Texas Express Official 9-Ball Rules


Section 1: Object of the Game


1.1: Object of the Game

Nine-ball is played with a cue ball and nine numbered balls (1-9). The object of the game is to legally pocket the 9 ball. On each shot, the cue ball must first contact the lowest numbered object ball on the table. Any numbered ball pocketed as a result of a legal shot, whatever its number, permits the player to continue. A 9-ball legally pocketed at any time during the game results in a win for the player. A match ends when one of the players has won the required number of games.

If a player fails to legally pocket a numbered ball, the incoming player must accept the positions of the cue ball and object ball positions on the table. If the outgoing player has fouled, the incoming player may place the cue ball (called “ball-in-hand”) anywhere on the table (other than variations during the break).

Numbered balls do not have to be pocketed in numerical order, provided the lowest numbered ball on the table is contacted first. There is no requirement that any shot or pocket be declared prior to shooting. Each player continues to play until he or she 1) fails to legally pocket a numbered ball, 2) fouls, or 3) wins the game.


Section 2: Racking


2.1: Racking

The numbered balls are racked in a diamond shape with the one (1) ball (or substituted lowest numbered ball) placed at the top of the diamond on the table’s foot spot. The nine (9) ball is placed in the center of the diamond. The remaining seven balls are racked in random order surrounding the nine ball as tightly as possible. This tight position is called “touching,” or “frozen.”

2.2: Opening and Subsequent Rack

The opening rack is determined by the outcome of the lag, with the winner of the lag racking and breaking the numbered balls. The opponent has the right to inspect the rack, but may not request that the numbered balls be arranged in any specific numerical order or placement within the rack. The tournament director or appointed referee may declare a rack acceptable for play at any time, reserves the right to rack at any time, or to select either opponent to rack

2.3: Ball Tapping During Racking

Attempting to freeze numbered balls in a particular position by tapping or striking them with the cue ball, another ball, or any foreign object is called ball tapping, and is not permitted at any time, including during practice on a tournament-designated table. A player may or may not be issued a warning for ball tapping before the infraction is declared a foul; if determined to be a foul, the penalty is the loss of one game per incident. Only the tournament director reserves the right to tap numbered balls.


Section 3: Breaking


3.1: Opening Break

Players determine the opening break by lagging. The winner of the lag retains the option to break and rack.

3.2: Game Winner Breaks

The winner of each game breaks the next game, unless stated otherwise prior to the tournament.

3.3: Cue Ball Location During Breaking

The designated area for breaking and placement of the cue ball is anywhere behind the headstring, including being “frozen” to any rail within the headstring area. The base of the cue ball determines its accurate location within the headstring. It is the responsibility of the opponent to warn the player breaking (and the player must acknowledge the warning) that the cue ball is past the headstring prior to the break. Breaking with the cue ball past the headstring (after the warning and acknowledgement) constitutes a foul. The penalty is cue ball-in-hand for the opponent (if a legal break occurs, refer to rule 3.4); or a re-rack and break (if an illegal break occurs, refer to rule 3.5), with the opponent receiving his or her inning at the table.

3.4: Legal Break

A legal break occurs when a) the one (1) ball (object ball, or substituted lowest ball on the foot spot) is struck first by the cue ball and a minimum of four (4) numbered balls driven to the rail, or b) a numbered ball is legally pocketed.

3.5: Illegal Break

Failure to execute a legal break (refer to rule 3.4) constitutes an illegal break. The foul allows the incoming player to rack and break.

3.6: Fouls Prior, During, or After the Break

Once the cue ball has been driven or accidentally bumped past the headstring by the chalked area of the cue stick tip (with the player in the bridge and stance position), it will be considered an attempt to break.

If a foul occurs during any legal break or break attempt, then the incoming player has cue ball-in-hand. If a foul occurs during any illegal break or break attempt, then the incoming player racks and breaks. Any attempt by the player to interfere with the path of the cue ball during a break is a foul, even within the headstring area; if any interference occurs during a legal break, the opponent receives cue ball-in-hand; if any interference occurs during an illegal break, the opponent racks and breaks.

If, during any attempt to break the player hits the cue ball more than once, the penalty is a foul, even if the interference occurs within the headstring area. If the interference occurs during a legal break, the opponent receives cue ball-in-hand; if the interference occurs during an illegal break, the opponent racks and breaks. Any numbered ball driven off the table (off the playing surface and not pocketed) constitutes a foul. If a ball is driven off the playing surface during a legal break, the opponent receives cue ball-in-hand; if the ball is driven off during an illegal break, opponent racks and breaks.

