Forming and Captaining a Team
Approximately four weeks prior to a team registration opening date, the designated League Coordinator will send an email to PTA members about Captaining opportunities for the coming USTA or Sonoma Napa Marin Women’s Tennis League (SNMWTL) season(s).
Since Captaining is voluntary, there is no guarantee that all levels of play will form teams in any given season. To ensure there is a team for your level of play, volunteer to be a team Captain! To volunteer, respond to the email call-out for Captains or send the League Coordinator an email that you’d like to Captain a team.
Once team Captains have been confirmed, they are required to submit a philosophy statement – a short summary of the type of team they intend to form and their expectations of team members (eg: Social team with equal play and optional practice). The PTA will then send a follow-up email to PTA members with the names of confirmed team Captains and their philosophy statements along with each Captain’s contact information.
Members are responsible for contacting team Captains directly to express interest in playing on a team. The PTA Coordinator will register each team with the requisite (as defined by USTA for each league) number of confirmed players.
Captains are responsible for forming their own teams. The PTA encourages these Captains and teams to be open and inclusive to all level-appropriate members expressing a desire to play on a team but it is the right of the Captain to form their team as they choose.
If the Captain you have contacted doesn’t have room on the team roster for you, contact the League Coordinator to see if there is another team seeking players or to start your own team!
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES OF BEING A TEAM CAPTAIN
- Provide a Philosophy Statement/Goal to the PTA League Coordinator. Confirm team viability (equalizing play time versus competitive, requisite minimum number of players to form a team, etc).
- Coordinate with PTA League Coordinator to register a team during the registration period. Once your team is confirmed by the League Coordinator, work with your Coordinate to get home match schedule and post matches by the deadline.
- Coordinate with League Coordinator to reserve a team practice location, day, and time. PTA clinics and matches will take precedence over practice times.
- Communicate the team practice and match schedule to the team.
- Create and communicate the team line-up for matches and assign refreshment hospitality. Please note: Alcohol is strictly prohibited on school grounds during school hours or during school or student events.
- Make sure the team provides balls and water for all home matches.
- For home matches, communicate with the captain of the opposing team to let them know what facilities are available at our courts (eg: bathroom facilities, parking), arrive early enough to ensure the courts are swept and ready for play prior to each match, and clean up courts after each match.
- Bring printed line-up sheet to each match to exchange with opposing captain.
- Review scores with the opposing captain at the conclusion of the match, sign, and enter (or verify) scores within 24 hours of completed match.
- Coordinate with the League Coordinator to reserve make-up match dates, communicate these choices to the captain of the opposing team and your team, and then confirm with the Coordinator which date is chosen.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD TEAM CAPTAIN
- Captains should be diplomatic. They may need to mediate issues both on and off the courts. They should stay neutral, be consistent, and still be supportive of all players. Captains (and/or Co-Captains) should oversee practices and matches to learn more about the players, their skills, and partnerships that work.
- Good communication is a key to success. Regular and clear email messages about practice and match schedules, line-ups, results and other details are important. If your team goal is post-season play, get confirmation of players’ availability at the beginning of the season. Remind players regularly about the scheduled Playoff and District weekends.
- Captains need to be available. Captains (or Co-Captains) should be at all home matches in order to get the match started on time, to direct opponents to restrooms and warm-up courts, to alert members using reserved courts as to the time of the match, and to exchange line-ups. The Captain or Co-Captain may only need to be there at the beginning, but it is helpful to have an extra person if there is a rules question, if a line judge is needed or if there are other matches scheduled before or after that may impact play time. When necessary, a Captain may designate an acting captain for away matches, but it is preferable to have an extra person at away matches as well.
- Send out match line-ups at least a week in advance. This gives players time to notify you of availability changes. If there are subs available and you think you might need them, ask them to stay on call.
- Determine whether there is another match scheduled after your match. If yes, a 10-point tiebreak set should be used in lieu of a full third set if there is less than 45 minutes remaining before the next match begins.