Special Ranking Rule
1. Criteria and Guidelines
All Injury Special Ranking applicants must notify the Tour of their impending need for a Special Ranking within six (6) months of their injury. A signed application with public release statement along with medical documentation including the diagnosis of condition, a copy of clinical visit, Physicians notes/documentation and all relevant laboratory tests and applicable surgical reports, must be submitted to the Tour Operations Department for the approval of a special ranking status. All medical documentation will be turned over to the Sport Sciences and Medicine Department to be kept in the player’ confidential medical file.
a. A player must have been off the Tour a minimum of six (6) months and a maximum of two (2) years to be eligible for a WTA Tour Special Ranking.
b. In singles, only players ranked in the top 300 on the WTA Rankings at the time they stopped playing will be eligible for a WTA Tour singles Special Ranking.
c. In doubles, only players ranked in the top 200 on the WTA Rankings at the time they stopped playing will be eligible for a doubles Special Ranking.
d. A player has one (1) year from the time she returns to competition and plays her first Tournament to use the Special Ranking Tournaments granted by the WTA Tour.
"Return to competition" is defined as a player playing any WTA Tour Tournament or ITF Women's Circuit event, and using either her "Actual" Ranking, her Special Ranking or a Wild Card to gain entry into that Tournament.
Doubles and Singles “return to competition” dates shall be treated separately. A player will have 52 weeks in which to use her singles Special Ranking and 52 weeks in which to use her doubles Special Ranking from date of return.
e. A player's Special Ranking will be the ranking she earned immediately following the last Tournament she played.
f. A player may not be seeded using her Special Ranking, however under extenuating circumstances, the WTA Tour reserves the right to seed a Gold Exempt player while she is playing under the Special Ranking Rule. A player may be seeded using her Actual ranking even if she has been accepted into the Tournament using her Special Ranking.
g. A player may use her Special Ranking and Actual Ranking interchangeably, however, once a player has used her Special Ranking to enter a Tournament, after the entry deadline, she may not change her entry status to use her Actual Ranking. If a player has been accepted into a Tournament using her Special Ranking, only prior to the Update Ranking deadline, * may she accept a Wild Card into the same event (Main Draw to Main Draw or
Qualifying to Qualifying). A player accepted into the Qualifying of a Tournament using her Special Ranking may accept a Wild Card into the Main Draw up until 4:00 p.m. the day of the Qualifying Sign-In.
*The Tournament Director must confirm the Wild Card nomination in writing to the Tour (Florida Office) by the Update Ranking deadline.
h. The number of Special Ranking Tournaments a player will be granted is eight (8). To be eligible for a Special Ranking, the six (6) months mandatory time off the Tour is calculated by:
i. The last Tournament a player played, whether it was in singles or in doubles;
ii. The first Tournament a player plays upon her return, whether she uses her Special Ranking, Actual Ranking, or she receives a Wild Card (see Note below).
iii. If a player has been accepted into a tournament using her Special Ranking but withdraws from the tournament before she plays her first match it will not count as a Special ranking tournament. A player will, however, be responsible for any fines assessed for late withdrawals or no-shows.
Note: Upon her return, it is the player's responsibility to report to the WTA Tour the first Tournament she actually plays, whether she is accepted into an ITF or WTA Tour Tournament using her Special Ranking, Actual Ranking or a Wild Card. From the time a player plays her first Tournament (using either her Special Ranking, Actual or by Wild Card), she will have twelve months to use her eight Special Ranking Tournaments.
i. Grand Slams: A player who misses a minimum of three (3) Grand Slams during her time off the Tour may enter a maximum of one (1) Grand Slam using her Special Ranking.
j. Maternity and injury/illness Special Ranking requests will be governed by the same rules, however, as for absences due to maternity leave, for a player to be eligible for a Special Ranking such player must be ready to play her first Tournament within twelve (12) months of the birth of her child.
k. Quality Points awarded for defeating a Special Ranking player will be based on that player's Actual Ranking, not on her Special Ranking.
l. All Special Ranking requests for use in WTA Tour or ITF Women's Circuit events must be made through the Operations Department of the WTA Tour by the Tour entry deadline or at least one (1) week prior to the entry deadline of an ITF Women’s Circuit event. No requests after the entry deadlines will be considered.
If Special Ranking privileges are abused, the player's Special Ranking will be automatically revoked.
NOTE: A Special Ranking may not be used to gain entry into the Tour Championships.
NOTE: If a player uses her Doubles Special Ranking to enter a doubles Qualifying, it will count as a doubles Special Ranking Tournament used, regardless of whether or not the team qualifies for the Main Draw.
NOTE: A player’s Special Ranking will not be used to determine her Lucky Loser position or status. Only a player’s Actual Ranking will be used to determine the Lucky Loser order.
NOTE: Mixed Doubles at a Grand Slam will count towards a player’s doubles allotment under the Special Ranking Rule. If a player uses her Doubles Special Ranking to enter a Doubles Main Draw and/or Qualifying and the Mixed Doubles at a Grand Slam, it will count as 1 Doubles Grand Slam Special Ranking if she is eligible to enter the Doubles Grand Slam event using her Special
The Tour reserves the right to review and amend this rule during the year, if changes are in the best interest of the players and the Tour.
<font size=1>(Thanks to TBE <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> )</font></p>
Last edited by Josh; Dec 13th, 2002 at 05:11 PM.