This Rulebook from the Orlando Billiard League (OBL) is the primary source of information necessary to understand and compete in the OBL.


1.     The Orlando Billiard League is administered by the League Director.  The League Director has full authority to make rules concerning all aspects of the OBL.

2.     All players must be members of the Orlando Billiard League to play.  Players will be required to furnish positive I.D. upon request or will not be allowed to play/shoot.

3.     Gambling on league or tournament play or its outcome is prohibited by law and may lead to membership suspension/revocation.

4.     Poor sportsmanship or unruly disruption may lead to membership suspension/revocation.

5.     Any establishment, individual or team may be expelled for poor sportsmanship, unbecoming conduct or any other reason considered to be harmful to the welfare of the league or establishment, and may forfeit any and all points, games, matches, and prize money.

6.     The OBL will publish weekly Standings Sheets consisting of wins, total points, averages and other pertinent league information.

7.     League play (matches and/or tournaments) will begin at 7:30 P.M., according to official time, NOT BAR TIME.  There is a 15 minute grace period.

8.     The Players' Committee consists of the team captains.

9.     In an establishment where, the Proprietor requires, you must be at least 21 years of age to enter, players and members participating in any league, tournament, or other activity, must be of said legal age.



1.     Each team should consist of a minimum of 3 players and may have as many as 5 alternates, for a total of 8 players.

2.     Distribution of prize money for each team is left to the discretion of the team captain.

3.     Any new player added to the roster must submit a PAID application the NIGHT THEY PLAY or the team will receive NO POINTS for that match unless prior arrangements have been made with the League Director.

4.     If a team is dissolved, players may join other teams.

5.     No player may be a member of more than 1 team in the same league at the same time.

6.     Team captains have full authority to add or remove players from their team roster, subject to the rules contained herein.

7.     Each team will select a team captain.  The team captain's duties are as follows:

a.     To return the Team Envelope to the designated location(s) by the appointed time.

b.     To attend, or appoint a responsible replacement to attend, all league functions.

c.     To ensure the score sheet is complete, accurate, and legible.

d.     To distribute all league information and materials to team members.

e.     To collect weekly team fees from all team members and make certain that all league fees are current.

f.       To familiarize yourself and your team members with the published rules of this league and make certain that your team members abide by these published rules.

g.     To have your team members present at the designated location and ready to play at the appointed time of 7:30 P.M.

h.    To ensure that all team members are current members of the OBL.



1.     OBL membership is $5.00 per player per session.

2.     League fees are $25.00 per team per week, paid in cash. This includes forfeits. All fees subject to count upon receipt by the League Director.

3.     Weekly fees per team, as stated above, are due in the envelope at the conclusion of league play that night.



1.     League Schedule, Standings and Score sheets are available on the league website. Each team captain is responsible for bringing an envelope, current standings and a score sheet to the match.

2.     Envelopes with completed score sheets and league fees must be delivered to a designated drop-off or league official by noon Friday after the preceding Wednesday's match. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the match bonus point.

3.     A bonus point will be given to all teams whose envelopes are delivered to a designated drop-off or league official by noon Friday after the preceding Wednesday’s match.  One (1) point will be awarded to a team's total points each time the paperwork is on time, complete and money is correct.  Teams are responsible for dropping off their own envelope.  League Management has the right to withhold bonus points.



1.     Due to the ever changing nature of sports and the situations that can and do occur, the OBL reserves the right to make rules and rule modifications as necessary at any time.  Any rule changes will be made available to all members via revisions/addendums to this Player's Reference Manual and/or team captains' meetings.

2.     The League Director will assign match and practice tables. If the team captains agree, two tables may be used to speed league play.
EXPEDITIOUS PLAY: If the fourth set of a match has not begun by 9:15 PM a team captain can request immediately starting the fourth set on a second game table, provided a table is available. Refusal to start the fourth set will result in forfeiture of the set. Any practice table, or other table made available by the venue can be used as the second game table.

3.     It is the responsibility of the home team to clean and brush the table to be used in league play prior to each match.

4.     In the event that the home team does not have a bridge (crutch), it will not be necessary for a player to keep one foot on the floor while shooting.

5.     Coaching is permitted once per game.  Coaching is only permitted during a "time out".  The coach, a teammate designated by the shooter, or the team captain, may call fouls and ask the player if he/she wants a coach, at any time during the game.  While being coached, a player may not confer with his/her team away from the table.  A "time out" may not exceed 1 minute or cause delay of the game.  No player may approach the table unless during a "Time Out".  The penalty for approaching the table unless a "Time Out" is called is a “Ball-in-Hand” foul for the opposing shooter.

