Tennis Rulebook






Maine Principals' Association endorses...

The Case For Sportsmanship, Ethics
and Integrity In
High School Activities.



  "The ideals of good sportsmanship, ethical behavior and integrity permeate our culture. The values of good citizenship and high behavioral standards apply equally to all activity disciplines. In perception and practice, good sportsmanship shall be defined as those qualities of behavior which are characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others. Further, an awareness is expected of the impact of an individual's influence on the behavior of others. Good sportsmanship is viewed by the National Federation as a concrete measure of the understanding and commitment to fair play, ethical behavior, and integrity."

National Federation of State High School Associations




This rule book has been published by the Maine Principals' Association's Tennis Committee which is working to promote excellence in Maine high school tennis.

Official Rules



The United States Tennis Association rules have been adopted by the MPA Tennis Committee and with the rules in the accompanying MPA bulletin, are in effect during the regular season and all MPA-sponsored events. Rule books may be ordered from U.S.T.A. Publications, 70 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, NY 10604 or by visiting their website at

Heal Point Reporter System



The seeding for the tournament will be determined by using the Heal Point System. Athletic Directors are responsible for the reporting of home matches online ASAP following the match’s completion. Coaches/athletic administrators are asked to enter results through the link on the MPA website. Please report all scheduled matches to this site. A tie in final Heal Point ratings will be decided by using head-to-head competition; second will be the overall record allowing three points for a win and one point for a tie; and if a tie still exists, the high seed will be determined by a flip of a coin unless it is for the last play-off bracket position. In case of a mathematical tie for the last position after using the tie breaking procedure then a play-in game will be held with the home site determined by a flip of a coin.

Round of 48 Draw Procedure



1. The players qualifying for the round of 48 in the singles tournament will be seeded by the director, after consulting with the coaches.  The $75 default fee for absence on Friday and $100 default fee for absence on Saturday will remain in effect throughout the championship singles tournament.

2. The draw for the boys' and girls' Round of 48 Championship Singles Tournament will be developed with the following guidelines:

a. The top twelve players will be seeded numerically by ability.

  • If two (or more) teammates are seeded, an effort will be made to place them in separate halves (quarters) of the draw unless such placements result in obvious errors in seeding.
  • Non-seeded teammates must be placed in opposite halves (quarters) of the draw from other seeded/non-seeded teammates.

b. The numerically seeded players should be assigned to the draw sheet as follows: #1 seed - line 1; #8 seed - line 5; #9 seed - line 7; #4 seed - line 9; #5 seed - line 13; #12 seed - line 15; #11 seed - line 18; #6 seed - line 20; #3 seed - line 24; #10 seed - line 26; #7 seed - line 28; and #2 seed - line 32.



c. The four quarters of the draw will then be constructed so that non-seeded players join the two seeded players in each quarter of the draw.

Four non-seeded but highly rated players will then be radomly drawn and placed on lines 3, 11, 22, 30 of the draw sheet, with attention still given to [#2, A (2)].  These players may come from any of the state's five tennis regions and will come from a pool of players considered for numerical seeding.

32 qualifying players will be randomly assigned to draw sheet lines 2a, 2b, 4a, 4b, 6a, 6b, 8a, 8b, 10a, 10b, 12a, 12b, 14a, 14b, 16a, 16b, 17a, 17b, 19a, 19b, 21a, 21b, 23a, 23b, 25a, 25b, 27a, 27b, 29a, 29b, 31a, 31b. Attention to [#2, A (2) above] remains in effect.

d. The winners of these preliminary matches will advance to the ‘Round of 32', joining the twelve seeded and four placed players.

In the MPA round of 48 singles championship tournament, all matches will be two of three tie break sets.

The ball for the team and singles tennis tournaments will be the Wilson Extra Duty Hard Court Tennis Ball and will be provided by the MPA.

