Tournament Format and Rules for the U.S. Amateur Championship

U.S. Amateur Championship:

U.S.
    Amateur
    Championship

    • Race-to-7
    • Combination of 8-Ball & 9-Ball
    • 5 Games of 8-Ball
    • 8 Games of 9-Ball

    Womens
      U.S. Amateur
      Championship

      • Race-to-5
      • Combination of 8-Ball & 9-Ball
      • 3 Games of 8-Ball
      • 6 Games of 9-Ball
      Double Elimination | 4 1/2 x 9 Tables | APA & Pro Rules Apply | Winner of Lag will choose Break or Format

      U.S. Amateur
      Championship Finals Match

      • Race-to-11
      • 8 Games of 8-Ball
      • 13 Games of 9-Ball
      • Single Elimination

      Womens U.S. Amateur Championship Finals Match

      • Race-to-9
      • 6 Games of 8-Ball
      • 11 Games of 9-Ball
      • Single Elimination

      Rules of Participation

      1. The Preliminary Rounds of the U.S. Amateur Championship will be conducted regionally on Sept. 23-25, 2016 (unless otherwise indicated). Championship Rounds will take place Nov. 2-6, 2016, at Stroker’s in Palm Harbor. The size and number of Preliminary Rounds will depend upon the total number of entries. In order to hold a preliminary, locations must have a minimum of 16 participants in a division. Maximum participation is based on size and number of tables at each individual location.
      2. Men may compete in the U.S. Amateur Championship only.  The Womens U.S. Amateur Championship is open to female contestants only. Female participants may play in either the U.S. Amateur Championship or the Womens U.S. Amateur Championship, but they must choose their event before participating in the Preliminary Rounds.
      3. You must be at least 18 years of age to participate.
      4. Entry fees are as follows: Preliminary Rounds-$50 for Non-APA members ($40 for APA members). Championship Rounds-$75 for Non-APA members ($60 for APA members). Total entry fee for the participants who play in both rounds = $125 for Non-APA members and $100 for APA members. There will be no refunds to entrants who are disqualified for any reason. No other refunds will be given after June 30.
      5. All players are encouraged to seek sponsorship (businesses, Host Locations, clubs, etc.) to help pay costs associated with participating in the U.S. Amateur Championship.
      6. Matches will be a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball on 4 1/2 x 9 tables. APA and Pro rules apply.
      7. This is a double elimination tournament that features a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball. In the U.S. Amateur Championship , all matches are a race-to-7, with the exception of the final round, which is a race-to-11. In the Womens U.S. Amateur Championship , all matches are a race-to-5, with the exception of the final round, which is a race-to-9.
      8. There will be an enforced casual dress code. Detailed information to follow to all registered participants.
      9. Professional players are not allowed to participate in the U.S. Amateur Championship. APA will consult with several professional tours concerning the status of any player. In addition, players who possess professional characteristics will not be allowed to participate. Professional characteristics include, but are not limited to: making the majority of one’s income giving exhibitions, giving lessons or playing pool. Please contact the APA if you think there is any possibility that you possess professional characteristics.
        APA has a nationwide network of representatives and maintains a list of professional players throughout the country. APA intends to check the amateur status according to the above guidelines on every entrant into the U.S. Amateur Championship. Those entrants found to be in violation will be consulted and given an opportunity to appeal; however, APA has the final authority to make the judgment. Entry fees for those entrants found to be in violation will not be refunded.
      10. APA reserves the right to rule on amateur status (professional or amateur) at any time before, during, or after the event.
      11. APA reserves the right to deny participation.
      12. Anyone entering must be an APA member in good standing. Those who are locally suspended are not eligible (DOES NOT APPLY TO NON-MEMBERS).
      13. APA reserves the right to disqualify anyone entering or participating under fraudulent circumstances.
      14. Disqualification will result in loss of all titles and awards.
      15. I understand APA may contact my employer to verify my employment.
      16. APA has the authority, at its sole discretion, to make modifications to the rules, formats or any other aspect of the U.S. Amateur Championship.
      17. Release of APA & Tournament Sponsors
        I, the undersigned, being of lawful age, as inducement for and in consideration of the agreement by American Poolplayers Association, Inc. (APA), verify that I may take part in the U.S. Amateur Championship (the Event) and hereby covenant and agree that 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 warrant that I am in good health and have no physical condition that would prevent me from participating in the Event.
        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.
      18. Graphic/Video/Audio/Media Appearance Release
        In connection with my appearance at and participation in this Event and all related activities and my visit to the U.S. Amateur Championship, I give APA (and its licensees, designees and assigns) the full, unconditional and irrevocable right to (1) film, photograph, tape, record and edit me and to use my personal biographic information, including without limitation, my appearance, likeness, identity, name, nickname, behavior, actions, voice, and conversations at any time during the Event by use of any means, media or technology (collectively the “Appearance”), (2) use, broadcast, reproduce, distribute and exhibit my Appearance freely in any media or for any purpose, including for any and all advertising, promotional and commercial purposes, (3) edit, modify, adapt, make derivative works from, copyright and otherwise use my Appearance as APA chooses. I recognize that content of my Appearance (including how the content is edited or any of us may be depicted or portrayed) may be viewed as favorable, positive, humorous, embarrassing, unfavorable, or negative, and I hereby waive any claim that I may have against APA or any employee, agent, assign or licensee relating to how my Appearance is edited, depicted or portrayed in any work that may be created.  I expressly waive any claim of any right or interest in the Appearance and any compensation or other benefits for my Appearance in any media or distribution outlet. I acknowledge and agree that APA shall be the exclusive owner of all copyrights and other rights to and in connection with such Appearance, and APA shall have full rights to license others to use them in any manner at APA’s discretion.
      19. If any level of the U.S. Amateur Championship is canceled, or the place or date of any level of the U.S. Amateur is changed, for any reason, I understand that my only remedy is a refund of my entry fee.

