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League Handbook


This Handbook was created to help all players learn and understand what the BLA is all about. Inside you will find many pages of information regarding league rules, scoring, player rankings, team handicaps, sportsmanship, prize money, and general information.


Table of Contents

1. Commitment To League Members
     1A. Division & Team Names

2. Prize Money

3. 8 Ball Structure

     3A. 8 Ball Rules

     3B. 8-Ball Questions from players

4. 9 Ball Structure

     4A. 9 Ball Rules

     4B. 9-Ball Questions from players

5. Tournament Information

6. Sportsmanship

7. General Information


Commitment To League Members


At the Billiards League of America, or the BLA, it is understood your free time and leisure activities are important. You should be allowed to expect a competitive and fair league that pays back money to every team, every session. The BLA was designed with this in mind for you and your friends & families. Whether you are looking to meet new friends, get away for the evening, or interested in a new league, The Billiards League of America is here for you!

The players are the most important aspect to a league. If there are no players that equals no league. The players in the BLA have a voice in how the league is operated. This is accomplished through player meetings; usually at the end of each session. Players can attend the meeting to discuss anything about the league. What made them happy or unhappy. Suggest something new. Whatever you want to talk about with the other players. All changes to the league structure or rules will be based on a captains & players vote.

The players will be paid back in excess of 80% of the session income. Players make money by making balls. Ball totals are accumulated throughout the session and paid at the end of the session. There is also playoff money given out. On special occasions, the league office will provide raffle prizes to be given away.

Player tournaments are often held during the sessions for members. Normally, these tournaments are Blind Draw Doubles and often Scotch Doubles. Payouts are determined by number of players entering. Door Prizes are given at most tournaments at no charge to the players.

At your request, a year end financial statement will be made available for any active members to see. The financial statement will include financial details about the league. Every player has the right to know what's up because it is your league. Conditions may apply.

No need to let stress and worries of everyday life get you down. Come enjoy a fantastic time with us. You’ll be glad you did.


Division & Team Names


Because of limitations within our database:

Team Names are limited to sixteen (16) characters total; including spaces.

Division Names should be under seventeen (17) characters total; including spaces.

Note: If your division name needs to be longer, please check with the office and see if we can make it work out for you - depending on the characters needed for you individual team name. We do not have an option on longer team names. The limits are due to spacing in the different places the names must be inserted and/or positioned throughout the paperwork and database. Thank you for understanding.

Important note about the BLA: At no time will we publish any name on the BLA website or paperwork that is in any way, or leading towards being discriminatory, racist, vulgar, or otherwise offensive. This includes team names, personal nicknames, establishment names, or any other name that falls into this category.

The BLA reserves the right to govern this issue within the league and the BLA website & paperwork. You as a player, team captain, or division representative have the right to name your team whatever works for you, your associates, and your leadership. BLA website & paperwork is the property of the Billiards League of America and will remain free of anything we feel to be offensive. You, as a member of the BLA have a right to discuss your individual issue or situation with the BLA office.

We are asking you to be respectful. If we feel something needs to be addressed, we will use the chain of command to request your assistance when needed in making necessary changes. If you choose to keep a name the league feels falls into the category mentioned above, that is your choice and we respect your right to free choice, but such names will not be posted on the BLA web site or paperwork. Thank you for your cooperation. We welcome your comments on this matter.




Prize Money


Prize Money. All teams participating in the BLA for a full session will receive money back from the league for that session. The BLA will pay back approximately 80% (or more) of all money received. In addition to the 80% paid back, players can win money & prizes in the Members Appreciation Tournament held after the calendar year is finished. Eligible players (in good standing) are welcome to shoot in this free tournament with Cash & Prizes to be given.

Payouts. All money owed to players will be made available no later than the last day of playoffs for each session. In most cases, ball money will be paid before playoffs start. This includes ball money and playoff money. Individuals must claim their money won within thirty days from the day of the final playoff match of that session. Any money not claimed within thirty days will be forfeited by that player. Unclaimed money will be returned to the league office and may be used for IE: league business or special prizes returned to active players. Use of the unclaimed funds are at the complete and total discretion of the BLA Office. If a player has a special situation, contact the BLA Office within this thirty day time frame to discuss your options.

Forfeiture of Funds. Any player that quits or is removed as a result of a disciplinary action forfeits all money earned or due for that individual player. The BLA Office has complete and total control in deciding what to do with these funds. It can be used for BLA business or returned to players in some form of drawing or prize, or given to the team losing that member. Any individual situation may be discussed with the Team Captain, Division Representative, and/or BLA League Operator. Final decision is the responsibility of the BLA League Operator.

Unpaid Balances. If for any reason, at the end of a session a player has an unpaid balance - either to the league or their team - that player will not be allowed to participate in the playoffs. Depending on the circumstances, the funds due can be taken from their personal ball money or the teams ball money. When unpaid yearly fees are deducted from ball money because of non-payment, that player will not be eligible for the Members Appreciation Tournament.

Ball Money. Every ball that is made (legal shot) for your team will count for .15 cents in 8-Ball and .12 cents in 9-Ball. Exceptions to the amount paid per ball are noted when necessary. Ball totals are accumulated throughout the session and paid back at the end of the session. Teams that do not complete the session may not be eligible for any prize money.

Reduction in Fees & Payouts. When a team uses only two players per match, each team is paying less money per match instead of a full amount per team as with four or five players so the ball money is also less. The players will still be paid on all games played. If you need clarification on this, please talk to your division rep or contact the BLA office so we can help you. Teams may pay the full amount if they choose and still make full amount per ball. Divisional choice and must be agreed by all teams. This option can not be a team by team basis.

Playoff Money Playoff money can be won by winning matches in the playoffs. All teams in good standing are eligible for the playoffs. All teams are not guaranteed playoff money; only the chance to play and possibly win.

Restrictions Teams that are not paid in full for the session will have those funds deducted from divisional money won before payouts.

Tournaments BLA tournaments are for active league members that have shot in league matches prior to the tournament. Established rank may be a requirement; exceptions may apply. A person is not allowed to sign up on the spot for the purpose of participating in a tournament.



8 Ball Structure


These rules are generalized for the BLA. Certain divisions may have amendments based on variables. IE: Coin Op tables would not allow for spotting of balls. Any local changes will be posted on the web page for that particular division.

Please note: New players will usually learn the rules and operation of the BLA by experienced members. Rules are posted here for the purpose of reference.

If you have questions, contact your division rep or the league office.


Basics
2, 3, 4 or 5 shooters per team. 8 can be rostered.
4 games per league night; each with a different opponent. If you only have 3 players per team, play 6 games per league night, each player playing each member of the other team twice.

Team League Fees: $14, $21, $28 or $35 depending on number of shooters
Players do not pay for playoff weeks.

Payouts are based on balls made during the session. Teams earn ball money based on balls pocketed. Cash payouts for top winners in the playoffs - amounts are determined by number of teams in the division.

Ball money is earned when your balls are pocketed - even if your opponent pockets it for you! Pocketing an opponent's ball does not affect your score or payout. Ball total accumulates throughout the session. Trophies, plaques and / or cash will be awarded to the 1st place team of each session.

Player Rankings are determined by dividing the number of balls made by the number of games played; round up on .5 and round down on a .4. There is no cap on team rankings. Ranks & handicaps are used during the regular session and in the playoffs.

Player rankings are established for each player after they have played 4 league weeks. Player rankings will be a running total of the history of that player’s games and balls made through all the session/division games for the current and previous calendar years.

The League Office will keep score sheets on file to handle any questions or disputes.

Player Scoring is based on balls made. Each player receives one point per ball made of their suit (solids/stripes); including the 8 ball. Points awarded to the losing player are figured out by how many of his/her balls were pocketed. If there is 1 ball left on the table, losing player would receive 6 points. If there were 2 balls left on the table, losing player would receive 5 points and so on. Maximum number of points in any game is 15.

