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8-Ball Rules - Mission Pool League

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3. EIGHT BALL

The player winning the lag has the option to determine who has to execute the first break shot. (See 1.2 Lagging to Determine Order of Play). The standard format is alternate break (See Regulation 15 -Subsequent Break Shots). Mission Pool League uses an alternating system, listed on the scoresheet.

3.2 Eight Ball Rack

The fifteen object balls are racked as tightly as possible in a triangle, with the apex ball on the foot spot and the eight ball as the first ball that is directly below the apex ball. One from each group of seven will be on the two lower corners of the triangle. The other balls are placed in the triangle without purposeful or intentional pattern.

3.3 Break Shot

The following rules apply to the break shot:

(a) The cue ball begins in hand behind the head string.

(b) No ball is called, and the cue ball is not required to hit any particular object ball first.

(c) If the breaker pockets a ball and does not foul, he continues at the table, and the table remains open. (See 3.4 Open Table / Choosing Groups)

(d) If no object ball is pocketed, at least four object balls must be driven to one or more rails, or the shot results in an illegal break, and the incoming player has the option of:

(1) accepting the table in position, or

(2) re-racking and breaking, or

(3) re-racking and allowing the offending player to break again.

(e) Pocketing the eight ball on a legal break shot is not a foul. If the eight ball is pocketed, the breaker has the option of:

(1) re-spotting the eight ball and accepting the balls in position, or

(2) re-breaking.

(f) If the breaker pockets the eight ball and scratches (See Definition 8.6 Scratch) , the opponent has the option of:

(1) re-spotting the eight ball and shooting with cue ball in hand behind the head string; or

(2) re-breaking.

(g) If any object ball is driven off the table on a break shot, it is a foul; such balls remain out of play (except the eight ball which is re-spotted); and the incoming player has the option of:

(1) accepting the table in position, or

(2) taking cue ball in hand behind the head string.

(h) If the breaker fouls in any manner not listed above, the following player has the option of:

(1) accepting the balls in position, or

(2) taking cue ball in hand behind the head string.

3.4 Open Table / Choosing Groups

Before groups are determined, the table is said to be “open,” and before each shot, the shooter must call his intended ball. If the shooter legally pockets his called ball, the corresponding group becomes his, and his opponent is assigned the other group. If he fails to legally pocket his called ball, the table remains open and play passes to the other player. When the table is “open”, any object ball may be struck first except the eight ball.

3.5 Continuing Play

The shooter remains at the table as long as he continues to legally pocket called balls, or he wins the rack by pocketing the eight ball.

3.6 Shots Required to Be Called

On each shot except the break, shots must be called as explained in 1.6 Standard Call Shot. The eight ball may be called only after the shot on which the shooter’s group has been cleared from the table. The shooter may call “safety” in which case play passes to the opponent at the end of the shot and any object ball pocketed on the safety remains pocketed. (See 8.17 Safety Shot).

3.7 Spotting Balls

If the eight ball is pocketed or driven off the table on the break, it will be spotted or the balls will be re-racked. (See 3.3 Break Shot and 1.4 Spotting Balls). No other object ball is ever spotted.

3.8 Losing the Rack

The shooter loses if he:

(a) fouls when pocketing the eight ball;

(b) pockets the eight ball before his group is cleared;

(c) pockets the eight ball in an uncalled pocket; or

(d) drives the eight ball off the table. These do not apply to the break shot. (See 3.3 Break Shot).

3.9 Standard Fouls

If the shooter commits a foul, play passes to his opponent. The cue ball is in hand, and the incoming player may place it anywhere on the playing surface. (See 1.5 Cue Ball in Hand). The following are standard fouls at eight ball:

6.1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table

6.2 Wrong Ball First – The first ball contacted by the cue ball on each shot must belong to the shooter’s group, except when the table is open. (See 3.4 Open Table / Choosing Groups).

6.3 No Rail after Contact

6.4 No Foot on Floor

6.5 Ball Driven off the Table (See 3.7 Spotting Balls).

6.6 Touched Ball

6.7 Double Hit / Frozen Balls

6.8 Push Shot

6.9 Balls Still Moving

6.10 Bad Cue Ball Placement

6.11 Bad Play from Behind the Head String

6.12 Cue Stick on the Table

6.13 Playing out of Turn

6.15 Slow Play

3.10 Serious Fouls

The fouls listed under 3.8 Losing the Rack are penalized by the loss of the current rack. For 6.16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct, the referee will choose a penalty appropriate given the nature of the offense.

