About our tournaments

Avondale Tennis Club runs a variety of tournaments throughout the spring and summer. The tournaments have a range of formats so hopefully there should be something for everyone. Here is a brief description of our tournaments.

Seniors, Veterans and Juniors tournaments (also called our Club or Closed tournaments)
These are conventional knock-out tournaments, played over the best of 3 sets and take place throughout the summer. You must submit an entry form for these and the tournament secretary will then arrange the first round draw, allowing for some seeding of players. The draw is displayed in the club house. Players are requested to complete each round by a specified date. The finals are usually played over a weekend at the beginning of September. Club Finals weekend is the major event in the Club calendar each year and refreshments are provided throughout the weekend.

Handicap Tournaments
Like the Club Tournaments these are also knockout events but the stronger players are handicapped by the scoring rules which aim to ensure a broadly equal chance for all players and an opportunity for the lower ranked players to enjoy the thrill of playing in a Final. The scoring rules of these tournaments are quite different from normal tennis! Each rally earns the winner one point; the winner of the set is the first to 31. A match is played as the best of 3 sets. Serving follows the format of table tennis with 5 serves by one player. Every player is given a handicap by the committee, reflecting their ability and this decides how many points they have at the start of each set. A very strong player might even start with a negative score! For the doubles format, pairings are decided at random and then handicaps are assigned. The Handicap Tournaments commence in April with the Finals being played on a Sunday afternoon in June/July. Handicap Finals afternoon is usually an enjoyable event and afternoon tea is served for players, umpires and spectators.

Smiths Cups
The Smiths Cups, for Ladies’ Doubles and Men’s Doubles, are played over one weekend in March/April. The Ladies’ tournament is played on a Saturday afternoon with the Men’s on the Sunday afternoon. The format is a round robin tournament with each pair playing one set against all other pairs. The winners are decided by the number of games won. These tournaments provide an excellent opportunity for competitive tennis between the end of the Winter League season and the start of the Summer League. Entry is by pre-registration on the lists on the Club noticeboard.

American tournaments
We hold American tournaments on each of the 4 public holidays throughout the summer (Easter, two bank holidays in May and August bank holiday). We sometimes add extra tournaments if the calendar allows. These are informal events where you will be on court with different people chosen at random each round. A round comprises 8 games in total with a change of partner after 4 games. Six rounds are usually played with a break for afternoon tea. The emphasis is on social play but small prizes are given to the players winning the highest number of games.

Family tournament
This is a fun event held on a Saturday afternoon in June/July for adults and children. Two members of the same family (e.g. parent and child or maybe grandparent and grandchild) play together as a doubles pair on a round robin basis against other family pairs. There are two categories, based on the age of the child : U12 and U18. Entry is via a sign up sheet on the Club noticeboard and afternoon tea is provided.

Naming of our cups

  • We have traced the Smith’s Cup back to 1957 when Mr Smith was an established player of some standing. He had a daughter, Linda, who was disabled and lived in the first house, as you turned into Albany Road. Mr Smith donated the mens and ladies trophies to the Club.
  • We also have an Albany Cup played for at one of our American Tournaments.
  • And if you are wondering why Albany Road features so much in this description, Avondale Tennis Club- after a brief time in Avondale Road itself – was in Albany Road for some decades in what is now the Russet Drive area.