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1. General provisions

1.1 Tournament Regulations

For any tournament held under auspices of the International Pyramid Committee (IPC), arranging party or its appointee shall work out a program document Tournament Regulations which should contain the following elements:

  • planning of tournament management;
  • purposes and objectives of tournament;
  • time and venue of tournament;
  • participant admission requirements and procedures;
  • deadlines, forms and procedures for submission of application by tournament participants;
  • tournament structure and number of matches at various stages of tournament;
  • number of prizes and awarding procedures;
  • number of referees in referee panel and procedures of its formation.

The tournament managers are allowed to supplement the Tournament Regulations with additional elements as well as single out several elements of the Tournament Regulations into a separate document or enter into oral agreement with tournament officials.

1.2 Match Format

Number of games and wins for establishment of tournament champion and prizewinners shall be specified in Tournament Regulations for each particular tournament.
Breaks during a game for restoration of strengths by players, solution of some technical problems and in case of special circumstances can be authorized by a referee only. 1.3 Tables, Balls and Equipment Pyramid is played on tables with markings of main strings and spots on the table bed using set of 16 balls, cues, mechanical bridges and chalk that meet IPC requirements.

A set of equipment for Pyramid may include: increased-length and reduced-length mechanical bridges, shelves for storage of pocketed balls, cloth and linen towels for cleaning of cues, balls, hands, etc.

Balls used for games normally are marked, fifteen of them are white and are numbered from 1 to 15 while the sixteenth ball differs from the rest balls in color or special marking.

Tournament officials prior to tournament have the right to test tables, balls and equipment as to the compliance with standards and submit their objections to tournament managers in case of found non-compliance. Once they begin play of a match no objections related to the mentioned above standards shall be given a consideration.

Only a cue can be used for any measurements on a table, additional markings on a table are not allowed.

1.3 Tables, Balls and Equipment

Pyramid is played on tables with markings of main strings and spots on the table bed using set of 16 balls, cues, mechanical bridges and chalk that meet IPC requirements.

A set of equipment for Pyramid may include: increased-length and reduced-length mechanical bridges, shelves for storage of pocketed balls, cloth and linen towels for cleaning of cues, balls, hands, etc.

Balls used for games normally are marked, fifteen of them are white and are numbered from 1 to 15 while the sixteenth ball differs from the rest balls in color or special marking.

Tournament officials prior to tournament have the right to test tables, balls and equipment as to the compliance with standards and submit their objections to tournament managers in case of found non-compliance. Once they begin play of a match no objections related to the mentioned above standards shall be given a consideration.

Only a cue can be used for any measurements on a table, additional markings on a table are not allowed.

1.4 Tournament Participants.

Tournament participants are players proposed by respective national billiard federations and officially admitted for participation in any specific tournament by credentials committee. A tournament participant shall be familiar with the Rules, Tournament Regulations, match formats and tournament schedules. Failure by a player to familiarize with the mentioned above documents will not give him/her the right to replay a game, restore original ball position, repeat a stroke, etc. during the tournament.
A participant is required to comply with requirements of tournament managers and referees, observe discipline, dress code, to play fair, treat opponents and officials of the tournament with respect and consideration.

Prior to tournament and during it a participant is allowed to apply to referees for clarification of the Rules or Tournament Regulations and only disagreement with interpretation of the above documents can be a reason for making a protest to the Main Referees Panel of Tournament through teams representative or personally.
Events (episodes) of a game (touching of balls, missed shots, fouling strokes, etc.) evidenced by a referee at the table cannot be contested.

If a participant playing at a table makes a foul and a referee fails to register it while his/her opponent fails to report such a foul game immediately after infraction of the Rules and the game continues, then return to analysis of such infraction is deemed to be impossible while actions of a player at the table are assumed to be correct.

Finally, it is a participant of tournament not a referee who is responsible for observance of the Rules. If a referee fails to register infraction of the Rules, then opponent of the fouled player, immediately following such violation should report it to a referee who will judge such situation.