      Official 8-Ball & 9-Ball Rules of the U.S. Amateur Championship

      HOW TO GET STARTED

      A match will result in a forfeit if a player is not at the table and ready to begin within 15 minutes of the appointed time. Real Time, as opposed to Bar Time, is the official Tournament Time. The Tournament Director determines when a match is officially forfeited.

      Players lag, with the winner of the lag having choice of game (8-Ball or 9-Ball) or the break. Once the format has been chosen, the entire set of that format must be completed before moving to the next game.

      8-Ball Game Rules
      GENERAL DESCRIPTION
      8-Ball is played with a cue ball and a normal rack of 15 object balls. The primary purpose of this game is for one player to pocket the solid balls numbered from 1 to 7 or the striped balls numbered from 9 to 15, and then calling and pocketing the 8-ball before his opponent. Choice of balls to be pocketed is made by the player legally pocketing the first ball of the game.
      RACKING
      All balls should be frozen (touching) as tightly as possible. Balls are racked with the front ball on the foot spot and the 8-ball in the center of the triangle. The breaking player may request and receive a rerack.
      BREAKING
      To be a legal break, players must break from behind the head string. The head ball or the second row of balls must be struck first and at least four object balls must be driven to the rails or a ball must be pocketed. The cue ball may not be shot into a rail before the rack. If the rack is struck, but the break does not qualify as legal, the balls are reracked and rebroken by the same player. If the rack is struck, but the break does not qualify as legal and results in a scratch, the balls are reracked and broken by the opposite player. THE RACK MUST BE STRUCK BEFORE A FOUL CAN OCCUR. Breaking safe or soft is not allowed. Breaking just hard enough to comply with this rule is not a guarantee against penalties. Remember, break as hard as you can with control.
      AFTER THE BREAK
      Various circumstances can occur upon completion of the break. They are:
      1. A foul on a legal break will result in ball-in-hand behind the head string and the incoming player has an open table as defined in "5". The incoming player may then shoot at any ball that is outside the head string. Outside the head string is determined by aligning the middle or base of the ball with the imaginary line (head string) between the centers of the two appropriate diamonds. If an object ball is dead center on the head string, or out, then it is playable. If it is in, the ball is not playable. If the two players cannot agree on an object ball being in or out, then a Tournament Official is consulted for an opinion and their opinion is final. To shoot at a ball that is in could be considered a sportsmanship violation. The cue ball must be in as described above before play can begin. It is up to the opponent to check to be sure the cue ball is in before it is shot. This is not a foul; no penalty may be assessed. If the cue ball is out, the shooter must place the cue ball behind the head string. To refuse and shoot anyway would be considered a sportsmanship violation.
      2. No balls are pocketed and it is the other player's turn.
      3. The 8-ball is pocketed. This is a win unless the player scratches, in which case he loses.
      4. A ball is pocketed;it is still the breaker’s turn and he continues shooting the category of balls he just made.
      5. A ball of each category is pocketed (example: the 6 ball and the 12-ball). Now the breaker has his choice. He may shoot at either category of balls. He may shoot any ball except the 8-ball (which would be a foul); if he does not foul, anything that goes in counts. If he were to make one of each on his second shot, he would still have an open table and a choice as after the break. If he were to miss or foul on his second shot, his opponent would have an open table. If the opponent then shoots and makes a ball, but also fouls on the shot, it is still an open table. Open table means a player can shoot a combination involving a stripe and a solid and whichever he makes, without committing a foul, would become his category for the remainder of the game.
