The major function of KCTL Team Captains is to select opponent pairings for league matches using the guidance of league rules. You will need to become familiar with the members of your team; and realize that even though we have assigned them a particular skill level rating, there can be significant variation within those levels. There will be both strong and weak players within each category.
It is therefore very important that opposing team Captains be knowledgeable of their team members playing levels in order to arrange competitive matches. No one enjoys being beaten badly by a much superior team. And few enjoy a match against an opponent who offers little competition. Both captains need to work together to arrange suitable matches. While everyone wants to be on the winning side, your focus should be more on arranging good matches, than setting your team up to win. Lopsided matches are what has caused people to quit the league in past years when participation dropped to less than half what it has been in recent years.
Related to your function of setting match pairings, you need to maintain some level of communication with your team members to have some idea of who will be showing up on any given Saturday. You may choose to do this by e-mail, or by phone.
Be aware that your first order of business is to arrange the three mandatory matches in accordance with league rules. Then pair up remaining players for additional matches which shall also count toward league standings provided they meet league guidance for acceptable skill matching. Other matches which do not meet acceptable skill matching guidelines may be played as non-counting matches.
Be familiar with the League’s Rules (which are provided separately). Pay particular attention to the rules for matching opponents, and the forfeiture criteria regarding the three minimum matches.
Try to make sure everyone who shows up gets to play, whether it is a counting match or not. If you end up with an odd number of players such that someone does not get a match, you often will find that someone will volunteer to sit out. But if no one volunteers, then you must choose who does not play. Make sure you spread that choice around; i.e., don’t select the same person repeatedly – INCLUDING yourself!! It is NOT your job to “sacrifice” your playing opportunities for others on the team.
Report match results to the League Scorekeeper (who will be identified prior to first week of match play) ASAP so that match results and league standings can be distributed. Report ALL matches played – both those that count toward league standings, and those that don’t (including matches that may be comprised of players from the same team playing a non-counting match among themselves). All match results will be posted whether they count toward league standings or not.
Also report players that showed up, but did not get to play. We want to recognize them, and give the credit for showing up for their team.
Initial team selections are made based primarily upon skill levels, with an effort to group players who are from the same area or have requested to play together. However, Team Captains may propose trading of personnel with other team Captains after the first week of play. Agreed-upon trades should be reported to the League director no later than 4 days after completion of first week’s matches. Trading normally is a matter of grouping people who want to be on the same team (or live in the same area); but sometimes is needed to better balance the skill level of teams. Make sure that trades do not imbalance team skill levels.
One common problem that Captains frequently encounter is having expected players show up late (or not at all). Match pairings can’t really be done until both teams know who is available for play. Encourage your players to be there early (before 0900), which allows them more opportunity to meet and hit with team members that they may not normally be paired with in matches. Let them know that late arrival may result in forfeiture of matches, and/or not getting to play. And make sure they have your phone number, and instructions to call you if they will not be showing up for a match they previously indicated they would be there for.
I also encourage you to gather your team together prior to start of matches to share any info you have for them, and to let them get to know each other. They can also update you on any changes to their planned match attendance dates.
I usually find it worthwhile prior to the first match of the season to have each member do a short self-introduction including some information about their tennis background.
Though we have been very lucky in recent years to have few rainouts, they still are a possibility we have to deal with. We have had little success in the past with getting rainout matches made up. But we do have some guidelines (included in the League Rules), which regrettably are a bit lengthy. But be sure to review them prior to any Saturdays that look like rain is a threat. You don’t want to forfeit matches because your people didn’t show up (without your blessing).
There are several attachments to this package which may assist you in keeping track of your team, and arranging matches:
A Team Member Attendance Schedule form is included in your package which can be used to poll your team members to determine what dates they expect to be available for play. This may reduce your need to contact them prior to every match, and give you some planning ability for upcoming matches. The form also allows you to record if your players have a preference for singles or doubles play. I bring this to each match, and ask players to update their information as needed. I also use it to keep track of who actually did show up, and who did not get to play (if applicable).
Also included in your package is the Team Rosters player list which lists all the Leagues’ players by Team, and by skill level. I suggest you take a copy of this list to each match, and use it to help you match up players. Circle those players in attendance from your team, and your opposing team. This should help you match up players in appropriate skill levels.
Consult with the opposing team captain to determine acceptable player matchups, which can be recorded on the third form provided, the Player Matchup form. At match completion, circle the winning team and record the scores.
Report match results to the League Scorekeeper (will be identified prior to first week of match play). While the “home team” captain is technically responsible for reporting scores, either (or both) captains may report scores as a means of assuring I get the correct results.