8-Ball Rule Book

 

Object of the Game
  The game of 8-Ball is played with fifteen (15) balls numbered one through fifteen and a cue ball. The object of the game is to pocket either all of the “low balls” (solid numbers 1-7), or all of the “high balls” (striped numbers 9-15), after which you are entitled to shoot and hopefully pocket the 8-Ball. Once this has been done, the player legally pocketing their balls and the 8-Ball wins.

Beginning Play - Choosing Your First Player
  Games commence with the two Team Captains tossing a coin to determine who will be the first to announce a player. The winner of the coin toss has the option to either choose a player from his or her team, or have the opposing Team Captain or player choose a player from their team to start the first game of the match. After this has been determined, player selections will be alternated for the following matches until all league matches are completed.
A team will forfeit the 1st match if they are not ready to play within 15 minutes of their scheduled start time. Thereafter, a team will forfeit a match every 5 minutes if they are not ready to play. A player can represent their team in active play once per night and represent that specific division on only one team per night. A player may only play on one table at a time. Multiple nights and division play are accepted and encouraged.

Lagging For the Break
  Once two players have been selected, they must simultaneously “lag” for the break. The “lag shot” is executed by striking an object ball from behind the head string to the foot rail and attempting to have it come to rest as close to the head rail as possible. The winner of the “lag” is the player whose ball stops closest to the head rail. The “lag” is considered a skill shot and should never be aborted in favor of a coin toss. The winner of the “lag” has the option of either breaking or awarding his/her opponent the break. In subsequent games, the winner of the previous game breaks. In cases where the cue ball is of different weight or size from the other balls, it should not be used for the “lag.” If your lagging ball is pocketed or contacts a side rail you lose the lag. If the two lagging balls make contact players must re-lag.

Racking the Balls
  The fifteen object balls are racked in a triangular shape, with the 8-Ball in the center and the other balls distributed throughout the rack in random fashion with a solid in one bottom corner and a stripe in the other. The object ball at the top of the triangle should be centered on the foot spot. The player breaking may request a rack check before breaking the balls.

The Break Shot
  The player entitled to the break has cue ball-in-hand 100% behind the head string. The breaking player must first drive the cue ball directly into the rack of balls, striking the first or second ball, and causing at least five (5) balls, (the cue ball can be one of the five balls) to hit a rail. Pocketing any ball, except the cue ball constitutes a legal break. If this task has not been accomplished, the opposing player is entitled to ask for a new rack and may elect to break. This is at the non-breaking player’s discretion. An attempt to break that results in the cue ball crossing the head string, but not hitting the rack, is a foul. In this case, the opposing player has the option to take the break or allow the breaking player another attempt at the break.
  If any balls, other than the 8-Ball, are driven off the table during the break shot, those balls stay down and it is a ball in hand foul behind the head string or the shooter can play it where it lays. If the cue ball is pocketed, or driven off the table during the break shot, the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand 100% behind the head string. All object balls that are pocketed “remain down.” In either ball in hand case, the incoming player has his/her choice of object balls that are 100% past the head string on an “open table.” (NOTE: For scoring, the breaker gets the number of balls pocketed added to his or her score under the “Made on Break” (MOB) column.). A player pocketing the 8-Ball during a legal break wins the game. If the breaking player pockets the 8-Ball and scratches or drives the cue ball off the table, which is another form of a “scratch,” that player loses the game. If the player drives the 8-Ball off the table during a legally executed break, he/she loses the game. If a player pockets the 8-Ball and drives an object ball off the table, the player losses the game. (NOTE: In either of these instances, the remaining balls left on the table are added to both players LOT column on the score sheet with the breaking player credited with the lower count of stripes or solids and the opponent the higher count. “Win” and “Loss” columns on the score sheet for both players must also be properly marked.)

Continuing Play After the Break
   If the player pockets a ball on the break, that player continues to shoot until he/she misses or commits a foul. Regardless of which category of balls is made (“low balls” or “high balls”), the table remains “open” until a shooter has completed a skill shot by calling a ball in an assigned pocket. Once this has been accomplished, that category of balls belongs to that shooter for the remainder of the game and the remaining category of balls belongs to the opponent. Combination shots can begin with either category of balls on an open table with the exception of the 8-Ball, which is never neutral. In an open table situation, if a legal hit is made, the called ball goes in the called pocket and the cue ball scratches or is driven off the table, the shooter is now that category of balls. The table is no longer open. To execute a legal hit in an open table situation, you must strike any ball on the table except the 8-Ball and drive some ball to a rail or pocket a ball. Once your category of balls has been determined, you complete your category of balls until you miss, foul, play defense, or fail to pocket the intended ball in the intended pocket. When this happens, your opponent assumes control of the table and does the same until the 8-Ball is legally pocketed. (NOTE: If a foul is committed on any shot, the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand anywhere on the table (except during the break). Once the category of balls has been determined and a player shoots the wrong category of balls, the opponent must immediately notify the player that a foul has occurred. Should the opponent not inform the shooting player and another ball is pocketed, the shooting player now has that category of balls.

Skill Shots/Good Hits
  Our leagues are “call your pocket” which is also known as skill play or skill shots. Once a player has a particular category of balls, the first ball on the table that the cue ball strikes must be that category. After that, a ball on the table (any ball) must contact a rail. Pocketing a ball also constitutes contacting a rail or a good hit.
  If the player pockets the called ball in a pocket other than the called pocket, that ball stays down and play passes to the opponent with the cue ball where it stopped.
  If the player pockets the opponent’s ball, without pocketing the called ball in the called pocket, the opponent’s ball stays down and the opponent comes to the table with shooting the cue ball where it stopped. Anytime the 8-Ball is pocketed out of turn it is a loss of game.
  If a player pockets the called ball in the called pocket and also pockets any other balls, other than the 8-Ball or cue ball, the additional balls stay down and the player continues .
  A player successfully pocketing the called ball in the called pocket, without committing a foul, is considered to have completed their shot and continues shooting no matter how the ball arrives in the pocket. This means that the pocketed ball can “kiss” every ball on the
table or hit every rail and if it still goes in the called pocket it is a good shot.

Jumping/Masse/Switching Cues
  During a match jump cues and switching of cues are permitted. At anytime you may switch cues or use a jump cue without notifying your opponent. If a shooting player intends on switching shafts during the match, he/she must notify the opponent of their intentions (see concessions). Jumping and Masse are allowed in TAP; however, you must respect the host location rules. Scooping the cue ball is not a legal shot. Jump shots must be performed by hitting the cue ball into the table’s surface so that it rebounds from the cloth. Scooping under the cue ball to jump another ball is a ball-in-hand foul. Accidently scooping a ball while attempting a regular shot is not a foul. Using a shaft only is not allowed.

“Bank” Shots
  Since this is a call ball and call pocket league it is not necessary to call bank shots. If the called ball drops into the called pocket without any other foul situation occurring, it counts as a skill shot. It does not matter how many rails the object ball strikes, as long as it drops into the called pocket. This stands with all forms of bank or kick shots.

