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General Rules:


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Coaching is defined as giving advice to a teammate during their turn at the table. What constitutes as coaching is sometimes open to interpretation. Therefore, when your opponent finishes their turn, you are advised not to continue talking to your teammates. Go to the table and begin your turn.

NOTE 1: A time-out must be called before coaching begins.

NOTE 2: Ineligible players cannot coach or participate in a
group consensus. 

NOTE 3:  A team can only be charged with a time out after the rack has been struck in any individual game.

Comments that relate to the game situation are considered coaching. Some examples of comments that will be deemed
coaching are:

Which ball to shoot, except in 9-Ball.

Where to leave the cue ball.

Whether to shoot soft or hard.

Whether to use english.

Whether to play safe or defensive.

Some examples of comments that are NOT considered coaching are:

Telling a player if they have solids or stripes (8-Ball).

Telling a player to mark the pocket when shooting the 8-ball.

Reminding a player which is the next ball in the rotation (9-Ball).

Giving advice or placing the cue ball before the break.

Reminding a player to chalk up.

Telling a player a foul has occurred.

Answering a player’s question concerning rules.

Comments such as “good hit” or “nice shot”.

Conversations with or comments to a player when it is not their turn at the table.

Be courteous to your opponent and observe the following
coaching guidelines:

a. Any eligible member of the team can be the coach. A coach does not have to be designated until a time-out is called, and a different coach can be designated for each time-out.

b. Mark the time-outs with a “T” on the scoresheet to avoid confusion. Taking too many time-outs is not a foul, although consistent attempts to do so may result in a sportsmanship violation. It is up to a player to notify their opponent if they are out of time-outs.

c. Any member of the shooting team may call for a time-out. In order to avoid confusion, say it loudly and clearly enough for all to hear.

d. If any member of the team suggests a time-out to the shooter, the time-out will be charged.

e. If the shooter requests a time-out, the coach may refuse it and no time-out will be charged.

f. During their turn at the table, the shooter may discuss strategy only with the coach designated for that time-out. A coach may get a group consensus from other players on their team and pass it on to the shooter, but only the designated coach may pass it on.

g. Coaching should be limited to one minute or less. Violations of this guideline may lead to penalties.

h. Coaches may place the cue ball for a player in a ball-in-hand situation during a time-out.

i. Coaches may not mark the playing surface of the table or guide the shooter’s cue during the execution of the shot; however, it is permissible for a coach to place an item on the rail to indicate where to aim. The coach should leave the playing area before the shooter attempts their shot.

j. To avoid disputes, when your opponent’s turn is over, go to the table and begin your turn. Do not sit and talk with your teammates, as your opponent may think you are being coached. 

The number of time-outs permitted in each format are as follows:

Open Divisions (8-Ball & 9-Ball) – Skill level 1, 2, 3 and unrated players (new to APA) receive two time-outs per game. Skill levels 4 and higher receive one time-out per game.

Ladies and 3-Person Divisions – Open Division rules apply.

Doubles Division – Open Division rules apply for singles matches. One time-out per game, regardless of skill level, may be used during the doubles match.

Masters Division – There are no time-outs.

Juniors – Check your Local Bylaws.  

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