BALTIC SNOOKER LEAGUE
OFFICIAL REGULATIONS AND TOURNAMENT FORMAT
Approved for usage in 2015
“BALTIC SNOOKER LEAGUE” (BSL) is an international effort by the Baltic States' national snooker organisations, in cooperation with neighbouring countries’ billiard organisations (namely, Sweden, Belarus and the Russian Federation), to create a snooker league for aspiring amateur snooker players. Originally co-created by the head of the Lithuanian Billiard Federation's Head of Snooker Department (now President) Tomas Puodžiūnas and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association-approved Latvian snooker coach Sergej Sergejev, the Baltic Snooker League now consists predominantly of players from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Belarus and Russia, and is supervised by the BSL Managerial Board: league director Tomas Puodžiūnas (Lithuania), Sergej Sergejev (Latvia), Sergej Vasiljev (Belarus), Dmitriy Belevich (Sweden) and Anton Barmin (Russian Federation), in cooperation with the Snooker Department of Lithuanian Billiard Federation.
“BALTIC SNOOKER LEAGUE” is comprised of five annual events – four qualifying events and the Grand Final, the locations of which are interchangeable based on the previous host. The tournaments, previously held in two capitals of the Baltic States (Riga, Latvia and Vilnius, Lithuania) are now held in Vilnius, Riga, Stockholm and, provisionally, Saint Petersburg. Traditionally, the Grand Final takes place in late Autumn, whereas the schedule of the qualifiers varies (originally, the events were held in late January/early February, mid-April, mid-May and late June). More information on the events and potential changes to the regulations can be found online, on the official Lithuanian Billiards Federation's website http://www.lbf.lt.
BSL events consists of two stages – the group stage (also referred to as round-robin) and the playoffs – both played over a single weekend. Depending on the number participants, a variable number of groups is created and the former are drawn into the groups, based on their achievements on the national circuit, the BSL rankings or at random. The group stages are played using the round-robin system, where all the players in any given group square off against each other in a single-frame match. Based on the scoreline, the top players then advance to the playoffs. The number of players advancing to the later stages is also dependent on the total number of participants.
All willing amateur snooker players are eligible to participate in the events, unless ruled otherwise by the local governing snooker federations. Registration is done via e-mail, social networking (official website: https://www.facebook.com/BalticSnookerLeague), also by phone or contacting the local governing body of BSL. Players who wish to register for the event must do so no later than 8 pm two days (on Thursday) before the start of the tournament, unless indicated otherwise on the website by the local governing body. Entrance fees are collected on the day of the tournament and are paid in local currency,
In case of emergency (inability to participate in the event after registering), the organisers must be notified in advance. The local governing body is held responsible for all local registrants to participate in the nominated event. Otherwise, actions may be taken and players may be subsequently penalized (view 3.1 for further reference).
The tournament consists of two stages – the preliminary group stage (also referred to as the round-robin) and the playoffs. Once the registration procedures are complete, the participants are evenly sorted into groups of six to ten players, depending on the total number of players. The number of groups also depends on the number of total participants. There shall be an even number of groups regardless of the player count.
The qualifying players for the playoffs are determined by facing each other in a single-frame encounter. Depending on the number of groups and players, a certain number of players (between 16 and 24) advance to the next stage.
The playoffs, including the quarterfinals, the semifinals and the final, are run using the single elimination brackets. Players are sorted into them depending on their performance in the group stages. The post-group stages use 'best of three' to determine the winners. From the quarterfinals onwards, matches are all played using the 'best of five' system, including the final match to determine the victor, unless the tournament organisers decide to shorten the tournament.
Depending on the location, the tournament draw is either being held live, in order to guarantee the transparency for the players, or via a random draw on the day of the tournament, unless otherwise indicated by the local governing body. The top ranking players are seeded into different groups. The playoff draw is done after the group stage has concluded. Tournament draw, groups, brackets as well as other related stuff are published on the website on the day of the tournament.
The participants are all drawn into groups of even numbers (may differ by a single participant, depending on the total). The game during the group stage is played using the “round-robin” system: every player in each group faces every other player in the group in a single-frame match. Match results, including points for, points against, as well as the victor, are then logged in the tournament brackets. For every victory the participant is awarded two points; for every loss – 1 point. If a player fails to arrive at his game even after paying the entrance fee or is disqualified during the game, he is awarded 0 points and a scoreline of 0-50 is added to the tally.
