Sparta Monday Night Pool League

Player Guide


A.      Teams/Sponsors

1.       A business may sponsor 2 teams per pool table available for shooting.

2.       The sponsor fee is $40.00 per team and is subject to change with a vote at annual meeting. Checks made payable to Sparta Men’s Pool League. Roster sheets along with money are due by date stated on bottom of roster sheet.

3.       Teams may consist of men or women.  No team may have any players under the age of 21. NO EXCEPTIONS!!

4.       Sponsors or captains are responsible for turning in roster sheets with required sponsor fee to the league secretary by the designated due date.

5.       Roster sheets should include the names of all team members including subs. The phone number of the captain is mandatory along with at least two (2) other members. This is so if there are any discrepancies with money or score sheets the team may be contacted as soon as possible. Roster sheets may be updated at any time during regular season play. The captain shall be responsible for contacting the league secretary with any roster changes.

6.       No players may be added to the roster after the last game of regular season play. Any player who has not played at least 1 game during regular season play or who has not been added to the roster by the end of the last game of regular season will not be eligible to play during division play. Any player doing so will receive zeros (0) for all games played and opponents will receive tens (10).

7.       If a team has a player(s) that is banned from an opposing team location the team must have a sub available to take that players place. It is recommended that the banned player and sponsor try to reconcile the differences to allow the banned player to at least play the match and leave immediately afterwards. The final decision however is up to the bar owner.

8.       Any team not showing up for three (3) weeks in a row, will be removed from the league and will forfeit all money earned thus far.

9.       All sponsors will have a bridge stick available on premises.

B.      Captains Duties

1.       The captain shall be present or send an acting captain to all league meetings.

2.       The captain will be responsible for informing his players as to all league rules and regulations.

3.       The captain or acting captain shall collect all players’ fees for the night.

4.       After the match is completed, both captains shall be responsible for verifying the score sheets and players fees. Both captains will sign the back of the envelope containing the score sheets and money for that night.

5.       The visiting team captain or acting captain will be responsible for taking the sealed envelope (or entrusting someone from either team) to the designated drop off location on the night of play or by noon the following day. Drop off  is Shifty’s.  Following morning drop off is Amber Inn between 6 and 10 a.m. and Shifty’s after 10 a.m.

6.       The captain will be responsible for settling any disputes that might arise during a match. If a dispute cannot be settled by the captain(s) he will be responsible for contacting the league president.

C.      Subs

1.       A team may add a sub player at any time during regular season play. No subs may be added after the split. A sub doesn’t need to shoot during regular season but must be on the roster by the end of the last game of regular season play. You may call the league secretary at any time during regular season play to add a sub to roster.

2.       A sponsor/bar owner may substitute for any of their teams regardless if they are a full time player on a team.

3.       Once a sub has started play he must continue play for that night and will only be available to sub for that team for the rest of the season. If a sub does shoot for another team after having shot another team he will receive zero (0) pts. for all ineligible matches played and the opponents will receive ten (10) pts.

4.       Player information must be submitted with the envelope the 1st night of play and each time a new player is added. If more player information cards are needed please contact the league secretary.

5.       The sub will be responsible for paying the playing fee.

D.      Game Play

1.       Play will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Monday nights with a fifteen (15) minute grace period.

2.       Players will pay a nightly fee of $4.00 ($32.00 total  per match in envelope) (.50 per player per night will be donated at the end of pool season to a charity chosen at the fall meeting). The .25 scratch has been eliminated.

3.       Tables:

a)       Tables will be as level as possible. Captains may ask for a table to be cleaned/leveled prior to game play. If after the first (1st) game the table is not level and both players are in agreement they may go to their captains and have the captain ask that the table be leveled again with each player splitting the cost. If the teams agree the table is level and playable no table shall be moved by anyone until after all games for that night are completed.

b)       Matches are to be played on 1 table. In the case of a table malfunction, remaining games are to be moved to a location agreed upon by the both team captains.