Any attempt resulting in the cue ball being pocketed or driven off the table and not striking the rack is a foul, giving the opponent the break. If the cue ball leaves the table in an otherwise legal break, the opponent receives the cue ball-in-hand. If the cue ball leaves the table on an illegal break, the opponent racks and breaks. All numbered balls that are driven off the table are considered out of play and will be placed in a pocket (manually pocketed) and any numbered balls pocketed remain in the pocket. The only numbered ball to be spotted is the nine (9) ball. If the footspot is being occupied by a numbered ball, the nine (9) ball will be spotted in the next closest area behind the footspot on a line (the long string) from the center of the foot spot to the foot rail. Any attempt to break that results in the cue ball’s striking a rail before it strikes the rack constitutes a foul; if during a legal break, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand; if during an illegal break, the opponent racks and breaks. Any foul occurring prior, during, or after the break is included in the three (3) foul rule and is considered the first foul.


Section 4: Push Out


4.1: Push Out Option After the Break (Also referred to as a Roll Out)

The player who executes a legal break and pockets a numbered ball has the option to push out (shoot the cue ball) on the first shot after the legal break. If no balls are legally pocketed on the break, the incoming player retains the option to push out.

After a legal push out, the incoming player has the option to accept the position of the cue ball and execute a shot, or pass (non-execute) the shot attempt and allow the opponent to shoot. During a push out, the player may shoot the cue ball to any area on the table by executing a legally attempted shot. There is no requirement for the cue ball to strike a numbered ball or rail or to drive any ball to a rail, and any numbered ball that is pocketed stays down. The only numbered ball to be spotted is the nine (9) ball.

A push out must be executed by means of a legally stroked shot. There is no requirement for any ball to strike a rail during a push out. Any illegal shot results in a foul, giving the incoming player cue ball-in-hand. The push out must be declared, and the player attempting the push out must receive acknowledgement from the opponent. If the player receives an acknowledgement from the opponent and executes the shot, it will be considered a legal shot. All rules pertaining to fouls shall apply, regardless of intent, final placement or path of the cue ball or struck numbered balls.


Section 5: Legal Shots


5.1: Legal Shot and Continuing Play

The cue ball must strike the lowest numbered object ball on the table first, followed by either the cue ball or any other legally struck numbered ball striking a rail. A numbered ball must be pocketed for the shooter to continue play.

5.2: Legal Frozen Shot

When the cue ball and lowest numbered ball are frozen together, the player may shoot directly through the cue ball with a normal stroke (the normal momentary time commensurate with a stroked shot). The frozen balls must be declared and the opponent must acknowledge the declaration prior to the shot. If the player shoots without declaring and receiving acknowledgement, the shot will be considered an illegal push shot.

5.3: Illegal Push Shot and Double Hit

When the cue ball and the lowest numbered ball are barely separated, the player may not shoot directly through the shot if the action causes a push shot or a double hit. (The players should have the tournament director observe any shot where the cue ball and lowest numbered ball are barely separated.)

There is no requirement that the cue stick be elevated in an attempt to eliminate the possibility of a push shot or double hit. Refer to rule 5.4 (Push Shot Definition) and rule 5.5 (Double Hit Definition) for clarification.

5.4: Push Shot Definition

A push shot may occur when the action of shooting causes the cue ball and the numbered ball being struck by the cue ball to travel at generally the same speed and distance. A normal stroke is defined by the action of the cue tip striking and not pushing the cue ball. A normal stroke is determined by the time and distance the tip remains on the cue ball, commensurate with a normally executed shot. A push shot constitutes a cue ball-in-hand foul.

5.5: Double Hit Definition

A double hit occurs when the action of shooting causes the cue ball to be struck twice (or more) by the cue tip during a single shot. A double hit constitutes a cue ball-in-hand foul.

A double hit is usually caused by the cue ball rebounding off the object ball being struck, causing the cue ball to hit the cue stick tip (or ferrule or shaft) more than once.