6.     A player must execute his/her next shot within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 1 minute.  If time becomes excessive, it may be necessary for the player to be timed.  The opposing team captain must advise the player's team captain of timing. If a player, after being warned of excessive time, continues to exceed the allotted time, he/she has committed a foul, and the opponent then receives "Ball-in-Hand".

7.     A player receiving help at any time while shooting, other than during a "time out", has committed a foul, and the opponent then receives "Ball-in-Hand".



1.     Only 5 players can play for 1 team in 1 match.

2.     Each match consists of 5 sets of 4 games.  Each player will play 1 set of 4 games against a designated opponent from the opposing team.

3.     Every individual set is worth 1 win, making it possible for a team to score 5 set wins.

4.     Team captains will flip a coin to decide who has to declare the first player.  Winner of the toss has the choice of choosing first or forcing the opposing team captain to choose first.  Whoever chooses first for the first set chooses second for the second set and first for the third set, players for sets 2 thru 5 must be designated prior to the completion of the previous match.

5.     Opponents will lag, or flip a coin if both parties agree, for the first break.  From that point on, the winner breaks.

6.     All players must have paid the $5.00 membership fee before playing in his/her 2nd match, unless authorized by the League Director.  Violation of this rule may lead to forfeit of the individual wins for the week or weeks involved.

7.     A team may begin play with 1 player present.  After completion of each set, the team must have another player available for play within 5 minutes.  Play is continuous once begun.

8.     If both team captains agree, a team match may be rescheduled.

9. The League Director must be notified of the new schedule on/or before the date of the match to be rescheduled.

10. Any rescheduled match must be played within 14 days of the originally scheduled match or both teams will receive no points for the match, unless approved by the League Director.

11. Failure to comply with the above rules will result in forfeit of all points won for that night.



1.     All games won score a minimum of 10 points.

2.     Making the 8-ball on a "legal" break scores 10 points and a win for the breaker. If balls of each group are pocketed, winner gets choice of group.  Loser gets 1 point for each ball pocketed in his group.  A "legal" break is defined as the cue ball striking the apex or one of the first 2 balls.

3.     Making the 8-ball on an "illegal" break is a loss of game and scores 0 for the breaker and 10 points for the opponent.

4.     Each object ball of a player's group legally pocketed scores 1 point.

5.     A player legally pocketing the 8-ball (after making his/her group of balls) scores 3 points, making a total of 10 points for a win.

6.     The loser of a game will score 1 point for each object ball of his group pocketed by either player.

7.     A player pocketing the 8-ball before the end of the game will score 1 point for each ball already pocketed.  Opponent will score 10 points and a win.

8.     A player, who scratches on the 8-ball or pockets the 8-ball illegally, will score 1 point for each ball already pocketed.  Opponent will score 10 points and a win.

9.     Points are counted at the end of each game by counting any object ball of a player's group left on the table, which did not legally win the game, and subtracting the total from 7.

10. All players are to report their scores to the team captain or the scorekeeper after each game.



1.     Each player of a team will play 1 set consisting of 4 games with a designated opponent from the opposing team.  The player scoring the most points (the total points of each game, plus handicap (the difference is averages)) scores 1 win for the team for that set.

2.     There are 5 sets in a match; each set is worth 1 win.

3.     In the event there is a tie in points at the end of a set, players will play a 1 game tie breaker without points or handicap.  Winner will receive the set win.  Lag for the break.

4.     The total number of set and bonus wins each team has determines the position of each team in the standings.  In case of a tie, the tie will be broken by how the teams fared against each other during regular play. If the teams are still tied, they will equally share the position in the standings.




1.     A new player with an unassigned point average will start as follows:

a.     Entry level handicap for men is 32.

b.     Entry level handicap for women is 26.

c.     Maximum handicap is 48 Points

d.     Minimum handicap is 16 Points

3.     The handicap is determined by subtracting the lower average from the higher average.

4.     If a team exceeds a combined handicap total of 140 in the fourth set or 175 in the fifth set, the player is accessed a penalty point to the opposing player for every point that they exceed the 140 or 175 point limits. Note: For the purpose of calcuating this "combined handicap total" any player with a handicap OVER 40 will only contribute 40 points to the combined handicap total. Penalty points will never exceed 10 in any set.



1.     A team scheduled that does not appear by 7:45 P.M. (7:30 start time and 15 minute grace period) is considered to be forfeiting the match.  The team present will notify the League Director.  The team present will receive 5 wins for the match + 1 for turning in the paper work.  The team captain should indicate on the score sheet which players are present.  The League Director has the option of scheduling a rematch.

2.     Any team forfeiting two (2) weeks in succession is considered dropped and will forfeit all awards and prize money unless the League Director is notified immediately of the team's intent to continue in the league.