      6. If two balls of one category and one ball of the other category are pocketed (example: 3, 6, and 10-balls) it is the shooter’s choice just as in “5” above.
      7. Occasionally, a player mistakenly starts shooting the wrong category of balls. Although it is sportsmanlike for the sitting player to remind the shooting player that he is about to foul by shooting the wrong category of balls, it is not a requirement for him to do so. Once the shooter has hit the wrong category of balls, the foul has occurred whether the ball is pocketed or not. If the ball is pocketed, it is permissible, though not recommended, that the sitting player allow the shooting player to continue shooting his balls in until he feels inclined to call the foul. The shooting player can escape penalty by quietly realizing his error and returning to shoot the correct category of balls and legally contacting one of them before his opponent calls foul, or by finishing off the wrong category of balls and legally contacting the 8-ball prior to his opponent calling a foul. In other words, the sitting player must call the foul before the shooter returns to the correct category and legally contacts one, or before the shooter pockets the remaining balls of the wrong category and legally contacts the 8 ball. Once a player makes legal contact with the 8-ball, the player assumes control of that category of wrongly pocketed balls and can win the game by legally pocketing the 8-ball. In addition, if the sitting player does not call a foul before his opponent’s turn ends, and subsequently contacts the wrong category himself, both players will assume the new category of balls for the remainder of the game. Before any foul has occurred, the shooter also may avoid penalty by asking the sitting player which category of balls he has. The sitting player must tell him the truth.
      COMBINATION SHOTS
      Combination shots are legal, but striking the correct ball first is required except in the open table situation. The 8-ball is not neutral. A player is credited with all balls he legally pockets. When a player does not pocket one of his balls, but pockets an opponent's ball, he loses his turn. The opponent gets credit for the pocketed ball. No pocketed ball is ever spotted.
      BALLS ON THE FLOOR
      Knocking the cue ball off the playing surface is a foul. If the 8-ball is knocked on the floor, it is loss of game. Knocking any other object ball on the floor is not a foul. Object balls that get knocked off the playing surface will be spotted on the foot spot. If the foot spot is taken, the ball will be placed on a line directly behind the foot spot as close to the foot spot as possible. If two or more balls are knocked on the floor, they are placed in numerical order with the lowest numbered ball closest to the foot spot; the placed balls will be frozen to one another. It might occur that a player legally pockets a ball while simultaneously knocking some other ball(s) on the floor. In this situation, it is still his turn and the ball(s) is not spotted until he misses. If the ball on the floor is one of the shooter’s balls, then it is spotted when the shooter has pocketed all of his other balls or misses.
      POCKETED BALLS
      Balls must remain in a pocket to be legal. If a ball goes in a pocket, but bounces back onto the playing surface, it is not considered pocketed. If it is the 8 ball, it is not to be considered as either a win or a loss. If it is the cue ball, it is not to be considered a scratch.

