Grampian Squash – Open League Rules

1.       GOVERNING BODY FEES - Scottish Squash Racketball Limited (SSRL) is the governing body of squash.  Participation by Teams in the Grampian Squash Leagues is conditional upon the Club being affiliated to (SSRL). Clubs must have paid their fees to (SSRL), by the 1st August each year (ie - the previous seasons fees) to be eligible to compete in the forthcoming Grampian season. (SSRL) fees are normally due in October each year. Each Club is responsible for ensuring that their fees are paid by the 1st August the following year.

Rationale: (SSRL) provide valuable support to the region in the form of a Regional Development Manager, Coach Education, Refereeing Courses, allow us to run competitions and supply referees at such competitions amongst various other benefits. (SSRL) require our financial support in order to exist.  

Penalty: Any parent club not fully affiliated to SSRL at the beginning of August each year will have their Teams withdrawn from the Grampian Leagues for the forthcoming season. Grampian Squash will obtain a list of affiliated clubs on the 1st August each year.

Permitted Exception: None

2.       GRAMPIAN REGION FEES - Teams are responsible for the collection of & paying of all Grampian Squash fees. Grampian Squash Team fees can be payable to Grampian Squash at the team “Captains Meeting”. A £5 discount for each team is provided for punctual fee payment.

Rationale: Grampian Squash run the leagues and provide valuable support to the region in the form of club development, funding of junior competitions such as the Inter Regionals and funding of trophies for Final’s Night” and without this financial support would not be able to exist.  

Penalty: Any team failing to pay their Grampian Squash fees by the 01st November will have their team withdrawn from the Grampian Squash  leagues and all results removed from the league tables.

Permitted Exception: ASRC teams are exempt due to a reciprocal arrangement with Grampian Squash.

3.       TEAM DEFINITION & PLAYER POSITIONING - Clubs who enter more than one Team in the Grampian Squash Leagues may elect to select Teams by either a ladder system or a pool system.

a)    Ladder system, operates with the first TEAM consisting of the best five available players, the second TEAM the next best five players and so on. For the sake of clarity Students 1 is a separate TEAM from Students 2 despite the TEAMS playing in a ladder, within the same Club.

Ladder starting positions will be set by player ability level at the beginning of the season. The team shall play in ability level, however players may move one place up or down in playing order in successive matches. Players who were not available in the previous match or matches, will return to the relevant team in their previous ladder position, (ahead of any player they were previously ahead of when they last played). 

Rationale: We expect teams to play in ability order each week, with the best player at No1 in the team and the least talented player at the foot of the team order. By applying movement of only 1 position per match, we remove subjectivity from the ascertaining of a player’s position. 

Penalty: Should a ladder player move more than one place up or down in playing order in successive matches the team will forfeit that players tie and all the ties below that position. 

Permitted Exceptions: When a player returns to a team following injury and the player is not deemed capable of playing at previous levels, the team can apply to Grampian Squash to position the player lower in the team. It will be at Grampian Squash’s discretion as to whether such requests are granted and teams should have written confirmation prior to the players tie. Without such authorisation the player will have been deemed to be playing out of order and the team will forfeit that tie and all the points from the ties below the correct deemed position. Further penalty can be considered by the rules sub- committee.

b)     Pool system, allows team’s to consist of any number of players as decided by their club, however players cannot play for any other team or Club. A player may however play for another Club/Team in a different League (i.e.Veterans). Pool teams should provide a list their players, to Grampian squash rules sub-committee prior to the first match.

Rationale: In the spirit of the game we expect pool team players to simply represent the single team through-out the season and play in the correct team position order.

Penalty: Should a pool player represent another Team or Club then they shall forfeit their tie and the Team they represented, will also forfeit all the ties below that position. 

Permitted Exception: When a No 1 player is no longer clearly the top player in the team, through loss of form or injury, they may apply to be replaced. Replacement will be at the Grampian Squash rules sub-committee’s discretion. Approval must be confirmed by email, before the change can be implemented.

Division 1 pool teams being supplied with players of lesser ability, from a ladder team below. (See rule 4c below)

c)     Division 1 teams must register their top five players with the Grampian Squash rules sub-committee for approval before the start of the season. These players may not play for any other team. 

