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World Eightball Pool Playing Rules

Copyright of The World Eightball Pool Federation  2014
Including amendments approved by the Annual General Meetings up to 2014 as shown in Red Text


A – The Spirit of the Game

The Game is  known as Eight-Ball Pool.   It is  expected that players  will  always  play  the game in  the true spirit and in a sporting manner.  The Referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the spirit and rules of the game are observed.

B – Equipment

The Game of Eight-Ball Pool  is played with:-

  1. A “Cue Ball” – being a white ball.
  2. Fifteen “Object Balls” – consisting of:-
    1. “Colours” – being  a group of  seven red balls,  (or balls  numbered 1 to 7) and a group of seven  yellow balls (or balls numbered 9 to 15).
    2. The “Eight-Ball” – being a black ball marked  with a number “8”.
  3.  A six pocket rectangular Pool  Table with general characteristics as follows:-
    1. The cloth  will  be marked  with a “Spot” at the  position  where a straight  line drawn diagonally from the centre of a side pocket to the centre of a corner pocket would intersect with a straight  line drawn  diagonally  from the centre of  the opposite  side  pocket to the centre of the other corner pocket.
    2. The cloth  will  be  marked  with a  “Baulk Line”,  being  a straight  line,  drawn from cushion to cushion, parallel to, and one fifth of the length of the table from, the face of the cushion that lies the greatest distance from the Spot.

 C – Definitions

  1. Shot: A “Shot” begins when all balls stop moving from the previous Shot. A player “Plays a Shot” by  striking the Cue Ball with the tip of the cue. A “Shot” ends when all balls stop moving from the current Shot.
  2. Play: To  “Play” an Object Ball is  to play  a shot that results  in  the Cue Ball’s  first  contact with another ball to be with that  Object Ball. To “Play” the Cue Ball is to strike it with the tip of the cue.
  3. Ball On: At  any time  during  a frame,  a ball “On”  is  any Object Ball that  the player  may play without incurring a penalty.
  4. Pot: A ball is  “Potted” when it  leaves  the bed of  the table,  enters a pocket and remains in that pocket.
  5. Visit: A “Visit”  comprises  one shot or a series  of  shots.  Each visit  lasts  until  the player fails to pot a ball “On”. (Or until a foul  is committed or the frame ends)
  6. Turn: A players  “Turn” at the table  comprises  one visit  or, after  most fouls  committed  by the opponent, two visits.
  7. Frame:
    1. A Frame is  one game of  Eight-Ball Pool   between  two players  or two pairs  of players.  A Frame is  played  from the opening  break and usually  through until  the Eight-Ball is potted.
    2. A player may concede a frame at any time.
      (Note: there are other ways that a frame may end – see “Loss of Frame”)
  8. Match: A  Match  is  a predetermined  number  of   frames  of   Eight-Ball  Pool   between  two players, two pairs of players or two teams of players.
  9. Player in Control: A player  (and the player’s  partner in  doubles)  is  deemed to be “In  Control” of  the frame from the time  that the balls  stop moving  from the  final shot  of  an opponent’s turn until the balls stop moving from the final shot of  the player’s turn. There can be no  instance, once a frame has commenced, that someone is  not in control.

D – Object of the Game

  1. The object of  the game is  to win  by  being  the first  player  to Pot a group of  Colours in  any order and in any pockets  and then Pot the Eight-Ball in any pocket.
  2. When “On”   a group of  Colours,  potting  more  than  one  ball of  that  Colour in  the same shot is allowed.   But a separate shot must be played to pot the Eight-Ball and win  the game.

E – Playing from Baulk

  1. Baulk is  the rectangular  area of  the table  that is  bordered by   the  Baulk Line  and the three cushions at that end of the table.
  2. When playing from Baulk:-
    1. The centre  point  of  the  Cue Ball must  be in  Baulk when  a shot  is  played.  (If the centre point of the Cue Ball is directly on  the Baulk Line it is not deemed to be in Baulk.)
    2. The Cue Ball can be moved  into  position  by  hand  or with the  shaft  of  the cue, but when touched by  the tip of the cue, a shot is deemed to have been played.
    3. The Cue Ball may be played in any direction.
    4. If  a player  wishes  to play  from Baulk after  a “Foul  Snooker”, “Foul  Jaw Snooker” or “Time Foul”, The player must verbally advise the referee of this choice and the referee will then recover the  Cue Ball and  hand  it  to the player  or place  it  on   top of, and in  the centre of, the cushion at the Baulk end of the table for the player to retrieve by  hand.
    5. After  an “In   Off”,  “Foul   Snooker”, “Foul   Jaw  Snooker”  or  “Time Foul”   the player  must endeavour to position the Cue Ball so as not to create a Foul  Snooker.  If the player claims a Foul   Snooker  from  Baulk,  the  referee  may  choose  to  move  the  Cue  Ball around  to determine if there is any position in  Baulk where the player would not be Foul  Snookered. Whether such a position  is  found or not, the referee will announce the result  and hand the Cue Ball back to the  player  or place  it  on  top of, and in  the centre of, the cushion  at the Baulk end of the table for the player to retrieve by  hand.

