Scottish Pool International Selection

The Scottish Pool Association (SPA) is the governing body for blackball pool in Scotland.
The organisation provides players from SPA affiliated pool leagues the opportunity to compete for the privilege of representing their country in international competition.
The international blackball events in which Scottish players take part include individual and team competitions for men, ladies, seniors, masters, under-23s, under-18s, under-15s and specials.
A number of competitions are further categorised at 'A' and 'B' team levels.
International events include the World and European Blackball Championships and the Nations Cup.
Selection of players is determined by performance at both national and international level.
The following is the Scottish pool selection process as published in 2014....

Scottish Pool Association
International Team Selection Process

Those players wishing to play for their national team should be competing at the highest level on a regular basis, and not just local league pool. To be considered for a place on one of the National teams, it is advisable to enter the respective tour of their division, and perform well at these events to be deemed good enough to compete at International level. Results from regional/local tours will be taken into consideration in the manager’s selection process, and players must list such achievements when completing the online form.

Section Tours
The following tour events for each section are as follows:

  • Individual Membership (IM) Ranking Series – Men’s A + B teams
  • Ladies Ranking Tour – Ladies A + B teams 
  • Seniors Ranking Tour – Senior’s A + B teams, Masters A + B teams (the Masters may have their own separate tour rankings in future when player demand increases)
  • Youth & Junior Ranking Tour – Y&J A + B teams
  • Learning Disabilities (LD) Ranking Tour – LD A + B teams (men and ladies)

1. Online Registration
Each player who wishes to play for the national team, must register to put their name forward on the SPA website (forum thread will be listed 2mths before bi-annual cut off dates) stating their choice of team they wished to be selected for (up to 4 choices, but you may only choose 1 if that is your preference). Please be aware when making choices, that if you select a B team before an A team, then you may lose out as all A team trials are completed first.

Please Note : you can't select B1 or B2 as your choice, it must be 'B team', and the B1 manager will have first choice of players.

You can select different team options depending on what events are on at a particular time of year (e.g. World’s, European’s, Nation’s Cup).

The only exception to mandatory online registration, are players from the Learning Disability division, as their teams will be managed & selected by their respective managers (no online registration required).

2. Online Deadlines
Point 1 above must be completed by the following deadlines set: midnight 31st December & midnight 30th June each year – no exceptions to this rule due to tight timescales for trials.

It is each player’s individual responsibility to make sure they let the national association know of their availability for each event; twice per year (new leagues must be informed of this action prior to them joining the Scottish Pool Association – SPA Promoters duty).

Deadline 1 (31st December) is set for events organised during the first 6mths of the year (normally Bridlington Mar/Apr). Deadline 2 (30th June) is set for events during the last 6mths of the year (normally World Champs, Nations Cup, Oct/Nov).

3. Trial Places
Each team manager has the option on their squad size participating at each event. They will select the core of their team and leave space for the following trial places:
(5 person team) – 1 trial place
Men’s A, Ladies A, Senior’s A, Senior’s B, Master’s A, Master’s B, Y&J A, Y&J B, LD’s A (men & ladies)

(7 person team) – 2 trial places
Ladies B team, LD’s B team

(11 person team) – 2 trial places
Men’s B team

4. Team Managers Selection Order 
This is the order in which all national managers pick from the players available and run their trials:

  • (1) Men’s A, Ladies A 
  • (2) Seniors A, Y&J A, LD’s A 
  • (3) Master’s A 
  • (4) Men’s B1, Ladies B1 
  • (5) Senior’s B1, Y&J B1, LD’s B1 
  • (6) Master’s B1
  • (7) Men’s B2, Ladies B2 
  • (8) Senior’s B2, Y&J B2, LD’s B2 
  • (9) Master’s B2 

Please Note : although the order of manger picks is outlined above, it is the player’s original choices which are the determining factor. So for example, if someone chooses a B1 team before an A team, then B1 manager has first pick on them.

5. Automatic Invite Places
There will be a selection of players who automatically get an invite into all the national ‘A’ teams; these will be as follows:

  • *No1 in the rankings for each divisional tour
  • *Scottish Singles Champion in each division
  • *World Singles Champion (event every 2yrs)
  • *World Masters Champion (event every 2yrs)
  • *European Singles Championships (event every 2yrs)

The Singles Champions whose title last for two full seasons will be automatically invited into the team for one full year following their win, and the second year of holding such title will entitle them to a trial for the ‘A’ team. So potentially 5 players could be automatic picks for the A teams on merit each season.

*Note : Each player must be eligible to play for Scotland to be automatically selected in a team.