Team Scoring for each game requires only the final score; not safeties, innings, etc. Winning score is always 8 and the losing player score is 0-7 depending on number of balls off the table at game end. After all players have played and the scores are recorded, total all of the scores for all players. The team that receives handicap points will add that number to their total. The team with the higher number wins the round. 5 round points are awarded each league match: Four (4) points for the shooting rounds and one (1) point for the totals round. 6 rounds with 3 player teams.

When the score is tied at the end of a round, each team receives 1/2 of a point.

Team Handicaps are figured out by adding all of the rankings of your players playing that week. Team that has the lower number will get a handicap of the difference for each round. For the totals round, the lower team would get the handicap x 4. Example:

Team 1
Rank
Team 2
Rank
Sheila
4
Amy
4
Hoppy
6
Billy
5
Eric
7
Tracy
6
Oscar
7
Jimmy
6
Mitch
7
Brad
7
31
28


Team 1 has a total of 31 and team 2 has a total of 28. Team 2 would be award 3 additional points each round for the shooting rounds. Add all shooting round handicap points for the totals round. A maximum of 5 round points is available to be won each week; 7 with 3 player teams. Each team gets 1 point for each round they win. Each team gets 1/2 point for rounds that end in a tie.

8-Ball Score sheet samples can be seen here.



8-Ball Rules Download. Click on the link. You will be taken to the .pdf version of the 8-Ball Rules. Depending on your browser, you may be able to: RIGHT click on that .pdf, or FILE, SAVE AS and save the document to your computer. Or you may be able to print the rules from that page. If you can not get it, contact us for assistance. We will be glad to send to you via email.

8-Ball Rules Updated August 19, 2017
Rules posted on this web site take priority over printed rule books due to updates since the rule book was printed.


