Ghost Rule

If a team does not have enough players present to comply with the Team Skill Level Limit rule on a designated League night, their opponent may allow them to use the “Ghost” rule. The “Ghost” rule allows the team that is short a player to play a player twice in the same match. The following criteria must be followed when using the “ghost” rule:

Only 1 ghost per night will be allowed. Ghosting will NOT be allowed during the last 2 weeks of regular scheduled play, in Playoffs or during any Higher-Level Tournament play regardless of consent by the opposing team.

Teams must notify their opponent of the need to use/or potential need to use a “ghost” prior to the START of the 2nd individual match. If a team fails to do so, a ghost will not be allowed. If a team has a 5th player show up prior to the start of the 5th match, the player is not only entitled to play but must play before a “ghost” is utilized.

The player that plays the 5th match when a “ghost” is used is chosen by the team’s opponent. The player that is chosen to play the “ghost” should be notified by the opponent at the CONCLUSION of the 2nd match (thus, other players can leave if not chosen). The player chosen to play the “ghost” match must still allow the team to comply with the 23-Rule (or “4-19 Rule” if it applies to the team in question). The “ghost” player selection may be any handicap level, but the choice may not force the 23-Rule to be broken. If the opposing team fails to choose the “ghost” player prior to the conclusion 2nd match, the opposing team will lose their right to choose, the choice will be given to the team playing the “ghost.” This default choice can be decided as late as the beginning of the 5th match.

Full team fees are still due if the “ghost” rule is used in a team match.

Teams are allowed to use one “ghost” per league night but must be played in the last matches and abide by all “ghost” rules. Once a “ghost” has played, the remaining matches must be forfeited.

If a ghost is used in a match other than the last individual played match of the night, the “ghost” match and all subsequent matches will be forfeited by both teams. A player may not be sent home and/or made unavailable so that a team may request a “ghost” from their opponent. Attempts to take advantage of the “ghost” rule should be reported to the Division Representative and to APA OFFICE by means of an official protest form (available on our website under “Printable Docs”).

Both teams may utilize the “ghost” rule on the same night if necessary. In this situation, teams will stay in rotation regarding player selection and has enough players present to stay within the Team Skill Level Limit rule is not allowed to use the “ghost” rule. They must play a player that has not yet played in the match and if they cannot field a team with the 5 or more players present and abide by the Team Skill Level Limit rule, the result will be forfeit(s) at the point the Team Skill Level Limit rule is broken.

A team cannot utilize the ghost rule in order to circumvent the Team Skill Level Limit rule. In other words, if a roster shows 6, 6, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3 for example, then a team cannot play 6, 6, 5, 3 and use the SL 3 in a ghost. There must be another SL 3 on the roster in order to do this. In this case, the team would exceed the Team Skill Level Limit.

A player may not be sent home and/or be made unavailable so that a team may request a “ghost” from their opponent. Please keep in mind this is a rule to help occasionally and should only be used when absolutely necessary. Attempts to take advantage of the “ghost” rule should be reported to the Division Representative and to the league office by means of an official protest form. In order to use a player for ghost, the player MUST be a paid member of the APA and be printed by the League Office on the scoresheet.

The League Office has the right to make an exception to this rule and put in temporary rules/policies based on unforeseen circumstances. (i.e., COVID) Any temporary policies will be communicated on the league’s website.

Forfeits

A team may begin to play with one player present. Once the first match is over, the team putting up next has two (2) minutes to name a player, and then the opposing team has two (2) minutes to name a player. If the team does not have a player available, that entire match will be forfeited. Should your opposing team forfeit the entire team match, both teams must still submit a scoresheet and team weekly fees. If any team forfeits 8 or more TEAM matches during regular session play, they will not be eligible for the wild card draw. If a team finds it necessary to forfeit an individual match, the forfeit(s) must be the last match.

Preventing Forfeits

To help prevent forfeits and for matches to be awarded on the table rather than by forfeit, the Ghost Rule (or Ghost rule) should be applied. This rule allows one player to play twice in one night. If a team does forfeit, regular game fees apply and are due by both teams on the night of the forfeit.

Forfeit Points:

○ 8Ball – 2 points per match (3 points in playoffs & tournaments)

○ 9Ball – 15 points per match (20 points in playoffs & tournaments)

○ Ladies – 2 points per match (3 points in playoffs & tournaments)

○ Masters – 5 points per match (7 points in playoffs & tournaments)

○ Doubles – 4 points per match in 8ball/30 points per match in 9Ball