A participant of tournament has the right:

  • to test billiard table and equipment prior to a match;
  • to request information regarding requirements and schedule of tournament;
  • to use all equipment and gear (mechanical bridges, long cue, chalk, napkins, etc.) available at tournament;
  • to supervise keeping of the current scores and recording of game results.

A participant is expected to be in close vicinity to the table of his/her next match not later than 15 minutes following announcement of such match by referees. If a participant fails to come to the table of his/her next match in time, he/she is considered to loose the match by forfeit and in case of repeated failure to attend his/her game in time, such player is subject to disqualification and this case is to be reported to national billiard federation of respective country.

In case of injury or illness of a player, as well as for rendering of technical assistance a referee can make a up to 30 minutes long break in a match. If after the break a participant fails to continue the match, he/she is considered to loose the match by forfeit.

Breaks between games and during the match can be made only if authorized by a referee and shall not be longer than 5 minutes.

In case a player is disqualified or fails to continue the game, his/her opponent in the unfinished game is given a maximum score taking into account completed games (pocketed balls) by the time of the match termination.

If a participant who won the match is disqualified from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct after the match, then his/her opponent is not considered a winner of the match.

If a participant drops out of tournament failing to play half of the matches, then all scores of all his/her games are cancelled; if by the time of his/her drop-out more than half matches are covered, then results of his/her matches are included into the general statistics of the tournament.

IPC has established the following dress code for tournament participants: dark trousers, white shirts, waistcoats, bow ties, dark shoes. Clothing of participant shall be clean, neat and well-fitted.

1.4 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Unsportsmanlike conducts of officials during a tournament includes publicly voiced remarks or actions which interfere with fair competition of players. Most frequently this conduct manifests in a form of:

  • words or gestures that discredit referees decisions or actions of players;
  • interference with and obstruction of normal and secure game;
  • deliberate disarrangement of balls on a table;
  • making on the table marks unwarranted by the Rules;
  • using of any subjects unwarranted by the Rules for measurements on a table;
  • unsanctioned abandonment of the table assigned to a player during the game;
  • defiant unscrewing of a jointed cue stick prior to the end of the game;
  • defiant slowness during the game;
  • insulting conduct toward opponent, referees and spectators.

Referees and tournament officials shall take drastic measures to put a stop on any unsporstmanlike conduct by players and other individuals attending the tournament and ensure sportslike and friendly atmosphere.

The following sanctions can be applied to a player for unsportsmanlike conduct:

  • reprimand for unsportsmanlike conduct;
  • warning for unsportsmanlike conduct;
  • declaring a player to be a looser in a game;
  • disqualification of a player from tournament.

Sanctions applied to a player for unsportsmanlike conduct by tournament participants shall be recorded in a match protocol.

1.5 Protests.

Participants of tournament as well as representatives and coaches of the teams can protest about referees actions related to interpretation and implementation of the Rules or Tournament Regulations.
If a protest is related to actions of a referee at table during the match, then immediately following occurrence of reasons for such protest a player should discontinue the game and make the following statement to the referee: Im protesting against followed by the essence of the protest.
In case a referee deems such a protest well-founded, he/she has to agree with it (restore original position of the balls, re-categorize the stroke, return a ball to the table, etc.) and continue the game in the usual way.

In case a referee deems such a protest ill-founded, he/she has to explain to the player requirements of the Rules and Provisions applicable to this specific situation and propose continuation of the match.

If the player intends to insist on his/her position then a referee at the table should propose such a player to make his/her protest in writing through a representative of his/her team or personally and bring it to the Main Referee Panel along with money deposit. Size of money deposit is to be defined by tournament managers.

Protest shall be given a consideration by the Main Referee Panel within an hour following the filing. Decision of the Panel regarding such protest signed by the Main Referee shall be delivered over to the protesting party.

During administration of a protest by the Panel the game shall be suspended and positions of the balls on the table shall be registered. The game shall be resumed after Decision related to the protest is adopted by the Panel.

