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A Guide to Billiard Etiquette

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more Pool etiquette infractions being committed so it got me thinking - what gives? Most violators don’t know they’re breaching Pools’ code of conduct as they've never been taught the do’s and don’ts. Hopefully, this article should clear up some of the confusion and give our new and old players some perspective.

  • Shaking hands or bumping fists - the most known and expected custom. Continuing this ritual before and after your match is a common way to exhibit good sportsmanship regardless of the outcome or your feelings toward your opponent.

  • When you are in the line of sight of a player that's in a shooting position, try to remain still and motionless. Your movements and actions can be distracting so exercise awareness when at the table.

  • When you are watching a match as either a player or spectator, give the shooter plenty of space. Crowding around the table waiting eagerly for your turn is unsportsmanlike. Instead, find a seat or a place to stand that is out of the way until it’s your turn at the table.

  • When you are having a conversation in close proximity to a competitive match, try to keep it down. Loud conversations can be disruptive or distracting to the shooting player and can cause them to miss.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Walking backward or taking extra time admiring or critiquing your shot can disrupt the games around you. If you are taking extra time, make sure to check your surroundings for players waiting to take their shot.

  • If you are unaware of what your opponent is calling or you feel you may need a referee, ask your opponents before they get into the shooting position. Interrupting when they’re about to shoot is bad etiquette and can be seen as sharking.

  • Celebrating is good… most of the time. When your opponent misses, it’s okay to get excited but try not to overdo it.

  • If a player starts to unscrew their cue or starts walking toward the table to start a new game, it's an automatic loss. Generally speaking, it’s bad etiquette to concede any game before all the balls are pocketed. The safe bet is to finish every game - no matter how easy the game-winning shot(s) is.

  • Take your time… But not that much! Being late for your matches or consistently taking too much time on your shots is unsportsmanlike. Try to be on time for league and know when your game is coming up. Additionally, if you have the slightest inclination that you might be a slow player, ask your teammates what they think and get them to time you on your shots. If you’re averaging over 45 seconds per shot, you are most likely a slow player.

By adhering to these customs and rituals, you help maintain the standards we try to uphold in all our divisions.

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