Team Assignments to Sections and Regions
for Purposes of Seeding Meetings and Singles/Team

Tennis Tournament Qualification and Progression




Region 1Region 2Region 3Region 4
Director: Dave Wakana
B: 493-4260
Director: Roland Gilbert
C: 217-2518
Director (boys): Scott Bell
B: 622-6211
H: 626-3280
C: 592-9122
Director (girls): Sheila Bohlin
H: 833-5244
C: 522-2552

Director: Anita Murphy
C: 333-8356
H: 783-3250

Caribou Bangor Boothbay Carrabec
Fort Kent Belfast Brunswick Dirigo
Houlton Brewer Camden Hills Edward Little
Limestone Calais Cony Hall-Dale
Madawaska Deer Isle-Stonington Erskine Academy Lewiston
Presque Isle Dexter Gardiner Lisbon
Van Buren Ellsworth Lincoln Academy Madison
Woodland Foxcroft Medomak Valley Maranacook
  George Stevens Messalonskee Monmouth
  Hampden Morse Mt. Abram
  Hermon Mt. Ararat Mt. Blue
. John Bapst Rockland Mountain Valley
. MCI Skowhegan Oak Hill
. Mattanawcook Waterville Oxford Hills
. Mt. Desert Winslow Spruce Mountain
. Old Town Wiscasset St. Dominic
. Orono   Winthrop
. Penobscot    
. Penquis    
. Schenck    
  Washington Academy    


Chair: Cooper Higgins
B: 781-7429
H: 797-3337

Biddeford Kennebunk  Scarborough
Bonny Eagle Lake Region  South Portland
Cape Elizabeth Marshwood  Thornton
Cheverus Massabesic Waynflete
Deering McAuley (girls) Westbrook
Falmouth North Yarmouth Windham
Freeport Portland Yarmouth
Fryeburg Sanford York


Team Tennis Five Point Match Scoring System

1. There are five equal points in the team competition, three for singles, and two for doubles. The match is won by the team that earns the most points. (5-0, 4-1, 3-2)

2. A player may only participate in one of the five matches in a team tennis competition. There are no substitutions allowed once play has commenced in a singles or doubles match, but a coach whose team has already won the team competition may change his/her line-up to allow a lesser player(s) to participate in a match not yet underway.

3. The three tennis players who have earned one of the top three singles positions on a team's singles tennis ladder must play singles. The #1 singles player must be better than the #2 singles player, and the #2 singles player must be better than the #3 singles player.

Once the best three singles players have been established by ladder play, the coach may set doubles pairings in a manner of his/her choosing. Doubles teams may be composed of any of the remaining squad members, providing the #1 doubles team is better than the #2 doubles team. It is recommended that all coaches maintain a separate doubles ladder to verify the rank correctness of the doubles teams. Participation on the doubles ladder must never excuse talented players from challenging on and assuming their rightful spot on the singles challenge ladder.

Coaches must insist that all players attempt to move up on both challenge ladders!

It is the coach's responsibility to:

A. Develop an individual team tennis ladder that includes ALL team members in rank order of ability.

Whenever possible, this rank ordering should be established by head-to-head ladder matches. (Though it is understood that because of weather-shortened pre-seasons, the initial rank ordering of players may necessarily be partially subjective, it is expected this subjective order be revised through substantiated ladder play as soon as possible.) Also, a coach should never allow a dubious challenge match result to justify an incorrect lineup for an extended period of time!

B. Promote, provide time for, and document the results of ladder matches.

C. Have documentation of the dates and results of these ladder matches available at team matches in case a challenge is lodged by an opposing coach as to the rank ordering of players.


A. It is inappropriate for a coach to withhold skilled players from challenging on the team's singles ladder or for a skilled player to declare himself/herself exempt from the team's singles ladder to become doubles eligible. Such a practice is unacceptable, unethical, and dishonest.

B. Coaches should never discipline a player by dropping him/her down the ladder for the next match. This only punishes the next opponent. If a player must be disciplined, the only fair solution is to drop him/her from the lineup.

C. Players who have suffered a long-term illness or injury (missing four or more team matches) MUST successfully challenge the player who has assumed his/her ranked order on the team ladder. If unsuccessful, he/she must continue to challenge successively lower ranked players until his/her proper order is established before being entered into a match.

