If a team is short a player on a designated league night, their opponent may allow them to use the “Playback” rule. The “Playback” 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 “playback” rule: 

o   Teams must notify their opponent of the need to use/or potential need to use a “playback” prior to the start of the 4th individual match. If a team has a 5th player show up prior to the start of the 5th match, the player is still entitled to play, even if a “playback” was requested.

o   The use of a “playback” is not a guaranteed option; the opponent must agree to allow the team to utilize the “playback” rule.

o   Once a team agrees to allow their opponent to use a playback, they cannot change their mind. In order to ensure all fairness, the team using a playback should have the opponent sign their scoresheet in the designated location in message center section at the time the opponent agrees to allow the playback.

o   The player that plays the 5th match when a “playback” is used is chosen by the team’s opponent. The player that is chosen to play the “playback” should be notified by the opponent at the start of the 4th match (thus, other players can leave if not chosen).  

o   The player chosen to play the “playback” match must still allow the team to comply with the 23-rule (or “4-19 rule” if it applies to the team in question). Further, even if a playback is utilized, both teams must show that their printed out team roster would have allowed the team to meet 23 if a regular five player match had taken place. The playback rule cannot be used to 'get around' the 23 rule.

o   Full team fees are still due if the “playback” rule is used in a team match (fees for the “playback” match should be split between the players that played in the team match). 

o   Teams are allowed to use one “playback” per league night. 

o   The “playback” must be used during the last individual match (i.e. – 5th match). The “playback” may be used in the 4th individual match if the 5th individual match is forfeited or the 3rd individual match is the 4th & 5th individual matches are forfeited. Once a “playback” is used, the remaining matches must be forfeited, even if another player shows up.

o   “Playbacks” will NOT be allowed the last two weeks of the session, during playoffs, or during any higher level tournament play (exception: playbacks are allowed (but not required) in Masters throughout the entire session, but not in higher level tournament play).

o   Both teams may utilize the “playback” rule on the same night if necessary. In this situation, both teams put up their own player and the team scheduled to put up a player in the 5th match puts up first.

o   A team that has enough players present is not allowed to use the “playback” rule; they have to play a player that has not yet played in the match. The only exception to this rule is in the event that the team cannot comply with the 23-rule with the 5 players present to play. The team may then request a “playback” from their opponent. The request must still be made by the start of the 4th individual match.

o   In the event a team’s opponent will not allow the use of the “playback” rule, the team must forfeit the remaining individual match(es). Make-ups are not an option.

o   If a playback is used in a match other than the last individual played match of the night, the playback 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 “playback” from their opponent. Attempts to take advantage of the “playback” rule should be reported to the division representative and also to APA by means of an official protest form.