Arizona’s Pool League

Version 5-15-2023  

The League Structure

Arizona’s Pool League (AZPL)

Arizona’s Pool League was created in February 2003 with our first session beginning on May 7th.  The AZPL was designed with the average pool player in mind.  We pride ourselves on being an amateur, beer-drinking, have-fun pool league.  It is meant for the not-so-serious player to come down and have some fun, shoot some pool, drink a few beers (though not necessarily in that order) and win some cash too!  My original intention was ‘Why do we need to go to Vegas when we can have a big tournament right here’ and the rest is history.

We use a "the better you play the better it pays" format.  We use our own rating system based on your performance in the league but in certain instances use outside sources to more accurately place you in the system.  We use a handicap when strong teams play weaker teams.  You'll play the best and the rest on a weekly basis.  We do use a "call pocket only" format of play to allow the new players to the game a good opportunity to learn it and still be competitive.  Teams play to qualify in the Arizona State Championships.  32 teams qualify.  We at Arizona’s Pool League hope you enjoy your time with us and look forward to shooting with you.


The League Operator is a professional administrator. The LO has full authority to make rulings concerning all aspects of the League. Please be aware that the AZPL stays in close contact with all LOs, keeps them up-to-date with all the latest developments and makes rulings on questions they may have. Because your League Operator is a trained professional, you can be confident the schedules, standings, handicap system, special events and all other League affairs will be handled promptly and accurately. Only an AZPL authorized League Operator may administer the League. Your League Operator may hire assistants and/or representatives to improve service to you.


The Team - A team consists of a minimum of three players, although it is wise to have at least four. All team members bear the responsibility of verifying their teammates are AZPL members of legal age and are playing at skill levels that reflect their true ability. Each team will have a captain.

The Team Captain - The Team Captain is an essential part of the team and holds an important position. The Team Captain is listed on the team roster in bold. He helps with distribution of League information and bulletins and posts information at his home location. The Team Captain must also collect membership dues and forward them to Local League Management on a timely basis. He is responsible for having his team at the appointed place on time. He ensures that all rules concerning etiquette, sportsmanship and eligibility are observed. He makes sure proper scorekeeping procedures are followed. The Team Captain must have a phone. He represents the team and all communication with Local League Management is handled through the Team Captain. A team may elect a new Team Captain by a simple majority vote at any time.  Local League Management must be notified immediately if a new Team Captain is elected.

The Division - A division consists of a number of teams (from 6 to 16) competing with each other in a set schedule. In some instances a division may start with only four teams, although a six-team division is the smallest division recommended.

The Division Representative - The AZPL recommends there be a Division Representative for every division in the League. The Division Representative (DR) may either be elected by the teams in his division or appointed by the League Operator. He is a person of integrity and is consistently active in the League. The DR is a member in good standing and enjoys the involvement this position offers.  He helps recruit teams and promotes the league.  He helps make sure bulletins and other League information and materials get distributed to, and are understood by, the Team Captains in his division(s). He helps improve the League by passing information between the players and the Local League Office. He may also assist League Management with the League Championships and other special events.  The DR may serve on the Representative Committee. He is knowledgeable concerning League affairs and may be consulted by other members in the League. Consulted is the key word here because the DR does not have the authority to make rulings as an individual. However, it is a logical choice to call your DR if you have a protest or dispute—he may be able to help solve it.

Remember, the DR has no more authority than any other member to make rulings.  Remember, also, that his advice and interpretations are probably correct. 

The Representative Committee - The AZPL has a Representative Committee (RC) that will hear and rule on protests and disputes in the Phoenix Region.  The Representative Committee will consist of three Division Representatives.  This number will grow accordingly with the league.

The business conducted by the RC will normally concern proposed rule changes, protests, disputes, sportsmanship violations and other similar issues. The RC, in addition to settling such issues, may also hand down penalties. Penalties may vary from loss of ten points to a number of points. Penalties can include loss of eligibility, fines, or suspension of membership. The League Operator represents a higher authority than the RC, but the AZPL has asked League Operators to uphold the findings of the RC unless they are in violation of AZPL League rules or policies. The RC may not conduct meetings without approval from Local Management. It is essential for the members of the RC to understand that the RC is there to assist the League Operator-not to monitor, criticize, or supervise. Members who cannot accept their role as just described may be removed from the RC.

The existence of a Representative Committee in your area is the best way to ensure the various situations that can and do occur get resolved as fairly as possible. Please accept their rulings and support your Representative Committee at all times. If there is not a Representative Committee in your area, please contact and urge your League Operator to get one formed. Volunteer to be a member!  Special incentives are offered to all Division Reps.


As a member of the AZPL, you will receive benefits made available to you, the amateur pool player.  Some of them are as follows:

        Play wherever the League is active—we are expanding throughout the state.

       Arizona Pool Leagues apparel!

        Special member discounts on a variety of goods and services.

        Qualify for Vegas! (select divisions)

Transferability - Your membership is transferable to wherever an AZPL sanctioned League exists. There is no transfer fee. Upon arrival at your new home, simply notify the League Operator and he will get you in touch with a team/location.  If there is no AZPL sanctioned League at your new home, call the AZPL; every effort will be made to get one started.  When you transfer to a new area, you will enter with your last skill level from your previous area. Memberships are nonrefundable and are not transferable from one person to another.


Annual Player Dues / Sanction Fee This annual due is for outside sanctioning purposes.  It is $35 per player.  It covers that specific player for one full year (June 1 – May 31) of ACS ($15) and BCA ($20) eligibility.  That player can play in as many events that are available for that calendar year that are sanctioned by either. 

Player Entry Fee – Each player is responsible for a player entry fee of $15 per division per season.  It covers league operating costs for the current season.  Please give your player entry fee and your AZPL team sign up sheet to your Local League Management who will forward them to the AZPL home office. In divisions where there are annual player dues the team entry fee is waived. 

Sanctioned Divisions – In ACS or BCA sanctioned divisions EVERY player must be sanctioned.  No exceptions.  Even 1 time subs. 

IMPORTANT — Make sure you fill out your membership application completely or correct any errors on the renewal notice.  Some of your membership items will be mailed directly to your home address.  If the AZPL does not have a complete and accurate address, you may not receive some of your benefits.  Neither the AZPL nor your League Operator can be responsible for making them available at a later time.

        Basic Weekly Due - The weekly dues are $39 per team. The entire weekly dues are due regardless of how many players are on the roster or how many players played during the match.  Dues must be current and fully paid each week.  Players/teams that do not pay will receive 0 points.  If dues are not made current the 2nd week the player/team will be dropped from the schedule.  Don’t make me enforce this rule. 

        Post Season Play There is no team entry for teams in legacy divisions.  Out-of-town & franchise divisions team’s entry is $150, which must be paid no later than the final week of the season.

        Cash or Check? - The AZPL urges teams to make all League payments by check or cannot assume responsibility for cash.  You can make checks out to Michael Kerin.


There are three sessions during a League year, beginning with the Spring, followed by the Summer and ending with the Fall Session. The week runs from Monday thru Sunday.  The first week of the calendar season is week 1, the first week of play is traditionally week 2.


All scoresheets are available directly from the AZPL website.  It is the visiting teams responsibility to print two (2) scoresheets (home & away teams) and take them to the match that night.  Each team is responsible to return their scoresheet and dues to the league office each week. 


Matches are played head-to-head: one team member plays a designated opponent from the other team.  There are nine individual matches played in each team match.  In 8-Ball, every individual ball is worth one (1) point with the eight ball counting as three (3).  A team can score a maximum of 90 points in a team match.  Actually it can score more by getting a break & run and an 8-ball break but that is more the exception than the rule.  The team scoring the most points wins the match.  The teams are ranked in order by the match win with the tiebreaker being points scored. 


Trophies, plaques or appropriate awards will be awarded to each individual on the Arizona Pool League Championship Team each session.  Remember, the Champion is the team that wins the State Championships, not the team with the most wins at the end of the regular session.

