League Rules & Constitution

Rules of the Game

Click here to download a copy of the rules to be used in the Melton Pool League.

The league was formed in 1979, and shall be known as the Melton Mowbray Pool League (MMPL) or Melton Pool League. The Melton Summer Pool League (MSPL), which was formed in 1992 will be incorporated within this league. The aim of both leagues is to promote all pool competitions within the local area, to be played in a friendly and sportsmanlike manner.

Basic Constitution & Committee Rules


All registered members shall strictly observe the Rules and Constitution of the MMPL. Changes to these rules shall only be permitted at a general meeting. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held in at the end of the winter season and other general meetings as required, and in any case, the Secretary must announce the date of any general meeting to all outlets providing at least 3 weeks notice.


The league will be administrated by a management committee comprising of a Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer and up to 8 other committee members. Persons may only be elected onto the committee at a general meeting, and once elected will serve until their replacement as defined in Rule 3. All elected committee members shall serve the league in a positive manner, answering through the Chair, and these committee members shall appoint from within a vice-chairperson or assistant secretary, or designate other duties as may be required. The representation of committee members from any one outlet may be restricted, and any such imposed by a general meeting will be included in Appendix 1.

3. (a)

Any committee member wishing to resign their position must give 28 days notice of their intentions in writing, although any committee member who without good reason misses 3 consecutive meetings, or is judged to have acted in a detrimental or irresponsible manner shall be removed from the committee. Where necessary, a general meeting will be called to elect replacements and any person wishing to serve on the committee should be proposed and seconded in writing, giving at least 14 days notice prior to the general meeting, at which ballots may be used to fulfil the requirements of Rule 2.


All committee members must be registered with a team, but shall receive free membership of the league and other benefits as listed in Appendix 1. All committee members shall have the respect of all other members of the league at all times.

4. (a)

The committee shall rule on all disputes, which must be addressed to the secretary in writing, and all decisions made by the committee, especially where no current ruling exists, will be final and binding. All normal committee business shall follow an agreed agenda and be conducted “in camera” and the chair shall advise the committee of what details should be released to the general membership of the league.


No decision may be made at a meeting comprising of less than 5 voting members. The Treasurer, Secretary and Chairperson (or acting Chairperson) do not normally vote at committee meetings although the Treasurer (firstly) and Secretary (secondly) may be given a vote by the other committee members in order that urgent committee business may be completed. The Chairperson (or acting Chairperson) will be given a casting vote only where required.


All decisions regarding disputes or complaints of a sensitive nature will be decided by closed ballot, and committee members with an obvious interest may not be allowed to vote.


All current playing rules, committee allowances and registration fees will be decided at the AGM and included in Appendix 1.

Conditions of Entry & League Registration

6. (a)

All teams or players wishing to enter the league must meet the following criteria:


All matches are to be played on licensed premises.


All venues to be within a 12-mile radius of Melton.


All teams or players to have completed their matches of any previous season to the satisfaction of the committee.


All new teams to have their table and facilities examined by the committee. (The committee will also investigate any complaints concerning the table or facilities of existing teams and suitable recommendations may be made. The committee reserves the right to take whatever actions necessary to enforce them, including the possible suspension of play on any defective table.)


There are no age restrictions on league membership, but players under 18 cannot be guaranteed entry into another team’s establishment.


The committee reserve the right, with good reason, to exclude any team or players from entry to the league or any of its competitions, and any team or players removed from the league or any of its competitions will miss one full season. Any player(s) barred from their team or home venue may have their league registration suspended or withdrawn, especially if the trouble is pool related. Any player(s) barred from an away venue is expected to comply with such.


All teams entering the league must send a representative to all general and captains meetings, and are expected to assist the committee with any promotions ran for the benefit of the league. Failure to comply will result in automatic penalties as defined in Appendix 1.


Any team or individual(s) receiving an annual trophy/trophies must return these to the league secretary or league HQ in satisfactory condition at least 1 month before the following season’s presentation evening or when requested to by the league secretary. The committee reserve the right to prevent admission into the league for subsequent seasons any teams or individuals failing to comply. See Appendix 1 for a list of MMPL annual trophies.

7. (a)

The league may be funded by a combination of external sponsorship, team and player registration fees (see also Rule 5).


Team captains are responsible for the collection of their team’s monies, and payment of such to the Treasurer, for which a receipt will be given where requested.

8. (a)

Only registered players may participate in league and cup competitions. New signings are permitted at any stage of the season by complying with the conditions contained in Appendix 1. Captains may transfer to another team the registration of any person who has not yet played in any competition. Pub landlords and club stewards who have registered with the league may play for any of their teams in league matches only, but may play for one team per night. They can only play in cup matches for the team which they are registered with. Any player dismissed from the committee (Rule 3) becomes liable to pay any current registration fee should they wish to continue playing. The automatic penalties that will be imposed for using unregistered players are contained in Appendix 1.