Official Rules of Play

A.      Balls and Racking

1.       The game is played with one (1) cue ball and fifteen (15) numbered object balls.

2.       The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the 8 ball in the center of the triangle, the first ball of the rack on the foot spot, a stripe ball in one corner of the rack and a solid ball in the other corner.

3.       The object of the game is to make one group of numbered object balls, either stripes or solids, and then legally pocket the 8 ball which then wins the game.


B.      Break Shot

1.       Start of play- Teams will break according to score sheet with each player racking their own break.

2.       If the breaker hits the racked balls with the cue ball driving four (4) or more numbered balls to a cushion or pocketing one or more object balls, the game is considered started. If the player fails to make a legal break it is not a foul; however, the opponent has the option of:

a)       Accepting the table in position and shooting, or

b)       Have the balls re-racked and shooting the break himself or have the original breaker re-break.

3.       Stopping or deflecting the cue ball prior to hitting the racked balls is considered a foul and loss of turn. The opponent will receive the cue ball in hand behind the head string.

4.       When positioning the cue ball for the break shot, the base of the ball must be behind the head string (kitchen).

5.       If a player scratches on a legal break shot:

a)       All balls pocketed remain pocketed (Exception: the 8 ball)

b)       It is a foul

c)       The table is open

d)       The incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string and may not shoot an object ball whose base is not outside the head string, unless he first shoots the cue ball past the head string and cause the cue ball to come back behind the head string and hit the object ball. If a player positions the cue ball completely and obviously outside the kitchen and shoots the cue ball, it is a foul if called by the opponent.

e)       The opposing player must inform the breaking player of improper positioning of the cue ball before the shot is made. If the opposing player does not so inform the breaking player before the shot is made the break is considered legal. If the shooting player is informed of improper positioning he must then reposition the cue ball.

6.       Making the 8 ball on the break

a)       The breaker may ask for a re-rack or have the 8 ball spotted and continue shooting

b)       Should the breaker pocket the 8 ball and scratch the incoming player has the option of spotting the 8 ball and shooting from behind the head string or re-racking and assuming the break.

c)       A game cannot be won or lost with an 8 ball break regardless of what is pocketed on the same shot.

7.       If a player legally breaks the racked balls and does not make any balls his opponent then shoots having an open table.

8.       If a player jumps an object ball off the table on the break it is a foul and the incoming player has the option of:

a)       Accepting  the table in position and shooting or

b)       Taking the cue ball in hand behind the head string and shooting. Any jumped balls are spotted in numerical order.

C.      Open Table

1.     The table is open when the choice of groups (solids or stripes) has not yet been determined. When the table is open, it is legal to hit a solid first to make a stripe or vice versa. Note: The table is always open immediately after the break shot. When the table is open it is legal to hit any solid or stripe or the 8-ball first in the process of pocketing  the called stripe or solid. On an open table, all pocketed balls remain pocketed. The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls are made from only one or both groups. THE TABLE IS ALWAYS OPEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE BREAK SHOT. The choice of group is determined only when a player legally pockets a called object ball after the break shot.

D.      Game

1.       In call pocket obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated. It is the opponents’ right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot. Banks and combinations are not considered obvious and both the object ball and the pocket must be called or it is a loss of turn. When calling the shot it is never necessary to details such as the number of cushions, banks, kisses, caroms, etc. Any balls pocketed on a foul remain pocketed, regardless of whether they belong to the shooter or opponent.

2.       The opening break is not a called pocket. Any player performing a break shot in 8 ball may continue to shoot his next shot so long as he has legally pocketed any object ball on the break.

3.       A legal shot is defined as: On all shots except on the break and when the table is open, the shooter must hit one of his group of balls first and

a)       Pocket a numbered ball or

b)       Cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a rail.