The AZPL Team Champions’ Host Location will be awarded a team trophy to be kept on display at that location. Annual or seasonal awards may also be given in other categories, such as, most valuable player, most improved player, sportsmanship, and so forth.


The general rules are those rules that govern regular weekly play.  These rules cover many of the possible situations that inevitably occur during regular weekly play, except those pertaining to the game rules. Game rules are covered later in this manual.  Areas covered here include: forfeits, protest and dispute procedures, grace period, membership requirements, how matches are started, who pays for the tables, sportsmanship issues and many more.

All the rules in this section are the Official AZPL Rules.  They are the result of years of accumulated experience and input from players, Boards and League Operators.  Fairness to players of all abilities was the prime consideration for adoption or rejection of a rule or procedure.  The general rules are as follows:

1.   PLAYER’S RESPONSIBILITY – It is the player’s responsibility to be aware of all rules, regulations and schedules regarding the league.  While the league operator will make every reasonable effort to have all information readily available to all players, it is still the responsibility of the player.  Ignorance is not a free pass.

2.   AGE REQUIREMENTS - You must be at least 10 years of age and have permission from the bar/hall to be allowed to play.  Players under 21 must be in the presence of their parents if they wish to play.

3.   BYES - Some divisions may start with a bye (a bye is a missing team), or a bye may appear in a division because a team dropped out.  Concerning scheduling and byes:

  If a division begins with a bye, League Management has up to the fourth week of play to fill the slot.

  If a team drops out of a division, causing a bye to exist, depending on the timing of the drop out, League Management will make a new schedule for the remaining teams or replace the team with a new one.

  Once it is determined by any means that a team has left the league it will be treated as a bye with all remaining games for that team rescheduled.

  There will never be two byes in a schedule because a new schedule will be issued.

Example: If a second bye should appear in a 10-team schedule, League Management will issue an 8-team schedule with no byes.  The new schedule may cause teams to have a different home and away pattern and different match-ups with other teams in the division, so be alert to this possibility.

How byes are scored - Assuming no replacement team is found, the team will be awarded 70 points for all byes.  Individuals will not receive any points.  Dues will not be collected.


a.   A team match will result in a forfeit if your player is not at the table and ready to begin within 15 minutes of the appointed time.  The Official Start Time for nightly matches is 7:00.  Real Time, as opposed to Bar Time, is the official League time.  Sunday divisions vary in start time and are posted on the website.

b.   Where new teams or new divisions are involved, there shall be some leniency.  You joined to play - not to receive forfeits.  Occasionally a new team misreads or misunderstands the schedule.  Frequent abuse will result in penalties.

c.   The Home Team shall pick the table in which games are to be played on.

d.   A team may and shall begin play with one player present.  Upon completion of each individual game the team must have another player available for play.  Example: If the third player is not there when his match is ready he will be skipped in the rotation.  The skipped matches will be played upon his arrival.  If the third player isn’t going to be there you may add a new player as a sub during the first twelve weeks without penalty.  In the 13th week there is a 3-point penalty.  In the final week the penalty is 5 points.  In other words, PLAY MUST BE CONTINUOUS ONCE BEGUN.

e.   On the flip side of that coin it is not customary for a player to show up and expect to play all three of their games first and then leave.  It is at the discretion of the opposing team to allow this to happen.  This is why we have subs.

f.    If both Team Captains agree, a team match may be rescheduled for a different time (forfeit rule not in effect). The League Operator must be notified and give approval.  This must be done 24 hours prior to the match.  You cannot reschedule a match the night of the match.

g.   Both teams must still pay full weekly fees.

h.   Each forfeited game counts as 10 points.  If a team is short one player the opposing team receives 30 points.  If two players are absent the opposing team is awarded 60 points.  If the entire team forfeits the opposing team will receive 90 points for the victory.  Team forfeits are not recorded in the standings until the team plays its next match.  If the team that forfeited the match subsequently withdraws from the league, resulting in a bye, the team that received the 90 forfeit points will have the match rescheduled with a new opponent. 

i.    Deliberate forfeits will not be tolerated.  If the League Operator/Board of Governors is satisfied that the receiving team conspired to receive deliberate forfeit points, then the points would not be counted.  Depending upon the situation and evidence, either or both teams would be subject to other penalties.

j.    After two complete team forfeits the team will be dropped from the active roster.  See “Section 3 - Byes” for further explanation on what happens regarding the schedule. 

5.   PROTESTS AND DISPUTES - In general, your Team Captain must make all protests, disputes and complaints to Local League Management.  Make sure you go through your Team Captain.  Penalty points may be assessed to teams who disrupt League operation by making pointless protest calls to the League Operator or the Local League Office.  Most protests and disputes should be settled immediately through compromise, General Rules, common sense, and by referring to this manual.  Your Local League Office will publish its hours of operation (typically 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Monday - Friday) and may be unavailable to make rulings if your League time is after hours, so solve as many situations as you can on the spot.

The procedure for settling disputes will be as follows:

If a dispute between two teams cannot be resolved by existing rules, the two players and Team Captains will first attempt to resolve the issue by negotiation and compromise.

Remember, the League Operator and the Board (normally not present at the time of dispute) cannot effectively rule on a good hit/bad hit situation or other similar occurrences.  Therefore, it is up to the two players and the two Team Captains involved to make every effort to settle the issue immediately.  In league & tournament play, disputes are settled by replaying the game.  The AZPL wishes that games be decided by shooting rather than by reading.  Only a clear violation would go against the shooting team.  It is essential all parties concerned display good sportsmanship and conduct during the dispute itself.  Poor sportsmanship or abusive behavior may cause the team that wins the dispute to face more serious consequences when the Board rules on the sportsmanship issues.  Teams consistently involved in disputes may incur penalties ranging from point deductions to suspension or termination.

Example: The shooting player makes a shot where the hit (good or bad) is questionable and both teams feel their ruling is correct.  The call should go to the shooter.

In the example above, the sitting team should have protected itself by stopping the game prior to the shot and getting a third party, not on either team, to watch the shot.  Now the sitting team is on an even level with the shooting team and the shooter must be very careful with the shot.  It is usually easy to see when your opponent is going to face a close situation.  Your opponent is required to stop if you want the shot watched.  If they don’t it’s a ball in hand foul. 

Once both teams have agreed to replay a game, no protest may be filed at a later time concerning the game issues.  You cannot agree to a situation with the idea that if you win, it’s okay; and if you lose, you are going to protest anyway.

In the event the Team Captains cannot settle the dispute, they will both submit a written protest to the League Operator.  This protest will describe the circumstances involved and will be submitted along with a $20 protest fee from each team.  The League Operator may rule on the protest/ dispute or may pass it along to the Board of Governors.  The decision of the League Operator or the Board is final and the loser of the protest will forfeit their $20.  The winner is reimbursed.

Once the League Office has received your scoresheet, it is too late to protest.  Know the rules and review the match before sending in your scoresheet.

6.   CONCERNING TEAMS THAT DROP OUT - Because it is particularly disruptive to the    League for teams to drop out during mid-session, the following policy will be observed.  A team that drops out during a session will be required to pay all past dues before they would be allowed to rejoin the league.  After a second occurrence in addition to all past dues being paid, the balance of all dues they would have owed had they completed the session, plus two weeks fees deposit (which will be applied to the final weeks of the session) before they would be allowed to rejoin the League.  A player who was on such a team and who wishes to rejoin the League as an individual must first pay his share before being reinstated.  A team that drops out forfeits any prize money they would have received.

7.   ORDER OF PLAY OR HOW IT IS DECIDED WHO PLAYS FIRST – The order of play is predetermined with each player playing the other teams players one game a piece in a round robin format.  The breaking order is also predetermined with the Visiting Team breaking the first round, the Home Team breaking the second round and the third round being split – Home, Away, Home – in that order.

