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GLADIATORS Quick Reference Guide

Our next season starts on May 27 and runs until August 26!

What is the Gladiators Division?

Gladiators is a division of the Rollers Pool League that offers a unique and novel format for singles 8-ball and 9-ball competition.  Two of its key features are that it offers weekly cash prizes and it does not use artificial handicaps.


Players are organized into groups called Arenas, each one between 3-5 people.  The Arenas are organized into Tiers, and if you win in your Arena one week, you will be promoted to another Arena in the next Tier up the following week.  However if you don’t win, you risk being dropped to an Arena in the next Tier down.  Higher-tier Arenas offer more lucrative prizes, but also have a higher fee.


Arena matches are played in a round-robin format, with winners being determined by total number of wins.  Two-way ties are broken by a sudden death game.  Three-way or larger ties are broken by a shoot-out (detailed below).

How does a match get played?

Let’s say, for example, there is a match being played by four players.


  1. Annabelle

  2. Brian

  3. Carly

  4. Dominic


Using the Gladiators scoresheet, the players would add themselves to the appropriate section based upon the size of the Arena.  Two-player Arenas are possible in the event someone in a Three-player Arena misses a week and does not arrange a spare, but they are never planned.


The players begin their match by playing the first round.  Players with white squares in the same Round play each other, and the same for the shaded squares.

The match continues and we reach Half Time.  The scores are very close, with Annabelle, Brian, and Carly tied at two games apiece.  However, Dominic is still very much in the game.

In the second half, we see some dramatic shifts.  Dominic has won all his games, but Annabelle and Brian have not fared so well.  Carly manages to hang on with two wins.

Carly and Dominic now must play a single sudden-death 9-ball game to break the tie.  They lag for break, unless both players agree to flip.

Carly wins the match and is promoted to an Arena in the next Tier up.  She also wins any cash prizes awarded for this Tier and is entered into the Champions Draw along with all the other Arena winners that night and might potentially win some more cash.  Annabelle has come in last and will drop to the next Tier down.  Depending on the nature of the Arena Map, Brian may also drop down.

All players verify the results by signing their initials in the Player Initial column.  The winner of the Arena is responsible for taking a picture of the scoresheet and sending it in to rollerspool@gmail.com.

How do players move between Arenas?

The precise details behind the promotion and relegation of players depends on the Arena Map.  Each season, a new map will be created, depending on the number of players that have joined.  A sample Arena Map can be found below.  Table locations are only examples for illustration.

The movement between Arenas denoted by the small rank indicators in the Arena Map (see red boxes below) and the lines to which they are associated.  The names show who is competing in that Arena on a given night.  The indicators show you which ranks will move to a different Arena after the match.  And the lines show you which Arenas those ranks will move to for the next match.  Of course, these lines must be bi-directional as players are swapping places.  The location, fee, and prize will all be included as part of the Arena’s label.  In the following example, the winner of this 3-player group would remain in Arena 1, but the 2nd and 3rd place players would both drop and be replaced by the winners of the two Arenas below this one.  All players would be charged $15 for the match, and the winner would get $30.  Table time is covered by the fee.

The Arena Map will be updated each week with last week’s results so players know which venue they should attend.  League administration reserves the right to rearrange the distribution of players within a Tier midway through the season.

How are the Arenas initially populated?

The Arena Map comes into active use on Week 3 of play.  In the first two weeks, a preliminary set of rounds are used to seed the Map.


Players are first randomly sorted into a set of Arenas with no hierarchy.  The first week’s match is played, and the fees are flat amongst all players.  For a 20-player field, this would be $15.

The top two players from the first week’s match will advance to the Upper Tier.  The remaining players will drop to the Lower Tier.  Players will be randomized again into an Arena in their Tier for the second week.

After the second week of play, the total score across both weeks will be tabulated and players will be sorted into the Arena Map based upon their performance.  A player in the Upper Tier is guaranteed to be placed within the top half of the Arenas.  Players in the Lower Tier, conversely, will be placed in the bottom half.

Notice that despite not being in the Upper Tier, Edward was able to make it into Arenas 2 and 3 since he was the top player in the Lower Tier.  While sorting players into Arenas, ties will be broken by random selection.

What happens if three or more players tie in a match?

Though unlikely, it is possible for 3 or even more players to have the same number of wins and 8-ball points at the end of a match.  If this occurs, a shootout amongst the tied players will take place.  The shootout will eliminate players until only one remains.


