At the end of the season, when all matches are completed, teams are placed in the order of their wins. This list appears in a table called Current Standings. There is a link to this page on every Team Information Page, upper left corner, above the captain’s name. The top team - or teams - in each flight will advance to the first level of post season play: Local League Playoffs.
USTA Norcal has 17 Areas (for example: Diablo North, Marin, Sacramento, etc.) Within each Area, divisions of play are broken into levels (rating levels 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, etc.). Within each level of play, there may be one or two Flights. More than one flight of the same level in the same area occurs when there are many teams registered. Check the Standings link (under "Team Information" from your team’s page) to see if your level has more than one flight. Flights will be labeled "Local – Flight 1" or "Local – Flight 2", and your team name will have a 1 or 2 at the end.
Local League Playoffs will only be scheduled for two weekends:
If a level has TWO flights:
- Only two matches will be played on the first weekend of playoffs. One team match is played between the top two teams from flight #1, and one team match is played between the top two teams from flight #2. Winners advance to the second round of playoffs, as described below.
- On the second weekend of playoffs only one match will be played between the flight winners, as determined by the first weekend of playoff matches. Home court advantage will be determined by a flip of a coin. The winner of this round of playoffs advances to District Championships.
- EXCEPTION: 2013 Adult 18 & Over league with 16 teams or more, each flight will have a 4 team playoff. After the end of the 2 weekends of playoffs, the winning team from flight 1 and flight 2 will advance to the District Championships.
Regarding the issue of uneven number of teams in two flights, and the resulting "unfair odds" of advancement into playoffs: NorCal divides flights so that all teams play the most local league matches possible during the season. For example, in an area with 18 teams, equally split flights of 9 would only provide teams with 8 matches for the season. To provide more regular season matches for everyone (which allows more players to qualify for post-season play) a division may be split unequally into flights of 6 and 12. In the flight of 6, teams will play each other twice, giving everyone 10 matches. In the flight of 12, teams will play each other once, giving everyone 11 matches. A coin flip determines which teams are placed in the large or small flight.
If a level has ONE flight, there are several playoff scenarios:
- Flights with five or fewer teams have a two-team playoff in one weekend.
- Flights with six or more teams have a four-team playoff. A four-team playoff takes two weekends: the first weekend’s matches are between teams ranked #1 and #4, and between teams ranked #2 and #3. The second weekend’s match is between the winners of the first playoff round, with home court advantage going to the team ranked highest at the end of the regular season.
- Team captains may agree, at the start of the season, to either not have playoffs at all, or to only hold one round of playoffs between the top two teams. Choices must be made at the start of the season and be reported to the area coordinator or office staff.
Higher ranked teams will always be the Home team and must notify the Away team of the date and time of playoff matches by the posted deadline. Posting the match date and time on the web schedule constitutes notification. If the playoff schedule is not yet available on-line, the home team must email the Away captain (with a cc to the Norcal office) by the posted deadline, notifying them of the date and time. Captains may mutually agree to hold a playoff match earlier, but neither captain may demand it. As always, these arrangements should be confirmed by email so there is a written record.
Once an agreement is made, neither captain can demand a change. If the Home captain fails to provide the opponent with a schedule by the deadline, the Away captain may take home court for the playoff match. He/she has TWO days from the posted deadline to notify his opponent of the date and time of the playoff match. All notifications between captains should be made through email (with a cc to the Norcal office). Cooperation between playoff captains in setting up their final matches sets a tone of good sportsmanship between the teams for those very important season ending matches.
No individual is eligible to participate in Local League Playoff competition unless he/she has played at least two matches during the regular season for that team. A forfeited/defaulted match shall count as a match played for the player(s) receiving the forfeit/default, but not for the player(s) who forfeited/defaulted.