8.   VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY - Your opponent has every right to request proof of identity from you and your teammates.  Positive identification is a picture I.D., for example, a photograph on a valid drivers license.  If identification is not adequate, play the match and file a protest.  Give your League Office plenty of time to settle the matter.  The penalty for falsifying a player on your roster will be suspension and/or disqualification of each member of that team.

9.   WHO PAYS FOR THE GAMES - Although it can be accomplished in more than one way, both teams shall pay equally for table use during the match.  Loser pays is not acceptable. Local Bylaws or Local League Management cannot alter this rule.

a.   On coin-operated tables – If the cost of the table is 50 cents or a dollar then each player shall provide half.  In instances where the tables cost 75 cents the breaker shall pay one quarter and the racker shall pay two quarters.

b.   On timed tables - On tables where the proprietor charges by the hour, the total charge would be divided between the two teams.

10. SPLITTING MATCHES - Normally, a team match is played on only one table. Occasionally, lengthy matches make it logical to put a second table in action, if one is available. So, if the third round has not started by official League time plus two hours, then it would begin on the second table. A team is subject to penalty if an available table is made unavailable for a splitting matches situation and it is later determined they, in any way, caused it to be unavailable or resisted using the second table.  Splitting matches is waived if both teams want to continue on one table.

      The exception would be Double Headers – Double headers are played on two tables at the same time.  One match on one table, the other match on an adjacent table.  They are not meant to be played one after the other. 

11. SHOT CLOCK – A shot clock may be requested at any time during a match by the league official or either player involved in that match.  At this point both teams will be warned that there is a 50-second shot.  After a time-out/coaching period there is a 25-second shot clock.  The shot clock will be started when all balls come to rest, including spinning balls.  The shot clock will end when the cue tip strikes the cue ball to initiate a stroke or when the player’s time expires.  If the latter occurs it would be ball in hand

12. COACHING - As is the case in many sports, coaching is both logical and reasonable. Coaching gives the more advanced players a chance to help the newer players with their game under competitive circumstances.  Coaching is defined as giving advice to your teammate during his turn at the table.  Some examples of what is considered coaching are: giving advice as to which ball to shoot, where to leave the cue ball, whether to shoot soft or hard, or whether or not to use English.  These types of comments are considered coaching because they relate to the game situation.

Some examples of what is not considered coaching are telling a player which category of balls is his, reminding him to chalk up or telling a player a foul has occurred.  Comments such as “good hit” or “nice shot” or answering a player’s question concerning rules are not considered coaching.  Any comments made to a player when it is not his turn at the table are not considered coaching.

Obviously, judgments will have to be made.  Play it safe-when your opponent finishes his turn, do not continue talking to your teammates.  Go to the table to begin your turn.  Be courteous to your opponent.  Observe the following coaching guidelines:

a.      The Team Captain may be the coach or he may appoint any other member of the team to be the coach.  The opposing Team Captain must be notified as to who the coach is if it is not the team’s captain.  Once appointed, the coach cannot be changed until the next individual match, unless the designated coach has to leave the match site.

b.   So that coaching does not cause excessive delays in the progress of a match, players with a True Match Average (TMA) of 20 and up may receive one coaching per game, and players with TMA of 19 or less and non-rated players may receive two coachings per game.  Players 9 and under can have 3 coachings per game.  Mark the coachings (also called time-outs) on the scoresheet to avoid confusion.  It is up to you to notify your opponent if he is taking a coaching he does not have coming.  Disagreements are handled just as any other protest or dispute.

c.   Only the coach or the shooter of the shooting team may call for a time-out.  In order to avoid confusion say it loudly and clearly enough for all to hear.  Any member of the team may ask the shooter if he/she would like a time-out from the sideline.  The shooter may ask for a coach from any one of his/her teammates.

d.   Coaching periods should not exceed one minute.  Repeated complaints against offenders could lead to penalties.

e.   During his turn at the table, the shooter may discuss strategy only with his coach.  A shooter receiving advice regarding game strategy from a fellow player, besides his coach, has committed a foul.  A coach may get a group consensus from the other players on his team and pass it on to the shooter, but only the coach may pass it on.

f.    Coaches may place the cue ball for a player in a ball-in-hand situation during a time-out. No one may mark the playing surface of the table, or guide the shooter’s cue.  The coach must leave the playing area before the shooter attempts the shot.

Avoid disputes.  When your opponent’s turn is over, go to the table and begin your turn. Do not sit and talk with your teammates, because your opponent may think you are being coached.

13. ADDING / DROPPING PLAYERS – New players may be added to your roster at any point during the season up to the final two weeks however after the 12th match you may NOT use any players that are not listed on your roster without penalty.  In the 2nd to last week there will be a 3-point penalty, in the last week it shall be 5 points. 

For an added player to participate in a League match, the opposing Team Captain must be notified that you are adding or dropping a player before the team match begins.  You cannot wait until the end of the night to determine if you will need a new player.  To add a player to your roster, simply write the player’s name (next to the other names) on your copy of the weekly scoresheet.  All players must fill out the New Player Enrollment Form.

Players may, with approval from the League Office, be dropped at any time during the session and should be dropped if they become unreliable or cause problems in the League.  To request that the League Office drop a player, simply draw a line through his name on your scoresheet and mark drop.  Note: At least one player that played in the teams opening match must remain on the roster throughout the session.

14. STATEWIDE TOURNAMENT ELIGIBILITY Tournament eligibility will be based on your TMA.  The minimum number of games (wins + losses) to be eligible for Championship play is equal to your TMA meaning if you are a 23 you must have a combined total of 23 wins & losses to qualify for your team.  If you are a 27 you must play in at least 27 games.  Occasionally we have a team who for whatever reason cannot meet those requirements. In that situation they can use a player that hasn't met the minimum requirements but has played on their team during the season.  The penalty for this is 2 points for every 3 games they are short.  Meaning a 22 that has a 6-6 record (12 games) would have a 7-point penalty (22-(6+6)=10/3=3.33x2=6.66 (round up to 7)) for the tournament.  This rule is in place to A) prevent teams from bringing a minimum match ringer in without penalty and B) allow a team in a pinch to still play without forfeiting.  It’s all about good roster management. 

15. ANNUAL TOURNAMENT ELIGIBILITY – You must win a Championship to be qualified for the annual championship singles tournament.

16. NEW TEAMS - New teams can be added up to the 4th week however teams that join after the 3rd week will not be eligible for 100% of their earned prize money unless the missed matches are made up.  They would only be eligible for a pro-rated portion of the prize money based on how many matches they played.  Don’t worry.  We love double-headers!

17. NEW PLAYERS - A membership application must be received with the team scoresheet when a new player shoots.  Captains, have your new players fill out their applications before they play.  If a membership application is unavailable where you are playing then you should put the players first AND last name on the scoresheet along with their contact information on the back of the scoresheet. 

     Regarding subs – Every week a team needs a sub.  While it is common practice to just grab someone from the bar to play on your team you must at the very least get the player’s first AND last name and write it on the scoresheet.  If you fail to do so then the score will be recorded as a forfeit with dues still being collected.  Come on.  They’re right there.  ASK them.  Make my life easier. 

     Note: New men start at a 25 while women start at a 22 unless it is determined that the player should be higher.  Your rating will adjust every time you play.  It takes a full season (14 matches) plus the championships to get all the data required to get a true rating.  If you are a Fargo Superstar (Fargo above 550) you come in at no less than 25 and increases as follows: 550-559 (25), 560-569 (26) 570-579 (27) 580-589 (28) 590-599 (29) 600-609 (30) 610-619 (31) 620-629 (32) 630-639 (33) 640-649 (34) 650-659 (35) 660-669 (36) 670-679 (37) 680-689 (38) 690-699 (39) 700&up (45)

As a strong player don’t be afraid of that number.  It’s not all about how many you can score.  It’s about how many you let your opponent score.  Win 10-2, not 10-7.  The key is defense. 