8 Ball Rules
1.0
Score Sheets
1.1
Preparing roster. When preparing your score sheet for match or tournament play, each team will fill in the players names that will be shooting the match. Your lineup will then be made available to the other team to complete the roster for the night. After you show your roster to the other team, players can not be added or switched. Special situations may be addressed by the division rep or league operator if changes are necessary.
1.2
Unranked players.
When playing a new / unranked player, leave the handicap box by their name blank. Match is played as normal with no handicap totals on the score sheet (see next paragraph).
1.2a
After a new player has played (4) matches, their rank is established. The office will enter retroactive for previous unranked matches and total the scores accordingly. If for whatever reason an unranked player does not complete 4 weeks of play, their 1, 2, or 3 played matches will be addressed by the division rep or league operator for ruling on scoring those matches before playoffs.
1.3
5 Player score sheets.  Players are placed on the roster according to rank; lowest to highest. When playing a new / unranked player, that player will be placed last on the score sheet. Match is played as normal with no handicap totals on the score sheet.
1.3a
2, 3 or 4 Player score sheets.  Players are placed on the roster with no restriction to placement; including a new / unranked player. Match is played as normal with no handicap totals on the score sheet.
1.4
At the end of the match, write down the totals BEFORE handicap points are to be awarded. If unranked players are on the sheet, you are done. If no unranked players are on the sheet, add handicap points, then totals after handicap.
2.0
Adding New Players
2.1
No team can roster a player (to be active) after the 4th week of a session without approval from the league office. The captain (or team member if captain is not available) must contact the division rep; who may contact the league operator for assistance. This is on a situation dictates basis. A team with enough players will probably not be allowed to add players after the 4th week. A hardship situation could be an exception. Players added after the 4th week may or may not be eligible to play in the playoffs. Situation dictates and would need to be discussed with League Rep or Operator. Teams may add players at any time in order to have them available for next session.
2.1a
If you are in doubt of an opponent’s eligibility, do not create a disturbance or attempt to stop the match. You should speak with the opposing captain first, then the division rep. If necessary, you may contact the league operator. If the division rep or league operator cannot be reached, go ahead and play the match. If the player was not eligible it could result in forfeit of all games for that match for using an illegal player.
2.1b
Players must play at least 4 weeks in the regular session to be eligible for the playoffs.
3.0
Racking & Breaking
3.1
Racking the balls. The apex ball is placed on the foot spot & the eight ball is placed in the center of the rack. The bottom two corners must have one each stripe & solid. No other standing requirements for ball placement except as explained in 3.1a below.
3.1a
The balls must be racked as tightly as possible; each ball should be touching adjoining balls. Refrain from tapping object balls as respect to the table owner. The shooter may request a re-rack that meets their satisfaction. If the shooter requests a particular ball on the apex (other than the 8-ball), person racking will comply. If agreed by both players, the shooter may rack for themselves.
3.1b
The BLA encourages using the "Magic Rack" or similar products if in good working order.
3.2
Break shots.  The following are the requirements of a legal break. Either are acceptable.
3.2a
1. 4 object balls either contact a rail or cross the head string or combination of the two.
3.2a1
2. Any object ball pocketed.
3.2b
The shooter gets a second attempt at a legal break if the first try is not successful. If the player does not make a legal break on the 2nd try, the player who racked would then have the option to break.
3.2c
The game is not started until the cue ball contacts the apex ball or one of the balls immediately behind the apex ball. If the cue ball is deflected before contacting the required ball, this does not count as a break attempt for the shooter.
3.2d
If a player miscues while breaking, and the cue ball doesn’t give the player a legal break, there is no penalty; even if the shooter scratches.
3.3
Making the 8-ball on the break is not a win. The person that broke the rack has two options on how to continue:
3.3a
1. Re-rack and the same person break again; no score is awarded.
3.3a1
2. Spot the eight ball and continue the game with cue ball in current position.
3.3a2
If the shooter makes the 8-ball on the break and scratches or the cue ball or 8-Ball jumps off the table, it is not a loss of game; it is a loss of turn. The opponent will gain control of the cue ball with three options: spot the 8-Ball and accept the cue ball behind the head string, re-rack and break, or have the same person break.
3.3a3
Other than the break, if the 8-Ball comes to rest other than on the playing surface or in a pocket, it is a loss of game for the shooter. If the cue ball "jumps" the table, it is played as a scratch.
3.4
Rack and break is alternated between the home & visiting teams by rounds. Visitor breaks rounds 1 & 3; home team breaks rounds 2 & 4.
3.5
After a scratch on the break, if the incoming player places the cue ball forward of the head string and prepares to shoot, any player from either of the two competing teams may inform the shooter. After the shot, there is no recourse.
4.0
Determining Suit
4.1
Table is always open after the break regardless of object balls made. Suits are not determined by the break. Suits are only decided after a player calls and pockets a ball on a legal shot. Players suit of balls may be determined by legally pocketing a called ball; including a called safety. IE: If shooter calls a ball & pocket and calls safety, the shooter retains that suit of balls. Shooter may call safety only without retaining suit. Inform opponent of your intentions.
4.2
When the table is open, players may combo a stripe to a solid or vice versa to determine suits. After suits have been determined, you must hit your ball before any other ball or it is a foul. Combo shots using opponent's ball or the 8-ball are legal as long as you hit your ball first.
4.3
The 8-ball is not neutral and cannot be used as the first ball in any combination. This would result in ball-in-hand for opponent.
5.0
Legal Shots & Pocketed Balls
5.0a
Legal shots require the cue ball be struck only with the cue tip. Failure to meet this requirement is a foul.
5.1
A legally pocketed ball requires a player to identify a ball and a pocket. Caroms, double kiss, or other legal actions do not need to be called. If a player calls a ball in a pocket and it caroms off another ball but still goes in the called pocket, player has made a legal shot and remains at the table. If the shot is anything other than straight in obvious, make sure your opponent is aware of what ball and pocket you are calling. If the shot is obvious, there is no need to call it; even on the 8-Ball. You should be specific on the pocket when anything other than straight in to the closest pocket is your call; including a bank shot, a difficult carom, or otherwise trying for a not obvious straight in closest pocket shot.
5.2
A ball is considered pocketed if it drops off the table into a pocket and remains there. If a ball re-bounds from a pocket and comes to rest on the table, it is not a pocketed ball. In the (strange) event a previously pocketed ball were to be caused to return to the playing surface, this ball would be returned by hand to the pocket and replace other balls contacted by the previously pocketed ball. Inform opponent first!
5.3
A legal shot requires shooter to make a legal hit on any of their object balls; then after the cue ball contacts your object ball, any ball must touch a rail or be pocketed or the shot is a foul. A rail first kick shot is acceptable but contact with a rail or pocketing a ball must happen after contacting your object ball. Pocketing a ball (yours or your opponents) other than the called ball is not a foul, but your turn is over. If shooter does not pocket the called shot, any of their suit of balls pocketed are returned to the table and spotted. Opponents would stay down. Pocketing a ball (yours or your opponents) in addition to your called ball is acceptable and you remain at the table. It does not matter if your called ball falls first or not.
5.3a
If a player fouls anytime during a shot, any of that players suit of balls made on the shot will be returned to the table and spotted. Any of their opponents suit of balls pocketed on a foul shot will remain pocketed.
5.4
Players must have at least one foot in contact with the floor when shooting or the shot is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent. This rule does not apply to a handicapped person IE: sitting in a wheelchair.
5.5
Frozen balls. When the object ball you are shooting is frozen to a rail, one of four things must happen after the cue ball contacts that frozen object ball:
5.5a
a. The frozen ball being pocketed.
5.5b
b. The frozen ball contacting any rail after becoming un-frozen from the rail.
5.5c
c. The cue ball contacting any rail.
5.5d
d. Any other ball contacting a rail or being pocketed. Cue ball being pocketed is a foul.
5.6
If none of these happen, it is a foul.
6.0
Fouls
6.1
All fouls will result in ball in hand being awarded to the opponent. Ball in hand means the incoming shooter may place the cue ball anywhere on the table (with the exception of touching another ball) and shoot in any direction. There is no requirement to shoot "behind the line" or shoot only at balls that are "in front of the line" in order to be a legal shot (except after a scratch on the break which required shooter to shoot from behind the head string to outside of the head string before making contact with a ball).
6.1a
Examples of fouls: 
6.1a1
Anytime the cue ball comes to rest other than on the playing surface. 
6.1a2
Failure to cause the cue ball to make contact with your suit of balls first.
6.1a3
Failure to pocket a ball or contact a rail after contacting your suit of balls. 
6.1a4
Touching the cue ball other than ball in hand.
6.1a5
Touching an object ball with the cue ball or your hand when placing the cue ball during ball in hand.
6.1a6
Using the cue tip or ferrule when placing the cue ball during ball in hand.
6.1a7
Incidental contact with the cue ball by an accidentally "bumped" ball, bridge, chalk, or other item.
6.1a8
Anything that impedes the cue ball while it is rolling (hand, stick, bridge, chalk, etc) is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent. This does not apply to "outside interference" that is not within the shooters control. 
6.1a9
In the event an object has mistakenly fallen onto the playing surface during a game (chalk or any other item), anyone can call attention to it before the player shoots.
6.1a10
Shooting a shot before all balls have come to a complete stop.
6.2
There is no 3 consecutive foul rule.
6.3
When a shot comes up that seems likely to lead to controversy, before the shot either team may request another BLA member to judge the legality of the shot. Both players must agree on the judging person. The decision of the person watching the shot is final.
6.3a
If no team requested someone to judge a shot, the judgment will go in favor of the shooter.
7.0
Scoring
7.1
Shooter gets one point for each ball made on a legal shot.
8.0
Safety / Defensive Shots
8.1
Safety/Defensive shots are legal. If you call a safety or defensive shot you automatically forfeit your next shot whether you make a ball or not. It is legal to call safety/defense and deliberately pocket a ball. Incoming player will play the cue ball from its current position. When the table is open, you can call a ball & pocket as a safety shot and retain that suit; either solids or stripes.
9.0
Slopped Shot
9.1
A "Slopped" shot is a pocketed ball not being called. Shooters slopped balls will be spotted; opponents will remain pocketed. If a player makes a called shot, additional pocketed balls remain pocketed.
10.0
Jawed Balls
10.1
“Jawed balls” are balls that are locked together in the opening of the pocket (may be past the slate or not) but have not fallen into the pocket. These balls are considered pocketed. When balls are “jawed”, player will unlock them by hand and allow them to fall into the pocket. Inform opponent first. The result of those two balls being pocketed determines if the shooter remains at the table. It is the same as if those two balls followed each other into the pocket. If there is 'daylight' between the balls, or between the ball & rail, the balls are not considered jawed. You may ask a league player from another team to assist if necessary.
11.0
Jumped Balls (Not to be confused with a legal Jump Shot)
11.1
The term ‘jumped ball’ here refers to a ball coming to rest other than on the table or in a pocket. A jumped object ball is not a foul. If the shooter pockets their called ball and a ball is jumped, they have made a legal shot and will remain at the table. A jumped cue ball is the same as a scratch. If a stripe or solid is jumped off the table the following rule will apply:
11.2
a. If the shooter jumps their ball, it is spotted.
11.3
b. If the shooter jumps the opponents’ ball it is pocketed and the opponent receives credit for that ball.
11.4
c. If the table is open, jumped balls will be spotted (alternate suits).
11.5
d. If the shooter pockets their called ball and a ball is jumped, they made a legal shot and will remain at the table. Jumped balls will be pocketed or spotted depending on whose ball it is.
11.6
e. A jumped 8-ball is a loss of game. A jumped cue ball is the same as a scratch.
12.0
Timeouts
12.1
Any player on a shooters team can call a timeout at anytime a timeout is still available. It is the shooters decision if they wish to accept the called timeout. The shooter can accept the timeout or deny it. There is no requirement for the person calling the timeout to also be the coach. The shooter can request the coach from any player on their team.
12.1a
Players rated 4 and below are allowed 2 timeouts per rack. Players rated 5 and above are allowed 1 timeout per rack.
12.2
The coach does not have to be the same for the entire match. Each player can call his/her own coach.
12.3
When a timeout is called, the coach may talk to other team mates before speaking with the shooter. Timeouts should be no longer than two minutes.
12.4
When a coach leaves the playing area the timeout is over. No further conversation allowed.
12.5
When calling a timeout with ball in hand, the player (not the coach) must be the last one to set the cue ball on the table. A coach is never allowed to set the cue ball up for a shot. The coach is, however, allowed to set the cue ball where they suggest the shooting player shoot it from. The shooting player must pick up the ball and place it back on the table before the shot or it is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent.
12.6
Items may not be used as "aiming points" IE: placed on the rail for the shooter to shoot at a particular spot. The coach may physically touch a spot on the rail where the shooter should aim as long as no type of mark is left on the cloth. Violations will result in ball in hand for the opponent.
12.7
It is not a timeout for a player to stop to ask a rule question. Opponent should be informed of the question.
13.0
Double Hit or Push Shots
13.1
These are not legal and will result in a foul called giving ball in hand to opponent. When the cue ball is touching or close to touching the object ball, if the player shoots into the cue ball and the cue ball immediately trails the object ball, the shot is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opposing player. This is not a "follow" shot conducted with shooting the top of the cue ball for the purpose of position. The difference is the cue ball trailing the object ball.
14.0
Tie Breaking Procedures
14.1
A tie is acceptable during the session weeks. In the playoffs, if the final score is tied after five rounds, the tie breaking procedures will be as follows:
14.1a
The highest ranking players of the same rank from each team play a single game (one rack). Flip (or lag if agreed) for the break. The winner wins the tie breaker.
14.1b
If the breaker has a break & run, the opponent has a chance to then break & run for a tie. If this happens, these two players play the tie breaker again just as before; reverse first break.
14.1c
If there are not two equally ranked players, the highest ranked players from each team will play with the lower ranked player receiving the handicap difference.
14.1d
4. If there are not two equally ranked players, the two highest ranked players from each team will play with the lower ranked player receiving a handicap difference of the two players.
15.0
Late or Absent Players
15.1
Late players.  If a team has a player that will arrive late, teams should notify opponents and play around that player until he or she arrives. Players who are late are expected to be there by the end of the 2nd round. If the missing player is not there by the end of the 2nd round, the Ghost Player rule below will apply. In some tournaments or any playoff match, late players are not eligible. The two team captains may agree to "play past" the tardy player then allow them to catch up after their arrival.
15.1a
In the playoffs or tournament, players are allowed 10 minutes after scheduled match time. If the player is not there within 10 minutes, their games will be recorded as a loss. That players' opponents would be awarded 8 points for each of that players games missed. Teams that are short players in the playoffs may play with the players in attendance but the absent players will receive zero points for their games. “Ghost Players” are not allowed in the playoffs.
15.2
Absent players. With 5 players shooting.  If a team is short a player for the league night, each of the other shooting players will play one extra game for that night. Player 1 would play their extra game in round 1, player 2 in round 2, and so on. The ranking of the ghost player will be an average of the present players rankings.
15.2a
With 4 players shooting.  If a team is short a player for the league night, the three players present will play one extra game for that night, and one player will play two extra games. Player 1 would play their extra game in round 1, player 2 in round 2, and player 3 in round 3. The opposing team has the choice of which player plays the 4th round. The ranking of the ghost player will be an average of the present players rankings. Note: The BLA office would like to avoid games being forfeited, but sometimes this can not be avoided. Makeup matches are acceptable when necessary. If a forfeit is necessary, the team captain should notify the League Rep or League Office. League fees are still required for forfeited matches.
15.3
Makeup matches are allowed when necessary. Notify the league office or division rep as soon as possible. Situation dictates as to make up or forfeit missed matches and will be determined by the league office or division rep. This match must be made up before the end of the current session. A make-up match may, in certain situations, be conducted in conjunction with a scheduled league match. If the two teams cannot agree on a make up date, they will notify the division rep or league operator as soon as possible for assistance.
15.4
Missed matches, without advance notification, will result in a forfeit. If a team will miss a scheduled match, it is your responsibility to let the other team know in advance. When a team does not show up and does not give the other team advance notice, it is a forfeit. Points go to the opposing team. Ball count will be paid to the present team (based on team average) but will not count towards player handicap rating. Both teams are still responsible to pay the weekly league fees.

