APA Junior Championships

Rules For Participation

APA’s Championship Tournaments are operated and administered by American Poolplayers Association, Inc. and its affiliated Leagues in Canada, Japan and Singapore (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.

This is a handicapped tournament.  Skill levels are calculated using The Equalizer® Handicapping System.  For more information regarding The Equalizer®, refer to the APA Official Team Manual (“OTM”).

Tournament slots are obtained from your Local League Operator.

The following are rules applicable to this Tournament:

  1. APA Championship Tournament rules apply.
  2. For participation in the Junior Championships, you must have entered and paid the entry fee prior to the deadline of May 17, 2024.
  3. Players must be between the ages of 7-18 at the time of the event.
  4. Players must be enrolled as a student or have graduated from high school.
  5. Players must have been on an active (Spring Session) APA roster and must have played at least four times in that Session in the League area the player represents.
  6. Players must have at least 10 scores in 8-Ball and/or 9-Ball within the last two years by the entry deadline of May 17, 2024. A combination of scores from the two formats is allowed. Any player that has only 8-Ball scores or fewer than 10 scores in 9-Ball will play at a higher skill level.
  7. In order to conduct a fair and equal tournament for all APA players, APA must ensure that all participants are playing at skill levels that are not below their true ability. Accordingly, the APA may disqualify any player if, in APA’s sole judgment and absolute discretion, the player is deemed by APA to be playing at a skill level below their true ability. The determination of whether a player is playing at a skill level below their true ability is necessarily subjective; APA is the sole judge of a player’s ability and may make such a determination in its absolute judgment and discretion.
  8. Any player entering or participating under fraudulent circumstances will be disqualified.
  9. APA has the absolute and final authority to make all rulings affecting participation in the APA Juniors Championships program, including player ability (i.e., correction of skill levels) and disqualification. Disqualification from this event for any reason will mean forfeiture of all titles, awards, prizes, and minimum two year suspension from the League. Disqualification can occur prior to, during, or after the event.
  10. The APA has the authority, at its sole discretion, to make modifications to the rules, format, or any other aspect of the Event.
  11. Release of APA and Tournament Sponsors: I, the participant, being of lawful age, as inducement for and in consideration of the agreement by American Poolplayers Association, Inc. (APA), that I may take part in this Event, hereby covenant and agree that the APA and all other sponsors and their respective affiliates, directors, officers, employees and agents (collectively Releasees) shall not be liable for any damages arising from personal injuries, including death, and/or damage to property that I may sustain in any way which result from or arise out of my preparation for or any participation in the Event. I hereby fully and forever release and discharge and covenant not to sue Releasees from any and all claims, demands, damages, rights of action or causes of action, present or future, whether the same be known or unknown, anticipated, or unanticipated, resulting from or arising out of my preparation for or participation in the Event. I acknowledge and agree that participation in the Event may involve the risk of such personal injury, including death, and/or damage to property, and I hereby assume full responsibility for any risk of such personal injury, including death and damage to property. I warrant that I am in good health and have no physical condition that would prevent me from participating in the Event. I further agree for myself, my successors, heirs, assigns, executors and administrators to indemnify and hold Releasees harmless from and against all claims and suits for personal injuries, including death, and damage to property, real or personal, caused by my act or omission and arising out of my involvement in the Event, and from all judgments and costs recovered in said claims and suits, and from all expenses incurred in defending said claims or suits. This Release is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by law, and if any portion is held invalid, the balance shall continue in full legal force and effect. This Release shall be binding on my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns. I have read and fully understand the above Release.
  12. Recording and Reproduction: I consent to the taping (audio and video), and/or photographing of my participation in this Event, and grant the APA and all other sponsors the right to use and reproduce my name, voice, and likeness in any and all photographs and video reproductions taken or made of myself for any purpose whatsoever. I release the APA and all other sponsors, their employees, agents, successors and assigns from any liability whatsoever for such use and reproduction of my name, voice, and likeness. I agree that the photographs, videos and any sound tracks taken or made of me are the exclusive property of the APA and/or all other sponsors, and I waive any right of inspection or review.
  13. If this Event is cancelled, for any reason, I understand that my only remedy is a refund of my entry fee.
  14. Roster changes will not be accepted at the tournament site.
    *Dates, times, format and tournament rules are tentative and subject to change.

Game Rules

Practice is not allowed on any Tournament table, except during specified periods, and only with the permission of the Tournament Director. You are encouraged to practice on tables designated for that purpose, and are asked to share the practice tables with any other contestants who wish to use them.  If there is a wait for the practice tables, we ask that you limit your practice time to between 10 and 15 minutes.  Designated practices tables are reserved for those contestants who have not yet been eliminated from the Tournament.  Practice is not allowed on Tournament tables during play, even when Tournament tables are not in use.

Forfeits will be declared after 15 minutes has lapsed since a match has been called. If a player has registered for the Tournament, a Tournament Official will attempt to locate the player before a forfeit is declared.  However, it is the player’s responsibility to be present for their matches when they are called.  The Tournament Director determines when a match is officially forfeited.

Coaching is not permitted. Violations of this rule could result in a foul being called.  You are advised not to confer about your match with anyone other than your opponent, a Referee, or the Tournament Director as doing so could be perceived as coaching.