Section 6: Cue Ball-in-Hand


6.1: Cue Ball-in-Hand Fouls

When a player commits a foul, the opponent shall receive an inning at the table with the cue ball-in-hand (anywhere on the table). All pocketed balls stay down, except the nine (9) ball. All fouls must be declared and acknowledged before the next shot is taken. Foul calls that are not observed by the tournament director are usually decided in favor of the shooter. Players should request that the tournament director observe all potential foul situations. The tournament director reserves the right to resolve any foul situations by any means necessary and may call for a replay of the game, giving the original breaker the option to rack and break.

6.2: Scratch

Pocketing the cue ball, illegally pocketing numbered balls, or driving either the cue ball or numbered balls off the table constitutes a cue ball-in-hand foul. A cue ball scratch on the break (rack not disturbed) is not a ball-in-hand foul (refer to 3.6).

6.3: Bad Hit

If the first ball struck by the cue ball is not the lowest numbered object ball on the table, it will be considered a cue ball-in-hand foul (except for variations on the break; refer to 3.6). In the case of a split hit, the judgment favors the shooter.

6.4: No Rail

When a cue ball or any other legally struck ball fails to hit the rail (except during the push out or if a numbered ball is legally pocketed), a cue ball-in-hand foul is declared, favoring the opponent. A ball is driven to the rail if it touches the cloth on the rail, a pocket facing, or pocket liner.

6.5: Object Ball Frozen to a Rail

If the lowest numbered object ball is frozen to a rail, the player must 1) drive that object ball to another rail, or 2) drive another numbered ball to the rail resulting from a hit initiated by the lowest numbered ball struck, or 3) drive the cue ball to another rail, or 4) legally pocket a numbered ball. Failure to do any of these resulting from an object ball being frozen to the rail results in a cue ball-in- hand foul. The frozen object ball must be declared and the opponent must acknowledge prior to the shot.

6.6: Balls Off the Table

Any action aside from an illegal break that causes any numbered ball to leave the playing surface (excluding legally pocketed balls) results in a cue ball-in-hand foul. All numbered balls stay down except the 9 ball, which is the only ball to be spotted.

Any action (accidental or intentional movement other than a legal shot) causing a numbered ball to be pocketed results in a cue ball-in-hand foul. Numbered ball or balls are not spotted. Intentional movement may be a flagrant foul. If during the course of a legal shot a numbered ball is determined to have fallen into a pocket “by itself,” it will be replaced in its original position. If that ball is the lowest numbered ball, it will be re-spotted in its original position and all other disturbed numbered balls will be returned to their original positions by the tournament director. If the numbered balls can not be repositioned by the tournament director, the numbered balls will be re-racked and the game will be replayed, giving the original breaker the right to re-rack and break.

Any time the cue ball is driven off the table (except during an illegal break), the opponent receives cue ball-in-hand. Any action that causes a ball to strike a foreign object (light, bridge, chalk, cue, etc.), even if the ball comes to rest on the playing surface, results in a cue ball-in-hand foul.

6.7: Table Scratch

A table scratch occurs when the cue ball fails to contact any ball during the course of a shot, and results in a cue ball-in-hand foul (except during a push out or on the break).

6.8: One Foot on the Floor

The player must keep at least one foot on the floor while shooting; failure to keep at least one foot on the floor constitutes a cue ball-in-hand foul.

6.9: Illegal Jump Shot

An illegal jump shot occurs when the cue ball is struck below the center line by the cue stick tip, causing the cue ball to jump or lift above the playing surface (also referred to as scooping or digging under the cue ball). The penalty is cue ball-in-hand for the opponent.

6.10: Miscue

A miscue is a foul (on any shot) if any part of the cue stick other than the chalked tip comes into contact with the cue ball. If determined to be a foul, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.11: Moving Ball

Shooting while any ball is moving or spinning is a foul. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand. A ball inadvertently settling “by itself” is not considered a moving ball.

6.13: The Cue Ball in Motion

The cue ball may not be touched or picked up until all balls have come to rest or have been pocketed. If the cue ball is picked up or touched while it is in motion, regardless of the intent by the player or the path of the cue ball, the penalty is cue ball-in-hand for the opponent.

6.14: Touching the Cue Ball

Touching by any means or causing the cue ball to move, (other than by means of a legally struck shot) is a foul. If a foul occurs, the opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.15: Touching Moving Balls

It is a foul to touch any moving ball, or to allow ball or balls to strike any foreign object. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.16: Touching or Moving Numbered Balls at Rest (Prior to a Shot)

It is not a foul to accidentally move or touch a single numbered ball other than the lowest numbered ball on the table.