Completing Multiple Balls In One Shot
  If you call your ball and pocket and complete a skill shot, it is marked as a completed shot. When completing a skill shot, any other balls, regardless of whether they are “high-balls”(stripes) or “low-balls (solids),” that drop into a pocket stay down and are marked as a dead ball on your score sheet. You cannot call two balls at the same time. You must declare one or the other. Note: anytime the 8- Ball goes in a pocket out of turn it is a loss of game.

Shooting the 8-Ball
  When shooting the 8-Ball, you must mark the pocket you are calling. As long as the 8-Ball goes in the marked pocket after a good hit, the player wins. Any form of a scratch on the 8-Ball is loss of game. Anyone can remind the shooter to mark the pocket without it being considered a time-out. If the marker is already at the intended pocket, regardless of how it got there, the shooter does not have to physically touch the marker. The pocket intended is the closest pocket to the marker. When a shooter is on the 8-Ball, impeding the movement of the cue ball, and or 8-Ball, while either is still in motion results in a loss of game. The 8-ball does not have to go clean. Any object can be used as a marker except a standard piece of chalk.

Combination Shots
  Combination shots are legal during league play. You must strike your category of balls first to execute a skill shot. The 8-Ball is never neutral, but can be used as part of a combination after the appropriate category of balls has first been hit. Any ball on the table can be used as part of the combination providing the cue ball strikes your category of balls first. If a category has not been determined, all balls are neutral with the exception of the 8-Ball as listed above.

Defensive Shots
  A player must call a defensive (or safety) shot when not attempting to pocket an object ball. To execute a defensive shot the shooter must make a legal hit. Any ball pocketed after the hit stays down and the shooter surrenders their shot to their opponent where the cue ball rests. The opposing player has the right to ask the scorekeeper to record that shot as a defensive shot. Any disputes should be worked out by the players first and, if necessary, contact the League Director for the final say. Not noting a defense shot repeatedly is unsportsmanlike and disciplinary actions could be taken against that player. You can call defense and pocket your ball; however, your opponent now has command of the table where the cue ball rests. Pocketing a ball of a Defense is marked on the score sheet as a (DEF) defensive shot and a dead ball. There is no limit on the amount of times a player can call defense. (NOTE: Calling a Defense and pocketing a ball on an open table does not give the shooter control of that category of balls. In this case the table is still open for the opponent.)

Ball Frozen to the Rail
  This occurs when an object ball is touching the rail and becomes part of the rail. The opponent must declare the ball frozen before the shot is executed. If the intended object ball is frozen the shooter must do one or all of the following: (1) have the cue ball touch a rail after contacting the intended ball; (2) drive the intended ball to another rail; or (3) drive any other ball to a rail after contacting the intended ball. Remember, the match belongs to the two players. Teammates and coaches can be charged a time out for any assistance.

Stalemated Game
  If both players agree they have reached a point in the game where progress towards completion cannot be made, they have the option of mutually declaring a stalemated game and should re-rack and replay the game. This occurs when neither player wants to attempt a shot. Please mark re-rack on the score sheets and count the balls left on the table as dead balls. The original breaking player of that game breaks again. If one of the two players wishes to continue play, the game must go on until a winner is determined.

Fouls:
  A player committing a foul must relinquish his/her turn at the table. If a skill shot is correctly executed when the foul occurs, the shooter is awarded the shot but is penalized by having to give his/her opponent cue ball-in-hand. The following are examples of commonly occurring fouls:
  Foot Foul – During any shot, a shooter must have one foot on the floor prior to and during the contact of the cue ball or they have fouled and the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand anywhere on the table. (NOTE: This rule does not apply to players who are physically impaired).
  Bad Hit – If the first ball contacted by the cue ball is not of the player’s category, or it is the 8-ball before it is that players legal turn at the 8-ball, it is a bad hit and considered a foul. If the table is open and a ball does not hit a rail this is considered a foul.
  Scratch – If a player pockets the cue ball or drives the cue ball off the table, it is a foul. If you scratch and you are shooting the 8- Ball, it is loss of game. If a player executes a skill shot and then scratches, the shot is considered complete and the ball stays down, but the opponent is awarded cue ball-in-hand.
  Failure to Drive a Ball to a Rail – A player must either legally pocket a ball or drive a ball to a rail after making a good hit or they have fouled. (NOTE: If the table is “open,” any ball except the 8- Ball may be struck and then any ball must subsequently be driven to a rail to constitute a good shot, unless a ball is pocketed during the execution of the shot).
  Ball Off the Table – Should a player drive the cue ball off the table, they have scratched and their opponent is awarded cue ballin- hand, except on the break, upon which the opponent gets cue ball-inhand behind the head string. If a player is shooting the 8-Ball and the cue ball, or the 8-Ball, is driven off the table, it is loss of game. If a player drives one of his own balls off the table, the opponent is awarded cue ball-in-hand and the ball off the table is spotted. If a player drives one of his opponent’s balls off the table the ball stays down and the opponent is awarded cue ball-in-hand. On an Open Table, should a player drive an object ball off the table, that ball is pocketed and the opponent has cue ball-in-hand. NOTE: (Two balls that are stuck in the jaws of the pocket have two outcomes: 1st, if the two balls are below the playing surface and/or not touching the felt they are considered pocketed; 2nd, if the two balls are on the felt and not below the playing surface, they are in play and not pocketed.)
  Placing the cue ball - In a ball in hand situation the cue ball is alive at all times. If while placing the cue ball, the cue ball, or the hand holding the cue ball, touches another ball a foul has occurred. A cue ball can be adjusted with your hand, or any part of the cue stick, so
long as the player is not attempting to stroke the cue ball.
  Push Shot – If the cue ball is frozen to the object ball, pushing through the cue ball is a legal hit. If there is separation between the two balls equal to or less than the width of a piece of chalk, the shooter must keep from double hitting the cue ball. To make a legal hit the shooter must either 1) When shooting directly at the two balls elevate the back of the cue in an attempt to put draw on the cue ball, or 2) Shoot at an angle not directly in line with the two balls. As long as an honest attempt at either is made, no foul can be called. If the distance between the two balls is greater than the width of a standard size piece of billiard chalk, a double hit of the cue ball is a ball-in-hand foul. When confronted with this situation, it is strongly recommended that a third party or referee be called to watch the hit to avoid controversy. If a third party is not called, it is the shooting player’s decision. Note: Should the cue ball travel past the object ball, a foul has been committed.
  “Split Hits” – When a player contacts one of his or her balls and an opponent’s ball (or the 8-Ball) at the same time, this does not constitute a foul. If it is suspected that a player may play a shot that might result in a “split hit,” the non-shooting player should ask that a league official, referee or another player observe the shot. In this instance, it would be that individual’s duty to watch, and if necessary, call the hit. In the absence of an observer, should a controversy over the hit arise, the call will go to the shooter.
  Accidental Movement of a Ball – If a player moves the cue ball, in any way, prior to their shot it is a foul and results in ball-in-hand to the player’s opponent; this does not apply in ball-in-hand situations when a player is placing the cue ball. However, should a player accidentally move, or pocket, any other ball(s) in preparing to shoot or in the execution of a shot, it is not a foul (NOTE: Should a player accidentally pocket the 8 ball, it is loss on game.) The opposing player has the right to replace the ball(s) or leave them where they are. Should the shooter, by reflex action, attempt to replace the moved ball(s), this is not a foul, but the opposing player has the option of placing the ball(s) back to where they were originally resting or leaving them where they were moved to by the shooter. If a player touches any moving ball, moved as a result of the shot, or the moved ball is struck by another moving ball during the shot, it is a ball-in-hand foul for the opponent. If any moving ball strikes the shooters cue, bridge stick or their person it is a ball-in-hand foul to the opponent. NOTE: (If, after missing a shot, a player swings their cue in disgust and hits any balls, it is automatic loss of game.)

