Table of Contents

GENERAL RULES

Player Responsibility

You are responsible for knowing the rules, applied rulings, regulations, and schedules that pertain to any Bar League event you enter. You are also responsible for cooperating with all referees and event officials, and for accurately providing all requested information concerning your participation in the event to referees and event officials when asked to do so.

Acceptance of Provided Equipment

Once your match begins, you accept all provided equipment as standard and legal. After a match has begun, only a league operator may declare the equipment defective or unsuitable for play or if both teams agree to play at a different time, to give the venue time to fix the issues. If the equipment is declared unsuitable for play, all games previously played on that equipment will be counted.

You are responsible for all equipment and accessory items you bring to the table You may not use equipment or accessory items in a manner other than their intended use. Specifically:

  1. You may use a billiards glove
  2. You may use either a built-in or an add-on cue extender
  3. You may use your own chalk

You may not shoot while using more than two mechanical bridges at any one time. A bridge may only be used to support the cue or another bridge. If two bridges are used, the upper bridge must rest on the head of the lower bridge.

You may not shoot while using any item to support or elevate your bridge hand. You may hold chalk in your bridge hand while bridging.

You may use your cue, held in your hand or not, to help align a shot. You may use your cue and hands to measure angles and distances for bank shots and kick shots. No other cues, bridges or equipment may be used. 

You may only use your vision to judge whether the cue ball or an object ball would fit through a gap, or to judge what ball the cue ball would contact first. You may not use any ball, cue, rack, chalk cube, or any other equipment or other part of your body as a width-measuring device. 

Use of headphones, earphones, or earplugs of any kind, including Bluetooth accessories, whether turned on or not. Hearing aids are permitted.

Start Time of Match

The start time for your match is once the game prior to yours has finished.. If you are not present at the table with your equipment within 5 minutes, you lose the match by forfeit. 

Beginning and End of Game or Match

Your match or game begins when the cue tip strikes the cue ball during any stroke on the break shot. 

Your match or game ends when the game-winning ball is legally pocketed and all balls on the table have stopped moving. After that time, there can be no fouls involving the game on the table for that game. However, unsportsmanlike conduct immediately after a game or match may be penalized by loss of that game or match, or by other penalty at the league operators discretion.

Stopping Play

You may request the assistance of a captain if you believe that a foul may occur, or if you need information concerning the rules. If you desire to stop play to review a rule, you must notify your opponent and your opponent must acknowledge your request.   If it is your opponent’s inning, you must notify them before they are down on the shot. It is a foul if you interrupt your opponent after they are down on a shot.

If your opponent requests that play be stopped in order to summon a captain or league operator, you must acknowledge and honor that request. 

Flip for Break

Breaking player is determined by a coin flip. The home player flips, and the away player must make a call (Head/Tails) before the coin lands. Winner of the coin flip has the option to break or rack.

Legal Stroke

You must use a legal stroke. Any lifting, sideways, or other brushing motion of the cue, such that the force that propels the cue ball does not primarily result from a forward motion of the cue as defined under “Legal Stroke”, is a foul.

Legal Shot 

For a shot to be legal, the first ball contacted by the cue ball must be a legal object ball, or a simultaneous hit with a legal and illegal object ball may occur. After that contact:

  1. any object ball must be pocketed, or;
  2. any object ball or the cue ball must contact a cushion.

It is a foul if one of those requirements is not met.

Frozen Balls

If a ball is touching the rail, or another ball, it is considered frozen. A ball frozen to the rail does not count for a legal shot of any ball hitting a rail after contact. If the frozen ball is hit, it must contact another rail to satisfy the requirements of a legal shot. 

Penalties for Fouls

If you commit a foul, or otherwise violate the rules, you are penalized according to the General Rules and the specific rules of the game being played.

Unless otherwise stated in the General Rules or specific game rules, if you commit a foul or otherwise violate the rules: your inning ends and your opponent receives the ball in hand.

Calling Fouls / Fouls Not Called

A foul may only be called by a player playing in the game. 

Any foul not called before the next stroke is taken is considered to have not occurred. The failure to call a foul on any previous shot does not restrict the ability to call a similar foul on any future shot.

One Foot on the Floor

It is a foul if you do not have at least one foot in contact with the floor when the cue tip strikes the cue ball.   Footwear must be worn and be normal with regard to size, shape, and manner of wear.

Balls in Motion

It is a foul if you shoot while any ball on the table is in motion. A spinning ball is in motion.

Scratch

It is a foul if you scratch.

Jumped Balls

It is a foul if you cause any ball to be jumped off the table, jumped balls are considered pocketed, unless it’s the 8-ball, then the shooting player loses the game. 

Push Shot

It is a foul if you shoot a push shot.

Double Hit

It is a foul if your cue tip strikes the cue ball more than once on a single shot.

It is a foul if your cue tip is still in contact with the cue ball when the cue ball strikes an object ball. However, such a stroke may be considered legal if the object ball is legal and the cue ball strikes it at a very fine angle.