      Note 1: If a ball which has been hanging in a pocket for more than a few seconds suddenly falls in, it is to be placed back on the table where it was originally sitting. Once a ball has stopped all motion, it cannot move again without outside forces affecting it. So, if it falls in a pocket, it is to be placed back on the table where it was before it fell.

      Note 2: It occasionally happens on tables with small pockets that two balls become jammed in a pocket and are leaning over the edge of the slate to some degree. They are off the playing surface and are pocketed. Drop them in and resume playing the game unless the pocketing ends the game (8-ball or cue ball scratch when shooting the 8-ball).
      ONE FOOT ON THE FLOOR
      At least one foot must be on the floor at all times while shooting if a bridge stick is present. There is no foul, simply stop the shooter and hand him the bridge.

      Exception: Players shooting from a wheelchair must remain seated in the wheelchair while shooting.
      FOULS
      If any of the following fouls are committed, the penalty is ball-in-hand for the incoming player. Make certain you have ball-in-hand before you touch the cue ball. Confirm it with your opponent before touching the cue ball. Ball-in-hand means you get to put the cue ball anywhere on the table (with the exception of a scratch on the break which result in ball-in-hand behind the head string), and shoot any of your balls (or the 8-ball, if all of your balls have been pocketed) regardless of where that ball is. A player exercising his rights under the ball-in-hand rule may place the cue ball on the table anywhere he desires. Even after having addressed the cue ball a player may, if not satisfied with the placement, make further adjustments with the hand, cue stick or any other reasonable piece of equipment. A foul may be called only if the player fouls the cue ball while actually stroking the cue ball, meaning a double hit of the cue ball (sometimes called double clutching). The ball-in-hand rule penalizes a player for an error. Without this rule, a person can actually benefit by accidentally or purposely scratching or otherwise fouling. In the unlikely event that a game should ever become stalemated, meaning that neither player wants or can make use of ball-in-hand, then the balls would be reracked and the same player breaks.

      The following are the only fouls resulting in ball-in-hand:
      1. Anytime the cue ball goes in a pocket, on the floor, or otherwise ends up off the playing surface.
      2. Failure to hit a correct ball first. (A player who is shooting stripes must hit a striped ball first.) The 8-ball is not neutral. In general, the shooter has the advantage in close hit situations unless his opponent has asked an outside party to watch the hit. Protect yourself. If you think your opponent is getting ready to shoot a shot that could possibly be a bad hit, stop him from shooting and call a Tournament Official to watch the shot. Potential bad hit situations are usually fairly obvious and protests and disputes over these close situations can almost always be avoided if an official is asked to watch the shot. If the Tournament Official cannot determine which ball was struck first, such as a simultaneous hit, the call goes to the shooter.
      3. Failure to hit a rail after contact. A rail must be hit by either the cue ball or any other ball after the cue ball and the object ball contact. A pocketed ball counts as a rail. Even if the ball bounces back onto the playing surface, it is considered to have hit a rail, as the pocket liner if part of the rail. A sentence that should answer many questions is: ANY ball must go to a rail AFTER LEGAL contact.
      4. The object ball is frozen to a rail and the player is contemplating playing a safety. In order for the following frozen ball rule to be in effect, the opponent must declare that the ball is frozen and the player should verify. Once it is agreed that the ball is frozen, then the player must either drive the object ball to another rail (of course, it could hit another ball, which in turn hits a rail), or drive the cue ball to the rail after it touches the object ball. If the latter method of safety is chosen then the player should take care that he quite obviously strikes the object ball first. Unlike simultaneous hits between object balls, if the cue ball strikes the rail first or appears to hit both the rail and ball simultaneously, then it would be a foul unless either the cue ball or object ball went to some other rail.
      5. It is illegal and, therefore, a foul to jump a cue ball over another ball by scooping it up in the air on purpose. Accidental miscuing is not a foul unless other rules in this section are violated.
      6. Receiving illegal aid (coaching) during a match. It is not considered illegal aid to remind a player to call the 8-ball, or to tell a player a foul has occurred. Anyone may do so.
      7. Causing even the slightest movement or altering the course of the cue ball, even accidentally, is a foul. It is not a foul, however, to accidentally move any other balls (including the 8-ball) unless, during his turn at the table, a player moves a ball and it in turn comes in contact with the cue ball. Any balls moved accidentally during a shot must be replaced by the opponent after the shot is over and all balls have stopped rolling. If during the course of the shot, another ball stops in the position previously occupied by the accidentally moved ball, the opponent must place the accidentally moved ball, in an ethical manner, as close as possible to its original position. If it occurs before the shot, it must be replaced by the opponent before the shot is taken.
          Exception: If an accidentally moved ball comes in contact with the cue ball, creating a foul, no object ball will be replaced.
      8. If, during the course of a shot, the cue ball does not touch anything.
      9. Exercise caution when placing the cue ball in a ball-in-hand situation. The cue ball is always alive. If the cue ball or the hand holding or moving it, touches another ball, it is a cue ball foul and your opponent has ball-in-hand. Be especially careful when you are placing the cue ball in a tight spot.
      WAYS TO LOSE
      1. Your opponent pockets his numerical group and legally pockets the 8-ball.
      2. You pocket the 8-ball out-of-turn or knock it on the floor.
      3. When playing the 8-ball, you pocket the 8-ball in the wrong pocket or fail to properly call the pocket where the 8-ball went in.
      4. You foul the cue ball and then pocket the 8-ball.
      5. When playing the 8-ball, you scratch. You lose whether or not you pocket the 8-ball.


