Britain's official professional 9 ball pool tour!

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Tournament Regulations

All GB9 tournaments adhere to the World Pool-Billard Association (WPA) Standardized Rules and the WPA rules for 9 ball, which you can open or download from the WPA website.

Below are the regulations specific to GB9.  These regulations will be strictly enforced by the GB9 Tournament Director and Official Referees.  Note, where the rules state a penalty of ‘loss of rack’ this means the opponents score will be incremented by 1 rack unless indicated otherwise.

  • 1. Match time:

It is the players responsibility to check the draw sheet for the time of their next match.  Players must be present in the venue and ready to play at their scheduled start time.  The Tournament Director will call the match when your table is available but you should not rely on this and always check the tournament notice board.  Once names are called the tournament director will note down the time of the match and players must be present at the table ready to play within 5 minutes of that time.  If your opponent is not present within the required time players must promptly inform the Tournament Director or Referee.

Penalty for breach of rule: 5-9 minutes late – 1 rack, 10-19 minutes late – 3 racks, 20 or more minutes late – loss of match.

  • 2a Practice immediately before match:

After your match has been called play must begin promptly as soon as both players arrive at the designated  table.  Each player is allow a maximum of 1 rack practice, which should take no more than 3 minutes.  The only exceptions is where your opponent does not arrive at the table within the permitted time (as per rule 1) .  In this case you may practice whilst waiting for your opponent only upon authorisation from the Tournament Director or Referee.  Such authorisation will only normally be given when your opponent is at least 5 minutes late and is known to be further delayed.  As soon as your opponent arrives at the table no further practice is allowed by either player and play must begin promptly.

Penalty for breach of rule: 1st occasion loss of 1 rack (at the referee’s discretion a warning may be given), 2nd occasion – loss of match.

  • 2b Practice between matches:

Players are not allowed to practice or play on any of the designated match tables whilst the tournament is in progress, however practice is allowed on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Sunday morning before the first tournament session of the day.  This practice must finish promptly prior to the start of play when announced by the tournament director.

Penalty for breach of rule: Disqualification from tournament (at the referee or Tournament Director’s discretion a warning may be given).  In cases of deliberate repeat offences disciplinary proceedings may also be invoked.

  • 3. Players Timeout:

Each player is allowed one 5 minute timeout per match, which must be taken at the end of a rack (regardless of who is to break next).  If player 1 informs of his decision to take a timeout and player 2 decides to take his/her timeout at the same time both players must return at the same time i.e. within 5 minutes of Player 1 electing to take a timeout.  Players must otherwise not leave the playing area without the consent of the referee, Tournament Director or opponent.  To exercise his/her right to a time out the player must:

(1) inform the referee or opponent of his/her intention and,

(2) mark it on the scoresheet (if used) or press the timeout button on the computer (if used) and,

(3) make sure the referee or opponent is aware of the fact.

During a timeout players are reminded of rules 6 (smoking and drinking) and rule 16 (coaching).

During an opponents timeout players must not involve themselves in any other activities (practice/coaching etc) otherwise it will be considered exercising a timeout and no further timeout will be allowed.

Penalty for breach of rule: 1st occasion – loss of 1 rack (at the discretion of the referee a warning may be given instead or if the absence is more than 10 minutes the Tournament Director may at their discretion immediately deem loss of match without warning), 2nd occasion – loss of match.

  • 4. Sickness timeout:

If a player requires a pause in play due to illness or potential illness they must immediately inform the referee or Tournament Director who at his/her sole discretion will authorise a maximum 10 minute sickness timeout.  Such a timeout can only be taken if the referee, Tournament Director or his/her appointed official is present.  If the timeout is taken without such approval the player is deemed to be absent from the table and rule 3 applies.

Penalty for breach of rule: 10 minutes exceeded by up to 5 minutes – loss of 1 rack, 15 minutes elapsed – loss of match.

  • 5. Tip timeout:

If a player’s cue tip becomes loose or significantly damaged during a match they may seek permission from the referee or Tournament Director or appointed official for a 15 minute tip timeout.  Whether the tip is damaged sufficiently to warrant a tip timeout is at the sole discretion of this official. If the timeout is taken without approval the player is deemed to be absent from the table and rule 3 applies.

