What’s this pool league all about?
The purpose of playing in the Tampa Bay APA pool league is to get out and have a great time. You’ll meet all sorts of great people and have fun! This is a great way to network and play pool at the same time! 

I play pool every now and then, but I'm not an advanced player. Can I still play? Do I have a chance to win?
Yes! One of the best things about the APA is the fact that everyone can play and anyone can win! The league operates using the Equalizer Handicap System (much like golf or bowling leagues use a handicap system). This means that all players – even beginners – can compete and win. This is what makes league play so much fun! Many of the best pool players in Hillsborough County play in the APA, right along side beginners and intermediate players!

Is there a membership fee?
Yes. Players pay a one-time-annual membership fee of $25.00. This Membership Fee information allows you to play in all APA formats throughout the year. As a member, you are entitled to various Member Discount Benefits. If you take advantage of these discounts, the membership fee will pay for itself! 

How much do I pay for weekly league play?
Playing in the Tampa Bay APA is one of the most affordable forms of entertainment available! Your league fees will cost you less than going to a movie or just about anything else you can find to entertain yourself! Starting Feb 1st, 2021, your entire team pays $50 per week, which is only $10 per player

How do I set up an online account to view my information and statistics?

Go to Membership services and click on Claim Your Account. On the next page, enter the information requested. Be sure to type your member number and your name exactly as it is on your membership card. You will be asked to create a password. Then type in your email address (be sure to set any email spam blockers to allow mail from poolplayers.com). An email with a link will be sent to the email address you provide. Click on the link and the setup process will be complete.


Match Requirements




A player on the team must have played 4 matches on that team within the session



 A player on the team must have played 4 matches on that team within the session

Best of the Rest:      


A player on the team must have played 4 matches on that team within the session




A player on any active team must have 10 match scores in their respective format (8-ball or 9-ball)  in the past 2 years


LTC & NTC:           

4 on the team during Spring Session  AND 10 actual league match scores in the format in which he is advancing and must be attained by the end of the spring session in the league year corresponding to the Team Championship in which the player is advancing.


National Doubles:

20 actual match scores in their respective format in the past 2 years

 National Ladies: If players are participating on a Ladies Division roster, they must have at least ten 8-Ball scores    with the team within the last year by the entry deadline. 
 National Masters: If players are participating on a Masters Division roster, they must have a least ten 8-Ball and/or 9-  Ball scores. (A combination of scores from the two formats is allowed.) Masters Division players  who do not  have ten 8-Ball or 9-Ball scores must have 10 matches played in the Masters Division  or any combination  of 10 scores/matches between 8-Ball, 9-Ball and Masters. All scores and/or  matches must be within the    last league year by the entry deadline 
 Coin Toss/Lagging/Racking/Breaking
1) If I win the coin toss, do I have to put up the first player? No. You choose who will put up the first player. 
2) Do both players have to lag simultaneously? Yes, as close as possible.
3) Can I use the cue ball to lag? Only if it is the same size as the object ball.
4) What if my ball falls into a pocket? You rack.
5) What if my ball hits the side rail? You rack.
6) What if our balls make contact with each other? Re-lag.
7) What if our balls end up stopping at the same point? Re-lag.
8) If I do not want to break, can I give up the lag to my opponent? Yes. 
9) What is a legal rack? The 8-ball must be in the center and all balls as tight as possible. The player
breaking does have the right to request that the rack be redone to their liking.
10) My opponent is checking the way I rack and is making me do it over and over again, what can I do?
Suggest politely that either someone else or the opponent themselves rack. Do not get angry about it.
11) What is a legal break? Strike the first or second ball in the rack, drive four balls to the rail or pocket at least one ball.
12) Can I bank the cue ball off the back rail to break? No.
13) What if I don’t pocket a ball or drive four balls to a rail? Your opponent re-racks and you break again.
14) What if I don’t drive four balls to a rail, don’t pocket a ball, and I scratch? You rack for the opponent.
15) What if I don’t drive four balls to a rail but do pocket a ball? It’s going to be a tough game.
16) What if the cue ball does not strike the rack? Try again.
17) What if I jump the cue ball off the table without hitting the rack? Try again.
18) What if I hit the rack, don’t drive 4 balls to the rail and send the cue ball off the table? See # 14 above.
19) Can I reach out and grab the cue ball if I miscue? If you are quick enough.
20) Is there a limit as to how many times a player gets to attempt to make a legal break? No.
21) What if I drop the 8 on the break? Congratulations, you win!
22) What if I drop the 8 on the break and scratch? Sorry, you lose
23) Is it ball-in-hand anywhere on the table for my opponent if I scratch on the break? In 9-Ball yes. In 8-Ball
no, opponent must shoot from behind the head string. NOTE: It is the responsibility of the sitting player to notify their opponent that the cue ball should go behind the head string.
24) Do I have to take whatever drops on the break? Yes.
25) What if I drop both a solid and a stripe? The table is still open and you have your choice.
26) If I drop 2 solids and 1 stripe do I have to take solids? No, the table is still open.
27) If the table is open, can I play a combination using a solid to sink a stripe or a stripe to sink a solid? Yes.
28) If the table is open, can I use the 8-ball to make a combination? Not if it is going to be the first ball struck. The 8-Ball is never neutral.
29) What if the table is open, I’m shooting at a solid and a stripe falls instead? You’re stripes.
30) What if the table is open, I’m shooting at a solid and both a stripe and solid fall? The table is still open.
31) Do any other balls that come off the table during my break stay down? No, they are spotted as close to the spot as possible. (See item 6 in 8-Ball game rules in the Official APA Team manual for more details
32) Does visiting team have choice of table? No. The hosting team should make every attempt to be fair in selecting which table will be used for league play. Tables with shimmed pockets should not be used
during league play if tables without shimmed pockets are available.
33) If the hosting team location’s tables are coin operated, do we have to pay to play? No. All host locations
must agree to open their tables for match play. If a host location refuses or is unable to open their tables for match play, the League Office should be notified immediately.
34) Our opponents brought their own cue ball and it’s different than those the house provides. Do we have to
use it? No. Both players involved in a match must agree to use that cue ball prior to the first game of their match. If they cannot agree, then they must use the one provided by the house.
35) Our player didn’t know that different cue ball was being used until after the first game was over. What
can we do? That game is over and nothing can be done but before starting the next game the cue ball must be agreed upon. If the match ends before it is noticed, the match will stand as played.
36) My team is using my cue ball for a match in process and I have to leave. Can I take my cue ball off the
table? Not until the individual match is over.
37) Are jump or masse shots allowed? Only if the host location allows those shots and they are executed
correctly using a normal game shooting cue. Scooping the cue ball is not considered correct execution.
38) Can I break down my cue to make a jump or masse shot? No. The cue must be in its full length.
40) Can I use my break cue to perform a jump shot? Not if it is a “jump/break cue”.
41) Can I shoot with the butt end of my cue? No.
44) Something doesn’t feel right with my cue and I want to change cues. Can I? Yes, during your turn.
45) The tip came off my cue. Can I change shafts or cues? Yes, during your turn at the table. 
Split Table Rules
46) My opponent wants to play two matches simultaneously on two tables; do I have to agree? Yes,
if the following is true (1) you are not in the fourth match within 2 hours after starting. (2) There is a table
available. You cannot run other customers off and your remaining team members also cannot tie up the
table “practicing”. This rule can be waived if both teams agree to continue to play on one table. Refer to
“Splitting Matches” in the Official APA Team Manual for more details.

