APA Pool LeaguesAPA 8-Ball Format

Official Team Manual (pdf)

Equalizer® Handicap System
A Typical League Night

The following is a brief summary of the APA 8-Ball rules and format.  For more comprehensive information click on the links above.
 
  • HANDICAP SYSTEM - Any skill level can compete on an equal playing field with the Equalizer® Handicap System.  The 8-Ball handicap system has Skill Levels ranging from 2 thru 7, 2 being the lowest Skill Level, and 7 being the highest. When a Skill Level 4 has to play a Skill Level 6, the 4 only has to win three games while the 6 has to win five games. Scroll down to view the yellow handicap chart below.
    Learn more about the Equalizer® Handicap System.

  • 23-RULE - Ideally, a Team Captain should invite players of all Skill Levels to be on their team.  The 23-Rule prevents anyone from stacking their team with all 6's and 7's. A team cannot play five players in one night whose Skill Levels add to a total exceeding 23.  This means that all teams need lower level players to field a legal team.

  • BALL IN HAND - Any foul results in ball in hand anywhere on the table for the opponent except a scratch on the break.  When a player scratches on the break, his/her opponent gets ball in hand behind the line.

  • RAIL AFTER CONTACT - A player must either pocket a ball or hit a rail after contact with the object ball.  ANY BALL (including the cue ball, or one of the opponents balls) must hit a rail after legal contact with the object ball is made.  If a ball DOES NOT hit a rail AFTER contact with the object ball, it is considered a ball in hand foul for the opponent.

  • THE APA 8-BALL FORMAT IS NOT A "CALL POCKET" FORMAT - The APA 8-Ball format is played just like the pro's play 9-Ball on TV.  As long as a player does not foul during their shot, and pockets one of their balls (even if it does not go in the intended pocket), they must continue shooting.  Even novice players are invited to play in the APA Pool League and this rule helps to level the playing field so that Everyone Can Play ... Anyone Can Win!

  • "MARK YOUR POCKET" ON THE 8-BALL - The only shot that must be called is the 8-Ball.  A player must mark his/her pocket with any item except a piece of chalk. This rule eliminates any confusion or disputes as to which pocket is being called.  Since a piece of chalk is almost always on the table anyway it may not be a clear indicator of which is the intended pocket; therefore, most common pocket markers are a book of matches, lighter, cell phone, wallet, poker chip, patch, etc.  Many players/teams enjoy using a specially designated talisman as their pocket marker.

  • ON THE BREAK - On the break, "you are what you sink".  If the player sinks only solids on the break, the player must continue to shoot solids (same rule applies if a player sinks only stripes on the break).  If both a solid and a stripe are pocketed on the break, the table is still open.  Mixed combos (a solid and a stripe) are allowed on an open table, however, the 8-Ball cannot be the first ball used in any combo.  When a player scratches on the break, his/her opponent gets ball in hand behind the line.
 
 
League Play

A coin flip determines which team picks a player to shoot the night's first match. When a player is chosen they are announced to the opposing team. The opposing team then looks at the Skill Levels listed on the scoresheet and uses this information to decide who on their team is best suited to play that player and the match is set.

Every APA player is assigned a "Skill Level" which lets teams know what the approximate playing ability of each player is. Learn How Your Handicap is Calculated.  A player's Skill Level also dictates the number of games that a player must win in order to win their match.  A handicap chart can be found on the scoresheet and is used to determine the number of games each player must win in a match.
 

HANDICAP "GAMES MUST WIN" CHART

 

YOUR OPPONENT

S/L

2

3

4

5

6

7

Y
O
U

2

2/2

2/3

2/4

2/5

2/6

2/7

3

3/2

2/2

2/3

2/4

2/5

2/6

4

4/2

3/2

3/3

3/4

3/5

2/5

5

5/2

4/2

4/3

4/4

4/5

3/5

6

6/2

5/2

5/3

5/4

5/5

4/5

7

7/2

6/2

5/2

5/3

5/4

5/5



Once both players are chosen, the match is started and the players race to be the first one to win their assigned number of games. The first player to win the assigned number of games claims the match and a point for their team.

With the match decided, the process is repeated with teams alternating who puts up a player first in each of the remaining four matches.

Through the five matches played, the total skill levels of the 5 players (on each team) cannot total more than 23 points. This means that teams have to be diverse in the rankings of their players. It also allows the beginner and intermediate players to benefit from the experience of the stronger players on their team.

Five matches are played in one night and a point is awarded for each match won. A team can win as many as 5 points per night plus a bonus point (assuming all fees current) for a total of 6 points per week.  The team in each division with the most points at the end of the session will be declared the Division Champions, will be awarded trophies, a $300 pay-out, and will advance to the $4000 BIG MONEY Tri-Cup event (held 3 times per year at the end of each session).  Teams that finish in  2nd , 3rd, and 4th place in a division will participate with a Wild Card team in Play-Offs at the end of each session.  The team that wins the Play-Offs will be declared the Play-Off Winners and be awarded trophies, a $200 pay-out, and entry in the BIG MONEY Tri-Cup event.
 
Teams that win their 1st round at the BIG MONEY Tri-Cup event will advance to the Vegas or Bust City Championship for the chance to win a PAID trip (hotel and travel) to Las Vegas, NV!  In Vegas, approximately 10,000 poolplayers from all over North America compete to win their share of nearly $1.5 million in cash!  Its the World's largest pool tournament and the ultimate experience for the amateur poolplayer!
 
For more information obout the The APA 8-Ball rules and format, click on the links below.
 
Official Team Manual (pdf)
Equalizer® Handicap System
A Typical League Night