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Pool Table

The Standard Pool Table [as per World Pocket Billiards Association]

Table Bed Height: between 29 ¼ inches [74.295 cm] and 31 inches [78.74 cm].

Design: Shall not have any sharp edges or materials that might cause injuries or damaged clothes. Construction should be adequate enough so that the table will remain stable and level under all conditions of play.

Slates: The thickness must be at least 1 inch [2.54 cm], and the playing surface must be capable, either by its own strength or a combination of its strength and that of the table base frame, of maintaining an overall flatness within + .020 inches [.508 mm] lengthwise and + .010 inches [.254 mm] across the width. Further, this surface should have an additional deflection not to exceed .030 inches [.762 mm] when loaded with a concentrated static force of 200 pounds [90.7 kg] at its center. All slate joints must be in the same plane within .005 inch [.127 mm] after leveling and shimming. Tournament tables must have a set of slates consisting of three pieces of equal size with a wooden frame of at least ¾ inch [1.905 cm] thick lumber attached underneath the slate. The slate sections must be secured to the base frame with countersunk screws or bolts.

Playing Surface: The playing surface (area) must be rectangular, and symmetrical when the pocket configurations are included:

  • 9 foot-100(+1/8)x50(+1/8)inches (except cushions)/[2.54m(+3.175 mm)x1.27m(+3.175 mm)]
  • 8 foot-92(+1/8)x46(+1/8)inches (except cushions)/[2.33m(+3.175mm)x1.168m(+3.175 mm)]

Rail and Cushion: The rail width must be between 4 [10.16 cm] and 7 ½ inches [19.05 cm] including the rubber cushions. 18 sights (or 17 and a nameplate) shall be attached flush on the rail cap with:

  • 12 ½ inches [31.75 cm] from sight to sight on a 9-foot regulation table
  • 11 ½ inches [29.20 cm] from sight to sight on an 8-foot regulation table.

The center of each sight should be located 3 11/16 (+) inches [93.6625 mm (+ 3.175 mm)] from the nose of the cushion. The sights may be round (between 7/16 [11.11 mm] and ½ inch [12.7 mm] in diameter) or diamond-shaped (between 1 x 7/16 [25.4 x 11.11 mm] and 1 ¼ x 5/8 inch [31.75 x 15.875 mm]). Any nameplates and score counters should be flush level with rail top. All rail bolts should be thus located that when properly torqued render a quiet and optimum rebound from any point of the cushion nose of the table.

Height of the Cushion: Rubber cushions should be triangular in shape with the width of the cloth-covered cushion being between 1 7/8 [4.76 cm] and 2 inches [5.40 cm] measured from the outer edge of the feather strip to the nose of the cushion. Rail height (nose-line to table-bed) should be 63 ½% (+1 %) or between 62 ½% and 64 ½ % of the diameter of the ball.

Cushion Rubber: Table cushions should influence the speed of the table such that with the placement of a ball on the head spot, shooting through the foot spot, using center ball English, with a level cue and firm stroke, the ball must travel a minimum of 4 to 4 ½ lengths of the table without jumping.

Pocket Openings and Measurements: Only rubber facings of minimum 1/16 [1.5875 mm] to maximum ¼ inch [6.35 mm] thick may be used at pocket jaws. The WPA-preferred maximum thickness for facings is 1/8 inch [3.175 mm]. The facings on both sides of the pockets must be of the same thickness. Facings must be of hard re-enforced rubber glued with a strong bond to the cushion and the rail and adequately fastened to the wood rail liner to prevent shifting. The rubber of the facings should be somewhat harder than that of the cushions.

The pocket openings for pool tables are measured between opposing cushion noses where the direction changes into the pocket (from pointed lip to pointed lip). This is called mouth.
Corner Pocket Mouth: between 4.5 [11.43 cm] and 4.625 inches [11.75 cm]
Side Pocket Mouth: between 5 [12.7 cm] and 5.125 inches [13.0175 cm]
*The mouth of the side pocket is traditionally ½ inch [1.27 cm] wider than the mouth of the corner pocket.

