LDPL Elite (Premier & Championship) Divisions "Table" Rules

Match Rules

The match rules for “off the table play” are available on the website here. 

If you need guidance please contact your league rep directly. 



The game must be played in a sporting manner at all times.  



International eight-ball pool is played on a six-pocket rectangular table with six cushions. Equipment includes: (a) A spotted white called a cue ball (b) Two groups of object balls consisting of seven reds and seven yellows (c) A striped eight-ball.  

  • The eight-ball spot should be at the intersection of two imaginary diagonal lines joining the centre and corner pockets.  

  • The cloth is marked with a break line parallel to the bottom cushion 1/5th of the length of the table away from the baulk cushion.  



One player must pocket all balls of one group, while the other player must pocket the alternate coloured balls. The player who pockets their entire group and THEN legally pockets the eight-ball wins the game. The eight-ball must be potted in a separate shot.  



Arrange as shown with the eight-ball on the eight-ball spot.  

A close-up of a pool table

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  • A Coin Toss shall determine who breaks first with an alternating break format taking place thereafter. The winner of the toss shall have the choice of breaking on odd or even frames. 

  • To commence a frame, the player who is breaking, shall position the cue ball anywhere in baulk but MUST NOT position the cue ball over the break line by more than 50% of its diameter.  

  • The Break will be deemed a ‘Legal Break’ if the player breaking, obtains a minimum of three cumulative points. 1 point for each object ball potted (eight-ball included, so thus does count). 1 point for each object ball that has passed an imaginary line between the two centre pockets, that is not potted. A ball is deemed as having ‘passed’ the centre line if the whole ball is over the imaginary line.  

  • Failure to perform a legal break MUST result in a re-rack. The opponent has the option to break or to choose to give the break back to the original breaker.  

  • Groups are not decided on the break – potting from the break means you get another visit / a dry break means you do not. The table is always “open” after the break. If the player in control of the table then does not make a legal pot, the table is still deemed open for the incoming player.  

  • If the eight-ball is potted off the break, it is always re-spotted after all balls have come to rest on the table. To re-spot the eightball, the centre point of the eight-ball is placed on the eight-ball spot or if this is not available as near as possible to the spot in a direct line between the spot and the centre of the top cushion (the end of the table where the rack is made). If there is no space available on this line, place the eight-ball as near as possible to its spot in a direct line between the spot and the bottom cushion (baulk cushion). If the eight-ball is the ‘only ball potted on a legal break’ then control of the table goes to the incoming player. If it’s potted with other groups and the criteria of a legal break has been fulfilled, the breaker continues.  

  • If the cue ball on a legal break:  

    • Goes “in-off”, a loss of turn occurs and the incoming player is awarded one visit with cue ball in hand, to be played from baulk, in any direction.  
    • Leaves the playing surface, a standard foul will be called against the breaker, with the incoming player receiving one visit, played from anywhere on the playing surface.  


  • Deciding group

    • Groups are decided on the first ball legally potted (not including the break). Referee to call first group in play. 

    • The table is considered an “open” table when the choice of groups (red or yellow) has not yet been determined. The table is always open immediately after the break shot. Balls potted from the break are disregarded. The player’s designated group (red or yellow) will not be determined until a player legally pockets an object ball. Once groups are determined, object balls from a player’s group are referred to as ‘on’ ball(s).  

    • Failure to make a legal pot results in the table remaining open.  

    • To get ‘on’ a group a player must pocket make initial contact with and pocket a call of the same colour. 

    • If one of each group is potted in one shot, the player will be ‘on’ the group struck by the cue ball first unless a foul has occurred, in which case the table remains open.  

    • Where the choice of group is not obvious. (e.g. player cues up to a group of object balls OR object balls of both groups sitting close to each other OR player is snookered behind the eight-ball OR the lay of the table is such no object ball is a clear target)… Failure to make this call is a ’loss of turn’ 

    • Groups are not decided on pot made during a foul shot.  

    • In the event of a touching ball whilst the table is still open, you MUST indicate to the referee the intended group. You may nominate this touching ball and be deemed to have hit this ball if you wish.  