When you will miss a match, inform your Division Rep as early as possible. Traveling teams: it is also your responsibility to inform your host location of the planned missed match.
16.0
Spotting Balls
16.1
When spotting balls, they shall be placed on the table along the "short string" after shooters turn is complete. The short string refers to the foot side of the foot spot on an imaginary line running through the center of the table from the head rail to the foot rail and intersects the head spot, center spot, and foot spot (even if the spots are not identified). The foot side runs from the foot spot to the foot rail along this imaginary line. A single ball is placed on the foot spot. If more than one ball is to be spotted, they are placed along the short string in alternating stripe/solid order (shooters suite first), beginning on the foot spot and advancing toward the foot rail. When balls on or near the foot spot or short string interfere with the spotting of balls, the balls to be spotted are placed on the short string as close as possible to the foot spot without moving the interfering balls. Spotted balls are to be placed frozen to such interfering balls (or as close as possible if the felt is damaged and will not allow for the ball to be frozen), except when the cue ball is interfering. Balls to be spotted against the cue ball are placed approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the cue ball. If there is insufficient room on the short string between the foot spot and the foot rail cushion for balls that must be spotted, such balls are then placed on the "long string" in front of the foot spot (between foot spot and head rail) as near as possible to the foot spot and in the same order as if they were spotted "behind" the foot spot.
17.0
Jump & Masse Shots
17.1
Jump and Masse Shots are legal; based on the facility house rule. There is no limit on how high a player can hold their back hand on the cue stick.
18.0
Miscellaneous
18.1
All players must be at least 18 years of age to play a league match.
18.2
Practice time. In a travel division the home team will provide practice time for both teams prior to the league match. Generally 1/2 hour to 1 hour before a league match. With an in-house division, this rule should not be an issue.
18.3
You do not need to mark the pocket for any ball; including the 8-ball. You as the shooter are responsible to make sure your opponent is aware of what pocket you’re intending on making the 8-ball in. If the shot is anything other than straight in obvious, make sure your opponent is aware of what ball and pocket you are calling.
18.4
Making the 8-Ball out of turn or scratch when shooting the 8 ball is a loss of game.
18.5
A "shot" is not complete until all balls on the table have come to a stop. Player should not shoot while any ball is still in motion. If this happens, it is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent.
18.6
Any player on the two competing teams seeing an infraction can say so. Note that if you are not on those two teams, you should not get involved unless requested to do so as in watching a shot, etc.
18.7
After a player has shot and their turn is over, they must move away from the table and not return to the playing area until it is their turn again. This includes picking up the chalk or replacing it on the table. When your shot is over, leave the playing area and remain clear as a courtesy to your opponent. Playing area is defined as the area between the tables, or approx. 5ft in either direction from the table if there is no adjoining table. Location layout may dictate exceptions.
18.7a
When it is your turn to approach the table, you must wait until your opponent has left the playing area as a courtesy to your opponent. You are not allowed to "rush" up to the table just because your opponent has missed their shot. This is more sportsmanship than a rule.
18.8
If, while a player is shooting, the opposing player does anything that could be viewed as conceding the game, the shooting player wins with no need to complete their shot. This sometimes happens when a player is shooting the 8-Ball or some of the last balls leading up to the 8-Ball. Some examples (but not limited to): 1. Breaking down their stick. 2. Reaching into a table pocket. 3. Extending a hand in a handshake pose. 4. Putting anything on the table. 5. Saying anything that could indicate conceding the game.

This must be witnessed by the opposing player; not a team mate or captain. Player conceding would get credit for the pocketed balls of their suit. If the shooting player continues to shoot, the game is still on and not conceded.
18.9
Each team captain is responsible for insuring the league fees are paid. The total amount is due for the team regardless of number of players present.
18.10
The league will not score stalemated games. It is understandable, at times, with the position of the balls, it may be risky for either player to attempt a shot or attempt a break out shot. Players are allowed to give ball in hand to each other without shooting. In this situation, if both players agree to not shoot, then re-rack and play the game over with the same player who broke that game to break in the re-rack.
18.11
The cue ball is live at all times. If you touch the cue ball while it is moving on the table, during a game, it is a loss of game.
18.11a
If the cue ball or object ball(s) need to be cleaned during a game, this is permissible when following these guidelines: Notify your opponent. The two players must agree on who will clean the ball, and how the ball position will be marked for replacement.

The BLA Office has access to get a professional ball marker and anyone in the league can obtain these from the office. You may use your own marker if approved.
18.11b
Exception to cleaning a ball during a game: When either cue ball or object ball are in a situation where clearance for a shot is very close or objectionable. Improper replacing of the cleaned ball could make a difference on the clearance. When this happens, cleaning a ball is not an option.
18.12
The position of a ball is judged by where its base or center rests. This applies for the cue ball as well as object balls.
18.12a
If a ball is sitting on the head string, it is playable as it is not officially "behind" or "over" the head string.
18.13
If a player accidentally moves an object ball they must notify the opposing player. Opponent has the option to move ball back to its original spot, allow the shooter to move it back, or leave it as it sits. If the shooter moves the ball back without permission from the opponent, it is a foul. Any player from the two competing teams can identify an infraction.
18.14
If the balls are moved (or a player is bumped such that play is directly affected) by a non-player during the match, the balls shall be replaced as near as possible to their original positions immediately prior to the incident, and play shall resume with no penalty on the player affected. If the balls cannot be restored to their original positions, restart the game with the original player breaking.
18.15
If a game is accidentally started out of order, it does not count even if you are to play that person later. Team captains may agree to override this rule during session play but not in the playoffs or tournament.
18.16
If a situation arises that is not covered in these rules, the Division Rep or League Operator has the position to make a judgment on the situation and holds final judgment. It is our intention to maintain a fun & fair league. We will do what we can do to make sure you are treated with Fairness and Respect. Hopefully all the bases have been covered in these rules. If not, someone has to make a final judgment when necessary. Thank you for your support!