Disturbing Balls

It is a foul if any ball is disturbed during your turn, including loose clothing and hair.

Jump and Massé Shots

Jump Shots and Massé Shots are legal with a cue angled less than 45 degree and the cue tip does not contact the ball below its center. Intentional scoop jump is a foul. Any and all home venue rules regarding Jumping and Massé shots overrule this and is a foul if broken. Shooting player is responsible for any damage to the table as a result of attempting either shot. 

Position of Ball

The position of a ball is determined by its base.

Shooting with Ball in Hand Behind the Head String

When you have ball in hand behind the head string, it is a foul if the first ball contacted by the cue ball is behind the head string unless, before contacting that ball, you first shoot the cue ball past the head string and it contacts a cushion at a point below the head string.

It is a foul if, before contacting the first object ball, the first cushion contacted by the cue ball is behind the head string.

When you have the ball in hand behind the head string, it is a foul if you place the ball outside of the kitchen and shoot.

Ball in Hand Placement

When you have ball in hand, you may use your hand or any part of your cue, including the tip, to position the cue ball. If you use your cue to place the cue ball, any action that would be a legal stroke will be considered a shot, and must meet the requirements of a legal shot or it is a foul. 

Once you have picked up or moved the cue ball to take ball in hand, it remains in hand until it is contacted by the tip on your next stroke. You may place the cue ball, pick it up or move it again, and replace it successive times until you take that stroke.

When placing or moving the cue ball, it is a foul if you touch or disturb any object ball with the cue ball or your hand that holds the cue ball. Your “hand” is defined as including the wrist up to a point where a wristwatch would normally be worn. Your opponent has no restoration option.

Marking the Table

It is a foul if you intentionally mark the table in any way to assist you in executing any shot or future shot. Marking includes the deliberate placement of chalk or any other object at a specific point on a rail or cushion to aid the alignment of a shot, or placing any mark on any part of the table. The foul occurs at the moment you mark the table, regardless of whether you remove the mark or whether a shot is taken.

Deliberate Foul

During a game, it is a deliberate foul if you commit any of the following acts, whether shooting or not. In addition to the penalties under the General Rules and specific game rules, you incur additional penalties if indicated, and upon the first violation you will receive a mandatory warning that second and subsequent violations of the same sub- section during the match will be penalized by loss of game. 

Coaching

During your match, it is a foul if you ask for, or intentionally receive, assistance in planning or executing any shot.

It is a foul if you receive unsolicited assistance from a spectator associated with you (e.g., spouse/partner, relative, teammate). “Assistance” includes being alerted to an opponent’s foul.

If you are not aware of an opponent’s foul, and you are alerted to the foul by unsolicited information from a spectator not associated with you, the foul is not enforceable but you do not incur any additional penalty.

Non-Shooting Player Requirement

It is unsportsmanlike conduct if you intentionally distract your opponent or interfere with their play. 

The non-shooting player has an obligation to pay attention to the game on the table, which includes clearly and unambiguously acknowledging called shots and safeties. In the event of a dispute over whether a shot or safety was properly called. Consult with either the captain or the person who has been chosen to watch the match. No more than 1 person per team may discuss the event.

Concession of Game

You must not concede any game at any time for any reason.   “Concede” means that, as a result of any verbal or non-verbal action, you lead your opponent to believe that you are awarding them the game before its normal conclusion on the table.   Before a game has ended, you must refrain from making any statements such as “good game”, etc., or any other verbal inference that the game is over or that your opponent is certain or likely to win. You must also refrain from any similar non-verbal action, such as putting away your cue. Whether or not you have conceded a game is determined solely by the captain or person chosen to watch the match.

If you disturb the position of the table in an act that presumes the game is over before it is actually over, such as gathering balls together to rack the next game, you lose the game. 

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

You must not commit any act that is unsportsmanlike in nature. This includes, but is not limited to: actions that are embarrassing, disruptive, or detrimental to other players, spectators, referees, event officials, or the sport in general, or any act that makes a travesty of the game. Offering to gamble with opponents or spectators during your match is specifically defined as unsportsmanlike conduct.

You are responsible for your actions at all times while you are present at the event venue, whether playing or not.

You may be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct with or without warning. Penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct are at the discretion of the captains or league operators, and may vary based upon the severity and nature of the unsportsmanlike act. A player’s pattern of behavior from prior events may also be considered.

Unsportsmanlike conduct warnings and penalties carry forward and are cumulative during the entire event.

Disqualification from any Bar League event for unsportsmanlike conduct will result in forfeiture of any prize money, trophy, or award won by that player or team. In addition, any championship recognition will not be entered in the official records of the event.

Jawed Balls

If balls are wedged in the mouth of a pocket, a captain will inspect them and judge whether, if they were free to fall directly downward, the balls would come to rest on the bed of the table or in the pocket. The captain will then place the balls in the positions as judged and play will continue.

