Inter-Collegiate Competition Rules

  1. General

    1. A season starts on Sunday of Week 2 in Michaelmas term (MT) and finishes on Saturday of Week 8 in Trinity term (TT), with the pre-season during 1st week of MT when the play-off matches shall be played.
    2. In each season, there will be two competitions: the Leagues and Cuppers, as described below.
    3. Leagues

      1. The Leagues will take place throughout Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms.
      2. There will be three team events: Men's, Women's and Mixed.
      3. The Leagues shall be conducted as a group tournament, with the structure described in Appendix A.
      4. Each team shall play the other teams in their division once, except those in a 4-team division shall meet each other twice.
      5. The rules regarding promotion and relegation are stated in Appendix B.
    4. Cuppers

      1. Cuppers will be held during Hilary and Trinity terms.
      2. There will be two team events: Men's and Women's (no Mixed).
      3. Cuppers shall be conducted as a single-elimination (knockout) tournament.
      4. The semi-finalists from the previous season shall be seeded and will be placed in different quarters of the draw.
  2. Entries

    1. Entries shall be made to the Leagues & Cuppers (L&C) Secretary by College Captains before Friday of Week 1 in MT for the Leagues and Cuppers.
    2. Entry may not be successful unless the fee has been paid.
    3. Only one team may be entered in each event in the Cuppers, whereas more than one is possible in the Leagues although only one is guaranteed. If more than one team is entered, they must be ranked ('A', 'B', ... ) according to their playing strength.
    4. The L&C Secretary may limit the number of entries, depending on the number of fixtures that can be accommodated. In that case, the A-teams take priority to the B-teams, etc., with those in the higher divisions favoured.
    5. New teams entering the Leagues must start in the lowest division, except those re-entered.
    6. No more than two colleges may combine to form a coalition. The same combination must remain for the whole season, i.e. for both Leagues and Cuppers. Please note that new partnerships or separation may lose the relevant teams their current positions.
  3. Teams/Players

    1. A team shall consist of at least four players; however, only four are required in a particular match - 4 men in the Men's, 4 women in the Women's, and 2 men + 2 women in the Mixed.
    2. The four players shall form 2 doubles pairs, ranked '1' and '2' in order of playing strength. Any two of them shall further play as 2 singles players, also ranked '1' and '2'. Additional player(s) may be brought in to play these singles instead. No individual can play in both doubles pairs and/or as both singles players in a match. N.B. In the Mixed Event: (i) a doubles pair shall be formed by a man and a woman (ii) one of the singles players shall be a man and the other a woman.
    3. A player can choose to play for either the Men’s or Women’s team, as best describes their gender identity. If necessary, they may change up to twice per season.
    4. Players are expected to represent their own college. Those who have no college affiliated or those at a college that does not have a team may ask to be assigned a team and play as an 'associated member'. A player may choose the team they join in agreement with the President and the Secretary or they can be randomly assigned. Only one associated member is allowed to play in a single match.
    5. Players who have been awarded any form of Blues Status in Badminton are not eligible to play in the Leagues, but may compete in the Cuppers.
    6. Women can be members of a Men's team if their college has entered no Women's team.
    7. Substitution of players may be done according to the rules stated in Appendix C.
  4. Matches

    1. College Captains shall be informed of the fixtures by the L&C Secretary via e-mail at least 3 days before their scheduled matches.
    2. All matches will be scheduled to be played at Iffley Road Sports Complex during a Clubnight session. However, they can be done at different places/times if agreed by both captains. The rules regarding match postponement are stated in Appendix D.
    3. The Laws of Badminton as introduced by the BWF (approved at the May 2010 AGM) shall be used, unless stated otherwise.
    4. A fixture/match contains 6 rubbers (4 doubles & 2 singles), each of which is a single game of 21 (rally-) points. If the score reaches 20-all, the winner is the first pair/player to 2 clear points or whose score reaches 30 first.
    5. The order of play is as follows (home team placing first):
      1. Doubles 1 vs 2
      2. Doubles 2 vs 1
      3. Doubles 1 vs 1
      4. Doubles 2 vs 2
      5. Singles 1 vs 1
      6. Singles 2 vs 2
      This may be altered under the agreement of both captains. If a team is found to deliberately order their pairs/players incorrectly, it shall forfeit the match.
    6. The teams shall provide their own shuttlecocks: feather or synthetic may be used. If there is any disagreement, the default shall be plastic for the Leagues and feather for the Cuppers.
    7. Please refer to Appendix E for unplayed or incomplete matches.
  5. Results