8-Ball questions from players (and answers)

Q: If you hit your opponents ball first and make your ball, does your ball stay down?
A: No. Your ball would be spotted and your opponent would receive ball in hand.



9 Ball Structure


These rules are generalized for the BLA. Certain divisions may have amendments based on variables. IE: Coin Op tables would not allow for spotting of balls. Any local changes will be posted on the web page for that particular division.

Please note: New players will usually learn the rules and operation of the BLA by experienced members. Rules are posted here for the purpose of reference.

If you have questions, contact your division rep or the league office.


Basics
2 or 4 players per match (6 can be rostered).
Players play 8 games per league match. 16 if 2 person teams.
Player plays each player from opposing team.
Team League Fees: $14 or $28 depending on number of shooters
Players do not pay for playoff weeks.

Payouts are based on team performance on the table. Teams earn money for balls made by your players; accumulated for the session. There is also playoff money to be won. Playoff prize money is based on the number of teams in the division. Trophies or plaques will be awarded to the 1st place team of the regular season. Cash paid for playoffs.

Player Ranking is determined by balls made divided by matches played. No cap for player rankings. Ranks & handicaps are used during the regular session and in the playoffs.

Player Scoring: Players get credit for balls made and identified on score sheet. No requirement to track innings or safeties.

Team Scoring will be totaled for shooter, rounds, & teams then recorded on the score sheet. Score for the teams can be anywhere between .5 (half point) up to 4. A tie in a round would give each team 1/2 point.

Team Handicaps are figured out by adding the ranking of the players shooting for your team. Team with lower number receives a handicap of the difference in each of the four rounds. Example:

Home
Rank
Visitors
Rank
Player 1
3
Player 5
4
Player 2
3
Player 6
4
Player 3
4
Player 7
6
Player 4
4
Player 8
6
14
20


Home team has 14. The visiting team has 20. The home team would be awarded 6 handicap points in each of the four shooting rounds. After handicap points are added in, the team with highest number wins the round.

9-Ball Score sheet samples can be seen here.



9-Ball Rules Download. Click on the link. You will be taken to the .pdf version of the 9-Ball Rules. Depending on your browser, you may be able to: RIGHT click on that .pdf, or FILE, SAVE AS and save the document to your computer. Or you may be able to print the rules from that page. If you can not get it, contact us for assistance.

9-Ball Rules Updated August 19, 2017
Rules posted on this web site take priority over printed rule books due to updates since the rule book was printed.


9 Ball Rules

1.0

Score Sheets

1.1

Preparing score sheets. When preparing your score sheet for match or tournament play, each team will fill in the players names that will be shooting for your team. Your lineup will then be made available to the other team to complete the sheet for the night. After you show your roster to the other team, players can not be added, adjusted, or switched. Special situations may be addressed. Check with the opposing captain, division rep or league operator if changes are necessary.

1.2

Unranked players. When playing a new / unranked player, leave the rank box by their name blank. Unranked players can be placed in either of the four positions for your team. Match is played as normal with no handicap totals on the score sheet (see next paragraph).

1.2a

After a new player has played (4) matches, their rank is established. The office will enter retroactively for previous unranked matches and total the scores accordingly. If for whatever reason an unranked player does not complete 4 weeks of play, their 1, 2, or 3 played matches will be addressed by the division rep or league operator for ruling on scoring those matches before playoffs.

1.3

At the end of the match, write down the totals BEFORE handicap points are to be awarded. If unranked players are on the sheet, you are done. If no unranked players are on the sheet, add handicap points, then totals after handicap.

2.0

Adding New Players

2.1

No team can roster a player (to be active) after the 4th week of a session without approval from the league office. The captain (or team member if captain is not available) must contact the division rep; who may contact the league operator for assistance. This is on a situation dictates basis. A team with enough players will probably not be allowed to add players after the 4th week. A hardship situation could be an exception. Players added after the 4th week may or may not be eligible to play in the playoffs. Situation dictates and would need to be discussed with League Rep or Operator. Teams may add players at any time in order to have them available for next session.

2.1a

If you are in doubt of an opponent’s eligibility, do not create a disturbance or attempt to stop the match. You should speak with the opposing captain first, then the division rep. If necessary, you may contact the league operator. If the division rep or league operator cannot be reached, go ahead and play the match. If the player was not eligible it could result in forfeit of all games for that match for using an illegal player.

2.1b

Players must play at least 4 weeks in the regular session to be eligible for the playoffs.

3.0

Racking & Breaking

3.1

Racking the Balls. The 1 ball must be placed at the top of the rack (apex) and the 9 ball in the middle.

3.1a

The balls must be racked as tightly as possible; each ball should be touching adjoining balls. Refrain from tapping object balls as respect to the table owner. The player breaking may request a re-rack that meets their satisfaction. If agreed by both players, the shooter may rack for themselves.

3.1b

The BLA encourages using the "Magic Rack" or similar products if in good working order.

3.2

Break shots. The following are the requirements of a legal break. Either are acceptable.

3.2a

1. 4 object balls either contact a rail or cross the head string or combination of the two.

3.2a1

2. Any object ball pocketed.

3.2b

The shooter gets a second attempt at a legal break if the first try is not successful. If the player does not make a legal break on the 2nd try, the player who racked would then have the option to break.

3.2c

The game is not started until the cue ball contacts the one ball sitting on the apex of the rack. If the cue ball is deflected before contacting the one ball, this does not count as a break attempt for the shooter.

3.2d

If a player miscues while breaking, and the cue ball doesn’t give the player a legal break, there is no penalty; even if the shooter scratches.

3.3

If the 9-Ball is made on the break, the person that broke the rack has two options on how to continue:

3.3a

1. Re-rack and the same person break again; no score is awarded.

3.3a1

2. Spot the nine ball and continue the game with cue ball in current position and no point being awarded for the nine being made on the break. Additional pocketed balls are scored for the shooter.

3.3a2

If the nine ball & cue ball are made on the break, spot the nine and opponent is awarded ball in hand.

3.4

In each 2-Rack game, visiting team always breaks first and home team always breaks the second rack; no matter who won the first rack.

4.0

Legal Shots
4.0a
Legal shots require the cue ball be struck only with the cue tip. Failure to meet this requirement is a foul.

4.1

Push out. On the first shot after the break, the shooter may elect to call a Push Out (also known as a Roll Out). This is usually done when the shooter does not have a desirable shot. On a push out, the shooter must shoot the cue ball with their cue tip (normal shot) but no other contact is required by the cue ball. Additional contact is acceptable including pocketing a ball but that pocketed ball is now a dead ball and would not be scored. Not contacting the lowest numbered ball or a rail is not a foul on the push out so ball in hand is not awarded. Any ball pocketed on a push out stays down except the 9-ball, which would be spotted on the foot spot immediately following the push out shot.

4.1a

Following a push out shot, the incoming player has the option to take the shot from the new position or pass the shot back to the player who pushed out. No matter who shoots next, on the shot immediately following the push out, all rules apply.

4.2

Legal shot. A legal shot requires the cue ball to first make contact with the lowest numbered ball on the table and then either pocket any numbered ball, or cause any ball to contact a rail. A rail first kick shot is acceptable but contact with a rail or pocketing a ball must happen after contacting the lowest numbered ball. Combination and carom shots are allowed. As long as the cue ball makes contact with the lowest numbered ball on the table first, any balls pocketed are credited to the shooter unless it was an un-called nine ball. The nine ball must be called in order to be credited to the shooter. In the case of a combination or carom shot causing another ball to be pocketed, the next shot would then be on the same lowest numbered ball. There is no requirement to identify which ball will be pocketed except the nine ball. Luck shots after a legal hit, other than the nine ball, is considered a good shot and credited to the shooter. Unless otherwise specified in these rules, the game is over when the nine ball is pocketed on a called shot.

