Competition By Laws

Passed October 2013

Updated January 2017

Updated January 2018


1. Definitions:

2.The "NWSL” means the North West Squash League.

3.The "EC” means the Executive Committee of the NWSL.

  • The "Tribunal" means the Player’s Tribunal appointed by the NWSL
  • The "MPC” means the Match and Pennant Chairperson.
  • ‘Member’ means any Venue which has been approved by the NWSL.

  1. Interpretation of By-Laws:

The MPC shall be responsible for the interpretation of the By- Laws, however, the EC shall be the final authority for such interpretations.

3. Penalties for breach of By-Laws.

(a) The NWSL shall have the power to impose penalties for the breach of any of these By-Laws, in any of the following forms: disqualification, suspension, fine, awarding a rubber or match to the opposing team, and/or the deduction of points already scored. The MPC will adjudicate on matters relating to pennant and involving fines and/or loss of points. All other matters shall be referred to the Tribunal which shall adjudicate on all matters which are referred to it by the EC or MPC.

(b) Any member or any person who is a member of a club which plays in the NWSL or any person who is associated with any pennant team who is present at any squash centre when any pennant is being played or its associated events, are being conducted and who aids, abets, councils or procures or who is a party to the commission of any breach of these By-Laws (or the constitution of the NWSL) shall be liable to a penalty as is the principal offender.

The Tribunal shall meet on a specified date and time and all players involved in any matters relating to the Pennant Squash By-laws being considered by the Tribunal shall be required to appear at the Tribunal. Failure to appear will incur an automatic suspension until the offending player(s) attend such a meeting.

  • Fines payable:
  • Procedure for appeals against decisions:
  • Penalty for non-payment of fines:
  • Procedure for protests alleging breaches of By-Laws:
  • Power to demand information:
  • Members to provide Officials and Courts as required.
  • Rules and behaviour of the game.
  • Standards of the courts:
  • Eligibility of players:

The various amounts payable for fines imposed for breaches of any of the By-Laws shall be reviewed annually by the NWSL and advised to members should any changes be made.

As at Jan 1 2018 fines are:

(a) Player walkovers $5 + GST per walkover + court costs for both players,

(b) Team walkovers: 3 player team $15 fine + GST per team + court costs for all players/4 player team $20 fine + GST per team + court costs for all players.

(c) Late result card: $10 + GST to offending court owner

(d) Withdrawal of team after grading: $50 + GST

(e) Failure to provide a minimum of two (2) players/ officials for refereeing duties in Finals: $100 +GST

(f) Change of night on fixture after publishing: $20 +GST

(g) Non- payment of fines: Penalty as determined by NWSL

(a) Any appeal by a member against an interpretation or decision by the MPC and/or EC under these By-Laws must be lodged in writing with the Secretary of the NWSL within seven (7) days from the notification of such decision on the official form.

(b) If an appeal against disqualification or suspension is correctly lodged, the disqualified or suspended team or member shall not be barred from taking part in matches until the appeal has been heard. Should the appeal not be upheld, the decision of the MPC and/or Tribunal shall be enforced as from the date of the original notification of the decision to the disqualified or suspended team or member, or such date as the NWSL decides.

Any member not paying the full amount of any fine imposed under these By-Laws to the Treasurer of the NWSL within thirty (30) days after the notification of the imposition of such fine shall, unless it has appealed within the specified time of seven (7) days, be penalised under the provisions of By-Law 2.

Protests alleging breaches of these By-Laws must be lodged in writing by clubs with the Secretary or MPC of the NWSL within seven (7) days of the occurrence of the alleged breach. Protests are to be accompanied by a $20 deposit payable to the NWSL.

The MPC and/or Tribunal shall have the power at any time to demand from any member information regarding the circumstances under which any match has been played, or in respect to any matters relating thereto.

(a) Any members entering teams in any NWSL pennant competition may be required to make available referees, markers and officials for the finals series of the Pennant Competition, or any other matches held by the NWSL. Unless a satisfactory explanation is offered to and accepted by the MPC, a fine, the amount of which may be varied from time to time by the NWSL (refer By-Law 4), shall be levied against the club of the offending team.