Scoresheets, with innings recorded and Defensive Shots marked, must be kept by either both players or by an Official Scorekeeper. If it is determined a player is not marking Defensive Shots, then the APA Handicap Review Committee may consider that grounds to raise that player’s skill level.  Scoresheets must be signed and turned in to the Control Table to receive credit for match wins.  Refusal to sign a scoresheet does not affect any match protest.  It is the responsibility of the winning player to make sure the Control Table receives proper scoresheets.

9-BALL: Mark all balls pocketed, dead balls, 9-on-the-Snaps (9OS) and Break-and-Runs (BR).  Patches for 9-on-the-Snaps and Break-and-Runs are awarded.  Patches must be claimed by the player at the Control Table when the scoresheets are turned in for processing.  Verify the scoresheet with an Official Scorekeeper after each rack.

NOTE:  Any player caught fraudulently keeping score by adding innings, altering scoresheets in any way, or marking scoresheets in a way that does not reflect the play that occurred on the table is subject to disqualification.  

Proper attire must be worn at all times in and around the tournament site. Refer to the Tournament Dress Code in the Event Program or on poolplayers.com for information on what is considered proper attire.  The Tournament Director shall determine whether your attire is proper, and is responsible for requiring players whose attire is not proper to change.  If the Tournament Director requires to you change your attire, compliance with the Tournament Director’s direction is not a just cause for delaying the progress of a match.  The dress code will be enforced.

You are not permitted to wear earphones of any type during Tournament play. This includes ear buds, headphones, headsets, Bluetooth devices, etc.  Hearing aids and non-electronic earplugs are allowed.

Cell phone and smartwatch use is prohibited while a player is taking their turn at the table.

As a reminder, do not touch the cue ball while it is still rolling. Doing so may result in a foul.

If a shot looks like it may result in a “bad hit,” stop the game and get a Tournament Official to observe the shot and make the call. Either player may stop the game to ask for a call.  The decision of the Tournament Official is final.  If a shot is close and a Tournament Official is not called, the ruling will most likely be in the shooter’s favor.

If Higher Level Tournament play is to be truly meaningful and rewarding, then those who play below their true ability must be penalized. Any evidence of a player playing at a skill level below their true ability should be reported immediately to a Tournament Official at the Control Table.  You must certify that your skill level, as shown on the scoresheet of each match you play, is your Highest Skill Level as that term is defined here: Highest Skill Level Definition. Players with excessive skill level movement could be disqualified from the tournament.

The primary objective of APA has always been to provide players of all abilities with the opportunity to enjoy friendly competition. Every player hopes to do well, and it is expected that all players will do their best to win.  However, each player is also expected to accept defeat in a sportsmanlike manner.

Two common examples of bad sportsmanship are: conceding an unfinished game; and breaking down a cue during play.  Both forms of conduct are frowned upon by professionals, and have no place in amateur play.  All players are asked to allow opponents to finish the game before racking the balls or breaking down cues.  No penalty will be assessed unless, in the determination of the Tournament Director, such sportsmanship violations by a player are deemed excessive.

Fouls can also cause sportsmanship issues to arise.  A foul is a foul and should be observed as such regardless of whether the player believes that they will get caught failing to disclose a foul.  A professional player will call a foul on himself; likewise, good sportsmanship dictates that amateur players acknowledge when they commit a foul.  However, it is technically a player’s responsibility to protect the outcome of their match.  Therefore, all players are advised to pay attention to their games and be aware of when their opponent commits a foul.

Laser devices, mechanical cues and training/practice aids may not be used in Tournament play. Some specialty cues may be allowed on a limited basis.  Special equipment, such as bridges and cue extenders, are legal. Players are expected to use equipment consistent with its intended purpose.  In addition, players must use the rack, cue ball and object balls provided at each table.  Additional equipment guidelines applicable during Tournament play are set forth below:

Jump Cues/Shafts/Tips: Are not allowed.

Break Cues/Shafts/Tips: Sometimes combined with jump cues to form a jump-break cue, these cues/shafts/tips are allowed in Tournament play for breaking. 

Regular Shooting Cues/Shafts/Tips: These cues/shafts/tips may be used to perform jump shots, massé shots and break shots in all APA League and Tournament play.  You may not “break down” your Regular Shooting Cue to perform a jump shot.

NOTE 1:  Using a regular shooting cue to break does not qualify it as a “break cue”.

NOTE 2:  Wheelchair players and players who are limited in their height are allowed to use a junior cue or “shortie” as a regular shooting cue.

NOTE 3:  You may only switch cues/shafts/tips between racks, immediately following your break shot, or in instances of cue/shaft/tip failure that prevent the cue/shaft/tip from performing. 

Any equipment bearing any message or image that is sexually explicit or political nature, or may be offensive due to the use of profanity or the promotion of violence, alcoholism or substance abuse, shall be prohibited from use in this Tournament.  The Tournament Director shall have the right to inspect a player’s cue(s) at any time during the Tournament without prior notice to the player, and if the cue(s) are found to be in violation of this rule, the player shall immediately cease using the objectionable cue during Tournament play, or face immediate disqualification and forfeiture of all prize money earned and/or entry fee paid.

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, 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.

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.

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