F – The Break

  1. RackThe Object Balls are racked with the Eight-Ball on  the Spot.
  2. In  the absence of any competition / tournament rules to the contrary, a coin  will be tossed or players will ‘lag’ to determine which player will break. The winner of the toss or lag shall decide who will break first. If a series of frames is to be played (A Match), the break of each subsequent frame will alternate.
  3. The first shot of a frame is called the “Break”.To “Break”, the Cue Ball is played at the triangle of Object Balls from Baulk. The frame is deemed to have commenced the instant that  the Cue Ball is played.
    1. The Break will be deemed a “Fair Break” if:-
      1. At least one Colour is potted. OR
      2. Four Object Balls (at least) are driven to a cushion.
    2. If the Break is not a Fair Break it is a Non-Standard Foul  and:-
      1. The opponent is awarded two visits.
      2. The balls are re-racked.
      3. The opponent re-starts the game and is under the same obligation to achieve a Fair Break.
      1. If the Cue Ball is potted on a Fair Break it is a Non-Standard Foul that is penalised by the turn passing to the opponent.
      2. If the break is not a Fair Break and the Cue Ball is potted, the penalty for failure to perform a Fair Break applies. (See (b) above).
  4. If  the  Eight-Ball is  potted on  any break, the balls  are re-racked and the same player  will  break again.  When  the  Eight-Ball is  potted on   the  break,  all other aspects of  the shot are ignored. (Except if a breach of the “Spirit of the Game occurs)
  5. Where the wrong player performs the break, if:-
    1. the break is fair, the opponent will continue with 2 visits and an open table.
    2. the break is not a Fair Break, see 4(b) above.

G – Legal Shot

  1. On  all shots, the player must:-
    1. Cause the Cue Ball’s initial contact  with a ball to be with a ball “On”, AND THEN
    2. Pot a ball “On” OR
      Cause the Cue Ball or any Object Ball to contact  a cushion.
  2. Failure to play a Legal Shot is a Standard Foul.
  3. Exceptions:
    1. On  the Break, the conditions of a Legal Shot do  not apply. {See (F) The Break}
    2. When playing  out of  a Total Snooker  a player  is  only obliged  to meet the conditions  of  (1) (a) above.
      1. Definition:  A player  is  in  a Total Snooker  when it  is  impossible  to play  any part of  any of the player’s own Colour by  way of  a “straight line” shot.  Leaving an opponent in  a Total Snooker is not a foul.
      2. If  a player  believes  that  a  Total Snooker  exists,  the player  may ask the referee  for a ruling.
      3. If  the referee rules that  a Total Snooker  exists, the player’s obligations under the “Legal Shot” rule  are relaxed  as follows:  –  The player  need  only cause  the  Cue Ball’s  initial contact  to be  with a ball “On”. The requirement  to pot  a ball and  / or cause  a ball to strike a cushion is waived.
      4. In  a Total Snooker,  the straight  sections  of  the cushions  DO  come into  consideration.   If a player  has to strike  a cushion  prior  to impact  with a “ball on”, then  a “Total Snooker” does exist.
  4. Interpretations:
    1. If  the Cue Ball’s  initial contact  is  with an  Object  Ball that  is  touching  a cushion,  simply forcing that  Object Ball into the same cushion does not constitute a Legal Shot.
    2. If  the  Cue Ball and an Object Ball are  touching  the same cushion,  simply  forcing  the CueBall and / or that  Object Ball into the same cushion does not constitute a Legal Shot.