D. Players who have suffered short-term illness or injury (less than four team matches) may be reinserted in their former ranked position when he/she has been deemed ready to play by the proper authority. A player having been on short-term leave from the team may NOT be dropped down in the team lineup upon his/her return unless ladder play dictates.

E. If the coaches and administrators of a school feel a player who has earned a singles ranking on the tennis ladder needs to be dropped to doubles due to health concerns or chronic injury, they must:

1. submit such a request, in writing, to the MPA Tennis Committee Chair (at least 48 hours before this proposed change is to take effect), and
2. submit a written doctor's recommendation for making the proposed change.


A. Teams that will not have a full seven-player team throughout the entire season:

1. The three most highly ranked players on the singles challenge ladder must play singles throughout the season. The #1 player must be better than the #2 player, and the #2 player must be better than the #3 player. 2. If a doubles match can be played, it must be at the #1 doubles position!

B. When a full complement of seven players is available but a regular player in the top seven is missing:

1. If the missing team member is a singles player, the coach may (1) break up one or both of the doubles teams and play the eighth ranked player on one of the doubles teams, or (2) play the eighth ranked player as the #3 singles.
2. If the missing team member is a doubles player, any adjustment made by the coach is permissible.
3. In both 1. and 2. above, the #1 doubles team must be stronger than the #2 doubles team.

C. When fewer than seven players are available for a specific match:

1. Six players available: default #3 singles or #2 doubles (depending whether a singles player or a doubles player is absent)
2. Five players available: default #2 doubles
3. Four players available: default both doubles or #3 singles and #2 doubles (depending on the combination of singles players and doubles players absent)
4. Three players available: default both doubles
5. Fewer than three players available: default the match

D. Match lengths should be discussed by both coaches beforehand. It is recommended that a match consist of best out of three six-game sets, utilizing twelve-point tiebreakers. Common sense should prevail when very few courts are available or when rain forces indoor play. "Pro sets" are acceptable for use. However, both coaches must agree on the format to be used before the start of play. If no agreement can be reached, the best two of three tiebreak sets format will be utilized. Also, the order of individual match assignments should be established before the competition begins if less than five courts are available for simultaneous play. In all MPA-sanctioned team tournament matches, available courts must always be assigned in ascending order beginning with #2 doubles.

Questioning an Opponent's Calls


1. The tennis code dictates that any line call in which the result is unclear must be resolved in favor of one's opponent.

2. Everyone misses a call now and then; therefore, no player should become enraged when he/she believes his/her opponent has "missed one."

3. An angry refutation of an opponent's call is just like saying "You're a cheater" for everyone to hear.

4. When player A feels that an incorrect call by player B has "robbed" him/her of a point fairly earned and is so upset that he/she must stretch the constraints of "the honor code" (which does not allow for questioning an opponent's call), he/she should politely ask player B if he/she is quite sure the call was correct. If player A continues to feel that player B's calls are erroneous in player B's favor, player A should ask for both coaches and explain the situation to them. From that point on, the coaches are expected to resolve the situation and, if necessary, officiate the remainder of the match.

5. SPECIAL NOTE: At all MPA-sponsored singles and team competitions, it is still the responsibility of the individual players and their respective coaches/school representatives to attempt to resolve on-court conflicts regarding rule interpretations, line calls, appropriate time sequencing, footfaulting, and inappropriate behavior or language. MPA Tennis Committee members should only be called to the scene when this process has been exhausted and there is no resolution in sight. Coaches and players are not absolved of their usual duties and responsibilities just because state competition is taking place. These responsibilities and a higher order of sportsmanship are what make high school tennis matches unique and refreshing.

Twelve-Point Tiebreaker

Object: To get seven points and win by two points


Note: Coaches should give special attention to teaching the correct tie-breaking procedure and should attempt to supervise all tiebreak situations when they arise.


1. Player whose turn it is to serve (at 6 all) serves one serve from "deuce" (server's right) court.

2. Opponent serves twice, the first coming from the "AD" (server's left) court.

3. Other side serves twice, etc. with players switching ends of the court after six points have been played; so after 6, 12, points have been played players switch sides until the tiebreak procedure produces a "winner."