(b) If required by the NWSL, all members must make courts available for a minimum of one match in the final series for each two (2) teams entered in the competition.

(c) Finals shall be allocated on a fair share basis based on: - the number of teams entered in the competition season

- the member’s attendance at 2 of 3 Venue Operator Meetings in the previous 6 months and

- the Venue and Club being currently financial.

(d) Only eligible centres may receive finals.

(e) The MPC shall have the right to appoint and/or change the match that any team may referee and mark in any final series:

(f) There is no requirement that a final must be played at a neutral venue.

(g) There is no stipulation that Referees must come from a neutral member.

(h) Finals venues are not to be changed unless advised by either the MPC or EC.

(a) Matches shall be played under the rules of the game of Squash Rackets as determined by the International Squash Rackets Federation (I.S.R.F.), the interpretation of which shall depend upon the NWSL unless otherwise indicated by these By-Laws, and players shall observe the etiquette and spirit of the game and refrain from unseemly or improper behaviour on or off the court while present at a pennant match and its associated events. (see Code of Conduct – SRV)

(b) The MPC and/or the Tribunal Chairperson shall be empowered to intervene in any match or pennant event where a breach of any By-Law has occurred.

Within the time limits specified by the NWSL, all squash courts to be used for pennant competitions must comply with the standards set down by the NWSL.

  • No player shall be eligible for more than one nomination in each Pennant competition during any one season. Mid Week Pennant Competition is separate to Friday, Saturday Competitions and Thursday Squash. The State Grade competition conducted by the Squash & Racquetball Victoria is viewed as a separate competition to Mid Week Pennant.
  • Clubs are required to pay a Team Entry fee for each team entered in each competition. This fee covers player & team affiliation and competition operational costs.
  • Transfers and limitations of play in competition:
  • Team entries:
  • Power to restrict teams, grade teams and determine number of grades.
  • Promotion principle:
  • Composition of teams and selection of opponent.
  • Pennant match procedure:
  • Dispute over playing order:
  • Starting time and place for playing matches.
  • Power to order replay or alter time of match.
  • Marking and refereeing.
  • Order-of-merit and Pool players:
  • Alterations to order-of-merit:
  • Substitute player in special circumstances.
  • Playing in two teams.
  • Match and Individual Walkovers.
  • Handicap competitions:
  • Postponed matches.
  • Premiership points for 4 player teams
  • Premiership points for 3 player teams
  • Procedure if teams have equal points
  • Eligibility to play in finals.
  • Renting a Referee for Finals:
  • Duties of home team.
  • Procedure for conveyance of results.
  • Player attire.
  • Eligibility of pregnant players.
  • Power to amend or change By-Laws.

State Players playing in Midweek Grade 1 Pennant must fit the parameters set for that Grade and this placement MUST be approved by the M&P.

(b) No player shall be eligible to play before his/her nomination/registration has been approved by the MPC.

(c) Grading Policy:

(i) Players returning to pennant competition after an absence of up to two (2) years, shall not play lower than two grades from where they last played unless approved by the MPC.

(ii) Any player registered after grading and found to be graded incorrectly, shall have all points gained forfeited, together with those points gained by fellow team players playing in a lower position.

(iii) Any player found to be wrongly represented after the Grading meeting by the supply of incorrect information on the entry form shall also be liable to the interpretation in section (ii)

(b)Financial requirements and registration of players.

The financial requirements as determined annually by the NWSL for the acceptance of member’s teams and players in competition shall be as follows:

Each Venue shall pay:

(a) A Bond of $500 by the Venue to be held in trust.

(b) a Venue affiliation fee for the current year (paid in 2 halves).