Note: It is permissible for the shooter to bank the cue ball off a rail before contacting his object ball. However, after contact with his object ball, an object ball must be pocketed or the cue ball or any numbered ball must contact a rail. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.

4.       Each player continues to shoot so long as he legally pockets any of his object balls (Exception: calling a safety). Should a player fail to pocket his designated group ball he shall lose his turn.

5.       If a player fails to hit the 8 ball while shooting at it, it is a foul and the game continues. When the 8 ball is the legal object ball, a scratch or foul is not a loss of game if the 8 ball is not pocketed or jumped off the table. Incoming player has cue ball in hand.

6.       In the event the cue ball or object ball stops on the edge of the pocket then falls into the pocket because of vibrations, fans or stamping of feet, it shall be replaced on the edge of the pocket as near as possible to its position before interference.

7.       When a player has pocketed all of the balls in his group he then shoots at the 8 ball. He must call the pocket he intends to put the 8 ball in.

E.      Safety Shots

1.       For tactical reasons a player may choose to pocket an obvious object ball and also discontinue his turn at the table by declaring *safety* in advance. A safety shot is defined as a legal shot. If the shooting player intends to play a safe by pocketing an obvious object ball, then prior to the shot he must declare a *safety* to his opponent. If this is not done, and one of the shooters object balls is pocketed, the shooter will be required to shoot again. Any ball pocketed on a safe shot remains pocketed.

F.       Combination Shots

1.       Combination shots are allowed. However, the 8 ball cannot be used as a first ball in the combination except when table is open.

G.     8 Ball Run Out (ERO)

1.       The only time a player may achieve an ERO is in his first approach, with 15 balls on the table. If the breaker runs out and wins the game from the break, it’s an ERO. If the breaker does not make any balls, his opponent will have a shot at an ERO. He must pocket his 7 object balls and the 8 ball without a miss.

2.       ERO’s should be recorded on the score sheet in the area provided.

3.       One (1) pin per season per player will be awarded for an ERO no matter how many are achieved.

H.     Playing games out of order

1.       Sometimes under extenuating circumstances, players may ask to play all games consecutively. Although permissible, this practice should be limited to emergencies only. It will be up to both team captains to make the decision.

I.        Slow Play Rule

1.       Exaggerated slow play will be penalized. After a warning, any longer than ONE MINUTE between shots will be a foul. The third infraction will result in loss of game.

J.       Potential Fouling Situations

1.       When it appears that there is a possibility that a foul might be committed any time before the shot is taken, it is the opponents’ responsibility to call for a person to watch the shot. Because referees are not used in league play, every attempt should be made to get a neutral party to make the call. It is the person’s responsibility to call either foul or good hit. However, if the respective person is not instructed specifically of what he/she is to call before the shot is taken and the person calls a bad hit and foul, the bad hit call stands.

2.       Both players must exercise good judgment and sportsmanship concerning potential fouling situations. Pool is intended to be a game of honor. Unless the shot is extremely close, referees or neutral parties should not be called.

3.       If the opponent calls for a judge, the shooter must stop shooting until a judge arrives. If the player continues to keep shooting before the judge arrives the opponent may call a foul on the player.

4.       A player should also stop shooting when a foul is called.

K.     Fouling- All fouls must be called and acknowledged before next shot is taken. (Exception: scratching)

1.       Only the players involved may call a foul. In the event a foul is called, the opposing player receives cue ball in hand anywhere on the table. This means that the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the table (the cue ball does not to be behind the head string except on the opening break or immediately after a foul on the break). A player must stop shooting when a foul is called.

2.       Shooting the cue ball into a pocket or off the table.

3.       It is a foul when a player scratches on the break or deflects(Miscues) the cue ball prior to hitting the racked balls. The incoming player receives the cue ball in hand behind the head string.

