All matches of the 2016/2017 season of the Northern Quarter Pool League have now been completed, however due to a dispute the final outcome of the top two positions of the league table will not be determined until the next meeting in December.
The dispute was raised regarding a decision made by the referee in the third game of the match in round 26, between the Wheatsheaf Oaks and Wheatsheaf Trotters, whereby the home team referee made a decision to disqualify an away team player using powers as provided under rule 1.
Abridged transcription of Rule 1
… It is intended that the players and teams should play 8 Ball Pool in the true spirit of the game and in a sportsmanlike manner.
… the referee is the sole judge of what is fair and unfair play. The referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that these rules are observed.
Further discussion required
This incident was briefly raised at the November meeting but, due to incomplete attendance, it was felt no decision could be made at that time and this was deferred to December. This type of situation has been the subject of a number of disagreements over the course of the season and before, with no resolution`reached in the previous discussions, despite the various agreements on policy and guidance offered.
Due to the discomfort and uncertainty of a number of members in their continued participation in this league, it is felt that a thorough discussion of this subject is needed in order to hopefully resolve the situation once and for all.
Important – December meeting 7:30PM
It is expected that all Captains will be in attendance at this meeting in order to fully discuss the points below. It is hoped that all Captains will take time to discuss these ideas with their own team’s players in order to obtain their opinions before attending the meeting.
To enable a calm and effective discussion of these points to take place, speakers at this meeting will be restricted to the team Captains and the appointed league officers.
Whilst all members are welcome to listen to the discussion, anybody who cannot obey this request will be politely asked to leave the meeting. Please ensure your opinions, if any, are made clear to your Captain beforehand.
Spirit of the game
Aim: to determine what actually constitutes the true spirit of the game, especially in respect of this amateur, fun and friendly pub based league.
Notes: in this game the main aim is potting all of a set of balls before the opponent, it is intended to be a fast and simple game, especially when played in a social environment. The game has an element of chance, and whilst a certain amount of strategy may be employed, it is not the same game as snooker and games should not be drawn out unnecessarily.
Fair and unfair play
Aim: to discuss examples of what may or may not constitute unfair play, again with regard to the nature of the league and as appropriate to the ability of the players taking part.
Notes: the league is most certainly not intended to be a world class competition, players of varying levels of skill are welcomed and participate with the intention of enjoyment whilst socialising. We accept that all players are expected to have a competitive spirit, however enjoyment in participation is of utmost importance to the league and its members. Generally it is assumed that most players are aware of what is acceptable play and what is blatantly unsportsmanlike.
Aim: to discuss the role of the referee in enforcing the rules as written, and to determine how, in the context of an amateur league where there is perhaps a potential for bias, any opinion should or should not be employed.
Notes: since we do not have the luxury of employing fully independent referees for each match, the home team is expected to provide such officiation. The majority of the rules are explicit and the application is obvious. Sometimes unexpected outcomes may happen. These can be because of ability, inebriation, distractions or even the quality of equipment such as imperfect tables and cues. Where there is any doubt, caution should be employed when making a decision.
Aim: to discuss the meaning of necessary action and what options for such action should be available to the referee during a match.
Notes: there are a number of rules which allow for actions such as loss of game or stalemate to be declared in defined situations. The purpose of the discussion of this point is to determine what action may be deemed reasonable for a referee in a particular situation that is not covered by those specific rules. It is not the intended purpose of the referee to interfere in the outcome of any game.