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UMB Billiard Referee Rules

These are the Union Mondiale de Billiards Referee rules.

Application of the Rules

  1. The UMB referee rules complete the statutes and regulations of the UMB. They are applicable at all world championships and intercontinental tournaments officially recognized by or concerning the UMB. With regard to 5 pin billiards some other or contrary rules are applicable, which are determined in specific regulations –appendix 1.
  2. Cases which are not settled with these rules or cases of force majeure will be settled by the official delegate of the UMB or by his substitute on the spot of the event, after that one has consulted with the official delegate of the organizing federation and with the tournament director.

UMB Referee Rules - Responsibility

  1. It is incumbent on the federation where the competition is taking place to take all necessary measures in order to place the required and competent UMB and/or Confederal referees at the organizer’s disposal and in order to guarantee the exercise of the office of the referee according to the rules of the MB.
  2. Before the referee takes on his task, he controls the balls and makes sure if the tables are cleaned and are correctly drawn in. If necessary he will carry out this work or will arrange for this. He checks as well if all necessary utensils exist. If the tables, the cloths, the balls and the lightening are in good order and are authorized by the UMB.
  3. The match begins as soon as the referee has put up the balls for the cushion stroke. At this stage no sportsmen is allowed to touch a ball other than with the cue tip.

UMB Referee Rules - Direction of the Match

  1. A sportsman cannot oppose the naming of a referee by the tournament direction.
  2. The referee directs the match by himself, each other person is excluded. A second referee or a person who is writing is responsible for the filling in of the playing report and the score-board. In case that one is playing with clocks, for each table a second person who is writing has to be present or the referee controls the clock by remote control.
  3. The task of the referee begins at the moment in which the tournament direction is inviting the

    sportsmen to come to the billiard table for the pushing in, till the handing over of the playing report which has been signed by the sportsmen and the referees, to the tournament director.

  4. The referee has to provide for that, that no unauthorized interference from the outside or from the sportsmen concerned appears.
  5. The referee provides for that, that the sportsmen are keeping a correct and loyal attitude and do not make any gestures or noises which are disturbing the opponent.

UMB Referee Rules - Conduct of the Referee

  1. The referee does not have to show any feelings. He is also prohibited to give the sportsman support in any way.
  2. The referee is explicitly prohibited to draw the attention of a sportsman to a game mistake which he is going to make. Apart from that the referee is not allowed to show the player his ball at the inning or in the course of a series, except that that one is asking that from the referee. He is, however, bound to announce the position of the balls in the Partie Libre and in Cadre, even if with this announcement the position of the playing ball will automatically be announced.
  3. The clothes of the referees is determined by the organizer and has to be the same for all referees. The referees are permitted to wear advertisements of the organizer (not more than 80 square centimetres) in an appropriate manner. All referees have to wear the same advertisement at the same place.
  4. During the carrying out of their office the referees are not allowed to neither smoke nor have fermented beverages.

UMB Referee Rules - Change of the Referee

  1. With regard to matches who are lasting more than one hour it is recommended to change the referee half-way of the match. This change is not allowed to take place during a series, but

    only with the change of the playing sportsman.

UMB Referee Rules - Announcement of the referee

  1. The referee does all provided announcements in a loud voice.
  2. The referee has to do the announcements in French and the counting of the points in one of the official UMB languages.
  3. The referee announces to the sportsman, when that one has to play “pour cinq”, “pour quatre”, “pour trois”, “pour deux” points till the end of the set or till the end of the match, respectively. With regard to three cushions the referee makes these announcements only for the last three points. In case that a running series will be interrupted, the last announcement will not be repeated at the resumption. The last carom will be announced as “point de set/point de match”.
  4. In case that the sportsman brings his game to an end on account of a mistake or on account of the end of the set or the match, the referee will say the name of the sportsman followed by the number of points (also zero points) which have been achieved by this sportsman. The person who is writing (as a rule the second referee) confirms this announcement clearly perceptible.
  5. In case that the referee depending on the discipline has to make several announcements he will keep the following order:
    1. the points achieved
    2. the announcement “pour …”
    3. the position of the balls in consideration of the prohibited areas
    4. the position of the balls in consideration of the anchors
    5. in case that the playing ball is lying in contact with another ball or a cushion: the announcement “contact avec …..”
  6. The referee announces the committed mistake, if he thinks that this is necessary or if the sportsman is asking him for that.
  7. The referee has to use the French language for the announcements which are provided in the European rules and in these regulations.
  8. The referee has to check the number of points and the number of innings, as well as the playing report. On the score-board the innings will be added when the sportsman who has started the match has left the billiard table. In case of a difference between the score-board and the playing report the referee has to clarify and has to decide.
  9. In case that the match will be played with a limitation of innings the referee will announce before the sportsmen are coming for the last inning “name of the sportsman – dernière reprise”.

