Time limits, Timeouts, and New Players

by | Jan 21, 2013 | APA Rules, Billiard Greg's, Pool | 3 comments

In General when it comes to timeouts skill levels 3 and below get 2 times outs in normal league play.  When it comes to regionals and above this is usually cut down to 1 time out for everyone to ensure play moves along at a steady pace.  

Average shots should take about 20 seconds with shots that require some thought around 45 seconds max.  Timeouts should be kept around a minute in time but I have seen some league operators put a time limit of two and a half minutes on a time out.  I have seen people sometimes take a 5 to 6 minute time out and this is a little uncalled for.  It slows down the match and puts people at a disadvantage as they are usually waiting around to shoot.  I remember one time in states where this person was going on 6 minutes for a timeout.  His response was, we did not do this for your times outs.  Our response was we don;t take 5 minute time outs.  He proceeded to exchange some words that were inappropriate and some banter proceeded from this.  It felt good when I played this gentleman next in the 5th and final match and proceeded to send him home with his tail between his legs.

Now new players even though males start out as a 4 they are still given the courtesy of 2 time outs.  As they are new to the league this can help them get acquainted to the league for their first night of play.  This is one rule that I sometimes forget and need to remember that people starting out should be given the chance to learn and grow from the experience.  League play is to be enjoyed by all and sometimes that extra timeout can allow the person to feel more comfortable in play.

So remember that you where new at one point and make them feel welcome in the league.  Being a good sport goes a long way in making league be a fun time for all.


  1. Janice Harris Scott

    On timeouts can a coach place the que ball in position for the player?

    • Billiard Greg

      Thank you for your comment, I would say they can place the cue ball but before you shoot you need to touch the cue ball as though “you are placing it”. That is usually how I have seen the rule get interpreted. In some leagues they can place it and you can shoot directly and in others you need to just touch it to show that you placed it there. But it does truly depend on the leagues rules as to if the coach can touch the table at all.


      • Billiard Greg

        After further researching it in the APA League a coach can place the cue ball for a player. A foul can be called if the coach places the cue ball just the same as if the player was placing the ball. In the TAP league the coach is not allowed to place the cue ball for the player. This is why it is important to know your leagues rules.


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