event of a line dispute, players can stop play and request a line judge. At that time, the coach of the player can ask the tournament desk for a neutral coach to assist on court. It is recommended to have a certified USTA Official at the tournament but not required.
  • In the event of a scoring dispute, players should try to resolve the dispute first. If they cannot come to an agreement, the USTA Friend at Court procedures should be followed. All points agreed on, stand. Only disputed points are replayed. Coaches can assist first but if the dispute cannot be resolved, the tournament desk shall be consulted.
  • USTA rules as outlined in Friend at Court shall be followed. The Code will be followed for on court etiquette and behavior.
  • The MHSAA designated coach is allowed to coach ONLY between points and cannot exceed the time allowed between points. Continuous play is expected. The ball should be in play within 25 seconds after a point ended and within 90 seconds at the change over.
  • The tournament host/director will turn in the results of the division tournament to the MHSAA.
  • Coaches are responsible for sending in the Individual State Tournament Entry form and entry fees. The MHSAA regularly sends out emails with information and links to forms.
  •  Each of the players that qualify for the state tournament will need to have a USTA number. USTA Junior Memberships are free to all players age 18 and under. The state tournament draws will be made utilizing USTA Serve Tennis.

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