6. Automatic Trial Places 
As well as the invited players into each team, the following players will be offered a trial (if eligible to play for Scotland, and these teams are part of their player choices):

  • a) IM players ranked 2-8 will merit a trial in the Men’s A team. If these players fail to make the A team then they will be automatically selected in the B1 squad.
  • b.) IM players ranked 9-16 will merit a trial in the Men’s B1 team. If these players fail to make the B1 team then they will be automatically selected for the B2 squad.
  • c) IM players ranked 17-32 will merit a trial in the Men’s B2 team.
  • d) Players ranked 2-4 in other divisions (Ladies, Seniors, Y&J, LD) will merit a trial in their A team. If these players fail to make the A team then they will be automatically selected in the B1 squad.
  • e) Players ranked 5-8 in other divisions (Ladies, Seniors, Y&J, LD) will merit a trial in their B1 team. If these players fail to make the B1 team then they will be automatically selected for the B2 squad.
  • f) Players ranked 9-12 in other divisions (Seniors, Y&J, LD) will merit a trial in their B2 team.
  • g) The ladies B2 team will be open to trial for those players ranked above No8.

7. Trials (2x per season)
As mentioned above, every team will have trials in place for the remainder of their squad. This is to encourage more players to join the SPA and give them all a chance to qualify, if they merit a trial.

Only those players who have competed in the two international events the previous year (shown commitment for a full season) and are displaced from the team, automatically get invited back to trial unless there is a valid reason not to (for e.g. player conduct at an event, SPA ban etc).

Trials are to take place at the start of January (mid to late) and August (mid to late). The managers of each team get the choice of what players they select for trial, along with those players automatically re-trialling. They are not obliged to take the same trialists who missed out on other teams into their trials.

1st Trial Dates
These would be held over the 2nd & 3rd weekend (Saturday & Sunday) in January.
These dates need to be done early due to the first event in March/April each year.

2nd Trial Dates
These would be held over the 2nd & 3rd weekend (Saturday & Sunday) in August.
These dates need to be done early due to the second event in October/November each year.

8. Trial Format
All trials will be run the same in each division, and this will be done using a double elimination (DE) format, minimum best of 9 frames in each half of the draw.

There will be a maximum of 8x players for one trial place. If two trial places are available, then 16 players will compete in a DE event, with the winner and losers finalist qualifying. It is important to get the maximum trial places filled, so that as many players as possible are given an opportunity to represent their country.

A minimum of 4x pool tables will be required for an 8 person DE event and 6 tables for a 16 person DE event (this is to ensure smooth running on the day).

9. Finalised Teams
Once each manager has selected his final squad, no players can be taken for another team at a later date (e.g. due to late pull outs).

The only emergency situation when this will be allowed if such a team cannot field the minimum amount of players to compete at their event (e.g. 5 players for 5 man events). This situation will only be allowed at the event itself and not arranged beforehand (unless managers can agree to it by getting a replacement in time – difficult for overseas events at last minute). If such exceptional circumstances arise, then all team managers will meet before the opening ceremony to agree the player moves. If squads have the minimum amount of players to compete, then no manger is obliged to let one of his players go.

10. Playing for More Than 1 Team
U23 & U18 players can be selected for adult teams if the events don’t clash (i.e. with events run over separate weeks, like Bridlington). It would be up to these players to make the manager aware that they could make both events.
11. Player Conduct
All players must conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times when representing their country at International events; which includes at or away from the playing venue.

Such bad conduct instances could be as follows (not exhaustive list): fighting, abusive, being disruptive within the team.

If a player is deemed to have brought the Scottish Pool Association’s reputation down by their conduct at the event, then there will be a meeting called by the International managers to deal with such incidents, which could ultimately mean a lengthy suspension for the player competing at International level.

It is up to each team manager to report any player conduct to the International team managers (after completion of each event).

Any player reported for bad conduct will have the opportunity to give their side of the story at the meeting with the International managers before any decision is taken. Any suspensions will be detailed to the SPA Executive committee.

12. Refusing Manager Selection
Very Important: Once you have made your online team choices, if a manger selects you directly into his squad and you refuse then you will not be allowed to play for another SPA team at that event.
Note: this is for direct picks into the squad and not to be confused with a trial offer – you can refuse a trial if you wish and this will not be held against you.

13. Missing Trials
If a player says they will play in a trial and subsequently don’t turn up on the day, then they will not be allowed to play for another team at that International event. There will be no reasons allowed for not showing up, so everyone knows where they stand.

14. Missing Events
If a player confirms they will play at the respective International event once selected, and fails to attend without giving the team manager enough prior notice for a suitable replacement, then that player may be punished from playing at future International events. This will be discussed by all International team managers as a group before any sanctions are placed upon the player.