3-Point Scoring (8-Ball)
47) I won all the racks in my match, my opponent did not win any. What’s the score? 3-0. 
48) I won my match but my opponent won 1 rack. What’s the score? 2-0.
49) I won my match but my opponent went to the hill with me. What’s the score? 2-1
50) How do we mark the new 3 point scoring on our score sheet? In the W-L column, next to the score, instead of marking a “W” or “L”, you will mark the appropriate point split (3-0, 2-0, or 2-1).
51) Do we still enter the total racks won for each player? Definitely yes!
52) How is a “Bye” or a forfeit scored? “Byes” = 8 points. Forfeits = 2-0 Please refer to Local By-Laws

Playing a Player Twice
The guidelines for playing a player twice in the first 4 weeks of a session are clearly explained in your Local
By-Laws. Please take the time to read those guidelines so that many of these questions won’t come up and
arguments would be avoided.
53) When can we play a player twice? Allowed in the first 4 weeks of a session.
54) It is week 5, can my team play a player twice? No.
55) Who chooses which of my players will play twice? The opponent.
56) I only have 4 members right now and all of us are new and non-rated can we play a player twice? No.
57) I only have 4 members now and we are all skill level 5’s. Can we play a player twice? No.
58) I only have one skill level 3 on my roster and they are not here, can my 4 play twice? No.
59) I only have one skill level 3 on my roster and they are not here, can my 2 play twice? Yes.
60) When do I have to tell my opponent that my team has to play a player twice? By the 3rd individual match.
61) Can more than 1 player play twice? No.
62) Can my opponent make me violate the 23 rule? No.
63) Can we use a “sub” to keep from playing a player twice? No, they have to join the team and pay a
64) Our opponents told us that they “would” be playing a player twice and during the 4th match their missing
teammate walked in. Do we have to let that player play? No. Your team has the option.
65) Our opponents told us that they “might” have to play a player twice and their missing players arrived
before the 4th match started. Do we have to let them play? Yes.
66) Our opponent wants to select a player who has left without notifying anyone. Do we have to forfeit that
match? Unfortunately, yes. All eligible players must remain present until your opponent has made
their selection.
67) Can we change our mind after picking a player to play twice? No.
68) Our opponent wants to choose a player who doesn’t have enough money to play a second match. What
can we do? This happens quite often and the available team members should all pitch in to pay for that
match. Many teams will then collect the funds from the missing players and pay back the others.
69) Both teams are short players and choosing to play a player twice. Who picks? Treat it as a normal match with both teams selecting which of their members will play. 
Fouls Or Not?
70) I accidentally touch the cue ball. Foul? Yes.
71) I accidentally move an object ball with my hand or cue stick. Foul? No.
72) The object ball I accidentally moved hit the cue ball. Foul? Yes.
73) I shoot and the cue ball does not touch another ball. Foul? Yes.
74) I kick at my object ball, make contact but nothing hits a rail after contact. Foul? Yes.
75) I hit my ball first but my opponent’s ball was the only ball to hit a rail. Foul? No.
76) I knocked an object ball off the table, but still pocketed my ball. Foul? No, you continue to shoot. Refer
to item 6 in 8-Ball rules of the Official APA Team Manual.
77) My opponent has used up their time outs and another has been called. Foul? No. Calling a time out does
not constitute a foul. If intentionally done it is a sportsmanship violation and the offending team could be subject to penalties. If it is an unintentional mistake, just notifying the player that they have already used
78) The other team is coaching their player from the sidelines. Foul? No. Sportsmanship violation, file a
complaint. The team will be contacted and could face penalties.
79) Teammates are coaching the player in between their turn at the table. Foul? No.
80) Someone other than the coach or player is calling fouls or for time outs. Foul? No.
81) My opponent’s teammate yelled out which ball he/she should shoot, is that a foul? No, it is a time-out. If
the shooter does not have any time-outs remaining, then it is a sportsmanship violation and opposing team Captain should be given the opportunity to correct the situation. If the problem still persists, the League Office should be notified.
82) My opponent touched another ball on the table with the cue ball or their hand while placing the cue ball on
the table in a ball-in-hand situation. Foul? Yes.