4.2a

Calling the nine ball. If shooter calls the nine ball on a combination or carom shot, they have placed themselves in a "call shot" situation. In this case, your only allowable shot is the nine ball. Any other balls pocketed in addition to the nine ball are credited to the shooter. If the nine ball is not pocketed, any other balls pocketed are dead balls and are not scored.

4.2b

Continuation shot. Shooter may pocket the nine ball on a legal hit combination or carom shot without scoring or ending the game. Shooter must inform your opponent of the call of a Continuation Shot. Making the nine ball after calling a continuation results in the nine ball being spotted on the foot spot and the shooter continues shooting with cue ball in current position.

4.2c

A ball is considered pocketed if it drops off the table into a pocket and remains there. If a ball re-bounds from a pocket and comes to rest on the table, it is not a pocketed ball. In the (strange) event a previously pocketed ball were to be caused to return to the playing surface, this ball would be returned by hand to the pocket and replace other balls contacted by the previously pocketed ball. Inform opponent first!

4.2d

Accidentally pocketing the nine ball requires the nine ball to be spotted with no score for the accidentally pocketed nine ball. The shooter remains at the table with cue ball in position. A safety may be called when pocketing the nine ball ending the shooters turn at the table. Opponent accepts cue in position to continue the game.

4.3

Players must have at least 1 foot in contact with the floor when shooting or the shot is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent. This rule does not apply to a handicapped person IE: sitting in a wheelchair.

4.4

Frozen balls. When the object ball you are shooting is frozen to a rail, one of four things must happen after the cue ball contacts that frozen object ball:

4.4a

a. The frozen ball being pocketed.

4.4b

b. The frozen ball contacting any rail after becoming un-frozen from the rail.

4.4c

c. The cue ball contacting any rail.

4.4d

d. Any other ball contacting a rail or being pocketed. Cue ball being pocketed is a foul.

4.4e

If none of these happen, it is a foul.

5.0

Fouls

5.1

All fouls will result in ball in hand being awarded to the opponent. Ball in hand means the incoming shooter may place the cue ball anywhere on the table (with the exception of touching another ball) and shoot in any direction. There is no requirement to shoot "behind the line" or shoot only at balls that are "in front of the line" in order to be a legal shot.

5.1a

Examples of fouls:

5.1a1

Anytime the cue ball comes to rest other than on the playing surface.

5.1a2

Failure to cause the cue ball to make contact with the lowest numbered ball first.

5.1a3

Failure to pocket a ball or contact a rail after contacting the lowest numbered ball on the table.

5.1a4

Touching the cue ball other than ball in hand.

5.1a5

Touching an object ball with the cue ball or your hand when placing the cue ball during ball in hand.

5.1a6

Using the cue tip or ferrule when placing the cue ball during ball in hand.

5.1a7

Incidental contact with the cue ball by an accidentally "bumped" ball, bridge, chalk, or other item.

5.1a8

Anything that impedes the cue ball while it is rolling (hand, stick, bridge, chalk, etc) is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent. This does not apply to "outside interference" that is not within the shooters control.

5.1a9

In the event an object has mistakenly fallen onto the playing surface during a game (chalk or other item), anyone can call attention to it before the player shoots.

5.1a10

Shooting a shot before all balls have come to a complete stop.

5.2

There is no 3 consecutive foul rule.

5.3

When a shot comes up that seems likely to lead to controversy, before the shot either team may request another BLA member to judge the legality of the shot. Both players must agree on the judging person. The decision of the person watching the shot is final.

5.3a

If no team requested someone to judge a shot, the judgment will go in favor of the shooter.

6.0

Scoring

6.1

Shooter gets one point for each ball made on a legal shot. The exception is: You must call the nine ball. If the shot is a straight in obvious shot, there is no need to call it. Anything other than straight in needs to be called. If the nine ball is accidentally pocketed without being called, even if on a legal hit, the nine ball is not scored and will be spotted. Cue ball remains in position and the game continues. Making the nine ball without calling it is not a foul. If made on a legal hit, shooter remains at table after spotting nine ball except on a called safety.

7.0

Safety / Defensive Shots

7.1

Safety/Defensive Shots are legal. If you call a safety or defensive shot you automatically forfeit your next shot unless you make a ball. Because this is not a call your shot game, pocketed ball (other than the cue ball) are credited to the shooter and that shooter remains at the table. After a safety, incoming player will play the cue ball from its current position except on a scratch.

8.0

Jawed Balls

8.1

"Jawed balls" are balls that are locked together in the opening of the pocket (may be past the slate or not) but have not fallen into the pocket. These balls are considered pocketed. When balls are “jawed”, player will unlock them by hand and allow them to fall into the pocket. Inform opponent first. The result of those two balls being pocketed determines if the shooter remains at the table. It is the same as if those two balls followed each other into the pocket. If there is 'daylight' between the balls, or between the ball & rail, the balls are not considered jawed. You may ask a league player from another team to assist if necessary.

9.0

Timeouts

9.1

Any player on a shooters team can call a timeout at anytime a timeout is still available. It is the shooters decision if they wish to accept the called timeout. The shooter can accept the timeout or deny it. There is no requirement for the person calling the timeout to also be the coach. The shooter can request the coach from any player on their team.

9.1a

Players rated 4 and below are allowed 2 timeouts per rack. Players rated 5 and above are allowed 1 timeout per rack.

9.2

The coach does not have to be the same for the entire match. Each player can call his/her own coach.

9.3

When a timeout is called, the coach may talk to other team mates before speaking with the shooter. Timeouts should be no longer than two minutes.

9.4

When a coach leaves the playing area the timeout is over. No further conversation allowed.

9.5

When calling a timeout with ball in hand, the player (not the coach) must be the last one to set the cue ball on the table. A coach is never allowed to set the cue ball up for a shot. The coach is, however, allowed to set the cue ball where they suggest the shooting player shoot it from. The shooting player must pick up the ball and place it back on the table before the shot or it is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent.

9.6

Items may not be used as "aiming points" IE: placed on the rail for the shooter to shoot at a particular spot. The coach may physically touch a spot on the rail where the shooter should aim as long as no type of mark is left on the cloth. Violations will result in ball in hand for the opponent.

9.7

It is not a timeout for a player to stop to ask a rule question. Opponent should be informed of the question.

10.0

Double Hit or Push Shots (Not to be confused with a Push Out Shot)

10.1

These are not legal and will result in a foul called giving ball in hand to opponent. When the cue ball is touching or close to touching the object ball, if the player shoots into the cue ball and the cue ball immediately trails the object ball, the shot is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opposing player. This is not a "follow" shot conducted with shooting the top of the cue ball for the purpose of position. The difference is the cue ball trailing the object ball.

11.0

Tie Breaking Procedures

11.1

A tie is acceptable during the session weeks but not in the playoffs. If the final score is tied, the tie breaking procedures will be as follows:

11.1a

The highest ranking players of the same rank from each team play two racks. Flip (or lag if agreed) for first break; alternate break. Total points wins the tie breaker.

11.1b

If there are not two equally ranked players, the two highest ranked players from each team will play with the lower ranked player receiving a handicap difference of the two players.

12.0

Late or Absent Players

12.1

Late players. If a team has a player that will arrive late, teams should notify opponents and play around that player until he or she arrives. Players who are late are expected to be there by the end of the 2nd round. If the missing player is not there by the end of the 2nd round, the Ghost Player rule below will apply. In some tournaments or any playoff match, late players are not eligible. See 12.1a.

12.1a

In the playoffs or tournament, players are allowed 10 minutes after scheduled match time. If the player is not there within 10 minutes, their games will be recorded as a loss. That players' opponents would be awarded 8 points for each of that players' games missed. Teams that are short players in the playoffs may play with the players in attendance but the absent players will receive zero points for their games. “Ghost Players” are not allowed in the playoffs.

