Pool Night - request for input

tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi there,

I got a table earlier this year, and now I am starting a monthly pool club with a few guys in my neighborhood. Here is a link to a Word document (edit: this has been updated after receiving input in this thread!) which outlines house rules and match play formats (depending on whether there are 6, 5, or 4 players participating). We have six who are "in", but this could change, hence the varying formats. I think any more than 6 would be mayhem.

I'd love to get any input you can offer on the rules or formats... I've based this on research I've done online for different game rules (BCA, Wikipedia, APA), and I've tailored them to my preference, but I could be missing something here and there, and would be interested in this community's opinions. Thanks in advance, and Happy Thanksgiving!
 
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selftaut

straight pool nut
Silver Member
You have this in your general rules. "On every shot, the cue ball must either hit an object ball or hit the rail" , if you are playing ball-in-hand then that rule should read that "there must be contact with an object ball AND contact to a rail after contacting the object ball, either with the cue ball or aany ball after initial contact must hit a rail".

Secondly , you need a "cuss bucket". This bucket is for collection of $1 for every loud outburst of cussing.:)
 
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kobyp

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
selftaut said:
Secondly , you need a "cuss bucket". This bucket is for collection of $1 for every loud outburst of cussing.:)

There's a lot of pool players that would go broke, and be forced to quit if that were everywhere.
 

billyjack

Registered Loser
Silver Member
My group has deen doing this almost weekly for about 5 years. We play only 8 ball, arrived at the "house rules" by majority vote, refine them as necessary to cover any unforseen situations, and have them posted on the wall to eliminate any disputes. We play 8 on the break as a win, and follow BCA / APA in that your ball group is determined by the first legally pocketed shot after the break. For your consideration, I'll pass along a few things experience has taught us to incorporate: 1) forget the "races". We use a round-robin type format, so that you only play 1 game at a time. That way nobody gets bored waiting too long for their turn at the table. We'll have anywhere from 4 to 8 players, so we'll draw cards for our number. Matches are scheduled 1@2, 3@4, 5@6, 6@1, 2@3, 4@5 etc. until everyone plays everyone an even number of games, split between "home" and "away". The "@" indicates a "home" player like baseball or hockey. The home player gets to break, or can elect to pass the break to his opponent. That eliminates lags or any disputes on lack of breaking opportunities. We throw a few bucks in the pot every night. Some of the money goes for food, the rest goes for winnings. We keep track of wins and losses, and also BIV-Balls in Victory i.e. how may of the loser's balls were still on the table when game ends. When we pay up at the end, if there's any ties, head-to-head record, and BIV are the tiebreakers. Sometimes we'll set up a 4-6 week tournament with a little more $$ at stake. Then we'll keep track of every shot, and award some $$ to the "shooting percentage " leader. PM if you'd like any more info. Our setup has worked smooth for us for a long time. Hope there's something here you can use. Good luck.
Bill
 

219Dave

Pool is my therapy
Silver Member
I think it's a great idea. I've been thinking of doing the same thing on my basement table for a while. You guys have inspired me to get it going. I'll reach out to you guys soon for more details.

How often do you do it? Once a week? Once a month? Does it make sense to play different games, like 8 ball, 9 ball, 3 ball, cut throat, or just stick to one?
 

tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Excellent feedback guys; BillyJack I will think about this more tomorrow once the turkey wears off! I have been concerned about the "races" approach and people waiting around, so I will look into your round robin thing and try to figure that out for our group. I may indeed PM you -- thanks!
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Pool Night and the problems I have encountered.

Personalities forced upon another does not create a comfortable environnment.

I keep telling that to a friend she thinks her friends will get along with my friends. Heck she has trouble getting along with me.

So pool night works when a mediator is present.
 

billyjack

Registered Loser
Silver Member
219Dave,
We typically get together almost weekly, as long as we have 4 players minimum, holiday weeks excepted. Summertime, with Baseball, Softball, vacations etc., it's more like every 2nd to 3rd week. We play from about 8:30 to 11:30 or so. Preferred game is 8-ball, but I see no reason you can't set up something for any game you want. In October and January we set up a multi-week tourney when all who want involved commit for 4 to 6 weeks in a row. Last tourney we had eight guys, which is about the limit. Weekly, we have 4 to 6 guys show any given night, so we have playing schedules to accomodate any number from 4 to 8. Most are in their 40's or 50's, and we're careful about any newcomers we invite, so there are no arguments or fights. Also, everybody who shows throws in $$ for food, so the host isn't going broke buying food and snacks. I can't stress enough the importance of screening your potential players. If you don't respect the facilities, respect the table or act like a mature adult you're not invited back. That keeps it a fun nite for all.
 

tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
your ball group is determined by the first legally pocketed shot after the break
I had some relatives over yesterday and my brother-in-law suggested this rule as well, so I'm changing to match that format. Thanks!
1) forget the "races". We use a round-robin type format, so that you only play 1 game at a time. That way nobody gets bored waiting too long for their turn at the table.
Makes a lot of sense. I'm in.
Matches are scheduled 1@2, 3@4, 5@6, 6@1, 2@3, 4@5 etc. until everyone plays everyone an even number of games, split between "home" and "away". The "@" indicates a "home" player like baseball or hockey. The home player gets to break, or can elect to pass the break to his opponent. That eliminates lags or any disputes on lack of breaking opportunities.
This sounds great. I'm in again!

Tracking "Balls in Victory" and shooting percentage tracking sounds like a lot of work (relatively speaking), so I don't plan to do that out the gate, but those are certainly good ideas.

I'm going to look at how we might spin off round-robin winners into championship matches each month -- ultimately I'd like to be able to rank all players, and then set up the round robin matches based on the previous month's rank.
 

tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
selftaut said:
You have this in your general rules. "On every shot, the cue ball must either hit an object ball or hit the rail" , if you are playing ball-in-hand then that rule should read that "there must be contact with an object ball AND contact to a rail after contacting the object ball, either with the cue ball or aany ball after initial contact must hit a rail".
Thanks... I agree that rule is problematic, but I'm confused -- why would ball-in-hand affect this rule? Did you mean safeties?

I think the rule should instead read:

All games must adhere to the following contact rules:

- On breaks, at least three object balls must hit a rail or fall into a pocket, else a re-rack may be requested by the opponent

- On safety shots, the cue ball must make contact with a ball AND / OR a rail. Safeties are also useful for sinking your ball but ending your turn.

- On standard shots, the cue ball must make contact with a ball AND / OR a rail. When hitting an object ball prior to hitting a rail, it must either either fall into a pocket, hit a rail, or drive another object ball (or final in a chain) into a pocket or a rail.

The latter rule would make it illegal to fall short of a pocket when trying to go in straight (no rails). This would result in ball-in-hand for the opponent. Whereas, if s/he called a safety, it would be fine and just a loss of turn. Thoughts on that?

I'm trying to keep the "house rule book" as simple as possible but at the same time don't want to be ambiguous...
 

9 on the snap

Budweiser fears me
Silver Member
selftaut said:
Secondly , you need a "cuss bucket". This bucket is for collection of $1 for every loud outburst of cussing.:)

Sorry, loud extreme cussing is an integral part of my game.

We play at my house on Wednesdays and Fridays, and we have since I got my table a couple of years ago. We play nine ball only, on a first come first play basis. I usually have between 4 and 10 people. The stakes are usually $5-$20 per rack. There is a $5 minimum on pool nights. This keeps the riff-raff off the table. Anyone can play if they wait there turn. Winner breaks always. The bigger the crowd the more the incentive not to lose, as you maybe sitting for an hour. It's great when you beat everyone in the room one by one though.
 

bigskyjake

you heard the man
Silver Member
9 on the snap said:
Sorry, loud extreme cussing is an integral part of my game.


Same here, If cursing were outlawed at the local pool hall I'd be selling ALL of my shit on here
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
tonmo said:
Thanks... I agree that rule is problematic, but I'm confused -- why would ball-in-hand affect this rule? Did you mean safeties?

I think the rule should instead read:

All games must adhere to the following contact rules:

- On breaks, at least three object balls must hit a rail or fall into a pocket, else a re-rack may be requested by the opponent

- On safety shots, the cue ball must make contact with a ball AND / OR a rail. Safeties are also useful for sinking your ball but ending your turn.

- On standard shots, the cue ball must make contact with a ball AND / OR a rail. When hitting an object ball prior to hitting a rail, it must either either fall into a pocket, hit a rail, or drive another object ball (or final in a chain) into a pocket or a rail.

The latter rule would make it illegal to fall short of a pocket when trying to go in straight (no rails). This would result in ball-in-hand for the opponent. Whereas, if s/he called a safety, it would be fine and just a loss of turn. Thoughts on that?

