Welcome to Tennis Sydney’s singles-only weekly competition. Each week players will go head to head against each other, with competitors who win progressing into more advanced Groups, while those who are defeated are relegated to lower Groups.

Competition Details

There will be no byes. Due to this if you wish to enter but know you will be away for a few weeks, we are opening this competition up to be entered into by pairs, so if you would like to enter with another person (where only one of you can play each night)
How the shuffle works

There are 56 players entering the competition. This is split into 8 Groups of 7 people each. Each player will be allocated a starting Group, with Group 1 being the highest and Group 8 being the lowest.

The competition will be run over 9 weeks, which is split into the following 3 parts: Grading cycles, Semi-finals and Finals.

Grading cycle: A cycle is when each player in a Group completes a match against all 6 other players in their Group. Each grading cycle lasts 2 weeks. Most people will be required to play 3 matches each night. For further information on matches, please see order of play.

After each cycle, all 7 players within the Group will have played each other competitor once, such that all players have played each other once only. From this point, players are ranked within the Group based firstly on number of matches (sets) won, followed by number of games won. In the case of a tie between sets won and games won, then the result of the head to head between the two players will determine who ranks higher. Players are given a rank from 1 through to 7 within their Group, based on the aforementioned criteria. From here, the top two players will move up one Group, while the bottom two players will move down one Group.

Additionally, for Group 1 since there can be no further movement up, to increase shuffling amongst Groups, the bottom 3 players will move down to Group two while the top 3 players from Group 2 will move up into Group 1. Similarly the top 3 players in Group 8 will move up, while the bottom 3 players of Group 7 will move down in each cycle.

This occurs over the course of 6 weeks, split into distinct phases know as Grading Cycle 1, Grading Cycle 2 and Grading Cycle 3.

Semi-Finals: Once Grading Cycles 1, 2 and 3 have been completed, play proceeds in a slightly different manner. Divisions will be made, by combining Groups.

Division 1: Groups 1 and 2
Division 2: Groups 3 and 4
Division 3: Groups 5 and 6
Division 4: Groups 7 and 8

Which division you fell into is based on your position in Grading Cycle 3. From here players will be seeded from 1 through 14 for their division, again, based on Grading Cycle 3 results. Each Division will be split based off seedings as follows:

Division 1 (Odd Partition): 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13
Division 1 (Even Partition): 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

Once the seedings have been made, each partition member will proceed similar to the previous cycles, where they will play each player one only over the course of two weeks, and then be ranked based sets won, then games won, then head to head.

The top two players of each partition will make it into the finals. Competition play for all others who are not in the top two players of each partition ends here, after 8 weeks of play.

Finals: Division finals are made up of the top two players in each division partition. They play for the Division title. Each player will play the three other players once only, for a total of 6 matches to be played. All finals will be played at Parklands Tennis Centre with one division per court. Time allocated for the finals is 3.5 hours to allow for completion, and as such, play will go from 7:30pm-11:00pm or until play is finished, whichever happens first.

The winner and runner up are based firstly on number of matches (sets) won, followed by number of games won. In the case of a tie between sets won and games won, then the result of the head to head between the two players will determine who ranks higher.

Trophies will be awarded to players who placed winner and runner up in each division.


A ‘match’ is a set, where the first player to reach 6 games wins. In the event that the score is tied at 5-5, a tiebreaker will be played, where the first player to reach 7 points wins.

Sudden death deuce will be played on the second deuce, where the receiver gets to choose either the forehand court or backhand court the sudden death occurs on.

While this competition is scored based of the number of sets won, in the event of a tie in sets, it is the player who has won the most games who will be ranked higher, so every game is important to win.


Due to the nature of the singles competition players will be responsible themselves for arranging to find substitutes of a similar standard as them. We will be collecting a list a substitutes which we will distribute to players of the competition. You will need to find a replacement who is a member of Tennis Sydney, who shares a similar ‘peg colour’ to you at Sunday Social. We will have multiple substitutes for different player levels.

