U.S.Open Qualifier #2



*Below applies to NCPT U.S. Open Qualifiers only*

WPA Guidelines:

Player’s Responsibility
It is the player’s responsibility to be aware of all rules, regulations, and schedules applying to competition. While tournament officials will make every reasonable effort to have such information readily available to all players as appropriate, the ultimate responsibility rests with the player.

Cue Ball Fouls Only
Touching or moving any ball other than the cue ball would not be a foul unless it changes the outcome of the shot by either touching another ball or having any ball, including the cue ball, going through the area originally occupied by the moved ball. If this does not happen, then the opposing player must be given the option of either leaving the ball where it lies or replacing the ball as near as possible to its original position to the agreement of both players. If a player shoots without giving his opponent the option to replace, it will be a foul resulting in cue ball in hand for the opponent.

Determining the Break
The player who wins the lag chooses who will break the first rack. The standard format is to alternate the break.


Nine Ball Rack
The object balls are racked as tightly as possible in a diamond shape, with the nine ball on the foot spot. The other balls will be placed in the diamond without purposeful or intentional pattern.
Legal Break Shot
The following rules apply to the break shot:
(a) the cue ball begins in hand behind the head string;
(b) if no ball is pocketed, at least four object balls must be driven to one or more rails, or the shot is a foul
(c) additionally, and only when Three Point Break Rule is used, if no ball is pocketed,
three balls must cross the head string, or the break is considered ‘dry break’. 


Second Shot of the Rack – Push Out
If no foul is committed on the break shot, the shooter may choose to play a “push out” as his shot. He must make his intention known to the opponent, and then rules pertaining to Wrong Ball First and No Rail after Contact are suspended for the shot. If no foul is committed on a push out, the other player chooses who will shoot next.


Continuing Play
If the shooter legally pockets any ball on a shot (except a push out), he continues at the table for the next shot. If he legally pockets the nine ball on any shot (except a push out), he wins the rack. If the shooter fails to pocket a ball or fouls, play passes to the other player, and if no foul was committed, the incoming player must play the cue ball from the position left by the other player.


Spotting Balls
If the nine ball is pocketed on a foul or push out, or driven off the table, it is spotted. No other object ball is ever spotted.


Standard Fouls
-If the shooter commits a standard foul, play passes to his opponent. The cue ball is in hand, and the incoming player may place it anywhere on the playing surface. 


-For Three Consecutive Fouls, the penalty is loss of the current rack. For Unsportsmanlike Conduct, the referee will choose a penalty appropriate given the nature of the offense.

-The following actions are fouls at pool when included in the specific rules of the game being played. If several fouls occur on one shot, only the most serious one is enforced. If a foul is not called before the next shot begins, the foul is assumed not to have happened.  The following are standard fouls at nine ball:

Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, the shot is a foul.
Wrong Ball First In those games which require the first object ball struck to be a particular ball or one of a group of balls, it is a foul for the cue ball to first contact any other ball.
No Rail after Contact If no ball is pocketed on a shot, the cue ball must contact an object ball, and after that contact at least one ball (cue ball or any object ball) must be driven to a rail, or the shot is a foul. 
No Foot on Floor If the shooter does not have at least one foot touching the floor at the instant the tip contacts the cue ball, the shot is a foul.
Ball Driven off the Table It is a foul to drive an object ball off the table. Whether that ball is spotted depends on the rules of the game. 
Touched Ball It is a foul to touch, move or change the path of any object ball except by the normal ball-to ball contacts during shots. It is a foul to touch, move or change the path of the cue ball except when it is in hand or by the normal tip-to-ball forward stroke contact of a shot. The shooter is responsible for the equipment he controls at the table, such as chalk, bridges, clothing, his hair, parts of his body, and the cue ball when it is in hand, that may be involved in such fouls. If such a foul is accidental, it is a standard foul, but if it is intentional, it is Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
Double Hit / Frozen Balls If the cue stick contacts the cue ball more than once on a shot, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is close to but not touching an object ball and the cue tip is still on the cue ball when the cue ball contacts that object ball, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is very close to an object ball, and the shooter barely grazes that object ball on the shot, the shot is assumed not to violate the first paragraph of this rule, even though the tip is arguably still on the cue ball when ball-ball contact is made. However, if the cue ball is touching an object ball at the start of the shot, it is legal to shoot towards or partly into that ball (provided it is a legal target within the rules of the game) and if the object ball is moved by such a shot, it is considered to have been contacted by the cue ball. (Even though it may be legal to shoot towards such a touching or “frozen” ball, care must be taken not to violate the rules in the first paragraph if there are additional balls close by.) The cue ball is assumed not to be touching any ball unless it is declared touching by the referee or opponent. It is the shooter’s responsibility to get the declaration before the shot. Playing away from a frozen ball does not constitute having hit that ball unless specified in the rules of the game.
Push Shot It is a foul to prolong tip-to-cue-ball contact beyond that seen in normal shots.
Balls Still Moving It is a foul to begin a shot while any ball in play is moving or spinning.
Cue Stick on the Table If the shooter uses his cue stick in order to align a shot by placing it on the table without having a hand on the stick, it is a foul.
Playing out of Turn It is a standard foul to unintentionally play out of turn. Normally, the balls will be played from the position left by the mistaken play. If a player intentionally plays out of turn, it should be treated like 6.17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
Three Consecutive Fouls If a player fouls three times without making an intervening legal shot, it is a serious foul. In games scored by the rack, such as nine ball, the fouls must be in a single rack. Some games such as eight ball do not include this rule. The player must warn the opponent who is on two fouls when he comes to the table that he is on two fouls. Otherwise a possible third foul will be considered to be only the second.
Slow Play If the referee feels that a player is playing too slowly, he may advise that player to speed up his play. If the player does not speed up, the referee may impose a shot clock on that match that applies to both players. If the shooter exceeds the time limit specified for the tournament, a standard foul will be called and the incoming player is rewarded according to the rules applicable to the game being played. 
Ball Rack Template Foul It is a foul when a Ball Rack Template, removed from the playing surface, interferes with the game i.e. if the template is lying on the rail and a ball (cue or object ball) touches the template that is lying on the rail.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct The normal penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct is the same as for a serious foul, but the referee may impose a penalty depending on his judgment of the conduct. Among other penalties possible are a warning; a standard-foul penalty, which will count as part of a three foul sequence if applicable; a serious-foul penalty; loss of a rack, set or match; ejection from the competition possibly with forfeiture of all prizes, trophies and standings points.
Unsportsmanlike conduct is any intentional behavior that brings disrepute to the sport or which disrupts or changes the game to the extent that it cannot be played fairly. It includes
(a) distracting the opponent;
(b) changing the position of the balls in play other than by a shot;
(c) playing a shot by intentionally miscuing;
(d) continuing to play after a foul has been called or play has been suspended;
(e) practicing during a match;
(f) marking the table;
(g) delay of the game; and
(h) using equipment inappropriately.

