Disqualification has been almost a “no-no” word in league tennis’ championship spring season. Two years ago, I know a 4.0 team that one day was unbeaten and seemingly a cinch for the playoffs and 1-7 literally the next day.

Two of the team’s players received disqualification notices at different times in the season. Both players came under the label “self-rated.” What would have been a championship 7-1 regular season was reversed to 1-7 when both players’ results were reversed, except of course their losses.

Thank goodness that won’t happen again anytime soon to any Southern league tennis team. There still will be disqualifications for self-rated players, but starting Jan. 1 match reversals for player rating disqualifications will no longer be part of the equation.

Yes, the rules have finally changed.

Being self-rated no longer will be frowned upon in the heat of spring’s league races. If a self-rated player is “bumped up” in season, the player simply will no longer be eligible to compete at the player’s old level, but the player’s results at the old level will still count in the standings.

State league tennis officials have voted to allow only one team per local league (the Lowcountry Tennis Association, for instance) to receive an automatic berth in the state tournament. The change has been approved by USTA South Carolina, but not yet by USTA Southern, according to LCTA president Stephen Wilson, who cast the only dissenting vote in the state voting.

In essence, the change (if passed) would result in the state’s largest league, LCTA, which typically has 20-30 men’s or women’s 18-plus 3.5 teams in each of the two (gender) leagues, receiving the same number (one) of automatic state berths as some leagues in the state that might have as few as two or three 3.5 teams.

As a result, the LCTA is in a state of possible change, to the extent that a non-binding poll of local league members will be held during the Jan. 5 LCTA captains meeting at the Charleston County Library on Calhoun Street on the possibility of splitting the LCTA into two separate local organizations (or local leagues) under different administrations along the lines of West Ashley/Summerville area and Mount Pleasant/Daniel Island.

This poll also is creating a debate on whether it is fair for a West Ashley teams to be required to travel to the Summerville area where three of the five lighted league facilities do not have the minimum number of courts needed to play a five-court match.

Bob Peiffer has taken the next step in the USTA hierarchy. The former long-time LCTA president has been elected to serve as president of USTA South Carolina for the next two years.

Peiffer has served USTA South Carolina as executive vice president the last two years. He ended his 16-year LCTA reign in 2009,

“In my remarks immediately following the election, I told the people that my thrust was going to be ‘players first,’ and that I wanted the board, committee chairs, committee members, league coordinators, etc. to be communicating with the players, be they adults, senior, youth, etc., to know what they want, and then to do their best to accommodate those wants—and not to temper those wants with administrative convenience,” Peiffer said.

Peiffer is a retired Navy Supply Corps captain who is currently the administrator manager in the Addiction Sciences Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC.

The newly elected USTA South Carolina board of directors includes Kiawah Island pro Jonathan Barth as a vice president and Barbara Jones of St. George.

Diane and Jack Barker recently won a gold ball (120 combined age group) in the husband/wife nationals in Charlottesville, Va. Brenda and Harry Carter came in third in the 140 combined age group.

Local league tennis spring team-forming registrations will end Jan. 8.

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.