If a registered player fails to play in any of the first three matches of the season then they must be replaced, with another registered player, but when available they may be reinstated to their correct team position. 

Rationale: A Division 1 team should not be able to strengthen teams below by having a non-division 1 registered player potentially available in a free week (eg. should Division 1 only have 7 teams) - when they would otherwise have been tied to the Division 1 team.

Penalty: A Division 1 team not registering the named Division 1 players before the first match of the season will receive a 5 point penalty. In each subsequent match, a further 5 point penalty will apply, until such times as the team names are registered.

Permitted Exception: None

d)     Division 1 named player replacement - Should a player improve to a standard above a Division 1 registered player the club may submit a request to amend their registered player list to Grampian Squash Rules Committee - this approval must be confirmed before the player plays for the team. The new player will start at position 5 within the team and may progress within the one position move from match to match thereafter.

Rationale: We expect teams to play in ability level each week, with the best player at No1 in the team and the least talented player at the foot of the team order and this includes the progression of players. 

Penalty: Should a named division 1 player move to a lower player position prior to obtaining the Grampian Squash approval they will forfeit their tie and the team every tie below that position.

Permitted Exception: None

e)     New player team placement - A new player arriving at a club, should be positioned in their teams at the relevant ability level position. Should this be as high as division 1, then the club should submit a request to amend their registered player list to Grampian Squash Rules Sub-Committee - approval must be confirmed before the player plays for the team and the Grampian Squash Rules Committee will determine at what position the player is to be positioned within the team.

Rationale: We expect teams to play in ability level each week, with the best player at No1 in the team and the least talented player at the foot of the team order and this includes the progression of players. 

Penalty: Should a new named division 1 player play prior to obtaining the Grampian Squash Rules Committee approval, then they will forfeit their tie and the team every tie below that position.

Permitted Exception: None

f)      Multiple division 1 teams - In the event of two or more teams in a club playing in the First Division, a club can elect to play the division 1 team as a pool, however be laddered from below. The pool teams may draw players from the ladder below, when named players are unavailable. The ladder players will revert back to the ladder system when Pool teams are full again. When a player has moved from a ladder team to a pool team above, they will be tied to that pool team for the remainder of the season, playing up as and when required thereafter from ladder position. 

Rationale: It is accepted that First Division teams may wish to be a ladder and yet the rules state they must name 5 players as a pool. By permitting movement from below we allow more players to participate each week and also for the progression of players in lower divisions to experience squash.

Penalty: Failure of the first division team filling their team positions from the ladder below will result in the ladder team below, forfeiting their tie (20-0).

Permitted Exception: None

4.       PLAYING WEEK -  A playing week is deemed to start on Thursday and finish on the following Wednesday.

Players are not permitted to play twice in the same squash week (running Thursday to Wednesday). As a point of clarity players cannot therefore play twice on the same night nor play on a Thursday and then play the following Tuesday.

Rationale: Teams should be able to play on a level playing field and there should be no strengthening from above. A player playing at No5 for a higher team and then playing at No1 for the team below is strengthening that team below from above. Similarly a player playing for a higher team on the Thursday and then playing division 4 on the Tuesday, will have strengthened the division 4 team from above. Had all tie been played on the same evening then they would have not otherwise been able to play for both teams.

Penalty: The offending player will forfeit their tie at the highest position and the team below forfeit their tie (20-0)

Permitted Exception: The students are granted specific latitude with regards to their playing weeks as they have a late start to the season and also a later return after Christmas. Clarification from the Grampian Squash Rules Sub-Committee should be sought with regards to Students teams.

5.       POSTPONED MATCHES – Should there be severe weather conditions, or court closure then the match may be permitted to be postponed. However, the chair of the rules sub - committee must be notified of the circumstances prior to postponement. If a match is postponed then the home team captain will offer 2 dates for the fixture to be played and these dates must be within 4 playing weeks, or by the last match date of the season whichever is earlier. Failure to accept these dates will result in a date being fixed by the rules sub-committee. 