Transfers to another team mid-season must be approved by the committee and will only be considered should reasonable circumstances exist, and if granted, shall be permanent. No transfers are allowed after the halfway stage deadline. There are no transfers allowed in the summer league.

League Formation


The league shall be formed into any number of divisions as decided by the committee, and consequently, teams may have to be “promoted” or “relegated” without warning, although the 2 teams finishing nearest the top or bottom (except where a team is removed from the league and a vacancy now exists) of any division one season shall have their promotion or relegation honoured upon rejoining the league in the following season.


League status applies to the team name, although any team moving venues with - (MMPL) at least 4 players or (MSPL) a majority of players from the previous season will retain the status that was previously held or achieved. All new teams shall, where feasible, start in the lowest division, although the committee reserve the right to place any team in the division best suited or where a vacancy exists.


11. (a)

Match default start times (unless rearranged otherwise by mutual agreement):


All Tuesday fixtures (including KO Competitions) are to commence at 8:00 p.m.


All Sunday fixtures are to commence at 7:00 p.m.


Visiting teams shall have free use of the table during league matches (table costs to be shared in all KO Competitions), and have access to the table for practising provided they are in attendance 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start.

12. (a)

League matches may only be postponed due to extenuating circumstances (i.e. freak weather conditions preventing safe travel to a match), and in any instance, the opposing captain and the league Secretary must be advised, giving at least 24 hours notice (except where this is not feasible when as much notice as is possible should be given). However, league matches may be played before the scheduled date by mutual consent of both captains and provided the secretary is advised. Any matches postponed (or suspended under the conditions of Rule 6 (iv) must be played before the scheduled date for the last league matches of the season.


All KO Competition fixtures must be played on or before the given date.


The automatic penalties imposed for disregard of these rules are included in Appendix 1, and frequent disregard may result in elimination from the league and its competitions.

Playing Formats & Scoresheets

13. (a)

MMPL. All league matches are to consist of 6 single games and 3 doubles games, all of 1 frame each, with 1 point awarded for every frame won and 2 bonus points to the team winning the most legs. A minimum of 4 players must be present on both sides to start a match, with between 6 & 12 players necessary to complete all frames. Play must be continuous and where any team does not have at least 6 players, then relevant frames must be conceded. The KO Competitions have varying formats and these are defined on the respective score sheets, or on the competition draw sheets. In all cases, the home captain nominates the playing order of their team first, on a frame-by-frame basis.


MSPL. All league and KO Cup matches consist of 9 single frames, with 1 point awarded for every frame won and 2 bonus points to the team winning most legs. Up to 9 players may participate in any match for a team providing no player is involved in more than 3 frames, nor play any opponent more than once. A match may be played provided a minimum of 5 unique frames can be played. The score sheet should be completed in full by the home captain by 30 minutes after the start. After this time has elapsed the away captain has the opportunity to fill in their names if they choose to should the home captain have failed to do so. (As full as possible if only two players are present.)


Where teams are level on points, the higher position shall be determined firstly by the number of matches won and secondly by the number of frames won. If two or more teams complete their season tied on points and cannot be separated by this method, a play-off match(es) shall be played on a table(s) as decided by the committee to determine any promotion and relegation issues.


All K.O competition semi-finals and finals are to be played on neutral tables as decided by the committee.


In all league and team KO competitions, a lag is to be taken before each frame. In individual competitions (Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles & Ladies Singles) a lag is taken once (before the first frame) and breaks alternate thereafter. The player winning the lag has the choice of taking the break or assigning it to the opponent.


In frames involving two or more players from each team, any player from the team winning the lag (as determined by rule 13.(e)) can take the break off shot. In any scotch pairs format frame, the lag shot does not count towards the playing order in that frame.

14. (a)

Score sheets to be used for all team league and competition matches. The home team captain shall supply the score sheet and is responsible for the condition of the table.


The winning team captain is responsible for the return of the fully completed score sheet to the league HQ or by digital means (email: hello@meltonpool.uk or message to the league secretar[y/ies]) by 8:00 p.m. on the Friday following the match. For individual and pairs KO competitions, the winning players must inform HQ or the secretary of the result in accordance with the instructions on the respective competition draw sheet. Failure to comply will result in automatic penalties as defined in Appendix 1.


Each captain is responsible for the behaviour of their team and any supporters at any match or MMPL function, and must ensure that his elected referees are impartial, attentive and conversant with all rules of the game currently in use. For team matches, the home team shall referee the games and the away team shall be the timekeepers. For individuals and pairs KO competition matches, any responsible person(s) may be mutually chosen to officiate. In all cases, any appointed referee shall have the respect of all players and supporters and the referee’s decision shall be final.


Any player reserves the right to refuse to commence a frame of pool during any match should it be “fairly obvious” that play would continue past 11:00 p.m. (10:00 p.m. on Sundays). At this point the match is to be adjourned at no penalty for either side. Arrangements must be made there and then for the match to be completed from where it was adjourned using the same players listed, within the next 14 days. The secretary must be advised of the unfinished result and of the continuation date.