UMB Referee Rules - Responsibility of the Referee

  1. It is exclusively the referee who watches over the observance of the regulations during the match and within the scope of these regulations he will take measures which are lying in his authority and he will put through the observance of them. The referee will warn the sportsman who disregards the rules. He will inform the tournament direction about that. In case of grave offence against the rules the referee can interrupt the match even if the sportsman who is behaving against the rules has still not been warned. Then a final decision will be taken in connection with the tournament direction and the UMB delegate.
  2. In case that a sportsman who has been warned is repeatedly behaving against the rules, the referee can break off the match, the game will be lost for this sportsman. As soon as the game is interrupted the referee will make a report to the tournament direction.
  3. On application of one sportsman, but only if he also thinks that this is necessary, or on his own initiative the referee can at any moment of the match clean/have cleaned the balls and the billiard table. In case that a ball is in contact with or is very close to a cushion or another ball, no cleaning will be effected. A cleaning action will be effected in the shortest time. The cleaning has to be in an appropriate proportion. In case that it is a matter of delay by the sportsman and the referee cannot objectively recognize any reason, he can refuse the cleaning and can call upon to the further playing.
  4. Only the referee has the right to hold the balls in his hands in order to put them on the marked points or on the right place or to clean them. In case of cleaning he will conscientiously mark the position of the balls before he is taking them away. With the new putting up he will convince himself that each ball is lying in the correct, preceding position.
  5. The sportsman has always to play with his ball. In case that there will be a mix-up at the putting up of the balls by the referee the responsibility will even though be with the sportsman and will not be with the referee.
  6. The referee will not release the billiard table for the opponent before all balls have come to


  7. In case that a sportsman touches one or several balls and changes the run-out or the normal position of them, after his inning has been finished, the referee will place the balls for the opponent as good as possible in the probably taken position. The same is valid if a changing of the running or of the position of the balls occurs by external effects – independent of the point in time of the match.
  8. In case that one plays in the discipline three cushion with a time limit a clock has to be put up which will be good visible for the sportsmen and the referee. When the balls have come to

    rest and the sportsman can start with his efforts, his time is running. The clock which has been put up shows first of all the full, determined frame of time and then it will count up the time against 0. After each stroke the determined time limit will be available once more. When the last 10 seconds are beginning the referee has to announce this to the sportsman

    with the announcement “time”. This announcement can also be replaced by an acoustic or optical signal. In case that the sportsman has not played within the determined time limit, then after the announcement of the referee “pas joué” the opponent will play and the balls will be put up for him on the initial position. Each sportsman has the right to one “time-out” per set. He has to clearly inform the referee of that. In a game without sets he has the right to two times “time-out”. A time-out in the discipline three cushions entitles the sportsman to exceed the determined time limit with 30 seconds. For all competitions without time limit the following is valid: In case that it seems that the sportsman needs a longer time of reflection for a position or that the sportsman for any other reason is delaying the game, the referee can grant the

    sportsman from his own initiative an appointed period of time of 15 seconds for the carrying out of the stroke. In case that the sportsman has not played during this set period of time, the opponent comes to the game (announcement “pas joué”) and the balls remain in their position or the opponent can demand the putting up of the balls.

UMB Referee Rules - Breaks, and Supervising the Break

  1. Breaks are only allowed at the places which are determined by the regulations and in the determined length. The referee supervises this and is not allowed to admit any breaks at other places or extra time.
  2. The tournament director in agreement with the official delegate of the UMB can determine in case of compelling reasons another break regulation for the tournament or for single matches. These reason can be for example:
    1. Extreme heat in the tournament place
    2. Media reporting
    3. Technical defects and the repair of them
    4. Temporary illness or sanitary reasons
    5. Urgently required change of a referee

