APCA Tournament Rules of Play

The following rules have been adopted by the American Pool Checker Association as being its official tournament rules of play. Where instances arise that are not precisely regulated for by the following rules of play, it should be possible for the Tournament Director/referee to reach a correct and fair decision by reflecting on analogous situations, and through the use of absolute objectivity.

1. The standard American pool checker playing board will consist of 64 squares, 32 dark and 32 light
in color. For tournament play the dark squares must be green in color and the light squares must be
off-white or buff in color. Each square must not be less than 2 inches nor more than 2 ½ inches
wide. The board must not be less than 16 inches across nor more than 20 inches.

2. The Board must be placed so that the bottom corner square on the left side shall be dark.

3. The standard playing pieces for tournament play described as black and white must be red and white in color no less than 1 inch nor more than 11/2 inch in diameter.

4. The pieces must be placed on the dark squares and played from the dark squares.

5. The black or darker in color pieces must always be placed on the first twelve dark squares of the board. The white or lighter pieces on the last twelve dark squares.

6. Each player shall take turns with black and white pieces and shall choose the color only once. The color choosing is to be done just before the start of the first game, the winner having the choice either the black or the white.

7. The first move must always be made by the person having the black pieces.

8. After the first move and during the progress of the game, any apparent delay or improper moving should be called to the attention of the referee.

9. All tournament games shall be recorded. This rule can be modified at the discretion of the Tournament Director. Both players must complete their match (2 games) within 90 minutes. The Tournament Director or his designee shall be able to institute clocks where there are incidents that necessitate it. Incidents that dictate the usage of double clocks at the beginning of a match the tournament director shall place 45 minutes on each side. Additionally, clocks at tournament games are not mandatory. They will only be used when the tournament officials determine that they are necessary. The tournament official can determine that both players be placed on the clock and that both players, using double clocks, have 30 minutes to finish a particular game when one player complains about too much time is being used.

10. A false, improper or illegal move is called to the opponent’s attention and a proper or legal move is made. Improper moving includes the failure to capture when possible or failure to complete a jump. The player who continues to make false or improper moves in the eyes of the referee shall instantly forfeit the game without another move being made.

11. Either player may, on giving satisfactory notice to his opponent, arrange his own or his opponent’s pieces properly on the squares. If either player touches or arranges any piece without giving satisfactory notice to his opponent, he shall be cautioned for the first offense and shall forfeit the game for any new offense of this kind during the game against the same player.

12. After the pieces have been arranged, if the person whose turn it is to play touches one he must either move it or forfeit the game. When a piece is not playable, he is cautioned for the first offense and forfeits the game for any other act of this kind.

13. If any part of a playable piece is played over a corner of the square on which it is stationed, the move must be completed in that direction, unless the opponent permits him to do otherwise.

14. The single piece moves forward only and may capture forward and backward.

15. “King:” The king may move forward and backward any number of squares providing there is no checker in its path, and may capture forward or backward any piece in its path having a vacant square immediately behind the piece to be capture, then landing on that vacant square or any other in the same diagonal.

16. A single man, capturing an opposing king row becomes a king, unless the capturing piece has more pieces to be captured beyond the king row and so must move through the king row on the same play. A single man or king may capture any piece or pieces.

17. A single piece captures by moving over the captured piece to the vacant square behind it (the captured piece). To execute a capture the capturing piece must be in the square next to the piece to be captured and the piece to be captured must have a vacant square immediately behind it. The captured piece is not removed from the board until the capturing has ended.

18. A double piece (King) may capture by moving over and then as far past the captured man or men as desired. The king may, if it is possible, turn a corner to capture more men on the same move. Behind each of the opponent’s pieces there must be a vacant square in order for those checkers to be captured. The captured piece (or pieces) is not removed from the board until the jump is ended. The capturing move starts with the king on the same line as the piece or pieces to be captured. .

19. Captured men are removed from the board only when the capturing play is completed, at which time the hand must be withdrawn from the capturing piece. A man or king cannot jump over the same man or king twice.

20. “Take-To-Your-Advantage:” A player may take his choice of pieces to be captured, that is if the player has a choice between two or more capturing moves by one of which he would take a greater number of pieces than by the other he is not compelled to take the greater or lesser number.

21. A player must take a “complete jump.” A complete jump is all checkers under the range of fire. An incomplete jump is one where the checker or checkers are omitted that could be captured in one jump.