Penalty for breach of rule: 15 minutes exceeded by up to 5 minutes – loss of 1 rack, 20 minutes elapsed – loss of match.

  • 6. Smoking & Drinking:

Smoking (including e-cigarettes) or drinking alcohol is not permitted during a match or a timeout.  Alcoholic drinks must not be taken to the table during a match.

Penalty for breach of rule: 1st occasion – loss of 1 rack (at the referee’s discretion a warning may be given), second occasion – loss of match, 3rd occasion – reported to disciplinary committee.

  • 7. Racking:

In 9 ball events players will rack the 1 ball at the front of the pack, 2 ball at the back, the 9 ball in the centre (and on the foot spot) and the remaining balls shall be racked in random order. If the 2 ball is not placed at the back of the pack the opponent must bring this to the attention of the breaker before the break off shot, otherwise if the rack is legal in accordance with the WPA rules of play the break of shot will stand and play continues as normal.

Players will rack for each other except with mutual agreement to rack their own.  Unless players have agreed to rack their own the player breaking may inspect the rack and ask for it to be re-racked but they must not touch the rack in any way.

Penalty for breach of rule: See rule 11 – unsporting behaviour.

  • 8. Speed of play:

Tournaments are run to strict time schedules and matches are allocated the following time limits:-

– Race to 7 – 1 hour

– Race to 8 – 1 hour 15 minutes

– Race to 9 – 1 hour 30 minutes

– Race to 11 – 2 hours

If the match has not progressed past the half way point (i.e. 50% of the total racks completed in 50% of the allotted time) or the referee believes this situation will arise the referee may at his/her sole discretion warn the players to increase their speed of play or introduce the shot clock. If the shot clock is to be introduced the referee or Tournament Director may delegate responsibility for administering this to anyone they deem fit.If the shot clock is introduced players will have 35 seconds from the time the balls stop moving after the last shot to complete the next shot (60 seconds will be allowed on the first shot after the break). A player may call for an extension once per rack whereupon a further 25 seconds will be allowed on expiry of the 35 seconds making a total of 60 seconds.The referee will call ‘Ten seconds’ after 25 seconds have elapsed (or after 50 seconds if an extension has been used) to indicate there are 10 seconds remaining. This will be called regardless of whether the player is mid-stroke at the time. If a player is unable to complete his shot due to outside interferance (e.g. a player on an adjacent table) the referee will call ‘Timeout’ and pause the clock then call ‘Time running’ when it resumes.

Penalty for breach of rule: Failure to complete the shot within the allotted time will be called a foul.

  • 9. Referee:

It is the players’ responsibility to call a referee to a table to watch a shot or make a determination. If an official referee is not present at the event any other player not involved in the match may be asked to act as referee for the duration of the shot if both players agree, otherwise the Tournament Director must be called to act as referee.  The shooter or the opponent has the right to call a referee. If the opponent calls for a referee, it must be done before the shooter goes down on the shot (if shooter plays quickly, then opponent must act quickly). If the shooter subsequently ignores the call for a referee it is a foul.  If either player feels as though the referee has made the wrong decision, the player(s) has the right to ask that the call be reviewed by the Tournament Director.  The review will consist of the Tournament Director asking each of the players for their opinion, as well as the referee’s opinion, and the opinion of anyone the Tournament Director believes could add insight to the situation. After review, the Tournament Director will make a final determination. After such a final determination is made, any arguing or derogatory remarks toward an opponent, referee, witness, or Tournament Director, will be deemed unsporting behaviour and be dealt with in accordance with rule 11.

  • 10. Dress code:

Players must respect the dress code at all times during tournaments.

Penalty for breach of rule when noticed before the start of a match; At the Tournament Directors sole discretion any of the following penalties or a combination of these may be used depending upon the Tournament Directors opinion of the severity of the breach and whether it is a repeat offence: 

1. Permission to play refused before dress is rectified (in which case the rule 1 applies if scheduled times are not adhered to).