 

Genaral Rules


Payment of League Fees
  All teams and individual players are responsible for the payment of league fees. Forfeited matches are no exception. The full amount agreed upon should be paid at the end of play. Any team or player(s) owing any fees can result in that team or player(s) having match points deducted from their standings at any time. This can also result in a player(s) losing the opportunity to participate in an event regardless of the team’s qualification. This also includes annual memberships. There are no league fees due for teams that are on a bye week.

Membership Payment
  All memberships must be paid before a NEW player shoots their first match. A player may not be added to a roster unless they submit a Membership Application and pay the $20.00 annual membership fee ($25.00 in Canada). Renewing members can look at the weekly stats and see their renewal date. All renewals must be paid in the beginning of the month they are due. Owners are responsible for player’s dues once they shoot a match. A player is responsible for paying the $20 renewal fee the moment they shoot one match in the month of their renewal date. Any points won by a player that is not within good membership standing may be reversed.

Coaching
  A player is allowed to receive coaching from a fellow teammate who has been designated as the coach prior to the start of each match. Only one coach may be designated for each player’s match and may not be changed during that match unless approved by the opposing team. The player or team coach for each team is entitled to call two (2) “time-outs” per game, lasting no more than one-minute each. Once a time out has been called, both players can communicate with their coach during that time out. Players that are a two (2) level
handicap, receive two (2) one (1) minute time outs and unlimited assistance with their coach however, the coach cannot approach the table except during an official time out. However the player must still execute their shot within the 45 second shot clock or it will be deemed one of their time outs. If a time out is called or inferred by either the coach or player, a timeout must be taken and the player is still charged with the timeout. If no time outs are available to that player the first offense will be a verbal warning the second offense will be a ball-in-hand foul. The third offense will be a loss of game. The fourth is loss of match.
  During a time-out, the coach may not disrupt any balls on the table or mark the playing area of the table. Doing so constitutes a foul and the opponent is entitled to cue ball-in-hand. In a ball in hand situation the coach may not place the cue ball, if he/she does it is a foul and ball in hand to the opponent.
   The coach may not use a cue stick or any other object other than their hand to line the shot up for their player. The coach must leave the table prior to the execution of the shot. The first offense, should either of these instances happen, is a verbal warning. The second and subsequent is a ball in hand foul.
  After the time-out, coaches must cease communication with their players, and the player must execute his or her shot in the prescribed 45 seconds. (NOTE: An outside player on the team can talk to the coach, who can then relay that information to the player during a present time-out within the time limit. If the (1) minute time limit is exceeded and called by the opposing team, the player can take an additional (1) minute at the cost of another time-out, if they have a time-out remaining. Note: The link to the player is through the coach. No other passages to that player are allowed. Only the Player or Coach can ask the opposing team if they have any time outs remaining.

Interference and “Side-Line” Coaching
  Any person, who interferes with the course of the match by offering advice, distracting a player or otherwise disturbing play, can subject their player to a foul. In this instance, the match referee, if one is available, or opposing captain must warn the individual involved and that player’s Team Captain/Coach. After the warning, any reoccurrence of the offensive behavior results in a ball in hand foul to your opponent. A second occurrence will result in loss of game for your teammate. A third violation will result in loss of match for your teammate.
  Anyone on the team can announce to a player to mark their pocket for the 8-Ball. As a team player on the sideline, we encourage you to support your player. However, you are responsible to do so in a sportsmanlike manner.

Speaking Another Language
  All conversations during match play involving players, teammates, coaches and spectators are requested to be in English. An exception to this rule can be made should both players competing in the match speak and understand the shared language AND both players must agree that it is acceptable. If one of the players does not agree, regardless if they speak and understand the second language then English shall be the only language spoken. Please consult your local bylaws for penalties of violating this rule. The reason for this rule is to avoid coaching controversy. NOTE: While in regular team play your Owner may relax restrictions on conversation between players involved in a match with their teammates. However, when teams are involved in National events or other major tournaments, no conversation will be allowed between shooting players and other members of their team. Only the designated coach can communicate with the shooting player during an official time-out called by either team. Violations of this rule may result in ball-in- hand for the opposing player. It is our suggestion that all teams follow this rule at all times while participating in TAP league play.

Slow Play
  It is important for every player in the league to ensure that his or her league match progresses in a timely fashion. A 45-second shot rule exists and will be used as the benchmark for assessing slow play. If a player is taking a significantly long amount of time to
execute a shot, the opposing player or coach has the right to ask a league official or the player’s coach to administer a slow play warning. If, after being warned, the player continues to play slowly, the opponent will receive cue ball-in-hand. In all matters concerning slow play, the decision of the League Director or referee will be final. Note: Before confronting the opponent’s coach, you must actually time the shooter in question with a stopwatch to determine that a violation is occurring. Real time and perceived time are very different. Most of our leagues are played at night and it is important for the matches to be completed in a timely fashion. All players should note that after a match has been completed, a team has five (5) minutes to field another player, or the match may be subject to forfeit). This also stands true when picking your player for the next match. Please do so in a timely manner. A player should be picked and ready to shoot no later than five (5) minutes after each match.

Shot Clock
  All sports have a time limit and billiards is no exception. In our leagues, there is a 45-second time limit to execute your shot. The time limit commences after your opponent’s shot ends and all the balls come to rest. If a time-out commences in the middle of your decision making process, after the coaching period has ended, a new 45 seconds will be in effect. Note: (The 45 second shot clock is a benchmark average. Some shots can take longer or shorter depending on the level of difficulty.)

Time-Outs
  A player with a handicap of 3-4-5-6-7 is entitled to two (2) time-outs per game. Each time-out is one (1) minute in duration. A player at a 2-handicap level has two (2) one (1) minute time outs and unlimited coaching within the 45-second time limit. NOTE: (See the section marked “Coaching” for additional information about local, major, and national play.)