(c) an entrance fee for each team entered in each competition

.Each Club shall pay:

(a) Players transferring from one member Venue to another may not be nominated for any NWSL competition unless a transfer is lodged with the MPC prior to that player being listed with his/her original Club. If a player has been nominated for their original centre then a transfer will not be allowed unless agreed to by the original centre. Such a transfer must be endorsed by an Executive member or the Court Owner or their representative of the releasing member, prior to the submission to the MPC. Transfers lodged in this manner will only be considered if the player has not entered his or her name with any other member of the NWSL. Transfers are required irrespective of the period of time which has elapsed since the player has played with another member. Transfers are required for players wishing to play in the NWSL who are registered in Pennant competitions conducted in other metropolitan areas.

Notwithstanding anything contained in this By-law, no player shall be allowed to transfer from one member to another or from another area to a member until all financial obligations have been discharged.

Players will not be permitted to transfer midseason once they have played for a club.

Team entries for pennant competitions must be in the form laid down by the NWSL by the dates set down. Any member may be liable to a fine if a player is entered at a No1 position in a team and does not play at least one third of the matches at that position.

(a) The NWSL shall have the right to restrict the number of teams or refuse the entry of teams and/or players from any member and has the right to decide the grading thereof.

(b) If the number of teams entering exceeds the number required to complete the grades, each successive grade shall be divided into sections, in general starting from the top grade until the number of teams entered have been included. This method of determining grades may be varied in exceptional circumstances.

(c) If at the time of grading the number of teams entered in the competition does not divide into an exact number of grades and sections, a maximum of one bye less than the number of teams in each section shall be allocated.

(d) Any member withdrawing a nominated team from a competition after the Gradings have been determined shall be liable to a fine.

(e) No alteration shall be allowed to be made to team member home nights and hours of play after the team entries have been submitted without permission from the MPC and may be liable to a fine as set down in By-Law 4.

The principle of promotion will be followed for all grades. In all grades of one section only the premier team will be promoted to the next higher grade. In grades with sections, the premier teams will be promoted to the next higher grade.

Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, if the relative strength of any team in the following season has changed from the previous season so that it is no longer considered by the MPC to be a team fit for promotion, the MPC may set aside this principle.

In a handicap competition, the Gradings shall be based upon ranking the teams using the first 3 player’s handicaps in each team.

Three or four registered players from each team (dependent on the competition) shall compete and each player shall play a rubber against one of the opposing team. The members of each team will be arranged in the order approved by the MPC, and in every case No.1 player of one team shall play No:1 player of the opposing team. No:2 plays No:2, No:3 plays No:3, No:4 plays No:4.

(a) Captains must advise the opposing captain of the composition of each of their respective teams before commencement of any match.

(b) Each rubber shall be the best of five (5) games played according to the rules of Squash Racquets and these By-laws.

(c) The playing order of rubbers in all grades throughout the season will be rotational but during Finals shall be decided by the tossing of a coin. The team captain winning the toss shall nominate the players for the first rubber, thereafter Captains alternate choice for subsequent rubbers. Subsequent rubbers must be nominated at the completion of the 2nd game of the rubber being played. All six/eight players nominated for the matches should be present at the commencement time unless otherwise agreed by the team captains. In the event that the coin is not tossed before the first rubber, the playing order shall be (4s,) 3s, 2s then 1s unless previously agreed by the two captains.

(d) Dead Rubbers: All players are expected to play whether or not the last rubber is dead. If BOTH players agree not to play, then they are not required to do so but all Court costs must be paid for. If one player wishes to play then play must take place. A player who refuses to play is obliged to pay for his opponent’s court costs.

In the event of any dispute over the playing order of a team, the match shall be played under protest, and the MPC shall determine the matter on receipt of a protest submitted according to these By-laws.

  • All matches shall be played at places approved by the NWSL, and shall commence at the time approved by the NWSL. If play is not commenced within fifteen (15) minutes of the time laid down, the team offended against may claim the rubber by default. A quarter hour’s grace shall be allowed after each rubber for the succeeding rubber to commence. If play does not commence at the expiration of such grace, the team offended against may claim the particular rubber or rubbers also. However, if a rubber is played after the expiration of the fifteen (15) minutes period of grace, the team offended against must advise the team at fault of its intention to claim that rubber prior to the playing thereof, otherwise the result of the playing of the rubber shall stand. If both teams default in entirety, the match shall be cancelled.
  • Time permitting, when there is an interruption to play for any competition, and especially in the event that a Double point round is required, the League will endeavour to play all 3 or 4 Rubbers but will allow any ‘played’ rubbers to stand. Where matches must be postponed and played at a later date, the team should consist of the originally listed players. If this is not possible then permission should be sought from the Match and Pennant Chair for any appropriate alternative players.