      6. Note: If you are shooting at the 8-ball and miss it altogether without scratching, you have fouled and your opponent has ball-in-hand, but you don’t lose because of this foul.

      7. A game is lost if you alter the course of the 8-ball or the cue ball in a game losing situation.


      8. Example: You are shooting the 4-ball, miss the pocket, and the 4-ball hits the 8-ball. The 8-ball is going towards the pocket and you reach out and stop it and try to claim that it is only a ball-in-hand foul. Wrong, it is loss of game.

        Example: You are shooting at the 8-ball and miss the pocket and the 8-ball is heading towards the wrong pocket or the cue ball is heading towards a pocket. You reach out and stop the ball and claims that it is only a ball-in-hand foul. Wrong, it is loss of game.
      HOW TO WIN
      You have won the game when all the balls of your numerical group have been pocketed and you have legally pocketed the 8-ball in a properly called pocket without scratching.

      Note: You may not play the 8-ball at the same time you play the last ball of your category. The 8-ball must be a separate shot.

      9-Ball Game Rules
      Many of the rules concerning 9-Ball are similar to those used in 8 Ball. When this is the case, it will be so indicated. The rest of the details concerning 9-Ball follow.
      GENERAL DESCRIPTION
      9-Ball is played with a cue ball and nine object balls numbered 1 through 9. 9-Ball is a rotation game, meaning the balls are shot in numerical order. The shooter must strike the lowest numbered ball on the table first. The game is over when the 9-ball is pocketed. A player retains his turn at the table as long as he strikes the lowest numbered ball first and legally pockets a ball. He need not pocket the lowest numbered ball to continue shooting. He may, for example, shoot the 1-ball into the 4-ball thus pocketing the 4. He would continue shooting and must, once again, strike the 1 ball first. If the shooter shoots the 1-ball into the 9-ball and the 9-ball is pocketed, the game is over.
      RACKING
      Nine balls are used and are racked in a diamond shape. The 1-ball is at the front of the rack and on the foot spot. The 9-ball is in the center and the rest of the object balls can be placed in any numerical order.
      BREAKING
      Combination shots are legal and extremely common in 9-Ball. Just make sure to hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first.
      AFTER THE BREAK
      Various circumstances can occur upon completion of the break. They are:
      1. A foul on a legal break will result in ball-in-hand anywhere on the table for the breaker’s opponent. Pocketed balls, if any, stay down (are not spotted), except the 9-ball.
      2. No balls are pocketed and it is the other player’s turn.
      3. The 9-ball is pocketed. This is a win unless the player scratches, in which case the 9-ball is spotted and the turn passes to his opponent.
      4. A ball or a number of balls are pocketed. It is still the breaker’s turn and he shoots at the lowest numbered ball on the table.
      5. Occasionally it occurs that a player mistakenly shoots the wrong ball. Although it is sportsmanlike for the sitting player to remind the shooting player he is about to foul by shooting the wrong ball, he is not required to do so. Once the shooter has hit the wrong ball, the foul has occurred whether the ball is pocketed or not. If the ball is pocketed, it is permissible, though not recommended, that the sitting player allow the shooting player to continue shooting until he feels inclined to call the foul. The shooting player can escape penalty by quietly realizing his error and returning to shoot the correct ball and striking it first on a shot prior to his opponent calling the foul. In other words, the sitting player must call the foul before the shooter has shot the correct ball.
