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This document was last updated on: 30/08/2018


1) The organisation shall be called the STAFFORD AND DISTRICT BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER LEAGUE and will be referred to as the "SDBSL" throughout these rules. The league shall consist of member clubs playing billiards and/or snooker on an English billiards table according to the rules of the game laid down by the WORLD PROFESSIONAL BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER ASSOCIATION (hereafter referred to as the "WPBSA") or any alterations that are deemed necessary by the Management Committee.

2) A Member Club is one which registers teams and players and settles its accounts independently of any other and is not in default regarding any financial obligation to the SDBSL.

3) The SDBSL shall be affiliated to the STAFFORDSHIRE AND WEST MIDLANDS BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER ASSOCIATION and any other body that may be deemed necessary by the Management Committee.

The Aims

4) The aims of the SDBSL shall be to provide and maintain the circumstances within which the entitlement of all to enjoy their game is assured and to treat all Member Clubs and players in a fair and equal manner.


5) The SDBSL shall be governed by a Management Committee. This Committee can consist of any of the following positions if it is deemed a requirement or in the best interests of the SDBSL – President, Chairman, Administration Secretary, Treasurer and Match Secretary. All requirement to fulfil these positions to be reviewed on an annual basis, based on requirement/cost/size of league. The management Committee will also consist of up to 12 committee members who will be elected annually. All Officers and Members attending are entitled to vote, with the Chairman having the casting vote. No Officer or person present may vote more than once on any given motion.

5b) In the event of any office becoming vacant, the Management Committee shall have the power to appoint an interim successor until the next Annual General Meeting.

5c) In order to secure a viable committee consisting of sufficient members to better represent the SDBSL clubs each member club must nominate a minimum of two active team players. At least one of the nominated representatives should be available to attend committee meetings and support the running of the leagues.

6) Any member of the Management Committee not attending sufficient meetings (60% over a 9 month period), shall no longer be deemed a member and the Management Committee shall be empowered to remove the individual from the Management Committee and fill the vacancy by co-option.

6b) SDBSL Management Committee will endeavour to maintain / increase the number of participating players/teams/clubs at every opportunity.


7) A decision-making meeting of the Management Committee may not be held with less than 50% Committee members/officers present.

Annual General Meeting

8) The Annual General Meeting, of which 42 days’ notice shall be given, shall be held in the month of July of each year. Notice of ANY OTHER BUSINESS or proposed amendments to Rules shall be forwarded to the Match Secretary, in writing, at least 28 days before the date of the meeting. The Committee will then give 14 days’ notice regarding the changes, to Member Clubs prior to the meeting. The Treasurer shall render a Statement of Accounts showing all income and expenditure up to June 30th of that year, duly certified. This certification shall be by 2 persons who are not league officials and who were appointed to act at the previous Annual General Meeting of the SDBSL.

9) All persons present are entitled to 1 vote each, subject to a maximum of 2 votes per member club. Officers (Treasurer and Match Secretary) of the SDBSL cannot represent clubs but can vote in their own right. A simple majority carries a motion. No Officer or person present may vote more than once on any given motion.

10) All clubs wishing to continue membership of the SDBSL shall be represented at the Annual General Meeting. Any club not attending or not having given notice to the Administration Secretary, in writing, of their intention to remain in the league shall be liable to lose their place in the respective division, group or section. Such clubs, however, will remain liable for any moneys due in respect of the previous season.

11) Any club not represented at the Annual General Meeting will be liable to a fine as fixed by the Management Committee.

12) No alteration, amendment or addition shall be made to these rules except at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting called for that purpose.

Special General Meeting

A Special General Meeting may be called by:

13) The Management Committee or a member club’s resolution signed by at least 4 member clubs. On receiving such a resolution the Management Committee must make the necessary arrangements to hold the meeting and give all member clubs 14 days’ notice of the meeting.


14) All league moneys shall be banked and all cheques signed by 2 authorised signatories. The authorised signatories being the Treasurer and one designated Committee Member.

