Should it be beneficial that a specific date be established in the fall season and in the spring season in which a team's line-up must be established, and shall not be allowed to be changed except where noted acceptable in the coach's manual. (illness, injury, family emergency, academic/disciplinary action). This would be used to make sure schools are reaching the 50% rule at their flight, and team's are making every effort to establish their line-up early in the season.
Other Coaches Opinions
I say there should be a point in time a line-up should be established, other than rules exceptions. Perhaps, since we are allowed 16 play dates, we could pick after a % of a team's schedule. For instance, 50% or 8 play dates. Or, roughly 40% or 6 play dates. With the week off for spring break, this will take most schools out to approximately the 3rd week of April. We ought to know by then who should be in what position.
I am not in favor of this. A deadline as good as it sounds does not account for the unexpected with that team. Eligibility for example. Developing a line-up for a team takes time. Our current process allows for this. It has taken me a lot of the season some years to develop a doubles line-up that is right for the team and is ethically valid. Especially when the talent level is so close. A deadline like this would not allow for a coach to ethically develop a correct line. This would only allow some coaches to fudge their line-up so they can meet the deadline. A new coach that is coming into the tennis coaching ranks may have no idea what his or hers team and individual capabilities are. It may take that new coach time. Bad idea!!
I'm not in favor of a specific date. That may work out well on teams that rely on club players. Kids that have taken lessons all summer and winter and are ready to compete/defend their spot on the team. But when your team is not dominated with club players, the first month of the season can be dominated with development drills for skills. It could take a good part of the season just to figure out which kids are going to make the lineup and whether at doubles or singles.
Also, if a player gets hurt a third of the way into the season, it may now take a few matches of trial and error with lineups to find the best for your team. Three years ago I lost 7-1 to a conference team, lost my #2 player in the process, moved a singles to doubles, two doubles to singles, subbed in at doubles after several other lineup options and beat them 5-3 to win the conference and 6-2 to win the Regionals... It takes time.....