Vertical Pocket Angle (Back Draft): 12 degrees minimum to15 degrees maximum.
Horizontal Pocket Cut Angle: The angle must be the same on both sides of a pocket entrance. The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the corner pocket entrance must be 142 degrees (+1). The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the side pocket entrance must be 104 degrees (+1).
Shelf: The shelf is measured from the center of the imaginary line that goes from one side of the mouth to the other - where the nose of the cushion changes direction - to the vertical cut of the slate pocket cut. The shelf includes a bevel.
Corner Pocket Shelf: between 1 [2.54 cm] and 2 ¼ inches [5.715 cm]
Side Pocket Shelf: between 0 and .375 inches [.9525 cm]

Pocket Liners: The pocket liners and boots should be of long-wearing plastic, rubber, or leather. The material the liners and boots are made of should not permanently mark (stain) the balls or cues. The upper part of the inner wall must be so fashioned that whenever a ball hits the pocket liner wall below the rim at the top of the rail, the ball is directed downwards.

Ball Return and Drop Pockets
: Both drop pockets and automatic ball returns can be used but must be as noiseless as possible. Drop pockets must have a basket capacity of at least 6 balls. Automatic ball returns must be properly installed so that pocketed balls are not trampolined back to the table or off the table.

Cloth: The cloth must be non-directional, nap-free billiard fabric that will not pill or fluff, composed of no less than 85% combed worsted wool and no more than 15% nylon. 100% combed worsted wool fabric is preferred. No backed cloth will be allowed. Only the colors of yellow-green, blue-green, or electric blue are acceptable for WPA competition.

Fastening of the Cloth (Guidelines): Before cloth-covering, the slate, a strip of canvas (or table-cloth) should be glued to the vertical pocket cuts of the slates and their underlying wooden slate liner. The table-bed cloth must be stretched for "proper tension" and mechanically attached to the underlying wooden slate liner with fully driven fasteners (staples/tacks) spaced a maximum of 1" on center approx., with at least inch [.9525 cm] penetration into the wooden slate liner. Guidelines for proper tension are as follow:
1. Length of the cloth should be manually stretched as tight as possible, and then relieved ½ inch [1.27 cm] before attachment; and
2. Width of the cloth should be manually stretched as tight as possible, and then relieved ¼ inch [.635 cm] before attachment.

When covering the cushions, the cloth must be lengthwise evenly and consistently well-stretched while inserting the feather strip as well as thereafter. While the cloth is in a stretched condition lengthwise, the cloth must then be stretched in the width up to the moment when the indentation of the nose of the rubber cushion is about to start and attached underneath the wooden rail with fully driven fasteners (staples or tacks) spaced a maximum of 3/4 inch [1.905 cm] on center approximately, with at least 3/8 inch [.9525 cm] penetration into the wood. At the side pocket openings, the rails are to be covered with a minimum overlapping of fabric over the facings. When doing overlapping, great care must be taken so that hidden folds, if any, do not cause balls to jump off the table during play. No folds are allowed in the cloth over the facings of the corner pockets.

Cleaning Table and Rail Cloth (Advised Preparation): The WPA recommends only the colors green and blue for chalk. A soft (horsehair) brush, a cloth-cleaner made with billiard fabric, or a brushless (without rotating brush) vacuum cleaner are the recommended table and cushion cleaning devices. Brushes that shed bristles are not recommended.

Lights: The bed and rails of the table must receive at least 520 lux (48 foot-candles) of light at every point. A screen or reflector configuration is advised so that the center of the table does not receive noticeably more lighting than the rails and the corners of the table. If the light fixture above the table may be moved aside (referee), the minimum height of the fixture should be no lower than 40" [1.016m] above the bed of the table. If the light fixture above the table is non-movable, the fixture should be no lower than 65" [1.65m] above the bed of the table. The intensity of any directed light on the players at the table should not be blinding. Blinding light starts at 5000 lux (465 foot-candles) direct view. The rest of the venue (bleachers, etc.) should receive at least 50 lux (5 foot-candles) of light.

Spacing Between Tables: a minimum measurement of 6 feet [1.83 m] is required between the outside edge of the table rail in every horizontal direction and obstacle (table, chair, rail, etc.).

Table Recognized by the WPA: Only tables that are recognized by the WPA can be used at a WPA-sanctioned or recognized event.