Leicester District Pool League
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Leicester District Pool League

Leicestershire’s laid back, friendly, local league where everyone is welcome

Match Rules

  • Frame 1 should start at around 8:10pm (or earlier if both teams are ready). At 8:20pm, Frame 1 may be claimed if a team is not present, and 1 frame every 10 minutes thereafter until 9:00, at which point the match is declared a 6-0.
  • The home team should referee all odd number frames and the away team the even frames.
  • Frame 1 break off will be decided by a coin toss, thereafter the break shall alternate.
  • Table costs are the responsibility of the home team / home venue.
  • If unable to make a match, it is advised to give the other team as much notice as possible. The opponent (team that is not seeking the rearrangement) can elect whether the match is rearranged and they will also have the choice of when the match will be rearranged for). They may claim the 6-0 win if they do not wish to rearrange. Any matches not rearranged will result in a 6-0 loss to the team who initially cancelled. Please contact your league rep and advise of any rearrangements.


The game shall be known as 8 Ball Pool and is referred to in these rules as ‘The Game’. It is intended that players and teams should play 8 Ball Pool in the true spirit of the Game and in a sportsmanlike manner. It should be clearly understood that the referee is the sole judge of what is fair and unfair play. The referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that these rules are observed.

Requirements of the Game
The Game is played with two "groups" of 7 balls, one "8 ball" and one "cue ball". The cue ball must be white and may be plain or spotted.
The colour / style of the groups and the 8 ball does not matter so long as the two groups, the 8 and the cue ball are all clearly distinguishable from one another.
The league strongly encourages the use of coloured balls in line with the EPA standards - this is 7 reds, 7 yellows, a white / dotted cue ball and a solid black or striped black 8 ball.

Object of the Game 

The player or team pocketing all their group of object balls in any order, and then legally pocketing the 8 ball, wins the game.

The Game

  • Order of play
    • Order of play is decided by the flip of a coin for frame 1. The home team referee is advised to flip the coin and offer the away player the choice. The winner of the flip (the Opening Player) has the option of breaking, or requesting their opponent to break, frames will be broken alternately thereafter.

  • The break
    • The balls are racked in a triangle with the 8 ball (black) on the 8 ball spot, which is at the intersection of the centre and corner pockets.
    • The opening player plays towards the triangle from any position behind the baulk line. An object ball must be potted, or at least 2 object balls hit any cushion. Failure to do 1 of these is a foul break and will result in the balls being re-racked or played from where they land with two shots to the opponent either way.
    • If the black is potted on the break, the balls will be re-racked and the game will be restarted by the same player. No penalty will be incurred. This applies whatever else happens.
    • If the white is potted on the break, it is a foul.
    • If one colour is potted on the break then the breaking player must nominate to play the next shot or incur a foul. The nomination must be made before the shot is played and clearly acknowledged by the referee. If the player nominates the non-potted colour then in order to secure them the colour must be potted to secure them (i.e. If a red ball is potted and yellow balls have been nominated, but the pot is missed - it is now an open table). If a red ball is potted and red balls have been nominated, but the pot is missed – then red balls would have been secured whether the pot goes in or not.
    • If both colours are potted the player must nominate or incur a foul. The colour that is chosen is retained whether a ball is potted or not (so long as nominated before taking the shot). The referee is advised to announce the choice of the player (i.e. “Reds/Yellows in play”).
    • If no object ball (red/yellow) is pocketed from a legal break, then the players continue to alternate and play at either group (red/yellow)[open table] until such time as the first legal pot is made, which decides the player’s group. The players do not need to nominate when playing an open table.
    • If no balls are potted after the break off shot and then the oncoming player pots one or more of each colour group (red & yellow), the player MUST then nominate a colour group before play continues. The nomination must be made before the shot is played and clearly acknowledged by the referee.
    • The choice of colour can never be decided on a foul shot.
  • Snookers
    a)    Snookers are allowed but only if at least one ball (any ball, before or after contact) has reached a cushion during that shot, otherwise it is a foul. 
    b)    Balls already touching a cushion do not count, these will be classed as “dead balls”. If you are unsure whether it is a dead ball, please ask the referee to check before playing the shot.
    c)    An accidental or unintentional snooker can still be a foul.
    d)    A snooker is defined as being unable to play the thinnest cut on both sides of any of the players own balls 
    •  1.    A player’s own ball cannot be claimed as an obstruction contributing to a snooker, pretend it is not there. 
    •  2.    The cushions cannot be claimed as an obstruction, pretend they are not there. 

     e)    You cannot be snookered if you are touching one of your own balls.

  • Touching ball
    a)    Cue ball must be played away from any touching ball[s]. If touching ball moves as a result of the white moving away it is not a foul. If the touching ball moves as a result of the white being hit into it at any angle, this will be deemed to be a foul.
    b)    If a player is touching their own ball, the player does not need to touch another ball of their own (and can, if he opts, hit an opponent ball, the black ball, or nothing at all).