H – Deciding Colours

  1. General
    1. When Colours have not been  decided  the table  is  deemed to be “Open”. When the table  is open a player may play at either group of Colours.
    2. Colours can never be decided on  a foul  shot.
    3. Once Colours are decided,  the player  remains  “On”  that coloured  group for the duration  of the frame. The opponent remains “On”  the opposite coloured group.
    4. Playing a shot  after  neglecting  to nominate  a choice  of  Colours is  a Standard Foul. Any balls potted on  such a shot are left in  the pocket and ignored for the purpose of  deciding Colours.
  2. On  the Break
    1. If no  Colours are potted  on  the break the table is “Open”.
    2. If  one or more Colours are potted  on  the break the player  then has a right  and obligation to verbally advise the referee of a choice of Colour before proceeding.  Failure to do  so is a Standard Foul.  If a player is fouled under this rule the opponent faces an “Open” table.
      1. If the player  nominates  a Colour that  was potted  on  the break, the player  is on  that colour no  matter what happens next.
      2. If the player  nominates  a Colour that  was not potted  on  the break, to be on that Colour, the player must pot a ball of that  Colour on  the next shot.
  3. After the Break
    1. If a player pots one or more balls of the same Colour, the player is then “On”  that Colour.
    2. If  a player  pots one or more balls  of  different  Colours,  the player  then has a right  and obligation to verbally advise the referee of  a choice of  Colour before  proceeding.   Once a colour is nominated in  these circumstances, the player is on  that colour no  matter what happens next.   Failure to nominate  is  a Standard Foul.   If  a player  is  fouled  under this rule, the opponent faces an “Open” table.

I – Time Allowed

  1. A player has a maximum of sixty seconds to play each shot.
  2. The Referee will start timing when all balls have come to rest from the previous shot.
  3. If the first  thirty  seconds elapses  before a shot is  played,  the referee  will call “Thirty Seconds”  as a warning to the player.   This call must  be made  the  instant the thirty seconds has expired.   A Referee should not postpone the call because it appears that the player is about to play a shot.
  4. If a shot is not played within sixty seconds it is a Non-Standard Foul. The incoming player is awarded two visits from: –
    1. Where the Cue Ball lies, or, if the player wishes
    2. From Baulk.
  5. The referee may decide to grant  “Time Out”, being a period when timing ceases:-
    1. At the request of a player. (For example, something is obstructing the player or the player needs to leave the playing area.)   and / or
    2. Because  the referee  deems that it  is  warranted.  (For example,  the referee  may  call time out when making a close foul  snooker decision  or when searching  for a piece of equipment requested by  the player.)
  6. When the referee  has racked the balls  the referee  will  call “Time Running”.  The oncoming  player then must play the break shot within 60 seconds.

J – Fouls

There  are three types of  foul.  Standard Fouls,  Non-Standard  Fouls,  and Loss  of  Frame Fouls.  A player  can only be penalised  for one foul  at a time.  If  two or more fouls  are committed  during  a shot, the foul  that carries the most severe penalty will apply

K – Standard Fouls

Standard fouls  are to be called  by  the referee  as soon as they occur and the fouled  player  is  in control,  until  all  balls  from  that  shot  come  to  rest.  The referee  then  awards  two visits  to the opponent.

