I have been wanting to do an article about proper table and pool room etiquette for some time now. There are so many things to cover under this topic that I did not think I could fit it all into a single article. So I thought we would narrow it down a little to cover what I consider to be the most important things a respectful player should observe. So let’s get our elbows off the table, polish up on our polite speak and delve into the gentlemanly side of the game.
1. Be Conscious Of Your Opponent When It Isn’t Your Turn
It's likeley that you haven't gotten so accomplished yet that your opponents NEVER get to the table. That being said we all will have to suffer the times when it is not our turn to shoot. What do we do with ourselves? Simple. Respect your opponent’s playing space, try to find a location to sit or stand that is out of both their line of sight and out of their way. Keep your conversation, if any, to a minimum, and keep the volume level down. Don’t grab the chalk off the table and chalk your cue while your opponent is shooting, you can chalk up when it is your turn. I personally have never miss cued from the bench.
2. Be Aware of Others
Sometimes we have to play in a very crowded pool room. No problem, do your best to be aware of your surroundings. Oftentimes there are other matches going on right beside you, se conscious of those players and try to respect their space as well. If you give people space, more often than not other players will return the favor. Remember, even though what we are doing is very important to us, we are not the only player in the room.
3. Proper Chalk Handling
Ok chalk junkies, if it is not your own personal piece of chalk, please leave it at the table when your turn has ended. Your opponent might need to use it too. Another very uncouth thing to do is put the chalk on the rail blue side down. This creates a mess for everyone involved and is VERY un-proper.
Frank Says: "If you're using premium pool chalk like Kamui or Blue Diamond that's worth more than a house cue, you might want to keep it close at hand with a nice chalk holder like the Chalk Shark that uses a super strong magnet.”
4. Stop With The Whistling, Humming and Other Nervous Ticks
This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Unless you are a train or one of the seven dwarves, do not whistle while you work. It may soothe your nerves, but remember it can be very distracting to the other players in the room who might be playing an important match. Humming and leg tapping… just stop it!
5. Hey Headphones Guy! (waving hands and jumping up and down)
I am seeing more and more of this at tournaments and pool leagues. Folks who want to listen to their own soundtrack while playing a match. This does not bother me at all, please feel free. But remember to please keep it at a reasonable volume so that you can still communicate with your opponent. No one wants to yell to get your attention or better yet learn sign language to call a shot.
These are just a few basic etiquette rules I think every player should know. Like I said, there are so many that they would be impossible to list them all. Just think of it this way: when playing, have fun and enjoy every second at the table, but don’t forget your opponent is trying to do the same thing! Don’t make his experience a miserable one. Be respectful and it will be returned in kind. People will consider you not only a good player, but someone they enjoy to play as well, win or lose.
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