  • Continuing a frame  

    • In the course of play, if a legal shot is played and the balls(s) from the player’s own group are potted, play continues and the player is entitled to an additional shot. The player will lose their turn and return control of the table to the opponent if they: (a) Fail to pot one or more of their own group AND / OR (b) Commits a standard foul.  

  • Legal shot Definition

    • To play a ‘legal shot’ the player must cause the cue ball’s initial contact to be with a ball 'on' and afterwards must either: (a) Pot any ball or balls (except the eight-ball if not ball ‘on’) OR (b) Cause the cue ball or any object ball to contact a cushion. The ‘cushion’ is defined as the six rails and the six pockets of a pool table.  

  • Combination shots

    • Object balls from both groups can be potted without penalty in a single 'combination' shot. Combination shots do not have to be called. The potted balls may drop into the pockets in any order but 'on' ball must be struck legally first. Attempting to complete a combination shot that results in only potting ball not 'on' is LOSS OF TURN. It is never deemed an deliberate foul if you hit an ‘on’ ball first.  

  • Loss of turn

    • As long as the player strikes an 'on' ball first, should an opponent’s ball be potted without also potting an ‘on’ ball, it will be loss of turn. Control of the table returns to the opponent; the cue ball is played from where it lies. This does not count as a deliberate foul even if played by design. 

  • Standard fouls  

    • Shall be called as soon as they occur, the fouling player is in control until all balls from that shot have come to rest. The incoming player is awarded one visit and a cue ball in hand which can be: (a) Played from its current position, or (b) Placed anywhere on the playing surface. The only exception to (a) is If the cue ball has come to rest and is touching an object ball and therefore MUST be repositioned.  

    • Standard Fouls are:

      • Potting the cue ball - "In Off" (Except off the break)  

      • Accidentally striking the cue ball with any part of the cue other than the tip in general play. Positioning the cue ball with the cue is allowed as long as the tip of the cue is not used.  

      • Accidentally striking any ball other than the cue ball with any part of the cue or cue tip.  

      • Playing a shot before all balls have come to rest from the previous shot.  

      • Playing a shot before any balls that require re-spotting or replacing, have been re-spotted or replaced.  

      • Playing a “Push Shot” (defined as when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cue ball once it has commenced a forward motion) and also Double-hitting the cue ball.  

      • Failing to perform a “Legal Shot”.  

      • Playing a shot while not having at least one foot touching the floor.  

      • Failing to "Play Away" from a touching ball(s).  

      • Causing a ball to come to rest off the playing surface.  

      • A player’s body, clothing, jewellery or accessory, or part of a cue (except for the tip in a legal shot), comes into contact with any ball. A tip falling off a cue or chalk dropped is the player’s responsibility. Should any of these contact a ball on the playing surface, it is deemed a foul. 

      • Jump shot: If the cue ball leaves the bed of the playing surface and does not strike an object ball that it would have struck had the cue ball not left the playing surface on an otherwise identical shot, then the cue ball is deemed to have jumped over that ball.  

      • Marking the table to assist a shot.  

      • Time foul (if timer has been implemented).  

  • Loss of frame fouls

    • Deliberately not playing a ball from their own group first. 

    • Unsporting behaviour / bringing the game into disrepute. This includes but is not limited to Throwing a cue around / unscrewing as if to concede OR Continually arguing with the referee or opponent OR Interfering when the opponent is on the shot either verbally or physically.  

    • Committing a foul in the same shot that the eight-ball is potted.  

    • A player who clearly and intentionally fails to make an attempt to play a ball(s) of their own group.  

    • Potting the eight-ball legally, then proceed to move the remaining balls before they have come to rest.  

    • Deliberately striking the cue ball with any part of the cue other than the tip in general play. Positioning the cue ball with the cue is allowed as long as the tip of the cue is not used.  

    • Deliberately striking any ball other than the cue ball with any part of the cue or cue tip.  

    • Deliberately moving a ball(s) other than playing as part of a shot.  