  1. Potting the Cue Ball – “In  Off” { except on a Fair Break – see (F) The Break (4)(c)(1) } The incoming player plays from Baulk { see (E) Playing from Baulk (d)(1) }
  2. Playing from outside Baulk when obliged to play from Baulk. { see (E) Playing from Baulk (2)(a) }
  3. Potting an opponent’s ball. (except, when it is the properly nominated ball following a Foul  Snooker or Foul  Jaw Snooker)
  4. Playing out of turn. {A player who plays a shot immediately after playing a foul or immediately after the referee has called a foul  on  that player, has played out of turn.
  5. Accidentally striking the Cue Ball with any part of the cue other than the tip.
  6. Accidentally striking an Object Ball with any part of the cue or cue tip.
  7. Playing a shot before all balls have come to rest from the previous shot.
  8. Playing a shot before any balls that require spotting, have been spotted.
    1. Touching the table while having a cigarette (lit or unlit) in hand or mouth.
    2. Causing a cigarette (lit or unlit) to touch the table or enter the space directly above the table.
    3. Touching the table while having a beverage container in hand.
    4. Causing  a beverage container  or beverage to touch the table  or enter the space directly above the table.
  9. Touching the table when not in control of the frame. {See (C) Definitions (9) – Player in Control} Exception:    When a players’  turn is  finished,  that player  has a maximum  of  ten (10) seconds to move away from the table. {See 11 below}
  10. Not moving  away from the  table  within ten  (10)  seconds  of  the time  that  all the  balls  stopped moving from the final shot of a turn at the table.
  11. Coaching:  – During a frame,  a player  is  required  to play  without  receiving  any advice  from other persons relating  to the playing  of  the frame.  Should  a team member or bone-fide  supporter of  a player offer advice, the referee will issue a “First and Final Warning” to that  person  that  a repetition will result in the player being penalised via a Standard Foul. Because  it  may not always  be possible  for the Referee to hear if a statement made to a player  is advice,  the referee  may issue  the First  and Final Warning  on  the grounds that any statement made to a player, other than general barracking, is deemed to be coaching. In    a  tournament  setting,   a  First   and   Final  warning   may  be  given   once  only,   before  the commencement of the day’s play as a block warning to all players and spectators.
  12. Leaving  the playing  area without  permission.  If  a player  needs to leave  the playing  area during  a frame or match, “Time Out” must firstly be granted by  the referee. { see (I) Time Allowed (5) }
  13. Playing a shot after neglecting to nominate a choice of Colour when the obligation and right to do  so existed.   { see (H) Deciding Colours (1)(d) }
  14. Playing a Push Shot or Double Hit of a type defined in (O) Push Shots and Double Hits.
  15. Failing to perform a “Legal Shot”. { see(G) Legal Shot }
  16. After  being  awarded a Foul  Snooker or Foul  Jaw Snooker:  – Playing an opponents ball or the Eight Ball without firstly nominating that ball.
  17. Playing a shot while not having at least one foot touching the floor.
  18. Failing to “Play Away” from a touching ball. { see (R) Touching Balls (1)(a) }
  19. A ball remaining off the table. {see  (S) Balls Off the Table}
  20. Players body or clothing touching any ball.
  21. Jump shot.   (If the Cue ball leaves the bed of the table and misses an Object ball that  would have been  struck  had  the  Cue Ball not  left  the table  on  an otherwise  identical  shot,  the  Cue Ball is deemed  to have jumped over that  object ball).     A  break shot that  results  in  the pack being jumped will be deemed to be not a Fair Break (see  4b)

L – Non-Standard Fouls

Non-Standard  fouls are to be called  by  the referee as soon as they occur and the fouled  player is in control, until all balls from that shot come to rest.   The referee will then impose the relevant penalty. Non-Standard  Fouls are  so called  because the penalty  and / or options  of  the incoming  player  may vary.

  1. Failure to perform a Fair Break. { see (F) The Break (4)(a)&(b) }
  2. Failure  to play  a shot  within 60 seconds of  the time  that the balls  came to rest from the previous shot.   { see (I) Time Allowed (4) }
  3. Potting the Cue Ball on  a Fair Break. { see (F) The Break (4)(c)(1) }

M – Loss of Frame Fouls

  1. Committing a foul  in the same  shot that the Eight Ball is potted. (Except on  the Break)
  2. Potting the Eight Ball when a ball or balls of the player’s own Colour are still on  the table. (Except on the Break)
  3. Potting the Eight Ball and the last ball or balls of the player’s own Colour in the same shot.
  4. Deliberately striking a ball other than the Cue Ball with the tip of the cue
  5. Deliberately causing any ball or balls to be moved in a manner other than that which may result from playing a normal shot.
  6. Deliberately striking the Cue Ball with other than the tip of the cue.
  7. Deliberately interfering, by  word or action, so as to disrupt an opponent’s play.
  8. If a player breaches the “Spirit  of the Game” to such an extent that the frame (or match) should  be awarded to the opponent.

N – Push Shots and Double Hits

  1. Definitions:   Most  shots commonly  known as “Push Shots” in  the game of  “Snooker” are allowed  in the game of  Eight – Ball Pool.   Generally,  any shot played  with  speed will  not be deemed to be a Push Shot regardless of the fact that the cue tip may have come into contact with the Cue Ball more than once.
  2. Exceptions that are Standard Fouls:-
    1. When, during  the playing  of  a shot, the tip  of  the cue strikes  the  Cue Ball twice  and the referee is able to actually see each contact.
    2. When, during the playing of a shot, a player plays the cue so slowly through  the Cue Ball that the cue tip remains in contact with the Cue Ball so as to be visibly pushing it along.
    3. When the Cue Ball is played into a touching Object Ball. {See (R) Touching Balls}

