Our league matches cost $17 per player per match. If a team defaults a court, they owe the other team $34 if it's doubles and $17 if it's singles. Captains are encouraged to notify the opposing captains in advance if there will be a default so that players don't waste time driving across town. A few days ago, my 3.5 ladies team had a match against an undefeated opponent. The match was 9 pm on a weeknight. I had 8 players there ready to go. I exchanged line-ups with the opposing captain and my players took the court. Opposing captain said nothing about any of her players being late. I was supposed to play Doubles Court Three. I get out there, and there is only one opponent. I asked her if her partner was coming. She said she didn't know. We warm up and keep one eye on the clock. After a few minutes, I asked the opponent if she wanted to call the missing player, but she didn't. The opposing captain was on the next court warming up. She also declined my invitation to call the tardy player. Sure enough, no one ever came and we won by default. What's the problem? The problem is that I suspect this captain knew full well she only had seven players but didn't want to tell us that in advance for strategic reasons. I suspect this because captains who genuinely believe a player is late will be on the phone frantically trying to reach them, not shrugging off inquiries as to her whereabouts. What really burns me up is that my partner and I drove 1.5 hours round trip to play this match. Worse, we were shorthanded so my partner had to play this match on her 25th wedding anniversary, when she would obviously have preferred to spend it doing something else. I also had a singles player who hates weeknight matches because she is a nurse who has to get up at 5 in the morning, so getting home at 11:30 is a real hardship. I think our league needs to do something about these late, strategic defaults, but I'm not sure what. Maybe the league should double the penalty whenever a default occurs and there has been no notice at least one hour beforehand of the default. Maybe if it cost a captain $68, she would think twice about inconveniencing players in hopes of obtaining a strategic advantage. BTW, we won 3-2. Karma, maybe?