The 5 O’clock Rule – What it is and why we have it
During the year, there are times when our courts are not fully reserved by members during club time. This leaves openings in some scheduled levels. Rather than leave courts unused, the 5 o’clock rule was developed to fill empty slots in a scheduled level with players outside the level for which the courts are reserved.
What is the difference between a Scheduled Player and an Unscheduled Player?
A scheduled player is a member who has reserved or is playing in a block of time for which the level does match his or her rating.
Example: A 3.0 rated player who plays in a time slot scheduled for 3.0s.
An unscheduled player is a member who has reserved or is playing in a block of time for which the level does not match his or her rating.
Example: A 2.5 rated player who plays in a time slot scheduled for 3.0s.
How the rule works:
If a player wishes to play the next day and there are openings in a scheduled level which does not match that player’s rating, the player may sign up under the following conditions:
It is after 5:00 PM and before 9:00 PM on the day before the desired play.
Reviewing a Court Sheet within Chelsea indicates that one or more PB courts are completely open for a specific time slot. Any open Overflow courts are NOT considered available for the 5:00 rule.
The unscheduled player should ask three other unscheduled players to sign up so there is a foursome. Exception: Player (or 2) want to use the ball machine. They would enter Ball Machine into 2 or 3 of the required fields on the 5:00 Rule Request Form.
An unscheduled player will not play with scheduled players unless asked by the scheduled players in a game and agreed upon by all players in that game.
No scheduled player will sit out while an unscheduled player plays with the scheduled groups. Failure to follow this condition may result in disciplinary action.
If additional scheduled players sign up after unscheduled players have signed up, and doing so fills all courts at the desired time slot, the unscheduled players will not play because there will be no courts available. The unscheduled players must remove their names from the court reservation system.
Scheduled levels will ALWAYS have priority.
On Tuesday evening at 5:00 PM, there are PB courts available and a 2.5 player wishes to play on Wednesday when the scheduled level is 3.0. 6 of the 7 PB courts are full at the 3.0 level. This means the unscheduled players may have the empty court – if no more 3.0s sign up before Wednesday play time.
On Tuesday evening at 5:00 PM, at least 1 of 7 PB courts are completely empty and a 2.5 player wishes to play on Wednesday when the scheduled level is 3.0. The unscheduled 2.5 player finds 3 more unscheduled players and all four sign up. By 8:00 PM, 4 more scheduled 3.0 players sign up. Since the scheduled level has priority there will be no room for unscheduled players. The unscheduled players must remove their name from the court reservation system and cancel their play.
Court Etiquette Reminders
Be considerate regarding your sign-up. Remember that others are counting on you to show up and play with them if you have signed up, so be sure to show up. If you have decided not to play, please remove your name as far ahead as you can so other players will know they may be short players.
Move on and off the court quickly. Wait until your entire group is ready to enter or leave before moving through other players' courts.
Rotating in, and the paddle table. The next player to rotate into a game is determined by whose paddle is next in the line of paddles on the paddle table. Please respect this. Do not move paddles or skip over players unless you find yourself continually playing with the same person each game. When this occurs you may move your paddle to the right one position only. Be sure to let someone know what you are doing so no one thinks you are paddle-jumping.
Always be respectful of each other and play schedules.