83) My opponent accidentally moved one of my object balls into a better position during their shot. Does it have to go back? Yes.
84) If an object ball is moved accidentally before shooting does it go back to its original position before or after the shot is taken? Before.
85) If an object ball is accidentally moved while shooting, does it go back to its original position? Yes, but after the cue ball stops.
86) I shoot but I accidentally moved another ball and the cue ball strikes the ball I moved before I have a
chance to put the ball back. Did I foul? Yes.
87) After I hit the cue ball, I accidently hit another ball with my cue and knocked it in a pocket. What do we
do? After all balls have stopped moving, place the pocketed ball back where it was before you moved it.
88) While adjusting the cue ball position in a ball-in-hand situation, I used the ferrule of my cue. Foul? No.
89) While adjusting the cue ball position in a ball-in-hand situation, the leather of my tip touched the cue ball.
Foul? No. A foul occurs only when you are in the actual process of stroking your cue and the tip touches the cue ball. An adjustment is an adjustment. Using the tip to adjust the cue ball’s position in a ball-inhand situation should be avoided to eliminate any possible arguments.
90) Is it a foul to use the butt of the cue to break or make a jump shot? Yes. 
91) Is it a foul for the coach to place the cue ball in a ball-in-hand time out? No.
92) Is it a foul for the coach to touch the playing surface of the table? No.
93) Can the coach mark the spot where the player should aim? No, they can point out an aiming spot or place a piece of chalk on the rail, but they cannot physically mark the felt of the table.
94) Is asking a player “do you want to talk about it” a time out? Yes.
95) Can the shooter refuse a time-out? Yes, but it will still count as one so they might as well take it.
96) Can a coach refuse a time-out? Yes. As long as no information about the shot is exchanged it does not count as a time-out.
97) Can the coach take the shooter’s cue and line up a shot? Yes, then they must hand the cue back to the
98) The opponent made a bad hit but didn’t see it. Is that a foul? No. If a third unbiased party was not called to watch the hit, and there is a disagreement as to whether or not the hit was good – it goes to the shooter.
99) A third party was requested to watch a hit. Our team believes the shot was called wrong, can we dispute
the call? No. Once a call has been made by a third party it stands.
100) We had “Joe” watch a hit and he called it bad, but “Bob” was also watching from the sidelines said it was
good. What can we do? Nothing. You agreed to accept Joe’s call. What Bob saw doesn’t matter.
101) Our opponent wants to call a “friend” over to watch a hit. Can we refuse their “friend” as the third party?
Yes. The third party should be unbiased.
102) I told my opponent where I intended to pocket the 8-ball but did not put a marker down. I made the 8-ball
in that pocket. Foul? Yes. Loss of game. The pocket must be marked.
103) I was kicking at the 8-ball and did not hit it and did not scratch. Foul? Yes, but not loss of game.
104) I marked the pocket for the 8-ball. I hit it really bad and a little too hard. It went the wrong direction and
made contact with several rails and other balls that caused it to still drop in the pocket I marked. Do I
win? Yes, and I want some of your luck!
In General
105) I know I am going to be missing players for league this week. Can I request to do makeup matches? Yes.
With 24 hour notice, your opponent must allow you to do makeup. Without 24 notice, they can choose to
106) All our players didn’t show up for league play. Do we still have to pay the full league fees? Yes.
107) Our opponents had to forfeit matches. Do we still pay the full league fees? Yes.
108) Next week is a holiday! What can we do? Contact your opponent now and re-schedule. See #105 above.
109) My team member’s skill levels have moved up to where we can’t field 23. What are our choices? You
can field 4 players to 19, forfeiting the 5th match or if you have room on your roster, and the deadline
hasn’t been reached, add new lower skill level players with League Office approval.
110) My team wants to add another player tonight and it’s after the 4th week. Can we? Yes, if it is not the
Spring session and your team is not qualified, but you must notify the League Office first, collect the APA
membership for that player and submit a membership form with your paperwork. If these steps are not
taken you could forfeit any points that player earned for the night as well as your team’s bonus point. 
111) One of our players doesn’t have enough money to pay for their match. Can they play anyway? Yes, if 