3.11 Stalemate

If a stalemate occurs (See 1.12 Stalemate), the original breaker of the rack will break again.

3.12 8-Ball Addendum [same as Regulation 10]

If the groups have been determined and the player mistakenly shoots at and pockets a ball of the opponent’s group, the foul must be called before he takes his next shot. Upon recognition by either player or the referee that the groups have been reversed, the rack will be halted and will be replayed with the original player executing the break shot.

To clarify: A single ball is a foul; more than one in an inning is a rerack.

  1. FOULS

The following actions are fouls at pool when included in the specific rules of the game being played. If several fouls occur on one shot, only the most serious one is enforced. If a foul is not called before the next shot begins, the foul is assumed not to have happened.

6.1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table

If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, the shot is a foul. (See 8.3 Ball Pocketed and 8.5 Driven off the Table).

6.2 Wrong Ball First

In those games which require the first object ball struck to be a particular ball or one of a group of balls, it is a foul for the cue ball to first contact any other ball.

6.3 No Rail after Contact

If no ball is pocketed on a shot, the cue ball must contact an object ball, and after that contact at least one ball (cue ball or any object ball) must be driven to a rail, or the shot is a foul. (See 8.4 Driven to a Rail).

6.4 No Foot on Floor

If the shooter does not have at least one foot touching the floor at the instant the tip contacts the cue ball, the shot is a foul.

6.5 Ball Driven off the Table

It is a foul to drive an object ball off the table. Whether that ball is spotted depends on the rules of the game. (See 8.5 Driven off the Table).

6.6 Touched Ball

CCS amateur tournament and league play follows “Cue Ball Foul Only” Guidelines – See Regulation 20, Page 31. It is a foul to touch, move or change the path of any object ball except by the normal ball-to-ball contacts during shots. It is a foul to touch, move or change the path of the cue ball except when it is in hand or by the normal tip-to-ball forward stroke contact of a shot. The shooter is responsible for the equipment he controls at the table, such as chalk, bridges, clothing, his hair, parts of his body, and the cue ball when it is in hand, that may be involved in such fouls. If such a foul is accidental, it is a standard foul, but if it is intentional, it is 6.16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

6.7 Double Hit / Frozen Balls (also refer to handout given at Captain’s Meeting)

If the cue stick contacts the cue ball more than once on a shot, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is close to but not touching an object ball and the cue tip is still on the cue ball when the cue ball contacts that object ball, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is very close to an object ball, and the shooter barely grazes that object ball on the shot, the shot is assumed not to violate the first paragraph of this rule, even though the tip is arguably still on the cue ball when ball-ball contact is made. However, if the cue ball is touching an object ball at the start of the shot, it is legal to shoot towards or partly into that ball (provided it is a legal target within the rules of the game) and if the object ball is moved by such a shot, it is considered to have been contacted by the cue ball. (Even though it may be legal to shoot towards such a touching or “frozen” ball, care must be taken not to violate the rules in the first paragraph if there are additional balls close by.) The cue ball is assumed not to be touching any ball unless it is declared touching by the referee or opponent. It is the shooter’s responsibility to get the declaration before the shot. Playing away from a frozen ball does not constitute having hit that ball unless specified in the rules of the game.

6.8 Push Shot

It is a foul to prolong tip-to-cue-ball contact beyond that seen in normal shots.

6.9 Balls Still Moving

It is a foul to begin a shot while any ball in play is moving or spinning.

6.10 Bad Cue Ball Placement

When the cue ball is in hand and restricted to the area behind the head string, it is a foul to play the cue ball from on or below the head string. If the shooter is uncertain whether the cue ball has been placed behind the head string, he may ask the referee for a determination.

6.11 Bad Play from Behind the Head String

When the cue ball is in hand behind the head string, and the first ball the cue ball contacts is also behind the head string, the shot is a foul unless the cue ball crosses the head string before that contact. If such a shot is intentional, it is unsportsmanlike conduct. The cue ball must either cross the head string or contact a ball in front of or on the head string or the shot is a foul, and the cue ball is in hand for the following player according to the rules of the specific game.

6.12 Cue Stick on the Table

If the shooter uses his cue stick in order to align a shot by placing it on the table without having a hand on the stick, it is a foul.