If a protesting player makes his/her next stroke on the balls after suspension of the game failing to wait till the Panels decision regarding his/her protest then such a protest is not given a consideration and is deemed to be ill-founded.
In the text of his/her protest a complaining party is required to state his/her essence of his disagreement with referees or opponents actions as well as indicate date and time of protest filing with the Main Referee Panel.
If a protest is satisfied then the money deposit shall be returned to the protesting party, otherwise the deposit shall remain at the disposal of tournament managers.

Decision of the Main Referee of tournament regarding any Protest shall not be subject to appeal to higher authority.

1.6 Special Cases.

If during a game due to players (referees) negligence the game continues despite the fact that one of the players completed the game (pocketed 8 balls), then regardless of the further development of the game it shall be terminated immediately upon detection of such negligence. Winner of the game shall be established in the usual way basing on the principle a won game cant be replayed.

1.7. Players and Game Rules

Each player is required to familiarize himself /herself with the Rules and should follow them, it is players responsibility to be aware of and observe the Rules.
During a game a player is allowed to apply to a referee for clarification of the Rules in any specific situation on the table prior to performing his/her next stroke. If a shot is made before asking referees explanation about unclear situation on the table, then further discussion of the situation becomes impossible.

2. Rules of Pyramid

2.1 Purpose of Game.

Whoever is first in scoring 8 pocketed balls - wins.

2.2 Used Balls.

The game is played with 16 balls; each of these can be used as a cue ball or as an object ball.

2.3 Playing Game.

A player may pocket any object ball with a cue ball or may pocket a cue ball after it hits one or several object balls. Balls and pockets do not have to be indicated or called. If a stroke is legal, i.e. performed correctly, each pocketed ball is considered to be won by the player.

2.4 Playing Cue Ball.

Cue balls are to be hit only with the cue tip along the longitudinal axis of the cue and the player must have at least one foot in contact with the floor when striking a ball.
Cue tip must not strike the cue ball twice on the same stroke.
Push shots and pressing strokes are forbidden.
Push shot is a stroke when a player delays contact of the cue tip with the ball and pushes both the cue ball and the object ball simultaneously.
Pressing stroke is a stroke made when two balls lying close to each other or in contact with each other get "squeezed" into the pocket by a pressing movement of the cue, or roll over to another position under the pressing action of the cue.
A cue ball which is in contact with the object ball should be hit with the cue tip at an angle of 45 or more to the straight line connecting the two ball centers.
A cue ball lying close to an object ball is to be hit with the cue in the usual way and at any desired angle to the straight line between the ball centers, but without a push shot or a pressing stroke.

2.5 Positioning Balls and Starting Game.

At the beginning of the game the 15 numbered object balls are racked close to each other at one end of the table in a triangular pyramid pattern, using a triangle, with the front apex ball on the foot spot (i.e. with its lowest point lying at the so-called 3rd point) and the base of the formed ball pyramid being parallel to the foot rail.
The sixteenth (numberless) ball is used as a cue ball and is positioned in the head (between the head string and head end rail).
A ball positioned on the head string is considered to be out of the head zone.
The game starts after a referee sets all the balls for making the opening break shot.

2.6 Lagging for Break Shot.

The players stand on the opposite sides of the long string of the table and take one ball each. At the referee's command they put the balls on the table and shoot them from behind the head string to the cushion of the foot rail. The right to make the opening break shot is gained by a player whose ball rebounds from the foot cushion and stops nearest to the cushion of the head rail. A player is considered to have lost the lag for break if his/her ball: hasn't contacted the foot cushion; has fallen into a pocket or jumped out over a cushion; has contacted the cushion of a side rail or entered opponents side of the table.The lag for break starts again if both the opponents have lost it or if both the balls have stopped at the same distance from the head cushion.
The winner of the lag for break gets the right either to make the opening break shot himself (herself) or to concede it to his/her opponent.
In subsequent games the players alternate in performing the opening break till the end of the match.

