Referees are not active participants in match play. This means Referees will not presume a particular shot might result in a “bad hit” or any other condition that could produce a foul, and will not make calls or rulings unless officially requested to do so. Referees are typically assigned to more than one table at any given time,
but even in those cases when only one table is involved in competition, the following procedures must be followed:

  1. In most instances, Referees will not enter the playing area unless the match has been temporarily halted by a CURRENT MATCH PLAYER. You halt a match by calling a REFEREE TIMEOUT, which allows time for the Referee to get into position to view the upcoming shot. A Referee’s decision is final. Do not simply look over at the Referee, or ask the Referee to WATCH THE HIT, expecting some action to be taken. You must first halt the match and request a Referee to make a call or ruling.

    PLAYERS are not allowed to halt a match using the REFEREE TIME-OUT in an ill-timed manner, or in situations that are obviously unnecessary. PLAYERS that abuse the use of the Referees are subject to loss of time-outs. Here are some examples of ill-timed and unnecessary use of a Referee:

    a. You ask the Referee to “just watch what happens next” without calling a REFEREE TIME-OUT.

    b. Your opponent is shooting at a loose ball and no potential foul is obvious.

    c. You wait until the last possible second to call the REFEREE TIME-OUT. If the player has already stroked the shot, the call automatically goes to the shooter.

    Using the REFEREE TIME-OUT as a means to SHARK opponents will not be tolerated. Please remember that it is the responsibility of the PLAYERS, not the Referee, to be
    aware of potential infractions. Study the table situation and call a REFEREE TIME-OUT if you feel that an infraction is likely to occur. The Referees are here to help you.
  2. Contested plays will be handled by calling a REFEREE TIMEOUT, and asking the Referee if he or she was watching the table at that time and was in a good enough position to make a call or ruling. If the Referee replies affirmatively, the Referee
    will make a binding call.
  3. Situations involving potential rules violations are also handled by calling a REFEREE TIME-OUT. If necessary, the
    National Rules will be checked. The Tournament Director (or Floor Manager) may also be consulted in order to render a
  4. Situations not requiring calls or rulings may be brought to the attention of the Referee by the PLAYER ONLY. No other person is allowed to ask for Referee assistance in NON-PLAYING situations. If the request is reasonable, the Referee will
    monitor the situation and take appropriate action. If the problem cannot be solved to everyone’s satisfaction, the
    match will be temporarily halted, the Tournament Director (or Floor Manager) will be called and the parties involved will
    discuss the issue.

Please treat the Referees with courtesy and respect. These APA League members have volunteered for this duty in order to make your competition more enjoyable. Players treating Referees in a disrespectful, demeaning, or uncooperative manner are subject to disqualification by the Tournament Director.