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8 Ball

How to Keep Score
in 8-Ball

9 Ball

How to Keep Score
in 9-Ball

More Materials & Information

  • Learn how to keep score (Video)
  • Learn about Defensive Shots (Video)
  • Blank Scoresheets and Applications



We would like to welcome your team to the American Poolplayers Association; your local league operates as in North Chicago, and is known as the Chicago APA.

This document explains the structure of the League at a local level and should be used in conjunction with your Official Team Manual provided by the APA. These bylaws have been created for the smooth and efficient operation of the League and to help clear up common issues that will allow you to focus on your game. After all, the APA is all about having fun, meeting people, and playing pool!

Please read these bylaws carefully and keep them with your Official Team Manual for your reference. All previous local bylaw documents are now null and void. You must be 18 years of age or older to compete in the Chicago APA.

Section 1: Basics

Office hours:

You can call the office line 7 days a week from noon until midnight. If no one answers, please leave a TEXT message for fastest response. If you are calling from a land line, you can always leave a voicemail…but text is best.  You can also send an E-mail.

Phone:   773-575-4157


Team Captain Responsibilities:

The Team Captain is the team organizer. The captain must have a phone and e-mail address to allow for quick and effective communication with the League Office. The Team Captain’s responsibilities and duties include:

1. Collecting weekly fees and APA membership dues from the team.

2. Submitting payments, forms and other information to League Office in a timely manner.

3. Distributing information from the League Office to all members of the team. This includes rule amendments, tournament announcements, and any other League business.

4. Responsibility for the conduct and good sportsmanship of all team members during matches.

5. Making sure that proper and accurate scorekeeping procedures are followed.

6. Having team players at the scheduled match site on time.

7. Returning team envelopes to the drop off location on time.

Website:  Our website address is  You can view schedules without a national account, or log into your national page and view a wealth of information including team rosters, standings and individual records for your division b) In addition, there is a link to pay weekly dues or memberships on line.

Team Fees are $35 per week ($65 for Double Jeopardy) regardless of the number of matches played including forfeits and playoffs. If you are paying by check, please make your check payable to Chicago APA. There will be a $30 charge for any returned checks plus loss of bonus points.

Team Envelopes:  Each team will get a large plastic team envelope with a smaller “cash” envelope inside.  The team envelopes will be delivered to your choice of local drop locations on the day of play.  The visiting team is responsible for picking up BOTH envelopes and bringing them to the play site.  EACH team is responsible for returning their own envelope after the match is over.  You CAN give your folder to your opponent to return for you, but you are still responsible if your folder comes in late, or missing team fees.  Envelopes are due at the local drop spots by noon the day after play.  

Bonus Points:

Each week, bonus points are awarded for proper scorekeeping, accurate finances, and timely folder delivery as follows…

• 8-Ball – Possible 3 BP per week...1 point for turning in your folder on time.  1 point for the entire weekly fee being in the payment envelope and the team having a zero balance.  1 point will be awarded for accurate and complete scoresheets.

• 9-Ball – Possible 10 BP per week…4 for turning in your folder on time.  3 points for the entire weekly fee being included in the payment envelope and the team having a zero balance. 3 points for accurate and complete scoresheets. 

Remember these are bonus points that are awarded at the discretion of the League Office. Keeping current with your weekly fees is important. If you fall behind on payments, you may risk more than your bonus points. You may lose your place in the playoffs and the opportunity to compete in tournaments.

Team Forfeits:  Any team that does not show up for a match for two consecutive weeks will be deemed in default and will be dropped from the Division. Teams will be notified and failure to contact the League Office and settle accounts will result in a team default.

Patches:  Patches are individual awards given each time the player meets the criteria for earning a patch and pays $1 along with the weekly fees that week.  The player or captain must also write the player’s name and patch description in the space provided on the back flap of the cash envelope. 

Ø 8-on-the-Break: You make the 8-Ball on the break.

Ø 8 Break and Run: You make at least one ball on the break and then run the rack.

Ø 9-on-the-Snap: You make the 9-Ball on the break.

