The question comes up every year; “What do we do if we have less than 6 players?“. For starters, if you know you can’t make a tournament, you should always let the host club know directly by email or phone (especially if less than 24 hours notice). The Club Directory is available here (About us >> “Find a Club” above). But don’t stay home yet! There is hope! Did you know that NERVA has specific rules regarding playing with less than 6 players?
Here is the section specific to playing with less than Six:
3. Team Personnel
At open level tournaments, teams may not “borrow” players or play with less than 6 players (No Ghost). At club level tournaments if a team is missing a player, the team should:
a. “Borrow” a player from another team within their own program at the tournament. Any player that is “borrowed” from the same program must play with the new team for the entire day. The player must be designated on the roster (borrowed player change should be handwritten on the Webpoint roster and included in the tournament notes when reporting results). The player may return to their original team only when the new team is finished playing for the day. If the new team does not make the playoffs, the “borrowed” player may return to her original team for playoffs.
b. If there is no player available from option “a.” the team will choose one of the following options.
1. The work team of that particular match may provide the needed player(s). The coach of the work team shall select the player(s). If the work team does not have enough players to cover the work assignment, borrowed players may come from another team within the same pool.
2. Play with a “Ghost Player”. A team with only 5 players may play with a ghost player. The ghost player must appear on the lineup and must be maintained in the rotation. When it is the ghost player’s turn to serve, the first referee will award an immediate point and sideout to the receiving team.
- All sets played by a team with less than 6 players on their roster will be counted as forfeits and they will not be eligible for playoffs.
- Teams are not allowed to play with less than 5 players on the court.
NERVA recommends attending the tournaments even if you have 5 players (though we really wish you’d get your whole team there!! . The emphasis should be to promote as much play and experience as possible. There is no substitute for competition. For other questions; the entire NERVA Code book is online here (2012 NERVA Operating Code Final). We hope this helps!