4.       When placing the cue ball in position, any forward stroke motion contacting the cue ball will be foul if not a legal shot. It is not recommended to use the cue to help with placement of the cue ball however, if you choose to do this you may only use the ferrule or stick because once the tip has made contact with the cue ball it is considered a legal attempt at a shot.

5.       When using a bridge, if the tip of your cue is in contact with the cue ball and at the same time either the bridge or cue stick makes contact with any object ball, it is a foul.

6.       Shooting without at least one foot on the floor. (Exception: Wheelchairs)                                                                     

7.       Picking up or shooting the cue ball while any balls are in motion is a foul.

8.       With cue ball in hand, touching any object ball with the cue ball is a foul or touching any object ball with your hand while touching the cue ball is a foul.

9.       When the slow play rule is enforced taking longer than one (1) minute between shots is a foul.

10.    Jumping object ball off the table is a foul.

11.    After a scratch on a legal break, if a player positions the cue ball completely and obviously outside of the kitchen and shoots it is a foul. The opponent must call foul or the game shall continue.

12.    If your opponent commits a foul and you do not receive acknowledgement of such foul prior to touching the cue ball you have committed a foul. (Exception: scratching)

13.    If a player intentionally marks the table in any way (including placement of chalk or leaving cue stick laid on table) to assist in executing a shot it is a foul.

14.    After a shooter has distinguished either stripes or solids and the incoming shooter inadvertently legally pockets one of the opposing shooters object balls it is a foul and the incoming shooter has ball in hand. If the opposing shooter does not acknowledge the foul before the next shot is taken or anytime thereafter, the game will result in a re-rack with the person who committed the foul responsible for paying for the re-rack. If neither shooter acknowledges the original foul and the game is completed, the result of the game will stand.

15.    While cue ball fouls only is the rule of play when a match is not presided over by a referee, a player should be aware that it will be considered a cue ball foul if during an attempt to jump, curve or masse the cue ball over or around an impeding numbered ball that is not a legal object ball, the impeding ball moves, regardless of whether it was moved by a hand, cue stick follow through or a bridge.

16.    An object ball is considered to be illegally pocketed and remains pocketed when:

a)       That object ball is pocketed on the same shot a foul is committed.

b)       The called ball did not go in the designated pocket

c)       A safe is called prior to the shot

17.    Accidently moving or touching any  ball is not a foul unless:

a)       The moved ball is the cue ball

b)       A moved ball makes contact with the cue ball

c)       A moved ball that is jumped off the table or pocketed or causes any ball to be jumped off the table or pocketed (Exception to #3: If the 8 ball is jumped off the table or pocketed it is a loss of game if called by the opponent before the next shot is taken). Only the opponent may replace the ball moved as closely as possible or leave it where it rests. If the shooter replaces the moved ball it will be considered a foul.

18.    Object ball frozen to cushion or cue ball. This applies to any shot where the cue balls first contact with a ball is with one that is frozen to a cushion or cue ball itself. After the cue ball makes contact with the frozen ball the shot must result in either:

a)       A ball being pocketed

b)       The cue ball contacting the cushion

c)       The frozen ball being caused to contact a cushion attached to a separate rail.

d)       Another object ball being caused to contact a cushion with which it was not already in contact with.

Failure to satisfy one of those four requirements is a foul.

A ball which is touching a cushion at the start of the shot and then is forced into a cushion attached to the same rail is not considered to have been driven to that cushion unless it leaves the cushion, contacts another ball, and then contacts the cushion again. An object ball is not considered frozen to a cushion unless it is examined and announced as such by either a referee or one of the players prior to the object ball being involved in a shot.

19.    Coaching

a)       Coaching is a foul. Any member of a team called for coaching will result in a foul on the team member shooting.

b)       Coaching by spectators is a foul and may be called if it is verifiable and obvious. Verifiable means coaching that would be confirmed by a neutral party.

c)       At no time should a player walk around the table while their opponent is shooting unless they are asked to watch a close hit. Telling a player what to do at your table or at the bar is still coaching even if you’re not at the pool table.

d)       Because coaching has the potential to become the source of a dispute, all members of both teams must make every effort not to even give the hint of coaching or any kind of behavior that could give the slightest impression of coaching.