O – Snookers

  1. Definition:   A player is Snookered when it  is impossible to play the finest  cut possible on  both sides of any of that player’s own Colour by  way of a “straight – line” shot.  Snookering an opponent is not a foul.
  2. A player  cannot be Snookered by  a ball of  the player’s  own Colour.    That  is,  if one of  the player’s own coloured  group is  an obstructing  ball,  it  will  be ignored  for the  purposes  of  determining  a Snooker.
  3. A player cannot be Snookered on  an Object Ball if the Cue Ball is touching that Object Ball.
  4. A player  cannot be Snookered by  the straight  sections  of  the cushions.  If  a straight  section  of  a cushion is preventing the finest possible cut on  the side of an Object Ball, that section of cushion will be deemed not to exist for the purposes of determining a Snooker on  that Object Ball.
  5. If  an Object  Ball is partly obscured by  a curved section of  a cushion (Jaw), this in  itself does not constitute a Snooker.

P – Foul Snookers

  1. Definition:    When an  opponent  plays  a foul   shot and this  results  in  the incoming  player  being snookered, the incoming player is deemed to be Foul  Snookered.
  2. If a player believes that a Foul  Snooker exists, the player may ask the referee for a ruling.
  3. If the referee rules that a foul snooker exists, the player initially has the following options:-
    1. Play the Cue Ball from where it lies. {see (4) (a) below} OR
    2. Ask the referee to remove the Cue Ball so as to allow the player to play from Baulk. {see (4)
      (b) below}
      1.  If the player chooses to play the Cue Ball from where it lies, the player may, if the
        player wishes, nominate the Eight Ball (but see (5) below) or any one of the
        opponent’s Colour. The player can nominate a particular ball by verbal description of
        it or its position or by pointing at it. The Referee may ask for further information if
        any doubt exists as to which ball has been nominated.
      2.  Once nominated, a ball is deemed to “become one” of the player’s Colour for the first
        shot of the first visit. The player may then play any of the player’s own Colour or the
        nominated ball. If any of the player’s Colour and/or the nominated ball is potted, the
        player continues with the first visit.
    1. If the player chooses to play the Cue Ball from Baulk, a Foul Snooker may no longer exist. In
      this case the procedure under the heading (E) Playing from Baulk (2) (d) & (2) (e) should be
      followed. If the referee decides that a Foul Snooker does still exist, the player may nominate
      a ball and follow the procedure in (4) (a) above.
  4. If the Eight Ball is nominated it may be played, but potting it will mean loss of frame.
    1. If a player is “On” the Eight Ball and Foul Snookered: – The player may play a nominated ball
      or the Eight Ball and pot either or both of these balls, directly or indirectly, in any pocket or
      pockets.
      Assuming the player does not commit a foul:-

      1. If neither the Eight Ball nor the nominated ball is potted, the player’s first visit is
        complete.
      2. If the nominated ball is potted and the Eight Ball is not, the player continues with the
        first visit.
      3. If the nominated ball and the Eight Ball are potted, the player wins the frame.
      4. If the Eight Ball is potted and the nominated ball is not, the player wins the frame.
  5. If a Foul Snooker exists and the Cue Ball is touching an opponent’s ball or balls, the player may, but
    is not obliged to, nominate one of those touching balls.

Q – Foul Jaw Snooker

If an opponent fouls and the Cue Ball comes to rest on  or near a Jaw (curved part of a cushion), and that Jaw is  preventing  the player  from playing  the finest  cut possible  on  both sides  of  any of  that player’s  own Colour by  way of  a “straight  – line” shot,  the  player  is  deemed to be Foul  Snookered and all the rules pertaining to Foul  Snookers will apply.