The fact that a match is still pending will be included in the Contravention listings as well as being published on the Web site.

The MPC or Tribunal shall have the power to order any match to be replayed, either wholly or partially, and to alter the time for playing any match.

(m)Variation in the place and date of play

No alteration shall be made in the places and dates set down unless with the previous consent of the MPC. Should a match not be played as so arranged, then the team in default shall be deemed to have been defeated, provided however, that the question as to whether a team is in default or not shall be decided by the MPC.

Marking and refereeing of pennant matches shall be carried out by the members of each team unless otherwise agreed by the team captains or as directed by the MPC or Tribunal Chairperson. A person from each team nominated by their respective team captains shall officiate at each rubber, the roles of marking and refereeing being alternated for each consecutive rubber. The competing players may not ask for a change of referee.

Note: If the captains fail to agree, the roles of the marking and refereeing shall be decided by the toss of a coin.

When required, emergencies must be filled by a member from the next available grade below in Midweek competitions or from the player pool. Pool players must be approved prior to play by the MPC. In a handicap competition Approved Fill Ins may be used providing they fit the season’s playing parameters. Any newly registered player who was not included in the original nomination of teams for grading, can only be included in a team with the permission of the MPC (see By-Law 12) up to Week 4 or as a Replacement player, again permission must be sought from the MPC. Such inclusions will not be permitted to strengthen a team beyond the standard of the particular grade.

(a) The MPC has the right to alter the order-of-merit of any member at anytime. No alteration to order-of-merit will be permitted without the permission of the MPC.

(b) If a member considers that the order-of-merit needs adjusting, details of the proposed adjustments and the request to alter the order of the team must be received in writing on the Player performance sheets from the Secretary of the Club before the last match of the first half pennant season or before the beginning of the next review period. In considering alterations to the order-of-merit, members should note that only in exceptional circumstances will a player who has achieved more wins than losses playing in a particular position in the team in matches during the first half pennant season or review period be permitted to play in a lower position in the second half season of matches. If approved, the new order of players will be effective from the first match of the second half pennant season or next review period and will remain effective until the completion of the competition, including the final series.

(c) Handicapped players Thursday night: All team members must play in descending handicap order. Where 2 players are of the same handicap, a choice must be made about who shall take the higher position. The players must remain in that position until the next review period.

Where a match has commenced and a team member nominated as per By-Law 19 is unable to commence his/her rubber, due to sudden illness, accidental disablement, or any good and sufficient reason, a substitute player may be nominated to take their place, providing that the proposed substitute is eligible under these By-laws.

Note: If no substitute player is available, a forfeit shall be given.

No player shall be permitted to play with more than one team in the same round of a pennant competition except in the following circumstances.

(a) The MPC was contacted and provided permission for such player to play before the match takes place.

(b) The player nominated to play, would be capable of giving his/her opponent a reasonable contest. If it is that the player nominated to fill-in is of an unacceptably weak standard then the opponent may appeal to the

MPC for a refund of their court fees. The appeal must be attached to the results sheet and submitted with the results to the records officer.

(c) There shall be noted on the result card that the player comes from a lower grade and which grade and team the player is registered with.

(d) The player to fill-in may play with the higher graded team before his/her own team if it is known in advance that the higher grade team needs a replacement.

(a) If any team receives a match walkover from any other team, it shall be awarded all appropriate rubbers, games and points.

(b) In the event of a default occurring in any match which has commenced, the team not defaulting shall be awarded all incomplete rubbers, games and points.

(c) In the event of a forfeit of an individual rubber being given in a match which has already commenced, the team not defaulting shall be awarded all rubbers, games and points competed for by the players and lower positions in the two teams. The MPC may waive this ruling if the circumstances causing the forfeit are deemed to be of an extreme or sound nature.