L.      Loss of game – any of the following situations will result in loss of game.

1.       Pocketing the 8 ball when it is not the legal object ball except on an opening break.

2.       Pocketing the 8 ball on the same stroke as the last of his group of balls.

3.       Jumping or knocking the 8 ball off the table at any time.

4.       Pocketing the 8 ball in a pocket other than the one designated.

5.       Fouling while pocketing the 8 ball in the designated pocket.

6.       Third infraction of the slow play rule (if enforced).

M.    Forfeits

1.       Individual forfeits: if a player isn’t there prior to the beginning of the second (2nd ) round, he shall forfeit the first round only. If a player isn’t there prior to the beginning of the third (3rd) round, he will forfeit all four (4) games for the night.

2.       Team forfeits: Teams must have 2 players by 7:30 p.m. or the team forfeits for the night. Team showing up to play receives their average from the four (4) weeks prior, or four (4) weeks after if early in season.

3.       After split forfeits: Team showing up to play will receive their average from the first half of teams in their division.

N.      Postponements &  make up matches

1.       Opposing captains, by mutual agreement, may postpone a match. Postponements are highly discouraged and should be made only because of extenuating circumstances. In the event of a postponement both captains must notify the league secretary or president of the postponement and when the match will be played.

2.       It is recommended that request for postponement be made 24 hours before the scheduled match was to be played. Teams should have sub players who can take over in the case of illness, etc. Not being able to fill a team is not grounds for postponement. Opposing teams do not have to grant a postponement. It is a privilege and not mandatory, however, it is good sportsmanship to try and accommodate. Common sense, fair play and sportsmanship should always be considered when deciding whether or not to consider a postponement.

3.       Postponed matches must be played within 2 scheduled league nights of the originally scheduled match, and should be shot in the originally scheduled location.

4.       Captains must make every effort to clearly agree on time and date of the make-up match. If a dispute arises over the rescheduling of the match, the league president will set up the match. If the disputed match involves the league president the league secretary will set up the match.

5.       In the event of bad weather it is the captains responsibility to notify the opposing team captain if your team is unable to attend the regular scheduled match.

O.     Stalemated Game

1.      In 3 consecutive turns at the table by each player (6 turns total), they purposely foul  or scratch and both players agree  that attempting to pocket or move an object ball will result in immediate loss of game, then the game will be considered a stalemate.  The balls will then be re-racked and the breaker of the stalemated game will break again. PLEASE NOTE:   Three consecutive fouls by one player is not a loss of game

P.       Scoring (Points, Ties & Awards)

1.       The point system will be used to determine the winner of the game.

2.       The team scoring the most total points will be the match winner. If tied in points, 1 player from each team will be chosen to play a match. This will be a tiebreaker only match with the winner receiving 1 team point. Both teams will keep their original points.

3.       Points are scored one (1) point for every object ball & three (3) points for the 8 ball. Both players count all balls.

4.       Individual averages are determined by dividing the total points by the total games played.

5.       Players must shoot 85 percent (85%) of the league season to qualify for top shooter.

6.       ERO pins will be awarded one (1) pin per player per season no matter the number achieved.

7.       Plaques will be awarded to the first (1st) and second (2nd) place teams in each division for display in sponsoring bar. No individual plaques will be awarded unless voted on .

8.       Score sheets and envelopes:

Envelopes are to have the names of the teams playing and the date of the match. 

Score sheets are to be filled out completely on both teams sheets. Both teams are to turn in sheets. Make sure all scores and any ERO’s match on both.

Q.     General definitions

1.       STRIKING THE CUE BALL – Legal shots require that the cue ball be struck only with the cue tip. Failure to meet this requirement is a foul.