A foul results any time the lowest numbered ball is touched in any way. Any time a player places the cue ball on the table (cue ball-in-hand), the cue ball may not contact any numbered ball, or a foul results. If a single numbered ball is moved prior to the shot, it may be replaced in its original position only by the opponent; the opponent may leave the ball in the moved position (leave lie). Any time two or more numbered balls are moved prior to the shot, an automatic foul results giving the opponent the option to reposition any or all of the moved balls to their original places, or to leave them as-is (leave lie). The balls may never be replaced by the shooter without permission from the opponent, or a foul results. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.17: Touching or Moving Numbered Balls During the Shot

Moving a single numbered ball during a shot, causing the numbered ball to interfere with a legally struck numbered ball or cue ball results in a foul. If the general area vacated by the moved numbered ball may have affected a shot (by a legally struck numbered ball, the cue ball, or the path of either or both), a foul results. The opponent has the option to replace the moved numbered ball to its original position or leave in the moved position (leave lie).

If two or more numbered balls are moved during the shot (or if the single numbered ball that was moved contacts another numbered ball), a foul results. The opponent has the option to reposition only the moved balls to their original places, or leave in the moved position (leave lie). The balls may never be replaced by the shooter without permission from the opponent, or a foul results. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.18: Strategic Intentional Foul

A player has the option to intentionally foul by shooting the cue ball into any numbered ball on the table and into any area of the table to strategically tie up other numbered balls. The only ball to be spotted, if pocketed, is the 9 ball. The player must shoot using a normal stroke. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.19: Cue Ball-in-Hand Placement

Touching any numbered ball while placing the cue ball on the table (cue ball-in-hand) constitutes a foul. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.20: Practice During the Match

Shooting on another table while your opponent is in play in a tournament inning at the designated table constitutes a foul. The tournament director reserves the right to impose a penalty with or without warning. The penalty is cue ball-in-hand for the opponent.

6.21: Implementing the Shot Clock

If the shot clock is used, exceeding the time limit for shooting constitutes a foul. Opponent receives ball-in-hand.

6.22: Opponent or Spectator Interference

Failure to remain seated and quiet while the opponent is at the table may constitute an interference foul, with or without warning from the tournament director. Shooting out of turn, moving any ball out of turn, or interfering with the opponent in any manner constitutes a foul. Any of these infractions permit the opponent to take cue ball-in-hand. If interference is caused by a spectator or others, the tournament director may have those interfering removed from the tournament premises. If the player is accidentally “bumped” by anyone other than his opponent and as a result, any balls are moved, all balls may be repositioned in their original places by the tournament director. If the balls cannot be replaced, the player who was interfered with will rack and break and replay the game.

6.23: Marking the Table or Use of Foreign Objects

To mark the table or rail, or to place a foreign object on the table or rail (such as a cue stick, bridge, or foreign object) to provide a player an advantage in executing a shot (unless marks or objects are removed prior to the shot to the satisfaction of the opponent and/or tournament director), or to release an object onto the table constitutes a foul. A player may place a cue stick or a bridge on the playing surface at any time during his or her inning to take a break. To place an object on the surface for this purpose does not constitute a foul. A player may not use any object to determine “clearance” or “gaps” between balls or rails, unless it is with the cue ball, when the player has cue ball-in-hand, or a cue stick or bridge, provided it is being held by the player. Numbered balls that are pocketed out of play may never be used to determine angles, clearances, or gaps, or be spotted. To do so constitutes a foul, giving the opponent cue ball-in-hand.

6.24: Coaching

Players soliciting and/or receiving intentional coaching may or may not be warned prior to being issued a foul. The penalty results in cue ball-in-hand for the opponent. Any spectator who spontaneously offers advice to a player is subject to removal from the tournament area. If a player calls a foul as a result of being prompted to do so by any others, the tournament director may determine to disallow the foul call. The decision of the tournament director is final.

6.25: Massé or Jump Shot Interference

If a player executes a jump or massé shot to avoid hitting any numbered ball that obstructs the path to the lowest numbered ball, and as a result moves any numbered ball due to the follow-through of the shot, a foul occurs. The penalty is cue ball-in-hand for the opponent.