4. If the match requires an additional set, the side who received first in the set just concluded, now has the first serve in the next set; regardless of who won the tiebreaker.

5. If the first two sets are both decided by tiebreakers, a spin of the racket will determine who will serve to begin the third set.


Order of Play
Twelve-Point Tiebreaker and Match Tiebreaker
A vs BSwap Sides
After Six Points
Point Server Side Point Server Side
1 A R 7 B R
2-3 B L-R 8-9 A L-R
4-5 A L-R 10-11 B L-R
6 B L 12 A L
  Repeat sequence starting with point one until one player has won seven points in a twelve-point tiebreaker or ten points in a match tiebreaker and is ahead by a margin of two.

Duties of the Coaches


(Coaches are reminded that some of these duties extend into all MPA-sponsored Tennis Tournaments.)

1. He/she shall assign the courts. He/she must adhere closely to all information detailed on page five under "The Five-Point Match Scoring System."

2. He/she shall start the matches and enforce the ten-minute warm-up period. All practice serves must be part of this timed warm-up.

3. He/she shall supply a new can of USTA approved tennis balls for each match.

4. He/she must assure the sporting conduct of all players and spectators at home and away matches. He/she, as the match administrator, must ensure the integrity and the safety of all in attendance.

5. He/she shall report all match results, win or lose, to his/her athletic administrator for entry in the MPA online Heal point system.

6. After contacting and informing the opposing coach, either coach will warn players for: offensive language, inappropriate behavior, footfaulting, inaccurate line calls, and misuse of appropriate break/rest periods. Coaches must confer and agree upon appropriate action to be taken against any player whose works or actions infringe upon the intended spirit of the match.

Note: The MPA has a strict default policy. Once a player has been officially warned by the coach(es), he/she must be defaulted at the next repetition of the objectionable offense. If a player is ejected from competition for misconduct of any type, he/she will be prohibited from playing for the remainder of that match and the next regularly scheduled MPA-sanctioned regular season or tournament competition.

7. Singles and Team Tournament - Coaches may coach individual players for no more than two minutes on the court at the completion of the first set. After split sets, coaching may take place but play must resume with 5 minutes.

8. All breaks may be waived through the mutual consent of the players.

9. Coaches are expected to solve match problems in a sporting fashion with the best interest of all players in mind. Hopefully, common sense will prevail. Failure to complete matches usually results in disasterous consequences and creates hard feelings between the players, coaches, and school administrators. Protests are not allowed in MPA tennis play.

10. Once a match has been completed, the final score will stand. If there is a conflict that cannot be resolved, it would behoove the coaches involved to get the correct ruling from the appropriate governing body (i.e. MPA office) before allowing individual or match play to continue.

11. MPA representatives will assume duties 1, 2, 3, and 8 at all regional and state championships.

Point of No Recall

Individual Match: Once a match has started and one point has been completed, the match must stand. No substitutions are permitted for any reason and the individual point in question must be forfeited.

Team Match: Once there has been a formal exchange of lineups between the opposing coaches, these lineups must be honored, even if conditions dictate a postponement to another day. Exception: If a match has already been determined (one team has clinched three points), the substitution of a lesser skilled player is allowed in a match which has not begun.


1. If a match winner has already been determined, there is no need to finish another day. However, it is not appropriate to end a match tied or to abandon an unresolved match due to Heal point ramifications.

2. Wait fifteen minutes (minimum) before postponing. However, safety should be the most important consideration. (See WEATHER CONDITIONS.)

3. If a match has to be postponed for any reason, play must be resumed from the exact point, with the same players -- no substitutions are allowed. If a player or team is unable to reschedule a match, the match must be forfeited. There will be a ten-minute warm-up period before restarting after a delay or postponement.

Weather Conditions

The safety of athletes (participants), spectators, coaches/directors, school personnel, and all others present at an athletic contest must be the first and foremost concern to the contest officials and building administrators.

