League rules and format - Mid-America Pool Leagues

Go to content

Main menu:

League rules and format

MID-AMERICA POOL LEAGUE 8-BALL RULES

REMEMBER GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP IS THE FIRST RULE OF POOL.


1.  LEGAL SHOT:  On all shots (except on the break or when the table is open), the first ball which the Cue Ball contacts must be one of the shooters group of numbered balls, and the shot must either; (1.) pocket a ball or, (2.) cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a rail.  Please note it is legal to bank the Cue Ball off the rail before it contacts one of the shooters numbered balls, provided however, that after contacting the shooters numbered ball that (1.) pocket a ball or, (2.) cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a rail.  Failure to execute a legal shot is a ball in hand foul.
2. CALL SHOT: Although it is not necessary to call an obvious shot except for certain Safety shots, it is recommended that the shooter indicate the ball they intend to pocket and the intended pocket. The shooter should always call any bank shot. It is never necessary to indicate details such as cushions, kisses and caroms. If the opposing player is not sure of the intended shot it is their responsibility to ask the shooter to call the ball and intended pocket before the shot.
3. THE BREAK SHOT: The home team breaks the first round, the visiting team breaks the second round and so on. To execute a legal break the shooter, with ball in hand behind the head-string, must either pocket a numbered ball or drive any four numbered balls to the rail. Failure to do so is not a foul, however, the opponent has the option of accepting the table as is, or re-racking and either breaking himself or allowing his opponent to break again. If a player miscues on the break shot and tries to prevent the cue ball from following its normal path by defecting it. This practice is a foul and the opponent has the option of accepting the table as is, or re-racking and either breaking himself or allowing his opponent to break again. The player who miscued must acknowledge to his/her opponent that he did indeed miscue and failed to execute a legal break. Failure to inform the opponent is loss of game for unsportsmanlike conduct. Every player should inspect rack prior to breaking.  
4.  SCRATCH ON THE BREAK: (Except as provided for under Rule #5.) If a player should scratch on a legal break shot, it is a foul, the table is open, and the incoming player has ball in hand behind the head-string.
5.  8-BALL ON THE BREAK:  During regular league play pocketing the 8-ball on a legal break shot wins the game, unless on the same stroke the shooter
scratches (pockets the Cue Ball or Drives the Cue Ball off the table), in which case the breaker loses the game. No points should be awarded to the looser.
6.   OPEN TABLE:  The table is always “open” on the first shot following the break, and remains open until either player has pocketed a ball on a legal shot.  When the table is open and only when the table is open, it is legal to hit a solid ball first in order to pocket a stripe or vice versa.  The 8-ball can only be used as the first ball in a combination shot when the table is open.
7.  COMBINATION SHOTS WITH THE 8-BALL:  The 8-ball may be used in a combination or carom shot, but not as the first ball contacted except when the table is open.
8.  CHOICE OF GROUP:  The choice of object ball group (stripes or solids) is determined by the first legally pocketed object balls following the break shot.
9.  BALL IN HAND:  When a player has “ball in hand” the player may place the Cue Ball anywhere on the playing surface but it may not be placed in contact with another ball.  The player may continue to adjust the placement of the Cue Ball until they execute a shot.  The player may touch the Cue Ball with the shaft or ferrule but not the tip of the cue.
10.  SAFETY SHOTS:  Playing a safety or defense shot is legal.  However, it must meet the requirements of any other legal shot.  If the shooter intends to pocket a ball during a safety, he or she should call a “safety” before the shot to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.
11.  BALL TOUCHING THE RAIL:  When a shooters object ball appears to touching a rail, the opponent must notify the shooter that they believe the ball to be frozen against the rail, before the shot.  If it is agreed that the ball is frozen, and if that object ball is the first ball contacted, then the shot must result in; (1.) a ball being pocketed, (2.) the Cue Ball contacting a rail after contacting the frozen ball, (3.) the frozen ball contacting another cushion after having left contact with the rail to which it was frozen or (4.) driving another object ball to the a rail. Failure to meet one of these requirements is a ball in hand foul.
12.  POCKETED BALLS:  A ball is considered “pocketed” if as a result of a legal shot; it inters a pocket and remains there.
13.   MASSE’ SHOTS:  masse’ or curve shots are legal unless prohibited by house rules.
14.  LEGAL JUMP SHOTS:  It is legal to cause the Cue Ball to rise off the surface of the table by elevating the butt of the cue stick and striking the Cue Ball above center, thus forcing the Cue Ball to rebound from the bed of the table, unless prohibited by house rules.
15.  ILLEGAL JUMP SHOTS:  It is a foul to intentionally strike the Cue Ball below center and miscue “scooping” the cue ball over an obstructing ball.  However, an accidental miscue is not a foul.
16.  PUSH SHOTS / FROZEN BALL:  During regular league play it is legal to shoot into a ball that is frozen to the cue ball, provided however that the cue is aimed at a 45 degree angle to the line of centers of the balls (45 degrees to the right, to the left or elevated 45 degrees) and that there is only momentary contact between the cue tip and the Cue Ball.  It is a foul to “push” the Cue Ball by maintaining contact longer than a normally stroked shot.
17.  DOUBLE HITS: It is a foul to hit the cue ball twice on the same stroke.  If a numbered ball is very close to the cue ball and the shooter follows through with the cue a distance greater than the distance that separated the balls it forces the cue tip to contact the cue ball a second time.
18.  BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE:  If an object ball is jumped off the table it is a ball in hand foul.  The ball is spotted even if it is the 8-ball, except when the shooter was attempting to pocket the 8-ball, in which case it would be loss of game.