2.7 Opening Break Shot.

A player may perform the opening break shot from inside the head but is not allowed to cross the head string.
The cue ball is considered committed into the game if it has been hit by a cue tip.
The opening break shot should be made in such way that at least one of the following conditions is met: after contacting of the cue ball with any of the object balls:

- any of the balls would be sent into a pocket;
- any of the balls would touch two rails.

All balls pocketed during the opening break shot are considered scored by a player making opening break shot and the scored ball (balls) are considered sufficient condition for continuation of the game by him/her.
If none of the requirements of the opening break shot is met, then the opponent has the right:

- to accept position of the balls on the table and continue the game;
- to position the balls in a triangular pyramid pattern and make opening break shot himself/ herself;
- to make an opponent perform an opening break shot again.

2.8 Starting and Completing a Shot.

A shot starts the instant the cue tip touches the cue ball and terminates after all balls on the bed of the table come to complete rest. A ball spinning on the spot shall be considered mobile.

2.9 Opponent Entering the Game.

The opponent of the previous shooter enters the game after the previous shooter has missed, i.e. failed to pocket a ball, or has committed an infraction of the rules.
If the offending shooter is penalized, his/her opponent has the right to assess the position of the balls and demand that the punished player continues the game.

2.10 Rule for Making a Rearranging Shot.

A rearranging stroke is a deliberate non-scoring stroke rendering opponents chances to score a ball with his next stroke to minimum. A rearranging stroke is considered legal if as a result of it a cue ball hits an object ball and makes one of the balls rebound from one cushion and touch another cushion or moves any other ball until a direct contact with that other cushion.

2.11 Special Cases of Sending a Ball to Side and Corner Pocket.

In all the cases of driving a ball to a side or corner pocket without scoring a ball, when rearranging stroke requirements have not been met and when the angle of hitting the pocket is sufficient (to be determined by a referee), the stroke is considered legal and a player is not subject to penalty, if as a result of the cue ball contact with the object ball, one of the balls.
- has contacted a pocket jaw;
- has contacted a cushion within the pocket zone of 68 mm (ball diameter) from a pocket jaw along the cushion;
- has stopped within the scoring sector of the pocket at a distance not exceeding two diameters of a ball (136 mm) from the edge of the pocket (measurement is to be made to the center of the front surface of the ball stopped at the pocket).

If angle for pocketing a ball is insufficient (non-scoring zone, determined by a referee), a rearrangement stroke is obligatory.
The shooter has a right to consult with the referee about sufficiency of the angle at which the player intends to make the stroke.

2.12 Scored and Hanging Balls.

A ball is considered scored (pocketed) if as a result of a legal stroke it drops into a pocket and remains there. A ball rebounded from a pocket into the table bed is not considered scored and shall remain in game.
If a ball stops (hangs) in the mouth of a pocket and then drops into the pocket before the end of the stroke (stoppage of all balls on the table), then such a ball shall be considered scored and a player shall be entitled to the next stroke.
If a ball stops (hangs) in the mouth of a pocket and then drops into the pocket after all balls on the table bed have come to rest, normally as a result of external force, such ball shall be replaced to its original position in the mouth of the pocket.

2.13 Intentional Running of Object Balls Along a Rail.

Intentional running of object ball along a rail, irrespective of the type of sending them this way, directly by a cue ball or by other object ball - is not permitted. A ball pocketed as a result of intentional running of it along a rail shall not be considered as scored and shall be replaced to the game positioning it on the foot spot, no penalty shall be applied for such pocketing.

2.14 Jumped Balls.

Balls are considered to have jumped off the table, if they have stopped outside the bed of the table. In addition, balls are considered to have jumped off the table if they hit any object (cue, chalk, clothes, etc.) outside boundaries of the table and return to the bed of the table.
If a jumped off ball comes into contact with any object (cue, chalk, clothes, etc.) belonging to the player or his/her opponent outside boundaries of the table, such shot shall not be considered a foul.
However, if a jumped off ball comes into contact with anything belonging to the player or his/her opponent (cue, chalk, hand, clothes, etc.) within the boundaries of the table then such shot shall be considered a foul and penalized.
A ball shall remain in game if a ball having hit any object within the table boundaries (upper part of a rail, pockets rim, lighting fixture, etc.) returns to the table bed on its own.