General Conditions & Information


Disputes between teams or players to be lodged in writing with the secretary at HQ. within 4 days of the match, although contravention of league rules may be reported at any time. Where any complaint is received against any player or team, both parties are entitled to be represented at the committee meeting at which the complaint is to be heard. Rule 4 will be strictly observed.


Coaching is deemed as unsporting behaviour and is strictly forbidden. With the exception of any pairs game or the team game of a Super 4’s match, where players may discuss tactics only between visits to the table, players in action must not confer with any other team member or supporter during their involvement in that frame. Shouts of encouragement from spectators are allowed but referees should be quick to penalise any such comments containing an instructive element with a verbal warning and that any repeat offence may lead to the referee awarding the frame away. (i.e. the phrase “think about it” is harmless enough should the player be about to approach the table, but if player was already cueing up a shot clearly means, “choose a different shot”.)


The referee must not voluntarily remind any player of the rules, or advise them that they are about to play a foul shot. However, the referee may be approached by the player(s) at the table only to confirm or deny any specific ruling that exists.


Deliberate slow play has also been deemed as unsporting behaviour and will not be tolerated. Under normal circumstances, a player is expected to play a shot within 1 minute of their previous shot or approach to the table. This applies in pairs matches as well.


Under normal circumstances, the secretary shall endeavour to give 3 weeks notice of all KO Competition draws (sometimes this is not possible). However, the deadline dates for all competitions are included within the fixture list, so that any team or player who enters any of these competitions must be prepared to contact the secretary or HQ. for information that is for any reason outstanding, should they still be involved in that competition. (See also Rule 12 (b) & (c).)

The MMPL Rules and Constitution were last updated on 27th February 2023 in accordance with decisions made at recent AGMs and committee meetings and automatically supersede any other such copies of the rules.

Appendix 1

Current Registration Fees & Allowances:

MMPL Team Registration: £40

MSPL Team Registration: £30

Both leagues Player Registration: Free –unlimited no. of players

MMPL Competition Entry *: £3 per player for all singles and pairs (including Ladies Singles). £12.00/team for Super 4s

MSPL Competition Entry *: £5 for singles. £5.00/team for Super Pairs

* Current committee members may have free entry to one singles or one pairs competition.

MMPL Secretarial Allowance: £500

MSPL Secretarial allowance: £5 per team entered

MMPL Treasurer Allowance: £100

Current Playing Rules: Blackball Rules (download)

Current Fixed Penalties:

Rule 6c – Where no representative is sent then (i) that team shall be docked 2 points from the upcoming winter league, and (ii) the captain shall be barred from entry to that season’s captain’s competition.

Rule 8a – Unregistered players (a) any frame played by an unregistered player shall automatically be awarded to the opposition, and (b) in addition, the team will be deducted 1 point for each frame played by an unregistered player (even if that particular frame was lost) and (c) any team fielding an unregistered player shall also lose the 2 bonus points should they be successful in winning the match.

In the MMPL and MSPL, new players must be registered on the front of the score sheet; first name and surname must be used and legible.

Rule 12c – Attendance: Any team late for a match will forfeit 1 frame per 10 minutes, and matches may be claimed if any team is over 30 minutes late. Any team successfully claiming a match will be awarded the game or the maximum number of points that were on offer but not the 2 bonus points they would have received had they won the match. (No individual wins will be credited in the event of a claimed match.) The team that “failed to show” will also be docked 3 points and any team failing to show for 3 league matches without good reason shall automatically be removed from the league and all results relating to that team will be deleted. In KO Competitions, where no mutual prior arrangement has been made, matches may be claimed if the other party has not arrived by 30 minutes after the scheduled start time on the deadline date. If neither party shows for a match then it shall be considered void, and both parties will be removed from the competition.

Rule 14b – Late Score sheets and incomplete score sheets (first name and surname must be used, not just an initial and surname. Nicknames are allowed provided they have been entered on the registration form.) The 2 bonus points awarded to the winning team will not be awarded if the score sheet is not returned in accordance with the rules. (The winning team will not be penalised if the opposition have not filled in their team names correctly.)

List of MMPL annual trophies.

Winter League:
- Division 1 winners
- Division 2 winners
- Division 3 winners
- Division 1 cup winners
- Division 2 cup winners
- Division 3 cup winners
- KO cup winners
- Super 4s winners
- Singles winner
- Doubles winners
- Mixed doubles winners
- Ladies singles winners

Summer League:
- Summer League Division 1 winners
- Summer League Division 2 winners
- Summer League Division 3 winners
- Summer League Division 4 winners
- Summer League Division 5 winners
- Summer League KO cup winners
- Summer League Singles winner
- Super Pairs winners

Other Information:

The number of committee members (other than Chairperson, Treasurer & Secretary) that may represent one establishment is currently unrestricted.