2. Permission to play next match is granted but warning that dress must be corrected before subsequent match.

3. Warning that dress must be corrected before next tour stop.

 

Penalty for breach of rule when noticed during a match and breach can be corrected without any delay to the match or within an available timeout; At the referee’s discretion any of the following penalties may be used depending upon the referee’s opinion of the severity of the breach and whether it is a repeat offence: 

1. Warning (usually for minor breaches and likely to be offered once only).

2. 1 rack deduction (usually for serious breach or a second offence).  The referee will decide if the current rack is to be awarded against or the following rack.

3. Loss of match (usually used for persistent or deliberate offenders).

 

Penalty for breach of rule when noticed during a match and breach cannot be corrected without any delay to the match or within an available timeout; At the referee’s discretion any of the following penalties may be used depending upon the referee’s opinion of the severity of the breach and whether it is a repeat offence: 

1. Warning that dress must be corrected before next match (usually for minor breaches and likely to be offered once only).

2. 1 rack deduction (usually for serious breach or a second offence).  The referee will decide if the current rack is to be awarded against or the following rack.

3. Loss of match (usually used for persistent or deliberate offenders).

  • 11. Unsporting conduct:

Players must conduct themselves in a fair and sporting fashion and obey the spirit of the rules at all times. Unsportsmanlike conduct is any intentional behaviour that brings disrepute to the sport or which disrupts or changes the game to the extent that it cannot be played fairly. It includes:

(a) any behaviour which is likely to distract, intimidate, offend, insult, humiliate or discriminate against (on the grounds of race, colour, religion, sex, or ethnic origin) his opponent.

(b) changing the position of the balls in play other than by a shot;

(c) playing a shot by intentionally miscuing;

(d) continuing to play after a foul has been called or play has been suspended;

(e) practicing during a match;

(f) marking the table;

(g) delay of the game; and

(h) using equipment inappropriately.

Penalty for breach of rule: At the referee or Tournament Directors discretion any of the following penalties or a combination of these may be used: 

1. Warning.

2. Standard foul (which will count as part of a 3 foul sequence)

3. Loss of rack.

4. Loss of match.

5. Disqualification from tour stop (all tournaments held that weekend).

6. Reported to disciplinary committee.

  • 12 Entry fees:

Players must pay their entry fee instalments by the due date.

Penalty for breach of rule: Refused entry into tour stops until fees are up to date or ban from entering further seasons until outstanding fees are paid.

  • 13 Break off:

At GB9 events the 9 ball will be racked on the spot.  If the tables are tapped the following rule will be in force in addition to the normal rules associated with the break off (as defined in the WPA rules) unless otherwise advised by the Tournament Director or on the notice board at the event:The player breaking must score at least 3 points. 1 point is scored for each object ball pocketed and a further point is scored for each object ball that passes the head string. A single ball can only count once so object balls passing the head string and falling into a pocket count 1 point.  A ball is deemed to have passed the head string if any part of the ball has broken the line.  Regardless of whether any balls are pocketed if a player fails to earn the required 3 points it will be considered an illegal break (this is not the same as a foul break as defined in the WPA rules).  After an illegal break the opponent has the option to play (as if it were a dry break) or pass control of the table back to the breaker. As usual either player who plays the next shot after the break has the option to push out.  If the 9 ball is potted on an illegal break it shall be respotted.  In the case of a dry break i.e. 3 points are scored but no balls are pocketed play will proceed as normal (i.e. play or push out).  There is no play or pass option for the incoming player in this situation as it is not an illegal break.  This applies to all players in all GB9 events.  The Tournament Director has discretion to waive this rule on request for individual matches if the table conditions are considered too difficult.  The rule will not be waived simply because one player does not have a sufficiently powerful break.

  • 14. Tapping of balls:

A table is said to be tapped when a template is placed in the rack area, balls are placed in the holes in the template and are tapped into place. This procedure replaces the use of the traditional triangle rack, and ensures a quick, tight rack. The choice of tapping over traditional racking with a triangle is at the discretion of the event organizer. Players must never tap balls; only tournament officials should tap or re-tap (if needed) the racking area.  To do so will be considered unsportsmanlike behaviour and rule 11 applies.

  • 15. Deliberately moving ball:

Players must never intentionally touch any ball in play except with a forward stroke of the cue tip on the cue ball.  To do so will be considered unsportsmanlike behaviour and rule 11 applies.