(d) If any team gives a match walkover, the team’s club shall be fined. Any team giving three match walkovers shall be disqualified and the club liable for a future fine.

(e) In addition, each team which forfeits or grants a walkover will pay for each rubber forfeited or lost by walkover.

(f) If a player fails to turn up and is positioned above the number three position, a player is permitted to play a second time provided the match has not started. In these circumstances the first match shall be considered a walkover and all fines and court costs shall be levied against the offending team.

(a) Handicaps will adjusted regularly using a fixed review period.

(b) Players must play in descending handicap order but may not play below their nominated position unless special permission has been sought and obtained from the MPC.

(d) Players with the same handicap may choose in which position to play but must maintain that position for all of the review period.

(e) Cross grading is not permitted unless special permission has been sought and obtained from the MPC.

(f) New players will be subject to an immediate handicap change if the MPC believes the original handicap allocated is markedly incorrect, otherwise new players will be reviewed after a second match against 2 ‘benchmark’ players.

(g) Returning Masters players will be allowed to negotiate their returning handicap but will be subject to ongoing scrutiny for the first review period.

(h) For matches with differential handicaps, one player will always start off a negative and the other player shall start off at zero. If a player is still at negative at the end of the game, the final score shall be 15-0.

(i) Walkovers:

(a) A Walkover can be taken at any position.

(b) The team giving a Walkover does not have the right to chose where that Walkover is taken.

(c) The team given the Walkover can choose to list and play any players of any handicap but players must always play in descending order.

(d) The Walkover is recorded as: A Walkover was given by ….(Club)…

(e) On any Finals night where a Walkover is to be given, the offended against team must have 3 eligible players attend for the evening.

In the event of a match being postponed after play has commenced, all rubbers already decided shall stand.

  • For all matches played during the competition, premiership points shall be awarded according to the following formula:

Result Winner Loser

Per match 3 - 0 6 0

Per match 3 - 1 5 1

Per match 3 - 2 4 2

Team Bonus 2 0

To decide the winner of any match, rubbers shall be first counted, then games, then if necessary, points.

(b) Pennant Premiership shall be decided by the following:

Final Four or Final Three - whichever system is decided on, finals may not exceed three (3) playing rounds. The EC shall determine whether a final three/four will be played.

  • Midweek competitions
  • Thursday Handicap competition:

Premiership points will be allocated on the basis of games first then points with a further team Bonus of 2 points for the winning team.

Premiership points will be allocated on the basis of games first then points with a further team Bonus of 2 points for the winning team.

If in the event of two or more teams being equal on the premiership ladder at the conclusion of the home-and-away matches, the final order of such teams shall be determined by comparing the proportion of in:

  • 3 player teams
  • 4 player teams:

games won to games lost for each team and, if they are equal, the proportion of points won and lost shall then be compared.

Rubbers won to rubbers lost, then games won to games lost for each team and, if they are equal, the proportion of points won and lost shall then be compared.


(a) All players playing in Finals must have been registered within the first 4 weeks of play unless they have been granted permission to play by the MPC and are an acknowledged Replacement player. Replacement players must have played more than the requisite qualifying matches where possible.

(b)To be eligible to play in the final series of a grade, a player must have played at least one third of the total number of matches played by the team during the season. Any player who plays sufficient games to qualify for finals in the higher grade will not be permitted to return to his or her original side.

(c) As a general rule the eligibility will be as follows:

18 week season - 6 matches

18 week season with Bye - 5 matches

16 week season - 5 Matches

15 week season - 5 matches

If a player has not met the base qualifying criteria they will not be permitted to play in the finals under any circumstances.

(d) No player, however, may play in the same final match of two grades.

(e) Each team playing in Finals must have 3 players RAP qualified in a 3 player team and 4 players RAP qualified in a 4 player team in the current 4 year period for that team to be eligible to play in Finals. Unqualified RAP Teams will be highlighted on the Ladder from week1. Any RAP unqualified teams are still required to fulfil Finals Refereeing and marking obligations. Teams defaulting will be fined.

