1.1. These regulations have been designed jointly by the national billiards federations pursuant to the Federation Cooperation Agreement to guide the organization and conduct of a series of international amateur snooker ranking tournaments called the Baltic Snooker League (hereinafter referred to as the BSL). The official title of the series in English is the Baltic Snooker League.
1.2. BSL is organized and held by the national billiards federations of the BSL participating countries, i.e. the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Belarus, and the Russian Federation.
2. TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE AND BSL CALENDAR
2.1. The BSL series consists of five tournaments (stages) in each calendar year: 4 (four) qualifying stages and the final stage – the Grand Final, held according to the schedule agreed upon by the BSL organizers:
- 1st qualifying stage – January/February each year;
- 2nd qualifying stage – April/May each year;
- 3rd qualifying stage – June/July each year;
- 4th qualifying stage – September/October each year;
- final stage (the Grand Final) – November/December each year.
2.2. Only those BSL players who are ranked between places 1 and 32 in the summary rankings following four qualifying events and who participated in at least two qualifying stages are allowed to play in the BSL final stage (the Grand Final). In the event of refusal of top 32 players to play in the grand final, these places are given to other players who have the highest spots in the ranking list.
3. BSL PARTICIPANTS
3.1. BSL stages are open for participation by representatives of the BSL participating countries, as well as non-participating countries provided their respective national federations send prior requests, without limitations by age and gender.
3.2. It is not permitted to take part in BSL stages for players who committed disciplinary infractions during BSL stages and are subject to disqualification by the organizing committee prior to the start of the registration for a respective stage, as well as for players placed under disqualification in their countries by the decision of a respective national federation.
4. PLAYER REGISTRATION
4.1. It is a sole responsibility of each country’s national federation to allow participation of and register players in BSL stages. Players are disallowed to register in private capacity.
4.2. Players are registered electronically by an authorized representative of the national federation. The registration should be completed no later than a day prior to the tournament start.
5. ENTRY FEE
5.1. The entry fee for each BSL stage (including the final stage) is 30 euro, for players under 16 and over 60 years of age – 20 euro.
5.2. The entry fee should be paid to an authorized representative of the stage organizer (head referee) before matches start. Players who failed to pay the entry fee are not allowed to participate.
5.3. If, following the registration and the drawing procedure, a registered player fails to appear and take part in the tournament (reasons of absence notwithstanding), the amount of the entry fee should be paid to the organizer by the national federation that submitted a no-show player.
6. FORMAT AND RULES
6.1. All BSL stages follow the snooker rules approved by WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association). The exception to the rules is a limited number of times the ‘miss rule’ can be called as per these regulations.
6.2. All BSL stages follow the single format and consist of a qualifying round and the final round:
6.2.1. Qualifying round
All players registered for the tournament are divided into groups. The number of players in each group is at least 6 but no more than 9. The number of groups depends upon the total number of players and may vary frоm stage to stage. In the BSL final stage (Grand Final) 32 players are divided into 4 groups, 8 players strong each.
A group draw is conducted on the tournament’s starting date in the presence of representatives of BSL national federations and/or players. For even allocation of players within groups, the national federations identify at least 4 and no more than 8 players holding top ranks in the respective federation’s ranking lists and allocated in different groups.
All group matches are ‘best of 1’ games with a limited ‘miss rule’ (only one miss can be called).
To avoid protracted matches, in the event the score difference requires a player to lay more than three snookers, a player in the lead (only at a time he/she carries out a referee’s functions) shall make a verbal warning that the opponent has three attempts to set a snooker. A frame ends automatically upon failure to do so.
Group matches are not officiated by a referee. The non-striking player acts as a referee for the striking player.
Players winning places 1 to 4 advance to the final round frоm each group. The places within a group are determined based on the number of wins (frames won). Among the first-place winners of each group the best, second-best, third and fourth results are determined by the difference in points scored. The same procedure applies to the other players who qualified frоm the groups.
If the players have the same number of wins within a group – the head-to-head outcomes are considered. If they are equal in terms of head-to-head wins, the best one is determined based on the difference of points scored and lost. If the number of players frоm group to group is not similar, the results of the worst player in a larger group are discarded, and the matches and points of the players being compared are subtracted.
6.2.2. Final Round
The final-round matches are conducted as playoffs. The final round is based on 32-player tourney brackets (which, depending on the number of entrants and groups, can be changed to 64 or 16 with intermediary matches).
The final-round draw is based on the results of the qualifying round and held in front of representatives of BSL national federations and/or players.
The allocation of places in the tournament brackets follows the system used by EBSA and IBSF, wherе a player with the best results frоm the qualification will face participants with the lowest results.
For example, the first number should play 16-24 pair, the second number -- 15-23 pair and so on. In the event the number of groups is odd, additional players are sеlected frоm the best performing fourth-place holders in groups.
Matches in final rounds of all BSL stages (including the grand final) are played as:
- Round one - best of 3 with only one ‘miss’ possible;
- All rounds prior to the final - best of 5 with only one ‘miss’ possible;
- Final - best of 7 with no ‘miss rule’ limitations.
No 3rd –place matches are to be played.
Matches in the final rounds prior to the final are held without referees at the table. The non-striking player acts as a referee for the striking player. The final is officiated by a referee having a valid international snooker referee certificate issued by EBSA or IBSF.