  • 16. Coaching:

Players are not allowed to seek assistance or advice during a match with the exception of during a timeout when coaching is allowed if conducted away from the table.

Penalty for breach of rule:.

1. Warning.
2. Foul called – ball in hand.
3. Loss of rack.

  • 17. Remaining in chair:

The non-shooting player should remain in his/her designated chair while the opponent is at the table. Should a player need to leave the playing area during matches, he/she must use a timeout or request and receive permission from the referee. Otherwise it will be treated as unsportsmanlike behaviour and rule 11 applies.

  • 18. Shoot-out:

This rule only applies if a shoot-out is used at a GB9 event.  At the moment we have no plans to do so.  A shoot-out will be played in place of the deciding rack if the match reaches a hill-hill situation.  Both players will lag to decide who chooses the order of play.  The cue ball is placed on the head spot.  The 9 ball is placed below the usual racking area level with the first diamond, centered. Players will take 5 turns each to pocket the 9 ball into the left or right corner pocket.  If the ball is legally pocketed directly (no bank or kick shots) in accordance with the usual rules of play the player will score 1 point.  In the event of a tie after 5 turns each play with continue with one turn each on a sudden death basis.  If the score at this point is 0-0 the object ball will be moved to to the centre of the table in line with the side pockets and middle diamond.  In a sudden death situation players will retain the same order of play.  The winner of the shoot-out will be awarded the final rack and the match.

  • 19. Score sheet:

Computerised scoring:
Both players are responsible for updating the computer as each rack is completed.  If you start the next rack without checking the score you may be deemed to have accepted the score.  The winning player should ensure the scores are correct before pressing confirm to submit the score to the tournament desk.   Any errors, which cannot be corrected by the players must be reported immediately to the tournament director or referee.

Manual scoring with a paper score sheet:
Both players are responsible for completing the score sheet as each rack is completed.  If you start the next rack without checking the score sheet you may be deemed to have accepted the score.  All four boxes must be completed with running totals after every rack.  The rack score and the number of break and runs for each player should be clearly shown in the four boxes beneath the previously completed rack.  The winning player should ensure the score sheet is completed correctly and with both signatures present before submission to the tournament desk.

Penalty for breach of rule: 

1. Incorrectly submitted match result – Disqualification 

2. Break and runs not completed after each rack (manual score sheets) – Break and runs nullified by referee for that match.

(at the discretion of the referee or tournament director a warning may be given for either of the above.)

  • 20. Equipment:

In addition to Rule 1.3 of the WPA rules of play the following equipment is not allowed at GB9 events:-

Wearing of headphones during a match- Mobile phones or other electronic devices must not be used during a match except during a Players Timeout when they may be used outside the playing arena.  During your match your mobile must be switched off or in silent mode and packed away.

Green chalk on blue cloth (this is in accordance with WPA rule 1.3 but is repeated here for the benefit of GB9 players as it is a little known rule).  Chalk, which is incompatible with the cloth colour is extremely difficult for tournament staff to remove and the untidy cloth may adversely affect your opponent or subsequent competitors using the table.

Any substance (except ordinary household talc) which may come into contact with and affect the playing equipment.

Penalty for breach of rule: At the referee or Tournament Directors discretion any of the following penalties or a combination of these may be used: 

1. Warning.

2. Loss of rack.

3. Loss of match.

  • 21. Performance:Players must try to play to the best of their ability at all times.  Any player, who in the opinion of the Tournament Officials is guilty of deliberately under-performing in a match will be severely dealt with.

Penalty for breach of rule: At the referee or Tournament Directors discretion any of the following penalties or a combination of these may be used: 

1. Warning.

2. Forfeiture of all prize money for the tournament in which the breach occurs.

3. Reported to disciplinary committee.

  • 22. Situations not covered by the rules or regulations:

If any situation or question arises that is not covered in the rules or regulations (e.g. an act of god) the Tournament Director will be consulted and his/her decision will be final.

The Tour Committee reserve the right to amend the format, regulations, match schedule and prize structure at any time without prior notice.  However, we do not currently envisage having to make significant changes to these proposals.  If we do make any changes we will endeavour to update this website promptly and if it is a significant change we will also make an announcement on the Pro9 website.