R – Touching Balls

  1. General
    1. If  the  Cue Ball is  touching  an Object Ball,  the player is  obliged  to “Play  Away” from  that Object Ball at an angle of more than 90 degrees. (That  is, play the shot without  causing  the Cue Ball to make any initial further contact  with that Object Ball)
    2. If, when playing away from a touching ball, the touching ball rocks or moves  without being contacted further, but simply because the Cue Ball is no  longer there, no  penalty will apply.
  2. When Colours have been decided:-
    1. Playing away from a touching Object Ball of the player’s own Colour:-
      The instant a player plays away from a touching Object  Ball of  the player’s own Colour, the player is deemed to have played that ball.   Therefore, the player needs  to then only pot a ball or cause any ball to strike a cushion to fulfil all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    2. Playing away from a touching Object Ball of the opponent’s Colour:-
      The player must play away from the touching  ball and then  meet  all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
      1. Playing away from the touching Eight Ball when “On”  the Eight Ball:-
        The player must play away from the touching Eight Ball and then need only cause any ball to strike a cushion to fulfil the requirements of a Legal Shot.
      2. Playing away  from  the  touching  Eight  Ball when  not  “On”   the  Eight Ball.:-  The player  must  play   away  from  the  touching   Eight  Ball  and   then   meet   all  the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    3. Playing away from two or more touching Object Balls:-
      1. If  any of  the touching  Object  Balls are  of  the player’s  Colour,  the player  will  be deemed to have played  away if the player  plays  away from any one of  the touching balls of the player’s Colour. That is, the player may play into any of the other touching balls.   The player needs  then to only pot a ball or cause  any ball to strike a cushion to fulfil the requirements of a Legal Shot.
      2. If  none of  the touching  Object Balls are  of  the player’s  coloured  group, the player must play away from all the touching  balls and then  meet  all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
  3. When Colours have yet to be decided:-
    1. Playing away from a touching Coloured Ball:-
      The instant  a player  plays  away from a touching  Coloured  Ball the  player  is  deemed to have played that ball.   Therefore, the player needs  to then only pot a ball or cause  any ball to strike a cushion to fulfil  all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    2. Playing away from a touching Eight Ball:-
      The  player   must  play   away  from  the  touching   Eight  Ball  and   then   meet   all  the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    3. Playing away from two or more touching Object Balls:-
      If  the player  plays  away from any of  the touching  Coloured  Balls the  player  is  deemed to have played  that ball.   That  is,  the player  may play  into  any of  the other touching  Object Balls.   The player  needs  to then  only pot  a ball or cause  any  ball to strike  a cushion  to meet  all the requirements of a Legal Shot.

S – Balls Off the Table

  1. It is a Standard Foul  if a ball leaves the playing surface (other than being potted) and remains off the playing surface or doesn’t return by  its own means.
  2. Definitions / Examples
    1. “Playing Surface”:-  The Playing Surface  of  the table  is  the flat  part of  the table  between the cushions
    2. “By its own means”:-
      1. It is  not a foul  if a ball leaves  the playing  surface, runs along  the top of  a cushion, drops back on  to the playing surface  and comes to rest  there  or falls into a pocket.
      2. It is a Standard Foul  if a ball leaves the playing surface, comes into contact  with a person or object that  is  not a part of  the table  and then returns to the playing surface.
    3. “Off the Table”:- It is a Standard Foul  if a ball leaves the playing surface and comes to rest on  other than the playing surface. (e.g. On  the floor or on  the top of a cushion)
    4. “Spotted”:-  A ball is  spotted when its  centre point  is  placed  on  the spot or, if this  is  not possible,  as near as possible  to the spot in  a direct  line between the spot and the centre point  of  the cushion  that lies  the greatest distance  from  the  Baulk Line.    If  this  is  not possible, as near as is possible to the spot, in a direct line between the spot and the centre point of the baulk line.
    5. If any of the following balls require spotting, they are spotted in the following order:-
      1. Eight Ball then
      2. Red Balls in any order (or balls numbered 1 to 7 in numerical order) then
      3. Yellow Balls in any order (or balls numbered 9 to 15 in numerical order)
        Spotted  balls  should  be  placed  as  close  to  each  other  and  any  intervening  balls  as possible, without touching.
  3. If a ball leaves the playing surface and remains off  the playing surface, it shall be returned to the table:-
    1. If it is the Cue Ball it is to be played from Baulk.
    2. If it is an Object Ball (or Balls) it is to be Spotted.

T – Balls Falling Without Being Hit

  1. Any  ball that  falls into a pocket at any time, without being struck, shall be replaced by  the Referee to  its  original  position,  no   penalty.  Time  will  be re-started  and the player  in  control continues with the visit.
  2. Should  any ball fall into the pocket after  a shot is  played  and before balls  come to rest, providing the fallen  ball played  no  part in  the  shot,  once  all other  balls  have stopped moving,  it  shall  be replaced as described above.
    1. If a legal pot was made play continues with the same  visit.
    2. If no  pot was made play continues with the next visit.
    3. If a foul  was made then the next player will continue with the appropriate penalty.
  3. Should  any ball fall into  the pocket after  a shot is  played,  but before balls  come to rest, and the fallen ball would have  been  struck,  then  the  Referee  will  replace all balls to their original positions
    1. If  no  infringements  of  the rules  were committed  during  the shot, or if the  cue ball is potted as a result of a ball falling that  the cue ball would have otherwise hit, the player who played will replay the shot or may play a different shot
    2. If any foul  was committed (other than as defined in a) above) then the next player will continue with the appropriate penalty.