UMB Referee Rules - Decisions of the Referee

  1. In case that a sportsman is in doubt about a decision of the referee he can ask him to reflect on the decision (but only one time).
  2. The referee has to comply with the request. He can, if he estimates necessary, consult the second referee or the tournament director before he will finally make his decision.
  3. The decisions of the referee concerning the facts are final. Exception point 01 of this article.
  4. The opponent can ask the referee as well, but also only one time, to reflect on the decision. In case that such requests increase and the referee recognizes that with that the opponent shall only be irritated he will warn the petitioner according to article 07.01 and 02
  5. The opponent as well as the second referee and the person who is writing can intervene with the referee in the following cases:
    1. the sportsman plays with the wrong ball
    2. a wrong announcement has been made with regard to the position of the balls in the prohibited areas
    3. mistake with the counting of the points The intervention shall take place discreetly without disturbing the course of the other matches.
  6. If the referee has unjustified adjudicated a point he has the right to revise his decision, however, on the prerequisite that one still has not played further.
  7. In case that a sportsman makes a mistake and plays further before the referee would have had the opportunity or the time to make an announcement in order to thus prevent the further playing, the referee has to continue like that as if the sportsman who behaves incorrectly would have finished his inning at the time of the announcement according to the rules.
  8. After that the referee puts the balls as close as possible to the positions in which they would have been at the moment of the announcement according to the rules or according to special regulations which are determined by the rules of the various disciplines.
  9. If during the game the referee states that the sportsman is playing with the ball of his opponent that one has to quit immediately and the balls will remain at the place which they occupy – or they will be placed according to the special regulations which are determined by the rules of the various disciplines. The opponent plays further with his playing ball. The number of caroms or of points which have been achieved during the inning which is in the course till the moment in which the error will be detected, remain with the sportsman who has made the mistake.
  10. Exceptional cases which are not provided in the present rules are left to the judgement of the referee. In this case a note about the decision which has been made has to be made on the playing report.

UMB Referee Rules - Complaints

  1. Each complaint concerning the application of the regulations has to take place in a discreet form at the referee at that moment in which the mistake is committed. In case that the referee does not comply with the query the sportsman is allowed to report on this query once again at the tournament direction until 15 minutes after the end of the match at the latest.
  2. The tournament direction in cooperation with the official delegate of the UMB or in his absence with the president of the organizing federation or his representative is required to examine the complaint still at the same day. In case that the complaint is justified and in case that the mistake could have had influence on the result of the match, the match will be annulled and the tournament direction will have the match be repeated in the shortest possible time.
  3. The UMB delegate will be notified about each complaint by means of a registration on the playing report.

UMB Referee Rules - Complaints

  1. In case that a sportsman touches with the push off the playing ball more than one time with the cue tip, the referee will make the announcement “touché” and the opponent will take the game over. The same is valid if the sportsman also touches his playing ball or other balls regardless of the manner or with what (with the exception of his playing ball with the cue tip).
  2. If the sportsman uses for the stroke any other part of the cue apart from the cue tip, the referee will make the announcement “procédé” and the opponent will take the game over.
  3. If the cue tip of the sportsman is still in contact with the playing ball and that one is at the same time in contact with one or several other balls or the cushion, the referee will make the announcement “queutage” and the opponent will take the game over.
  4. In case that after a regular break a sportsman will not be punctually returned to the billiard table for the recommencement, the referee will make at a time delay up to 3 minutes the announcement “faute retard – avertissement”. In case of recurrence or in case of a time delay of more than 3 minutes the referee will make the announcement “interruption pour dépassement du temps” and will finish the match independent of the score to the favour of the opponent. The breaking off has to be recorded on the playing report.
  5. In case that a sportsman leaves the billiard table without permission, point 04 of this article will be valid correspondingly.
  6. In case that at the beginning of the match a sportsman does not participate at the appointed time, the referee will make at a time delay up to 3 minutes the announcement “faute retard – avertissement”. This warning has to be treated like that, as if he would have received a warning during the match. After the exceeding of these 3 minutes the referee will make the announcement “interruption pour dépassement du temps” and will finish the match in favor of the sportsman who is present.

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UMB Billiard Referee Rules

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UMB Billiard Referee Rules History

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The official UMB Billiard Referee Rules are predominently observed in France.

The official governing body for UMB Billiard Referee Rules is the UMB.

How to Play UMB Billiard Referee

  • Title: UMB Billiard Referee Rules
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 7/16/2008 11:45:00 PM
  • Source: UMB

UMB Billiard Referee Rules

The UMB Billiard Referee Rules article belongs to the Miscellaneous Billiard Game Rules category. The miscellaneous billiards class of cue sport games includes games that are not technically members of the traditional five classes of billiard games.

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