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NSNTA By-law 36 states that a match can be abandoned due to wet weather with the agreement of both captains. It is expected that all players from both teams will attend the venue for the match and the captains will assess the courts to determine if the courts are playable.
The NSNTA recognises that in some circumstances courts may become unplayable due to consistent heavy rain during the day. In such circumstances, a home Club official may have the opportunity to inspect the courts prior to the match and determine if matches will not be able to be played at the venue that night. In such circumstances, the home Club official may attempt to organise a washout in advance over the phone, but only if the procedure below is followed. Away Clubs cannot initiate washouts under any circumstances.
Procedure for arranging washouts over the phone
1. For the purposes of this procedure, a Club official is a nominated NSNTA Delegate or Fixture Contact, a Club Committee member, or another person authorised by the Club to arrange washouts (e.g. a Club Manager). Team captains and players are not authorised to arrange washouts prior to the match start time.
2. The home Club official must attend their venue prior to 7.00 p.m. and inspect their courts. The home Club official must make an assessment as to whether their courts are playable and, if not, whether they can be dried (e.g. rolling the courts or using squeegees or sponges etc.) in order for matches to be played that night. It is not necessary for the courts to be playable by 7.00 p.m., they only need to be playable in time for the match to be completed (e.g. if courts can be dried by 8.00 p.m. and two courts will be available for the match, a washout should not be declared, as the match will still be able to be completed).
A home Club official cannot initiate a washout without personally inspecting their courts or being advised by another authorised person (e.g. the Club Coach) that they have inspected the courts and they are unplayable.
3. If the home Club official determines that some of their courts will not be playable, and there will be insufficient courts for all matches to be completed, the home Club official may initiate washouts for some matches only. In making this assessment, the home Club official must take into account that the NSNTA is a one court competition and the 11.00 p.m. finishing time (or earlier curfew applicable to their venue). When determining which matches are to be called washouts, the home Club official should have regards to the courts allocated to the teams. If courts are not allocated, the matches washed out should be decided by ballot.
4. Once the home Club official has determined that their courts will be unplayable, he or she should phone the contact listed in the fixture for the away Club (the fixture contact) stating his/her name and position within the Club, and advise that the courts are unplayable and in their opinion the match will be a washout. Voice messages should state the time of the call, and confirmation of receipt of voice messages or text messages should be requested. If the fixture contact for the away Club cannot be contacted, both teams are required to attend the venue as usual. Unreturned voice mail messages are not sufficient. A washout can only be arranged over the phone if representatives of the two Clubs actually speak to each other/exchange texts and reach an agreement.
5. If a home Club official contacts an away Club official, the away Club can agree to the washout over the phone, or can refuse the request.
• If the away Club official agrees to the request, he or she must provide the names of the players due to play for the away team that night so they can be included in the online result. Alternatively, the away Club official can put the home Club official in contact with the away team captain to decide whether to agree to the request and provide the names. Delegates should then advise their team what has been arranged.
• If the away Club Delegate refuses the request, both teams must attend the venue as usual. If either team does not have a full team attend the venue, regardless of the condition of the courts or the weather, the match will be declared a default by the team without four players present.
6. Home and Away Club fixture contacts are not to accept requests for washouts from team captains or players. If a washout is initiated by a home or away team captain or player, the match may be awarded to the opposition team or declared null and void with no points awarded to either team.
Procedure for washout disputes
If both teams attend the venue for the match and the two captains cannot agree as to whether the courts are playable, the following procedure applies.
1. Attempts should be made to dry the courts. All players from both teams must remain at the venue and assist with drying the courts.
2. If the courts are unable to be dried to the satisfaction of both captains, and the two captains still do not agree on a washout, a member of the Match and Permit Committee should be contacted who can provide further advice. If possible, a member of the Match and Permit Committee may attend the venue to inspect the courts and make a decision as to whether the courts are playable. All players from both teams must remain at the venue while contact is made with the Match and Permit Committee.
3. If a Match and Permit Committee member cannot be contacted or cannot attend the venue, and the captains cannot agree, the match should be signed as "washout", and the team disputing the washout should sign under protest. The home team should enter the result online, recording all completed games (including games completed in incomplete sets) and note in the comments section that the result was signed “Under protest”. The Delegate or Secretary of the Club disputing the washout must then lodge an official protest with the Association Secretary in accordance with the By-laws.
NB: For matches that have commenced, but are incomplete, By-law 36 may apply. That By-law specifies the required number of games lead a team needs after 4 or 5 completed sets to be awarded a win.
4. In determining the protest, the Match and Permit Committee may have regard to:
• what attempts (if any) were made to dry the courts;