3.     If a dispute between two team captains cannot be resolved by the existing rules, they may each submit a written protest to the League Director.  The protest will be resolved by a vote of the Players' Committee.  In case of a tie, the League Director will cast the deciding vote.



      The Orlando Billiard League was formed with the intent that ALL levels of players could play in competitive, yet FRIENDLY environment.  It is our number one goal to stress the importance of good sportsmanship, friendly play and proper pool etiquette to your opponent as well as the establishments where you play


1.     "SHARKING" is a term used for an opponent who attempts to distract his/her opponent while they are trying to pocket any ball.  Actions include:

a.     Speaking loud enough for your opponent to hear you say, for example:  "He can't make that shot!!!"

b.     Approaching the table and retrieving the "rack" while your opponent is shooting.

c.     Standing at the end of the table waiting to rack while your opponent is shooting at the 8 ball.

d.     Any intentional act to disrupt your opponent.

2.     Stay away from the table when it's not your shot.  Give your opponent the courtesy of having the table when they are shooting!

3.     "CONCESSION" is considered as loss of a match.  For example:

a.      Verbally giving your opponent the match. Or

b.      Breaking down your stick when your opponent is attempting to pocket the 8 ball in the fourth game of your match.

4.     Control your temper and language when things don't go right!

5.     Don't put cigarettes or drinks on the rails of the table.  Treat the equipment as if it was your own.

6.     No Fighting.  You WILL NOT be allowed to continue to play in the Orlando Billiard League.  The League Director's decision is final.

7.     In the event that you have a problem with another player, please notify the team captain and document the incident by filing a protest with the League.




The game is played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls, numbered 1 thru 15.  One player must pocket balls     of the group numbered 1 thru 7 (solid colors), while the opposing player must pocket balls of the group numbered 9 thru 15 (stripes).  The player pocketing his group first, and then legally pocketing the 8-ball, wins the game.


Obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated.  It is the opponent's right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot.  Banks and combinations are not considered obvious and both the object ball and the pocket must be called.  When calling the pocket, it is never  necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions, banks, kisses, caroms, etc.  If the object ball is not legally pocketed and other balls are pocketed, then the shooter's balls that were pocketed would be spotted and the opponent's balls would remain pocketed.


The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the 8-ball in the center of the triangle.  The first ball of the rack on the foot spot, a stripe ball in one corner of the rack and a solid ball in the other corner is recommended.


The player is required to shoot the cue ball from behind the head string on the opening break and after a scratch occurs on the opening break only.


The following infractions result in fouls:

1.     Failure to execute a legal shot as defined below - foul penalty #2 applies.

2.     A scratch shot (shooting the cue ball into a pocket or off the table) - foul penalty #2 applies.

3.     A scratch shot on a legal break - foul penalty #1 applies.

4.     Shooting without at least one foot touching the floor - foul penalty #2 applies.

5.     If a player accidentally moves an object ball, it is the opponent's option to replace it or leave it where the ball ended up.

6.     Shooting a jump shot over another ball by scooping the cue stick under the cue ball is illegal - foul penalty #2 applies.  A legal jump shot is executed by striking the cue ball above center.  Please note: a player does not commit a foul when he accidentally miscues and causes the cue ball to jump above the surface of the table.


Opposing player gets cue ball in hand "behind the headstring".


Opposing player gets cue ball in hand. This means that the player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table (does not have to be behind the head string).  This rule prevents a player from making intentional fouls which would put his opponent at a disadvantage.  With "cue ball in hand", the player may position the cue ball on the table (more than once, if necessary).


On all shots (except on the break and when the table is open), the shooter must hit one of his group of balls first (object ball) and either:

1.       Pocket an object ball.

2.       Cause any ball to contact a rail.

When the table is open, the shooter must hit any ball with the cueball and either:

1.       Pocket an object ball.

2.       Cause any ball to contact a rail.

Note:  it is okay for the shooter to bank the cue ball off a rail before contacting his object ball; however after contact with his object ball, an object ball must be pocketed, or any ball contacts a rail.


For tactical reasons, a player may choose to pocket an obvious object ball and also discontinue his turn at the table by declaring "safety" in advance.  A safety shot is defined as a legal shot (providing the conditions of a legal shot are met).  If the shooting player intends to play safe by pocketing an obvious object ball, then prior to his shot, he must declare "safety" to his opponent.  If this is not  done, and one of the shooters object balls are pocketed, the shooter will be required to shoot again.  Any object ball pocketed on a safety shot will be spotted.  Pocketing the 8 ball on a safety is loss of game.


At any time during a game if both players agree it is stalemated, the balls will be re-racked with the original breaker of the stalemated game breaking again. If six shots (three by each player) are taken with no legitimate attempt to pocket a ball, either player may declare a stalemate with the original breaker of the stalemated game breaking again.


