The popular leisure activity of playing pool has become a professional sport and adopted professional standards. Organizations regulating the sport include the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and the Billiard Congress of America. WPA provides specifications and guidelines for professional pool tournaments, as well as equipment specifications.
Pool Table Height
The best material for a pool table bed is slate, which should be about 1 inch thick; thinner slate could crack, and plywood warps, which hinders game play. The WPA has set the table height for professional tournament play; the top surface of the slate must be 29.25 to 31 inches from the floor.
Playing Surface Dimensions
The pool table surface must have equal distance between the pockets. Tournament tables come in two sizes. The 9-foot table is 100 1/8 inches by 50 1/8 inches; the 8-foot table is 92 1/8 inches by 46 1/8 inches. These dimensions are for the tables without the cushions.
Specifications for pool tables are issued by the WPA and followed by the Billiard Congress of America. These dimensions are to be used in tournaments sanctioned by these organizations. However, the WPA reserves the right to waive the table dimensions and sanction events in which the tables do not fit the standards.