      6. On the shot immediately following a legal break, the shooter may play a push out. On a push out, the cue ball is not required to contact any object ball or any rail. The player must announce his intention of playing a push out before the shot, or the shot is considered to be a normal shot. Any ball pocketed on a push out does not count and is spotted. Following a legal push out, the incoming player is permitted to shoot from that position or pass the shot back to the player who pushed out. A push out is not considered to be a foul as long as no rule is violated. An illegal push out is penalized according to the type of foul committed.
      COMBINATION SHOTS
      Combination shots are legal and extremely common in 9-Ball. Just make sure to hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first.
      BALLS ON FLOOR
      Knocking the cue ball off the playing surface is a foul. Knocking an object ball on the floor is not a foul. Object balls that get knocked off the playing surface will be immediately spotted on the foot spot. If the foot spot is taken, the ball will be placed on a line directly behind the foot spot as close to the foot spot as possible. If two or more balls are knocked on the floor, they are placed in numerical order with the lowest numbered ball closest to the foot spot. Spotted balls are frozen to one another. It might occur that a player legally pockets a ball while simultaneously knocking some other ball(s) on the floor. In this situation, the ball(s) is spotted and the player continues shooting until he misses.
      POCKETED BALLS
      Balls must remain in a pocket to be legal. If a ball goes in a pocket but bounces back onto the playing surface, it is not considered pocketed.

      Note: It occasionally happens on tables with small pockets that two balls become jammed in a pocket and are leaning over the edge of the slate to some degree. They are off the playing surface and are pocketed. Drop them in and resume playing the game unless the pocketing ends the game.
      SPOTTING BALLS
      Other than the circumstances described in BALLS ON THE FLOOR and the push out rule, the only ball that would ever be spotted would be the 9-ball when the shooter has pocketed the 9 ball and scratched or otherwise fouled. If the shooter makes the 9 ball on the break and fouls or scratches, the 9-ball (and only the 9 ball) is spotted. If the shooter is shooting at the object ball and plays it into the 9-ball and pockets the 9-ball, but scratches or otherwise fouls in the process, the 9 ball is spotted. The incoming player has ball-in-hand and will be shooting at the lowest numbered ball on the table.

      Note 1: If a ball which has been hanging in a pocket for more than a few seconds suddenly falls in, it is to be placed back on the table where it was originally sitting. Once a ball has stopped all motion, it cannot move again without outside forces affecting it. So, if it falls in a pocket, it is to be placed back on the table where it was before it fell.

      Note 2:It occasionally happens on tables with small pockets that two balls become jammed in a pocket and are leaning over the edge of the slate to some degree. They are off the playing surface and are considered pocketed. Drop them in and resume playing the game unless the pocketing ends the game.
      FOULS
      The same as 8-Ball except as follows:
      1. The exception concerning scratching on the break does not apply to 9-Ball. Scratching on the break is ball-in-hand anywhere just as other fouls.
      2. The foul concerning striking the correct ball first applies, but ignore the reference to stripes or solids.
      3. The foul concerning illegal aid still applies, but ignore the reference to reminding a player to call the 8-ball. The 9-ball does not have to be called; therefore, the pocket the 9-ball is going to be pocketed in does not have to be called.
      PLEASE NOTE:

      Coaching and timeouts are not permitted in this event.

      The three consecutive foul rule will not be used in this tournament.

      Jump cues will be allowed in this tournament. It is also permissible to break down a cue or switch cues to make a jump shot.