2.       POCKETED BALLS A ball is considered as a pocketed ball, if, as a result of an otherwise legal shot, it drops off the bed of the table into the pocket and remains there. A ball that rebounds from a pocket back onto the table is not a pocketed ball.

3.       POSITION OF BALLS The position of a ball is judged where its base rests.

4.       FOOT ON THE FLOOR It is a foul if a player shoots when at least one foot is not in contact with the floor (Wheelchair exception).  Foot attire must be normal in regard to size, shape and the manner in which it is worn.

5.       KITCHEN DEFINED The head string is part of the kitchen.  If the base of an object ball is dead center on the head string, the ball is not playable.  This will apply on a scratched cue ball on the break. Likewise, the cue ball when being put in play from the kitchen (cue ball behind the string), may not be placed directly on the head string; it must be behind it.

6.       JUMPED CUE BALL When a stroke results in the cue ball being a jumped ball, meaning jumped completely off the pool table on the floor, the stroke is a foul.  The cue ball may leave the playing surface and return, which is not to be considered a foul.

7.       ILLEGAL JUMPING OF BALL It is a foul if a player strikes the cue ball below center digs under it and intentionally causes it to rise off the bed of the table in an effort to clear an obstructing ball.  Such jumping action may occasionally occur accidentally, and such ―jump are not to be considered fouls on their face; they may still be ruled foul strokes, if for example the ferrule or cue shaft makes contact with the cue ball in the course of the shot.

8.       PLAYER RESPONSIBILITY FOULS The player is responsible for chalk, bridges, files and any other items or equipment he/she brings to, uses at, or causes to approximate the table.  If he drops a piece of chalk, or knocks off a mechanical bridge head, as examples, he is guilty of a foul should such an item make contact with the cue ball.

9.       BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE Balls coming to rest other than on the bed of the table after a stroke (on the cushion top, rail surface, floor, etc.) are considered jumped balls.  Balls may bounce on the cushion tops and rails of the table in play without being jumped balls if they return to the bed of the table under their own power and without touching anything not part of the table.  The table shall consist of the permanent part of the table proper.  Balls that strike or touch anything not a part of the table, such as the light fixture, call pocket disc, chalk on the rails and chalk on the wood, cushion tops, shall be considered jumped balls even though they might return to the bed of the table after contacting items which are not parts of  the table proper.  Any jumped object balls are spotted in numerical order.

10.    BALLS MOVING SPONTANEOUSLY If a ball shifts, settles, turns or otherwise moves by itself the ball shall remain in the position it assumed and play continues.  A hanging ball that falls into a pocket by itself after being motionless for three seconds or longer shall be placed as closely as possible to its position prior to falling and play shall continue.

11.    SPOTTING BALLS A single ball is placed on the foot spot; if more than one ball is to be spotted, they are placed on the long string beginning on the foot spot and advancing toward the foot rail.

12.    OBJECT BALL FROZEN TO CUSHION OR CUE BALL This rule applies to any shot where the cue ball’s first contact with ball is with one that is frozen to a cushion or to the cue ball itself. After the cue ball makes contact with the frozen object ball, the shot must result in either 1) a ball being pocketed, 2) the cue ball contacting any cushion, or 3) the frozen ball being caused to contact a cushion to which it was not already in contact. Failure to satisfy one of those three requirements is a foul.

13.    PLAYING FROM BEHIND THE STRING When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the string, (in the kitchen), he must drive the cue ball to a point outside the kitchen before it contacts either a cushion or an object ball.  Failure to do so is a foul.

14.    BAR ROOM SITUATIONS If a player is caused to foul due to an accidental bumping of the body or cue stick because of crowded conditions (people, walls, tables, etc...) or for whatever reason the following options exist:

a)       Return the balls as near as possible to the original position.

b)       If the two players cannot agree on where the ball(s) should be positioned the game will be re-played.