Northern Quarter Pool League

Guidance for Players and Referees

This guidance should be used in conjunction with the League Playing Rules, the information given here is advice, referees should use their best judgement to determine the correct application of the rules at all times.


It is reminded to all players of this league that the first rule of pool states that all players shall play in a sportsmanlike manner. It also states that the Referee is the sole judge of fair and unfair play. Repeatedly disagreeing with the referee’s decisions during a game IS unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Opinions vary, the rules do not, by choosing to play the game you are accepting that the referee of your game will use his/her personal judgement and act in an impartial manner in order to apply the rules of the game fairly and accurately.

There are a few rules which cover specific situations that may result in the end or restart of a frame;

  • 7 LOSS OF GAME including (d) clearly failing to make an attempt to play your own ball (IS THIS A DELIBERATE FOUL?)
  • 9 STALEMATE whereby a legal shot cannot be played at all, or the players are not allowing the game to progress (IN THE REFEREE’s OPINION!)

Potting an opponents ball is a foul as described in rule 5 (f). The penalty for a foul is described in rule 6.

Simply committing a foul would not ordinarily result in a loss of frame. The normal free shot penalty should be sufficient to deter a player from intentionally carrying out such fouls.

In the true spirit of the game, it is considered in the context of this pool league that players should take the utmost care to avoid committing fouls at all times without exception.

In some circumstances, of which there may be many possible permutations, some referees may consider a player committing a foul in an apparently deliberate manner, to be unsportsmanlike behaviour, especially when they appear to gain an unfair advantage from such an act.

It has been previously voted upon, by the League Captains at the meeting on the 4th July 2012, that the guidance should include notice that a player “deliberately potting an opponents ball in a manner designed to provide an unfair advantage” is indeed unsportsmanlike.

The example given in relation to this vote was described as – a player rolling their own ball up to a pocket blocked by an opposing ball and intentionally knocking the opponents ball into the pocket whilst leaving their own ball in a superior position now covering the pocket.

It is suggested that at least one factor that should be considered by the referee is to whether the player could have played a different shot, e.g. onto a different object ball or in a different manner, which was less likely to result in a foul penalty.

As noted earlier, rule 7(d) provides for an end of frame penalty if no attempt is made to play your own ball, therefore, falling drastically short of your ball could be considered LOSS OF GAME.

Rules, Referees and Disputes

The referee is not allowed to provide advice to the player, the referee may only answer questions about the rules. If in doubt about the potential outcome of a shot the player must make clear his intentions to the referee whereupon the referee will advise on his opinion based on the Official Northern Quarter Pool League Playing Rules and associated Guidance. All players should be familiar with the Playing Rules. ALL REFEREES MUST BE FULLY AWARE OF ALL THE RULES AND GUIDANCE.

In the event of a player dispute with any decision made by the referee, the Captains should be consulted in the first instance to provide to a ruling. If the Captain of the team is already a party in the disagreement (either Player or Referee) then the Vice Captain MUST take the place of the Captain in discussing the decision. Players should present their opinions only when asked, spectators should NOT provide their opinions.

If a decision cannot be reached then the match must be abandoned and referred to the League for further investigation – the match will be recorded as abandoned.


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