(f) Once a Fill-in from a lower grade has played and qualified in a higher team, then that player will be deemed to belong to the higher graded team. If that player was originally listed in the lower graded team, he/she will be eligible to play Finals.

The team scheduled to Mark and Referee Finals may rent a Referee to substitute Refereeing for them, or may rent 2 Referees to Mark and Referee. The scheduled team is eligible for all costs incurred.

The playing team Captains, the Captain of the scheduled Refereeing team and the Match & Pennant Chairperson must be informed 72 hours in advance that paid Referees are to be used and in what capacity.

Where a playing team wishes to rent a Referee they must inform the opposition playing team 72 hours in advance and are eligible for all costs incurred. The playing team renting the Referee is also obliged to inform the scheduled Marking and Refereeing team and the Match & Pennant Chairperson of the proposed change 72 hours in advance.

(aa) Draws in finals

In the event of a draw in the Final Series:

In a 4 player team grade, a further game should be played by the last players to determine a result.

This should take place within 90 seconds of the last match’s completion.

In a 3 player team grade, where games and points are equal, the Winning team shall be that team with 2 rubbers

(bb)Fill-ins for Finals

(i) Handicap competitions:

No fill-ins will be allowed in finals for this competition.

(ii) Midweek competitions:

(a) Fill In players will commence with a game lost to zero.

(b) If a fill-in is required for a Final the player must come from a side below, the player must be eligible under By-Law 12, and must have prior approval from the MPC.

(c)If the player comes from the next grade below, the eligible players must be at a No: 3 position or below. If the player comes from a team 2 grades below then the fill in may be a No 2 player and so forth in a ‘steps and stairs’ progression.

(d)If a team has been eliminated from a Final, then players from that team will become eligible to play as Fill Ins for another team providing they meet all other criteria and are subject to the above (bb) criteria.

The home team shall supply the court and at least one new squash ball of a type approved by the NWSL unless otherwise directed by the NWSL. The home team shall fulfil any other requirements set down by the NWSL.

(a) Captains shall be responsible for recording the results accurately either on a results sheet or on a computer, which is then conveyed to the results officer.

(b) The results sheet must be signed / checked by the captain or his or her representative. The inference is that the signee agrees with what has been recorded and that it is accurate. This includes correct spelling, playing order and addition of scores.

(c) The NWSL requires match results to be emailed to the Records Officer within the appropriate time framework as set out below -

Midweek results must be in by Wednesday 5.00pm.

Thursday results in by Friday 5.00pm.

Junior results in by Saturday 1.00pm

(d) When sending results, a request for a read receipt is required.

(e) If results are not received in time, then the Venue Operator will be liable for a fine of $10 + GST for each late result and a “no result” will be displayed against the teams involved on the Premiership Ladder.

(f) In the event that a result card/email is falsified and signed by the offending teams, then both captains and other players involved may be required to appear before the Tribunal. Penalties may include loss of points for either the offending match or for all points won during the season and/or player’s suspension.

The following ruling is in accordance with the I.S.R.F ruling. (a) In all matters of judgement or opinion arising from the interpretation of this clothing rule, the decision of the referee shall be final except where an item of clothing has been deemed acceptable and approved by the I.S.R.F. or SRV.

(b) Playing clothing shall consist of a dress or shirt and shorts or skirt, socks and playing shoes. Headbands and/or wristbands are optional. Other garments such as part or all of a tracksuit may be worn during play with permission of the referee.

(c) All clothing shall conform to the acceptable standards of decency and cultural/religious tradition of Australia as adjudged by the referee.

(d) Players may wear clothing of any colour or combination of colours.

(e) Any jewellery or watches worn by a player shall not be so conspicuous or brightly reflecting as to distract or unsight an opponent and shall not be potentially dangerous.

(f) Appeals against the standard of clothing should be directed to the referee prior to the match for them to adjudicate.

Pregnant women are required to provide a doctor’s certificate specifically stating they are allowed to play competitive squash.

The EC shall have the power to amend or change the By-Laws as is deemed necessary at any time.