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APA Championship Rules

THE FOLLOWING ARE RULES FOR PARTICIPATION APPLICABLE TO ALL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENTS (“Rules of Participation”) Combine these Rules of Participation and the specific event rules linked to below form the “Tournament Rules” applicable to the Championship Tournament(s) you participate in.

1. TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR & SKILL LEVEL DETERMINATIONS
APA’s Championship Tournaments are operated and administered by American Poolplayers Association, Inc. and its affiliated Leagues in Canada and Japan (collectively “APA”). APA, acting through its designated officials, including, but not limited to, the Handicap Review Committee (HRC), is the Tournament Director of all APA Championship Tournaments. As the Tournament Director, APA has the full, absolute and final authority to make all rulings, decisions and judgments, in its sole discretion, on all issues and matters related to all APA Championship Tournaments.

The Tournament Director’s rulings, determinations and judgments are final.

The Tournament Director:

● is the sole judge of each player’s ability for the purposes of handicapping all handicapped APA Championship Tournaments;
● has the authority to set a player’s skill level in its sole judgment and discretion; and
● may raise a player’s skill level at any time before, during or after any Tournament in which that player participates to whatever skill level it determines is the player’s Highest Skill Level in its sole judgment and discretion; and
• has the authority to disqualify any player(s) or team(s) from an APA Championship Tournament and may exercise that authority in its sole judgment and discretion at any time – prior to, during, or after the Tournament. The following may constitute grounds for disqualification:

a. excessive skill level movement,
b. a player being deemed to not be an amateur;
c. participation of an ineligible player;
d. irregularities on, falsification of or inaccurate information included on, any Tournament scoresheet or documents provided to the Tournament Director by your League Operator relating to a player’s or team’s qualification for the Tournament in which the player or team participated,
e. fraudulent actions or omissions of any nature,
f. sportsmanship violations or conduct deemed to discredit or affect the integrity of the Tournament, APA or the sport; or
g. any other behavior deemed deserving of disqualification by the Tournament Director.

After you have registered for a handicapped APA Championship Tournament, and certified that the skill level reflected in your registration is your Highest Skill Level, if the Tournament Director determines that your certified skill level is lower than your Highest Skill Level, or if your skill level increases during the Tournament due to your performance at the Tournament, you may be  disqualified from the Tournament and/or suffer other penalties.  

NOTE: If you have improved your pool playing ability through practice prior to the APA Championship Tournament such that your assigned skill level no longer reflects your Highest Skill Level, you must certify your skill level as being higher than your assigned skill level when you register for the Tournament, or prior to playing your first match in the Tournament. If you believe you will play better in the APA Championship Tournament than you do during League play because of choices you make at the Tournament, such as consuming fewer alcoholic beverages than you consume during League play, you must likewise certify your skill level as being higher than your assigned skill level. Claims that you are playing above your skill level because you practiced prior to participating in the APA Championship Tournament or because you consumed fewer alcoholic beverages during the Tournament than you do during regular League play will not be considered sufficient grounds to challenge a disqualification or other penalty.

By participating in an APA Championship Tournament, you acknowledge that determinations regarding a player’s ability and Highest Skill Level are necessarily subjective and that each such determination is unique and therefore applicable only to that specific player; and any action or inaction taken by the Tournament Director with regard to a particular player has no effect on, and will not limit, the authority of the Tournament Director to take whatever action the Tournament Director considers appropriate, if any, regarding you or other players.

2. HANDICAPPED TOURNAMENT
Except for the Masters Championship, APA Championship Tournaments are handicapped Tournaments. The objective is for the APA Championship Tournaments to be fair and equitable for all players so that any player has the opportunity to compete in their match and advance. Skill levels are calculated using The Equalizer®, APA’s proprietary scoring and handicapping system  (“The Equalizer®”).

3. THE EQUALIZER®
The Equalizer® calculates your skill level based on data from your prior performances in APA League and tournament matches. The Equalizer® calculates skill levels using mathematical formulas that analyze data from match scoresheets, your win/loss record, and judgments of League Operators and/or APA based on your performance data and/or observations of your performance and ability. While The Equalizer® calculates the skill level assigned to you, you must certify that your skill level in any APA Championship Tournament is your Highest Skill Level. The definition of your Highest Skill Level can be read here:  Highest Skill Level Definition

Using The Equalizer®, the Tournament Director may adjust your skill level up or down during the course of a Championship Tournament based on your performance in that Tournament. By participating in a Championship Tournament, you acknowledge and agree that The Equalizer® is a highly protected, confidential and proprietary trade secret belonging to APA and agree to its use in calculating your skill level during the Tournament(s) in which you participate, unless you are participating in the Masters Championship.