  • Stalemate situation

    • If any situation arises whereby a ‘legal shot’ physically cannot be played, It is a player's responsibility to ask for a stalemate. In other words, if there is not a path ‘out’ for the cue ball or not a path ‘into’ a ball 'on', in the first instance the player must ask for a stalemate if they believe a ‘legal shot’ cannot be played. A decision on whether a stalemate exists will be at the referee’s discretion. A referee will disregard a player's ability when making a stalemate decision. If the referee confirms a stalemate, the frame shall be restarted with a re-rack. The player who originally broke will restart the re-racked frame. If no stalemate is confirmed, the players must continue their visit.  

  • Frozen balls  

    • An object ball is deemed frozen if touching a cushion. It is a standard foul if the cue ball initially contacts a frozen ball first and the shot does not then result in: (a) A ball being potted OR (b) any other object ball or the cue ball contacting a cushion, OR (c) The frozen ball contacting a cushion attached to a different rail.  

    • A ball is only deemed frozen if confirmed by the referee or player, prior to the shot being taken.  

  • Shot clock  

    • LDPL matches should start without a shot clock, but if a ref feels a player is not trying to play within reasonable time they may introduce a shot clock.  Likewise matches are falling behind schedule should be introduce a shot clock.  Each player is allotted 45 seconds for each shot. The 45-second shot clock will commence once all balls come to rest and cease when the cue tip strikes the cue ball. The timekeeper will verbally count down from 5 seconds.  

    • The expected schedule is as follows (to allow you to gauge if a match is falling behind).  Frame 1 commence shortly after 8pm. Frame 5 by 9pm, Frame 9 by 10pm. 

  • Coaching

    • During a frame, a player is required to play without receiving any advice from other persons relating to the playing of the frame. The first time coaching takes place the referee will issue a "First and final warning" to the player.  Any repetition will result in the player being penalised via a Standard Foul.  

  • Outside interference - There is no penalty if balls are moved in these circumstances:  

    • By persons other than players taking part in the frame OR (b) As a result of players being bumped OR (c) Events deemed not within a player's control. The referee will return the balls as close as possible to their original positions whenever possible. Re-racks will only be granted in extreme circumstances. The referee’s decision is final. 

  • Balls falling into a pocket 

    • A shot is ‘complete’ when all balls have come to rest.  

    • After a shot is ‘complete’, any ball(s) that drops into a pocket, without being struck, will be replaced to their original positions. A shot is ‘in progress’ when the cue ball has been struck and all the balls have not come to a rest.  

    • During a shot ‘in progress’, any ball(s) that drops into a pocket, without being struck and wouldn’t have been played as part of a shot, shall be replaced to their original positions after all balls have come to rest.  

    • During a shot ‘in progress’, any ball(s) that drops into a pocket, without being struck and would have been played as part of a shot, in this instance ALL BALLS will be replaced to their original positions after all balls have come to rest.  

  • Balls off the playing surface  

    • It is a ‘standard foul’ if a ball leaves the playing surface at any point during the frame AND does not return by its own means and remains off the playing surface (other than being potted) (1) If it is the cue ball, then it is ball in hand, to be played anywhere on the table. (2) Object balls are re-spotted with its centre point on the eight-ball spot or as near as possible to that spot in a direct line between the spot and the centre point of the top cushion. 

  • Touching balls  

    • A player must play away from ‘ALL’ touching balls at an angle perpendicular (90 degrees) or greater than and fulfil the requirements of a ‘legal shot’. A player shall not be penalised If playing away from touching ball(s) causes any touching ball to rock or move slightly because it was ‘resting’ on the cue ball. If the cue ball is touching an 'on' ball, the player is deemed to have made ‘initial contact’ in order to fulfil the requirements of a ‘legal shot’.  

  • Simultaneous contact  

    • Simultaneous contact of object balls is allowed as long as one of the contacted object balls is ‘on’.  

  • Knowledge of rules  

    • It is the responsibility of each player to be aware of all rules. However, a referee on request may advise on the rules of the game but must not provide any subjective opinion that would affect the result of the frame.  



  • A frame is over when the eight-ball is potted on a legal shot and all the balls have come to rest or in a ‘loss of frame’ situation