6.26: Numbered Balls Struck by the Cue Stick

Striking a numbered ball with the chalked area of tip of the cue stick prior to or at the same time as striking the cue ball constitutes a foul. It is possible to strike the cue ball and have the ferrule or shaft contact a numbered ball at the same time and not result in a foul (for instance, when a player must elevate the cue by hand or bridge over a numbered ball in order to strike the cue ball). If a single numbered ball is moved in this manner and has no outcome on the shot, it may be placed in the original position by the opponent or leave lie.

6.27: Adjustment to the Cue Ball

If the player uses the chalked area of the cue tip while in the bridge and stance position to push the cue ball into position, and it is determined to be an attempt to shoot, a foul results. Opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.28: Cue Tip on the Cue Ball

When the cue tip remains on the cue ball past the momentary time commensurate with a legally struck shot, a foul results (refer to 5.4 and 5.5). If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.

6.29: Multiple Safes

After four (4) consecutive safes are executed (two by each player), where the object ball is being bumped to the same rail and the cue ball strikes no rail after contact with the object ball in each safe, on the next shot (fifth), the object ball or legally struck numbered ball must be driven to another rail or the cue ball must contact a rail after contact with the object ball. Failure to execute the described legal shot on the fifth attempt will constitute a foul. The opponent must declare to the player at the table that he or she has executed four consecutive safes and the player must acknowledge. If a foul occurs, opponent receives cue ball-in-hand.


Section 7: Loss of Game or Match – Concession


7.1: Three Consecutive Fouls

Three fouls in a row by the same player in a single game results in a win for his or her opponent. The opponent must warn the player when he or she has fouled twice, and the player must acknowledge the warning. If the opponent has not warned the player and received acknowledgement for the two fouls, and the player fouls a third time, then the player will begin his or her next inning in the same game with two fouls.

7.2: Game Concession

A player may not concede a shot or game at any time. If a player concedes a shot or game, the penalty is loss of that rack and the loss of an additional game (the next rack). If an opponent begins or completes the act of breaking down their cue stick while the player at the table is on the hill (potential final game of the match for player shooting), it will be considered a concession by the opponent and a loss of the game and/or match. Any other action by the opponent that is determined to be a concession (while on hill game) will result in a loss of game/match.

7.3: Cease Play Request–Shot Observance

A player may make a request to the opponent to cease play and the opponent must acknowledge the request to have the tournament director observe a shot. The opponent is required to wait until the tournament director is in position and ready to observe the shot. If the player shoots prior to the tournament director’s declaration that he or she is in position, the player loses the game.

7.4: Flagrant Fouls

If a player moves or pockets any balls illegally by any means such as slapping the table, throwing balls or equipment, pushing on the cloth, striking the balls with the cue or other object illegally, impeding the path of balls, or any action deemed unsuitable by the tournament director, the player loses the game and/or match. A severe and/or second violation may cause the tournament director to impose a suspension and/or expulsion from the tournament. The decision of the tournament director is final.

7.5: Scheduled Match Forfeit

Any player who appears for their match later than fifteen (15) minutes beyond the scheduled start time and/or announcement of the match shall forfeit the match. A player should be at the assigned table and ready for play at the scheduled match time. It is mandatory that the player be at the table at the final announcement by the tournament director and/or consistent with the 15 minute grace period for the scheduled match time. A player who is late for more than one match (past the scheduled time or the first announcement of the match) may be subjected to sanctions by the tournament director, including but not limited to a loss of one game foul and/or match forfeit.

7.6: Dress Code Infraction

Any player observed by the opponent or tournament director to be in violation of the dress code shall receive a single warning from the tournament director to comply and will be granted no more than fifteen minutes to correct the infraction and return to the assigned table, ready for play. A second violation will result in a loss of game or match.

7.7: Ball Tapping

Ball tapping during racking, in either a match or practice on an assigned tournament table is forbidden. The penalty is loss of the game for each infraction; the tournament director may impose the penalty with or without warning. (See rule 2.3)

7.8: The Silent Match

Any player or observer who disturbs or disrupts an opponent or other players during a match may be subject to the “Silent Match” rule. Once the rule is imposed by the tournament director, the player may not speak to anyone and the match will be overseen by the tournament director or assigned match referee. If an infraction occurs after the rule is imposed, the player shall lose one game per infraction and/or a loss of match, suspension and/or expulsion from the tournament. If the player is an observer, the tournament director may impose the silent rule and/or have the player or others removed from the playing area. The decision of the tournament director is final.

