If a team is short a player on a designated League night, their opponent may allow them to use the “Ghost” rule. The “Ghost” rule allows the team that is short a player to play a player twice in the same match. The following criteria must be followed when using the “ghost” rule:
a. Teams must notify their opponent of the need to use/or potential need to use a “ghost” prior to the start of the 1st individual match. If a team fails to do so, a ghost will not be allowed. If a team has a 5th player show up prior to the start of the 5th match, the player is not only entitled to play but must play before a “ghost” is utilized.
b. The player that plays the 5th match when a “ghost” is used is chosen by the team’s opponent. The player that is chosen to play the “ghost” should be notified by the opponent at the conclusion of the 1st match (thus, other players can leave if not chosen). The player chosen to play the “ghost” match must still allow the team to comply with the 23-Rule (or “4-19 Rule” if it applies to the team in question). The “ghost” player selection may be any handicap level but the choice may not force the 23-Rule to be broken. If the opposing team fails to choose the “ghost” player prior to the 2nd match, the opposing team will lose their right to choose and the choice will be given to the team playing the “ghost.” This default choice can be decided as late as the beginning of the 5th match.
c. Full team fees are still due if the “ghost” rule is used in a team match.
d. Teams are allowed to use up to two “ghosts” per league night but must be played in the last matches and abide by all “ghost” rules meaning that both “ghosts” chosen by the opponent must be announced at the conclusion of the first match and that the team utilizing the “ghost” rule must announce that two “ghosts” may be necessary prior to the 1st match. Once a maximum of two “ghosts” have played, the remaining matches must be forfeited, even if another player shows up.
e. If a ghost is used in a match other than the last individual played match of the night, the “ghost” match and all subsequent matches will be forfeited by both teams. A player may not be sent home and/or made unavailable so that a team may request a “ghost” from their opponent. Attempts to take advantage of the “ghost” rule should be reported to the Division Representative and also to APA by means of an official protest form.
f. “Ghosts” will NOT be allowed during playoffs or during any Higher Level Tournament play.
g. Both teams may utilize the “ghost” rule on the same night if necessary. In this situation, teams will stay in rotation regarding player selection.
h. A team that has enough players present is not allowed to use the “ghost” rule not even to stay within the 23-Rule. They have to play a player that has not yet played in the match and if they cannot field a team with the 5 or more players present and abide by the 23-Rule or the 4-19 Rule, the result with be forfeit(s) at the point the 23-Rule is broken.