Rules & Constitution

Stafford Tuesday Pool League – Rules & Constitution


  1. Object of the Game

The game is played with 15 balls and a cue ball. The balls must comprise 7 plain red balls and 7 plain yellow balls plus a black (“8”) ball. At some venues 7 “spot” balls and 7 “stripe” balls are used in place of red and yellow, (NOT PRO CUP BALLS) this is acceptable. The player(s) pocketing their group first in any order and then legally pocketing the black ball wins the game.  The balls are racked in the same order as shown, with the top ball on the spot.

  1. Start of the Game

The order of play is determined by the toss of a coin. The winner has the option of breaking or requesting his opponent to do so.

The opening player must play at the triangle of object balls using the cue ball from anywhere on or behind the baulk line.

The opening player must hit the pack, and at least two racked balls must touch any cushion from the break. If not, this is a foul shot and his opponent is awarded two free shots. The opponent has the option to restart (re-rack) or play on from such a foul shot.

If a player pockets a ball from the break, then that ball indicates:

The player’s group, and the pocket in which the player has to pocket legally the black ball in order to win the game.

If, on the break, the black ball is pocketed, all balls must be re-racked and the game restarted by the same player

If, on the break, a player pockets both a red and yellow ball, then the first ball down denotes the player’s group and the player continues the break – i.e., this is not a foul shot.

If, on the break, a player goes “in-off” with the cue ball as well as potting a ball rule 2d still applies but the player concedes two free shots to his opponent.

If no ball is pocketed from a legal break, then the player’s alternate shots until a ball or balls are pocketed. If then one ball from each group is pocketed at the same time no foul is committed and play continues with the player being on the group of colours which was pocketed first.

  1. Play

If a ball or balls are pocketed legally, the player continues the break until either:

  • The player fails to pocket one of his/her group of balls, or, having potted all the balls in the group fails to pot the black ball, or
  • The player commits a foul.
  1. Fouls

After any foul the offending player loses his/her turn at the table and the opposing player is entitled to either one or two free shots.

Pocketing an opponent’s ball gives two free shots with one exception, which is where both the following apply.

  • A player has pocketed all of his/her nominated group of balls and is therefore playing the black ball, and
  • If the black ball is played legally onto one of the opponent’s group of balls pocketing that ball only into the nominated pocket of the player on the black, this is a one free shot only foul – i.e., end of break.

Two Free Shots. The following fouls all award two free shots to the opposing player. However, if a ball is pocketed with the first free shot, then the player loses the second free shot and merely continues the break.

  • “In-off” – (white ball pocketed)
  • Hitting an opponent’s ball before hitting his/her own Hitting an opponent’s ball before hitting his/her own
  • Failing to hit any ball
  • Hitting the black ball directly with the cue ball before all the player’s own nominated group of balls have been pocketed
  • Jump shot – (where the cue ball jumps completely over any other ball)
  • Ball off the table
    • If not the cue ball, the ball is to be re-spotted on the head spot or as near as possible on a direct line between the head spot and the centre of the back cushion.
    • If the cue ball, it must be played from any position on or behind the baulk line
    • In the event of two or more balls leaving the table they will be replaced in the following manner. If one ball from each player leaves the table then the person who has not committed the foul will have their ball replaced on or as near to the head spot as possible on a direct line between the head spot and the center of the back cushion, his opponent’s ball will be replaced as near to the head spot as possible in a direct line with the center of the back cushion without touching another ball.
  • If a player’s clothing or body touch any ball, whether the ball moves or not.
  • Player not having at least one foot on the ground
  • Striking any ball but the cue ball with the cue
  • Playing out of turn
  • Playing before all balls have come to rest
  • Playing before any ball has been re-spotted
  • Interfering with the movement of a ball with body, clothing or cue
  • Striking the cue ball with the cue more than once
  • Potting a free ball
  • Failing to hit the nominated ball when placed in a foul snooker
  • Time clock on the Doubles – 2 minutes per shot, this rule will be used at referees’ discretion , if the referee deems you are taking too long, he has the authority to bring in the clock. If the shot is not played in this time, it will be classed as a foul, WARNING TO BE GIVEN ON 1 MINUTE. This rule is for league games as well as knockout games.
  1. Foul Snooker

When a player is snookered after a foul stroke (i.e., the player is left without being hit centre to centre at any of his/her balls), the player may:

  • Nominate one of the opponent’s balls or the black ball as being one of his/her group. The player must play the nominated ball without penalty but must not pocket that ball, but may play that ball onto any other ball or combination of balls and pocket his /her ball legally
  • Or, Request that the cue ball be picked up and then play it from anywhere on or behind the baulk line without loss of the two free shots.