If you have more than 3 substitutes, you will not be eligible for the finals. Additionally, you can only have a substitute for one week in the semi-finals in order to qualify for the finals. Substitutions, particular in the semi-finals are approved at the discretion of the Committee to ensure a fair level of play for all players.

Players who enter as a pre-determined ‘team’ are excepted from the substitute rule, unless both players are unavailable to play. Additionally, for players to enter as a team, they must do so before commencement of the competition, or this will not be recognised.


In the case of a washout, all matches will be pushed back to the next week, as opposed to ‘skipping’ a round.

Always assume play is on. If you don’t hear anything, then the competition will still be on. You will be notified in instances where there is a washout.

If there are more than two washouts during the competition, the Committee reserves the right to make a judgement call on the best way to proceed with play. Additionally, if players are unavailable to make the finals due to being unavailable, or washouts occurring to push the competition beyond the washout period, the Committee must determine the best solution for the finals which could include a player having to forfeit their spot in the finals if alternate provisions are not agreed upon.


Please ensure to maintain all standards of sportsmanship during the competition. This includes but is not limited to:

Arriving on time – please make sure you arrive on time. As we are trying to fit in as many matches as possible per night to make the comp run smoothly, this required all players to turn up on time, even if you aren’t the first match. This will allow play to continue even if someone is late so we don’t run behind time.

Calling the ball out – the ball may only be called out if it is clearly and completely out of the court. If you are unsure, then the ball is in. If you do not make the call in a timely manner, then the ball is also in. Out calls must be clear and immediate.
Calling the score – it is the duty of the server to call the score after even point. Ideally both players should confirm the score after each point to avoid confusion later on. The score should be called in a loud and clear manner.

Loose balls – please immediately cease play when any ball comes onto the court from an adjacent court. Make a clear and audible comment such as ‘ball on the court’ and ensure your opponent is aware, to both prevent injury, and clarity around the issue. The point should be replayed where this happens. When this occurs during a second service, the server may start from the begging of the point again, and will have two serves. Additionally, please ensure that you have both balls before you begin your first serve to not delay time. Please ensure efficient collection of balls between points so play can proceed in a timely manner.

Sportsmanship – Please maintain good sportsmanship through the match to create a fun environment for all players. This includes no loud profanities and racquet abuse. Warnings will be given to players who don’t abide by this, and will potentially be excluded from the competition upon repeated offences.


Due to the nature of the competition, there will be people changing location, and group every few weeks. We will need dedicated people to act as captain for the duration of the competition. These captains will be responsible for bringing tennis balls, reporting the scores and resolving on court disputes if requested.

Please work with your captains (who may change throughout the comp) to ensure smooth running of the competition.

New balls

There will be one tin of balls provided per court, per night. New balls should be used at the start of the third match on each court.

Order of play

Play should occur in the following manner each cycle:

In this format Player 2 will have 4 matches in the first week with 2 matches in the second week. If we could have a volunteer for each group in each cycle to be ‘Player 2’ who is comfortable playing 4 matches in one night it would be much appreciated it. Once you have been the dedicated ‘Player 2’ and had four matches once, it will not occur again until the semi-finals.

The match of 2v6 should commence as early as possible after either court is finished and if need be, record the game score and who’s serve it is to continue the match in week 2 of the cycle if time restrictions permit.

Warm up

Warm up should be limited to 5 minutes for each person per match for the first two matches. As all players play at least once within the first two matches, this will allow all players to have a chance to warm up. This means that one person will have 2 ‘warm-ups’ as their opponent will not have had a prior match.

Please stick to this time limit as it will allow smooth running of the competition. Once you have warmed up once, you are not permitted to warm up again (with the exception mentioned above).


Ultimately we wish for all players to play good tennis and have fun! So thanks from Tennis Sydney for participating in this new competition format, the Spring Singles Shuffle!

We appreciate that there may be some teething problems or difficulties associated with trying something completely new, so we’d appreciate your patience and understanding if things don’t all go according to plan. We’d love your feedback on what components you thought were good, and those which you think didn’t work, as well as any improvements you may have so we can make this better next time!