Rationale: Grampian Squash do not expect players to travel during periods of severe snow or blizzards as this puts people at risk. As such we accept that under such circumstances matches may be postponed. Matches should otherwise take place on the evening as detailed in the fixture list.

Penalty: If a rearranged match is not played then the home team is awarded the match (20-0) and under certain circumstances where no effort has been made to play the match a (0-0) score may be awarded. In addition the non - travelling opposition team may incur a further 40 point penalty. 

Permitted Exception: None

6.       MATCH & TIE START TIMES - Matches must be played on the evening published in the “Fixtures List”. The Home team will set their specific match start time prior to the season starting and these times will be published on the “Fixtures List”.  

The Captains shall have Team lists available for exchange before the match begins. The order of play shall be; No.5, No.4, No.1, No.3, No.2 unless otherwise agreed by captains before the start of the match. Team captains must ensure that all their players are available to play before the match starts. In the event of a team player/(s) being known to be unavailable, the remaining players must play up in order to take up the top positions in the team. In the event of a team player failing to turn up or being unable to play after the teams’ lists have been exchanged, penalties will apply, The captain of a team who cannot field a full side MUST inform the opposition captain of this situation at the earliest opportunity.

Rationale: Tie should be played punctually as failure to do so could mean over running court availability time and result in the tie being incomplete. Lateness could also result in post-tie food not being available. Penalties should apply to the team which offends. In reference to start times - we expect the player to be ready to play at their respective start time. It is not acceptable to say that the player is in the building for example.  

Penalty: If the 5th string fails to turn up, within 15 minutes of their designated tie start time and ready to play, they shall forfeit a game and if not present within a further 15 minutes, forfeit their Tie. All other Ties would however count, provided the players arrive on time. If the 4th string fails to turn up and be ready to play, within 30 minutes of the original tie start time they shall forfeit their Tie and the tie below. Ties above will count, provided the players arrive on time. If either the 1st, 3rd or 2nd strings fail to turn up within an hour of the original tie start time and be ready to play, then the tie will be forfeited (20-0). 

Permitted Exception: If a player is struggling to make the relative tie times then the team captains can agree to rearrange positions and work together to endeavour to have the tie played within the evening. This is at the team captain’s joint discretion.

7.       TEAMS FAILING TO HONOUR TIE COMMITMENTS -  In the event of a team being unable to field 5 players for their match, the team captain or nominated alternative contact, should notify the opposing team at the earliest opportunity and at the latest, 2 hours before the match start time. The remaining team will play in ability order and forfeit ties where the player or players were not available. 

Rationale: Early contact with the opposition team, means that the opposing player’s do not unnecessarily travel to the venue and subsequently have no tie to play.

Penalty: No bonus points will be awarded in the event of a team not competing in all 5 ties and yet still winning at least 3 of their ties. 

Any Team failing to honour a commitment, with a minimum of three players will forfeit all tie points to the opposing team (20-0) and have 20 points deducted from its league points total.

Any team failing to field a team with a minimum of three players on a second occasion will forfeit all tie points to the opposing team (20-0) and have 40 points deducted from its league points total.

Any team failing to field a team with a minimum of three players on a third occasion will be automatically relegated and all tie involving that team shall be voided.

Permitted Exception: In the event of a player being unable to foresee the need for a late call off - in circumstances out-with their control, then the rules sub-committee can decide on what penalties, if any need to be applied. No penalty would be expected if the player or players were involved in an accident, or for example were a member of the emergency services and required to continue working.

8.       INJURED PLAYERS - If a player comes to a match but becomes unable for any reason to play before the commencement of the tie, then penalties will apply.

Rationale: Injured players should not be sacrificing themselves on behalf of the team and turning up to endeavour to play when unable to do so, as first priority is the player’s health and safety. Grampian Squash also want to stop teams strengthening from above by potentially fielding injured player/s. 

Penalty: The player shall forfeit their Tie, and all the Ties which have previously been played below that position, within that match. Should the team play in a ladder, then the team directly below will also forfeit all of their ties. Any ladder team below that will not be affected. 

Permitted Exception: Injury sustained by an opponent inflicted incident or genuine self-inflicted injury during the match, where clearly there was no previous indication of an injury.