Non-Player Interference

If balls move because of the action of a non-player or other influence beyond the control of the players, the players  will restore the balls as nearly as possible to their original positions and play will continue. If the interference occurs during a shot and has an effect on the outcome of the shot, the shooter shoots again after the restoration. In either case, if the players  judge that restoration is not possible, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again.   

Balls Settling or Moving

If a ball settles or otherwise moves by itself, it will remain in the position it assumed and play continues. It is not a foul if a ball settles or otherwise moves by itself as you are shooting. If a ball that you are shooting at settles while you are shooting but does not fall into a pocket, the result of the shot stands.

8-BALL RULES

The Game

8-Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls numbered 1 through 15. Each player or team has a group of seven balls: the solid colored balls numbered 1 through 7, or the striped balls numbered 9 through 15.   The 8-ball is the game winning ball. The object of the game is to pocket your entire group of balls and then legally pocket the 8-ball. The game is played by two players or two teams.

8-Ball Rack

The balls are racked as follows:

  • in a triangle with the apex ball on the foot spot;
  • the rows behind the apex are parallel to the foot string;
  • the 8-ball is in the middle of the row of three balls;
  • the remaining balls are placed at random, except that the ball at each rear corner of the rack must be of a different group from the other rear corner (the left/right orientation those two balls does not matter)

Break Requirements

You begin the break with the ball in hand behind the head string. The break is not a called shot, and you may not call a ball or a safety on the break. There is no requirement for the cue ball to contact any particular ball first.   You must legally pocket a ball or cause at least four object balls to contact one or more cushions or it is an illegal break. If you legally pocket a ball, you continue to shoot.   If you do not legally pocket a ball or you commit a foul, your inning ends

If your break is illegal, with or without a foul, your inning ends. Your opponent may:

  1. re-rack the balls and break;
  2. require you to re-rack the balls and break again;

The game cannot continue until there is a legal break. If your opponent’s break is illegal and there is also a foul, the illegal break takes precedence and you must choose either option (a) or (b) above.

If you foul on a legal break and do not pocket the 8-ball, your inning ends and any other pocketed object balls remain pocketed. Your opponent receives the ball in hand behind the head string on the table, any ball behind the head string during this shot may not be the first ball hit, unless the cue ball crosses the head string first.

In all cases on the break, jumped object balls other than the 8-ball are not returned to the table.

If the 8-ball is knocked off the table, it is a loss of game.

8-Ball Pocketed on the Break

If you pocket the 8-ball on the break and do not foul, you win and the game is over. 

Players who pocket the 8-ball on the break are eligible for league prizes, captain must not on scoresheet

If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break and cue ball is scratched or knocked off the table, then the breaking player loses the game.

If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, and it is not noticed until after another shot has been taken, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again.

Table Open After the Break

The table is always open on the shot after the break and remains open until groups are established. When the table is open, all object balls except the 8-ball are legal object balls.   For combination shots, a ball of one group may be contacted first to pocket a ball of the other group. The 8-ball may be part of such a combination if it is not the first ball contacted by the cue ball.

Establishing Groups

Groups are established when the first object ball is legally pocketed on a shot after the break. The player legally pocketing the first ball is assigned that group, and the opponent is assigned the other group.  You cannot establish a group on a safety call.

If all balls of either group are pocketed on the break or illegally pocketed before groups are established, either player may legally shoot the 8-ball during their inning. You win the game if you legally pocket the 8-ball on such a shot.

Once they are established, groups can never change for the remainder of that game. If a player shoots the wrong group and no foul is called before the next shot and the player continues to shoot at that group, or if at any time during the game it is discovered by either player, the shooting player continues with the new group.

Continuing Play

Once groups are established, play continues with each player having their group as legal object balls. Balls in your opponents’ group and the 8-ball are illegal object balls. When it is your inning, you continue to shoot as long as you legally pocket a ball on each shot. Object balls pocketed in addition to the called ball remain pocketed. Your inning ends if you do not legally pocket a ball.

Object balls jumped off the table and illegally pocketed balls are not returned to the table but do count in favor of the player with that group, however turn of passed with current table state.

Safety Play

Prior to any shot except the break or a legal 8-ball shot, you may declare a safety. On a safety, your inning ends after the shot regardless of whether you pocket any ball. If you do not declare a safety and you pocket a ball on an obvious shot, your inning continues and you must shoot again. 

Shooting the 8-Ball

The 8-ball becomes your legal object ball on your first shot after there are no balls of your group on the table. The player who legally pockets the 8-ball wins the game.

Loss of Game

You lose the game if:

  • you illegally pocket the 8-ball
  • you jump the 8-ball off the table
  • you pocket the 8-ball on the same shot as the last ball of your group
  • you violate any General Rule that requires loss of game as a penalty
  • you pocket the 8-ball on a shot that you do not call 
  • you commit a foul and the 8-ball falls into a pocket