15) The Offices of Treasurer & Match Secretary shall be paid an honorarium, decided at the Annual General Meeting and paid quarterly.


Eligibility of Clubs, Teams and Players

1) Professional Billiards/Snooker players are not permitted to compete in the SDBSL.

2) Players of any age or gender must be allowed to participate in any matches under the auspices of the SDBSL.

3) All players must be registered with the Match Secretary for a current team and allocated a league handicap before they can play in any league or KO competition.

4) A fee, per person per match, shall be fixed and adjusted as necessary by the Management Committee.

5) A registration fee is applicable to the Club for each team they enter in the Snooker/Billiards Leagues. This fee will be fixed by the Management Committee.

6) No registration will be accepted until the Club concerned has fulfilled all its obligations to the SDBSL to the entire satisfaction of the Management Committee.

7) All players must be a BONA-FIDE member of the club for whom they wish to play.

8) No player shall play for more than one club at the same time but a player may play for one club in the league and another in knockout competitions provided the player is registered for each club for which he proposes to play and complies with the other requirements stipulated in this rule.

9) Players registered by a Club can only be transferred to another Club with the agreement of all parties involved.

10) A player shall not be registered or transferred from one club to another until his subscription or any obligation he owes to the club he leaves has been settled. Any player found to have been registered contrary to this rule shall be suspended, unless the Management Committee consider the conditions to be abnormal.

11) Where a Club has more than one team in the Billiards and Snooker sections, players will automatically be registered for a team when they have played 3 matches for that team. They will then be ineligible to play for any other team except as follows: Any player may play for a team in a higher division at the same Club, but not on more than 2 occasions per season, after which they are then regarded as a permanent member of that team for the duration of the season. In the event of a Club wishing to transfer a player from a team of a higher standard to that of a lower one, application must be made to the Management Committee and each application shall be judged entirely on its merits. No player can play for more than 1 Club team in the same week, or in respect of the same week's fixtures.


12) For the ineligibility of players, player short and for instruction of players in play (after warning), the following scores can be awarded against them by the referee:

Billiards Division 1: 100 v 0
Billiards (other Divisions): 75 v 0
Team KO Competition: Total points for frame v 0

Snooker Division 1: 60 v 0
Snooker (other Divisions): 42 v 0
Team KO Competition: 147 v 0

A fine fixed by the Management Committee may also be imposed.

13) The Management Committee shall have the power to decide in which division a new team to league competition shall play. The Management Committee shall have the power to order any match to be replayed should circumstances warrant it.

14) Where a player of proven higher ability with first division/Premier experience wishes to play in a lower division (other than as a result of his team having been relegated) the Management Committee can decide to impose a handicap start in favour of his league opponents, subject to review at any time.

14b) Any player who has a handicap imposed as a result of moving to a lower division is still eligible to compete for the division merit but not the high-break award, unless decided by the Management Committee.

Conditions of Play

15) All arrangements and conditions of play in all league competitions promoted by the SDBSL shall be in the hands of the Management Committee and such competitions shall be subject to the rules governing them. The Management Committee may make such bylaws, as they deem necessary, for the carrying out of league competitions. If the Management Committee considers there are insufficient entries for a particular competition to ensure it worthwhile, then that league or competition shall be suspended during that season.

16) In all league and team competitions the match shall be played to the order of the card. If one team believes they will be short of players, the opposition team captain can determine which position on the card is to remain blank. In the case of a player playing the wrong opponent, should the frame be completed, then the result stands. It is not allowed under any circumstance to unfold the match card and see the opposition order until both team orders have been recorded. If this occurs, then it will be deemed as ‘gaining an advantage’ and a blind draw should be made for the offending team.

16b) In all league divisions apart from the first division. If one team is short of players, the opposition team captain can either agree to one player in the team short of players playing two games (by blind draw and to be entered on the match sheet as DRAWN) or determine which position on the card is to remain blank. If a player is drawn to play two games in a match, then only the players first frame result will be used for the purpose of merit award or player rankings and aggregates. This rule can only be applied by a team a maximum of three times in any one season.

