Want to Be Home By 11pm on League Night?


Do you show up on time, start on time & STILL don’t finish until after midnight?  Late nights can cause many players to give up leagues in the face of early morning work schedules but can anything be done?  Absolutely!  The rules & guidelines are already in place but it’s up to teams & players to make it happen.

Here are some tips to keep your League Night
from dragging on and on and on...


  1. Split tables - There is a rule on pg 24-25 of your rulebook that states "You must split tables if not in the 4th match 2 hrs after the scheduled start time, unless there is no 2nd table available or both teams agree not to split. Splitting tables can save you as much as 1-2 hours.

    Still think you’re stuck with late nights when it’s not possible to split tables, right?  Wrong!  You may be surprised to see how much time you save just by following the rules.

  2. Be ready to play - There is a rule on pg 20 (section 4c) of your rulebook that states "play must be continuous".  Be ready to start your match BEFORE your called to play. If you eat, drink, potty, go outside, put cues together, practice, make phone calls, etc.,  you can save  about 5 minutes per match, or a total of 15 min for 3 out of 5 matches.

  3. Put players up quickly - A suggested guideline is to spend 2 minutes or less to decide which of your players to put up in the next match; however,  there’s no reason the team putting up 1st in each match can’t make that decision before the end of the previous match, saving an additional 2 minutes per match. Total time saved = 10 min.

  4. Go to the table when it’s your turn - (Continuous play - pg 20, section 4c) 10 seconds may not seem like much, but if 2 players average about 20 turns each in match, that’s 40 total turns at the table x the 10 seconds to get to the table for a total of 6 minutes per match.  After 5 games, the total time saved = 30 min.

  5. Timely shots - A suggested guideline is a player should take no more than 20 seconds per shot (45 on hard shots).  The winner of a typical 9-Ball match needs 31 points.  Let's say 25 successful shots, plus 20 misses.  The winner alone will take an extra 225 seconds (almost 6 minutes) by averaging just 5 seconds over the guideline.  If the loser takes half as many shots at 5 seconds more than the guideline, each match is lasting 9 minutes longer.  Total time saved = 45 minutes.

  6. Limit time-outs to 1 minute - The guideline on pg 26 of the rulebook states "Coaching time-outs should not exceed 1 minute".  Lets say you take 2 minutes per time-out.  In each match there are probably an average of 4 time-outs per player. That's 40 time-outs. Total time saved = 40 minutes.


If you add up all the time you saved in #2-6 above, you get 150 min. or 2 ½ hrs.  Instead of finishing league play at 1 AM, you’d be getting home by 11 PM.
  • Maybe your team only has 1 or 2 of the issues above?  These estimates are conservative.
  • Consider the effect of taking 40 sec. per shot or try calculating 5 minute time-outs.

So if you’re frustrated over late nights try simply following the rules & guidelines and cut 1 - 2 hrs off your match time. Remember, once you & your team have decided on a course of action, practice makes perfect …like any other fundamental skill. Then it’s up to
you how long to stay out!