View Full Version : TO JOE T.,....Conduct code (long but constructive)

05-10-2002, 07:06 PM
I'm a little late at catching up on the board, so I missed the initial discussion. But as both a player and a spectator, this is a very important topic and I wanted to contribute input. I think that there should be conduct expectations for both players and spectators.

Player conduct code should include the following:

1. Adherence to stated dress codes
2. Expectation of sportsmanlike behavior, and examples of behavior that violate it (such as sharking, ANY behavior that interferes with opponent's game, abuse of equipment, etc.)
3. Present yourself for your match when called. Failure to commence your match within 15 minutes of being called results in a forfeit...NO exceptions. Traffic issues (and others) are not legitimate reasons to be late. Tiger Woods doesn't call and say he's caught in traffic so he can't start on time; neither does Agassi, or anyone else. In other sports, players withdraw if unexpected events keep them from being on time, and the same should be true for pool.
4. Slow play restrictions. Develops a set of standards for how many total games should be completed at 20-, 40-, and 60-minute intervals in a match. Any match that underperforms the standards is immediately put on a shot clock. (Many other professional sports enforce timeliness requirements, such as football, tennis, etc.) At this level of play, qualified players should not need 30 backstrokes on each and every shot (a la Archer in Chelmsford).
5. One bathroom break per player per match. Most matches don’t exceed 90 minutes, so this is more than reasonable. (To those who might take issue on this, I say …save the beer for after you’ve cashed or been eliminated.)
6. Dispute resolution provisions. When issues arise (quality of the rack given, etc.), players are expected to resolve concerns expediently and in a civil manner. If that fails, the tournament director should be called in to provide an ultimate and final decision. Prolongued arguing with one’s opponent/throwing tantrums/heckling/general bitching should not be permitted.
7. Players should present themselves in a fit condition to play, i.e. lucid and not noticeably intoxicated. Again, other sports expect it and pool should, too. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have a beer or two, but they shouldn’t be weaving while lining up shots.
8. Players’ behavior/activities in between matches or post-elimination should in no way interfere with other matches in play. If you want to gamble/bark, etc., either do it quietly or move it to an area removed from the play in progress. Infractions should result in a fine or possible suspension from one or more future tour events. (A specific instance in mind is Chelmsford…Liscotti, gambling on the lounge table, repeatedly yelled comments to McCready during his finals match with Ryan.)
9. Prohibit talking trash about room facilities, hosts, etc. (Zero tolerance on this one, Joe. It’s just not right. It’s disrespectful, it’s bad for the tour if you want repeat hosts, and it’s unproductive at that moment.)
10. Abusive behavior toward tournament director, other players, or spectators will result in expulsion from event immediately. (I read the Calcutta concerns, but that’s an independent issue. Those who elect to participate in the Calcutta do so with the knowledge that major infractions of conduct may result in their choice being bounced. Those uncomfortable with that inherent risk should abstain from participating in the Calcutta.)

Infractions should be divided into two categories: minor and major offenses. Perhaps minor infractions would result in ONE (1) warning prior to penalty (either fine, ejection from even, whatever you deem appropriate for each offense). Major offenses, I believe, (especially gross behaviorial offenses), should be penalized immediately with no warning…if you decide to enter the tournament with advance knowledge of the rules, no one should have to warn you to abide by them.

On the flip side, Joe, I believe that players have a right expect certain conduct, too, especially regarding spectator behavior and tournament director behavior. Wimbledon doesn’t allow any hacker with a racket to drop by and begin playing on the adjacent court while Agassi’s in a match. When Tiger Woods played in the Masters, he didn’t have to wait for a foursome, each sporting an average round of 102, to play through.

Similarly, tournament participants should not be expected to endure unchecked rude behavior by tournament attendees. (In Chelmford, two examples come to mind. One was a teenager encouraging a very loud and giggly four-year old to hit balls on a lounge table next to a tournament match. This went on for nearly ten minutes before another spectator finally asked them to stop. Rempe was visibly distracted by another kid—a cocky kid of 10 or 12 years old whose own father owns a pool room—who kept jamming his cue tip into the table loudly as he practiced jump shots on table adjacent to Rempe’s and was asked not once but 3 times to knock it off.) For spectators accompanied by children: you brought the kids, it’s your job to be aware of and monitoring their behavior. If they cannot act appropriately, you should remove them from the arena, even if it means you have to leave, too.

Spectators should know that their attendance (even if they pay admission) is a privilege, not a right, and that privilege can be revoked at any time if they are unruly/disruptive. This is no different from any other sporting arena....if you throw debris onto the ice during a hockey game or heckle a golfer during a tournament, you are asked to leave even though you've paid a *substantial* amount for your ticket.

This also means John Doe spectator should wait until players are between shots before strolling obliviously through the playing arena while concentrating exclusively on not spilling his drink. It means keeping the chatter down when the tournament director asks for quiet. It means you should respect other matches in progress even though the one you were watching has just ended; if you want to discuss the just-concluded match with your seat neighbors, take it out of the playing arena.

Players should expect their tournament director to react to outside interference (the disruptive children, crowd chatter, etc) in a reasonably prompt and appropriately authoritative manner. If the crowd doesn’t respond to a gentle request to pipe down, the director needs to reissue the request with authority and without delay. If the tournament director can designate a few other people to be authorized to watch shots, etc, that will make the even run more smoothly.

Joe, I think you really have what it takes to improve the tournament experience for players and spectators. I look forward to seeing the results of what I’m sure will be your dedicated effort.

05-10-2002, 07:42 PM
I especially like the suggestion about responsibility being collective with players and spectators. I'm sure it will help eliminate the finger-pointing and blame for the 'why pool never rises to the next level' discussion.

05-12-2002, 10:06 PM
Thank You very,very much. I needed this post at this time. Joe

Scott Lee
05-13-2002, 11:51 PM
aldewey...Excellent post! You make some extremely valid points. Even though this was only a 'regional tour' event, the fact that the "top pros" are now playing in these events suggests that these 'rules' should be implemented from top to bottom, in ALL tournament venues...but most especially where fees are being charged to the spectators.
Well thought out, and well spoken!

Scott Lee

05-14-2002, 07:52 AM
This should be the standard for the guidelines of behaivor for any paid event. As a player, when you pay your entry fee you expect to have a good playing enviorement. NO EXCEPTIONS !!

#### leonard
05-14-2002, 11:24 AM
You have used Tiger twice in your post. Tiger might be the best thing that ever happened to pool when he misses shots a loud Motherf---er is heard all over the course. Jack and Arnie have had many conversations with Tiger about his foul mouth and other antics. I always thought that was what held pool back was the Mother word flowing from just about every player. Maybe Tiger will make the word okay and pool can flourish.####

05-14-2002, 11:59 AM
Lots of great ideas.. comments and suggestions.

PLease don't forget that there is a very large part that we are missing in this CODE discussion..

Its not JUST for Players and Spectators.. ITS also For Tournament Directors and Promoters. They, to, have to be consistant, make available the conditions for players to be respecful and ensure enforcement is equal.

Include all that are part of the game.. for codes of conduct. NOT Just spectator and players.