Pool remains a gentleman’s game from time immemorial despite its current popularity that cuts across societal strata. Thus, you should maintain pool table manners whether playing at your friend’s basement, the local pool hall, or an upscale billiard tournament. In a typical pool event, there are players, officials, fans, and the playing equipment inside a room.
Pool table etiquette entails respect to all these aspects of cue ball tournaments by participants. It is impossible to establish a clear winner during a raucous and confused pool event. This requires all parties to the tournament to maintain a certain degree of order and conviviality in order to enjoy the show and crown a winner. The following is a guide to general pool table etiquette with special regard to the equipment, players, and the tournament playroom:
Handle Pool Equipment with Care
High quality pool tables, billiard balls, and cue sticks present in many tournaments are expensive to purchase. Contestants should handle the equipment with professionalism and care to prevent losses to the owners. The following dos and don’ts apply to pool table equipment order among players:
- Hold the cue stick vertically without placing it on the ground while not shooting.
- Do not chalk your cue while standing close to the rails. The residue can stain wood rails and the cloth.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes while playing the game near the table. Lit cigarettes leave burn marks on the table railing, while falling embers and ashes can char the cloth.
- Keep food and drinks away from the pool table. Eating near or at the table will obviously leave crumbs on the railing and cloth while drinks can leave stains on the wooden railing, or accidentally spill over onto the table.
- Do not slide the rack across the table when racking. Lift it and slide the billiard balls gently on the table. Avoid sitting on the table so that it remains balanced on the ground.
Treat Other Players Respectfully
Pool events are mostly communal sporting gatherings where respect is obligatory. Pool table rules and etiquette require players to respect each other during play. Remember the following rules of fair play during any cue table event:
- Respect the events rules against sharking. Sharking entails doing any distracting activities than can ruin the other players’ concentration during his/her turn.
- Do not proffer unsolicited advice to the opponent during the game.
- Avoid hustling other players, remarking about their skills, and making derogative statements about their game.
Accord Respect to The Pool Room
The poolroom refers to the actual property hosting the event, its contents, and the audience present. Ensure you leave this room in the exact state that you found it. Return the cues, mechanical bridges, balls, racks, and chalks at their designated spots. Use an ashtray while smoking your cigarette, and leave it there when it is your turn to shoot. Avoid communicating with audience members, as this constitutes a sharking offence in many tournaments.
Serious pool players recognize the value of respect and etiquette during play. A pool event is certainly not the place for drunk, dishevelled and noisy crowds. A certain level of decorum is implicit during tournaments in order to establish a clearly talented winner. Thus, both players and the audience should maintain order and practice pool table etiquette to enjoy the game.