6.13 Playing out of Turn

It is a standard foul to unintentionally play out of turn. Normally, the balls will be played from the position left by the mistaken play. If a player intentionally plays out of turn, it should be treated like 6.16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

6.14 Three Consecutive Fouls in 9-Ball Only

If a player fouls three times without making an intervening legal shot, it is a serious foul. In games scored by the rack, such as nine ball, the fouls must be in a single rack. Some games such as eight ball do not include this rule. The referee must warn a shooter who is on two fouls when he comes to the table that he is on two fouls. Otherwise a possible third foul will be considered to be only the second

6.15 Slow Play

If the referee/Tournament Director feels that a player is playing too slowly, he may advise that player to speed up his play. If the player does not speed up, the referee may impose a shot clock on that match that applies to both players. If the shooter exceeds the time limit specified for the tournament, a standard foul will be called and the incoming player is rewarded according to the rules applicable to the game being played. (Rule 6.16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct may also apply). MPL doesn’t enforce this rule; however complaints about slow play will be addressed by the board.

6.16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The normal penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct is the same as for a serious foul, but the referee may impose a penalty depending on his judgment of the conduct. Among other penalties possible are a warning; a standard-foul penalty, which will count as part of a three-foul sequence if applicable; a serious-foul penalty; loss of a rack, set or match; ejection from the competition possibly with forfeiture of all prizes, trophies and standings points. Unsportsmanlike conduct is any intentional behavior that brings disrepute to the sport or which disrupts or changes the game to the extent that it cannot be played fairly. It includes

(a) distracting the opponent;

(b) changing the position of the balls in play other than by a shot;

(c) playing a shot by intentionally miscuing;

(d) continuing to play after a foul has been called or play has been suspended;

(e) practicing during a match;

(f) marking the table;

(g) delay of the game; and

(h) using equipment inappropriately.

 DEFINITIONS USED IN THE RULES

The following definitions apply throughout these Rules.

8.1 Parts of the Table

The following definitions of parts of the table refer to the accompanying diagram. Some details of exact size and placement are in the world governing body’s (WPA) Equipment Specifications. See the WPA website at www.wpa-pool.com for current information. The table is comprised of rails, cushions, a playing surface and pockets. The foot end of the table is where the object balls usually begin, while the head end is where the cue ball usually begins. Behind the head string is the area between the head rail and the head string, not including the head string. The cushions, tops of the rails, pockets and pocket liners are parts of the rails. There are four “strings” on the playing surface as shown in the diagram:

– the long string down the center of the table;

– the head string bounding the quarter of the table closest to the head rail;

– the foot string bounding the quarter of the table closest to the foot rail; and

– the center string between the two side pockets.

These lines are only marked as mentioned below. The rails may have inlays referred to as diamonds or sights which mark 1/4th of the width and 1/8th of the length of the table measured from nose to nose on the cushions.

On the playing surface, which is the flat, cloth-covered part of the table, the following will be marked if they are used in the game being played:

– the foot spot, where the foot string and the long string meet;

– the head spot, where the head string and the long string meet;

– the center spot, where the center string and the long string meet;

– the head string;

– the long string between the foot spot and the foot rail; and

– the triangle, either in outline or by alignment marks depending on the game.

8.2 Shot

A shot begins when the tip contacts the cue ball due to a forward stroke motion of the cue stick. A shot ends when all balls in play have stopped moving and spinning. A shot is said to be legal if the shooter did not foul during the shot.

8.3 Ball Pocketed

A ball is pocketed if it comes to rest in a pocket below the playing surface or enters the ball return system. A ball near the brink of a pocket partly supported by another ball is considered pocketed if removal of the supporting ball would cause the ball to fall into the pocket. If a ball stops near the edge of a pocket, and remains apparently motionless for five seconds, it is not considered pocketed if it later falls into the pocket by itself. See 1.7 Balls Settling for other details. During that five second period, the referee should ensure that no other shot is taken. An object ball that rebounds from a pocket back onto the playing surface is not a pocketed ball. If the cue ball contacts an already pocketed ball, the cue ball will be considered pocketed whether it rebounds from the pocket or not. The referee will remove pocketed object balls from full or nearly full pockets, but it is the shooter’s responsibility to see that this duty is performed.

8.4 Driven to a Rail

A ball is said to be driven to a rail if it is not touching that rail and then touches that rail. A ball touching a rail at the start of a shot (said to be “frozen” to the rail) is not considered driven to that rail unless it leaves the rail and returns. A ball that is pocketed or driven off the table is also considered to have been driven to a rail. A ball is assumed not to be frozen to any rail unless it is declared frozen by the referee, the shooter, or the opponent. See also Regulation 27, Calling Frozen Balls

8.5 Driven off the Table

A ball is considered driven off the table if it comes to rest other than on the playing surface but is not pocketed. A ball is also considered driven off the table if it would have been driven off the table except for striking an object such as a light fixture, piece of chalk or a player which causes it to return to the table. A ball that contacts the top of the rail is not considered to have been driven off the table if it returns to the playing surface or enters a pocket.

