Links to National Rules and Other Materials


2014-15 Chicago APA By-laws

Game rules and penalties will be “by the book”.  Every team has received one or more pocket-sized rulebooks, and new teams should have received the full sized version.  Read it, know it, it is the word in Chicago.  I will make additional copies of the full rulebooks available on request.  (The small “game rules” book is free; the full sized book is $1.50.  You can also go to and download a .pdf version of the full rulebook.) 

REMEMBER, if you are going to call a rules violation, make sure you have the rule book or these by-laws to back it up. 

Rulebook clarifications/major changes from previous bylaws: 

Touching an object ball is not a foul.  If you do touch an object ball, your opponent must replace it where it was before being moved.  It is up to the non-shooting player to decide where they think the ball was before you touched it.  Letting the balls stay where they rolled to is not an option.  Along with this, remember that the call goes to the shooter on a close hit/foul shot if you don't have a someone else called to the table to watch the hit.  If you have questions about an upcoming shot, stop the shooter, and get someone to watch the hit.  It is then up to the watcher to call the shot good or bad.  Their word stands.  If either a shooter or watcher calls an obviously bad call "for" his team, accept it now, and send me a note in your envelope.   Repeat violators can have the burden of proof shifted to the opponent.  Don't put yourself in this position.

Taking a cue stick apart before the end of a match is NOT a foul.  It is poor sportsmanship, but not a foul. Breaking a cue stick in anger IS a loss of game, and/or match depending on the situation.  Call me if a cue is “broken” during league play.

2’s, 3’s, and non-rated players can receive TWO coaches per game.  All other players can receive only one coach per game.  Each “coach” should take no more than a minute.  It’s a coach, not a lesson.

Coaching:  Anyone on a team can coach anyone else on their team, once per game (twice for 2's, 3's, and first time players).  The coach can change EACH time a coach is taken.  Any player can call coach.  Only one player can go to the table.  A coach CAN leave the table to confer with his/her team, and then return to the table to finish the coach.  Again, coaches are limited to 1 minute each.  If a team continually takes unusually long coaches, or if any one coach goes excessively long, 3+ minutes,  ASK your opponent to speed it up.  If they don't, call me.

The coach does NOT end when the coach leaves the table. Coaches CAN leave the pool table, get a consensus from the team, and return all in the same turn.  The sitting team can call the coach back to the team table.  Whatever happens, it has to happen within one minute.  Report habitually long coaches.  

Coaching Violations:  Mark your coaches on your scoresheets to avoid unintentional additional coaches. Continued abuse of this rule can result in a ball in hand foul, loss of game, and/or match. 

The first attempt to take more than the proper number of coaches during a game is NOT a foul.  Usually an additional coach is called by accident. Just stop the team trying to take additional coach, and continue with the game. 

If you feel that the additional coach was intentional, tell your opponent that you are marking a second coach and put a note on the scoresheet stating which game and match the additional coach was called. To give this violation a "timestamp", please leave a text message on my office phone.  (773-575-4157)

Since a second "unintentional" additional coaching violation rarely occurs accidentally. It will be considered an intentional misuse of the coaching rules and will be a sportsmanship violation resulting in a ball in hand penalty.  Make note of this violation on the scoresheet as well, and send another text message.    

Masse and jump shots go by the “house rules”.  If allowed by the house, then anyone (2-7) can attempt them.  (Remember that I want to hear about any 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s who attempt and accomplish these shots.)

Coaster/Pocket markers:  It is NOT a foul if the coaster is touched by ANY ball, or is knocked to the floor by a ball during a shot if the pocket was properly marked to start the shot. 

CHALK CAN BE USED TO MARK YOUR POCKET.  It may be confusing, but it IS legal. 

Double hits:  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.

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 a 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.  

Adding players:  In the first four weeks, you can make any changes you want to your roster.  Call or email changes to the office if possible, or write them in on the score sheet.  If you make changes the night of play, they MUST be made before play starts.  If they are made after the start of play, the other team has the right to refuse any changes you make.  Try to make sure that all players are paid when they play their first match.  If a player plays, wins, and then leaves the team without paying membership dues, you may lose any points won by that player.  (I may or may not catch it, but I will take them away if your opponents bring it to my attention.)  

Teams that are qualified for the year ending Citywide tournament may NOT add players after the 4th week.  Period.  This is a national rule, and there are NO exceptions.  You MAY add players after the 4th week on any team that is not already qualified WITH league approval up to the mid point in the season.  Any changes after that are limited to teams that are having trouble fielding a full team on a weekly basis, and are NOT in playoff contention.   

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.    

2.       BEFORE the match starts the team that wants to use double play needs to tell their opponent that they intend to play a player twice.  At this time, the opponent has to be told which players will be available.

3.       Also BEFORE the match starts, the opponent has to picks which available player will play twice.     

4.       THE TEAM USING DOUBLE PLAY chooses 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, they can ONLY play if BOTH teams agree.  

6.       To be eligible to use 2x play, you have to have a combination of players on your roster 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.       If your team uses double play, you can decide how to pay for the double play match…You can make the player who plays twice pay double, the whole team can pitch in, or you can make the players who didn’t show up pay for the match.  It is all up to you, but you do need to pay for it.