Protests and Disputes
  In our league the match belongs to the two players at the table. With this comes the responsibility of paying attention to your match whether you or your opponent is on the table. You have the right to protest a situation. Just remember, a protest needs proof in order to be evaluated. If your protest cannot be substantiated with proof, you could lose your match point for a false protest. If you and your opponent are paying attention and sportsmanship/common sense is utilized, there will be no reason for protests or disputes.

Fielding a Team – The “25 Rule”
  Team Total Handicap Rules/Criteria (The “25 Rule”) To field a legitimate five (5) player team, the sum total of the shooting player’s handicaps may not exceed twenty-five (25). A team can play their players in any order they choose as long as the “25 Rule” is not violated.
  Violation of the “25 Rule” If a Team Captain cannot field a legitimate five (5) player team according to the “25 Rule,” he or she must then field their team accordingly:
  Total handicap for four (4) player teams cannot exceed 21 (If your 5 lowest handicaps of players on your roster exceed 25 then you have to play 4 to 21.)
  Total handicap for three (3) player teams cannot exceed 18 (If your 4 lowest handicaps of players on your roster exceed 21 then you have to play 3 to 18.)

Failure to Field a Legitimate Team
  If a Team Captain cannot field a legitimate team in accordance with the criteria set forth above, they will forfeit ONLY those matches that are in violation of the rule. (NOTE: It is the well rounded team that stays the strongest throughout the league session, so choose your players wisely.) Lower level players play a big part in allowing your higher level player(s) to remain active on your team.

Adding and Dropping Players
  No team should have more than eight (8) players on its roster. A team may add a player to its roster at any time during the league session as long as there are enough weeks remaining in the current session for that player to complete the six (6) matches
required to make him/her a legitimate member of that team. Byes and forfeited matches do not apply towards any player’s required matches. Teams competing in events they qualified for during the session are to use their team roster of players from that session. There are no substitutions. When choosing your team, make sure your teammates understand they are expected to complete the session and session events. Note: Deadlines for adding and dropping players may vary in different areas. Be sure to consult your local by- laws for specific rules in your area.

The “Known Player” Rule
  A player that is brought into the league that has, or does not have a previous handicap or league experience may be assigned a handicap by the League Director or other league official if his or her skill level is known.

Professional Players
  Individuals who hold current membership in a men’s or women’s professional billiards association are not allowed to compete in TAP’s handicapped league events. If an individual’s primary source of income is from competing in pool or the individual attempts to derive their income from pool that person will also be considered a pro. The decision of who meets the above is at the league’s discretion. Although we have all skill levels of players in TAP, we still need to provide a comfortable level of protection for the recreational player. This is where our first concern lies. We also need to protect the prize funds to which our players contribute so that everyone has a fair chance of winning.

Make-up Matches
  Some operators allow make-up matches and some do not. For those teams wishing to make matches up, it is important that the match be noted on your score sheet so that the credit can be applied to the correct team. Also, make-up matches must be agreed upon by both teams and have approval by the League Owner before they are considered official. All make-up matches should be completed within two (2) weeks of the date of the scheduled match. No matches can be made up within the last two weeks of league play. When a new division is starting, the League Owner may offer a new team make-ups or what is referred to as position rounds to allow that team to catch up. (NOTE: All make-ups are at the sole discretion of the League Owner.)

Forfeits
  League matches can be forfeited. The following circumstances are some examples:
  A scheduled team match does not commence within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled match time. Points will be awarded depending on your local by-laws.
  A team is unable to field a player whose handicap is appropriate for the given match, as described by the criteria set forth under the “Team Total Handicap Rules/Criteria” clause. If you do not post a player within the required 5 minute time frame, that match can be forfeited.
  Un-sportsmanlike conduct can result in a match being forfeited.
  A match can be forfeited if the player shooting the match is not current with league fees, or submits wrong data or involves himself in any form of cheating.
  A match will be forfeited by both teams if both teams only have 4 players. NOTE: (Check with your League Owner for variations on forfeits.
  All forfeits should be properly marked on the score sheets. For a team to claim a forfeit, the team that has the player present will write that player in, the team that is short player(s) will write ‘forfeit’ for their player. The Win / Loss circles are then marked accordingly. All forfeited matches assigned to a player will not count as one of their six (6) required matches. Note: Your league fees for the forfeited match are still due regardless of whether the match was played or not.
  It is impossible to document all cases where forfeitures may apply. We recommend that you stay within the guidelines of the rules and play within the spirit and intent of the rules as good sportsmen should. Note: There will always be players who, for whatever reason, try to test the system and manipulate the rules to their advantage. League Owners and officials easily come to recognize these people, and will take the appropriate steps necessary to control their behavior. These teams or players may be disbanded from the league or tournaments at any time.

Burnout Strategy: For Play-offs & Upper-Level Play Only
  This is not a rule, but a strategy within rules. It is only necessary and used when a team is short players. The strategy is to put up one of your players that are not present in order to burn out one of the opponent’s players. You may also wait for them to put up a player that your team does not want to play and burn that player. Ex. Team A puts up a 6 and Team B puts up a player that is not present for the match. This results in a forfeit (win) for that match for Team A. Regardless of whether a player is present or not, the team must always adhere to the “25 Rule”.

Concession
  Concession consists of:
  1) A player breaking down their playing cue into two pieces except to change shafts. (A player must notify their opponent if they plan to change shafts.) Breaking down your break cue after the last game of the match has been broken is not loss of game.
  2) The player intentionally rakes the balls on the table before the game is complete.
  3) The opponent picks up the rack in an attempt to re-rack before the opponent has taken their last shot.
  4) The opponent offers to shake hands before the 8-Ball is shot.
  5) Putting your hand in the pocket as to catch the cue ball from scratching on the 8-Ball.

Byes
  In some leagues, there will be an uneven number of teams competing during a league session. When this happens, a BYE will be written into the schedule to even out the schedule. On a night when a team is scheduled to receive a “BYE,” they will be credited three (3) points for that match. In the event of a team dropping out of a session, the BYE will come in the next week of play or the existing Bye will be eliminated. Teams, dropping out of a session, are uncontrollable and can happen. When it does, it creates a problem for the teams scheduled to play. This is out of our control as a league. We hope you will do your best as a team to complete your session.

Handicapping
  League handicaps are based on raw data taken from your score sheets for each league match. Complete, clear and accurately marked score sheets are a must. Players, Team Captains, League Representatives, League Directors or Operators do not have the Object of the Game
  The game of 8-Ball is played with fifteen (15) balls numbered one through fifteen and a cue ball. The object of the game is to pocket either all of the “low balls” (solid numbers 1-7), or all of the “high balls” (striped numbers 9-15), after which you are entitled to shoot and hopefully pocket the 8-Ball. Once this has been done, the player legally pocketing their balls and the 8-Ball wins.

