Jack Stepp, Miami, playing excellent pool, won first place handily, going undefeated in the best of three game, double elimination tournament.. Butch Rearden, Neosho took second after defeating Rodney Atkeson of Grove who placed 3rd. Others in the top 8 positions were: 4) Fred Potts, Joplin; 5) Will Winder, Grove; 6) Lowell Larson, Bentonville; 7) Bud Johnson, Baxter Springs; and 8)Charlie Higgins, Grove.
Thirty six seniors from the 4-state area registered to compete in the Neosho, 9-Ball tournament. The Benton County Senior Center, having recently added space for 5 new pool tables easily accommodated the tournament with play beginning at 8:30 AM with completion before 3:00 p.m.
One minor disagreement resulted during the tournament. A player, just before an easy final shot at the 9-Ball, removed balls from one of the pockets in preparation for the rack and the next game. The opposing player however, missed the easy shot, thus providing his opponent another opportunity to pocket the winning ball. A spectator pointed out that by removing a ball from a pocket prior to or during a final shot, constituted an infraction of the rules, requiring forfeiture of the game! A lively discussion ensued but was finally agreed by the principals, that the game be replayed. It resulted in the offending player winning the match that he would have won if the foul had not been called. Following conclusion of the tournament, the Neosho Tournament Manager announced that thereafter, at Neosho, an infraction of either removing balls from a pocket before or during a shot of the winning ball, would result in forfeiture of the game by the offending player. “Breaking” the cue or laying the cue on the table where play is being held, before the final shot, will likewise cause forfeiture of the game by the offending player. It should be noted that APA rules specify that a foul can only be called by one of the players or the Tournament Manager! It is permissible for the involved players to request an opinion in advance of the shot, by another player or spectator when there is a question regarding a foul or presumed foul.
Although this writer can find no reference in the APA rules re: removing a ball from the pocket before or during the final shot; good etiquette and sportsmanship should be displayed by all players throughout our Senior Pool Tournaments! When one player is shooting, the opposing player should not be in close proximity to the table, nor should they in any way cause a distraction to the shooter!