1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 These procedures were approved by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Federation (“Board of Directors”) on 17 May 1998.

1.2 The Board of Directors may from time to time supplement, amend, or vary these procedures.

 

2. OBJECTIVES

2.1 The International Tennis Federation is the custodian of the Rules of Tennis and is committed to:

a. Preserving the traditional character and integrity of the game of tennis.

b. Actively preserving the skills traditionally required to play the game.

c. Encouraging improvements, which maintain the challenge of the game.

d. Ensuring fair competition.

2.2 To ensure fair, consistent and expeditious review and hearings in relation to the Rules of Tennis the procedures set out below shall apply.

 

3. SCOPE

3.1 These Procedures shall apply to Rulings under:

a. Rule 1 – The Court.

b. Rule 3 – The Ball.

c. Rule 4 – The Racket.

d. Appendix I and II of the Rules of Tennis.

e. Any other Rules of Tennis which the International Tennis Federation may

decide.

 

4. STRUCTURE

4.1 Under these procedures Rulings shall be issued by a Ruling Board.

4.2 Such Rulings shall be final save, for an entitlement to appeal to an Appeal

Tribunal pursuant to these procedures.

 

5. APPLICATION

5.1 Rulings shall be taken either:

a. Following a motion of the Board of Directors; or

b. Upon the receipt of an application in accordance with the procedures set out

below.

 

6. APPOINTMENT AND COMPOSITION OF RULING BOARDS

6.1 Ruling Boards shall be appointed by the President of the International Tennis Federation (“President”) or his designee and shall comprise of such a number, as the President or his designee shall determine.

6.2 If more than one person is appointed to the Ruling Board the Ruling Board shall nominate one person from amongst themselves to act as Chairperson.

6.3 The Chairperson shall be entitled to regulate the procedures prior to and at any review and/or hearing of a Ruling Board.

 

7. PROPOSED RULINGS BY THE RULING BOARD

7.1 The details of any proposed Ruling issued upon the motion of the Board of Directors may be provided to any bona fide person or any players, equipment manufacturer or national association or members thereof with an interest in the proposed Ruling.

7.2 Any person so notified shall be given a reasonable period within which to forward comments, objections, or requests for information to the President or his designee in connection with the proposed Ruling.

 

8. APPLICATION FOR RULINGS

8.1 An application for a Ruling may be made by any party with a bona fide interest in the Ruling including any player, equipment manufacturer or national association or member thereof.

8.2 Any application for a Ruling must be submitted in writing to the President.

8.3 To be valid an application for a Ruling must include the following minimum information:

a. The full name and address of the Applicant.

b. The date of the application.

c. A statement clearly identifying the interest of the Applicant in the question upon which a Ruling is requested.

d. All relevant documentary evidence upon which the Applicant intends to rely at any hearing.

e. If, in the opinion of the Applicant, expert evidence is necessary he shall include a request for such expert evidence to be heard. Such request must identify the name of any expert proposed and their relevant expertise.

f. When an application for a Ruling on a racket or other piece of equipment is made, a prototype or, exact, copy of the equipment in question must be submitted with the application for a Ruling.

g. If, in the opinion of the Applicant, there are extraordinary or unusual circumstances, which require a Ruling to be made within a specified time or before a specified date he shall include a statement describing the extraordinary or unusual circumstances.

8.4 If an application for a Ruling does not contain the information and/or equipment referred to at Clause 8. 3 (a)-(g) above the President or his designee shall notify the Applicant giving the Applicant a specified reasonable time within which to remedy the defect. If the Applicant fails to remedy the defect within the specified time the application shall be dismissed.

 

9. CONVENING THE RULING BOARD

9.1 On receipt of a valid application or on the motion of the Board of Directors the President or his designee may convene a Ruling Board to deal with the application or motion.

9.2 The Ruling Board need not hold a hearing to deal with an application or motion where the application or motion, in the opinion of the Chairperson can be resolved in a fair manner without a hearing.

 

10. PROCEDURE OF THE RULING BOARD

10.1 The Chairperson of a Ruling Board shall determine the appropriate form, procedure and date of any review and/or hearing.

10.2 The Chairperson shall provide written notice of those matters set out at 10.1 above to any Applicant or any person or association who has expressed an interest in the proposed Ruling.

10.3 The Chairperson shall determine all matters relating to evidence and shall not be bound by judicial rules governing procedure and admissibility of evidence provided that the review and/or hearing is conducted in a fair manner with a reasonable opportunity for the relevant parties to present their case.

10.4 Under these procedures any review and/or hearings:

a. Shall take place in private.

b. May be adjourned and/or postponed by the Ruling Board.