Beginning Play - Choosing Your First Player
  Games commence with the two Team Captains tossing a coin to determine who will be the first to announce a player. The winner of the coin toss has the option to either choose a player from his or her team, or have the opposing Team Captain or player choose a player from their team to start the first game of the match. After this has been determined, player selections will be alternated for the following matches until all league matches are completed.
A team will forfeit the 1st match if they are not ready to play within 15 minutes of their scheduled start time. Thereafter, a team will forfeit a match every 5 minutes if they are not ready to play. A player can represent their team in active play once per night and represent that specific division on only one team per night. A player may only play on one table at a time. Multiple nights and division play are accepted and encouraged.

Lagging For the Break
  Once two players have been selected, they must simultaneously “lag” for the break. The “lag shot” is executed by striking an object ball from behind the head string to the foot rail and attempting to have it come to rest as close to the head rail as possible. The winner of the “lag” is the player whose ball stops closest to the head rail. The “lag” is considered a skill shot and should never be aborted in favor of a coin toss. The winner of the “lag” has the option of either breaking or awarding his/her opponent the break. In subsequent games, the winner of the previous game breaks. In cases where the cue ball is of different weight or size from the other balls, it should not be used for the “lag.” If your lagging ball is pocketed or contacts a side rail you lose the lag. If the two lagging balls make contact players must re-lag.

Racking the Balls
  The fifteen object balls are racked in a triangular shape, with the 8-Ball in the center and the other balls distributed throughout the rack in random fashion with a solid in one bottom corner and a stripe in the other. The object ball at the top of the triangle should be centered on the foot spot. The player breaking may request a rack check before breaking the balls.

The Break Shot
  The player entitled to the break has cue ball-in-hand 100% behind the head string. The breaking player must first drive the cue ball directly into the rack of balls, striking the first or second ball, and causing at least five (5) balls, (the cue ball can be one of the five balls) to hit a rail. Pocketing any ball, except the cue ball constitutes a legal break. If this task has not been accomplished, the opposing player is entitled to ask for a new rack and may elect to break. This is at the non-breaking player’s discretion. An attempt to break that results in the cue ball crossing the head string, but not hitting the rack, is a foul. In this case, the opposing player has the option to take the break or allow the breaking player another attempt at the break.
  If any balls, other than the 8-Ball, are driven off the table during the break shot, those balls stay down and it is a ball in hand foul behind the head string or the shooter can play it where it lays. If the cue ball is pocketed, or driven off the table during the break shot, the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand 100% behind the head string. All object balls that are pocketed “remain down.” In either ball in hand case, the incoming player has his/her choice of object balls that are 100% past the head string on an “open table.” (NOTE: For scoring, the breaker gets the number of balls pocketed added to his or her score under the “Made on Break” (MOB) column.). A player pocketing the 8-Ball during a legal break wins the game. If the breaking player pockets the 8-Ball and scratches or drives the cue ball off the table, which is another form of a “scratch,” that player loses the game. If the player drives the 8-Ball off the table during a legally executed break, he/she loses the game. If a player pockets the 8-Ball and drives an object ball off the table, the player losses the game. (NOTE: In either of these instances, the remaining balls left on the table are added to both players LOT column on the score sheet with the breaking player credited with the lower count of stripes or solids and the opponent the higher count. “Win” and “Loss” columns on the score sheet for both players must also be properly marked.)

Continuing Play After the Break
   If the player pockets a ball on the break, that player continues to shoot until he/she misses or commits a foul. Regardless of which category of balls is made (“low balls” or “high balls”), the table remains “open” until a shooter has completed a skill shot by calling a ball in an assigned pocket. Once this has been accomplished, that category of balls belongs to that shooter for the remainder of the game and the remaining category of balls belongs to the opponent. Combination shots can begin with either category of balls on an open table with the exception of the 8-Ball, which is never neutral. In an open table situation, if a legal hit is made, the called ball goes in the called pocket and the cue ball scratches or is driven off the table, the shooter is now that category of balls. The table is no longer open. To execute a legal hit in an open table situation, you must strike any ball on the table except the 8-Ball and drive some ball to a rail or pocket a ball. Once your category of balls has been determined, you complete your category of balls until you miss, foul, play defense, or fail to pocket the intended ball in the intended pocket. When this happens, your opponent assumes control of the table and does the same until the 8-Ball is legally pocketed. (NOTE: If a foul is committed on any shot, the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand anywhere on the table (except during the break). Once the category of balls has been determined and a player shoots the wrong category of balls, the opponent must immediately notify the player that a foul has occurred. Should the opponent not inform the shooting player and another ball is pocketed, the shooting player now has that category of balls.

Skill Shots/Good Hits
  Our leagues are “call your pocket” which is also known as skill play or skill shots. Once a player has a particular category of balls, the first ball on the table that the cue ball strikes must be that category. After that, a ball on the table (any ball) must contact a rail. Pocketing a ball also constitutes contacting a rail or a good hit.
  If the player pockets the called ball in a pocket other than the called pocket, that ball stays down and play passes to the opponent with the cue ball where it stopped.
  If the player pockets the opponent’s ball, without pocketing the called ball in the called pocket, the opponent’s ball stays down and the opponent comes to the table with shooting the cue ball where it stopped. Anytime the 8-Ball is pocketed out of turn it is a loss of game.
  If a player pockets the called ball in the called pocket and also pockets any other balls, other than the 8-Ball or cue ball, the additional balls stay down and the player continues .
  A player successfully pocketing the called ball in the called pocket, without committing a foul, is considered to have completed their shot and continues shooting no matter how the ball arrives in the pocket. This means that the pocketed ball can “kiss” every ball on the
table or hit every rail and if it still goes in the called pocket it is a good shot.

Jumping/Masse/Switching Cues
  During a match jump cues and switching of cues are permitted. At anytime you may switch cues or use a jump cue without notifying your opponent. If a shooting player intends on switching shafts during the match, he/she must notify the opponent of their intentions (see concessions). Jumping and Masse are allowed in TAP; however, you must respect the host location rules. Scooping the cue ball is not a legal shot. Jump shots must be performed by hitting the cue ball into the table’s surface so that it rebounds from the cloth. Scooping under the cue ball to jump another ball is a ball-in-hand foul. Accidently scooping a ball while attempting a regular shot is not a foul. Using a shaft only is not allowed.

“Bank” Shots
  Since this is a call ball and call pocket league it is not necessary to call bank shots. If the called ball drops into the called pocket without any other foul situation occurring, it counts as a skill shot. It does not matter how many rails the object ball strikes, as long as it drops into the called pocket. This stands with all forms of bank or kick shots.

Completing Multiple Balls In One Shot
  If you call your ball and pocket and complete a skill shot, it is marked as a completed shot. When completing a skill shot, any other balls, regardless of whether they are “high-balls”(stripes) or “low-balls (solids),” that drop into a pocket stay down and are marked as a dead ball on your score sheet. You cannot call two balls at the same time. You must declare one or the other. Note: anytime the 8- Ball goes in a pocket out of turn it is a loss of game.