U – Interference

  1. If any balls are moved during a frame:-
    1. By a person other than the players taking part in the frame or,
    2. As a direct result of one of the players being bumped or,
    3. Due to any other event deemed outside the players’ control such as:-
      1. “An Act of God” such as an earthquake etc
      2. Tip falling off a cue or end falling off a spider etc, the referee will replace the balls as near as possible to the positions they were in before the incident occurred, no penalty shall be imposed on either of the players and the frameshall continue.
    1. The referee will prevent any unauthorised marking of the table.
      If a player causes a block of billiard chalk or other foreign matter to be on any part of the table it is not a foul. However, the referee will ensure that the item is removed.
    2. If a player repeatedly causes a block of billiard chalk or other foreign matter to be on any part of the table the referee may deem that the player has breeched the Spirit of the Game and award the frame to the opponent.
    3. Exception to (a) above: – A cigarette or beverage container. {see (K) Standard Fouls (10)}

V – Impossible Shot

A situation  may arise during  a frame where it is impossible for a player to play a shot without  fouling. In such a situation the player has no  other option but to commit a foul.

W – Stalemate

The referee shall  declare a Stalemate if both the player and the opponent have three turns in succession where the Cue Ball fails to make contact  with an Object Ball.   In  such a case, the frame will be replayed with the same  player breaking.

X – Referee’s Guidelines and Duties

The Referee’s  Duties  and Guidelines  listed  below  supplement  those directions  contained  in  various  other sections of these rules.

  1. The Referee’s decision is final except  where players have been advised that it is possible to appeal to a Head Referee or other higher authority.
  2. Information to be disclosed / not disclosed by  a referee:-
      1. A player is responsible for knowing the rules of the game. It is not the referee’s duty to explain or quote the rules to a player
      2. A referee, if asked by a player, may divulge certain information pertaining to the frame in question under the guidelines of the “Past, Present and Future Rule”. A referee may divulge information relating to any past event or present situation in the frame. For example: – “whose turn is it?” – Present. “Was that a foul?” – Past. “Which Colour am I On?” – Present. However, “If I play this shot will it be a foul?” is a question regarding the Future and the Referee should advise the player that the Referee cannot answer this type of question.
  3. The referee shall either toss a coin, or the players shall lag, to determine the break. The winner of the toss or lag shall decide who will break first and the referee shall announce the decision.
  4. If  an Object Ball (or balls)  is  potted on  the break the referee  will advise  both players  of  this  fact by  announcing  the Ball (or balls)  potted.  When Colours are decided  for the first  time, the referee will  announce “Player  ‘A’  On  Red (or  Yellow)  Balls”.    When that  player’s  turn is  complete  the referee  will  advise  the incoming  player  of  the situation  by  announcing  “Player  ‘B’  on  Yellow  (or Red) Balls”.
    1. The Referee will call fouls  as soon as they occur and the fouled  player  loses  control  of  the table.
      1. The call for a Standard Foul  is “Foul, Two  Visits”.
      2. The call for a Non-Standard Foul  is “Foul, (and announce the relevant penalty
      3. The call for a Loss of Frame Foul  is “Loss of Frame”.
    2.  After  a player  has been awarded two visits  the referee  will  make no  call until  the player fails to pot  a ball “On”. (Except  for 30 second  time  warnings  and for any fouls  that may occur) The referee will  then  call “Second  Visit” to advise the player that the first visit is complete and the second visit is about to begin.
  5. The referee will call any instance when the Cue Ball is touching a ball “On”.
  6. In  the absence of  any competition  / tournament rules  to the contrary, two referees  will  referee each frame.   One referee will make the standard calls such as “Second Visit” and “Player A on  Red (or Yellow) Balls” while the other referee will keep the time.
    Both referees’ will be involved in the refereeing of the frame and either can call fouls. If  one referee  calls  a foul,  the other referee  cannot overrule  the call.  That  is,  the two referees have equal authority.