19.  TOUCHING OR MOVING A BALL:  It is a foul to intentionally touch or move any ball other than by executing a legal shot.  It is always a foul to touch or move the Cue Ball other than by executing a legal shot.  It is not a foul to accidentally touch or move an object ball while preparing to shoot.  The shooter must allow the referee or the opponent the option of replacing the ball to its original position or leaving it lie. It must be placed as close as possible to the original position if the opponent chooses.  It cannot be placed in a different position to benefit anyone.  Failure to replace the ball to as near to the original position as possible is an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.  If such an accident results in a ball being pocketed the opponent has the option of replacing the ball to its original position or leaving it down,
20.  SHOOTING THE 8-BALL: During regular league play, in order to avoid disputes and possible misunderstandings, when attempting to pocket the 8-ball
the shooter should clearly indicate the intended pocket.  If the opposing player is not sure of the intended shot it is their responsibility to ask the shooter to call the ball and intended pocket before the shot.  Committing a foul (other than jumping a ball off the table or pocketing the cue ball) while shooting the 8 Ball will result in "Ball in Hand" for the opponent, if during the shot the 8 ball is pocketed in the intended pocket the 8 Ball will be spotted and the opponent will have "Ball in Hand"
21.   END OF THE GAME:  A player wins the game when; (1.) he legally pockets the 8-ball after having pocketed all his group of object balls or, (2.) his opponent  pockets the Cue Ball or jumps Cue Ball or the 8-ball off the table while shooting the 8-ball or, (3.) The opponent pockets the 8-ball before he has pocketed all the numbered balls of his group or, (4.) The opponent pockets the 8-ball in any pocket other than the one that was intended or, (5.) (During regular league play only) he pockets the 8-ball on a legal break shot (see RULE 5), Their opponent rakes the ball or balls across table intentionally  
21 (a)  Other fouls while shooting the 8-Ball. As stated above, jumping any ball off the table or pocketing the cue ball while shooting the 8-Ball is loss of game. Any other foul will result in "Ball in Hand" for the opponent, however if a foul is committed and the 8 ball is pocketed in the intended pocket the 8 Ball will be spotted and the opponent will have "Ball in Hand".
22.  PLAYING WITHOUT A REFEREE:  When a shot comes up that is likely to lead to controversy, a referee or an impartial third party should be enlisted to provide a third opinion.  (See RULE 25).
23.  DISPUTES: Team captains will settle all disputes.  If there is no referee present, the call goes with the shooter at the table.  
24.  
COACHING:  A player may be coached only twice during any one game if his average is a 6.5 or above, however if their established average (4 or more weeks) is less than 6.5 they are allowed 3 coaches during any one game. The coach must be a member of the player’s team.  It is recommended to have a designated coach for each team.  The coach can touch the table and may place the Cue Ball if the player has ball in hand.  At no time during the coaching session may any other player say anything to the coach or the player.  Only the coach may give advice to the player.  Violation of this is a ball in hand foul.  However, it is ok for other players to talk to a shooter while his opponent is at the table.  It is permitted for a team member to call ball in hand or remind a player which group of ball they are shooting (stripes or solids).  This is not considered a coach, however, any other help from the team would be considered a coach.  A team member may ask the shooter if he or she wants a coach, even if the shooter doesn’t request it.  Coaching sessions should be as short as possible to avoid delaying the game.
25.   STALEMATE:  If both players each intentionally foul in three consecutive turns at the table (6-shots), or if both players agree that to attempt to execute a legal shot would mean loss of game, the game will be considered a stalemate.  A breaker will be chosen by coin toss or lag and the game will be replayed.
26.  OTHER FOULS: The following are also “ball in hand” fouls.  Failure to execute a legal shot. (Scratch) Pocketing the Cue Ball or jumping the Cue Ball off the table.  Shooting without having at least one foot touching the floor.  Moving or touching the Cue Ball in any way at any time, except when the player has ball in hand or with the cue tip while executing a shot.  Shooting while a ball is moving.  Moving or touching an object ball with Cue ball while placing “ball in hand”.  Allowing a moving ball to touch any foreign object (such as a cube of chalk).  Intentionally striking the Cue ball below center in an effort to miscue and jump the Cue Ball over an obstructing ball (An accidental miscue is not a foul).  Bumping or otherwise moving the table causing a ball to move or fall into a pocket.
27.  Any of the following will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will result in Loss of game. (1.) Intentionally standing in the line of shot in an attempt to distract the opponent. A player should relinquish the table, step away or take a seat when they are not shooting. (2.) Intentionally moving any of balls in play other than by attempting a shot. (3.) Continuing play after a foul has been called. (4.) Marking the table. (5.) Using equipment for anything other than its intended purpose.  (6.)  Intentionally placing an object ball that was accidentally moved by an opponent to a position other than its original position in an attempt to place the opponent at a disadvantage... that ball must be placed as close to its original position as possible. (see rule 19)
28.  POOL CUE SPECIFICATIONS: Player may bring a maximum of 3 cue sticks to a match.  
Width of tip:   No minimum/14 mm maximum
Weight:   No minimum/25 oz. maximum
Length:   40 inches minimum/no maximum
Tip:   The cue tip may not be of a material that can scratch or damage the addressed ball.  The cue tip on any stick must be composed of a piece of specially processed leather or other fibrous or pliable material that extends the natural line of the shaft end of the cue and contacts the cue ball when the shot is executed.
The ferrule: if of a metal material, may not be more than 1 inch in length.