Shooting the 8-Ball
  When shooting the 8-Ball, you must mark the pocket you are calling. As long as the 8-Ball goes in the marked pocket after a good hit, the player wins. Any form of a scratch on the 8-Ball is loss of game. Anyone can remind the shooter to mark the pocket without it being considered a time-out. If the marker is already at the intended pocket, regardless of how it got there, the shooter does not have to physically touch the marker. The pocket intended is the closest pocket to the marker. When a shooter is on the 8-Ball, impeding the movement of the cue ball, and or 8-Ball, while either is still in motion results in a loss of game. The 8-ball does not have to go clean. Any object can be used as a marker except a standard piece of chalk.

Combination Shots
  Combination shots are legal during league play. You must strike your category of balls first to execute a skill shot. The 8-Ball is never neutral, but can be used as part of a combination after the appropriate category of balls has first been hit. Any ball on the table can be used as part of the combination providing the cue ball strikes your category of balls first. If a category has not been determined, all balls are neutral with the exception of the 8-Ball as listed above.

Defensive Shots
  A player must call a defensive (or safety) shot when not attempting to pocket an object ball. To execute a defensive shot the shooter must make a legal hit. Any ball pocketed after the hit stays down and the shooter surrenders their shot to their opponent where the cue ball rests. The opposing player has the right to ask the scorekeeper to record that shot as a defensive shot. Any disputes should be worked out by the players first and, if necessary, contact the League Director for the final say. Not noting a defense shot repeatedly is unsportsmanlike and disciplinary actions could be taken against that player. You can call defense and pocket your ball; however, your opponent now has command of the table where the cue ball rests. Pocketing a ball of a Defense is marked on the score sheet as a (DEF) defensive shot and a dead ball. There is no limit on the amount of times a player can call defense. (NOTE: Calling a Defense and pocketing a ball on an open table does not give the shooter control of that category of balls. In this case the table is still open for the opponent.)

Ball Frozen to the Rail
  This occurs when an object ball is touching the rail and becomes part of the rail. The opponent must declare the ball frozen before the shot is executed. If the intended object ball is frozen the shooter must do one or all of the following: (1) have the cue ball touch a rail after contacting the intended ball; (2) drive the intended ball to another rail; or (3) drive any other ball to a rail after contacting the intended ball. Remember, the match belongs to the two players. Teammates and coaches can be charged a time out for any assistance.

Stalemated Game
  If both players agree they have reached a point in the game where progress towards completion cannot be made, they have the option of mutually declaring a stalemated game and should re-rack and replay the game. This occurs when neither player wants to attempt a shot. Please mark re-rack on the score sheets and count the balls left on the table as dead balls. The original breaking player of that game breaks again. If one of the two players wishes to continue play, the game must go on until a winner is determined.

Fouls:
  A player committing a foul must relinquish his/her turn at the table. If a skill shot is correctly executed when the foul occurs, the shooter is awarded the shot but is penalized by having to give his/her opponent cue ball-in-hand. The following are examples of commonly occurring fouls:
  Foot Foul – During any shot, a shooter must have one foot on the floor prior to and during the contact of the cue ball or they have fouled and the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand anywhere on the table. (NOTE: This rule does not apply to players who are physically impaired).
  Bad Hit – If the first ball contacted by the cue ball is not of the player’s category, or it is the 8-ball before it is that players legal turn at the 8-ball, it is a bad hit and considered a foul. If the table is open and a ball does not hit a rail this is considered a foul.
  Scratch – If a player pockets the cue ball or drives the cue ball off the table, it is a foul. If you scratch and you are shooting the 8- Ball, it is loss of game. If a player executes a skill shot and then scratches, the shot is considered complete and the ball stays down, but the opponent is awarded cue ball-in-hand.
  Failure to Drive a Ball to a Rail – A player must either legally pocket a ball or drive a ball to a rail after making a good hit or they have fouled. (NOTE: If the table is “open,” any ball except the 8- Ball may be struck and then any ball must subsequently be driven to a rail to constitute a good shot, unless a ball is pocketed during the execution of the shot).
  Ball Off the Table – Should a player drive the cue ball off the table, they have scratched and their opponent is awarded cue ballin- hand, except on the break, upon which the opponent gets cue ball-inhand behind the head string. If a player is shooting the 8-Ball and the cue ball, or the 8-Ball, is driven off the table, it is loss of game. If a player drives one of his own balls off the table, the opponent is awarded cue ball-in-hand and the ball off the table is spotted. If a player drives one of his opponent’s balls off the table the ball stays down and the opponent is awarded cue ball-in-hand. On an Open Table, should a player drive an object ball off the table, that ball is pocketed and the opponent has cue ball-in-hand. NOTE: (Two balls that are stuck in the jaws of the pocket have two outcomes: 1st, if the two balls are below the playing surface and/or not touching the felt they are considered pocketed; 2nd, if the two balls are on the felt and not below the playing surface, they are in play and not pocketed.)
  Placing the cue ball - In a ball in hand situation the cue ball is alive at all times. If while placing the cue ball, the cue ball, or the hand holding the cue ball, touches another ball a foul has occurred. A cue ball can be adjusted with your hand, or any part of the cue stick, so
long as the player is not attempting to stroke the cue ball.
  Push Shot – If the cue ball is frozen to the object ball, pushing through the cue ball is a legal hit. If there is separation between the two balls equal to or less than the width of a piece of chalk, the shooter must keep from double hitting the cue ball. To make a legal hit the shooter must either 1) When shooting directly at the two balls elevate the back of the cue in an attempt to put draw on the cue ball, or 2) Shoot at an angle not directly in line with the two balls. As long as an honest attempt at either is made, no foul can be called. If the distance between the two balls is greater than the width of a standard size piece of billiard chalk, a double hit of the cue ball is a ball-in-hand foul. When confronted with this situation, it is strongly recommended that a third party or referee be called to watch the hit to avoid controversy. If a third party is not called, it is the shooting player’s decision. Note: Should the cue ball travel past the object ball, a foul has been committed.
  “Split Hits” – When a player contacts one of his or her balls and an opponent’s ball (or the 8-Ball) at the same time, this does not constitute a foul. If it is suspected that a player may play a shot that might result in a “split hit,” the non-shooting player should ask that a league official, referee or another player observe the shot. In this instance, it would be that individual’s duty to watch, and if necessary, call the hit. In the absence of an observer, should a controversy over the hit arise, the call will go to the shooter.
  Accidental Movement of a Ball – If a player moves the cue ball, in any way, prior to their shot it is a foul and results in ball-in-hand to the player’s opponent; this does not apply in ball-in-hand situations when a player is placing the cue ball. However, should a player accidentally move, or pocket, any other ball(s) in preparing to shoot or in the execution of a shot, it is not a foul (NOTE: Should a player accidentally pocket the 8 ball, it is loss on game.) The opposing player has the right to replace the ball(s) or leave them where they are. Should the shooter, by reflex action, attempt to replace the moved ball(s), this is not a foul, but the opposing player has the option of placing the ball(s) back to where they were originally resting or leaving them where they were moved to by the shooter. If a player touches any moving ball, moved as a result of the shot, or the moved ball is struck by another moving ball during the shot, it is a ball-in-hand foul for the opponent. If any moving ball strikes the shooters cue, bridge stick or their person it is a ball-in-hand foul to the opponent. NOTE: (If, after missing a shot, a player swings their cue in disgust and hits any balls, it is automatic loss of game.)