22. When a man reaches, for the first time, any of the squares on the opposite extreme line of the board, technically called the “king row”, it becomes a “king”, providing it is not compelled to continue its jumping pattern outside of the king row). If it becomes a king, it should be crowned. After the crowning, it is the opponent’s time to move. Continued play, by either player, without the king being crowned does not negate the progress of the game. If there is no crowning (because of oversight), the crowning can only be addressed when one of the players insist on it. Consequently, an uncrowned king is still a king no matter how many moves are made without it being crowned. Either player has the responsibility of stopping play until the king is crowned.

23. If an uncrowned checker lands in the king row during its capturing play, and must continue capturing because an opposing piece is on the square immediately next to the king row with a vacant square behind it, the piece must continue capturing. When the play ends, the capturing piece is not a king unless the last move lands it in the king row again.

24. A draw game, which counts as one game played, is when neither side can force a win.

25. A win occurs when one player captures or blocks all of his opponent’s pieces or when a standard rule is violated-including that of time when the clock is used.

26. In certain end-game positions, when one of the sides appears stronger than the other, the stronger side is required to complete a win within thirty moves. If after thirty moves the pieces of both sides remain unchanged the game is declared a draw. However if the number of pieces is reduced or a piece is kinged the reading of twenty moves begins. If during any of these the same position repeats itself three times the game ends in a draw (if the weaker side says the number “thirty” in his counting, it’s a draw). The counting shall start with the first move of the weaker side once the weaker side announces he is instituting this rule. To determine who has the stronger side simply count 1 for each of the pieces on the rearmost rank or base-line of each side, count 2 for each man on the second rank, 3 for each on the third - and so on until you have counted all the pieces for each side. If there are kings on the board give each, black or white, a value of 8. The player whose total in points is greater is said to have the stronger side.

27. “13” COUNT RULE: The lone king must be caught before the player with the lone king counts thirteen, or the game is declared a draw. The first count starts with the first move of the lone king. Each move by the lone, including jumps counts as one move. The rule is used only when there are four pieces on the board, and all pieces are kings.

28. If the lone king has the long line (4-29) and the stronger side refuses to accept the draw then the stronger side has to catch the lone king within five moves

29. During the game neither player shall be permitted to leave the room without sufficient reason or without receiving the opponent’s consent, or company. Neither player will be permitted to converse by way of cell phone or by way of any two-way communicative device.

30. Tournament play points will have to be earned. Free or forfeit points will only be awarded in cases of extreme emergencies determined by the tournament director. If the tournament director is notified and is able to substantiate cases of illness during a tournament he will consider the need for forfeit points, on the merit of each individual case. Also in the case of emergencies that causes a player to leave for tournament prematurely the tournament director will determine if forfeit points are to be awarded. If a player is not able to finish the tournament because of an emergency, substantiated by the tournament director, it will be determined whether that player has played 60% of his opponents. If he has played 60%, those opponents will keep whatever points they have gotten. The players who weren't able to play this opponent will receive two draw for a total of four points for not being able to play the opponent. However, if the player had not played at least 60% of his opponents then all points accumulated by opponents played will be void and no points will be awarded.

31. A tournament match shall consist of an even number of games; so that each player shall have the first move; each win counts 4 points; a draw counts 2 points; a loss is 0 points

32. Any spectator giving warning, either by sound, sign, or remark on any one of the games being played or about to be played, shall be ordered from the room during the match. Play shall discontinue until such person, or persons, have left the room.

33. In order to facilitate continuous play if an opponent is asked to play by another opponent, that opponent must play the player who asked. If the opponent refuses to play for whatever reason (s), the tournament director should immediately be notified of the situation. The tournament director will then explain to the opponent, who has refused to play, that his playing card will be withheld. His card will only be given to him when he is ready to play the opponent that he refused to play. The other opponent will continue to play. When the player that refused to play is ready to resume play, he will notify the opponent who he had refused to play. At which time they must play. If the waiting opponent is already engaged in a match it must first be finished. Then the two involved opponents must play each other before playing anyone else.

34. Players must play opponents from their club, state, or region first. If the tournament director determines that there has been a violation of this rule the players involved will forfeit all points between their play against each other.

35. All Players and the Tournament Committee are compelled to follow the rules and to carry out the penalties stated.

36. The decision of the Tournament Committee is final and no re-dress is possible.

37. Checkers is a gentleman’s game. Be courteous and try to maintain the integrity of the game. Play by the rules and ask your opponent to do the same-in a kind way.