A little similar to the ‘queue for one court’ option:
We operate a winner-goes-up loser-goes-down for 25 or so players on 4 courts. 25%/75% women/men. Even spread of abilities from beginner to county standard club.
It runs much like having 4 mini waiting list / pegboard sections – one for each court.
As players arrive they are distributed evenly across all available court lists, roughly in order of ability to begin with if players arrive on time together, but it’s not critical.
Person at the top of each court list picks a game for that court, from the people on their court waiting list.
Games are to 21, and all games start and finish together: the first court to reach 21 calls ‘TIME’ and all games finish regardless of score. Highest score or side with the serve is the winner. Everyone comes off at once.
If you win, you put your name at the bottom of the next court up’s list (or the same court for top court).
Likewise if you lose, you put your name at the bottom of the list for the next court down.
Generally winners’ names are placed above the losers.
If people arrive late they get added to balance the numbers on each court list. You could swap people around if you like to fit them in the right ‘place’ but it sorts itself out quick enough.
If you open up an additional court just shuffle people around fairly when a cycle finishes.
After a couple of cycles, the levels are pretty balanced.
Proper motivation for all players to play well.
Good for bringing on strong women players.
needs a bigger pegboard?
Needs a critical mass of players – works best when no-one is sat off.
Still have issues with favouritism / cronyism. Solve with common sense rules e.g. only 1 game off / random picking / another court picks your games
If you’ve fewer than 4 courts, there’s not much stratification of ability. With just 3 courts the middle court can be a real mix of abilities; handle it with common sense selection.
If you want dedicated mixed practice then it gets tricky.