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Tournament Format and Rules

We hold two types of events: free-style and book shots. Below are the rules for each. For the players who have already competed in free-style events, there have been some changes. They are summarized here.
Free-Style Events Changes
  • Silicone will no longer be allowed. Players may ask for the cue ball to be cleaned by a dry cloth. Players may not use any substance on any ball.
  • Players will be given two attempts per shot. This is being done to speed up the matches.
  • In order to encourage more successful attempts, the following scoring changes will be implemented: Players will get 3 points for a successful make. If a player misses their own shot, they will lose 1 point. If a player misses their opponent's shot, they will not lose anything.
Free-Style Events
  • Format
    • All tournaments will be round-robin format, advancing the top players from each flight into a single elimination playoff round. Players will continue to advance in this round until one player is left. Based on the number of participants, it is possible that some events may need to be changed to a double elimination tournament, or a modified single elimination tournament. For round-robin style events, players are guaranteed a minimum of four matches.
    • Entry fees will be determined based on the type of event. Typically, the entry fees will be around $300.
    • Unless otherwise stated, the players meeting for all events will be held in the tournament room. The day/time will be specific to each event.
    • Players will lag for choice of first shot.
    • Players will alternate selecting shots. The number of shots in each match will be determined by the tournament director and will be based on the number of entrants.
    • Players will get two attempts per shot, and be awarded three points for making the shot on any attempt. If a player misses his own shot, the player will lose one point. Players will not lose any points for missing their opponent's shot.
    • After a player selects a shot, his opponent will also receive two attempts and gain three points for a successful make on any of those attempts.
    • When it is a player's turn to select a shot, any shot may be chosen (see shot selection rules below).
    • If a round robin format is used, the top players will advance out of each flight into the single elimination playoff phase of the tournament. The number of players advancing from each flight will be determined by the tournament director and be based on the number of entrants.
    • Ties in the preliminary round-robin format will be broken as follows:
      • First Criteria: Win-Loss Record
      • Second Criteria: Head-to-Head Results
      • Third Criteria: Total number of points scored in all matches. Not all matches will go the full length, so this will be a percentage of total points made against the total number of shots selected. All preliminary matches will be included.
      • Fourth Criteria: Fewest number of points scored by opponents. This will be based on a percentage, similar to criteria # 3 above.
      • If the players are still tied, there will be a 1 shot playoff lag shot. It will be a 5 rail kick shot towards a ball on the foot spot. Each player will be allowed 2 practice attempts, and then one attempt at the actual shot. The player that gets the cue ball closest to the ball will win the tie-breaker. The cue ball is allowed to hit the ball and the distance will be measured when all balls stop rolling.
      • Here is a diagram of the tie-breaker shot.
  • Dress Code
    • Certain tournaments will have a higher dress code than others. Unless otherwise stated, the default dress code for all events will be Dress Code 'A'.
    • Players may wear as many sponsor logos as they wish, provided that they are not in direct conflict with any of the sponsors of the current tournament. The tournament officials reserve the right to ask a player to remove any logo from any piece of clothing if such a conflict exists.
    • Dress Code 'A':
      • Dress slacks
      • Collared shirt (short sleeves are okay)
      • Belt
      • Dress shoes and socks (no sneakers)
    • Dress Code 'B':
      • Jeans or shorts are okay, provided they are nice (not ripped).
      • Collared shirt or t-shirt. No offensive pictures or words may appear on the player's clothes.
      • Sneakers are okay.
  • Shot Selection Rules
    • When it is a player's turn to select a shot, they may select any shot they want.
    • Shots must be explained in detail and every attempt must be made to assist the opponent in understanding the shot. If a player uses something to help them setup the shot, that player must make that object available and help the player use it.
    • Players should specify every detail about a shot before shooting it.
    • In order to help improve the spectator experience, players are advised to first explain the shot in detail to their opponent. Once your opponent understands the shot, the player should then perform the shot for the audience, leaving out all of the minor details.
    • Players may only use one cue stick per shot. Please note that props do not count. Players may use as many cue sticks as props as they want. However, the player may select shots that require the use of one cue as a shooting cue. Multiple cue shots are not allowed.
      • If there are blocker balls or objects on the table, unless otherwise specified, it will be assumed that they may not be hit.
      • If the cue ball or object ball is jumping over something, unless otherwise specified, it will be assumed that the object may not be hit.
      • If there are multiple balls being hit, unless otherwise specified, it will be assumed that the player may not disturb any balls while shooting the others.
    • Players are responsible for bringing their own props.
    • Props are limited to the following:
      • Racks
      • Sticks
      • Bridges
      • Chalk
      • Stacking Balls
      • Coin Wrappers
        • Coin wrappers may only be used to balance balls on top of them.