Payment of League Fees
  All teams and individual players are responsible for the payment of league fees. Forfeited matches are no exception. The full amount agreed upon should be paid at the end of play. Any team or player(s) owing any fees can result in that team or player(s) having match points deducted from their standings at any time. This can also result in a player(s) losing the opportunity to participate in an event regardless of the team’s qualification. This also includes annual memberships. There are no league fees due for teams that are on a bye week.

Membership Payment
  All memberships must be paid before a NEW player shoots their first match. A player may not be added to a roster unless they submit a Membership Application and pay the $20.00 annual membership fee ($25.00 in Canada). Renewing members can look at the weekly stats and see their renewal date. All renewals must be paid in the beginning of the month they are due. Owners are responsible for player’s dues once they shoot a match. A player is responsible for paying the $20 renewal fee the moment they shoot one match in the month of their renewal date. Any points won by a player that is not within good membership standing may be reversed.

Coaching
  A player is allowed to receive coaching from a fellow teammate who has been designated as the coach prior to the start of each match. Only one coach may be designated for each player’s match and may not be changed during that match unless approved by the opposing team. The player or team coach for each team is entitled to call two (2) “time-outs” per game, lasting no more than one-minute each. Once a time out has been called, both players can communicate with their coach during that time out. Players that are a two (2) level
handicap, receive two (2) one (1) minute time outs and unlimited assistance with their coach however, the coach cannot approach the table except during an official time out. However the player must still execute their shot within the 45 second shot clock or it will be deemed one of their time outs. If a time out is called or inferred by either the coach or player, a timeout must be taken and the player is still charged with the timeout. If no time outs are available to that player the first offense will be a verbal warning the second offense will be a ball-in-hand foul. The third offense will be a loss of game. The fourth is loss of match.
  During a time-out, the coach may not disrupt any balls on the table or mark the playing area of the table. Doing so constitutes a foul and the opponent is entitled to cue ball-in-hand. In a ball in hand situation the coach may not place the cue ball, if he/she does it is a foul and ball in hand to the opponent.
   The coach may not use a cue stick or any other object other than their hand to line the shot up for their player. The coach must leave the table prior to the execution of the shot. The first offense, should either of these instances happen, is a verbal warning. The second and subsequent is a ball in hand foul.
  After the time-out, coaches must cease communication with their players, and the player must execute his or her shot in the prescribed 45 seconds. (NOTE: An outside player on the team can talk to the coach, who can then relay that information to the player during a present time-out within the time limit. If the (1) minute time limit is exceeded and called by the opposing team, the player can take an additional (1) minute at the cost of another time-out, if they have a time-out remaining. Note: The link to the player is through the coach. No other passages to that player are allowed. Only the Player or Coach can ask the opposing team if they have any time outs remaining.

Interference and “Side-Line” Coaching
  Any person, who interferes with the course of the match by offering advice, distracting a player or otherwise disturbing play, can subject their player to a foul. In this instance, the match referee, if one is available, or opposing captain must warn the individual involved and that player’s Team Captain/Coach. After the warning, any reoccurrence of the offensive behavior results in a ball in hand foul to your opponent. A second occurrence will result in loss of game for your teammate. A third violation will result in loss of match for your teammate.
  Anyone on the team can announce to a player to mark their pocket for the 8-Ball. As a team player on the sideline, we encourage you to support your player. However, you are responsible to do so in a sportsmanlike manner.

Speaking Another Language
  All conversations during match play involving players, teammates, coaches and spectators are requested to be in English. An exception to this rule can be made should both players competing in the match speak and understand the shared language AND both players must agree that it is acceptable. If one of the players does not agree, regardless if they speak and understand the second language then English shall be the only language spoken. Please consult your local bylaws for penalties of violating this rule. The reason for this rule is to avoid coaching controversy. NOTE: While in regular team play your Owner may relax restrictions on conversation between players involved in a match with their teammates. However, when teams are involved in National events or other major tournaments, no conversation will be allowed between shooting players and other members of their team. Only the designated coach can communicate with the shooting player during an official time-out called by either team. Violations of this rule may result in ball-in- hand for the opposing player. It is our suggestion that all teams follow this rule at all times while participating in TAP league play.

Slow Play
  It is important for every player in the league to ensure that his or her league match progresses in a timely fashion. A 45-second shot rule exists and will be used as the benchmark for assessing slow play. If a player is taking a significantly long amount of time to
execute a shot, the opposing player or coach has the right to ask a league official or the player’s coach to administer a slow play warning. If, after being warned, the player continues to play slowly, the opponent will receive cue ball-in-hand. In all matters concerning slow play, the decision of the League Director or referee will be final. Note: Before confronting the opponent’s coach, you must actually time the shooter in question with a stopwatch to determine that a violation is occurring. Real time and perceived time are very different. Most of our leagues are played at night and it is important for the matches to be completed in a timely fashion. All players should note that after a match has been completed, a team has five (5) minutes to field another player, or the match may be subject to forfeit). This also stands true when picking your player for the next match. Please do so in a timely manner. A player should be picked and ready to shoot no later than five (5) minutes after each match.

Shot Clock
  All sports have a time limit and billiards is no exception. In our leagues, there is a 45-second time limit to execute your shot. The time limit commences after your opponent’s shot ends and all the balls come to rest. If a time-out commences in the middle of your decision making process, after the coaching period has ended, a new 45 seconds will be in effect. Note: (The 45 second shot clock is a benchmark average. Some shots can take longer or shorter depending on the level of difficulty.)

Time-Outs
  A player with a handicap of 3-4-5-6-7 is entitled to two (2) time-outs per game. Each time-out is one (1) minute in duration. A player at a 2-handicap level has two (2) one (1) minute time outs and unlimited coaching within the 45-second time limit. NOTE: (See the section marked “Coaching” for additional information about local, major, and national play.)

Protests and Disputes
  In our league the match belongs to the two players at the table. With this comes the responsibility of paying attention to your match whether you or your opponent is on the table. You have the right to protest a situation. Just remember, a protest needs proof in order to be evaluated. If your protest cannot be substantiated with proof, you could lose your match point for a false protest. If you and your opponent are paying attention and sportsmanship/common sense is utilized, there will be no reason for protests or disputes.

Fielding a Team – The “25 Rule”
  Team Total Handicap Rules/Criteria (The “25 Rule”) To field a legitimate five (5) player team, the sum total of the shooting player’s handicaps may not exceed twenty-five (25). A team can play their players in any order they choose as long as the “25 Rule” is not violated.
  Violation of the “25 Rule” If a Team Captain cannot field a legitimate five (5) player team according to the “25 Rule,” he or she must then field their team accordingly:
  Total handicap for four (4) player teams cannot exceed 21 (If your 5 lowest handicaps of players on your roster exceed 25 then you have to play 4 to 21.)
  Total handicap for three (3) player teams cannot exceed 18 (If your 4 lowest handicaps of players on your roster exceed 21 then you have to play 3 to 18.)