Match averages (MA) are calculated whenever a player plays.  The averages of new players sometimes do not reflect their true ability due to the lack of scores.  For the same reason, the averages of new players sometimes move around a little during the first few weeks.  Please allow for this and hold your complaints concerning new players for a few weeks.

 18. HANDICAP – Beginning with the Spring 2014 season the AZPL will be using a player’s True Match Average to determine the handicap.  The True Match Average (TMA) is determined equally between a players Career Match Average, their Tournament Match Average & the player’s most recent 14 matches.

Add the three players TMA together to get the team total.  Subtract the lower from the higher and those are the points to be applied to the lower ranked teams' total. 

In an extreme example: Three 12’s (36) vs. a team of two 27s & a 28 (82).  82 minus 36 would be 46.  That would be the points give to the lower team.

In a more moderate example: A 63 (Three 21s) vs. Three 24s (72).  9 apart is 9 points.  The team with 3 -21s would receive the points. 

        Players that have a TMA of 30 or higher cannot be on more than one team together.  You can play on more than one night but you cannot have any common members 30 & up with your other team.  Not even as a sub. 

19. CONCERNING PLAYER ENTRIES – Each player is required to pay a $15 player entry fee at the start of each season for each division they play in.  This covers all league operating costs.

20. YOU MAY NOT CHANGE TEAMS within a division during a session unless approved by the League Operator, and then only once.  Once you are removed from a team’s roster you cannot rejoin that team until the next session.  Some divisions have “floating subs”.  A floating sub can play on any team.

21. YOU MAY APPEAR ON A DIVISION ROSTER IN ONLY ONE PLACE - You may not play for more than one team in the same division.  Meaning once you play for a team your name will be removed from the previous teams roster and you will be ineligible to play for that team again until the next season.  We do use ‘house subs’ which can ‘float’.  Once a sub plays 3 times for a team he is considered a part of that team for the remainder of the season.  If a player plays for a different team AFTER playing 3 matches for a team then they are no longer qualified to play for that team during the current season, including the championships.

22. YOU MAY PLAY ONLY ONCE in a team match meaning you cannot play for a missing player.

23. TEAMS MAY NOT CHANGE HOME LOCATIONS DURING A SESSION unless the location closes, the location requests it, or the League Operator approves the move.

24. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP SCORE PROPERLY - Refer to the section “How to Keep Score” later in this manual for complete instructions.  Make sure you keep score properly, especially in the areas for total points per team and per round.  Your scoresheet will not always agree with your opponent’s in these two categories.  You keep your score and let your opponent keep his. 

25. NO PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS ALLOWED - This League is intended for amateurs, and the AZPL reserves the right to reject or cancel the memberships of those individuals whom the AZPL deems to be professionals.  The AZPL has a variety of criteria for determining professional or amateur status.  They include a touring (tournament) membership in any men’s or women’s professional billiards organization, winning tour points from any of those organizations, being a nationally known money player (a judgment call), or otherwise being recognized as a billiards professional, billiards celebrity or entertainer (noted performers of exhibitions, retired professionals, etc.).  The AZPL reserves the right to rule on the amateur/professional status of any member, and we may consider all, some, or none of the above criteria.  Just remember, if you enter a professional event, perform exhibitions, or otherwise behave as a professional, you risk your amateur standing in our association.

Locally, the League Operator and/or the Board of Governors has the option of disallowing participation by an individual who has consistently demonstrated professional characteristics. An individual, who is a known money player and is perceived by the League Operator/Board of Governors to make a substantial portion of his living playing pool, rather than having other employment, could fall into this category.  An individual who gives exhibitions or lessons for money may fall into this category.  A highly skilled individual who is employed as a manager/assistant manager of a billiard room may be categorized as a house pro and could be ineligible for amateur play.  The AZPL does not wish League Operators/Boards of Governors to disallow participation based strictly on ability.  There are many skilled amateurs and they are welcome to play in the League.

26. EQUIPMENT – In general, any piece of equipment designed specifically for pocket billiards with the exception of laser devices, is acceptable in AZPL League play. 

a)     Cue Stick – The player is permitted to switch between cue sticks during the match, such as break, jump and normal cues.  He/she may use either a built-in extender or an add-on extension to increase the length of the stick.

b)     Chalk – The player may apply chalk to his tip to prevent miscues, and may use his own chalk, as long as its color is compatible with the cloth.

c)      Bridges – The player may use up to two mechanical bridges to support the cue stick during the shot.  The configuration of the bridges is up to the player.  You may use your own bridge as well.

d)     Gloves – The player may use gloves if he/she chooses.

e)     Powder – A player is allowed to use powder in a reasonable fashion as deemed by the L.O.

27. PLAYERS RECEIVING INCENTIVES - It is contrary to the best interest of the League and it leans toward professionalism for members to solicit or accept incentives to play for a location or for a team.  Teams or players may face disqualification for soliciting such incentives.  Incentives include, but are not limited to:

        Free drinks

        Free table usage

        Payment of all or part of League fees

If a Host Location offers the same benefit to all members participating out of that location, it is probably acceptable.  Special deals to just a few highly skilled players are not acceptable.

28. SPORTSMANSHIP - Good sportsmanship is essential in pocket billiards as in any sport.  Repeated complaints against you can lead to cancellation of your membership in the AZPL.  In addition, if you disrupt the League by consistently arguing and disagreeing with League rules, rulings and policies you may face loss of membership. While everyone wants to win, the purpose of the league is to have fun playing billiards in the company of friends in a friendly atmosphere.

      By following a few simple guidelines, you can help ensure everyone gets the most out of their AZPL experience.

A.    Know the rules!  Most disputes can be avoided if both players are knowledgeable about the rules of the game.

B.     Play to your potential!  Being a good sport doesn’t mean taking it easy on your opponent it’s actually quite the opposite.  You’ll be respected far more if you give it your best each and every turn at the table.  Don’t sandbag by keeping your wins/points as modest as possible.  Handicaps are meant to be a genuine measure of your skill.  It’s poor sportsmanship to give anything but your best effort all the time!

C.    No ‘Sharking’!  Sharking is any act designed to upset your opponent or disrupt their concentration at any time during the game.  Examples are using profanity, making sarcastic comments, refusing to acknowledge an obvious foul, standing close to your opponent’s line of vision or creating sudden noise.  These rules apply not only to you but your teammates and anyone else ‘on your side’.

D.    Respect your host and their equipment.  Billiard rooms & bars help to sponsor the league and provide use of their facilities and equipment.  Whether at home or away, you represent that bar/club.  Treat the host like your best friend & the equipment like it was your own!

E.     Don’t be an asshole!  Word travels fast.  If you want to be known for all the wrong reasons don’t follow this rule. 

29. RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE - Due to the ever changing nature of sports and the situations that can and do occur, the AZPL reserves the right to make rulings and rule modifications as necessary and at any time.  Any rule changes will be sent to your League Operator and will be made available to all members through posted bulletins, Team Captains meetings and will be published on the league website.

30. AZPL IS HIGHEST AUTHORITY – Arizona’s Pool League Main Office is the highest authority concerning all League rulings.

31. APPEALS - Your League Operator automatically reviews all disciplinary actions of any RC established in your area and would notify you or your Team Captain of the decision.  If you wish to appeal disciplinary action taken by Local League Management to the AZPL, you may do so.  To appeal, you must send a written notice to AZPL addressed to the AZPL Appeals Committee at the address on the back of this manual or send an email to AZPL@COX.NET.  The notice must state the disciplinary action taken and why AZPL should review the decision of Local League Management.  The AZPL has the sole authority and absolute discretion to act on the matter and its decision shall be final.

32. BONUS – A $20 bonus will be given out to any player that brings in a new three (3)-player team.  To qualify, the new team cannot have more than one (1) existing Arizona Pool League member and at least two (2) new members.  The new team cannot replace an existing team that has dropped out of the league.  The new team’s weekly dues need to be current.  It is the responsibility of the player bringing in the new team to notify the league office to collect the $20.  The money will be paid out during the final week of the session.