        • Players may cut coin wrappers a little shorter if necessary, but they must be standard coin wrappers that are cut, not home-made pieces of paper that are rolled up.
      • Connected pool balls may not be used unless they are used as a stationary obstacle (see below).
      • Putting a soft object in a pocket (like a towel) to cushion the balls is not allowed.
      • Ball Trays are legal. However, they must be standard ball trays that can be found in a pool room. Custom made ball trays, or carrying cases for pool balls will not be allowed, unless they are used as a non-standard prop (see below). Also, the ball tray may only be used as a 'rail'. It may not do anything else, like slide over and pocket a ball, have balls jump or be shot out of it and do something, etc.
      • Coins:
        • If the coin is being used to balance on or against a ball, and the only reason is to help determine whether the ball moved or not, then the coin may be used. For example, balancing a coin on a ball, and saying that during the course of the shot, the coin must be knocked off, or may not be knocked off, is legal.
        • If the coin must do anything else, it is not allowed.
      • Any other stationary prop (bottles, blocks of wood, etc) may be used as obstacles only. The prop may not have anything to do with the shot (hitting them or moving them cannot be part of the shot). All props must be stationary.
        • Here are some examples of non-standard props that are legal:
          • Masse around a bottle.
          • Jump over a block of wood.
          • Using a block of wood to hold up a cue stick to form a ramp or a higher barrier to jump over.
          • Any object used as a weight to hold the rack (or any other prop) steady so it doesn't move during a shot.
          • Hitting a ball into a rack to make another ball.
        • Here are some examples of non-standard props that will not be allowed:
          • Balancing balls on top of bottles and doing something with the ball or bottle.
          • Jumping a ball into anything other than a pocket.
          • Balancing balls on top of a doctored rack (a standard rack would be okay - Delta 13 racks are legal and are considered standard racks).
          • Any prop that is breakable and can potentially hurt someone (no glass - no exceptions)
          • Props may not contain any liquid, or anything else that can potentially spill and cause a mess.
          • Using a bag and having a ball go into and out of the bag.
          • Any non-standard size pool ball (mini pool balls, billiard balls, etc), unless they are used as stationary props as described above.
    • Wing Shots: Players may select wing shots, but they may not specify that 3 out of 5 (or any other numbers) must be made. However many wing shots are performed, all must be made.
    • Silicone will no longer be allowed. Players may ask for the cue ball to be cleaned by a dry cloth. Players may not use any substance on any ball.
    • There is no setup time clock. However, players are cautioned that the setup should take no more than 2 minutes. Players should be prepared to assist their opponent in setting up a shot should there be a lot of props / balls required. Please note that this does not apply to ball clusters. Players are on their own when it comes to aligning balls in a cluster, however the player selecting the shot is required to assist the opponent as to the general starting area and shape of the cluster.
    • Tournament officials reserve the right to place any match on a shot clock if they deem it necessary.
    • Players may not knock down, move, or in any way disturb the shot setup when it is complete. Players must leave the props on the table in their final position for their opponent.
    • If a player alters their cue in any way, they must allow the other player to use that cue (e.g. extensions, etc.)
    • Players are not allowed to shoot shots that are hangers. For example, a player needs to make one more shot to win so they put a ball near a pocket, put a rack against the ball, and just shoot the cue ball into the rack. This is an example of a hanger and it will not be allowed. Players may select easy shots, but they must require a bare minimum amount of skill.
    • Duplicate Shots:
      • Players may repeat shots used in a prior match.
      • Players may not repeat shots used in the same match. Here are some guidelines:
        • Legal: A player shoots two different speed shots, with different setups and different requirements.
        • Legal: A player shoots a jump shot, then a one-handed jump shot, then a shot where the cue ball jumps very little into a ball and uses that ball as a ramp to jump much higher (this last shot really isn't a jump shot).
        • Illegal: A player shoots two different speed shots, but both are essentially the same except that one uses 4 balls and one uses 5 balls, or one uses the right hand and one used both hands alternating.
      • The above list are only some examples. Players are advised not to abuse the fact that these are not specifically defined. Use your common sense and mix up your shots in each match. Any complaints will be dealt with on an individual basis and will be one of many factors in deciding which players get invited to certain invitational events throughout the year.
    • Players are only allowed to select a certain number of shots from a skill category in a match. Matches where each player selects 6 shots, no more than 2 shots from any skill category may be chosen by each player. Matches where each player selects 8 shots, no more than 3 shots from any skill category may be chosen by each player. Please note that some shots do not fall into any skill category. Players may select as many of those shots as they want. The skill categories are defined below. Please note that it is possible for additional skill categories to be defined should the need arise.
    • Skill Categories:
      • Juggling
        • Any shot requiring that you hit a moving ball. This refers to the ball hit by the cue stick. If you hit a stationary ball INTO a moving ball (i.e. wing shots), that does not count as juggling.