7.9: Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Any player observed by the tournament director exhibiting unsportsmanlike conduct may be penalized with the loss of a game, suspension, or expulsion from the tournament, with or without warning. The decision of the tournament director is final.

7.10: Suspending Play

The tournament director has the authority to suspend play during any type of disruption by participants, or when conditions are unsuitable for play. Any player who continues play after the suspension of play has been announced shall be penalized with the loss of the game and/or match, with or without warning.


Texas Express General Tournament Rules


1: Calling of Fouls

It is the player’s responsibility to call fouls when they occur. If a player allows an opponent to continue play without calling the foul at the time of the infraction, then the player relinquishes the right to call the foul (assumed concession). If a player calls the foul and the opponent acknowledges the call and continues to play without having the foul verified by the tournament director or appointed referee, the tournament director may be summoned and may use any means necessary to determine if a foul call and/or foul occurred. The decision of the tournament director is final.

2: Score Keeping

Players are responsible for registering their scores after each game and prior to the next break. If a player fails to register their score at any time during the match and attempts to register the score at a later time, the player and/or opponent reserves the right to have the tournament director resolve the score by any means necessary including, but not limited to, solicitation of others. The tournament director reserves the option of changing the score or allowing the score to stand.

3: Legal Jump Shot Definition

The cue stick must be elevated and the ball must be struck at or above the centerline (the centerline is an imaginary line drawn through the center of the cue ball exactly parallel with the playing surface) with the chalked area of the cue stick tip only.

4: Split Hits

If the cue ball strikes the object ball and a numbered ball at approximately the same instant, and it cannot be clearly determined which ball was struck first, the judgment favors the shooter. A split hit, when the numbered balls are struck at the same time is considered a good hit.

5: Two Numbered Balls Jawed in a Pocket

If two balls are jawed in the facing of a pocket as the result of a legally struck shot and no numbered ball was pocketed, the tournament director shall decide if either or both of the numbered balls will be manually pocketed, or leave lie, contingent upon the position of the numbered balls over the pocket (over edge of slate in pocket). If the tournament director manually pockets a numbered ball or balls, the player shall remain at the table for another shot. If no legally pocketed or manually pocketed numbered ball is executed, the opponent shall receive the table as-is.

6: Explanation of Rule’s During a Match

While observing and making a determination about a potential foul situation, the tournament director shall not assist any player with an explanation of any rule while at the table (during tournament play). The opponent may, at their option, declare to the tournament director that a rule explanation may be given to the player at the table. The tournament director shall not ask for such a declaration from the opponent. The player at the table may take a break, if available, to research the rule. The player may not take an extra break to research the rule. (Need explanation about breaks)

7: Tournament Director Observance

If, during any match, the tournament director is requested to observe any potential foul situation, the decision of the tournament director is final. If the tournament director observes a foul situation while not at a table and a foul occurs, the player and the opponent are responsible for making foul calls. If a disagreement between the players occurs, the tournament director will use any means necessary to resolve the situation. If a player at table calls a foul as a result of spontaneous actions from spectators or others, then the decision of the tournament director may be to disallow the foul call by the player. The decision of the tournament director is final.

8: Warning for Slow Play: First Request to Implement the Shot Clock

A player may request that the tournament director place an opponent on warning for slow play, and the tournament director may place a player on warning for slow play at any time deemed necessary (usually by observing excessively slow play). The player who makes the request must be in his or her inning at the table. If a second request from a player for slow play, or observance of slow play by the tournament director occurs, the director may impose the 45 second shot clock on both participants. A single verbal announcement by the tournament director when a player has fifteen seconds remaining to shoot (per shot attempt) will be issued. If the player does not shoot before the fifteen seconds have elapsed, a foul will result, giving the opponent a cue ball-in-hand.

9: Player Timeout’s During a Match

Any player may take up to a single ten minute legal timeout while at the start or during their inning at the table. An illegal timeout during the opponent’s inning allows the opponent to play unobserved, and if the opponent wins a game, he or she may continue to play unobserved. A second timeout by either opponent may result in a foul or loss of the game, with or without warning from the tournament director or referee. A legal timeout may be taken for the following reasons: restroom, illness, emergency, and any other reason considered valid by the tournament director.