Note: The AZPL does not, nor does it authorize its League Operators or their employees to, discriminate against any individual based on race, creed, religion, sex, sexual preference, or any other criteria related to discrimination that has been established by the Federal Government.  All individuals who meet the minimum age requirements are eligible for AZPL membership, are eligible to take advantage of AZPL membership benefits, and are eligible to participate in AZPL leagues and events unless they have violated rules that are specifically detailed in this Team Manual.

Understanding that AZPL’s most popular programs involve teams, it is logical to assume the AZPL cannot dictate the composition of each team.  Teams are typically made up of friends, relatives and/or co-workers and neither the AZPL, nor its League Operators, nor their employees, have the authority to guarantee any individual that he or she can be on any particular team.

Please understand that AZPL team play typically takes place in public locations, such as billiard rooms, taverns and clubs.  The AZPL cannot force a team to participate in a location where the members of that team feel uncomfortable.  The AZPL and its League Operators will exert best efforts to promote harmony, security, and satisfaction among AZPL members as related to the composition of teams and the types of establishments they participate in.

8-Ball Game Rules

GENERAL DESCRIPTION - 8-Ball is played with a cue ball and a normal rack of fifteen (15) object balls.  The primary purpose of this game is for one player to pocket the solid balls numbered from 1 to 7 or the striped balls numbered from 9 to 15, and then marking and pocketing the 8-ball before his opponent.  Choice of balls to be pocketed is made by the player legally pocketing the first ball of the game.

For example, if the first ball pocketed in the game is the 3-ball, then the player must pocket the rest of the balls from 1 to 7 while the opposing player attempts to pocket all the balls from 9 to 15.  The turn passes from one player to the next whenever the shooter fails to pocket a ball of his category or fouls.  A player legally pocketing a ball of his category must continue to shoot.  Winner of the game is the player pocketing his numerical group of balls first, followed by legally pocketing the 8-ball.  The 8-ball must be pocketed in a designated pocket. If your match average is 16 or higher you must call the ball and pocket your category of balls is going to go in.  Meaning you must call the designated ball and pocket for your shot to be legal.  If your match average is 15 or lower you only have to call the pocket.  Example: You are shooting at the three ball in the side however the five ball goes in the side.  This is legal due to the correct category of object balls going in the side pocket.  It does not matter how the ball gets to the pocket as long as it goes in the correct pocket.

1.   PLAYING ORDER - Each team member plays against a different player on the opposing team each round, according to the score sheet directions, and all players play 3 games per match. On the score sheets, players for the Home team are assigned the numbers 1 through 3, and players for the Visiting team are assigned numbers 4 through 6.

In the first round, player 1 on the Home team plays player 4 on the Visiting team, player 2 on the Home team plays player 5 on the Visiting team, and so on. Starting in the second round, the order of play for the Visiting team is rotated so that player 1 on the Home team plays player 5 on the Visiting team.

The following table shows the playing order for all three rounds:

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

1 plays 4

1 plays 5

1 plays 6

2 plays 5

2 plays 6

2 plays 4

3 plays 6

3 plays 4

3 plays 5

To help you remember the playing order, the bottom of the score sheet includes a summary of the above table. To further help you determine the correct playing order, the score sheet indicates the opponent's number at the bottom right of the player's score field.

Player Substitutions

Player substitutions are not allowed once a match has started ------ the same three players who started the match must finish.

2.   RACKING - All balls should be frozen (touching) as tightly as possible.  Balls are racked with the front ball on the foot spot and the 8-ball in the center of the triangle.  The breaking player may request and receive a re-rack.

3.   PLAYING OUT OF ORDER - On occasion, errors occur whereby two players commence a game out of order. Once a game has started, the game must be played to completion, even if the wrong player took the break shot. The game scores are then entered into the score sheet in the location where the match should have been played. As soon as the out-of-order game is concluded, the match should continue using the normal rotation, with the game between the two players being skipped (since it was played earlier).

4.   BREAKING ORDER - The breaking order is indicated on the score sheet by a (B) placed adjacent to the team name above the round in which that team will break. In summary, the Visiting Team will break in round 1 and the Home Team will break in round 2.  The Home Team will break in games 1 and 3 in the third round with the Visiting Team breaking in game 2.  A game is not restarted when a player allows his/her opponent to break (because he/she didn't realize it was their turn to break).

Note: Although it is not sportsman-like, it is not a foul for an opponent to mislead you (deliberately or by mistake) into thinking it is not your turn to break.  It is each player's responsibility to check the score sheet and determine when it is his/her turn to break -- don't just ask the opponent.

5.   BREAKING – To be a legal break, players must break from behind the head string, the head ball or second ball must be struck first and at least four object balls must be driven to the rails or a ball must be pocketed.  The cue ball may not be shot into a rail before the rack.  If the break does not qualify as legal, the balls are re-racked and broken by the opposing player.  Breaking safe or soft is not allowed.  The League Operator may make judgments and issue penalties to teams and players who are not breaking hard.  Breaking just hard enough to comply with this rule is not a guarantee against penalties.  Remember break as hard as you can with control.  Occasionally when breaking the cue ball will leave the playing surface by going airborne.  If, when airborne, a player catches the cue ball on the fly the breaking player will be considered out with a score of 13-0 for the catcher. 

6.   AFTER THE BREAK - Various circumstances can occur upon completion of the break. They are:

a.   No balls are pocketed and it is the other player’s turn.

b.   The 8-ball is pocketed.  This is a win unless the player scratches, in which case he loses.

c.   One ball is pocketed.  As an example, the 3-ball, now it is still the breaker’s turn and the table is open.

d.   One ball of each category is pocketed (for example, the 6-ball and the 12-ball).  The breaker has open table.  He may shoot any ball except the 8-ball; if he does not foul, anything that goes in counts.  If he were to miss or foul on his second shot, his opponent would have an open table.  If the opponent then shoots and makes a ball, but also fouls on the shot, it is still an open table Open table means a player can shoot a combination involving a stripe and a solid and whichever he makes, without committing a foul, would be his category.

Example: If a player has an open table, and he shoots the 6-ball into the 10-ball, and the 10-ball goes in the pocket, he has high balls (stripes) and must strike the high balls first from that point on.

e.   If two balls of one category and one ball of the other category are pocketed (for example, the 3-ball, the 6-ball, and the 10-ball) it is the shooter’s choice just as in 4d above.

f.   A foul on a legal break results in ball in hand behind the head string and the incoming player may shoot at any ball on the table forward of the head string.  For an object ball to be outside the “kitchen” its center point must be on or past the line.

g.   Occasionally it occurs after the break, or anytime during the game for that matter, that a player mistakenly starts shooting the wrong category of balls.  Although it is sportsmanlike for the sitting player to remind the shooting player that he is about to foul by shooting the wrong category of balls, it is not a requirement for him to do so.  Once the shooter has hit the wrong category of balls, the foul has occurred whether the ball is pocketed or not.  If the ball is pocketed, it is permissible, though not recommended, that the sitting player allow the shooting player to continue shooting his balls in until he feels inclined to call the foul.  The shooting player can escape penalty by quietly realizing his error and returning to shoot the correct category of balls and legally contacting one of them before his opponent calls a foul, or by finishing off the wrong category of balls and legally contacting the 8-ball prior to his opponent calling a foul.

In other words, the sitting player must call the foul before the shooter returns to the correct category and legally contacts one, or before the shooter pockets the remaining balls of the wrong category and legally contacts the 8-ball.  Before any foul has occurred, the shooter also may avoid penalty by asking the sitting player which category of balls he has.  The sitting player must tell him the truth.

7.   COMBINATION SHOTS - Combination shots are legal, but striking the correct ball first is required except in the open table situation.  The 8-ball is not neutral.  A player is credited with all balls he legally pockets.  When a player does not pocket one of his balls, but pockets an opponent’s ball, he loses his turn.  The opponent gets credit for the pocketed ball.  No pocketed ball is ever spotted.