Foul snooker on the black ball. If the black ball is foul snookered by the opponent’s ball, the player may play the nominated ball or combination of balls onto the black ball and pocket it legally into his/her pocket.

If a player is snookered after a foul stroke leaving the cue ball within the jaws of a pocket, then the cue ball may be picked up and played from anywhere on or behind the baulk line without the loss of the two free shots. If the player has only one free shot, the cue ball may still be played from anywhere on or behind the baulk line.

The referee is to call foul snooker as soon as it is deemed as being so.  If the referee does not call foul snooker and the player at the table believes it is a foul snooker, they are able to ask the referee for clarification

  1. Loss of Game

If a player pockets the black ball before pocketing all the balls in the players nominated group, the player loses the game.

If a player pockets the black ball into a pocket other than the player’s nominated pocket, the player loses the game.

The black ball must be pocketed on a separate stroke, i.e., if a player pockets both his/her final ball and the black with the same stroke then the player loses the game

If a player pockets the black ball at any time after the break and commits a foul at the same time then the player loses the game.

When both players have only the black ball left to pocket any foul shot loses the game, including the black ball leaving the table.

Playing the cue ball directly onto the black ball with the intention of moving the black ball from the jaws of the opponents nominated pocket loses the game except when the player is on black ball. In addition, potting an opponent’s ball directly with no intention of striking your own nominated group will result in loss of frame.

  1. General

A push stroke is allowed, but a player may play away from a touching ball of his/her own nominated group and be deemed to have played that ball. Should the cue ball be touching an opponent’s ball or the black ball, the player shall play away without penalty provided that the cue ball strikes one of the players own nominated group.

Player in Control. A player is deemed to be in control of the game from the time that the player addresses the cue ball prior to his/her shot, through the player’s break and up to the time that the opponent addresses the cue ball prior to his/her shot. Any balls which fall into a pocket during this period are said to have been potted by the player and the player is liable for any penalties or benefits normally awarded to him/her for potting that ball or balls as are accorded him/her in the rules of the game.

No Legal Shot. If, in the referee’s opinion, the player in control of the table can play no legal shot, an automatic re-rack should take place with the player who originally broke doing so again.

Cue Ball in Hand. When a player has the cue ball in hand, the player plays from any position on or behind the baulk line.

Potting the Black Ball. When a player has pocketed all the balls in his/her nominated group, the player may only pot the black ball. Pockets are determined by the first ball down at the start of the game. The opponent’s pocket is diagonally opposite, except where middle pockets are nominated then it will be directly opposite.

If the black ball roles into the jaws of a neutral pocket as displayed in the below picture:

the black will be re spotted one coloured ball width towards the opponent’s pocket as displayed in the examples below:

The blackball can be re-spotted at any point of the frame (after the first ball is legally pocketed) if in the jaws of a neutral bag, still following the diagrams above.

Coaching. There must be no coaching by any persons at all except in the pairs match when a player may advise his/her partner before the partner addresses the cue ball at the beginning of the player’s break. Once the player has addressed the cue ball there must be no coaching by any person.

Referee’s decision is final on the night

Unsporting Play. If a Captain thinks a player or team has gained advantage by unsporting play or by misuse of the league rules, then this matter must be reported to the league committee who have the power to change the result of the game or the match at their discretion.


  1. Title

The league shall be known as Stafford Tuesday Pool League

  1. Membership of the League

Teams from any Public house or Club with appropriate facilities inside the Stafford Borough boundaries are eligible to participate.

The Stafford Tuesday Pool League will run both a winter and summer Pool League and a new team wishing to enter either league must apply to the leagues committee for acceptance into either of these leagues.

  1. Administration of the League.

The League shall be administered by three officers being a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer plus as many committee members deemed necessary by the officers of the league with ideally there at least one representative from each division of the pool league.

No more than three members from any one pub or club shall be permitted to serve on the committee at any one time, however the committee can recommend by discretion that in the best interest of the league, the number of members from any one pub or club may be increased in order that the required number of members meets the accepted level.

There must be a quorum of 5 committee members present for a committee meeting to be properly constituted. All parties except the Chairman vote, though in an event of a tie the Chairman will have the casting vote.

The committee has the power to suspend any player from the league. A suspension can only take effect after due consideration of any offence with the player(s) involved in that offence being given the opportunity to state their case to the committee.

Existing committee members suspended from the league automatically become ineligible to continue serving on the committee.

Any player suspended from the league is ineligible for future election to the committee.

In the event of a suspension of or a resignation of a committee members, the committee may co-opt additional members to serve until the next annual general meeting.

Any committee member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the committee will be formally asked to explain their absences. In the event of the explanation being considered unsatisfactory, the member will be asked to resign.

