Frequently Asked Questions


Q). Where can I find a copy of the rules of the Milton Keynes City Snooker League?

  • A). All the rules that govern the Milton Keynes City Snooker League are contained in the Constitution. Most of your questions can be answered by reading this.

Q). I was playing in a tournament/league match the other day and the opponent I was playing refused/insisted on playing the miss rule. I disagreed. Do we play it or not?

  • A). The miss rule is part of the rules of snooker as set by World Snooker and is played IN ALL FRAMES of snooker in the Milton Keynes City Snooker League, be it a tournament or a league game. This applies to ALL players and ALL divisions. No exceptions. If you don't like it, agree with the opposition BEFORE you play your match to not play the miss rule. If your opponent wants to play the miss rule, YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT!
    The confusion about this rule stems from the fact that the rule was introduced in 1995 and players always think it was introduced for the professional game only, which is incorrect. The rule can also be difficult to interpret for some players. See below for some 'general' guidelines on this miss rule.
    Please see the Foul and a Miss guidelines for further information.

Q). Ok so we are supposed to play the miss rule, how do we do that?

  • A). This one is open to interpretation of the rule, but there are some unwritten guidelines that tend to be used in the MKCSL amongst the qualified referees. You must remember that these are dependent on the ability of the player, and may not apply.
    • Please note that if either player requires snookers either before, or as a result of the shot played, and the referee is satisfied that the miss was not intentional, then a miss can not be called.
    • If a player can hit ANY part of a ball on directly and fails to make contact, then this is a 100% miss all of the time, regardless of the players ability. This means ANY part of the ball on, not full ball or centre ball. E.g. A fag paper's width of the ball on can be hit, its a miss every time if the ball on is not hit.
    • If a player can hit a ball on centre ball* and fails to hit a ball on then this is a 100% miss every time, regardless of ability. After 2 of these types of misses, the player must be warned that if they fail to hit a ball on they will concede the frame. If they then fail to make contact with a ball on, they concede the frame. A player in this situation does not automatically concede the frame unless they have been pre-warned by the referee (opponent if no referee).
    • If a player is snookered and can make a 1 cushion escape to hit the ball on, then this will generally be considered to be a miss if they fail to make contact with the ball on. However this depends on the difficulty of the shot, balls in the way etc.
    • If a player is snookered and hits the snookering ball, then this is generally considered a miss, again depending on the difficulty of the shot.
    • If a player attempts a swerve when there is a 1 cushion escape and misses the ball on, then this is a miss. If they are good enough to judge a swerve shot, they are good enough to judge a 1 cushion escape!
    • If a player is snookered on multiple object balls (e.g. lots of reds or multiple colours) and the player elects to play a more difficult shot opposed to an easier one, so that they get the cue ball safe, then this would be a miss. The reasoning is that if they think they are good enough to attempt the difficult shot, then they are good enough that they could of made the easier shot.
    • * Please note that centre ball means you can hit the ball in the centre, it is not the same as full ball which means you can hit any part of the ball on. A full ball is used for example in a free ball situation.
    • Please see the Foul and a Miss guidelines for further information.

Q). A player called a foul because another player didn't nominate a ball, but they insisted no nomination was required. Who is correct and what is the correct interpretation of nominating a ball?

  • A). In a nutshell:
    • A player is NOT required to verbally declare a ball on at any time, even when snookered!
    • It is common sense for a player to verbally declare a ball on when snookered.
    • It is common sense for a player to verbally declare a ball on when aiming at a ball on where the cue ball will come in to close proximity to other balls.
    • It is NOT automatically a foul when a player does NOT verbally declare either a ball on, or a free ball.
    • If the referee, or opponent when no referee, is not sure of which ball is being nominated then they must ask the player to verbally declare the intended nominated ball.

    The rules that cover this scenario are as follows:


    • 12. Nominated Ball
      (a) A nominated ball is the object ball which the striker declares, or indicates to the satisfaction of the referee, he undertakes to hit with the first impact of the cue-ball.
      (b) If requested by the referee, the striker must declare which ball he is on.
    • 13. Free Ball
      A free ball is a ball which the striker nominates as the ball on when snookered after a foul (see Section 3 Rule 10).

    Let me explain:

    Striker declares, or indicates to the satisfaction of the referee: Unfortunately the rule doesn't state what is deemed to be acceptable/unacceptable declaration or indication of a nominated ball, so this is open to interpretation. However it is generally accepted that the striker has nominated a ball by addressing the shot. I.e. the referee can see which ball the striker is attempting to hit and accepts that as the strikers nomination. No verbal declaration is required.

    If requested by the referee, the striker must declare which ball he is on: This is there so if a striker does not verbally declare a nominated ball, and it is not indicated clearly because the striker addressing the nominated ball could be aiming for more than 1 ball, the referee must request the striker to nominate by asking the striker to verbally nominate, such as 'please nominate'. The striker must then verbally declare.

    So overall, the referee accepts nomination by indication of a nominated ball by the striker, i.e. aiming towards the nominated ball. If the referee (or opponents in the case of no referee) are unclear as to which ball is being nominated, then they must state 'please nominate' before the striker takes their shot. If they do not nominate, and the referee thinks the ball hit was not the nominated ball, then it is up to the referee whether to call a foul. It may still not be a foul though, as the referee may decide the shot was valid, for example the player missing one colour by a fraction and potting another getting perfect position would be pretty obvious that the player intended the ball they aimed at.

    For a full read of the rules of snooker and the various definitions please see the full rules of snooker on the world snooker web site.

Q). My details (E.g. telephone, address etc) have changed, who do I notify?



Q). I can't get hold of my opponent on the number listed on the draws?

  • A). If you know the team your opponent plays in, contact the captain of the team and hopefully they can tell you if the telephone number is correct or not. If you don't know the team your opponent plays in, then contact the Tournament Secretary.

Q). I have left messages on my opponents phone (mobile/home) and they haven't contacted me?

  • A). Contact the Tournament Secretary. If the tournament secretary can't contact them either, then you will probably get put through.

Q). I arranged to play a match and my opponent(s) didn't turn up?

  • A). You can claim the match provided you get someone from the bar or club the match was supposed to be played in to sign the result card. Then write the players names & Match Claimed across it. Alternatively, contact the Tournament Secretary and they will probably put you through to the next round

Q). I want to play my match but we can't arrange it before the play by date?

  • A). Contact the Tournament Secretary, and they will put your result in as a delayed result. You must try to play the match within 1-2 weeks of the play by date, otherwise you may be disqualified from the tournament.

Q). I contacted my opponent, and they said they would call me back with some dates to play, but so far they haven't done so?

  • A). Call them again, and if they can't give you any date that you can agree on then ask the Tournament Secretary for an extension. If they don't give you any date, but you are offering them some date's, then you can probably go through as a claimed match. But you must contact the Tournament Secretary to let them know in advance.

Q). How many matches do I have to play in a round robin match to qualify for the knockout stage?

  • A). In all round robin matches, currently consisting of singles, doubles, ladies and the billiards, you must have played at least 50% of your matches to qualify for the knockout stages. The only exception is if you are in a group with an odd number of matches to be played you must play 50% less one match. E.g. 5 matches to play, you must play at least 2 matches.

Q). How long do I have to claim a match?

  • A). Claims for matches (i.e. from players or teams, receiving no co-operation from their opponent(s)), must be made to the Tournament Secretary at least 3 days prior to the deadline date.

Q). What is the criteria in round robin tournaments to qualify for the next stage, and how do I qualify for the main or plate tournament?

  • A). For round robin tournaments, you must play at least 50% of your matches to qualify for a knockout stage, be it either the main tournament or the plate tournament. This rule has the following exceptions:
    • 1). If the number of possible matches in your group is odd, then the number of matches you must play is half the number of possible matches, rounded DOWN. For example: 4 players in a group has 3 matches, 50% of which is 1.5, so you must play at least 1 match, not 2. E.g. slightly less than 50%. This is so that more players can qualify.
    • 2). If there are players in your group who have not played ANY matches, then these players are excluded from the group. The rules then apply as normal, but as if the group did not have these players.
      See the following example from the 2005-2006 Season:
    Pos Player H/cap Matches Frames Won Frames Lost Points Telephone
    Group E
    1 Barry Todd-Howard 40 4 7 2 486 01908 607732
    2 Alan Box 37 2 2 3 223 01908 562161
    3 James Gregg 43 2 0 4 129 01908 612219
    4 Leigh Carran 28 0 0 0 0 07888 896813

    In this case, Leigh Carran has not played any matches, thus he is excluded from the group, making the group now a group of 3 and not 4.
    Thus to qualify, you must of played at least 50% of the possible matches, in this case 2 because there is home and away matches. Had Leigh Carran played a match, you would of had to have played at least 3 matches.
    So in this example, normally Alan Box and James Gregg would not have qualified. Had Leigh Carran played a match against, say, Alan Box, then James would not have qualified.
    The whole point of this slight alteration to the rule is so that it is fairer for players who have played matches, but can't play the qualifying amount due to the fact that other players are refusing to play.

    To qualify for the main knockout stage, you must be in the top 50% of the group (or slightly less, as explained above). This is REGARDLESS of players who have not played. It is the FULL group size. You must also qualify for a knockout stage as above.

    To qualify for the plate knockout stage, you must be in the bottom 50% of the group (or slightly less, as explained above). This is REGARDLESS of players who have not played. It is the FULL group size. You must also qualify for a knockout stage as above.



Q). I think a players handicap needs altering. Who do I contact?



Q). Doubles pairings. What is the definitive allowed order of play?

  • A). You may not play the same doubles pairing in two consecutively played league fixtures. For re-arranged matches which may alter the order of the fixtures, this makes no difference. It is the order that you play league fixtures in, not the fixture order, so make sure you put the date on the match card that you played re-arranged matches! Also don't confuse yourself when it comes to playing the team handicap knockout tournament. It has nothing to do with the league and does not affect this rule in any way. You can play the same doubles pairing every round in the team handicap knockout tournament if you like. Removed as of the 2011/2012 Season due to the new 6 frame singles format.

Q). Result Cards. When do they have to be in by?

  • A). League result cards have to be with the Fixtures Secretary by no later than the Friday after the match date (usually Monday).
    Please note that the Fixtures Secretary only collects cards from the box's at the MKSC and the Herald once a week. This is usually on a Wednesday, so please make sure your card is in one of the box's by then.


Web Site

Q). Something is wrong on the web site, who do I contact to get it fixed?

Q). There is so much information available on the web site, how on earth is it all managed? It must take forever!?

  • A). Starting in April 2003, Adrian Ridgway started to write a program to manage all the players information and create the web pages automatically. This is on going and has ballooned in to all the information and web pages you see today. Both the Tournament Secretary and the Fixtures Secretary have this program and send updated databases to the Chairman. Every time the web site is updated about 500 pages get re-created automatically. This process typically takes just a few minutes.



Q). Who runs the league/tournaments/web site etc?

  • A). A group of dedicated people committed to snooker in Milton Keynes. We all do it out of our love for the game. An up to date list of all the committee members can be found in the Contacts section.