someone wants to cover their fees. Otherwise your team will lose the bonus point and have a past due.
112) My team wants to quit. Can we quit now and start over next session? No. When a team drops out in the
middle of a session it disrupts the entire division. If your team drops out, every member becomes
responsible for the revenue lost. Each member will be required to repay his or her share of that lost
revenue before being allowed to play again.
113) How much debt will my team incur if it drops out? Weekly fees x 2 x remaining weeks in session = debt.
114) Is the team captain solely responsible for this debt? No, all players on the roster are responsible for their share of the debt.
115) I’m not happy on my current team. Can I switch teams this session? Yes, if it is prior to the 4th week of the session or the team you want to move to is in a different division.
116) Can I play on more than 1 team? Yes if they are in different divisions.
117) Do I have to pay the $25 membership fee for every team I’m on? No. One yearly membership allows you to play in as many divisions as you like.
118) My opponent shoots softly at a ball that is frozen to the rail. The ball comes off the rail into the cue ball
and back again to the same rail. Do I get ball-in-hand? Yes, if you notified your opponent that the ball
was frozen to the rail prior to the shot. No, if you did not. It is your responsibility to tell your opponent
that a ball they are shooting at is frozen to a rail.
119) Our Team Captain hasn’t shown up in weeks or contacted anyone. What can we do? Select a new Team
Captain from those on your roster.
120) Our team has a player that never has money to pay for their matches, what should we do? Replace the
player before he/she causes your team to lose eligibility due to their debts.
121) The team we are playing is bragging about how they have “sandbagged” all session. What can we do?
Notify the League Office. Remember, it takes 2 teams to allow someone to successfully cheat or
“sandbag”. If your team is not marking defensive (“no intent”) shots on the score sheet for the shooters,
then you are allowing them to “sandbag” or cheat. If only 1 team is marking defensive shots on both
players, then the League Office gets a clear picture of which teams are attempting to cheat and which are
not. The only way a team can successfully “sandbag” is if everyone else lets them. Stress to the other
teams in your division the importance of defensive shots and “sandbagging” will not be an issue.
122) My opponent is deliberately missing shots bragging that this will lower his/her handicap and raise mine.
What can I do? Notify the League Office and whenever there is no intent to pocket a ball, mark the player for a defensive shot. The software calculates your handicap based on your performance, not your opponent’s.
123) The opponent’s scorekeeper isn’t keeping score right. What can we do? B in the
message center of your score sheet. You might want to offer assistance and make sure that your own
scorekeeper is paying close attention and keeping score correctly.
Higher Level Tournaments (HLT’s)
124) What are “HLT’s”? HLT’s are “Higher Level Tournaments” such as the Local Team Championship
(LTC) and National Team Championship (NTC). 
125) My team has qualified for LTC’s. Do we have to continue playing? Yes. Qualified teams must play the
Spring session to maintain eligibility. See “Tournament Information and Rules” in the Official APA
Team Manual.
126) My team is past due in fees. Can we still play in the HLT’s? No. Teams must be current in all fees.
127) My job is changing my schedule and I won’t be able to continue playing on league night. Can I still play
with my team at the HLT’s? Yes, if it is a team event and you played the required number of matches
required with the team prior to your schedule change. If it is the Local Team Championship you must be
on your team’s roster for the Spring session, play at least 4 times with that team, and have 10 lifetime
matches in the APA. If it is the Best of the Best, then no. All Best of the Best participants must be active
in the format to compete.
128) My team is not going to the Tri-Cup. Do we still receive a payout? No. All qualified teams must attend
and participate in the tournament to receive any payout.
Player Etiquette
129) My opponent disrupts me while I am shooting, what do I do? Politely ask them to be considerate while it is your turn at the table. If that doesn’t help you may file a complaint with the League Office that can lead to disciplinary actions on the offending player or team. Other suggestions: If an opponent becomes unbearable talk with his/her team captain. If it gets too bad, leave.
130) My opponent stands right next to me while I’m shooting. How far back should the non-shooting player be
