Events & Competitions > Competition Rules > IC Junior Challenge Rules

The International Club (IC) 16 & Under Junior Challenge


 Format, rules, regulations and advice to potential host venues and organisers - updated 6th August, 2014.


Event Title: The event will be called “The International Club (… add region here)   16 & Under Junior  Challenge”. This can be abbreviated to The IC 16 & Under Junior Challenge and incorporate an International Club sponsor’s name in the title, but only with permission from the IC Council.

The title of the Final shall be “The IC World-wide Junior Challenge Finals”


Event jurisdiction: The event has been developed by the IC Council who own the rights and are responsible for the rules and regulations under the Rules of Tennis adopted by the ITF and the approved Code of Conduct


The event will be overseen by a member of IC Council and appropriate people co-opted for the promotion of the event.


Each Challenge will be an official IC event, under the jurisdiction of the local IC and must be marketed and advertised as a specific International Club event.


There will be an overall Event co-ordinator and an on-site venue Tournament Director and Referee, responsible for the promotion and organisation of the event and the rules and regulations on a local basis.


Event format: Up to 6 events to be played every 2 years – one on each continent.

European – Australasian – North American – South American, African and Asian


Composition of Teams: 2 girls and 2 boys in each team with an adult captain/coach


Rules for taking and playing reserve players (ie. maximum two additional players per team – one girl player and one boy player - total 6 players per team).


  • Reserves count as the number 3 players in the team  before selection
  • Reserve players can play doubles without restriction
  • Reserve players can only play singles if the player originally appointed to the team suffers an injury, or extreme exhaustion, and this would be at the discretion of the Referee. Maximum position number 2.
  • If a reserve player replaces an original player for a singles match, the replaced player would not be able to play singles or doubles during the rest of that day, and he/she would only be allowed to play doubles on the remaining days of the Challenge.
  • The reserves would be present at the expense of the
  • IC or Federation concerned and no extra expense will be borne by the host country


Playing format:

Each match will be two sets, with a 10 point tie-break instead of a third set if the match is one set all. Unless there are exceptional circumstances (ie bad weather/bad light),  all games will be played out with full advantage.



Final positions in any group will be decided by tie wins. 


NB: Number of sets won , will not be taken into account.

Three versions of the Regional Challenges are available:

  • If 6 team event, each team plays the others over 5 days (round robin)
  • If 4 team event, either each team plays the others over 4 days (round robin) or two teams play and decide who goes through to play for the final Challenge, while the others play off for places.
  • If 8 team event, two sets of 4 teams play for the semi final and the winners play off for the title. Meanwhile the losers play each other for places

It is not possible to play the event with 5 teams as it means a team has a day with no match each day. In this case a second local team should be formed by the host IC.


Each country will play a tie against another country which will consist of six matches: 

two boys singles

two girls singles

one boys doubles

one girls doubles 

Each match is worth one point.  The country winning the most matches wins the tie. 

If the result is 3 matches all, there will be a 10 point match tiebreak played by one mixed doubles pair from each side (captain to choose players) to decide the winner of the tie.

In “round robin” play, the final positions in any group are decided by the number of ties won. (one point for each tie won)


 If two or more teams have won an equal number of ties, the following process is to be used to decide the positions within the group, using the 10 point match tiebreak mixed doubles:

   a) If two teams have equal points, they play a 10 point match tiebreak mixed doubles to decide

   b)  If three teams have equal points, a draw is made and two teams play a 10 point match tiebreak mixed doubles, with the winner playing the third team. 

   c)  If four teams have equal points, a draw is made to see who plays whom and the winners play off using the 10 point match tiebreak mixed doubles.
Captains may change the mixed doubles pairings for each individual match.


The spirit and principle of this is that tennis decides the winners , rather than mathematics, and it makes it more transparent and very dramatic.

The winners of each regional challenge event will be invited to compete in the ‘IC Challenge World-wide Finals’ the year following their event.



Only the top 2 nominated players will be taken into account for seeding purposes, as the third player if there is one, is only an optional reserve .


Event age group: The event is for the promotion of the game to the 16 & Under age group. i.e. a player has to be 16 & Under in the year of the competition. If the team wins the regional event and is competing in the finals, the same players are allowed to be 17 at the time of the tournament. If substitutes are required, they must be 16 and under and not have reached their 17th birthday in the year of the final


An IC Sportsmanship award may be given to one player (one girl and one boy if deserving) at the end of each Finals event.( captains to nominate any of opposing teams’ players  and local committee to adjudicate)

Qualification: teams will be chosen and entered by their individual IC, in conjunction with their National Tennis Federation. Teams entering the Challenge do so with the implication that, if they qualify, they will definitely send a team to the Finals.


Entry fee: There may be an entry fee paid to the host organiser for regional challenges, as laid out in the organisers’ conditions of entry.


The European Challenge is totally sponsored by The Compass Group, who also make a contribution to subsidise the air fares of players and their coaches travelling to the Finals.

The IC Junior Challenge event overall is self-financing and not dependent upon the Council for funding. However, the Finals are subject to a small Council grant and small grants are also available from the Junior Challenge budget for Regional Challenges, by reference to the Junior Challenge world-wide coordinator.

Host organiser: The host organiser selected by the IC Council will be responsible for the following:


  • To structure the playing format of the event in agreement with the overall Tournament Director and IC Council committee.
  • To be responsible for the organisation of the event including, suitable venue with appropriate number and standard of courts depending on agreed number of participating countries.
  • To work within the budget set by the Council for the European Challenge and otherwise to secure local sponsorship for the staging of a Challenge. (see Guidance for Staging a Major IC Event on the Council website for specific grants available)
  • To run the event as approved by the IC Council co-ordinator responsible.
  • To provide all teams of 2 boys and 2 girls and 1 Captain with free accommodation and meals during the duration of their stay within the sponsorship terms.
  • To make every effort to collect and deliver each team from/to the airport.
  • To provide one full day of practice prior to the start of the event.
  • To provide 4 new balls per match and for there to be practice balls and courts available free of charge.
  • To provide appropriate physio/medical/first aid assistance on site in case of injuries or illness.
  • To provide a restring service for players from the day of arrival at the expense of the players.
  • To provide water for on court refreshment.

·         To communicate to all Captains that a Captains’ meeting will be held prior to the start of the event to explain all aspects of the competition.

  • To allow the Captains to sit on court with their player(s) but to insist that they are only allowed to talk to their own players and only at the change-overs and not interrupt or influence play.
  • To provide suitable prizes or trophies for the winners and runners up within the sponsorship terms. NB There is one World-wide IC Junior Challenge Trophy for the winning team , which is kept permanently at Wimbledon, between finals. 
  •  To provide a good social programme for the players (this aspect is very important) and for the sponsor’s clients or guests. (This could include Pro-am events for the participants as well)
  • To ensure the event has the necessary insurance cover.
  • To ensure the players have sufficient security at the venue and hotel/accommodation.
  • To stage an event for handicapped and/or disadvantaged youngsters prior to the main event with which the junior competitors should assist. Those selected to receive the clinic, should have not had experience of tennis beforehand. (See  Guidance for staging Major IC events on running these clinics).
  • For the finals, a brief opening ceremony with flags of the Nations taking part should be staged before the first day’s play and a prize-giving ceremony arranged at the conclusion of the event.


The IC Council recommends that individual ICs should consider making ‘Junior Associate’ members of their own clubs, those who have taken part if they have displayed the necessary IC spirit of fair-play and good sportsmanship