  • Ball drops in by itself
    a)    If a ball drops in after having come to a stop for more than a few moments, it will be replaced as it was, this applies to any ball, pretend it never happened whether or not the opponent has control of the table or has touched the table to take their shot.
  • Doubles
    a)    Discussion between partners is permitted immediately after the break shot and before the start of each players visit but not between the same players shots.
    b)    Players may touch the table whilst conferring (as above) so long as only the oncoming player touches or addresses the table when ready to take the shot.
  • Foul Shots
    a)    Normal pub rules apply, potting cue ball or opponents ball, hitting the wrong colour, not hitting your own ball, touching any ball with hand or clothing, playing out of turn, both feet off the floor, playing before balls have stopped, are all fouls (with the exception of following a foul and has ball in hand), so are the following:
    b)    Jump shot – defined as when the cue ball jumps over any part of any ball before contacting player’s ball
    c)     Any ball leaving the table and coming to rest anywhere other than the bed of the table. Object Ball to be returned to the black spot or as near as possible to that spot without touching any other ball, on the centre line of the table. If white ball, then ball to be played from behind the baulk line.
    d)    Touching with the cue any ball other than the cue ball. Only the cue tip may be used.
    e)    Push shot – defined as where the cue tip remains in contact with the cue ball for more than the immediate moment needed to play a shot.
    f)     Cue touches the cue ball twice. Plus any other foul described elsewhere in these rules.
    g)    The penalty for any of these fouls is 2 visits to the opposing player starting from where the cue ball lies or moving the ball behind the line. Also, a ‘free ball’, for the first shot only, any ball can be hit, any ball can be potted, black can only be legally potted if player is ‘on’ the black.
    h)    Following any foul
    • 1.    Following any foul the offending player loses their next visit to the table, giving their opponent two consecutive visits to the table.
    • 2.    If the cue ball has come to rest on the playing surface, then the player having two visits may proceed to play from where the cue ball lies, or the cue ball may be played from any position on or behind the baulk line. Moving the cue ball in this manner does not count as a shot or visit (players are advised to ask the referee to hand them the cue ball but this is not compulsory).    
    • 3.    On the first shot only of the first visit, the oncoming player may without nomination play the cue ball onto any ball without penalty, including any opponent's ball(s) or 8 ball (black). If any object ball(s) is pocketed directly or by combination, the player is deemed to have pocketed a legal ball(s), and continues with the first visit. However, the player must not prematurely pot the 8 ball (black) which would mean loss of game, (it is ok if the player is already on the 8 ball (black) then the game would be won). When the player fails to pot a ball on the first or subsequent shot of the first visit, play then continues with the second visit.
  • ‘Loss of frame’ fouls
    a)    Potting the black while still having your own colour balls on the table.
    b)    Potting any other ball at the same time as the black (apart from when the player is on the black and has a free ball. Only at this time may he pot the black and opponents ball[s]).
    c)    Deliberate fouls are an immediate loss of frame.

  • Stalemate
    a)    Stalemate is where a legal shot is physically impossible. Any gap wide enough to pass the cue ball through will not count as impossible, however improbable or unlikely it is. The game shall be restarted immediately by the same players. The player who broke originally will do so again. This stalemate situation can be produced deliberately or by accident.
  • No progress
    a)    If no ball is potted for over 5 minutes, the referee should start a 10 minute timer and inform both players of this. If no ball is potted in this time, the frame will be stopped and immediately replayed, same player breaking.
    b)    After a ball is potted, the timer will be reset, resetting with every pot. Players are not expected to take more than 60 seconds per shot, the referee may choose to enforce a strict 60 seconds time limit if this expectation is abused.
  • Coaching
    a)    Persons not playing in the frame may not make suggestions to the players [however disguised] as this will be regarded as coaching. One warning will be given by the referee, the next will result in a foul being given against the team involved. If it continues then the next one will be the loss of the frame.

After The Match

  • The result should be reported immediately as the final frame has finished by the following methods.
    a)    By using the mobile app (also send a photo of the card into your WhatsApp group)
    b)    If in a League WhatsApp Group you should send a photo of the card to the group (which includes your league rep and the players stats secretary).
    c)    If not in a league WhatsApp Group you will ideally get somebody to send a photo to the number on the card.
    d)    If nobody has facility to send a photo of the card, you should text the result through immediately and deliver the card to Club 147 by no later than the following Monday at 6pm.
  • Failure to submit the scorecard may result in action against both teams. This is the responsibility of the captain and is an expectation of BOTH TEAMS (the league expects to receive each scorecard twice).

Rule Changes / Reminders

  • Rules remain largely the same as last season.
  • From the AGM in 2018 – doubles partners may confer after the break off shot if a ball is potted in order to discuss which colour to go for. The rest of the frame remains the same with no conferring once the first shot of a visit has been played.
  • From the AGM in 2018 - the rule regarding a ball dropping “on its own” remains the same… that is this ball is to be replaced.
  • From the AGM in 2019 – the rule regarding break off shots has been modified. The breaking player (or player whose shot it is) must nominate a colour if a ball is potted on the break. This is elaborated above.
  • From the AGM in 2019 – after the break off shot, if nothing goes in and the oncoming player pots 1 (or more) of each colour, then the player (whose shot it is) must nominate the colour chosen before taking their next shot.
  • From the AGM in 2019 – repeated no shows by a team during the course of a season will result in:
    a) Strict warning to be delivered, whether in writing or verbally after 2 no shows;
    b) Three points deduction for each no show after the warning having been delivered;
    c) If there are 5 no shows in a season then the team will be expelled from the League and any cups that they are in. This will also include any individual team members still in any individual knockout competitions.
  • Not knowing the rules is not an excuse – every team receives a shortened version and a full version of the rules. These are also available on the website. It is your responsibility to read the rules before playing in the league.

Refereeing & Player Conduct

  • The primary role of the referee is to help players to avoid penalties, not to punish them. 
  • No tactical or shot selection advice should be given to a player 
  • Referees are reminded that their role in a frame is as a league representative and they should remain fair and impartial throughout. 
  • Referees are encouraged to use common sense where appropriate and ensure calls are made clearly (such as “2 shots” or “please nominate”). 
  • All players are reminded that the main purpose of the league is an enjoyable night out for everybody involved. Unacceptable behaviour / violence will not be tolerated.

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