from the table? 6 feet if area permits.
131) My opponent keeps standing in my line of sight during my turns. What can I do? Politely ask them to
move. If they continue, politely ask their team captain to explain table etiquette to them.
If The Opponent Starts Pulling Balls Out On The Table Before The Cue Ball Has Come To A Stop?
This is not a concession of game. Although the opponent should wait until the cue ball has come to a complete stop before approaching the table to eliminate all arguments, it is not a foul if they do so. If the cue ball continues to roll and drops into a pocket resulting in a scratch without any interference, it is a loss of game to the shooter. If any of the balls that the opponent is pulling from the pockets interfere with the movement of the cue ball, it is a win for the shooter.
If The Opponent Breaks Down Their Stick While You Are On The 8-Ball?
Unfortunately, there are those unscrupulous players who would deliberately stand in a shooter’s line of view
and disassemble their cue sticks in order to “shark” or interrupt the shooter’s concentration while on the 8-ball.
At the same time, there are many new players who do not realize that it is poor etiquette to do this and unless
they are informed about it may do so without thinking of it as a concession or “sharking”. The APA does not
condone “sharking” of any sort, however nowhere in the Official Team Manual does it state that a player may
not disassemble and re-assemble their cue in a game. Therefore, the League Office ruling is: 
While in the process of shooting the 8-ball if the opponent breaks down his/her cue in plain view of the
shooter, then the shooter should ask if they are conceding the game. If the opponent says “no” then it
should be explained to them why they are being asked this and given the opportunity to learn what is
considered table/match etiquette. In the majority of cases the opponent will be apologetic and will learn
to stand out of the shooter’s line of view. If the opponent responds “yes”, then the shooters do not have
to shoot the 8-ball.
If the shooter chooses to go ahead and shoot at the 8-ball and misses, without acknowledging the
opponent breaking down his/her cue in their line of view, then the opponent may re-assemble the same
cue with which they have been playing and shoot.
If the shooter does not see the opponent break down his/her cue, then obviously there has been no attempt
to “shark”, therefore it is not a concession of game. If anyone other than the shooter witnesses the
opponent breaking down his/her cue and starts hollering, then it was the witness who “sharked” the
shooter, not the opponent and there has been no concession of the game. The shooter will have to pocket
the 8-ball to win. The opponent will have the right to reassemble his/her cue and continue if necessary.
In these situations, it should be clear that it only matters what the shooter sees, not the shooter’s teammates.
When is a game considered a “Stalemate”
During any game, if neither player can benefit with ball in hand, the game is considered a stalemate. In 8-
Ball: Score keepers should mark the game box with a “SM” or a big “X” and disregard all innings and defensive
shots marked during that rack. A new game should be started with the winner of the previous game breaking.
In 9-Ball: Score keepers will mark any balls remaining on the table as “dead”. The players retain all points
earned during that rack and all defensive shots and innings will still apply. The next rack will be broken by
whoever sank the 9-ball in the previous game.
Technicality Calls
The Official APA Team Manual provides players with rules by which all members should play.
Understanding the spirit of the rule, or rather, why the rule had to be written is necessary to eliminate
technicality calls. It is unfortunate that in any form of league play there will always be teams that search for
ways to win by interpreting a rule to their advantage. These teams tend forget the “spirit” of league play and
that the main idea is to have fun. Yes, the rules are there in black & white and everyone should be aware of the rules. But there are many occasions when a good sport will overlook a technicality and accept defeat.
Remember the quote on page 2 of your Team Manual:
“Relax, enjoy yourself and play within the Spirit of the Rules as well as the written rule. It is impossible
to cover every situation 100% with rules. Common sense must prevail. Teams that try to gain advantage by
creating their own interpretation are subject to sportsmanship violations. Win at the table and not from the chair is a generality that promotes harmony, camaraderie and good times. That’s what this League is all