10.5 The Chairperson shall have the discretion to co-opt from time to time additional members onto the Ruling Board with special skill or experience to deal with specific issues, which require such special skill or experience.

10.6 The Ruling Board shall take its decision by a simple majority. No member of the Ruling Board may abstain.

10.7 The Chairperson shall have the complete discretion to make such order against the Applicant [and/or other individuals or organisations commenting objecting or requesting information at any review and/or hearing] in relation to the costs of the application and/or the reasonable expenses incurred by the Ruling Board in holding tests or obtaining reports relating to equipment subject to a Ruling as he shall deem appropriate.

 

11. NOTIFICATION

11.1 Once a Ruling Board has reached a decision it shall provide written notice to the Applicant, or, any person or association who has expressed an interest in the proposed Ruling as soon as reasonably practicable.

11.2 Such written notice shall include a summary of the reasoning behind the decision of the Ruling Board.

11.3 Upon notification to the Applicant or upon such other date specified by the Ruling Board the Ruling of the Ruling Board shall be immediately binding under the Rules of Tennis.

 

12. APPLICATION OF CURRENT RULES OF TENNIS

12.1 Subject to the power of the Ruling Board to issue interim Rulings the current Rules of Tennis shall continue to apply until any review and/or hearing of the Ruling Board is concluded and a Ruling issued by the Ruling Board.

12.2 Prior to and during any review and/or hearing the Chairperson of the Ruling Board may issue such directions as are deemed reasonably necessary in the implementation of the Rules of Tennis and of these procedures including the issue of interim Rulings.

12.3 Such interim Rulings may include restraining orders on the use of any equipment under the Rules of Tennis pending a Ruling by the Ruling Board as to whether or not the equipment meets the specification of the Rules of Tennis.

 

13. APPOINTMENT AND COMPOSITION OF APPEAL TRIBUNALS

13.1 Appeal Tribunals shall be appointed by the President or his designee from [members of the Board of Directors/Technical Commission].

13.2 No member of the Ruling Board who made the original Ruling shall be a member of the Appeal Tribunal.

13.3 The Appeal Tribunal shall comprise of such number as the President or his designee shall determine but shall be no less than three.

13.4 The Appeal Tribunal shall nominate one person from amongst themselves to act as Chairperson.

13.5 The Chairperson shall be entitled to regulate the procedures prior to and at any appeal hearing.

 

14. APPLICATION TO APPEAL

14.1 An Applicant [or a person or association who has expressed an interest and forwarded any comments, objections, or requests to a proposed Ruling] may appeal any Ruling of the Ruling Board.

14.2 To be valid an application for an appeal must be:

a. Made in writing to the Chairperson of the Ruling Board who made the Ruling appealed not later than [45] days following notification of the Ruling;

b. Must set out details of the Ruling appealed against; and

c. Must contain the full grounds of the appeal.

14.3 Upon receipt of a valid application to appeal the Chairperson of the Ruling Board making the original Ruling may require a reasonable appeal fee to be paid by the Appellant as a condition of appeal. Such appeal fee shall be repaid to the Appellant if the appeal is successful.

 

15. CONVENING THE APPEAL TRIBUNAL

15.1 The President or his designee shall convene the Appeal Tribunal following payment by the Appellant of any appeal fee.

 

16. PROCEDURES OF APPEAL TRIBUNAL

16.1 The Appeal Tribunal and their Chairperson shall conduct procedures and hearings in accordance with those matters set out in sections 10, 11 and 12 above.

16.2 Upon notification to the Appellant or upon such other date specified by the Appeal Tribunal the Ruling of the Appeal Tribunal shall be immediately binding and final under the Rules of Tennis.

 

17. GENERAL

17.1 If a Ruling Board consists of only one member that single member shall be responsible for regulating the hearing as Chairperson and shall determine the procedures to be followed prior to and during any review and/or hearing.

17.2 All review and/or hearings shall be conducted in English. In any hearing where an Applicant, and/or other individuals or organisations commenting, objecting or requesting information do not speak English an interpreter must be present. Wherever practicable the interpreter shall be independent.

17.3 The Ruling Board or Appeal Tribunal may publish extracts from its own Rulings.

17.4 All notifications to be made pursuant to these procedures shall be in writing.

17.5 Any notifications made pursuant to these procedures shall be deemed notified upon the date that they were communicated, sent or transmitted to the Applicant or other relevant party.

17.6 A Ruling Board shall have the discretion to dismiss an application if in its reasonable opinion the application is substantially similar to an application or motion upon which a Ruling Board has made a decision and/or Ruling within the 36 months prior to the date of the application.