I'm trying to keep the "house rule book" as simple as possible but at the same time don't want to be ambiguous...
The common rule for non-break shots (including safeties) is "any ball must contact a rail after the CB contacts a legal OB". Why re-invent the wheel?

pj
chgo
 

tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
any ball must contact a rail after the CB contacts a legal OB
Thanks much -- definitely don't want to reinvent the wheel. I've looked around for this rule a bit and hadn't really found anything that made sense to me. I can follow the logic in the statement you laid out. A couple of questions on this though --

-- does this mean that the only advantage of a safety is that this is the only way to allow a player to sink his ball while also ending his turn?

-- based on the language, it would seem that hitting a ball straight to a pocket, but failing to sink it or touch a rail would mean it's a foul. Is that right?

-- one more -- what if no OB is hit? Is 3 rails required? Just one? Should it matter between safety and a "normal" shot?
 
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selftaut

straight pool nut
Silver Member
tonmo said:
-- does this mean that the only advantage of a safety is that this is the only way to allow a player to sink his ball while also ending his turn?

-- based on the language, it would seem that hitting a ball straight to a pocket, but failing to sink it or touch a rail would mean it's a foul. Is that right?

-- one more -- what if no OB is hit? Is 3 rails required? Just one? Should it matter between safety and a "normal" shot?

If you are playing ball-in-hand rules, then there is no diference between a safety or a normal shot as you state. Something has to hit a rail or pocketed after making legal contact to an object ball. If the ball stops short of a pocket and does not hit even the jaws then its ball in hand.
 

selftaut

straight pool nut
Silver Member
bigskyjake said:
Same here, If cursing were outlawed at the local pool hall I'd be selling ALL of my shit on here

Yeah but the cuss bucket is great for when its time for more beer and pizza :)
 

billyjack

Registered Loser
Silver Member
If it's your house, you can have your own "house rules" Do some work on Google, and you'll find BCA, APA, even IPT for 8 ball. A good foundation for your house rules, but all differ slightly. We don't enforce the "ball to a cushion" rule in our group. Example: You have a straight in stop shot and you come up short. Your perfectly aimed OB doesn't make it to the pocket, and the CB stops dead. Is it really right to give your opponent BIH for that? We see it as an error that ends your inning rather than a foul that can cost you the game. You can decide when it's your house. We're trying to promote the game in our own way. Taking rules designed for serious tournament play to the limit can discourage a novice right quick when they're giving up BIH to a superior player on a minor infraction. As long as rules are written and posted, and everyone agrees to a level playing field, just have fun. Just my 2 cents. I'm sure it will draw some criticism, but it works for our group, and that's all that matters to us.

Bill
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Me:
any ball must contact a rail after the CB contacts a legal OB

tonmo:
Thanks much -- definitely don't want to reinvent the wheel. I've looked around for this rule a bit and hadn't really found anything that made sense to me.

Here are the relevant rules from the Billiards Congress of America's World Standardized Rules, which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/329clm

3.18 FAILURE TO CONTACT OBJECT BALL
It is a foul if on a stroke the cue ball fails to make contact with any legal object ball first. Playing away from a touching ball does not constitute having hit that ball.

3.19 LEGAL SHOT
Unless otherwise stated in a specific game rule, a player must cause the cue ball to contact a legal object
ball and then:
(a) Pocket a numbered ball, or;
(b) Cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a cushion or any part of the rail. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.

Why not just download the BCA's rules and use them?

-- does this mean that the only advantage of a safety is that this is the only way to allow a player to sink his ball while also ending his turn?

That's the only advantage of calling a safety in a call-shot game like 8-ball. You can always play safe by saying nothing and simply not making a ball (like you do in slop games such as 9-ball). But even when you call a safety you have to meet the requirements for a legal shot.

-- based on the language, it would seem that hitting a ball straight to a pocket, but failing to sink it or touch a rail would mean it's a foul. Is that right?

Right. Even if the ball goes past the nose of the cushion and ends up within the jaws of the pocket but doesn't drop and doesn't touch a rail, it's a foul.

-- one more -- what if no OB is hit? Is 3 rails required? Just one? Should it matter between safety and a "normal" shot?

See the rules I quoted above. It's a foul (unless it's a "pushout" shot called just after the break in 9-ball). The number of rails hit is irrelevant. Safeties are judged the same way as "normal" shots.

pj
chgo
 
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tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ah - got it! Thanks much to everyone. I did look at BCA rules, APA, Wiki, etc., but some of the language confused me... the discussions here have definitely helped. I know how trying it can be in a community when all the materials are there for the reading, but someone posts the questions anyhow... Thanks for your patience!
 
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tonmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So here is a link to the updated Word doc, I think this is the right plan. We'll see how this goes, and will adjust as needed!

Thanks again for all the help.
 
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