Remember Pool is a Gentlemans and Ladies game. Let’s all play by the rules and be considerate of all of our fellow players.


League Play and Scoring

Each team is made up of 4 to 7 players.  Changes to the team roster (players added or subtracted) may be made up to the end of the middle week of the session.  After that roster changes will be allowed only under special circumstances.   Only four players for each team will play in a match, no substitutions are allowed during a match.  Each player of one team will play each player of the opposing team one game in a standard “Round Robin” format.  The winner of each game is awarded 10 points, and the loosing player is awarded one point for each ball of his group that is pocketed during the game.  At the end of each round (four games) add up the total points for each team for that round.   Add the proper handicap to determine the winning team for that round.  To figure the teams’ handicap, add the four players handicap rating for each team.  Subtract the lower teams’ total from the higher teams’ total and that number of points is then added to the lower teams’ total for each round.  One “Match Point” is awarded for each round won, and one “Match Point” for the total of all four rounds.  So, a total of 5 “Match Points” are scored in each match.  If a round or the total ends up in a tie then a half point is awarded to each team.

Each Team is limited to a total team handicap of no more than 34 points.  If a team cannot field four players from its roster and stay within the 34 point cap then that team must give the opposing team a “bonus handicap point” on each round for each point it exceeds the 34 point cap.

If a team cannot field four players the match should be played with a missing player “forfeit”.  The missing player “forfeit” will be assigned a 2 point handicap rating.  If a team is unable to field a team at all for a match they must make every effort to contact the opposing team’s home location and as early as possible to reschedule the match.  If this is not done then the opposing team captain can request the other team to forfeit the match.  Every effort should be made by both teams to get the match rescheduled and played as soon as possible and to avoid all forfeits.   

The individual points are totaled and averaged each week and each round is won or lost based on the total individual points scored, so every point is important!  The “Team Points” are accumulated so each and every round is important!  

REMEMBER GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP IS THE FIRST RULE OF POOL



 
Back to content | Back to main menu