During the playoffs, all teams must play in the same ranking order as at the end of the regular season. Ranking orders cannot be changed for playoffs, so make sure that on the last re-ranking date (usually in March) you have your team ranked how you want it for playoffs.
Teams are seeded for the playoffs based on their ranking at the end of the regular season. Team rankings within each division are determined by the number of points earned by each team. However, if all teams in the same division do not play the same number of matches or if there are any incomplete matches played in that division then team rankings for that division is determined by each team’s winning percentage.
If two teams are tied for a position in the division at the end of the regular season, the following tie-break rules will be applied:
1. head to head team match results
2. head to head point differential
3. head to head match results at position 1
4. coin toss
If three teams or more are tied in the division at the end of the regular season, a random draw among the tied teams will be performed to determine the seedings in the playoffs.
A player must have played seven (7) matches for her/his team during the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoffs. The use of substitutes is not allowed in the playoffs. All players must be registered players of the team they are playing for at the end of the regular season. A player who moves to a different team, whether in the same division for a different division, during the regular season will be eligible to play in the playoffs for her/his new team provided she/he has played seven matches, four (4) or more of which must be played as part of the new team.
Due to the fact that no substitutes are allowed for the playoffs, teams will not be assessed the -2 point penalty for defaulted matches. If a team does not have enough players present and must default one or more matches then each defaulted match is counted as a 3-0 win for the other team. If both teams default at a position then both teams will receive zero points for that position.
All four players of each team must be at court side at the scheduled start time of the playoff match to confirm the match pairings at each position. If a team is missing one or more players at the scheduled match start time then the players who are present will be paired against the other team’s players starting at position 1 and the match(s) at the lowest position(s) is(are) defaulted. For example, if Team A’s position 2 player is not present at court-side a the match’s start time and Team B has all four players present then Team A’s positions 3 and 4 players will move up to play positions 2 and 3 respectively and Team A will default at position 4.
Point scoring of playoff matches is the same as that of regular season matches – one point for each game won and one bonus point for each match won. In the event of a tied outcome – each team has the same number of match points – points scored in each game of all four positions will be summed and the team with the greater number of points is the winner. If the match is still tied then the team that won at position 1 is the winner.
The ESL will make the best effort to have all playoff matches played on international size courts. This means that in the event the home team has courts that are not international size, the league will attempt to find a neutral site with international size courts where match will be played. If no international size courts are available then the match will be played at the home team's courts if the courts are available. If the home team's courts are not available for any reason then the match will be played at any available courts that the league can find.