Ø 9 Break and Run: You make at least one ball on the break and then run the rack for ten points.

Ø Rackless: Your opponent didn’t break during your match.

Ø Skunked: You win 20-0 in 9-Ball.

Ø You broke I ran:  When your opponent breaks dry and you run the rack on your first turn.

Ø Team sweep:  If your team wins all 5 matches.  Every member of the team is eligible when the team earns this patch.  Please write each player name individually. Can be earned in 8 or 9 ball. 

Ø I beat a 6 (or 7) 8-ball only

Ø I beat a 7 (8 or 9) 9-ball only.

Ø I beat the league operator.

The $1 funds trips to Vegas.  Each patch gives the winner a 1 in 500 chance of going to Vegas.  There is a drawing after the LTCs are over for patch winners who have not won a trip through the LTC tournament.  The actual cut up back flaps from your cash envelopes are used for this drawing.  Please write legibly or you risk losing a free trip to Vegas. 

New players only: 

Ø I won my first APA match:  EVERY new player should get one of these at some time in their APA career.  It is available to all players whenever they win their first APA match.  The patch is free if the player wins their first match played in the league.  They owe $1 if they win any time after that first match.

Holy Grail of patches:

THE CYCLE.  To win a Cycle patch, you must win a true rackless, break and run, and 8 or 9 on the break.  You pay for each of the lower level patches, and get the CYCLE for free.  You get 3 chances in the normal drawings, and are entered into a special drawing for winners of this patch alone.  The odds of winning this drawing are set by the number of Cycle patches awarded during the year.  USUALLY 10 to 15 are awarded…much better odds than the normal patches.   


From time to time, we will run incentives and promotions for new teams, new captains, or new Host Locations. These could be in the form of team credits, free play or APA apparel. All incentives will be posted on-line as well as in the team envelopes. Any credits not used by the end of the session (including playoffs) will not be refunded. Players and or teams will only receive their incentive if they are a member in good standing.

Section 2: League Play

Week one:  NO FORFEITS on week one.  You can use double play, or makeups to finish week one matches, but there are no forfeits on week one.  If a team is unable to field a full team on week one, that team is responsible for setting up makeups.  All attempts for makeup matches will be made, if a makeup match cannot be made by week 5, 8 bye points will be issued in 8-Ball, 60 bye points will be issued in 9-Ball.

Bye Weeks:  Some divisions will have an odd number of teams, so one team each week will not have a match. In this instance, the team will be given the following points for the week:  • 8-Ball – 7 Bye Points plus normal bonus • 9-Ball – 50 Bye Points plus normal bonus.  You do not need to pay for bye week matches.

Match start time:  Match start time is listed on the scoresheet and schedule.  Individual forfeits can be called every 15 minutes after the match start time. After 45 minutes, the entire match is declared a forfeit. Teams MUST start play if players from both teams are present, and either team wants to start.  A team can start a match with only one player present.  

15-minute buffer: This is a onetime suspension of the continuous play rule.  If a team runs out of eligible players after play has begun, they get up to 15 minutes to produce another player.  This buffer can NOT be used to wait for a particular player if a team has any eligible players available.  After 15 minutes have passed without any eligible players, all remaining individual matches are declared forfeit.  

Forfeits:  Individual forfeits count for 2 points in 8-ball and 15 in 9-ball during the regular session.  They count for 3 and 20 respectively during playoffs and tournament play.  The team forfeiting the match never gets any points.  Both teams have to pay for the matches.  The points are team points, and no individual match play credit will be given.

A full team forfeit in 8-Ball is worth 10 Points + 3 BP. A full team forfeit in 9-Ball is worth 75 Points + 10 Bonus Points.  Both teams are responsible for the full weekly fees for any week in which a match or portion of a match is forfeited.

Match put ups and responses:  Once the first match is over, the team putting up next has two (2) minutes to name a player, and then the opposing team has two (2) minutes to name a player. The match must start immediately once both players are named for the match. If either team does not have a player available, they can use the 15-minute buffer once.

