Guidance on
Time-Affected Matches

The NDBA Leagues Rules state the following:

10. Play shall start at the home team's notified time. Should a pair be unable to play within 15 minutes of when required, the non-defaulting team may claim that rubber. If not started half an hour after the notified time, the match can be claimed by the non-defaulting team. No players arriving more than one hour after the notified match start shall be allowed to take part without the consent of the opposing Captain.

(Amended 28/4/2014)

14. ... Rubbers shall consist of the best of three games scored to 21 points with setting. Where there is only one court available for the match, or where there is any possibility that there will be insufficient time to complete three games rubbers, it shall be the responsibility of the captains to decide BEFORE the match how many games shall constitute a rubber. If there is any disagreement the match shall consist of two game rubbers, each game to 21 with setting. A two game rubber shall be halved if each pair wins one game. Rubbers not played or completed due to insufficient time will not be scored. (Amended 28/4/2014)

Whilst these are clear and remain the formal rules, this guidance has been provided to assist clubs, teams and players to operate them when there is a perceived need to invoke them. Badminton in the Newbury & District leagues is played on a friendly basis; every attempt should be made to continue this tradition, but on the rare occasions that disputes do arise, following this guidance may help. The NDBA Executive Committee will always wish that all rubbers of all fixtures are played and in a competitive but friendly manner. All club officials and team captains should be familiar with this guidance.

The most important point is to make sure that information is available before any issues arise; this is the best way of preventing them from doing so. Home-team start and finish times are published in the handbook and on the website. A home-team captain should confirm these times on greeting the visiting team, but if this is forgotten, or assumed, a visiting-team captain may politely seek confirmation . If there is any alteration to the notified starting time, this should be communicated to the visiting (and home!) team by a home-club official as far in advance as possible. If there is any alteration to the published finishing time (earlier or later) this should be advised by the home-team captain on greeting the visiting team; such an alteration may affect the number of games per rubber to be played (Rule 14).

Players have a responsibility to advise their team captain as far in advance as possible of any reason that they will not be available at the notified (or altered) start time and their anticipated arrival time. Captains should share this information with each other as soon as they know it. If the delay is genuine and unavoidable (eg. traffic or weather conditions or child-minding problems), every effort should be made by both teams to accommodate it by the adjustment of playing order (the rules allow this flexibility), use of additional courts (if available) etc.

All players and particularly captains, should keep themselves aware of the time throughout the match, getting quickly on to free courts and minimising knock-ups to ensure a timely finish.

If all this fails, and the captain of a defaulting team considers that Rule 10 may have been breached without possibility of an agreed recovery, the best course of action is for that captain to apologise and offer the rubber or match or prohibition of a late player to his or her opposite. If this is not done, and the captain of the non-defaulting team wishes to claim rubber, match or prohibition, then this should be done in a factual, non-aggressive manner as soon as possible after the default has occurred; it should not be left to the end of the match. A note of the circumstances with relevant timings etc. should be made. Whilst this may (hopefully will not) result in a slightly soured atmosphere, it removes the possibility of the claim being perceived to be made to alter the final result (eg. turning a loss into a win).

If possible, brief reasons for the claim should be written on the match score sheet for the information of the NDBA Fixture Secretary; include, for example, arrival and start times. The signature of the captain of the defaulting team on the score card will be taken to indicate acceptance of the default. Should the claim be disputed, this should be stated on the signature line (eg. with the words “claimed default disputed”) and initialled by the captain.

A follow-up telephone call or e-mail to the Fixture Secretary would be helpful even if there is no dispute. In the event of a dispute, the disputing captain (preferably) or club should contact the Fixture Secretary (or, if unavailable, another NDBA official) as soon as possible (eg. the next day) to explain the circumstances; wherever possible this should be in writing (includes e-mail).

The Fixture Secretary will make a final ruling, consulting other members of the Executive Committee if necessary, and let both teams know as soon as possible.

In summary:

• Badminton is a friendly sport (there are more important things in life!).

• Clubs, team captains and players have responsibilities.

• Provide or seek information as early as possible.

• Do everything possible to play the whole match.

• Admit it if your team is in default.

• If you claim, be polite and do so early.

• If you dispute the claim, make this clear and provide information quickly.

NDBA Executive Committee
September 2004