10: Legal Player Equipment at the Table

Players may bring up to three cues to the assigned table for the match. A player may not leave the assigned table for equipment, or have equipment brought to the assigned table during the match, unless agreed upon by the opponent. Players may acquire a house cue (from applicable wall rack and/or cue stand in the tournament area) for the purpose of breaking at any time. The cues may not be less than 40″ in overall length and the shaft size must not be exceed 16 mm at the tip. The tip must be leather or any product deemed suitable for play by the tournament director. There is no minimum or maximum weight for the cue; no maximum length; and no exclusion of material for the ferrule, shaft, or butt of the cue. Any material deemed unsuitable for play that may cause damage to the equipment may be excluded from play by the tournament director.

11: Five-Second Rule

If a legally struck numbered ball is shot into a pocket and hangs motionless for more than five second and then falls into the pocket, it will be placed in its original position. If no other numbered ball is legally pocketed on the same shot, the incoming player will receive the table for his or her inning.

12: Ball Rebounds from a Pocket

Numbered balls must remain in the pocket in order for the shot to be legal. If any numbered ball or the cue ball rebounds from the pocket and comes to rest on the playing surface, it is not considered pocketed.

13: Clearing Pockets to Prevent Rebounds

It is the sole responsibility of the player to clear the pockets of any numbered balls that may cause a rebound. If any ball rebounds from a pocket due to too many balls occupying the pocket, the ball is not considered pocketed.

14: Playing in Multiple Events

Any player may have the opportunity to participate in any “open” tournament, contingent upon the approval of the tournament director per event. Players may not participate in events where they do not meet the specific gender criteria of the tournament (i.e., men may not participate in a tournament designated as a women’s event; likewise, women may not participate in a tournament designated as a men’s event). In the tournament director’s judgment, if the dual participation may cause the event or events to become too lengthy, cause scheduling conflicts or unsuitable due to equipment constraints, then no allowance will be made for dual participation. In the event a player participates in more than one event at a time, the tournament director is responsible for arranging any special scheduling necessary.


Texas Express Official Code of Ethics


Player Code of Conduct and Ethics: Player Responsibilities
1. Conduct

Unsportsmanlike conduct is strictly prohibited. This includes abusive language, gestures, abuse of equipment and facilities, intoxication that causes a disruption of any kind, gambling or suggestion to gamble with any opponent in a tournament match, and any other non-compliance with rules or interference with player responsibilities as set forth herein or deemed unsuitable.

2. Dress Code

Casual dress is acceptable, unless otherwise stated prior to the event by the rules committee and/or host locale. Casual dress does not include beachwear, untailored or short shorts, cut-off pants or shorts or jeans, open sandals, sleeveless shirts, torn clothing, or any clothing deemed unsuitable.

3. Age Restrictions

There is no minimum age restriction imposed by the rules committee, unless stated prior to the event. Host locales, sponsors and/or government agencies may impose minimum age requirements at any event.

4. Receiving Information

Players may not rely on any information about the tournament unless it is communicated from the tournament director.

5. Match Scheduling

Player entry deadlines and match time scheduling shall be posted for all events. All players must be paid, present, and ready to play after player draw pursuant to the match time posted on the tournament bracket charts. All players shall receive a 15 minute grace period before a match is forfeited. All players must be at the table ready to play prior to the end of the grace period. This grace period ends 15 minutes after the posted match time and/or the announced or pre-arranged early match time (by notification to the player and acknowledgement by the player) by the tournament director. Forfeited matches will not be rescheduled. Players may not rearrange a match time or solicit the tournament director for an extension of the grace period. A player who is late more than once past the scheduled match time may be subject to additional sanctions by the tournament director. Tournament directors reserve the right to change match time scheduling (once posted) only if, and when, all players have been notified of the change in person by the tournament director.

6. Player Entry Fees

Player entry fees are due and payable in cash prior to the scheduled entry deadline. Any other form of payment or other arrangement must be secured by the player from the tournament director or host site only in reasonable time in advance of the event. The tournament director reserves the right to refuse entry to any player who fails to observe any rule or regulation, or who is on suspension, expulsion and/or warning. The host site may refuse to accept any entry deemed unsuitable. Entry fees are non-transferable and no entry may be sold by anyone at any price. Player entry may be purchased by anyone who assigns a name to the entry at time of purchase. At no time may that name be replaced with another name by anyone except the tournament director. Any replacements will come from those on a paid waiting list, or from an approved change by the tournament director. Entry fees may never be purchased in bulk by anyone for resale or reassignment. A player may withdraw and receive a refund prior to the player draw; the next paid player on the waiting list will be assigned the position vacated by the withdrawal.