Each round, shootout players will attempt to sink a ball on the head spot into the left corner pocket at the head of the table (from the shooter’s perspective).  Players must shoot from behind the foot string, i.e. in the kitchen.  All tied players will make the attempt, and players that miss will be eliminated that round. The exception to this is if all players miss, in which case no change occurs and another round is played.  Rounds continue until all ties are broken between all players.  After each round, the corner pocket alternates.

Only clean shots are counted; any double-kisses, banks, or fouls invalidate the attempt.  However, if the object ball merely strikes the horn or back of the target pocket before sinking, this does not invalidate the attempt.


Example scenario:


Remarkably, Rosa, Nora, Annabelle, and Edward all finished their match with 3 wins.  They begin a shootout since there are more than two people who are tied:


Round 1 (Left Pocket):

  • Rosa: Miss

  • Nora: Success

  • Annabelle: Miss

  • Edward: Success


Nora and Edward continue their shootout, since neither have missed.  Rosa and Annabelle have lost the opportunity to win either 1st or 2nd place, but still need to continue to determine who is 3rd and 4th.


Round 2 (Right Pocket):

  • Nora: Miss

  • Edward: Success

  • Annabelle: Miss

  • Rosa: Miss


Edward has won the Arena and Nora has placed second.  However, Annabelle and Rosa still need to continue to determine 3rd and 4th place


Round 3 (Left Pocket):

  • Annabelle: Success

  • Rosa: Miss


The shootout is completed.  Unfortunately for Rosa, she will be the one that drops to the next Tier down.


The final rank of the tied players determined by the shootout is:

  1. Edward

  2. Nora

  3. Annabelle

  4. Rosa


Once the shootout is complete, players should write these rankings (1 - 4) into the Tie-break column to indicate the outcome.

Which set of rules is used?

As with most leagues, Gladiators will conform to standard BCAPL rules for 8-ball and 9-ball, with the exception that 9-balls sunk on a legal break are not considered a win.  Instead, they are spotted and the shooter continues as if they made any other object ball.  Making the 9-ball on a legal combination still constitutes a win for any shot other than the break.

How does payment work?

Before starting play, all players must pre-pay until the end of the season.  Fees will be deducted weekly from their account, and prizes (both won and drawn) will be added.


Fees are graduated such that the lower Tiers pay less.  The fees incrementally rise as one moves up the Tiers.


The required pre-pay amount is equal to the following sum:

  • $20 registration

  • $30 BCAPL sanctioning fee, which is waived if you’ve already paid this in any other league for the current year

  • The weekly fees for the bottom Tier for every week of the season


For example, if 20 people have signed up, the fee amounts will be set as indicated in the Arena Map diagram earlier in this document ($20/$18/$15).  For a 10-week season, the pre-pay amount is $20 + $30 + ($15 x 10 weeks) = $200.  It would be $170 if you’ve already paid the sanctioning fee in another league.  Players in this season will have $150 assigned to their account as their starting balance.


Throughout the course of the season, players may need to top up their accounts.  This will be a possibility for players who consistently play in mid-to-high Tiers.


If a player has a positive balance at the end of the season, Rollers will e-transfer the balance back to the player.

How are prizes distributed?

All Arena winners will win back at least their fees for that week.  The higher the Tier, the higher the multiplier used to calculate the winner’s prize.  For example, in our 20-player example division above, the winner of the top-Tier Arena for the week will win $60, the winner of a mid-Tier Arena will win $40, and the winners of the bottom Tier will win $10.


Arenas winners are also entered into the Champions Draw. This is a random selection of one or more of all the winners of the Arenas that evening.  The number of draws depends on the size of the player roster and will be constant for any given season.


Both cash that is won and drawn will be added to the winning player’s account.  The precise details surrounding the value of the draws depends heavily on the number of players.  In general, the more players the division has, the more cash will be available for draws.  Accounts will be reconciled with the players at the end of the season.

What happens if I need to miss a week?

Players are responsible for finding their own spares to play in their place if they cannot make a week, though league administration is happy to help by providing contacts.  Spares must have either an equal or lower Fargo rating to be valid.  Regardless of who plays, the fees for that week will be deducted from the registered player’s account.  Similarly, if the spare wins, the prize will be awarded to the registered player, not the spare.


If a player does not show up at all and no spare arrives in their place, fees are still deducted for that week, and the player is automatically placed at the bottom of that week’s match rankings.  If more than one player doesn’t show up in an Arena, the no-shows will be randomly assigned the bottom ranks.


How do I join?

Register through the Rollers Registration Google Form.  We look forward to seeing you at the tables!

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