2.15 Slow Game.

If a player is consistently slow in planning and executing a shot and thus impeding the progress of the game, then a referee (opponent) has the right to impose a one minute time limit for that person between shots.
When this time limit procedure is imposed, a player is given one minute for planning and performance of a shot. The countdown time starts when all balls on the table come to full rest and it is kept by a referee using stopwatch. 10 seconds before elapsing of the time a referee makes a warning ten seconds left.If a player within one minute period fails to make a shot, the referee gives a command Stop and assigns the next shot to the opponent while position of the balls on the table remains unchanged. An offending player is subject to penalty.

2.16 Fair Play.

A play is considered fair if players during the game demonstrate not only excellent sportsmanship but a respect toward their opponents and other people attending the tournament.
During match a player is allowed to speak only to a referee. Discussion of subjects not related to the situation on the table, commenting on opponents performance, reasonless appeal to referees and spectators and any other behavior that impedes smooth and undisturbed course of the sport event shall be considered conduct unbecoming a sportsman.If a player having received a warning from the referee proceeds with defiant neglect of the established rules, the referee should bring up the matter of his/her unsportsmanlike conduct.

2.17 Non-Player Interference.

Tournament managers and referees shall ensure certain conditions that would exclude possibility of interference with the games by non-players. If such situation occurs tournament managers and referees should act immediately and in compliance with the Rules.
If interference of non-player results in movement of balls on the table, the balls shall be replaced to the original position and the game shall continue the usual way. Penalty shall be affected on neither of the players. If restoration of the original position of the balls is impossible then score of the game that stands at the moment of game disruption shall be registered and the remaining balls shall be formed into pyramid pattern and the game shall be continued with a cue ball in hand behind the head string according to the rules of the opening break shot using one of the remaining balls as a cue ball. Referees shall act the same way in case of unforeseen emergencies (breakage, wind, shaking of billiard table, etc.)

2.18 Opponents Interference.

Any action or word that has an effect on the character and nature of the game shall be considered an interference with the opponents play. Referee shall resolutely clamp down on any interference with the opponents play.If an opponent intentionally changes position of a ball (balls) on the table, then the original position shall be restored and the offending party shall be penalized. If it is impossible to restore the original position of the balls then score of the game that stands at the moment of game disruption shall be registered and the remaining balls shall be formed in the pyramid pattern and the game shall continue with a cue ball in hand behind the head string according to the rules of the opening break shot. Who is to make the opening break shot shall be decided by the opponent of the offending player.
If an opponent stops a ball heading to a pocket or interferes with its movement, then such ball shall be considered as pocketed and offending player shall be penalized.

2.19 Spotting Balls.

All illegally pocketed balls, balls jumped off the table and balls taken from a players shelf as a penalty, shall be positioned on the foot spot. If this spot is occupied by other ball, then the ball is to be put along the long string between the foot spot and the foot rail as close as possible to the interfering ball but not in direct contact with it.It is allowed to hit and play with a ball that has been spotted immediately after the spotting.

2.20 Foul Penalties.

For each infraction of the rules a player gets the penalty in a form of a ball taken from the fouling players shelf and replaced to the table.If the player who has fouled, has no balls on his/her score, the penalty will be affected after he/she pockets his/her first ball.
If during one shot several rules are violated, the player gets a single penalty (loses one of his/her won balls).
Balls pocketed through infraction of the rules are not to be scored and shall be spotted in accordance with the game Rules.
Penalties are applied in the following cases:

1) If the struck cue ball has contacted no object ball;
2) If the struck cue ball has jumped off the bed of the table;
3) If any ball on the bed gets touched by or comes in contact with clothing, mechanical bridge, chalk, etc.
4) If the cue ball is struck incorrectly;
5) If opening break shot is performed incorrectly;
6) If rearranging stroke is performed incorrectly;
7) If a player interferes with his opponents play by relocating a ball (balls);.
8 ) If a player shoots before the previous shot is completed;
9) If time limit assigned to a player by a referee for slow play is exceeded.

Terms and Definitions.

1. Head is a part of the tables bed stretching between the head rail, head string, left side rail and right side rail. Head is used during the opening break shot and when committing the cue ball into the game.

2. Cue ball is a ball struck with a cue tip during a shot. When a cue ball drops into a pocket after contacting object ball, a term svoi or svoyak (shooters own ball) is used. This term designates a cue ball that was pocketed as a result of bouncing from the object ball.

3. Object ball is a ball hit with a cue ball. When an object ball drops into a pocket as a result of hit by a cue ball a term chuzhoi (opponents ball) is used.

4. Spotting string. For return into the game of a ball replaced on the table after a foul shot by one of the players, a foot spot on the bed of the table is used which is also called a spotting point. Sometimes this spot is occupied by other balls that makes it impossible to place a returned ball on it. In this case the replaced ball is to be put on the long string between the foot spot and the foot rail. The ball is to be put along this string on the non-occupied place closest to the foot spot but not in direct contact with other object balls. Similar approach shall be used when it is necessary to put two or more balls on the long string. If space between the foot spot and foot rail is not sufficient for positioning of all balls being replaced then a part of the long string advancing from the foot spot to the center spot shall be used.

These Rules may miss description of all possible situations which can occur during a game. Situations that are not covered by these Rules shall be arbitrated by the Main Referee Panel and its decision is not subject to appeal to higher authority.

Sporting Billiard
Spots and strings on the table bed

Nr1 Head SpotAB Head String
Nr2 - Center SpotCD Center String
Nr3 Foot SpotEF Foot String
GH Long String

Main characteristics of billiard tables and equipment for sporting billiard:

1. Tables:

- Table bed size3.55 x 1.87 m
- Height of the table bed from the floor level820 mm
- Pocket size (width):a) corner pockets74 0.5 mm
b) side pockets83 0.5 mm
- maximal allowance of bed tilt from horizontal plane:
- Pocket size (width):a) longitudinal0.5 mm
b) lateral0.25 mm

2. Balls:
- Manufacturer Aramith
- Diameter 68 mm

Equipment and devices that were not mentioned above shall be used without causing any damage to billiard tables and areas billiard events are held in.

The Rules were prepared by the following officials:

Kadyshev V. D. - Chairman of the All-Russia Panel of Referees
Kuzmichev N. M. - Chairman of the Rule Committee, Billiard Federation of Russia
Loshakov A. L. - Assistant professor of the billiards department, Russian Academy of Physical Training
Chervanev Y. N. - Chairman of the Referee Panel, International Pyramid Committee
Leontyev Y. N. - Chairman of the Referee Panel, Billiard Federation of Ukraine

Under the general editorship of Kadyshev V. D., Chairman of the All-Russia Panel of Referees

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Upcoming tournament details, prompt match reporting, exclusive images by talented photographers, superb articles by expert pundits, active pool related forums, player profiles and a very sophisticated membership - basically, an incredible information resource for the American style game in Europe.

Since it launched, PRO9 has become compulsory reading, not just for the UK's pool players, but to hundreds and thousands of pool obsessives from around the world every single day.

PRO9's members range from professional pool players, cue-sports enthusiasts, club managers, tournament organisers, pool fans and aficionados, as well as various "movers and shakers" in the cue-sports field, including entrepreneurs in the wholesale and retail sector, as well as magazine editors and television sports promoters.

Growing more and more popular every single year, PRO9 is the best placed vehicle for the promotion of your pool club, billiards brand, associated products, services and opportunities in the truly massive pan-European billiard market.

If you're reading this, you should check out www.Pro9.co.uk for yourself!

Please use these logos and text in your links to www.Pro9.co.uk - thank you.

Forum rules: No advertising, no links to businesses/shops/eBay, no swearing, respect our sponsors and each other, no hate!

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I didn't think anyone read this bit down here!!!

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