The Treasurer administers the league finances. All monies payable to the league must be presented to the Treasurer, with any cheques being made payable to the Stafford Tuesday Pool League. Cheques issued against, or withdrawals from the Stafford Tuesday Pool League require the signature of 2 officers either Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer.

The league accounts are to be audited in time for the A.G.M and the result of the audit recorded accordingly.

  1. Structure of the League.

The League consists of a number of divisions which is decided after the A G M. Normally, at the end of the season the top two teams in all but the highest-ranking division will gain promotion to the next highest division and the bottom two teams in all but the lowest ranking division will be relegated to the division down in ranking.

In addition to the League being run with a number of divisions the League will run individual, pairs and team knockouts. The individual and pairs competitions will usually be run after the conclusion of the Winter League, but in order to qualify for the individual and pairs knockouts a player must have played for a team who have participated in the previous Winter League on at least three occasions in each half of the season. Dispensation in exceptional circumstances e.g., illness can be obtained upon approval from the League’s committee.

The league will also run during the season a main competition and a subsidiary competition for team events, players competing in these events must have played a league game either singles or doubles before the first round of the competition.

  1. Membership of Teams.

Once a player has played for a team, that player is not allowed to transfer to or play for another team, including another team from the same pub or club, within the League during the course of the current season, except in exceptional circumstances agreed by the committee. Any team contravening this rule will forfeit any match involving the ineligible player 7 – 0. The same penalty applies to any team fielding a player who is suspended from the League.

Teams wishing to enter the league as a new team will be placed in the lowest active division.

  1. Conduct of league matches

Official match night is Tuesday. Visiting teams are to arrive at the match venue for 7.50 pm for the draw and a prompt 8.00 pm start. Matches can be started earlier with the agreement of both sides.

Away teams must turn up by 8:15pm at the latest otherwise the game is awarded 7-0 to the home team.

To postpone a match, notice must be given to both the opposing team captain and the League Secretary at least 48 hours before the match is scheduled to start. The cancellation of any match by a team will only be allowed once in each half of the season and in the event of a team wishing to cancel on more occasions than stipulated then an approach may be made to the League Secretary and the final decision will be made by the League’s committee. A postponed match can be arranged for any night of the week with the agreement of both sides, though any match cancelled in the first half of the season must be rearranged and played before the turn around in fixtures and any match cancelled in the second half of the season must be rearranged and played before the final four weeks of the season, NO matches can be cancelled in the last four weeks.

A match consists of 5 individual singles games and two doubles games. The playing rules are those agreed at the last Annual General Meeting. The League Secretary will hold a master copy of the rules.

The order of play for the singles games will be decided by the team captains drawing the player’s names. The team captains will select their doubles players.

Teams will take turns at refereeing the games, with the home team refereeing the first game. The home team is responsible for paying for the table where necessary.

The winning team captain is responsible for handing in result by 12.00 noon, on the Saturday following the match. Any team not complying with this rule is liable to have the match points which they would have received deducted though individual and team averages would be allowed to stand.

Result cards should be returned to the Joiners Arms, Kenny’s, via Facebook page, or by phone photograph to the Secretary but the original cards are still required to be submitted by the time specified in 6.6 above.

 The team winning the match gains two points for a win. If teams finish on equal numbers of points at the end of the season, best difference in games will decide the placing.

Any team that drops out of the league without fulfilling all their fixtures will have all results classed as void with a 7 – 0 win being given to the opposition.

In the event of a team failing to fulfil a fixture but without withdrawing from the League then a 7-0 loss will be recorded against that team with the averages being awarded to the singles players of the non-offending team.

  1. Annual General Meeting.

Each team shall receive in writing at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting a copy of the agenda.

Nominations for committee and any other business to be discussed must be put in writing and be in the hands of the League Secretary at least 28 days before the Annual General Meeting. Existing committee members are automatically eligible to seek re-election.

Constitution or rule change proposals must be put in writing being proposed and seconded and be in the hands of the League Secretary at least 6 weeks before the Annual General Meeting. Details of all proposals will be given in the Agenda of the Annual general Meeting and each and every proposal will be voted on at the Annual General Meeting.

Voting at the Annual General Meeting on any issue, will be by card vote, one vote per fully paid-up team (except new teams seeking election to the League) which has a member present at the Annual General Meeting. Proxy voting is not allowed.

The agenda is a final notice of any matter to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting; no other business will be considered or discussed.

An Extraordinary Meeting may be called by authority of the committee upon delivery to the Secretary of a requisition in writing setting out the resolution or resolutions being signed by at least ten members and such General Meeting must be convened for a date no later than two calendar months following delivery of the resolution.

Last updated 1st November 2023