4. APPLICABLE RULES
The rules contained in APA’s Official Team Manual and The Official APA/CPA 8-Ball & 9-Ball Game Rules Booklet (collectively “APA’s Standard Rules”) are applicable to all APA Championship Tournament matches to the extent that they do not conflict with the Tournament Rules applicable to your event which include these Rules for Participation. Any Local Bylaws, applicable to your matches played in your Local League, or interpretations of the APA Standard Rules made by your Local League Operator that conflict with the Tournament Rules, or the Tournament Director’s interpretation of APA’s Standard Rules, do not apply. To the extent that APA’s Standard Rules conflict with, or are inconsistent with, the Tournament Rules, the Tournament Rules shall control. The Tournament Director’s interpretation of APA’s Standard Rules and the Tournament Rules is final.

5. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
Only players who are eligible for a specific APA Championship Tournament are allowed to participate in that Tournament. If an ineligible player participates in an APA Championship Tournament, that player, and potentially, the player’s team may be disqualified. The eligibility requirements for all APA Championship Tournaments include but are not limited to you qualifying for a slot in that Tournament, being a current APA member, being at least 18 years of age, meeting the specific eligibility requirements associated with the Tournament you are participating, and not being affiliated with the ownership and operation of any APA League as stated below. The specific eligibility requirements for the APA Championship Tournament you are participating in, if any, will be stated in the Tournament Rules applicable to that specific Tournament which are linked to below.

Individuals affiliated with the ownership or operation of any APA League are ineligible for all APA Championship Tournaments. Such individuals include, but are not limited to: all individuals that own APA franchises, or shareholders, members, officers, or directors of any entities that own APA franchises (collectively “League Operators” and each a “League Operator”); any spouse, significant other, relationship-partner of a League Operator; any member of a household in which a League Operator resides; any person involved in the computation of skill levels or in a position to adjust, change, influence or manipulate team rosters or players’ skill levels; any other person affiliated with a League Operator.

Your eligibility may also be affected by additional requirements stated in your League’s Local Bylaws. Questions about your eligibility must be directed to APA before you travel to the tournament site. APA shall have sole discretion to decide whether a particular player is eligible to participate in an APA Championship Tournament, and APA’s determination regarding a player’s eligibility is final.

6. THE TEAM SKILL LEVEL LIMIT RULE (IF APPLICABLE)
The Team Skill Level Limit rule will be enforced throughout all APA Championship Tournaments, except the Master Championship. For more information regarding the Team Skill Level Limit rule, and how it is applied, see APA’s Standard Rules and the Tournament Rules applicable to your specific APA Championship Tournament linked to below. You are not allowed to add a player to your team’s roster in order to satisfy the Team Skill Level Limit rule. The skill levels of ineligible players will not be counted for the purposes of determining whether a team is capable of satisfying the Team Skill Level Limit rule.

7. HANDICAP MANIPULATION/“SANDBAGGING” WILL NOT BE TOLERATED
By participating in an APA Championship Tournament, you are agreeing to not engage in handicap manipulation or sandbagging, and acknowledging that handicap manipulation, or actions that have the appearance of handicap manipulation, compromise the fairness and integrity of the Tournament, will not be tolerated, and can lead to your disqualification.

8. PROTESTS
All protests must be made to the Tournament Director in a sportsmanlike manner. Protests submitted by a team must be submitted by the Team Captain. There is a $50.00 filing fee for any protest, which is refundable if the filing player/team wins the protest. Anyone who disrupts an APA Championship Tournament, causes a scene, or causes other problems at or around the Tournament site will lose the right to protest. The Tournament Director will immediately consider the protest and issue a final decision in the matter. APA, as Tournament Director, is the highest authority. Any rulings made by the Tournament Director are final.

9. DISQUALIFICATION
By participating in any APA Championship Tournament, you acknowledge:

● that the Tournament Director has the authority to disqualify any player from an APA Championship Tournament and that the Tournament Director may exercise that authority in its sole judgment and discretion at any time prior to, during, or after the Tournament;
● that the following actions may constitute grounds for disqualification:

a. excessive skill level movement,
b. irregularities in, or falsification of, any Tournament scoresheet or documents relating to your eligibility or qualification for an APA Championship Tournament,
c. fraudulent actions, or omissions of whatever nature,
d. sportsmanship violations or conduct deemed to discredit or affect the integrity of an APA Championship Tournament, APA or the sport; or
e. any other behavior deemed deserving of disqualification by the Tournament Director.

● any disqualified player will be deemed to have forfeited all titles, awards, and prize money they would have otherwise been entitled to; and
● each player disqualified before, during or after a Championship event is subject to a minimum two-year suspension of their APA membership.

Appeal Process For Excessive Skill Level Movement Disqualification: If the HRC disqualifies a player or team, the player, or team, will have the right to appeal the disqualification. The appeal must be submitted in writing immediately after the player/team is notified of the disqualification. The written appeal will be submitted to, and reviewed by, the HRC. The disqualified player, or, if a team is disqualified, then the Team Captain and an additional team representative, will be given an opportunity to meet with the HRC and speak in support of their appeal, and answer any of the HRC’s questions, if any. If the HRC finds the appeal is justified, it will revoke the disqualification. If the HRC denies the appeal the disqualification will be final. If the disqualified player/team chooses not to appeal, using this process, the disqualification will be final.