Coming to a match 10 minutes late in the final rounds leads to a forfeiture of the frame, more than 20 minutes late – forfeiture of the whole match. The time countdown starts when a player is called to the table.
7. RANKINGS AND AWARDING RANKING POINTS
7.1. The BSL organizers keep separate BSL rankings. These rankings are a basis for defining 32 best players to participate in the annual final round (Grand Final). The rankings are reset after the completion of the final round (Grand Final).
7.2. The participants are awarded ranking points for taking part in the BSL qualifying stages:
• 1st place – 2,000 points;
• 2nd place – 1,600 points;
• 3rd place – 1,280 points;
• 5-8th place – 1,000;
• 9-16th place – 760 points;
• 17-24th place – 660 points;
• Preliminary playoff round (when using 24-player brackets with number ones progressing to last 16 and playing the winners of second and third placeholders’ matches – 660 points;
• taking part in the tourney (failure to advance frоm the group) – 560 points.
7.3. Ranking points listed above in 7.2 are multiplied by the following factors to encourage participants who traveled frоm other countries as follows:
- countries close to the venue (1 bоrder) – factor 1.2;
- countries farther away frоm the venue (2 and more bоrders, as well as the crossing of the Baltic Sea) – factor 1.5.
8. DRESS CODE
The established dress code for all BSL tournaments is as follows: long-sleeve single-color shirt, dark or light-colored dress pants, shoes, waistcoat (a bow-tie must be worn during the Grand Final).
No-no’s: sweat suits, jeans, skirts, T-shirts, short-sleeves, a low neckline, sequins, studs, rivets, accessories, leather clothing, athletic footwear.
Non-compliant players are warned and requested to remedy the shortcomings before the match begins. Players who have breached the dress code and failed to remedy the shortcomings are not permitted to play (except when decided otherwise by the tournament’s head referee).
9. PRIZE MONEY AND AWARD GIVING
9.1. The prize money for BSL qualifying stages constitutes 25 % of the total entry fees collected for a corresponding stage.
At the BSL qualifying stages, awards are given to 4 best players plus a player who made the highest break, which should be no less than 50 points (if a 50+ point break is not achieved during that stage, the highest break prize money is added to the highest break prize for the grand final). The total prize money is allocated in the following оrder:
1st place: 45 % of the total prize money + trophy;
2nd place: 25 % of the total prize money + trophy;
3rd place х 2: 15 % of the total prize money + trophy;
Highest break (only more than 50 points): 15 euro.
9.2. The prize fund for the BSL final stage (Grand Final) builds up throughout the year and consists of 25% of the total entry fees for the Grand Final, as well as the contributions of 25% of total entry fees frоm 4 qualifying stages of the current year. It can be also enlarged subject to sponsor availability.
At the BSL final stage (Grand Final) 8 best players are awarded. The total prize money is allocated in the following оrder:
1st place: 35 % of the total prize money + trophy;
2nd place: 25 % of the total prize money + trophy;
3rd place х 2: 10 % of the total prize money + trophy;
5-8 place х 4: 5 % of the total prize money;
Highest break: 50 euro (and accumulations frоm qualifying stages pursuant to 9.1.).
The procedure for generating and distributing the prize fund at the BSL final stage (Grand Final) is provided by an annual meeting of the participating states.
10. FOOD AND ACCOMODATION
Players should find accommodation themselves. The organizers may suggest hotels that offer deals or discounts. Participants are responsible for covering their transportation and food costs.
11. ETHICS AND RULES OF CONDUCT
11.1. BSL players must observe rules of sportsmanship underpinned by the principle of fair play and respect for an opponent, other BSL players, organizers, referees, and spectators.
11.2. During the course of a tournament (frоm the beginning till the end) BSL players should refrain frоm actions (both at and away frоm the table) construed as unsportsmanlike behavior, in particular (but not limited to):
- actions or sounds disturbing the opponent or other players;
- during the opponent’s strike, standing or moving in the opponent’s line of shot, using a tip chalk, practicing near another table, using a mobile phone, making verbal remarks directed at the opponent, talking to other players, leaving the table, etc.;
- offensive, rude, or strong language toward their opponent, other BSL players, organizers, referees, or spectators;
- refusal to shake hands with the opponent/referee before and/or after match;
- consuming alcoholic drinks.
11.3. In case of a breach of the rules of behavior during the match, the event’s head referee should be informed accordingly.
11.4. In the event the head referee finds the player’s behavior to be unsportsmanlike, he’s given the first warning. If the infraction is repeated, the referee gives the player the second warning and declares his defeat in the match – if it is a qualifying round, or in the frame – if it is the final round, and informs the player that, should a third infraction occur, he would be disqualified until the end of the competition or the end of the BSL series of that year.
11.5. Disqualification matters are addressed by the general meeting of representatives of BSL countries. If there are two warnings, a regular infraction or a grave infraction of the code of conduct, BSL representatives may decide to disqualify a player – until the end of the tournament, until the end of the current BSL series or impose a ban to participate in BSL events on that player.
11.6. A disqualification decision by the meeting of BSL representatives is communicated to that player in writing via any available communication channels (e-mail, text, social network notice). A decision by the meeting of BSL representatives to disqualify a player is final and without appeal.
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