8.   BALLS ON THE FLOOR - If the 8-ball is knocked on the floor, it is loss of game.  Other object balls that get knocked on the floor will be spotted.  If the spot is taken, then the ball would be placed on a line directly behind the spot as close to the spot as possible.  Knocking a ball other than the cue ball on the floor is not a foul. It might occur that a player pockets his ball while simultaneously knocking some other ball on the floor.  In this situation, it is still his turn and the ball is not spotted until he misses.  If the ball on the floor is one of the shooter’s balls, then it is spotted when the shooter has pocketed all of his other balls or misses.

9.   POCKETED BALLS - Balls must remain in a pocket to be legal.  If a ball goes in a pocket, but bounces back onto the playing surface, it is not considered pocketed.  If it is the 8-ball, it is not to be considered as either a win or a loss.  If it is the cue ball, it is not to be considered a scratch.

        Note 1: If a ball that has been hanging in a pocket for more than a few seconds suddenly falls in, it is to be placed back on the table where it was originally sitting.  Once a ball has stopped all motion, it cannot move again without outside forces affecting it.  So, if it falls in a pocket, it is to be placed back on the table where it was before it fell.

        Note 2: It occasionally happens on tables with small pockets that two balls become jammed in a pocket and are leaning over the edge of the slate to some degree.  They are off the playing surface and are pocketed.  Drop them in and resume playing the game unless the pocketing ends the game (8-ball or cue ball scratch when shooting the 8-ball).

10. ONE FOOT ON THE FLOOR - At least one foot must be on the floor at all times while shooting if a bridge is present.  There is no foul—simply stop the shooter and hand him the bridge.  League Management cannot guarantee the presence of bridges, and some Host Locations do not have them. 

11. FOULS - If any of the following fouls are committed, the penalty is ball-in hand for the incoming player.  Make certain you have ball-in-hand before you touch the cue ball.  Confirm it with your opponent before touching the cue ball.  Ball-in-hand might be new for many members and therefore warrants further explanation.  Ball-in-hand means you get to put the cue ball anywhere on the table and shoot any of your balls (or the 8-ball, if all of your balls have been pocketed) regardless of where that ball is.

A player exercising his rights under the ball-in-hand rule may place the cue ball on the table anywhere he desires.  Even after having addressed the cue ball a player may, if not satisfied with the placement, make further adjustments with his hand, cue stick or any other reasonable piece of equipment.  A foul may be called only if the player fouls the cue ball while actually stroking the cue ball, meaning a double hit of the cue ball (sometimes called double clutching).  The ball-in-hand rule penalizes a player for an error.  Without this rule, a person can actually benefit by accidentally or purposely scratching or otherwise fouling.  In the unlikely event that a game should ever become stalemated, meaning that neither player wants or can make use of ball-in-hand, then the balls are re-racked, the same player breaks and the points for the stalemated game are crossed off the scoresheet.

Only the player or the coach may officially call a foul, although anyone may suggest to the player or the coach that a foul should be called.

These are the only fouls resulting in ball-in-hand.  All other violations are sportsmanship violations.  The ball-in-hand fouls are as follows:

a.   Anytime the cue ball goes in a pocket, on the floor, or otherwise ends up off the playing surface.

b.   Failure to hit a correct ball first.  (A player who is shooting stripes must hit a striped ball first.)  In general, the shooter has the advantage in close hit situations unless his opponent has asked an outside party to watch the hit.  Protect yourself.  If you think your opponent is getting ready to shoot a shot that could possibly be a bad hit, stop him from shooting and get someone to watch the shot.  Potential bad hit situations are usually fairly obvious and protests and disputes over these close situations can almost always be avoided if someone is asked to watch the shot.  If the outside party cannot determine which ball was struck first, the call goes to the shooter.  Teams involved in repeatedly calling bad hits without outside party verification may be subject to penalty points for disruptive unsportsmanlike behavior.

c.   Failure to hit a rail after contact.  Either the cue ball or any other ball must hit a rail after the cue ball and the object ball contact.  A pocketed ball counts as a rail.  Even if the ball bounces back onto the playing surface, it is considered to have hit a rail, as the pocket liner is part of the rail.

d.   If the cue stick contacts the cue ball more than once on a shot it is a foul.  If the cue ball is close to but not touching an object ball and the cue ti is still on the cue ball when the cue ball contacts that object ball, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is very close to an object ball, and the shooter barely grazes that object ball on the shot, the shot is assumed not to violate the first few lines of this rule, even though the tip is arguably still on the cue ball when ball-ball contact is made.

      However, if the cue ball is touching an object ball (frozen) at the start of the shot, it is legal to shot towards or partly into that ball (provided it is a legal target within the rules) and if the object ball is moved by such a shot, it is considered to have been contacted by the cue ball.

The object ball is frozen to a rail and the player is contemplating playing a safety (see SAFETY described in Definitions).  In order for the following frozen ball rule to be in effect, the opponent must declare that the ball is frozen and the player should verify.  Once it is agreed that the ball is frozen, then the player must either drive the object ball to another rail (of course, it could hit another ball, which in turn hits a rail), or drive the cue ball to the rail after it touches the object ball.  If the latter method of safety is chosen then the player should take care that he quite obviously strikes the object ball first.  If the cue ball strikes the rail first or appears to hit both the rail and ball simultaneously, then it would be a foul unless either the cue ball or object ball went to some other rail.

e.   It is a foul to use your cue to in order to align a shot by placing it on the table without having a hand on the stick.  This applies in Vegas, not in Arizona. 

f.    Receiving illegal aid (coaching from person(s) other than the coach) during your turn at the table.  To determine what is and is not considered coaching, refer to COACHING in the General Rules Section of this manual.

g.   Causing even the slightest movement or altering the course of the cue ball or any ‘in-motion’ ball, even accidentally, is a foul.  Even dropping the chalk on the cue ball is a foul.  It is not a foul, however, to accidentally move 1 of the other balls (including the 8-ball) unless, during the process of shooting, a player moves a ball and it in turn comes in contact with the cue ball or having any ball, including the cue ball, going through the area originally occupied by the moved ball.  Moving 2 or more balls, while even accidentally, is ball in hand.  It is at the opposing players discretion for the shooter to position any balls moved accidentally during a shot after the shot is over and all balls have stopped rolling.  If it occurs before the shot, it must be replaced before the shot is taken.

h.   If, during the course of a shot, the cue ball does not touch anything.  

i.   Exercise caution when picking up or placing the cue ball in a ball-in-hand situation.  The cue ball is always alive.  If the cue ball, or the hand holding or moving it, touches another ball it is a cue ball foul and your opponent has ball-in-hand.  Be especially careful when you are picking up or placing the cue ball in a tight spot.

The player or his coach (during a time-out) may place the cue ball in a ball-in-hand situation.  The same rule regarding placing the cue ball applies to the coach as it applies to the player.  If the player, or coach fouls in the process of placing the cue ball, it will be ball-in-hand for the opponent.  Therefore, it should be the player’s choice if he wishes to place the cue ball or allow his coach to do so.


a.   Your opponent pockets his numerical group and legally pockets the 8-ball.

b.   You pocket the 8-ball out-of-turn or knock it on the floor.

c.   When playing the 8-ball, you pocket the 8-ball in the wrong pocket or fail to properly call the pocket where the 8-ball went in.

d.   You foul the cue ball and then pocket the 8-ball.

e.   When playing the 8-ball, you scratch.  You lose whether or not you pocket the 8-ball.

Note: If you are shooting at the 8-ball and miss it altogether, you have fouled and your opponent has ball-in-hand, but you don’t lose because of this foul.

f.    A game is forfeited if you alter the course of the 8-ball or the cue ball in a game-losing situation.