17) League matches can be pre-arranged and played before their original date without informing the Match Secretary.

18) Any team captain requiring the postponement of a match should first seek the opposing captain’s agreement. If agreement is received he should also obtain a new date to play that must be within 28 days of the original date or before the final league fixture of that season, whichever is the sooner. The Match Secretary must be advised of the postponement and the rearrangement at least three days prior to the original date of the match. If no agreement is possible between the captains involved the Match Secretary must be advised of the circumstances in good time and he will consult with the Management Committee. The matter will be reviewed by Committee members not directly linked with any of the teams involved in the dispute. The Management Committee decision will be final. With the exception listed in Rule 17, a club postponing a match without permission or failing to contest a match as fixed shall forfeit all games and be subject to a fine.

19) League matches take precedence over all other matches and under no circumstances shall the date of a league match be altered to allow any other match to be played, except as in rule 17, unless it is by direction of the Management Committee.

20) All teams, Billiards or Snooker shall consist of up to 5 players whichever is decided at the beginning of the season by the league management committee. Any decision to reduce team numbers from the standard 5 players will only be made by consulting all member clubs/teams and reaching a majority decision across the league.

21) Individual games in each match will be arranged by means of a draw.

22) The home team will provide MARKERS/REFEREES for all games.

23) The decision of the referee is final.

24) Players in play shall not be instructed by word or signal by either spectators or team mates. The Referee shall advise the player at the table and his team captain of the penalty for further offending in this matter.

25) In Billiards, the points total played for in each division will be set by the management committee as required depending on the league structure in force at the time. Where the handicap system is in operation, the handicap shall be applied as defined in rule 49 or as directed by the management committee depending on the league structure or competition entrees

26) Where a league frame of snooker is conceded, the scores are recorded at the point where the game is conceded. In all aggregate matches a game cannot be conceded and the frame must be completed.

27) All matches will commence no later than 7.30 p.m. except where permission to start at 8.00 p.m. has been granted. Four players from each team must be present at the commencement of play and the fifth player in each team must be available by 8.15 p.m. or 45 minutes after the start of play except where otherwise agreed between the captains. (Other times can be arranged for re-arranged matches). This rule applies to both home and away players. Failure to comply may result in matches being forfeited/claimed and the player(s) being treated as absent with Rule 31 being applied.

27b) Under normal circumstances all league matches will be scheduled to be played on a Wednesday night. Where a club has several teams and it is not possible to play all league matches on a Wednesday night then an alternative night can be scheduled in agreement with the match secretary

28) Matches being played on one table must start not later than 7.00pm, this includes clubs who have two tables but have two matches on the same night.

29) Clubs using two tables for one match must play the fifth frame as soon as a match table becomes available.

30) Where a table is being shared by 2 teams playing at home on the same evening, as in 3 table clubs, the shared table must be put into use by the first team to have players available to play, on a first come, first served basis.

31) In the case of a team playing short of the required number of players, the offending team will be adjudged to have lost such games and the points be awarded to their opponents as per Rule 12.

32) If any team captain conspires to falsify a result card, to cover up a player(s) short in a match, "where collusion is proved" both teams will lose all points won in that match and will also be fined an amount as fixed by the Management Committee.

33) Match Results must be forwarded to the Match Secretary by E-MAIL, PHONE or POST (Affix stamp) by the winning team Captain within 3 days of the match. Match Cards shall be duly signed as correct by both captains and any alterations initialled. The match card shall be retained for a period of 12 months by the winning team captain as a back-up record. All late results shall incur a fine, determined by the Management Committee.

34) Upon withdrawal of any team from the League, all involved results shall be null and void and immediate settlement of any financial obligation owing to the SDBSL will be sought.

Protests, Disputes and Fines

35) Complaints regarding either infringement or application of the rules shall be submitted in writing to the SDBSL Committee either by letter or by email within 4 days signed by the respective Club Snooker/Billiards Secretary and accompanied by a fee of £10, (photo-copied signatures not accepted) such fee to be returned if the complaint is upheld or retained if deemed frivolous.

