USA Racquetball Rules: A - Tournaments

Sections A through E that follow contain policies and procedures concerning competition, rather than "rules of play" which are subject to the formal rule change procedures. However, some of the topics that follow are still subject to formal rule change procedures.

If possible, all draws shall be finalized at least two (2) days before the tournament commences. Seeding the draw by using the USAR’s current National Rankings is the generally preferred method. The USAR’s current tournament management software can do this automatically. The method used to seed national events may vary slightly from this, but the method used will be published at the USAR’s website prior to it being used.

For USAR National championships, the draw and seeding body shall be chaired by the USAR's Executive Director or another individual they may designate. The body shall consist of the National Tournament Director and other persons who have a good understanding of seeding draws and players’ abilities. The composition of the seeding body shall be approved by the Executive Director. The body should be an odd number of persons so that any tie can be broken. No other persons shall participate in the draw or seeding unless at the invitation of the chair.

In local and regional tournaments, the draw shall be the responsibility of the Tournament Director.

If court times permit, each entrant should be scheduled to participate in a minimum of two matches per division entered. This is usually accomplished by having losers of their first match compete in a consolation bracket of their own division. For smaller draws, consider using a “round robin” draw type. For larger draws, use of “pool play” round robins with a single elimination playoff round can be utilized. See Policy A.6 about how to determine the winner of a round robin event.

Consolation matches may be scheduled at the discretion of the Tournament Director, and information regarding consolation match format should be in writing on the tournament application or else posted at the tournament’s website.

Preliminary consolation matches may be two of three games to 11 points. However, semifinal, and final matches should follow the standard scoring format.

If contestants are entered in more than one division, it is likely that they will be required to play several times on the same day with little rest between matches. This is a risk assumed on entering multiple categories of play. If possible, schedules should provide a reasonable amount of time to rest between matches.

Where the possibility exists of one or more players reaching the finals in multiple divisions, it is recommended that these matches be scheduled far enough apart to assure reasonable rest between the final matches.

If a player is scheduled to play two matches at the same time, then the tournament director will decide which will be played first. It is recommended that the tournament director consult the players involved before making the decision.

After the first round of matches, it is the responsibility of each player to check the schedules that are normally posted on-line to determine the time and place of each subsequent match. If on-line schedules are being used, they will be the official ones. However, if any change is made in the schedule after the tournament begins, the Tournament Director should attempt to notify the affected players of the change -- especially if the revised date or time is earlier than was originally planned.

Finalists must play off for first and second place or determine a winner by some mutually acceptable method. If a third place match is offered, semi-finalists are not required to play off for third place. However, if one semifinalist wishes to play in a scheduled third place match and the other does not, the one willing to play shall be awarded third place. If neither wishes to play, then a double forfeit will be entered, and no third-place award given.

The final places of players or teams in round robin competition are determined in the following sequence:

The winner of the most matches wins the top place.

If two are tied for any particular place having won the same number of matches, then the winner of their head-to-head match is awarded the place that they are tied for in all cases.

If three or more are tied in the number of matches won, the place is determined as follows:

  1. Determine the net difference between the number of games that each tied player won and lost when they played each other. Games played against persons NOT involved in the tie are NOT considered. The player with the largest positive difference in games differential (i.e. games won minus games lost) is awarded the highest place for which there exists a tie.
  2. If a multiple tie of more than two remains after tallying the games differentials (Step 1), determine the net difference between the points that each tied player won and lost when they played each other. Again, points won or lost involving persons NOT involved in the tie are NOT considered. The player with the largest positive difference in point differential (i.e. points won minus points lost) is awarded the highest place for which there exists a tie.
  3. If a multiple tie (more than two) remains after applying steps 1 and 2 above, then the player who scored the highest average points per match is awarded the highest place in question. As always, points scored against persons NOT involved in the tie are NOT counted.

Once any one or more of the three steps described in paragraph c. above have been applied to reduce the number tied for a particular place to two players, then the winner of the remaining two players’ head-to-head match is awarded the higher place for which there exists a tie. For the purposes of determining place, a forfeited match should be treated as a match won in two games by a score of (0,0).

When a round robin event is formed by combining two or more other smaller divisions, an award will not be given for the combined division. However, the outcome of every match in that combined division is important since those relative finishing places will be used to calculate the final order of finish for the players/teams in the divisions they originally entered. The results of all matches played in the combined division may affect the final outcome when the original divisions entered are broken back out from the others to determine final places and awards. All players/teams are encouraged to not only play all matches, but also to play them as if the divisions had not been combined.

USAR's tournament management system automatically performs calculations and place determinations for both single and combined round robin divisions.

Players should not be automatically forfeited from playing future scheduled round robin matches simply because they forfeit an earlier one.

In all USAR sanctioned tournaments, the Tournament Director and/or USAR official in attendance may decide on a change of court after the completion of any game of an on-going match if such a change will accommodate better spectator conditions.

Once all players in a match have been informed what court they will be playing on, singles players are allowed up to total 5 minutes of on-court warm-up time and these warm-up times run concurrently. For doubles, each team is allowed up to 5 minutes for on-court warm-up. While these times do not run concurrently, both teams’ warm-ups must be completed generally within a 10-minute period that starts when the first team is informed what court they will be playing on.

In all USAR sanctioned tournaments, the referee and Tournament Director are empowered to forfeit a match if the conduct of a player or team is considered detrimental to the tournament and the game. See B.5 (d) and (e).

IIn the event of disruptive or threatening behavior on the part of any spectator, relative, parent, guardian, or coach at any USAR sanctioned event, the referee is empowered to address a first offense by applying sanction (a) described below. For additional infractions, the Tournament Director or USAR official in attendance, either of their own accord or at the request of the referee, is empowered to apply either sanctions (b) or (c) as warranted.

For the first offense, the violator may observe, but not speak (as determined by whether the referee hears the person), while the athlete’s match is being played.

For the second offense, the violator may not watch that match in person, but may remain within the building.

For the third offense, violator will be barred from the club for the duration of the tournament, and appropriate authorities advised of the restriction. If a given situation so warrants, the Tournament Director or other USAR official may invoke the (c) sanction immediately and without previous offenses in the interest of general safety.

Return to Index

About Us

  • About
  • Become a Member
  • History
  • Media
USA Racquetball Logo
  • Accessibility
  • Contact Us
  • Financials
  • Support Us
  • Site Map
  • Terms of Use , opens in a new tab
  • Privacy Policy , opens in a new tab
  • , opens in a new tab

© 2023 USA Racquetball - All Rights Reserved.