Roster Changes:  All teams can make roster changes until the 4th week of play without permission.  Teams that are not qualified for the LTC have until the middle of the session to make changes to their roster. (i.e. adding/dropping players). To add a player to your roster, write in their name and ADD next to their name. To drop a player from the roster, draw a line through their name and write DROP next to their name. Changes made after the middle of the session disqualify that team from playoffs. (Teams that have gained eligibility to a Local Team Championship have until the 4th week of play to make changes to their roster in the Spring Session.)

Tie Breakers: Head to head competition is the first tie breaker. If there is only one match, the winner is the winner of the tie breaker. If there are two, and there is still an overall tie, the winner of the second match wins. If there are NO matches between the two teams, then the tie breaker is based on their record against their first common opponent. It they are tied then, we move to the second common opponent, etc. until the tie is broken.

Double Play Rules:

1. The double play option is available to any team that knows it will not be able to field a full roster on a given night.

2. BEFORE the match starts you need to tell your opponent that you intend to play a player twice. At this time, you have to tell your opponent which players will be available.

3. Also before the match starts they have to choose which available player will play twice.

4. YOU choose where that player plays during the match. (They can play back to back, first and last, or any combination in between.)

5. If a 5th player shows up, your opponent has the option of allowing you to play all 5 players, or keeping the 4+1 that you originally agreed to.

6. To be eligible to use 2x play, you have to have a combination of players that can fit under 23 with one player playing twice. If the option is available, your opponents CAN choose to play a player twice that puts you over the limit. They cannot call a forfeit if they choose to put you over the handicap limit.

7. Because the double play option is available, make-ups should not be necessary. Unplayed matches will be marked as forfeits. Call me if there is a PRESSING need to do a make-up. (Wedding, funeral, team vacation…etc. Not wanting to show up on a given night is NOT an excuse.)

9. Your team can decide how to pay for the double play match…You can make the player who plays twice pay for the match. You can pitch in as a team, or you can make the player who didn’t show up pay for the match. It is all up to you, but you do need to pay for it.

Inclement weather:  We live in Chicago, and inclement weather is the norm.  In most cases, if your opponent can show up, you have to show up…or forfeit the match.  If it is OBVIOUSLY impossible or dangerous to play on a certain night, we will contact each team to cancel the night’s matches.  We will reschedule or drop cancelled nights from the schedule.  

Makeups must be played before the second to last week of the session.  NO MAKEUPS can be scheduled for matches scheduled for the last two weeks of a session.

Section 3:

Sportsmanship and Conduct.  It is expected that all teams will treat each other with mutual respect during a match. Sportsmanship is big part of playing in the APA. This is a weekly night out for many people and a break from the regular work grind. This is not a money league, and any sharking, hustling or anything of that nature will not be tolerated. There is a fine line between cheering for your player and against your opponent. As a rule, cheer for your player’s accomplishments and not the opponent’s misfortunes. Individuals who are consistently deemed to be displaying poor sportsmanship may be subject to match forfeits, probation, suspension or termination of League and/or APA membership.

Refusal to Do Business With:  At any time, at the sole discretion of the League Office and with qualified input from Division Reps, the Chicago APA can refuse to do business with any individual. These individuals may or may not be suspended from the APA but will not be welcome in the Chicago APA. This will typically be used for people who are disruptive to the League, constantly complain about handicaps or otherwise, and deride the League in public. Every APA member has the right to be treated with respect and in a sportsmanlike manner, and members who display offensive behavior will not be tolerated.

Banned Players:  If a Host Location has banned a player from entering their establishment, the team must play without him/her that evening. The League has no right to insist a Host Location allow a person in to their establishment for a League match.

Section 4: 

Playoff structure… or How do I win?  The following table displays the playoff structure:


Number of teams in Division

Playoff Structure

4 team divisions – two teams advance

First place advances directly.


3rd plays 4th week one

winner plays 2nd week two

winner advances

6-12 team divisions – two teams advance

First place advances directly.