Failure to Field a Legitimate Team
  If a Team Captain cannot field a legitimate team in accordance with the criteria set forth above, they will forfeit ONLY those matches that are in violation of the rule. (NOTE: It is the well rounded team that stays the strongest throughout the league session, so choose your players wisely.) Lower level players play a big part in allowing your higher level player(s) to remain active on your team.

Adding and Dropping Players
  No team should have more than eight (8) players on its roster. A team may add a player to its roster at any time during the league session as long as there are enough weeks remaining in the current session for that player to complete the six (6) matches
required to make him/her a legitimate member of that team. Byes and forfeited matches do not apply towards any player’s required matches. Teams competing in events they qualified for during the session are to use their team roster of players from that session. There are no substitutions. When choosing your team, make sure your teammates understand they are expected to complete the session and session events. Note: Deadlines for adding and dropping players may vary in different areas. Be sure to consult your local by- laws for specific rules in your area.

The “Known Player” Rule
  A player that is brought into the league that has, or does not have a previous handicap or league experience may be assigned a handicap by the League Director or other league official if his or her skill level is known.

Professional Players
  Individuals who hold current membership in a men’s or women’s professional billiards association are not allowed to compete in TAP’s handicapped league events. If an individual’s primary source of income is from competing in pool or the individual attempts to derive their income from pool that person will also be considered a pro. The decision of who meets the above is at the league’s discretion. Although we have all skill levels of players in TAP, we still need to provide a comfortable level of protection for the recreational player. This is where our first concern lies. We also need to protect the prize funds to which our players contribute so that everyone has a fair chance of winning.

Make-up Matches
  Some operators allow make-up matches and some do not. For those teams wishing to make matches up, it is important that the match be noted on your score sheet so that the credit can be applied to the correct team. Also, make-up matches must be agreed upon by both teams and have approval by the League Owner before they are considered official. All make-up matches should be completed within two (2) weeks of the date of the scheduled match. No matches can be made up within the last two weeks of league play. When a new division is starting, the League Owner may offer a new team make-ups or what is referred to as position rounds to allow that team to catch up. (NOTE: All make-ups are at the sole discretion of the League Owner.)

Forfeits
  League matches can be forfeited. The following circumstances are some examples:
  A scheduled team match does not commence within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled match time. Points will be awarded depending on your local by-laws.
  A team is unable to field a player whose handicap is appropriate for the given match, as described by the criteria set forth under the “Team Total Handicap Rules/Criteria” clause. If you do not post a player within the required 5 minute time frame, that match can be forfeited.
  Un-sportsmanlike conduct can result in a match being forfeited.
  A match can be forfeited if the player shooting the match is not current with league fees, or submits wrong data or involves himself in any form of cheating.
  A match will be forfeited by both teams if both teams only have 4 players. NOTE: (Check with your League Owner for variations on forfeits.
  All forfeits should be properly marked on the score sheets. For a team to claim a forfeit, the team that has the player present will write that player in, the team that is short player(s) will write ‘forfeit’ for their player. The Win / Loss circles are then marked accordingly. All forfeited matches assigned to a player will not count as one of their six (6) required matches. Note: Your league fees for the forfeited match are still due regardless of whether the match was played or not.
  It is impossible to document all cases where forfeitures may apply. We recommend that you stay within the guidelines of the rules and play within the spirit and intent of the rules as good sportsmen should. Note: There will always be players who, for whatever reason, try to test the system and manipulate the rules to their advantage. League Owners and officials easily come to recognize these people, and will take the appropriate steps necessary to control their behavior. These teams or players may be disbanded from the league or tournaments at any time.

Burnout Strategy: For Play-offs & Upper-Level Play Only
  This is not a rule, but a strategy within rules. It is only necessary and used when a team is short players. The strategy is to put up one of your players that are not present in order to burn out one of the opponent’s players. You may also wait for them to put up a player that your team does not want to play and burn that player. Ex. Team A puts up a 6 and Team B puts up a player that is not present for the match. This results in a forfeit (win) for that match for Team A. Regardless of whether a player is present or not, the team must always adhere to the “25 Rule”.

Concession
  Concession consists of:
  1) A player breaking down their playing cue into two pieces except to change shafts. (A player must notify their opponent if they plan to change shafts.) Breaking down your break cue after the last game of the match has been broken is not loss of game.
  2) The player intentionally rakes the balls on the table before the game is complete.
  3) The opponent picks up the rack in an attempt to re-rack before the opponent has taken their last shot.
  4) The opponent offers to shake hands before the 8-Ball is shot.
  5) Putting your hand in the pocket as to catch the cue ball from scratching on the 8-Ball.

Byes
  In some leagues, there will be an uneven number of teams competing during a league session. When this happens, a BYE will be written into the schedule to even out the schedule. On a night when a team is scheduled to receive a “BYE,” they will be credited three (3) points for that match. In the event of a team dropping out of a session, the BYE will come in the next week of play or the existing Bye will be eliminated. Teams, dropping out of a session, are uncontrollable and can happen. When it does, it creates a problem for the teams scheduled to play. This is out of our control as a league. We hope you will do your best as a team to complete your session.

Handicapping
  League handicaps are based on raw data taken from your score sheets for each league match. Complete, clear and accurately marked score sheets are a must. Players, Team Captains, League Representatives, League Directors or Operators do not have the right to change any data on the official roster. There is always the possibility that an error has been made when posting data. If this seems to be in question, the matter should be called to the attention of the League Owner, who will be responsible for addressing the matter. If you question your League Owner’s response, please feel free to contact the corporate office through our website @ www.tapleague.com, or call our toll-free number, 1-800-984-7665.
Falsifying a roster is a serious issue that will be addressed.

New Players
  A player joining the league who has not had a previously established handicap will play a “Race to 3” and will be counted as a “4” for purposes of the “25 Rule”. NOTE: (Owners may choose to set a “standard’ handicap for all unrated players. Captains should call their League Owner for clarification).
  Under the Known Player Rule, any player with an established handicap from any other Pool system will start at a comparable TAP handicap determined by the League Director and will shoot under the handicapped race grid. If a player is joining an 8-Ball team and has an established TAP 9-Ball rating, they will start in 8-Ball at that rating or vice-verse.
  When a player with an established handicap plays a new player, his or her established handicap will be counted towards the “25 Rule.” After this match, the new player’s handicap will be subject to the same criteria as all other players, and will be evaluated based on his or her performance in subsequent league matches Note: The handicapping formula developed by TAP is copyrighted, and as such, is proprietary property belonging to TAP. While players are entitled to an explanation of how the system works, under no circumstances will they be provided with documentation of TAP’s proprietary computer algorithms) Our handicaps range from two (2) through seven (7). A seven (7) handicap is the highest level.