12.2

Absent players. If a team is short a player for the league night, the three players present will play one extra round, in order, as on the roster. This is known as the "Ghost Player". IE: First player will play the 4th spot in round 1, second player in round 2, and third player in round 3. The opposing team will pick which of the three players will play the fourth spot in round 4. Teams are still required to turn in full amount of money for the league match. Note: The BLA office would like to avoid games being forfeited, but sometimes this can not be avoided. Makeup matches are acceptable when necessary. If a forfeit is necessary, the team captain should notify the League Rep or League Office. League fees are still required for forfeited matches.

12.3

Makeup matches are allowed when necessary. Notify the league office or division rep as soon as possible. Situation dictates as to make up or forfeit missed matches and will be determined by the league office or division rep. This match must be made up before the end of the current session. A make-up match may, in certain situations, be conducted in conjunction with a scheduled league match. If the two teams cannot agree on a make up date, they will notify the division rep or league operator as soon as possible for assistance.

12.4

Missed matches, without advance notification, will result in a forfeit. If a team will miss a scheduled match, it is your responsibility to let the other team know in advance. When a team does not show up and does not give the other team advance notice, it is a forfeit. Points go to the opposing team. Ball count will be paid to the present team (based on team average) but will not count towards player handicap rating. Both teams are still responsible to pay the weekly league fees.

When you will miss a match, inform your Division Rep as early as possible. Traveling teams: it is also your responsibility to inform your host location of the planned missed match.

13.0

Spotting Balls

13.1

When spotting balls, they shall be placed on the table along the "short string" after shooters turn is complete. The short string refers to the foot side of the foot spot on an imaginary line running through the center of the table from the head rail to the foot rail and intersects the head spot, center spot, and foot spot (even if the spots are not identified). The foot side runs from the foot spot to the foot rail along this imaginary line. A single ball is placed on the foot spot. If more than one ball is to be spotted, they are placed along the short string, beginning on the foot spot and advancing toward the foot rail.

13.1a

When balls on or near the foot spot or short string interfere with the spotting of balls, the balls to be spotted are placed on the short string as close as possible to the foot spot without moving the interfering balls. Spotted balls are to be placed frozen to such interfering balls (or as close as possible if the felt is damaged and will not allow for the ball to be frozen), except when the cue ball is interfering. Balls to be spotted against the cue ball are placed approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the cue ball. If there is insufficient room on the short string between the foot spot and the foot rail cushion for balls that must be spotted, such balls are then placed on the "long string" in front of the foot spot (between foot spot and head rail) as near as possible to the foot spot and in the same order as if they were spotted "behind" the foot spot.

14.0

Jump & Masse Shots

14.1

Jump and Masse Shots are legal; based on the facility house rule. There is no limit on how high a player can hold their back hand on the cue stick.

15.0

Jumped Balls (Not to be confused with a legal Jump Shot)

15.1

The term ‘jumped ball’ here refers to a ball coming to rest other than on the table or in a pocket. A jumped object ball is not a foul. Jumped balls will be pocketed and not counted for score (dead balls). If the shooter pockets their called ball and a ball is jumped, they have made a legal shot and will remain at the table. A jumped cue ball is the same as a scratch.

16.0

Miscellaneous

16.1

All players must be at least 18 years old to play a league match.

16.2

Practice time. In a travel division the home team will provide practice time for both teams prior to the league match. Generally 1/2 hour to 1 hour before a league match. With an in-house division, this should not be an issue.

16.3

A "shot" is not complete until all balls on the table have come to a stop. Player should not shoot while any ball is still in motion. If this happens, it is a foul and ball in hand is awarded to the opponent.

16.4

Any player on the two competing teams seeing an infraction can say so. If you are not on those two teams, you should not get involved unless requested to do so as in watching a shot, etc.

16.5

After a player has shot and their turn is over, they must move away from the table and not return to the playing area until it is their turn again. This includes picking up the chalk or replacing it on the table. When your shot is over, leave the playing area and remain clear as a courtesy to your opponent. Playing area is defined as the area between the tables, or approx. 5ft in either direction from the table if there is no adjoining table. Location layout may dictate exceptions.

16.6

When it is your turn to approach the table, you must wait until your opponent has left the playing area as a courtesy to your opponent. You are not allowed to "rush" up to the table just because your opponent has missed their shot. This is more sportsmanship than a rule.

16.7

If, while a player is shooting, the opposing player does anything that could be viewed as conceding the game, the shooting player is awarded the remaining balls with no need to complete their shot. This sometimes happens when a player is shooting the 9-Ball or some of the last balls leading up to the 9-Ball. Some examples (but not limited to): 1. Breaking down their stick. 2. Reaching into a table pocket. 3. Extending a hand in a handshake pose. 4. Putting anything on the table. 5. Saying anything that could indicate conceding the game.

This must be witnessed by the opposing player; not a team mate or captain. Player conceding would get credit for their pocketed balls. If the shooting player continues to shoot, the game is still on and not conceded.

16.8

Each team captain is responsible for insuring the league fees are paid each league night. The total amount is due for the team regardless of number of players present.

16.9

The league will not score stalemated games. It is understandable, at times, with the position of the balls, it may be risky for either player to attempt a shot or a break out shot. Players are allowed to give ball in hand to each other without shooting. In this situation, if both players agree to not shoot, then re-rack and play the game over with the same player who broke that game to break in the re-rack.

16.10

The cue ball is live at all times. If you touch the cue ball while it is moving on the table, during a game, it is a loss of game and all remaining points of that rack are awarded to opponent. This includes catching the cue ball falling into a pocket.

16.10a

If the cue ball or object ball(s) need to be cleaned during a game, this is permissible when following these guidelines: Notify your opponent. The two players must agree on who will clean the ball, and how the ball position will be marked for replacement.

The BLA Office has access to get a professional ball marker and anyone in the league can obtain these from the office. You may use your own marker if approved.

16.10b

Exception to cleaning a ball during a game: When either cue ball or object ball are in a situation where clearance for a shot is very close or objectionable. Improper replacing of the cleaned ball could make a difference on the clearance. When this happens, cleaning a ball is not an option.

16.11

If a player accidentally moves an object ball they must notify the opposing player. Opponent has the option to move ball back to its original spot, allow the shooter to move it back, or leave it as it sits. If the shooter moves the ball back without permission from the opponent, it is a foul. Any player from the two competing teams can identify an infraction.

16.12

If the balls are moved (or a player is bumped causing play to be directly affected) by a non-player during the match, the balls shall be replaced as near as possible to their original positions immediately prior to the incident, and play shall resume with no penalty on the player affected. If the balls cannot be restored to their original positions, restart the game with the original player breaking.

16.13

If a game is accidentally started out of order, it does not count even if you are to play that person later. Players or captains may agree to override this rule during session play; not in playoffs or tournament.

16.14

If a situation arises that is not covered in these rules, the Division Rep or League Operator has the position to make a judgment on the situation and holds final judgment. It is our intention to maintain a fun & fair league. We will do what we can do to make sure you are treated with Fairness and Respect. Hopefully all the bases have been covered in these rules. If not, someone has to make a final judgment when necessary. Thank you for your support!


9-Ball questions from players (and answers)

Q: Can you call a safety, make a ball, and then it is your opponents turn to shoot?
A: Not in 9-Ball. Because this is not a call your shot game. When a ball goes in on a legal hit - accidental or by design - the shooter remains at the table. Exceptions would be noted in 9-Ball Rules.

Q: Nine ball goes in non called pocket. Is this ball in hand [for opponent]?
A: Not unless a foul was committed. The nine ball going into the wrong pocket does not constitute a foul. Nine ball gets spotted on foot spot; cue ball remains in position for opponent to shoot.


Tournament Information



All BLA rules are in effect for tournaments.

Tournament cost to play is determined for each tournament.

Current player rankings will be used to determine handicaps.
  Players must have established rank to be eligible. Special circumstances may be addressed by BLA Staff.

The League Office does not make money on tournaments.

All tournaments are double elimination unless otherwise noted.

There are no timeouts or coaching allowed in singles tournaments.