      • Speed
        • Any shot that cannot be performed at the player's leisure. Exception: If the only part of the shot that cannot be done at the player's leisure is juggling (i.e. hitting a moving ball around the table multiple times), then the shot is not considered a speed shot. Please note that if the player is juggling a ball and something else must be done while that is going on, that will be considered a speed shot. In addition, if the player is juggling four or more balls simultaneously, that will be considered a speed shot (and a juggling shot). Wing shots (and variations) that do not require anything else to be done during the 'wing shot' part, are not considered speed shots.
      • Stroke
        • Any shot requiring the use of extreme spin. Please note that masse shots do not count as stroke shots.
      • Masse
        • The cue stick is elevated and the player is shooting down on the ball. Please note that there are shots that fit this definition that are clearly not masse shots. Players should be able to recognize those shots and put them in an alternate category. In addition, there are some shots that may be hard to tell whether they fall into the stroke or masse skill category. Any questions on those shots should be handled prior to the shot being selected.
      • Jump
        • The ball being struck is jumping unaided (not off another ball, cushion, etc) over any object.
      • Wing
        • Shooting a ball at a moving ball.
      • Opposite Hand
        • Any shot requiring the use of the player's opposite hand.
      • One-Handed
        • Any shot requiring the player to shoot with only one hand. Please note that there are shots that require a player to shoot with both hands, but each hand is performing a separate one-handed shot. These will be considered one-handed shots.
      • Physical
        • Any shot that requires the use of a physical skill not generally used in a standard game of pool. Examples of this are catching a ball, behind-the-back shots, behind-the-neck shots, under-the-leg shots, running around the table, and shooting any shots without looking. Please note that 'running' is vague and certain speed shots will only be categorized as speed. However, having shots where a player is required to run from one side of the table to the other in order to accomplish something will be classified in this category. Players should use their judgment as to whether shots belong in this category. Also note that these are examples. Tournament officials reserve the right to place any shot into this category. In order to avoid match delays, we encourage players to ask about any questionable shots during the players meeting.
      • General note regarding skill categories: These definitions should act as a guide. If there is a question during a match as to whether a player has already selected their limit in a certain skill category, players should review the shots already chosen and categorize them. Any questions should be brought to a tournament official. Shots may belong to multiple categories. In that case, it will count as a shot in all categories it falls into. For example, shot where you jump out of the rack and masse back to make a ball will count as both a jump shot and a masse shot.
    • Players are not allowed to continuously reset a shot and repeat it. The exception would be wing shots.
    • Stopwatch: Players may shoot shots that require a stopwatch. Players must allow a minimum of 1 second per ball hit (with a total time of not less than 4 seconds). Please note that if there is a shot that requires two (or more) balls to be hit simultaneously, that will be considered TWO (or more) hits for timing purposes, and players using a timer on such shots will be required to leave a minimum of 1 second PER BALL HIT.
    • Players may not select shots that could potentially hurt someone (player or spectator). Examples of illegal shots are ones that require or may result in a ball flying off the table at high speed, hitting your hand on the table, or having the player balance or spin. Obviously there is always a chance that a ball could fly off the table accidentally. Players should use caution and not select shots where a ball could fly off the table at such speed that it may fly directly into the spectator area.
    • Any ball flying off the table will result in a missed attempt. The exception is when a player jumps a ball and catches it (for example - jumping off a rail and causing the ball to fly back at you).
    • Players may not specify how their opponent must hold the cue stick or position their body. For example, a jump shot is a jump shot. You cannot say that your opponent must or must not use a certain type of bridge or hold the cue stick in a certain way. Please note that you are allowed to specify one-handed or two-handed, have shots requiring the use of both the left and right hand, or specify that both feet must be on the floor. Behidn the back, under the leg, and behind the neck shots are legal.
    • Players are advised not to select shots that require their opponent to memorize a long list of things that must be done. Avoid shots that players will be in the middle of shooting and then forget what to do next, especially if a timer is used (timer ball or stopwatch).
    • General Shot Guidelines: Everyone is on the honor system. We do not want a situation where a rule is not explicitly specified, or a loophole is found, and it is exploited. Players are advised to use their common sense. Complaints will be dealt with on an individual basis and anyone trying to find a loophole or abuse the rules will be dealt with accordingly. Penalties may include disqualification of a match, disqualification from the tournament, and/or not being invited or allowed to future events. The tournament directors & tour officials reserve the right to make decisions/rulings to protect the integrity of the tournament, regardless of what the rules state or don't state. If players have questions about any shot or combination of shots in a match, they are advised to ask first.
Book Shot Events
These rules are currently under review. They will be posted soon.
Contact Us at info@artisticpoolplayers.com