1. When an interscholastic contest has been scheduled and dangerous playing conditions exist or severe weather is anticipated, the following should be considered:

a. Prior to beginning an athletic contest, when severe weather is anticipated, the head contest official and the principals of each school, or their designees, will meet to review the suspension and/or postponement procedures. This would include any playing rule book coverage.
b. The host school administrator will be responsible for informing contest officials, visiting school administrators and, if applicable, the individual responsible for public address announcements of designated shelter areas.
c. When lightning is observed in the vicinity of a contest, play should be suspended immediately and not resumed for 30 minutes after the last visual sighting of lightning.
d. If any other life-threatening condition occurs, play should be suspended immediately, and predetermined directions to safe locations will be announced. When a suspension of a contest occurs, the following should be considered

1. If the suspension is forty-five minutes or greater, resuming at a later date should be considered.
2. If play is to be resumed, contestants will be given at least a fifteen-minute warm-up period prior to competition.


1. It is the duty of a coach to insure that he/she and his/her team arrive on time for all matches. The duty would include a phone call to the opposing coach/school if an emergency situation arises that will cause his/her team to be tardy.

2. During all MPA tournament play, all coaches, players, and teams are expected to arrive at the specific report time printed in the MPA Tennis Bulletin. To do otherwise may result in the offending player(s)/team(s) disqualification. Report times will remain in effect unless changed by the tournament event chairperson for such factors as weather or poor court conditions. After a fifteen-minute grace period, the default of any player/team, whose absence is delaying the tournament, may result.

3. During all MPA-sponsored tennis tournaments, players will not leave their assigned tournament sites unless specifically directed to do so by the tournament director.


MPA Representative Jurisdiction


Please contact the appropriate MPA representative assigned to your region if questions or problems arise related to team or singles tennis matches during the spring sport season or MPA tournament play.




Information Common to all MPA Tournaments

Coaches and spectators must stay in designated areas during match play.





Because of increased attendance and media attention afforded MPA tennis tournaments, the dress of all players is being scrutinized and must be brought up to a higher standard as follows:

1. In the MPA singles tournament, players must avoid wearing clothing which might be considered ambiguous, offensive, objectionable, or in poor taste. Examples of acceptable dress might include, but is not limited to: team uniforms, clothing specifically designed for and/or promoting tennis and, preferably, white tennis shoes. Many of the better tennis facilities in the state will require tennis-appropriate footwear. All tennis players must wear non-marking tennis shoes at all MPA-sponsored tennis tournament events.

2. In all MPA-sponsored tournament play, all team tennis players must be dressed in team uniforms that are similar in style, length, and hue. All logos or imprints should be matching and tennis appropriate. One-piece tennis outfits may be worn if they meet the above requirements. Team upper and lower body apparel may be of different colors but must be identical for all players.

3. Athletes wearing inappropriate or non-conforming or offensive clothing will not be allowed to play until the situation has been corrected to the satisfaction of the match or tournament director. Coaches are responsible in guaranteeing that their players are properly clothed and equipped.

Enforcement of Uniform Standards

Coaches are expected to promote and enforce the uniform requirements at regular season matches and report violations to the appropriate school administrator.

MPA representatives will enforce these uniform requirements at all MPA-sponsored tournament events. Players not in the team uniform will be ineligible to play in MPA-sponsored tournament events.




  1. Lewiston (1297)
  2. Bangor (1198)
  3. Oxford Hills (G) (1027)
  4. Edward Little (968)
  5. Brunswick (870)
  6. Mt. Ararat (867)
  7. Messalonskee (788)
  8. Skowhegan (788)
  9. Cony (787)
  10. Hampden (725)
  11. Mt. Blue (724)
  12. Brewer (709)


  1. Thornton (1384)
  2. Bonny Eagle (1154)
  3. Sanford (1085)
  4. Scarborough (1054)
  5. Windham (1045)
  6. Massabesic (1012)
  7. Deering (942)
  8. Portland (913)
  9. South Portland (855)
  10. Gorham (853)
  11. Biddeford (830)
  12. Falmouth (727)
  13. Marshwood (719)
  14. Kennebunk (715)
  15. Westbrook (16) (689)
  16. Cheverus (15) (519)
  17. McAuley (G) (15) (356)