The player who accrues the most victories (has the highest the win/loss ratio) becomes the winner of the group. In the event the number of points between two or more players is even, the points for/against ratio is used to determine the higher placing contender. In case the number is also even, the victor of their match against each other takes the higher position. Furthermore, if there is a case where three or more players accrue the same amount of points, their point ratio is even and they have an even record against each other (1win, 2losses), the decision will then be made by the organisers to either replay the matches or decide the places based on other factors (maximum break, etc.).
The tournament brackets and draw are subject to change based on decisions undertaken by the local governing body (ie.: decision to utilise tournamentservice.net).
Depending on the number of total participants and the total number of groups, there are two ways the playoff draw is then carried out. The first and foremost way is using the default assignment for the players: the qualifiers from Group A square off against Group B, etc. This only works if there are four groups in the competition, as well as fewer than 28 players. In such a case, no live draw is being held and the players are automatically placed into corresponding places in the brackets upon wrapping up the group stages. In case there are more than 28 players, the group victors progress to the next stage, whereas the remaining qualifying players are pitted against each other for a place in the subsequent stages.
The second way is via the live draw. Once the group stages conclude, all the qualifying players are lined up according to their achievements during the group stage. Depending on the number of groups and participants, the best players in each group then progress to the next stage, whereas the worse qualifying players square off against each other. The players are drawn randomly via a live draw, albeit they are prohibited from facing a player they faced in the group stage.
The playoffs, including the quarterfinals, the semifinals and the final, are run using the single elimination brackets. Players are sorted into them depending on their performance in the group stages. The post-group stages use 'best of three' to determine the winners. From the quarterfinals onwards, matches are all played using the 'best of five' system, whereas the final is played to four frames to determine the victor, unless the tournament organisers decide to shorten the tournament.
All the matches up to the quarterfinals must be wrapped up on the first day of the event, even if it means staying late into the night. This is in accordance with the rules of the local federations. In case the matches do not conclude until 2 AM, the subsequent matches shall be postponed till the second day of the event.
The amount of times a 'miss' rule can be called and the ball replaced depends on the number of frames played during the round. This rule does not govern the Grand Final of the league: there won’t be any restrictions during the Grand Final.
Participation in the event costs 30 Euros.
Half of the collected fees go to the prize fund of the Grand Final. The other half goes to the organising federations and clubs that host the event. The top players in the qualifying stages receive trophies and, depending on the number of participants, monetary rewards, unless otherwise stated by the local governing body.
Participants receive ranking points for taking part in the event, depending on their achievements throughout. Ranking points acquired during the qualifying events are used to determine a participant's eligibility to participate in the Grand Final, as well as subsequent placement into groups.
The Grand Final is held once the four qualifying stages are concluded. The date of the event is published on either federation's website. Monetary prizes are awarded to players who place inside the last sixteen during the event. The tournament is otherwise no different in terms of its procedures apart from the tournament draw and eligible participants.
In order to qualify for the event, a player must retain a position no lesser than top 32 in the rankings and must have participated in at least two events to qualify for the event.
The players will be seeded into pairs based on the rankings.
The Grand Final is played out using a single-elimination bracket. All matches are played in a best-of-7 format.
The highest standards of dress code must be upheld in BSL events:
Participants who do not conform to the dress code standards will be penalized (view 3.5 for possible penalties).
On the day of the event, entrance fees must be paid no later than ten minutes before the start of the opening ceremony. Participants who fail to meet the timeframe will be penalized, lest they inform the organisers in advance.
Participants must be ready to start playing their matches no later than ten minutes after the opening of the event. In case the tournament is held in different clubs, an additional twenty minute interval is added. Matches in the group stage are sorted into sessions – every player must be at the given location at given time at the given table. Sessions serve only as an indicator, thus in case the games proceed faster, players may continue on with subsequent matches, but they are not forced to. Participants who do not conform to the scheduling standards will be penalized.
Participants must take part in the opening ceremony and be on time, unless allowed differently by the organisers. Participants must conform to the highest standards of dress code during the ceremony: coats, raincoats, jackets must be displaced; photos will be taken.
Participants must be ready to referee a match, unless allowed differently by the organisers. During the round-robin stages and early playoffs, the players themselves will referee during their own matches. However, they have the right to ask any player to referee their match. From quarterfinals onwards, there has to be a referee at either table. This ruling may be overruled during the opening ceremony.
In case participants fail to adhere to the regulations, the following penalties may be enforced: