Get Involved

FAQ – How Can I Get Involved?

1. I love pool, can I join the ACTEBA? Is it only for “pool sharks”, or can anyone jump in and have fun?

ACTEBA competition is open to the general public, and we cater for all skill levels and all levels of competitiveness – from the pros to people who’ve never played before, and from the ultra-competitive to the social player who just wants to have a relaxing evening having a casual hit with their friends.

To take part in the State League, however, you’ll have to join an existing team or form a new team. Annual Championships and other tournaments (see below) are open to anyone.

2. How many in a team? What’s with the different divisions?

A team has a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 9 players. Currently ACTEBA has 8 teams per division and five divisions, from first through to fifth. There has been a sixth division in the past, the number of divisions in any given season depends on the number of teams registered. There is a promotion and relegation system to keep the competition balanced across seasons – if a team wins a season in Division 3, for example, next season they will move up to Division 2. Teams that come last in a division move down to a lower division to give them a chance to play teams more suited to their overall skill and experience level.

3. How does the competiton work? How many games will I get to play?

ACTEBA runs two seasons each calendar year – Summer and Winter. Each season comprises 14 rounds (weeks), during which each team plays all other teams in that division twice (once at their home venue, once at the other team’s venue). The top four teams then play a finals series to determine the overall winner of the season.

Each match consists of twenty four frames (games) of pool, broken into four rounds of six frames. Thus, if your team has six players, each player will play four frames per match. Teams can make substitutes if they have more than six players, but only between rounds. Matches are played on Wednesday nights, start at 8pm, and usually take about two to three hours.

4. Can I join a team, or do I have to make my own?

Either! Teams often change players between seasons (and sometimes during the season, but special rules apply). Head over to the ACTEBA Facebook Group and see if any teams are looking for new recruits, or if you know five other people who are keen to have a go, you can make your own team.

5. If I do want to make a new team, what do I do?

The Summer season usually starts mid-to-late January, and the Winter season starts in June. Check out the calendar for more details. Team nominations must be submitted at the Captains Meeting in the month prior to the start of the season (December for the Summer season, and May for the Winter season.) Team nomination forms can be found on the Docs and Forms page, and the dates of the Captain’s meetings are listed in the calendar. While you’re at the Docs and Forms Page, check out the Captain’s Info section and the Meeting Etiquette guide – they should give you all the info you need.

6. How much does it cost?

Currently, player registration fees are $60 per player, per season. Fees are due before the fourth round of the season, otherwise a late fee of $10 per player will apply. State Selection Trials and Annual Championships (see below) have separate entry fees.

7. What rules do you play? Is it very strict?

All ACTEBA Competition is played according to the World Eight-Ball Federation Rules. It may look like a lot of rules, but the rules are very similar to “Canberra Pub Pool”, with the following notable exceptions:

1. If you foul (sink the white ball, hit your opponent’s ball first, pot your opponent’s ball, etc), your opponent generally gets two shots.

2. After the cue ball hits the first object ball, *something* (the cue ball, or another ball) must either go into a pocket or touch a rail for the shot to be legal.

3. You don’t win if you pot the black off the break, and you don’t immediately lose if you “scratch” when both players are on the black (but your opponent will get two shots at it!) You still lose if you pot the black before all your other balls are potted.

4. Each frame is supervised by a referee with a stopwatch. Players have 60 seconds to complete each shot, otherwise a foul is called.

There’s more to it than that, of course, but it doesn’t take long to learn the rules, and ACTEBA players are always willing to help new players.

8. Who can play Eight-ball? Is there an age limit? What about under-18’s or juniors?

Anyone is welcome to participate in the sport. Most ACTEBA teams are mixed age, race and gender. ACTEBA runs annual Open, Ladies, Under 21s and Juniors championships (u18’s, u15s, and even u12s!). However, as most teams are based at licensed premises (clubs and pubs), a parent or guardian and the permission of the venue is usually required for under 18’s to play in the State League. Coaching for Juniors and the Junior League is usually run on Saturdays during the school term at a suitable venue for under 18s.

9. What venues are used by ACTEBA teams?

Clubs, pubs and pool halls from all over Canberra host ACTEBA teams and competitions. Have a look at the current draw for a list of venues that host teams.

10. I want to play from my local pub, what are the table requirements?

To host a team, a venue must have two pub-sized tables, in good repair with adequate lighting and space, as well as a minimum standard of accessories (a bridge, brush, and block). More specific requirements are listed in the ACTEBA ByLaws, on the Docs and Forms page.

11. Do I need my own cue?

No, you can use a pub cue, however you’ll probably find that you’ll want to get your own cue before long, as pub cues are wildly varied in weight, tip size/quality and straightness. Having your own cue will improve your shot consistency.

12. When does each competition/season start?

See Question 5 above.

13. Besides the Wednesday Night league, what other competitions are there? Are there prizes, trophies, medals, presentation night etc?

On top of the 24 weeks of State League every year, ACTEBA holds annual Championships for individuals (Open, Ladies and Juniors) as well as a Doubles tournament, 9-Ball tournament, and various other tournaments/competitions throughout the year, in both invitational and open formats.

ACTEBA holds an annual Presentation Night where the achievements of winning teams and individuals from the previous calendar year are celebrated, and yes, there are trophies. :)

14. How can I improve my game?

Practise! Practise! PRACTISE! Play as many different players as you can, and ask for advice! ACTEBA players are always willing to share their passion and help newer players improve their game. There are also lots of online resources – Google is your friend!

15. I’d like to help out the ACTEBA by getting more involved, how can I help?

ACTEBA is run by enthusiastic and energetic people who volunteer their time and effort to provide an engaging vibrant competition across Canberra. Please contact a committee member if you have something to offer, whether it be your time, skills, effort or possibly even sponsorship.

16. Is ACTEBA an affiliate of the Australian Eight-Ball Federation?

Yes, ACTEBA is affiliated to the Australian Eight Ball Federation (AEBF) and has been competing at the Australian Eight Ball Championships since 1990. ACT players are often selected in the Australian team to compete at the World Championships in Blackpool, England.

17. You haven’t answered any of my questions! Now what?

Please contact a committee member, they’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Or, create an account on the ACTEBA Forum, and ask there. We’re friendly, we promise, and there’s nothing more enjoyable to us than getting new people excited about 8-ball!