Appeal Process For All Other Disqualifications: If a player, or team, is disqualified for a reason other than excessive skill level movement, the player, or team, will have the right to submit a written appeal of the disqualification to the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director may consider the appeal based solely on the written statement or allow the player, or Team Captain, to speak in support of the appeal. If the Tournament Director determines that the appeal is justified, it will revoke the disqualification. If the Tournament Director denies the appeal, the disqualification will be final. If the disqualified player/team chooses not to appeal, using this process, the disqualification will be final.

10. OBLIGATION TO PRESENT & CHECK IDENTIFICATION OF ALL PLAYERS
All participants must have a current valid photo ID in the form of a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver identification card, a military ID, or a passport (collectively a “Photo ID”). Players must have their Photo ID with them at all times during any APA Championship Tournament and should present their Photo ID to their opponent without having to be asked. It is the responsibility of every player to verify that all opposing players have current valid Photo IDs that positively identify them as being the person shown on the scoresheet. Do not assume a player is who they say they are. If an opposing player has not voluntarily presented their Photo ID to you for verification, it is your responsibility to request that the opposing player present their Photo ID and to be satisfied as to the opposing player’s identity prior to the lag. If you are not satisfied with the identity of an opposing player, you must immediately call over a Tournament Official to examine the identity of the questioned player. If the Tournament Official cannot readily verify the player’s identity from the Photo ID, they may consult the Tournament Director. The determination of the Tournament Director regarding the identity of the player, is made in the Tournament Director’s sole discretion and judgment, and is final. If you fail to verify the identity of an opponent and the opposing player turns out to be an imposter or to not have a valid Photo ID, you may be bound by the results of the match and you may not be granted any relief or remedy, in the Tournament Director’s sole judgment and discretion. If a player is put up to play and does not have their Photo ID, the match may be forfeited to the opponent without right of protest or appeal; regardless of the reason the player does not have a Photo ID. It is no excuse that a player’s Photo ID was lost, left somewhere, or that the player needs to go get it. An imposter, a player who cannot verify their identity, or a player who enters or participates in an APA Championship Tournament under fraudulent circumstances, is subject to immediate disqualification from the Tournament and is subject to an indefinite suspension from further participation in the APA, if in APA’s sole judgment and discretion such a suspension is warranted.

11. RULES OF CONDUCT
APA has established, and will strictly enforce, the following Rules of Conduct which are applicable at all APA Championship Tournaments and all other Higher Level Tournaments:

a. No loud, abusive or profane language will be tolerated. You became an APA member to have a good time and to enjoy some friendly competition. If you experience a problem, one of the Tournament Officials will address it. Simply bring the matter to their attention. Remember that nearly every ruling will be seen as favoring one side or the other. Each team and player are required to accept official rulings without causing a scene.
b. Unsportsmanlike conduct directed toward an opposing player, team or Tournament Official will not be tolerated.
c. Anyone involved in an incident that involves either physical abuse, violence, or the throwing of an item will be immediately disqualified, and immediately banned from the Tournament site.
d. Anyone caught hitting a cue against a table, wall, floor, etc., or recklessly swinging a cue will be immediately disqualified and immediately banned from the Tournament site.
e. Abusive behavior directed to the Tournament Director or any of their designees, including Tournament Officials, will not be tolerated and will be grounds for penalization, disqualification and/or a ban from the tournament site.
f. Excessive slow play will not be tolerated. If your excessive slow play becomes a problem, and remains a problem after you are warned about it, you may be penalized.

The penalties for violating any of the Rules of Conduct detailed above are as follows:

Except for incidents of slow play, a warning may or may not be given, and the Tournament Director can issue any of the four penalties below, regardless of whether any penalty has been previously issued, depending upon the severity of the situation.

Penalty Level 1: Your opponent will be given ball‐in‐hand. If your opponent is still shooting, or already has ball‐in‐hand, then that player will be allowed to shoot until missing, and then be given ball‐in‐hand again.

Penalty Level 2: Your opponent will be granted the game in 8-Ball.  In 9‐Ball, your opponent will be granted the game, along with points for all balls remaining on the table.

Penalty Level 3: Your opponents will be granted the match.

Penalty Level 4: You will be ejected and/or disqualified.

NOTE: If the violation or disturbance that caused the Tournament Director to issue a prior penalty does not cease, the Tournament Director or their designee has the right to go from one penalty level to the next penalty level immediately.

12. WARNINGS
If a warning is given in an individual match, that warning will follow the player/team throughout the remainder of the APA Championship Tournament in which the warning was given. For example, if a player is warned for sharking their opponent, and in a subsequent match that player or a player from that same team is warned for sharking their opponent, the result will be a penalty. Such warnings will be noted by a Tournament Official on the scoresheets.

Please click the image below for additional Championship Tournament Rules.

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