8.6 Scratch

A shot on which the cue ball is pocketed is called a scratch.

8.7 Cue Ball

The cue ball is the ball that is struck by the shooter at the beginning of a shot. It is traditionally white, but may be marked by a logo or spots. In pocket billiard games, a single cue ball is used by both players.

8.8 Object Balls

The object balls are struck by the cue ball with the usual intent of driving them into pockets. They are typically numbered from one to the number of balls used in the game. Colors and markings of the object balls are covered under the WPA Equipment Specifications. 

8.9 Set

In some matches, the match is divided into parts called sets, with a certain number of sets won required to win the match. In turn, a certain number of points or racks won is required to win each set.

8.10 Rack

The rack is the framing device, typically triangular, used to arrange the object balls for the break shot at the start of the game. It also refers to the group of balls so arranged. To rack the object balls is to group them with the rack. A rack is also a portion of a match played with a single rack of object balls. Some games, such as nine ball, are scored at one point per rack. 

8.11 Break

A break shot is the opening shot of a match or rack, depending on the game. It happens when the object balls have been racked and the cue ball is played from behind the head string usually with the intent of breaking the rack apart.

8.12 Inning

An inning is a player’s turn at the table. It begins when it is legal for him to take a shot, and ends at the end of a shot when it is no longer legal for him to take a shot. In some games a player may choose not to come to the table in certain situations when play would normally pass to him, and then the player remaining at the table continues the inning (e.g. a push-out at nine ball). The player whose turn it is to play is called the “shooter.”

8.13 Position of Balls

The position of a ball is determined by the projection of its center vertically downward onto the playing surface. A ball is said to be placed on a line or spot when its center is placed directly over that line or spot.

8.14 Re-spotting Balls

In some games, object balls are required to be placed on the playing surface other than when forming a new rack. They are said to be re-spotted when they are so placed. See 1.4 Spotting Balls. 

8.15 Restoring a Position

If the balls are disturbed, the rules of the game may require them to be replaced where they were. The referee will replace the balls to their original position as accurately as possible. 

8.16 Jump Shot

A jump shot is one in which the cue ball is made to go over an intervening obstacle such as an object ball or part of the cushion. Whether such a shot is legal depends on how it is accomplished and the intention of the shooter. Usually a legal jump shot is played by elevating the cue stick and driving the cue ball down into the playing surface from which it rebounds.

8.17 Safety Shot

A shot is said to be a safety shot if the game in play is a call shot game and the shooter declared the shot to the referee or his opponent to be a “safety” before the shot. Play passes to the other player at the end of a safety shot.

8.18 Miscue

A miscue occurs when the cue tip slides off the cue ball possibly due to a contact that is too eccentric or to insufficient chalk on the tip. It is usually accompanied by a sharp sound and evidenced by a discoloration of the tip. Although some miscues involve contact of the side of the cue stick with the cue ball, unless such contact is clearly visible, it is assumed not to have occurred. A scoop shot, in which the cue tip contacts the playing surface and the cue ball at the same time and this causes the cue ball to rise off the cloth, is treated like a miscue.

REGULATIONS 

Administrative Discretion

  1. Most of these regulations apply to CCS sanctioned events not MPL events.

These regulations address dress requirements, protests, scheduling issues, and other items that are not part of the actual Rules of Play but need to be regulated for the individual event. Some aspects of applying the regulations vary from tournament to tournament, such as the number of sets in a match and who breaks after the first rack at nine ball. The management of an event is entitled to enforce regulations for the event. These Regulations do not have the same force as the Rules; the Rules have priority.

  1. Exceptions to the Rules

The actual Rules of Play may not be altered unless a specific waiver is issued by the CCS national office for the individual event. A written explanation of any rules change should be made available at the players’ meeting. 

  1. Dress Code

Each player’s attire must always meet the level of the competition and be clean, proper and in good condition. If an athlete is unsure about the legality of his attire, the athlete should approach the Tournament Director or Referee before the match and ask whether the attire is legal. The Tournament Director [or Head Referee if one is present] has the final say with regards to the legality of attire. A player may be disqualified for dress code violation. If there is no announcement before the event, the CCS dress code is assumed.

