Some Notes on the Rules
|The league rules are rather extensive as they are meant to cover most of
the different situations that can occur during a match. It has taken over 20
years and many
bottles of Excedrin to get the league rules to the point where they are today. Rules are
meant for those who don't know how to play by the rules. In this league we basically play
call-pocket 8-Ball. If you show up on time for the match and play fair, you'll have little
need to refer to them. In any event, they are there to assist you if you if there is a
question or dispute.
New rules added/modified for 2015 are bold and in red
of the more controversial rules that we have in this league are in regard
to "fouls". Basically a foul is when you do something in the
course of your turn to shoot that you shouldn't do. Very simply if you
sink the cue ball in a pocket or don't hit one of your group of balls
first, you lose your turn. In the case of sinking the cue ball, besides
losing your turn, there's really no other choice except to place the cue
ball behind the headstring and shoot anything that's past the headstring.
Now with fouls as obvious as the two that I just described, there's really
no need to "call" them as the player that made them surely knows
that he/she did wrong and will relinquish their turn. Other fouls like
moving a ball with your hand or stick or double tapping the cue ball might
have to be brought to the players attention so that he acknowledges it.
Captains sometimes make the mistake of agreeing before a match that
they're not going to play by the foul rules. Please don't do this. If you
want to agree that you're not going to be that critical about enforcing
some of the minor fouls, that's ok but don't discard them. I am a strong
believer in not being overly critical of fouls during the normal season.
If an opponent of mine touches or rocks a ball and it didn't have anything
to do with the execution of the shot and can be returned to where it was?
I'm good with that. During the season we're all here to play and have fun.
That's what the league is all about. When it comes down to the palyoffs,
you can be more critical (and the players should be more careful) but
until then, don't be a jerk because someone "rocked" (but didn't
displace) a ball as they were trying to shoot over it.
Now one of the main reasons that the captains discard the foul rules is because they really don't understand them and the main one that causes confusion is the "Consecutive Foul" rule. This is the one that states that if you foul twice in a row, ball behind the headstring, three times, ball in hand and four times, loss of game. The main thing to remember about this rule is that each player can only invoke it once per game. Very few people understand that and it's been that way since it was instituted many years ago. "Once per player, per game". That's it!! So if I have 4 balls of my own left on the table and you want to start counting my fouls, the chances that I'll get to the 3rd or 4th in a row is very unlikely and now you can't use the rule against me any more for that game. What it's designed for is when you and I have maybe one or two balls each on the table and neither one of us wants to take a shot. Without it, if I don't have a shot and don't want to take one, I can continually just pocket the cue ball or move it with the cue stick time after time after time. You could do the same and we'll be playing that same game for the rest of the night. Now along with that rule is the one that allows your opponent to make you shoot again on any foul regardless of whether the Consecutive Foul rule is invoked or not. Here's a tip. If you know that you're going to commit a foul or you're 75% or more certain that you're going to commit a foul, do NOT give your opponent the opportunity to make you shoot again. Do NOT try a 3 or 4 rail bank just to try to hit your ball. Whatever you do, if you know you're going to foul anyway, make a shot that will leave you with a good shot at your ball (even if you have to sink or hit your opponents ball(s) out of the way) so he/she will not want you to shoot again. Don't get caught in that trap of trying everything you can to just try to touch your ball to make a legal shot 2, 3 or 4 times in a row.
Now the last rule that's also been in there for many years is the one that states that anytime there are 4 fouls in a row, two by you and two by your opponent, the game results in a stalemate and will be replayed from the beginning. As far as I know, no one has ever used this rule but it's there. It's there for when both you and your opponent have exhausted your chances with the Consecutive Foul rule and neither one of you wants to take a shot so neither one of you is ever going to try to make a legal shot. If you're patient with the Consecutive Foul rule and use it at the right time, you'll never have to use this rule but just be aware of it.