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Policy for Extremely Slow Players

Policy for Extremely Slow Players

We have a billiards club in our community, and there are a few extremely slow pool players. The slow players frustrate 95% of the 150 players.

We can't decide a means to deal with those players who are very slow to execute their shot at the pool table.

Any ideas out there?

Policy for Extremely Slow Players

Replies & Comments

  1. BertmanRayMills on 10/30/2021 1:03:26 PM

    Can you clarify:

    • What are they doing while they're not shooting?
    • Is the "billiards club" a league?
    • Do all 150 people play at once (in various locales)?

    The first idea that comes to mind is to use a shot clock (egg timer?), of course, as some professional matches use. Rather than pressuring players with a visible countdown (which is probably necessary), a compromise for a more social setting might be to time the entire games or matches and provide examples to the slower people of how much they need to adjust their performances. We'll soon see how much accelerating the play will change the outcome of the entire evening (e.g. five-percent less time?)

    I get accused of slow play sometimes, as I adhere to the analogy of billiards being "chess vs. checkers". But others never notice or comment on how I'm usually in motion toward the table as soon as I see that my opponent is going to miss his shot, or that the previous match has ended. I also retrieve and rack the 15 balls in about 30 seconds. So, the complaints come when we've had a safety battle!

    Maybe many players are not following the fundamental of taking their time and taking every shot seriously.

  2. Bertmanbilliardsforum on 11/9/2021 9:43:43 AM

    We'll certainly need more context in order to answer your question appropriately.

    1. Is it simply a pool hall with members e.g. a in a retirement community or fraternal club, or is it an organized pool league?
    2. Can you give us a feel for what "extremely slow" looks like in this case? Are we talking 60 seconds before executing a shot, or are we talking 2 minutes?

    There was some research and accompanying white-paper released in 2010 by a billiard shot clock app company, Performance Accountability, LLC, which seeks to answer the question "How Slow is Too Slow? What is an acceptable playing pace in amateur pool?".

    Here are the relevant sections of the World Pool-Billiard Association rules around "slow play". This, of course, requires a referee or officiant. This applies to 8 ball, 9 ball, etc.

    6.15 Slow Play

    If the referee feels that a player is playing too slowly, he may advise that player to speed up his play. If the player does not speed up, the referee may impose a shot clock on that match that applies to both players. If the shooter exceeds the time limit specified for the tournament, a standard foul will be called and the incoming player is rewarded according to the rules applicable to the game being played. (Rule 6.17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct may also apply)

    The "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" is for when the referee has asked the player to speed up play, and the player ignores the direction and continues with slow play. In this case the specific unsportsmanlike conduct is called:

    g) delay of the game

    So in summary, if an official deems there to be "slow play" occurring, he or she may impose a shot clock, to which all players must adhere.

    Update 2021-11-29 - This morning I found a funny related cartoon in an January 1994 issue of National Billiard News and thought I'd share it:


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Policy for Extremely Slow Players

  • Title: Policy for Extremely Slow Players
  • Author:
  • Published: 10/30/2021 6:30:54 AM
  • Last Updated: 11/9/2021 9:27:25 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)