Forfeits, byes, and team breakups.  If the team you are scheduled to play doesn't show up for a regularly scheduled match, you get 13 points for the night.  (10 forfeit points plus three bonus points.)  You get 11 points for any match scheduled against a "bye" in the division.  If a team notifies me that they are breaking up prior to the day of play, I will take them out of the schedule and put a bye in their place.  I will notify their opponents, and the match is now a bye.  If a team just stops showing up, they will be dropped from the division after their second complete forfeit.  All previous matches vs. this team will stand as played.      

Sandbagging and defensive shots:  Correct handicaps rely on proper scorekeeping, and timely reporting of players shooting below their actual skill level.  If you see a player intentionally missing shots, please mark them as defensive shots.  If a player is padding innings, or goes to the extent of losing on purpose, report it to me.  Don’t argue about it that night; just contact me via a note in the money envelope, an email, or a phone call. 

Periodically I will send out a sheet with handicaps of all players in your division.  Please mark down the players you feel are not properly handicapped.  If you don’t mark the sheets correctly, or contact me about sandbagging, don’t complain about the system.

Team DuesWeekly dues will continue to be $30 per team per week through the end of the 2013 Fall session.  Starting in the Spring session of 2013, dues will increase to $35 per team per week.  As I did the last time I raised dues...eight years ago...I will use a portion of the added income to send TWO ADDITIONAL TEAMS TO VEGAS EACH YEAR.

Dues are owed whether all 5 players play or not.  (No fees are due for “bye” weeks.)  Forfeits must be paid by both teams.  Failure to pay a forfeit will result in a past due balance.  Any weekly fee shortages will be posted as past due amounts on your scoresheets.  They will result in a loss of bonus point for that week.  I will continue to deduct a bonus point for every week that a Past Due stays unpaid.  (If there is a problem paying it, or you have questions about why there is a past due, call me to work it out.)  The original week’s lost bonus point can be recovered by paying the past due amount in the following weeks folder.  Teams with unpaid past dues on the final week of play will not be eligible for playoffs or the Vegas drawing. 

Membership dues:  Please make sure that all players have their memberships paid as soon as possible. This session, only paid players can earn points for their team.  If a player on your team plays and wins the first few weeks of the season, and then drops off the roster without paying, you lose the points from his/her wins.  If a player isn't paid in the 4th week, he or she will be dropped from the roster.  Players can be put back on the roster, and team wins re-instated if their membership is paid before they play again.       

Start time:  You can start at any time agreeable to both teams, but 7:00 is the official start time for all weekly matches.  You can call the first forfeit at 7:16 if there are no players from the other team present, the second forfeit at 7:31, the third forfeit at 7:46, and all 5 points are forfeit at 8:00 pm.  (All times are real times, NOT bar time.)  It is up to both teams to check in with the other.  Before you call a forfeit, check the rest of the bar to be sure that no one from the other team is on site. Remember, you joined to play pool, not take forfeits.  The choice is always up to the team who was on site at the proper time whether to call a forfeit or not. 

In the case of inclement weather, or other qualifying circumstances, forfeits may not be allowed; make up matches will be scheduled.  Make up matches will be allowed when approved by the league office.

If a player is not available for continuous play, a 15 minute waiting period will be extended to teams during the match.  This is a one time extension during the match whether you use one minute or 15 minutes.  (You can't use 5 minutes three times. etc.)   Finally, neither 15 minute "buffer" period can be used to "wait" for other players to show up if any eligible player is currently on site.  Play has to start, and/or continue if eligible players are present.

Playoff Dates/pairings:   Playoff pairings will be posted in the division schedule as matches in the "playoff" week.

Playoff Sites:  Any active play site is acceptable for playoffs.   

Playoffs for Fall and Spring sessions:  For Fall and Spring sessions, the top 5 teams in standing order at the end of the season will playoff as follows:  Top points winner overall will go to the Chicago Challenge from that division.  2nd plays 5th, 3rd plays 4th, followed the next week by the winners of these matches playing for 1st place trophies and a slot in the Chicago Challenge.  Occasionally, there will be a unique playoff format for larger divisions. 

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 Citywide Vegas Challenge. 

Local Tournaments:

Challenge/Tri-cups:  All top point, and division playoff winners advance to the end of session Chicago Challenge 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 Vegas Challenge.  (Guideline supplied to winning teams.)

Citywide/LTC:  Winners from each session’s Challenge tournaments play here.  Held once a year to determine which teams qualify for the annual National Team 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. 

Top Gal Tournament:  Starting in 2012, we will also have a TOP GAL tournament.  The top placing lady in each division will compete against the other "top gals" for a trip to Vegas.  If a top gal is the TOP GUN, she has to compete in the TOP GUN tournament.  

Vegas Qualified teams:  All teams that qualify for Vegas in one year need to keep the same roster together, AND play it in the summer session for the next year.  They also need to be in the top half of their division when they travel to Vegas.  Teams that fail to play, or play and play poorly, risk the handicaps of their players.