        Example A: You are shooting the 5-ball, miss the pocket, and the 5-ball hits the 8-ball.  The 8-ball is going towards the pocket and you reach out and stop it and try to claim that it is only a ball-in-hand foul.  Wrong, it is loss of game.

        Example B: You are shooting at the 8-ball and miss the pocket and the 8-ball is heading towards the wrong pocket or the cue ball is heading towards a pocket.  You reach out and stop the ball and claim that it is only a ball-in-hand foul.  Wrong, it is loss of game.

        Example C: You miss your object ball and the cue ball is rolling towards a cluster of balls.  You reach out to stop the cue ball and claim that it is ball in hand.  Wrong, it is loss of game.  Do NOT touch the cue ball until it comes to a complete stop or leaves the playing surface.

g.   A game is forfeited if a player unscrews his jointed playing cue while the opponent is at the table.  That is conceding. 

h.   Ripping the felt while taking shot is an automatic loss.

i.    A game is forfeited if it is determined you have disrupted the shooter either by intimidation or poor judgement (ie. grabbing their cue, knocking their marker off the table, etc.)

13. HOW TO WIN - You have won the game when all the balls of your numerical group have been pocketed and you have legally pocketed the 8-ball without scratching. 

Note: You may not play the 8-ball at the same time you play the last ball of your category.  The 8-ball must be a separate shot.

How to Keep Score in 8-Ball

The weekly 8-Ball scoresheet is very important and should be filled out neatly, completely, and correctly, and then signed by both Team Captains.  Penalties will be assessed for repeated illegible, incomplete or incorrect scoresheets.

The following instructions explain how to complete the scoresheet properly.

1.   PLAYER INFORMATION - List the player’s full name.  First & last!

2.   THE SCORE BLOCKS – After each game the balls are counted and each player receives the appropriate score.  Each ball is worth one point with the eight ball counting as three good or bad. 

3.   THE ROUND TOTAL BLOCKS – At the bottom of each round you should fill in the round totals.  This is the total number of points each team scored that round.  To the right of the individual round scores are the player totals.  Put each player’s score in these boxes.

4.   THE GAMES WON BLOCK - Indicate how many games each team won during the match.

5.   THE NOTES SECTION – Team Captains should complete the financial section, located in the lower right portion of the scoresheet. All money placed in the envelope with the scoresheet should be itemized.  It is important to list annual membership dues along with the names of the members who are paying, as well as any unusual payments.  Any notes should be written here also.

6.   TEAM CAPTAIN’S SIGNATURE BLOCK – When your team match is over, add up the total number of points shown in the Total blocks earned by each team, compare the scoresheets making sure they are identical and then sign both scoresheets.

SCORING - In scoring, each player receives one point for each of his/her group of balls (solids or stripes) pocketed, plus three points for legally pocketing the 8-ball. Thus, a win is always worth ten (10) points to a player, while a loss can never be worth more than seven (7) points to the opponent. An easy way to determine the losing player's score is to subtract the number of balls remaining on the table from seven. For example, if there are two striped balls left on the table after the 8 ball was legally pocketed, the losing player would be awarded a score of 5 (since five balls must have been pocketed). The score should be entered in the appropriate column adjacent to the player's name.

        NOTE: If a player makes the 8-ball on the break, he/she will receive 12 points with the losing player receiving zero. If the cue ball is made along with the 8-ball on a break, it is considered a loss with the losing player receiving 0 and the winning player receiving 10 points for the win.  If a player prematurely pockets the 8-ball or scratches on a stroke while pocketing the 8-ball, the opponent receives 10 points automatically with the losing player receiving whatever points they had at that time.

        Break & Runs – If you break and run out all of your balls AND sink the 8-ball for the win the opposing player will not receive credit for any balls that YOU sunk whether on the break or accidentally while shooting.  The score will be 11-0.

*In the instance where the breaking player doesn’t make anything and the incoming player gets a run-out but on the way knocks in the opponent’s ball the breaking player would get 0 points.  You don’t get the free balls until you make at least one on your own or shoot AFTER the table has been closed.

Conduct During League Play

The purpose of this section is to provide you with specific guidelines concerning player conduct during League play.  The AZPL has charged your Local League Management with the responsibility of enforcing these guidelines.  League Management includes League Operators, Boards of Governors, or any other individual or committee that might pass judgments on misconduct.  The guidelines contained herein deal with PHYSICAL CONTACT and VERBAL ABUSE.  There is room for judgment in some areas and there is no room for judgment in other areas.  The AZPL has cautioned League Management to strictly adhere to those areas where there is no room for judgment.

There are two kinds of action taken by League Management in these types of misconduct cases: IMMEDIATE ACTION and FOLLOW UP ACTION.  Immediate action is the action taken that immediately affects the actual results of the team match.  Immediate action affects the entire team and it is recognized there are sometimes innocent individuals involved.  Follow-up action is the action taken later, specifically against the individual involved in whatever incident occurred. The innocent members of the teams involved are not affected by follow-up action.


Physical contact is the hostile physical contact between two players.  This contact could be in the form of bumping, shoving, pushing, or hitting. Although this contact normally involves only the team members, League Management should impose the same penalty when a nonmember is involved if it is deemed the nonmember(s) involved is with one of the teams.  With could mean a number of things; in general, if an offending person is deemed to be with the team, it would mean they came with the team or the team should have had some control over the persons actions which is a judgment.  IMMEDIATE ACTION - If hostile physical contact occurs, THE MATCH IS OVER!  There are only two possibilities to consider: only one team was guilty of hostile physical contact or both teams were guilty of hostile physical contact.  LEAGUE MANAGEMENT MUST EXERCISE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TWO OPTIONS:

a.      Only one side was involved.  In this case, the offending team loses all points if it is a regular night of play on the weekly schedule, or loses the team match if it is a Session Playoff or any kind of a tournament match.  The non-offending team receives all points in the case of a regular night of play, or advances to the next level in the event of Session Playoffs or some sort of tournament play.

b.      Both teams were guilty of hostile physical contact.  In this case neither team would receive any points for the night in the case of a regular night of play on the weekly schedule, or if it is a Session Playoff or tournament play, both teams lose the match, which is the same as saying both teams are disqualified.  League Management has no alternative other than to enforce one of the above two options.  When considering the above options, League Management cannot consider who started it, nor can League Management consider that the retaliation, if it occurred, was justified.  The only way both teams can avoid the same penalty is for one of the teams to refuse to retaliate no matter what provocation they may have to endure.


Verbal abuse consists of any name-calling, threats, or any other language that could be considered to be harassment or could cause embarrassment to the opponent.  League Management will always have to make judgments in this area.  It is not considered harassment to root for your team, just do not do it while your opponent is shooting.


If League Management can determine the verbal abuse was entirely one-sided then the individual match must be awarded to the non-offending player.  This is the standard immediate action taken by League Management.  The verbal abuse could be coming from the opponent, anyone on the opponent’s team, or anyone who is with the opponent.  It is only considered to be a one-sided situation if no one from the other side responds or retaliates in any way.  League Management may call for forfeiture of the entire match if it determines the abuse and harassment put the non-offending team in an unfair competitive situation.  If both players or both teams are involved in the verbal abuse, a situation commonly referred to as a shouting match, then the match results may or may not be affected based upon the decision of League Management.  If it is in a tournament or playoff situation, both teams could be disqualified, as it is extremely disruptive to other matches and to the tournament in general.


It is during follow-up action that League Management is given the opportunity to decide who started the problem and whether or not the degree of retaliation was reasonable.  Follow-up action addresses the long-term issues.

It is important that those ladies and gentlemen who cannot act like ladies and gentlemen adjust their demeanor appropriately or they will be removed from the League.