2 thru 5th playoff for 2nd spot

2nd plays 5th, 3rd plays 4th

winners play each other week two

week 2 winner advances

14+ team divisions – 3 teams advance

First place advances directly.

2nd and 3rd playoff for 2nd spot

4th thru 7th playoff for 3rd spot

2nd plays 3rd …winner advances

4th plays 7th, 5th plays 6th week one

winners play each other week two

week 2 winner advances


Local Tournaments:

Challenge/Tri-Cups: All top point, and division playoff winners advance to the Chicago Challenge/Tri cup tournament. Held at the end of Spring and Fall sessions to determine who qualifies for the Vegas Citywide Challenge. Qualified teams must remain eligible until the Citywide LTC. (Guideline supplied to winning teams…also found in the Official Team Manual.)

Summer bonus: There is an extra incentive to play in the summer session. Playoff pairings will be the same as Fall and Spring, but playoff and top point winners in the Summer will advance directly to the LTC.

Vegas Citywide/LTC: Winners from each session’s Challenge tournaments play here. Held once a year to determine which teams qualify for the annual APA World Pool Championships held in Las Vegas.

Top Gun/MVP Tournament: There will be a Top Gun tourney at the end of the year for all the division Top Gun's from the previous year. There will be two skill level brackets in this tournament. 2 thru 5 and 6-9. The winners of this tournament will win trips to Vegas.

Playoff/tournament Rules: Playoff rules are standard weekly rules with the following exceptions:

1.    Teams play only until they cannot be beaten.

2.    In 8-ball, male 2s become 3s. In 9-ball, male 1s become 2s.

3.    Forfeits in 8-ball are worth 3 points.  In 9-ball they are worth 20.

4.    There is no double play.

5.    There are no makeups.

6.    Only one coach per player regardless of handicap.

And what have they won?  Each year, the Chicago APA sends four 8-ball teams and two 9-ball teams to the World Pool Championships.  Each team gets round trip airfare, 4 hotel rooms (based on 7 to 8 players per team), and bus transportation to and from the airport in Las Vegas. 

Party Plane:  For those teams and players who don’t win a trip to Vegas through the tournament structure, we have the Party Plane.  The party plane players spend a long weekend in Vegas at the World pool championships.  They can’t play in the main event, but they can get the experience of being at the world’s largest pool tournament.  They can play in the Minis, soak up sun at the pool, or visit any Vegas attraction they want.  Their time is their own for 3-4 days.  All players get roundtrip airfare, a roof over their heads (double occupancy), transportation to and from the airport along with group check in when they arrive.  

On the party plane, we send 4 teams that won their divisions, but didn’t win at the LTC.   We send 2 “second tier” teams…teams that don’t even make the playoffs. Usually 10 to 12 patch and pin winners along with a couple of MVP winners. 

Section 5:

Odds and ends…frequently asked rule questions:

Taking your stick apart is NOT a loss of game.  BREAKING your stick in anger is a loss of game or match.

A pocket is legally marked if the marker is within the first diamond on either side of the pocket. 

Chalk is a legal pocket marker. 

Anyone can coach anyone else on their team.

If a sitting player asks a shooting player if they want a coach…that is a coach, and they might as well go to the table and discuss it. 

If a shooting player asks for a coach and the sitting player refuses, that is NOT a coach.

There is no rule prohibiting lower level players from attempting masse or jump shots…it is NOT a foul, or loss of turn.  It should be reported to the league office if a lower level player successfully performs either a jump or masse.  

A double hit occurs when two balls are close together, BUT NOT TOUCHING, and the player shoots straight "through" the combination or at a minimal angle. A double hit refers to the player striking the cue ball a second time after the initial contact. This sends the cue ball in the same general direction, with almost identical speed as the object ball. This is a foul, because the player has hit a live cue ball twice in the same shot.

If a potential double hit situation occurs on the table, you have to tell your opponent that you are watching for a double hit. If the player is warned first, and still shoots the combination, a double hit has occurred if the cue ball travels down the table at virtually the same speed and direction as the object ball. This is a ball in hand foul because the shooter has contacted a live cue ball twice in the same shot.