NCPT Guidelines:

NCPT U.S. Open Qualifier Rules:

o 9 ball WPA rules
o Race to 7/6
o One Final Race to 9
o Lag for the Break & Alternate break
o Template Rack
o 9 ball on the spot
o 2 ball in the back
o No soft break
o No pattern racking

o 3 foul rule in effect
o 9 ball counts anywhere
o Jump cues allowed
o ONE 5-Minute break per player in between games
o Shot Clock may be implemented if we are running behind

o Do not concede on the Live Stream

o No headphones

Dress Code There is no dress code. But please note we are going to be live streamed. Photos will also be taken throughout the day.  Please look presentable.

Etiquette Coaching is not allowed during matches. Whenever possible, players must be seated while their opponent is shooting.  Unscrewing your cue while your opponent is at the table is loss of game. Conversation with spectators is not allowed.  The use of electronic devices, phones, or ear plugs is prohibited during matches. If on the live stream, please do not concede any balls.


Brackets NCPT utilizes Challonge to maintain the tournament bracket.  You can view the brackets online at Challonge.  All results are forwarded to FargoRate.

Forfeits Players will have 10 minutes to report to their match, once the match is called. If a player fails to report to their assigned table within the allotted 10 minutes, the player will forfeit one game. If the player is not at their table within 15 minutes of the called match, the absent player forfeits that match.  We will try to announce who’s on deck, but it’s the player's responsibility to keep an eye on the bracket via Challonge.


Time-Outs Each player is allowed one 5-minute time-out during each match.  A time-out may be taken only between racks.


Shot Clock Usage Matches that have not reached 50% of their games by the first hour of play may be subject to a shot clock.  When the shot clock is exercised, there will be 30 seconds allowed per shot, with one 30-second extension. Players will receive a 10-second warning.  On matches that are hill-hill, one additional 30-second extension will be allowed in the final rack.  Either the shot clock will be monitored by the tournament director or by the players themselves. If the players are required to monitor their own shot clock, explanation will be provided on how to use it. Please note: Time is of the essence so a match may also be put on the clock at any time, at the tournament director’s discretion.


Pool Rooms and Sponsors We encourage NCPT players to support our pool rooms and sponsors.  Anything you can do to spread the word, either by mouth or social media, will greatly benefit those that have invested with the tour. During the tournament, sharing is caring, and of course, spending at the establishment is highly encouraged.  Invite your friends and family to the event as well!  As we obtain more sponsors, do what you can to promote.  Without their support, there is no NCPT.


Payouts The top 33% of the field will be paid. In 2020, all entry fees and added money listed on the flyer, minus the greens fees, will go back to the payout.  Added money will be based on a full field unless otherwise stated. Any sponsorship funds will go toward a combination of added money, prize money for the year-end awards, equipment, and organizational expenses.  NCPT will use a tournament payout calculator to determine the breakdown of the payout. NCPT may adjust the resulting amounts, rounding up or down to create round numbers.


Side Pot At some events, players will have the option to enter a $20 side pot. The top 33% of the players who entered the side pot will be paid. Only players who have entered the side pot will be eligible to win.

Cancellations No refunds will be issued within 72 hours of the event. 

All decisions regarding the rules are at the discretion of the tournament director.

NCPT ... Play.