Ladder Rules

Ladders at the RCTA are sponsored by Manhattan Real Estate Agent Lauren Kende. Lauren has 14 years of experience helping Manhattan buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals. Reach out to Lauren any time for personalized and objective advice about any of your real estate needs.

Ladder Coordinator: JT Silberstein -

Challenging: (1) All challenges are made through the messaging system in the RCTA website and the TennisGroups app. (2) At season's start, all players are allowed one free challenge anywhere on the ladder; winners move to that position; losers remain where they are. After this initial challenge, all challenges must me made no more than 8 rungs up on the Open Ladder or 5 rungs up on the Women's Ladder. This number may decrease as the playoffs approach and if it does, the reduced range will be announced to all ladder players. (3) Players must respond to challenges within 48 hours whether or not the challenge can be accepted.  Players should make reasonable efforts to accept challenges about as much as they issue them. The ladder cannot function if everyone only wants to play up and never defend. When a challenged player fails to respond, the challenger should notify the Ladder Coordinator, who will then contact the non-responding player. (4) Matches must be played within one week of the challenge (or two or three weeks in the case of a player with multiple challengers waiting). (5) Multiple back and forth challenges on the same day are not allowed. All players are expected to make every effort to get their matches played.

Scoring: Challenge matches are played to one set, first to 6 games with no-ad scoring. If a game reaches deuce, the receiver chooses between the deuce or ad side. If the score reaches 5-5, the match is decided by a 12-point tiebreak (first to 7 points, win by 2). Players may warmup for up to 5 minutes.

Defaults: If the either player fails to show up for a match or otherwise defaults, notify the ladder coordinator of the date, names of the players, and circumstances and he will make a determination of action after consulting with both players. Depending on the circumstances, the ladder coordinator has broad discretion as to action, including awarding the challenger (assuming he was not the defaulter) a win. In the case of a defaulting challenger, the ladder coordinator may move the challenger down 10 rungs.

Court Time: It is the challenger's responsibility to secure the court.

Recording Results: All results are to be reported in the online system by the winning player. If the challenger wins, then he or she advances to the rung formerly occupied by the loser and everyone else in between moves down one rung. If the challenger loses, everyone stays on their original rung.

Warmups: Limit warmups to five minutes, at which point either player may insist that play begin. Please start promptly.

Balls: The RCTA provides a free can of balls for all challenge matches. You may request this from the gate attendant. The balls must be returned to the gate attendant at the conclusion of the match.

Playoffs: October playoffs will be held to crown two 2024 RCTA Ladder Champions! The Ladder Coordinator has the discretion to determine playoff size as circumstances dictate.

Frequency of Play:  The ladder is intended for players who are interested in competing in matches regularly for the duration of the season.

Problems and Complaints: Players should email the ladder coordinator at to resolve disputes or problems. The coordinator has full authority to settle all ladder issues. Ladder members are expected to comply with decisions. Ladder players are subject to suspension or removal from the ladder for repeated failure to accept challenges, failure to respond to challenges, failure to comply with the decisions of ladder officials, or for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Ladder Coordinator shall decide such matters and the decision shall be final.

Freezing: A vacationing, injured, or otherwise unavailable player must notify the coordinator, who will freeze the spot until notified of the player's return. During this time the player has no obligation to play. Any player who will be away from play for two consecutive weeks or longer will be moved to down ten rungs and frozen. A frozen player will also move one rung down the ladder each time a player lower than them defeats a player above.

Download the TennisGroups app to take the RCTA on the go!