League Management must take action against any members involved in physical contact violations, no matter how remotely League related they are.  It is not acceptable for a couple of members to take their fight outside, or to agree to meet and fight it out at a later date.  If, indeed, they do fight at a later date and League Management determines it was as a result of League play, then League Management must take action.  This action would be in the form of follow-up action.  A fight that occurs outside, but during League time, will be considered to be the same as one that occurred inside.  If a player threatens to wait outside until the match is over, League Management should rule that the entire team match is forfeited.  How can a player and his teammates possibly concentrate on finishing a match if they feel they will be facing a brawl later on?  In other words, a threat could be treated as physical contact in terms of immediate action.  There is certainly room for a lot of judgment in this area.

Follow-up action by League Management results in penalties such as probation, suspension and permanent termination of League and AZPL membership.  The latitude of these penalties is left mainly up to League Management, but the following guidelines should be observed:

a.   To any person who starts a fight or brawl, permanent termination of League and AZPL membership.

b.   To a person who gets into a fight or a brawl defending himself, a minimum one month suspension if first offense, and much longer if otherwise.

c.   To someone who consistently uses foul and intimidating language, six month suspension, and longer for a second offense.

d.   To someone who uses lesser degrees of verbal abuse, probation and suspension as deemed appropriate.  It is important that all team members are aware of these conduct guidelines.  Your team should consider dropping anyone from your roster who does not agree with them.  Any individual or team suspended from League play will immediately lose certain other membership privileges, including eligibility for AZPL tournaments, until and unless the suspension is lifted.  You joined this League to have a good time and so did the vast majority of other members.  Every member has the right to be treated in a sportsmanlike manner, and members who display offensive behavior will not be tolerated.


BALL-IN-HAND: Ball-in-hand is the term used to describe the advantage granted to your opponent when you scratch or otherwise foul.  Your opponent may choose where to place the cue ball on the table before shooting any of his category of balls. 

BANK SHOT: A bank shot is when a player drives the object ball to the cushion in the course of making the shot.

BREAK (Break Shot): Refers to the first shot of the game.

BRIDGE: Refers to the hand that holds and guides the cue shaft, also the type of hold.  Also refers to a cue-like stick with a specially shaped plate mounted on the end or other such device that serves as a support for the cue when the shooter cannot reach the spot where he would normally place his bridge hand.

BYE: A bye is a missing team on a schedule.  Schedules are always set up to accommodate an even number of teams.  When there are an odd number of teams in a division, there will be a bye.  For example, a 9-team division will be playing a 10-team schedule with one bye.  If your team is scheduled to play a bye, that means you do not have a match on that occasion.  A bye is a missing team.

CAROM: A term describing the glancing of one ball off another.

DEFENSIVE SHOTS: A defensive shot is a shot where the shooter deliberately misses so as to pass his turn at the table on to his opponent.  A safety (see SAFETY in these Definitions) is a defensive shot because the shooter had no intention of making a ball of his category.  Remember that defensive means deliberately missed.  Players with integrity call all safeties and intentionally missed shots. 

DRAW: A method of stroking that causes the cue ball to spin backwards after contact with an object ball.  The cue’s tip must contact the cue ball below center to cause the draw. 

ENGLISH: A method of stroking that causes the cue ball to react to the right or left after contact with an object ball or cushion. 

FOLLOW: A method of stroking that causes the cue ball to follow in the same direction as the object ball when struck.

FOLLOW THROUGH: An important and desirable motion of the cue carrying through the area previously occupied by the cue ball.

FOOT OF TABLE: The end not marked with the maker’s nameplate, or on tables with ball returns, the end to which the balls return.

FOOT SPOT: A spot placed in the exact center of an imaginary line drawn across the pool table between the second diamonds from the foot rail.

FORFEIT: When one or more players on a team do not show up for their respective match.

FOUL: An illegal shot resulting in loss of turn at the table and cue ball-in-hand for the opponent.

FROZEN BALL: A frozen ball is a ball that is touching either another ball or a rail.  If it is touching another ball, it is frozen on that ball; if it is touching a rail, it is frozen on the rail.

HEAD OF TABLE: Opposite of the foot.

HEAD STRING: The imaginary line drawn across the pool table between the second diamonds from the head rail.

JUMP SHOT: A jump shot is when the cue ball is struck with the cue tip in a downward fashion for the purpose of elevating or jumping the cue ball over an impeding object ball to achieve a legal hit.  It is a foul to jump the cue ball by “scooping” it over the impeding ball.

KICK SHOT: A kick shot is when a player drives the cue ball to a cushion before contacting the object ball.

LOCAL BYLAWS: Local Bylaws are additional rules, policies, and procedures unique to an area.  They are designed to cover local situations, such as exactly how the scoresheets are picked up and delivered, local League times and the like.  Local Bylaws may also contradict portions of this manual, especially in the General Rules Section, but only with the approval of the APL. The League Operator and the Board of Governors normally write local Bylaws.

MASSE’ SHOT: A masse’ shot is when a player attempts to curve the cue ball around a ball in order to strike an intended ball.  A masse’ is accomplished by raising the butt end of the cue and using either right or left English.  Even raising the butt end of the cue a little and using right or left English will cause the cue ball to curve a little.  The more the cue is raised, the more the cue ball will curve.  Extreme masse’ shots, improperly executed, can cause damage to pocket billiard equipment.

MISCUE: A miscue occurs when the cue’s tip does not hit the cue ball squarely enough and glances off without driving the cue ball on its desired course, often caused by not enough chalk on the tip, an improperly shaped tip or an attempt at too much English.  Miscuing is not illegal unless the shooter is deliberately miscuing to scoop the cue ball over a ball that is in the shooter’s way.  Sometimes a miscue may result in a foul because the cue ball was struck twice or struck the 8-ball or one of the opponent’s balls first.  It wasn’t the miscue that was a foul, however, it was the fact that the cue ball was struck twice or struck the wrong category of balls that became the foul. 

OBJECT BALL: The object ball is the ball you are trying to hit, or any other ball of your category.

PUSH-OUT: The push-out was developed to take some of the luck out of pool.  A player could protect his turn with a push-out. Although push-outs have been used more often in the past, currently, push-outs can only be used immediately after the break by the breaker if he pocketed a ball on the break, or by the incoming player if no balls were pocketed on the break.  A player can elect to push-out if he doesn’t like the shot he is faced with.  Pushing-out involves announcing the intent to push-out, and then shooting the cue ball to a new position.  The shooter doesn’t need to satisfy the legal shot rule (driving a ball to a rail after a legal hit).  The shooter’s opponent then has the option to shoot from the new position or tell the shooter to take the shot.  Normal game rules apply from that point on.  Push-outs are fairly standard in pro events; however, AZPL rules for all competition does not allow push-outs because they give the more highly skilled player a big advantage, for obvious reasons.

PUSH SHOTS: A push shot involves a situation where the cue ball is frozen or nearly frozen to the object ball.  The problem faced by the shooter is to keep from pushing or keeping the tip of the cue on the cue ball resulting in a double hit.  In general, you can lessen your chances of being accused of shooting a push shot if you elevate the butt of your cue about 30 degrees or shoot at a right or left angle.  This automatically cuts down the length of the follow through which is the principal cause of a push shot.  Players who repeatedly guide the cue ball with force through object balls that are frozen or nearly frozen to the cue ball, using a level cue and long follow through, may be subject to a sportsmanship penalty. 

SAFETY: A defensive action taken when a player either has no “make able” or “high percentage” shot or chooses to leave his opponent in a difficult situation.  It is a legal shot and is not considered to be dirty pool.  It is considered defense. A safety must still conform to the rule concerning hitting the correct ball first and striking a rail afterwards.  If a correct ball is accidentally pocketed while playing safe, the shooter still forfeits his turn.  Players with integrity call their safeties.

SANDBAGGING: Sandbagging, in any handicapped sport, is the unethical practice of deliberately playing below your ability in order to alter your handicap so it does not reflect your true ability.

SCRATCH: Pocketing of the cue ball or driving the cue ball off the playing surface and onto the floor.

SESSION: In the AZPL session refers to the season in which League play took place.  There are three sessions in each League Year: Spring Session, Summer Session and Fall Session.



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