    1. College Captains are expected to maintain accurate records of the matches played by their team(s) in case of a tie on points within a League. This should include the number of games and points won and lost, and the list of players involved.
    2. Please send a copy of results to the L&C Secretary via internal mail or e-mail as soon as possible so that the updated and accurate results may be published.
    3. The team who wins most rubbers is the winner of the match, and the other loser. A match can be a draw in the Leagues, but not in the Cuppers nor the play-offs. In which case, the winner is determined by:
      • Points difference (won-lost).
      • If equal, the winner of the Doubles 1 vs 1 shall be the winner of the match.
    4. In the Leagues, one point is awarded for each rubber won.
  7. Appendices

    1. League Structure

      1. A League contains an appropriate number of divisions, determined by the Leagues & Cuppers Secretary, in order to accommodate the maximum number of teams entered in that particular year.
      2. Each Division shall consist of six teams, but may vary between four and seven for the bottom two divisions.
    2. Promotion & Relegation

      1. At the end of season, the teams shall be ranked in descending order, within their division, by:
        1. the number of points awarded within the season
        2. the number of matches won
        3. the number of rubbers won
      2. If tied, the winner of the match between them shall be ranked higher.
      3. The top two teams in each Division are promoted, while the bottom two are relegated.
      4. The team finishing top of their Division may challenge the team who came second in the upper Division to play off a match during the pre-season. If the higher placed team wins, both teams are promoted as normal. If the challenging team wins, the challenger is promoted in place of the higher team. The higher team then remains in the same Division and is leapfrogged by the challenging team.
      5. There may be extra promotion in case that a team in a higher Division pulls out.
      6. Likewise, extra relegation may happen in the case of re-entries. However, the promotion of the top team and the relegation of the bottom team are always guaranteed.
      7. The re-entry team shall be placed where they left the competition, but one Division lower for each season not participating.
    3. Substitution

      1. In the Leagues, substitution can only be made by a player (of same gender) from a weaker team. Nevertheless, a maximum of one woman is allowed to substitute a man in a Men's match, without precluding her from playing in the Women's team.
      2. Once a player has played for a stronger team more than once, they may not play for a weaker team. However, they may be promoted from a weaker to a stronger team.
      3. Breaking the above rules may result in point penalties as determined by the L&C Secretary.
    4. Postponement

      1. If a team cannot present four players for a match, they may ask for a postponement from their opponent, who must accept the request if it is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled time. The opponent may claim the match in the case of late requests.
      2. The team who asks for postponement is responsible for the rearrangement of the match, including the booking of the courts. The match must be done before the end of season in case of the Leagues, and at least 72 hours before the next scheduled match for the Cuppers.
      3. Failure in the reschedule will result in forfeiting the concerned match, unless enough evidence has shown that it is at the opponent's fault.
      4. A team may postpone a maximum of 2 matches at a time before having to forfeit one.
    5. Incomplete Matches

      1. A team may claim the match in the absence of their opponents after 20 minutes of the scheduled start time if no advance notice has been given. Should a team not turn up without a prior warning more than once, they may be removed from the competition.
      2. In the event of a fixture being incomplete due to a late start, with a team at fault, their opposition may claim any rubbers not completed or unplayed. This is also true in the case of injuries.
      3. If less than four players are present for a team, they shall play the maximum number of rubbers possible and forfeit the rest.
      4. If neither teams can make the scheduled time and no reschedule is possible, the result shall be read 0-0 for the Leagues, and no winner for the Cuppers.