7. Player Member Fees

All member fees must be current; it is the player’s responsibility to inform the tournament director with any changes in player’s contact information.

8. Player Meetings

Player meetings are not mandatory, unless otherwise stated prior to the event. It is advised that players attend meetings to apprise themselves of the most current information regarding the rules of play, scheduling information and other pertinent information to be discussed. It is the player’s sole responsibility to acquire any information discussed at player meetings.

9. Rules of Play

The rules of play will be posted at all events and it is the player’s responsibility to read and understand the rules in advance of the match. It is the player’s responsibility to make inquiries to the tournament director about any information contained in the rules of play in advance of the scheduled match. Players bear sole responsibility for knowledge of and adherence to the rules.

10. Withdrawals/Forfeits

Players who withdraw or forfeit a match without just cause may face sanctions, suspension, or expulsion by the tournament director. Players may withdraw from any event prior to the player draw and shall receive a reimbursement of all entry fees and/or member fees. The tournament director may offer a refund of player auction fees to the buyer or buyers. If the refund is made, anyone may purchase the player (?) for the original auction price prior to the next schedule match for said player.(?)

11. Entry After the Player Draw

Players will not be allowed to enter any event after the player draw has been established and/or posted, unless the player has been approved by the tournament director as an approved substitute for a withdrawn player.

12. Illegal Player Alias/Identification

No player will knowingly be allowed to participate using an alias (any name other than his legal name) at any time. Any player discovered playing under an alias will be subject to sanctions, suspension, and/or expulsion from the current or future event or events.

13. Player Awards

Player awards shall be paid prior to the end of the event. Any expenses due from the player to the host locale, the tour, or any other entities associated directly with the tournament may be deducted from player awards prior to disbursement. The rules committee requires that certain players be photographed and information recorded for tournament results release and publication. Players who decline to be photographed or refuse to provide necessary information to the tour are subject to withholding or loss of player awards.

14. Player Expense Obligations

Players are required to meet all financial obligations in connection with the tour event including, but not limited to lodging, entry and member fees, returned check and collection fees, and any expenses due the host locale and any other entities directly associated with the tour or tournament. Players who fail to comply are subject to a warning, and subsequent collections notice to all tournament directors and said player. All fees and debts due must be paid prior to entry fee acceptance at any future events.

15. Player Warnings, Suspensions, Expulsions

The tournament director may determine that any player be placed on a warning, suspension, or expulsion list due to infractions of the tournament rules. The player may appeal directly to the rules committee in writing any action imposed by the tournament director. While on appeal, the player will be subject to the sanctions imposed by the tournament director. The rules committee shall review the action and make a decision, which is final.

16. Player and Guest Passes

Players shall receive one player pass (when applicable) and all other passes are to be issued by the host locale.

17. Prompted Warnings

If a player feels that the tournament director has failed to issue a mandatory warning, he or she may remind the tournament director by private verbal notice that such a warning may be necessary.

18. Single Foul Limit

A player may be charged with only one foul per inning. If a player has fouled more than once, the foul carrying the greater penalty is imposed.

19. Texas Express Miscellaneous Rules of Play

Players shall be notified of the rules of play prior to the tournament and a copy of all rules of play shall be posted for all events. Additional copies of rules are available from the tournament director.

20. Tournament Official and Final Authority

The tournament director is the official of record at the event. The tournament director is responsible for maintaining order, enforcing all rules and regulations, issuing sanctions, scheduling matches, disbursing awards, accepting entry and member fees, and all and all other official functions of the tour.

The tournament director shall be responsive to player requests for additional information concerning rules and regulations required prior to play. Any player may make an appeal at any time if he or she feels an error has been made concerning the application of rules or regulations of the tournament. The appeal must be made in writing to the rules committee, who will review the appeal and render a decision. All decisions of the rules committee are final.

The rules are thorough and cover most situations that may occur during tournament competition. In some instances, an interpretation of rules may be required, brought about by unusual circumstances. The tournament director shall use his or her best judgment in determining any rule, interpretation, or enforcement.

Any situation not covered herein may be covered by the general rules of pocket billiards.


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