  1. Oceanside (679)
  2. Camden Hills (635)
  3. Erskine (621)
  4. Belfast (580)
  5. Waterville (573)
  6. Presque Isle (548)
  7. Medomak (545)
  8. Ellsworth (540)
  9. Hermon (517)
  10. Caribou (506)
  11. Mt. Desert (515)
  12. Foxcroft (487)
  13. Old Town (481)
  14. Winslow (471)
  15. John Bapst (440)
  16. Maine Central (438)
  17. Washington (424)



  1. Greely (694)
  2. Fryeburg (632)
  3. Gardiner (617)
  4. Morse (614)
  5. York (606)
  6. Lake Region (G) (569)
  7. Cape Elizabeth (543)
  8. Spruce Mountain (524)
  9. Lincoln Academy (518)
  10. Freeport (514)
  11. Yarmouth (455)
  12. Oak Hill (G) (427)
  13. Lisbon (416)
  14. Maranacook (400)



  1. Orono (353)
  2. Houlton (341)
  3. Mattanawcook (339)
  4. Fort Kent (296)
  5. Dexter (290)
  6. Lee Academy (270)
  7. Calais (262)
  8. George Stevens (258)
  9. Sumner (230)
  10. Piscataquis (221)
  11. Penquis (211)
  12. Madawaska (194)
  13. Stearns (185)
  14. Penobscot (171)
  15. Woodland (164)
  16. Schenck (155)
  17. Deer Isle (139)
  18. Shead (107)
  19. Van Buren (105)


  1. Mountain Valley (395)
  2. Dirigo (330)
  3. Hall-Dale (307)
  4. Madison (283)
  5. Waynflete (259)
  6. Carrabec (243)
  7. St. Dominic (233)
  8. Mt. Abram (230)
  9. Monmouth (229)
  10. Winthrop (223)
  11. Boothbay (217)
  12. North Yarmouth (158)
  13. Wiscasset (191)

Table of Contents



  The Code of Ethics for secondary school activities has been developed for the purpose of stating the behavioral expectations of all who are involved with (secondary) school activities programs.

Adherence to the Code is expected at all MPA sponsored or sanctioned activities. Reported consistent and/or flagrant violations of the Code may result in punitive action by the MPA Interscholastic Executive Committee if charges are substantiated at a hearing convened for that purpose.

In order to promote desirable behavior and enhance the over-all quality of secondary school activities programs for which MPA has assumed responsibility, the following Code of Ethics is in effect:

It is the duty of all concerned with secondary school activities programs to...

1. Cultivate an awareness that participation in high school activities is part of the total education experience. No one should either seek or expect academic privileges for the participants.

2. Emphasize sportsmanship, ethical conduct and fair play as they relate to the lifetime impact on the participants and spectators.

3. Develop an awareness and understanding of the rules and guidelines governing competition, and comply with them in all activities.

4. Recognize the purpose of activities in school programs is to develop and promote physical, mental, moral, social, and emotional well-being of participants.

5. Avoid any practice or technique which endangers the present or future welfare of a participant.

6. Avoid practices that encourage students to specialize or that restrict them from participation in a variety of activities.

7. Refrain from making disparaging remarks to opponents, officials, coaches, or spectators.

8. Encourage the development of proper health habits and discourage the use of chemicals.

9. Exemplify self-control and accept adverse decisions without public display of emotion.

10. Encourage everyone to judge the success of the activities programs on the basis of the attitude of the participants and spectators, rather than on the basis of a win or loss.

Adopted by the MPA Membership: April 29, 1988



2015-2016 Tennis Committee

Kevin Cullen, St. Michael's School
Brian Gaw, Piscataquis Community High School
Tiffany Karnes, Oxford Elementary School
John Mullen, Principal, Cheverus High School
Don Atkinson, Director, King Middle School, Portland
Cooper Higgins, Tournament Chair, Falmouth High School
Sheila Bohlin, Liaison



Table of Contents


Tennis Awards

Trophies: State champion team
State singles champion
State singles runner-up
State singles semi-finalists
Plaques: State runner-up team
Regional champion team
Regional runner-up team

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