These rules concern the play, scoring, officiating, and responsibilities for tournament competition (benefit can gained by using these rules in any level of play though).
Each player is responsible for knowing the rules, regulations and schedules that apply during competition. While it is customary for referees to notify players of things like "being on two fouls" it is, in the end, each player's responsibility to know their own situation.
For consistency, any decision contrary, or in excess, of the rules used for the tournament will be recorded in case the situation reappears.
Wagering by tournament officials is prohibited. Any official
wagering will forfeit compensation and be dismissed.
The referee's judgement can not be questioned. Other tournament
officials can only overrule a referee if his interpretation, or
application, of a rule is in error and then only if the call is
appealed. Note that this does not restrict the referee from
consulting with other tournament officials in order to arrive at a
decision. In fact, the referee may use any resource available,
like asking spectators about what happened (if he couldn't see it) to
make his determination.
The referee may ask any non-player who interferes with the players, or tournament setting, to leave.
Note that the authority of a referee will also apply to other tournament
officials when required.
Phones and Audio Devices
Players must turn off their phones and other audio devices during their
Each player will have a chair assigned to them for their match.
When it's not their turn at the table they will promptly return to their
chair. If a player wants to leave the playing area he must get
permission from the referee.
Requests about which rule governs a situation, or the interpretation of
such rules, must be made immediate to the event which prompted (or may
cause) application of the rule. If a shot is taken after the
event, before a ruling or interpretation can be had, the request can not
Before matches start each table will receive pencil markings of any
lines or spots required by the rules of the game being played.
Items commonly marked on the cloth include (but are not limited to) the following.
The use of equipment is limited to its intended function. Bridges (a limit of two on a shot) can only be used to support a cue stick or another bridge. Balls, or other equipment, may not be used to measure openings or gaps.
Once a match has begun players can no longer question the suitability of the equipment for tournament use with the sole exception that all involved parties agree with the complaint(s) and the solutions offered.
Any billiard equipment may be used for its intended purpose providing it
doesn't adversely affect playing conditions or other players. An
example would be excessive use of talc where it gets on the table cloth
The duties of a referee encompass more than just making judgement calls
on shots and racking the balls.
In matches without a score keeper the referee will see to score keeping,
using an approved score sheet.
Before the Match
NOTE: If the balls won't stay touching then brush, or
massage the cloth, in the racking area and try again. Do not
tap the balls into place.
The referee will remove balls from pockets so shots aren't rejected due
to an overfull pocket. Note that the shooter is responsible for
seeing that this is done (a shot returning to the table from an overfull
pocket is a miss).
A player can ask to have balls cleaned during play. The position
of the balls must be noted so they can be replaced exactly where they
Answering Player Questions
The referee must answer questions about facts which a player needs to
make a decision. The referee is not to offer opinion about
shots, equipment, or other factors that could affect play.
When an object ball is touching a rail the player must be told otherwise
any contact with that ball is considered to have driven it to that rail.
It is a foul for a player to shoot a cue ball from the kitchen when it does not start from the kitchen. When a referee notices a player has placed the cue ball outside the kitchen, when about to shoot from the kitchen, he must issue a warning before a foul can be called.
A player who is about to commit a serious foul must be warned. The warning should be issued when the situation is recognized. If the player is not given sufficient warning (enough time to recognise and react to the warning) the foul is treated as a normal foul. Examples of such fouls would be:
When playing the "three foul" rule the referee must warn a player who
has two consecutive fouls, prior to his third foul, otherwise the player
is considered to have been on just one foul.
Fouls will be called as soon as they are noticed. The incoming
player will be told if he has to play the cue ball where it came to
rest. If he can play it from elsewhere he will be told where he
can put the ball in play from and then will be handed the cue ball.
Restoring Disturbed Balls
When possible the referee will restore all moved balls (if it's not
possible the game will be replayed). If any of the moved balls
interfered with the shot the shot will be replayed after the balls are
restored to their position before the shot. If the shot was not
affected then the shot stands and the balls moved by the interference
will be restored to their position before the shot.
If a player changes the position of the balls on a table, other than by
a shot, his opponent has the option of taking the table as is or having
the balls restored to their previous position. To facilitate the
opponent's decision he must be fully informed of the position each ball
would be returned to (best not to move the balls from their new
positions in case the decision is to take the table as is).
In a refereed match the referee will be the only one to restore the
balls. The referee's judgement of a ball's position is final.
Time Limit Warning
When necessary to keep matches moving and on schedule a time limit on
strokes will be instituted. When a player comes to the table he
will have at most 45-seconds in which to execute his shot, failure to do
so is a foul. Failure to execute subsequent strokes within 40-seconds
of the previous stroke will result in a foul. (To avoid disrupting a
player's train of thought no warning, such as "10-seconds left", will be
issued. If a player runs out of time for a shot he may ask for
an extension without incurring a foul.)
During the course of a match each player will be allowed two extended
periods of time. Each extended period can be up to 2-minutes
long. If a stroke is not executed within that time the player
will have fouled.
No Outside Assistance
During a match players may not communicate with people other than their
opponent and tournament officials. Any communication beyond this
must pass through the referee.
Augmentation of a player's abilities (e.g. with a graphing calculator,
or a computer) are prohibited.
Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct will result in penalty or
disqualification from the tournament. It is not necessary to
issue a warning first. The tournament director will review such
decisions before they are made final.
Some examples of unsportsmanlike conduct follow.
A player competing for an award, or prize "place", in the tournament will (barring exceptional circumstances) forfeit the right to any award, or place, in the following cases:
Any player this is applied to will be ejected from the tournament for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and the rankings of the remaining players will be recalculated.
Note that this does not restrict enforcement of other rules of play or competition.