How the Tennis Ladder Works

Tennis Ladder Scoring is computed by the 39 point system scoring system:

This system is the based on the classic Leap Frog system, but awards points to the winner and loser.  When you win a player/team, you take their position on the ladder.  This system not only awards the winners, but it awards the losers as well.  This encourages players to play matches to maintain their ladder ranking.  The number 39 represents the maximum number of games that could be played in a match (7-6,6-7,7-6). Here is how it works:

1. If the winner is the higher ranked player/team they receives 39 points minus the number of games the loser won added to there current points.
2. If the winner is the lower ranked player/team, their previous point value is replaced by the value of his opponent's points plus an additional 39 points minus the number of games the loser won.
3. The losers always receives 1 point for each game that he wins.

Example 1:
Jane beats John 6-3, 6-2
Jane had 42 points, John had 56 points
Jane now has 56 + 39 - 5 = 90 points
John now has 56 + 5 = 61 points

Example 2:
Jane beats John 6-4, 6-4
Jane had 40 points, John had 32 points
Jane now has 40 + 39 - 8 = 71 points
John now has 32 + 8 = 40 points

Note: A best 2 out or 3 set match must be played (any score can be submitted in the 3rd set).  For doubles matches, averages are used to determine a team's points.

The online ladder is updated every time a match is entered. 

The gadget spec URL could not be found

Tennis Ladder Rules and Guidelines


Players are responsible for issuing challenges to other players.  It is both players’ responsibility to reconfirm match time and location particularly when matches are arranged more than several days in advance.

Tips for playing lots of matches:

  • Don't wait for players to call or e-mail you.  They're all anxiously waiting for you to contact them!
  • Don't wait until the last minute to try to set up a match.  A lot of potential opponents will already be on the court by then.
  • Contact multiple players.  Use the email function on GTN to email many players or use your personal email.  The players email address is available in their “Player Info”.
  • If a player doesn't respond to your challenge don't assume they aren't interested in playing you.  It's more likely that they simply missed/neglected your message or already had plans.  If you receive a challenge but can't play, it's good courtesy to reply and suggest a possible alternative time.
  • Players must make every effort to make and accept proper challenges both upward and downward.


Although most matches are played on free public courts, if there is a charge for court time, it will be split between the two players.  Be sure your opponent is aware of court time charges before you set up the match or get to the court.

Both players will bring a new can of balls to the match.  The winner of the match will receive/keep the new can while the loser keeps/receives the used can.  If it is decided to do something other than this regarding balls, both players must agree prior to starting the match.

Scoring should be conventional: 2 out of 3 sets, regular scoring with a 12 point tie breaker (first to 7 points by a 2 point margin) used at 6 games all.

If both players agree, a tie-breaker in the format of their choosing can be used in place of a third set.  However, the score of the tie-breaker must be converted to that of a conventional set to be accepted by the ladder scoring software.

If a match can't be played to completion, it must be finished at a later date or forfeited.  Both players must agree on which option.

If a match is interrupted for any reason, it may be continued to completion at another time agreeable to both players from the point at which it was suspended.  Players should attempt to complete suspended matches before they initiate or accept new challenges.

Tip: It's a good idea to e-mail a player the day before playing a match to confirm that you're both on the same page regarding the time and place for the match.  This is particularly important if the match was set up far in advance.


Unless otherwise stated, all competition will comply with USTA playing rules and the Code of Tennis.

If you can't be bothered to read these, at least to the following:

  • If you have any doubts as to whether a ball is out or good, you must give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good.  You should not play a let. 
  • It is your obligation to call all balls on your side of the court and to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and to call against yourself (with the exception of a first service) any ball that you clearly see out on your opponent’s side of the net. 
  • Any “out” or “let” call must be made as quickly as possible. 
  • Do not enlist the aid of spectators in making line calls. 
  • If you call a ball out and then realize it was good, you should correct your call. 
  • To avoid controversy over the score, the server should clearly announce the set score (e.g. 5-4) before starting a game and the game score (e.g. thirty-forty) prior to serving each point. 
  • If the receiver cannot hear the server's announcement of the score, he must ask the server to speak louder.  You can't wait until the server believes he has won the game to try to reconstruct the scoring point by point. 
  • If players cannot agree on the score, they may go back to the last score on which there was agreement and resume play from that point or they may spin a racket. 
  • Do not stall, sulk, complain, or practice gamesmanship.  Try to look like you're having fun, even if you're playing badly.  Your opponent does not want to see you looking miserable, at least in a friendly match, and you're likely to play better if you try to present a positive state of mind.
  • Many of our matches are played at public parks and schools where children are present.  Loud cursing/swearing is not acceptable in these places.  Repeated offenders of this rule will be removed form the ladder.



 The winner should enter the match results on The Global Tennis Network within twenty four hours of completing the match. 

 The match results and subsequent new rankings will be computed and displayed immediately.

 If a match score is entered incorrectly, or is duplicated, a player cannot correct the error themselves.  To make the correction, send an e-mail to explaining the error and what change needs to be made.

 Once a match is entered in Global Tennis Network it will not be deleted if one or both players later decide they want the match "off the books."  Players should agree before they set up and play a match whether it's on the record or just practice.


The South of Raleigh Tennis ladders are run in 4 month seasons (Mar-Jun, Jul-Oct, Nov-Feb).  You can sign up for a ladder at any time during the season.  We run the seasons to determine who is eligible for the end of season prize raffle.  To be eligible for the prize raffle you must meet the requirements in the “Prizes” section.

At the end of the season we will put the eligible ladder participants names in a raffle and draw a winner.  The prize(s) will be different each season.


Rules for eligibility in the end of season prize raffle:

  • Sign up for any South of Raleigh Tennis Ladder.
  • Comply with the Tennis Ladder rules on this
  • Play (and record scores) at least 10 tennis ladder matches in the season.  If you play in multiple tennis ladders, all matches will be counted towards your total.

There is no prize for the winner of a tennis ladder at the end of the season but the leader of the South of Raleigh Tennis Ladder should be addressed as the "Master of the Universe and Supreme Ruler of the Cosmos”.



There are very few restrictions for ladder play.  However I recommend that participants not play the same opponent in back-to-back-to-back matches.  While this recommendation cannot easily be enforced, it is contrary to the spirit of ladder participation to play exclusively with only one or two partners.  Obviously, any system can be abused if participants attempt to "beat the system."  The main goal here is to have a good time and reward personal accomplishment with some small public recognition.  Let's have fun!



Although South of Raleigh Tennis and the ladder sponsors will work hard to make the South of Raleigh Tennis Ladder as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, we assume no responsibility for any actual or perceived negative consequences befalling anyone choosing to participate in the ladder.

By participating in the ladder you agree to abide by all ladder rules and procedures posted on South of Raleigh Tennis Web site (ie. the page you are reading now).  Changes in rules will be promptly posted on the Web site but may not always be communicated to you individually.

We will keep track of legitimate player complaints.  Players that have multiple complaints lodged against them will be advised.  If complaints continue, the player will be disqualified and removed from the ladder.  Player disqualification is at the sole discretion of South of Raleigh Tennis and cannot be challenged or appealed by the disqualified player.  By the time a player is disqualified they will have received ample warnings.  



All players are urged to amicably settle disputes between themselves.   If you can not resolve a dispute and absolutely need someone to help with it, both players should email the facts of the dispute to  South of Raleigh Tennis will make a decision regarding the dispute that will be based only on what is presented from each player.   The South of Raleigh Tennis decision in resolving the dispute will be final and cannot be appealed by either player.