"Legal Break" is defined as striking the apex or one of the first two balls of the rack.  To execute a legal break, the shooter (with the cue ball behind the head string) must either:

1.      Pocket a ball.

2.      Drive four balls to the rail.  If he fails to make a legal break, it is not a foul; however, the  opponent has the option of:

a.     Accepting the table in position and shooting.

b.     Having the balls re-racked and shooting the opening break himself or have his opponent break.


The break of the first game of each match is determined by the flip of a coin or by a lag.  Winner of the flip or lag, breaks.  On each subsequent game, winner breaks.  A miscue on the break does not represent a foul but, the conditions for a legal break shot should be met.


If a player scratches on a legal break shot;

1.      If the 8-ball is made, it is loss of game.

2.      If the 8-ball is not made, all balls pocketed remain pocketed.

3.      It is a foul - foul penalty #1 applies.

4.      The table is open.  Please note:  a player may not shoot an object ball that is behind the head string unless he shoots the cue ball to some point outside the head string and then hits the object ball behind the head string.


The base of the ball in relation to the headstring determines whether or not it is playable.  Specifically, the base of the ball must be outside the head string (toward the foot of the table) to be playable.  Ask the team captain for a decision if there is any doubt whether a ball is playable.


Combination shots are allowed; however, the 8-ball cannot be used as a first ball in the combination except when the table is open.


Masse shots are allowed if:

1.      The cue is elevated not more than 45 degrees.

2.      The establishment allows masse shots on their tables.


1.      The shooter must stroke away from the direction of the line created by the frozen balls by at least 45 degrees.

2.      OR - The shooter must stroke down at the cue ball with the cue elevated to at least 45 degrees.


The table is "open" when the choice of groups (stripes or solids) has not yet been determined.  When the table is open, it is legal to hit a solid first to make a stripe or vice versa.  Please note:  the table is always open immediately after the break shot.


The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls are made from only one or both groups.  The table is always open immediately after the break shot.  The choice of group is only determined when a player legally pockets a ball after the break shot.


An object ball is considered to be illegally pocketed when the object ball is pocketed on the same shot a foul is committed.  The shooter's ball(s) is spotted & any of the opponent's balls are left pocketed, unless it is the 8-ball, which is loss of game.

Note: If a foul is committed by pocketing the eight ball when making your object ball it will be considered a loss of game and the object ball is considered spotted.


If an object ball is jumped off the table, it is a miss and loss of turn, and a foul, unless it is the 8-ball, which is loss of game.  The shooter's jumped object ball(s) is spotted and any of the opponent's jumped balls will be pocketed.


Whenever an object ball is to be spotted, the object ball is spotted on the long string as close to the foot spot as possible and shall be frozen to any interfering ball except the cue ball.


When playing a shot where the object ball is frozen on a cushion, the cue ball must contact the frozen ball and then either:

(1)  Pocket the frozen ball or any other object ball, or

(2)  Drive the frozen object ball to another cushion, or

(3)  Drive the cue ball, an object ball, or any ball the object ball may hit to any cushion.  Failure to do so is a foul  - foul penalty #2 applies.  When there is any doubt whether the object ball is frozen to a cushion, the player should ask the team captain for a ruling before shooting.  In league play, the opponent must call the ball frozen to the rail before the shot.


A player is entitled to continue shooting until he fails to legally pocket a ball of his group.  After a player has legally pocketed all of his group of balls, the player shoots to pocket the 8-ball.


When playing the 8-ball, the shooting player need not "mark" the intended pocket; however he should clearly indicate it by pointing.  It is up to the opposing team to ask if they are in doubt about the intended pocket.


When a player has the 8-ball as his object ball, he is required to hit the 8-ball first, and then:

1.      Pocket the 8-ball.

2.      Cause the 8-ball or the cue ball to contact a cushion.

3.      Cause another ball to contact a cushion.


In the event a ball should come to rest in a pocket and it should fall in the pocket without being touched, the ball should be replaced to the closest spot where it was by the opponent and the shooter should continue shooting.


A player loses the game if he commits any of the following infractions:

1.     Pockets the 8-ball when committing a foul on the opening break.

2.     Pockets the 8-ball when it is not his legal object ball.

3.     Pockets the 8-ball on the same stroke as his last group ball(s).

4.     Scratches when the 8-ball is his legal object ball.

5.     Jumps the 8-ball off the table at any time.

6.     Pockets the 8-ball in a pocket other than the one designated.


The League Director has the right to disqualify any player from a game for un-sportsmanlike conduct, fighting, or tactics detrimental to the league or tournament, in which case the player forfeits all rights to prizes.