36) Any unresolved dispute in any match should be reported to the Match Secretary within 24 hours of the incident. The Match Secretary shall discuss the matter with the SDBSL Management Committee and its decision shall be final.

36b) The Committee shall have the power to reprimand, suspend from membership for a period not exceeding one year, or expel from membership of the League, any member or Club, who is adjudged guilty by the Committee of any Infringement of the Rules or Bye-Laws or whose conduct within or outside the League, in the opinion of the Committee, could undermine the effective management of the League, or bring the League into disrepute. Or in any other way be prejudicial to the interests of the League.

37) Fines will be notified to member clubs as soon as possible after the identified offence. The notification will state the amount of and the reason for the fine. Any appeal or protest against the imposition of a fine must be made in the manner set out in Rule 35, including the necessary deposit, but within 14 days of the issue of the notification.

38) Non-payment of fees, fines or other moneys due may result in suspension from future league games and competitions.

League Tables

39) For the computation of the Snooker league tables 1 point shall be awarded for the winning of each game and an additional 1 point to the team winning the majority of games in each match. For Billiards league tables 1 point shall be awarded for the winning of each game and an additional 1 point to the team winning the majority of games in each match.

40) The team scoring the most number of points in each division, after all fixtures have been completed, shall be the winner of that division. In the event of 2 or more teams being level on points, at the completion of fixtures, the team with most matches won shall be deemed to occupy the highest position. Where total points and matches won are equal and championship/promotion/relegation places are involved there will be a play off at a neutral venue to decide the higher placing.

41) Team(s) will be promoted/relegated as determined by the Match Secretary in accordance with the League structure.

42) Prizes shall be awarded (6 per team) for each Division, at the discretion of the Management Committee.

42b) Trophy winners who do not attend the Presentation Night or nominate a representative will have their winnings withheld until the end of the presently active season.

43) High breaks shall be recorded on the Result Cards and no claim for the Highest Break can be entertained unless it has been recorded. The player(s) with the greatest number of wins in any one division shall be awarded a prize, (known as the Merit Award), as shall the player with the highest break. Should there be a tie for the Merit Award or the Highest Break, then all players concerned shall be awarded prizes.


44) The value and awarding of prizes shall be allocated by the Management Committee annually.


45) These competitions are not open to professional Billiards/Snooker players.

46) All Knockout competitions are open to SDBSL registered players and entrance fees will be set by the Management Committee. To be eligible for a KO competition all players must have played at least 3 league matches. In a team knockout competition only players who have played in a previous round will be allowed to play in a final. Any deviation from this rule is at the discretion of the Match Secretary.

47) The arrangements of all SDBSL Competitions shall be the responsibility of the Match Secretary and shall be subject to the rules governing them as detailed on their respective application forms.

48) Matches will be played at the home Club of the first named team or player(s) except where a neutral venue is named for the final stages. The Committee in conjunction with the club at which finals are to be played shall provide Referees/Markers for the finals. Venues for the final stages shall be allocated where practical at the start of the season.

49) Handicaps awarded shall be determined by the Management Committee and are subject to alteration at any time. In individual handicap matches any start should be marked on the scoreboard before each frame. In Team Handicap Matches, any start should not be marked on the scoreboard and each frame treated separately. In this case the combined handicap for the team should be entered at the top of the match results card and this combined handicap is then added to the aggregate frame scores.

50) In Snooker, where aggregate scores or handicap matches are involved, if the match ends in a tie the last two opponents shall play out a re-spotted black to determine the winner. The player winning the toss shall have the choice of strike. In no other frames, where aggregate scores or handicaps are concerned, shall the black be re-spotted.

51) In Billiards if a team handicap match ends in a tie the side that has won the most games shall be deemed the winner.

52) Teams fielding player(s) short in Snooker team knockout matches will have deemed to have lost that particular frame. The penalty incurred will be the same as Rule 12.