Each team has two time outs per game in doubles tournaments; No limit in Scotch Doubles.
  Note: In Scotch-doubles, partners may talk to each other at any time
  as long as you do not distract opponents when they are shooting.

Either team member in doubles can break with no requirement based on last shooter in previous rack.

If tied at the end of the established number of racks, play continues with additional racks -
  continuing with alternating break & use handicaps - until one team is ahead at the end of the rack.

Payouts will be based on the number of entries in a tournament.



8 Ball Singles Tournament:
Each match is 3 or 4 racks; determined before tournament.
  Usually based on number of teams and time available.
Flip for first break; then alternate breaks.
Handicap points are given to the lower rank player or team; difference in rank of the two sides.

Example:
Player 1 is ranked a 5 and player 2 is ranked a 7. Player 1 gets 2 handicap points for each game (6 balls for the 3 games). Mark the scores on score sheet after each rack.
Player with the higher ball total wins the match and moves on to the next round. Here is a sample score sheet:



In this scenario, player 1 wins the match. Notice that player 2 shot his rank: 22 divided by 3 is 7.3 (rounded down to 7). Player 1 shot just over his rank: 17 divided by 3 is 5.6 (would be rounded up to 6).

If total score ends in a tie, play one more game including handicap points. Player who broke game 3 racks for game 4. The winner of the tie-breaker game wins the match.

When a player reaches a number of points that the opponent can not catch, the match is over.


8 Ball Doubles Tournament
Teams can be both male or female or mixed, unless it is a mixed doubles tournament.

The handicap and scoring system are the same as a singles tournament. Add the two player's ranks together to determine who gets handicap points. This scoring system is used for Doubles and/or Scotch Doubles.





9 Ball Singles Tournament
Each match is 5 racks. Number of racks is subject to change. Check back for updates.
Flip for first break; then alternate breaks.
Handicap points are given to the lower rank player or team; difference in rank of the two sides.

Example:
Player 1 is ranked a 6 and player 2 is ranked a 4. Player 2 gets 2 handicap points for each game (10 balls for the 5 games).
Mark the scores on score sheet after each rack.
Player with the higher ball total wins the match and moves on to the next round. Here is a sample score sheet:



9 Ball Doubles Tournament
Each match is 5 or 6 racks; determined before tournament.
  Usually based on number of teams and time available.
Teams can be both male or female or mixed, unless it is a mixed doubles tournament.

The handicap and scoring system are the same as a singles tournament. Add the two player's ranks together to determine who gets handicap points. This scoring system is used for Doubles and/or Scotch Doubles.




Sportsmanship


These are not league rules, but guidelines for players. You should respect what is written here. Following these guidelines will make your league play more fun and enjoyable.

NOTE: Sportsmanship violations can lead to loss of points for the league match. When a violation is causing an issue between any of the players in a match, make the captains (or acting captains) aware of the issue. If the problem continues, notify the Division Representative or League Operator. Continued sportsmanship violations may result in loss of match point or points for the night. The Division Rep and/or League Operator can make a determination on loss of point(s) penalty to be levied against offending players and/or teams.

This is our league and we are responsible to keep a fair & friendly environment. Your rep will make time to hear your complaints, issues, or comments concerning anything about the BLA League. When necessary, this issues will be addressed and escalated if necessary. Our staff cares about you & your membership status. Given the opportunity, we will address your issues; good or otherwise.


Players should always play to their ability. Taking it easy on a player of lesser ability does not help you or them. Our handicap system is in place and it works if you follow the guidelines. The BLA reserves the right to adjust any player ranking based on known ability, but hopes there is never a reason to make this type of adjustment. The League Staff knows [most of] the players, and can easily find out if something is not "kosher" with the players.

Every game should end with some positive action between the two players; handshake, verbal comment, or otherwise friendly in nature, no matter who won or lost. This should be BEFORE greetings with your team mates. Save those high fives until after you have made contact with your opponent. This is a friendly competition, not a life altering event. You opponents will remember YOU long after they have forgotten the score.

After each match, the scorekeeper, coach, or captains should review the score sheets for accuracy. Any discrepancies on the score sheet could result in problems in scoring for the office. Before signing the score sheet, ensure all scores & totals are entered correctly. Found errors can be corrected by the BLA office.

Sharking will not be tolerated! In the event a player or team member is attempting to shark another player, the shooter should stop the game and ask the offending player to stop the actions in question. This could include their opponent or another team member. You may need to consult their team captain, who may wish to speak with the rep or operator. It is best if the players can come to a resolution. This can be something as simple as the opponent saying "good shot" or any other form of communication. If the shooter is not okay with it, you must not talk to them. Sharking is determined by the shooter as it pertains to them directly.

The team captains are responsible for the actions of their team. In some cases, a league representative may be called to watch the match. During the game, players should only speak to each other when they are notifying their opponent of where they intend to play a specific ball, or to ask the shooter where is their intended pocket. Team members not playing, should not comment on the game when the shooting player may hear the comments.

Each team captain should ensure their players are ready to play their match when it is called. The score sheets are filled in advance and other players should not have to be delayed in playing their game. BLA matches are normally completed in a timely manner.

Timeouts should be limited to 1-2 minutes. Nobody is keeping stop watch time but it is a courtesy to every player to keep the pace of play. If a team reports another team abusing the timeout policy, a league representative may be notified to watch the remainder of the match.

After a player has missed a shot, your turn is over; leave the shooting area around the table. Do not pick up the [common used] chalk - okay to pick your own chalk. When you leave the table area, do not return until your next turn. Approaching the table area for any reason can be considered sharking and will not be tolerated.

Players in a match should not stand in the sight view of the shooting player. This will eliminate the issue of a player trying to distract another and it will allow your team to discuss in advance the next shot for your player. Players in their team area should not be asked to move out of the sight line of the shooting players but must not be distracting to the shooter.

Coaching is allowed when a player is not shooting and should be done quietly so as to not interfere with opponent.

If the shooting player jumps a ball off the table, they should retrieve it for the incoming player.

A referee should be called for any shot that may be questionable. Referees must be agreed upon by both players. Once a referee is called, their decision is final even if it is considered to be the wrong decision; unless there is video tape evidence to cause reversal of the call. Remember, both players agreed to the referee.


General Information


League Membership is $10 per calendar year and is due immediately when a player joins the BLA, and after New Year's Day each year. There is no exception to yearly league fees. The yearly league membership fee is due for each year the member is active and has no association with the current session; even if the session overlaps into the new year. This is a yearly fee; not a session fee; dictated by the calendar. Score sheets will not be entered into the database for a player with an unpaid status. IE: If a player shoots in a league match but does not pay their fees (with the intention of catching up next week), their team's score sheet will be in hold status until the fees are paid to the division rep.

Exception: If a new member enters the league and pays their league membership during the month of December, their ten dollar payment covers them for the upcoming calendar year. In this situation, the player would most likely not have time to play enough matches to become established, with handicap rank, and would therefore not be eligible for the Members Appreciation Tournament. The Division Representative and/or League Operator has the final say on this allowance.

Override of the yearly payment for one month lies with the League Operator if a session from the previous year ends during the month of January.

Non-Payment is not an option within the BLA. In the event a player or players do not pay their dues or fees, the exact amount of money will be deducted from the team ball money before payouts at the end of the current session.

Weekly League Fees are to be paid each week. If a player does not pay their weekly league fees two weeks in a row, the team captain has the option to remove them from the team eligibility until past dues fees are paid. The team captain also has the option to reinstate that player when fees are caught up, or to remove them from the team completely.

Not-Eligibility for the yearly Members Appreciation Tournament will be assessed to a player or players for non-payment after the BLA office deducts past due fees.

Cheating in the Billiards League of America will not be tolerated! Anyone caught cheating may be immediately removed from the league. Depending on the situation, a warning may be issued at the discretion of the governing body.

Continued... The Team Captain, Division Representative or League Operator may remove anyone from within their area of jurisdiction - either temporary or permanent - at anytime for cheating. Any player can report a suspected violation.




Frequently Asked Questions




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