53) In doubles or team events, a side may consist of players from different clubs, provided they are registered and members of those clubs. In these instances home matches shall be played at the club of the first player listed. No player may play for more than one pair in the Doubles Competition, nor will a substitute partner be allowed after the pair has played its first match. At the start of a Doubles Competition match, choice of first strike shall be determined upon the toss of a coin. Each side shall then open alternate frames, but the order of play shall be determined at the commencement of each frame.

54) In all competitions, Semi-Finals and Finals will be set when the entry date for that competition has passed, but will be issued prior to the first round of each competition. On that basis, players can withdraw from competition without any financial penalty. Semi-Finals and Finals dates and venues will be fixed and can only be changed if extreme circumstances exist. Failure to attend, or failure to inform the Match Secretary within 72 hours of the scheduled date of non-attendance of a Semi-Final or Final may incur a fine and or a ban from competing in any S&DBSL competition for a period not exceeding twelve months.

55) Competition Results must be forwarded to the Match Secretary by E-MAIL, PHONE or POST (Affix stamp) by the winning team captain or player within 3 days of the match. Match Cards shall be duly signed as correct by both parties and any alterations initialled. The match card shall be retained for a period of 12 months by the winning team captain or player as a back-up record. All late results shall incur a fine, determined by the Management Committee and may also lead to elimination from the competition.

56) All trophies are perpetual Challenge trophies and must be returned to the Management Committee on request. If a trophy is lost or damaged whilst in the possession of a player or club, then that player or club will be charged for the cost of any replacement or renovation necessary to restore the trophy to its original condition.


57) The Management Committee shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of the Constitution and Rules of the SDBSL.

58) The Management Committee has the power to give any decision on any matter on which these Rules do not cover.

59) In billiards "Running a Coup" is where a player's ball is played directly into a pocket from "in hand" and is both a foul and a miss. This allows the non-offending player the option of having the balls spotted.

60) The Miss Rule shall not be applied to any Division of the SDBSL. This rule does not apply to Inter Town snooker matches which are subject to the rules administered by the STAFFORDSHIRE AND WEST MIDLANDS BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER ASSOCIATION.

61) To reduce/remove the possibility of a conflict of interests, members of the Management Committee will, at all times, prioritise the ongoing running of the SDBSL, therefore will not consider any individual who is employed in a paid Management position by a participating SDBSL member club. SDBSL Management Committee Members have an obligation to act in the best interests of SDBSL, and in accordance with SDBSL's governing document. Conflicts of interests may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of SDBSL.
Such conflicts may create problems; they can:

•Inhibit free discussion;
•Result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of SDBSL; and
•Risk the impression that SDBSL Management Committee has acted improperly.

The aim of this ruling is to protect both SDBSL and the SDBSL Committee Members involved from any appearance of impropriety.

62) Communications to League members / players.
The SDBSL Management Committee will change methods of correspondence to encompass latest technology as the standard forms of communication – Website and email. All forms will request up to date mobile phone numbers / email addresses of individuals. The SDBSL Management Committee acknowledges that not all SDBSL members will have relevant access to this technology and will act accordingly as required.

63) All competition finals venues will be decided on an annual basis prior to the start of the competitions. These will work on an annual rotational basis using all venues. Venues will NOT be altered if finalists are ‘home’ players of the club selected

Inter-Town Snooker Championship

64) Matches must be played at venues providing two tables and Teams shall consist of seven players, who shall play one frame each.

65) A Stafford A and Stafford B team will be entered each season. The top 20 ranked players based on a three-year rolling MOST WINS total will be identified by the Match Secretary and presented to the management committee before June each year. The management committee shall select the two team captains in July and invite them to the August committee meeting to select their teams of ten players per team. The selected captains shall then invite their chosen players to represent the Stafford A and Stafford B teams. On feedback from these invitations, if any of the players cannot or do not wish to represent the town then the next ranking positions will be considered. The team captains shall confirm their team selection to the Chairman and Treasurer in September where upon the entries will be registered with the STAFFORDSHIRE AND WEST MIDLANDS BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER ASSOCIATION.