  1. Racking / Tapping of Balls

A table is said to be “tapped” when a template is placed in the rack area, balls are placed in the holes in the template and are tapped into place. This procedure replaces the use of the traditional triangle rack, and ensures a quick, tight rack. The choice of tapping over traditional racking with a triangle is at the discretion of the event organizer. Players must never tap balls; only tournament officials should tap or retap (if needed) the racking area.

  1. Playing with an “Area” Referee

It may be that a tournament is being played with “area” referees who are each responsible for several tables and there is no referee constantly at each table. In this case, the players are still expected to observe all the rules of the game. The recommended method to conduct play in this situation is as follows: The non-shooting player will perform all of the duties of the referee. If, prior to a particular shot, the shooting player feels that his opponent will not be able to properly judge the shot, he should ask the area referee to watch the shot. The non-shooting player may also ask for such attention if he feels that he is unable or is unwilling to rule on the shot. Either player has the power to suspend play until he is satisfied with the way the match is being refereed.

If a dispute arises between two players in an un-refereed match, and the area referee is asked to make a decision without having seen the cause of the dispute, he should be careful to understand the situation as completely as possible. This might include asking trusted witnesses, reviewing video tapes, or reenacting the shot. If the area referee is asked to determine whether a foul occurred and there is no evidence of the foul except the claim of one player while the other player claims that there was no foul, then it is assumed that no foul occurred.

  1. Penalizing Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The rules and regulations give the referee and other official’s considerable latitude in penalizing unsportsmanlike conduct. Several factors should be considered in such decisions, including previous conduct, previous warnings, how serious the offense is, and information that the players may have been given at the Players’ Meeting at the start of the tournament. In addition, the level of competition may be considered since players at the top levels can be expected to be fully familiar with the rules and regulations, while relative beginners may be unfamiliar with how the rules are normally applied.

  1. Protest Ruling

If a player needs a decision to be taken, the first person to be contacted is the referee. The referee will form his decision by all means that seem suitable to him. If the player wants to protest against that ruling, he may contact the Head Referee and after that the Tournament Director. In any regular tournament, the Tournament Director’s decision is binding and final. In CCS-produced events, there may be a further appeal to the CCS administrative staff. A deposit of $100 from the protestor is required for such an appeal and it will be forfeited in case of an adverse final decision. A player is allowed to ask for a reconsideration of a factual decision by the referee only one time. If he asks for reconsideration of the same matter a second time, it will be treated as unsportsmanlike conduct.

  1. Instructions for Referees

The referee will determine all matters of fact relating to the rules, maintain fair playing conditions, call fouls, and take other action as required by these rules. The referee will suspend play when conditions do not permit fair play. Play will also be suspended when a call or ruling is being disputed. The referee will announce fouls and other specific situations as required by the rules. He will answer questions as required by the rules on matters such as foul count. He must not give advice on the application of the rules, or other points of play on which he is not required by the rules to speak. He may assist the player by getting and replacing the mechanical bridge. If necessary for the shot, the referee or a deputy may hold the light fixture out of the way. When a game has a three-foul rule, the referee should note to the players any second foul at the time that it occurs and also when the player who is on two fouls returns to the table. The first warning is not required by the rules but is meant to prevent later misunderstandings. If there is a scoreboard on which the foul count is visible to the players, it satisfies the warning requirement.

  1. Referee’s Responsiveness

The referee shall answer players’ inquiries regarding objective data, such as whether a ball will be in the rack, whether a ball is behind the head string, what the count is, how many points are needed for a victory, if a player or his opponent is on a foul, what rule would apply if a certain shot is made, etc. When asked for a clarification of a rule, the referee will explain the applicable rule to the best of his ability, but any misstatement by the referee will not protect a player from enforcement of the actual rules. The referee must not offer or provide any subjective opinion that would affect play, such as whether a good hit can be made on a prospective shot, whether a combination can be made, or how the table seems to be playing, etc.

  1. 8-Ball Addendum

If the groups have been determined and the player mistakenly shoots at and pockets a ball of the opponent’s group, the foul must be called before he takes his next shot. Upon recognition by either player or the referee that the groups have been reversed, the rack will be halted and will be replayed with the original player executing the break shot.

  1. Restoring a Position

In any case a position of balls needs to be amended it is solely the referee’s duty and responsibility to perform this task. He may form his opinion by any means he considers appropriate at the time. He may consult one or both players on that, however, the particular player’s opinion is not binding and his judgment can be amended. Each involved player has the right to dispute the referee’s judgment just once, but after that it is the referee’s discretion to restore the ball or balls.

  1. Acceptance of Equipment

After the tournament or a particular match has been started, the player has no right to question the quality or legality of any equipment provided by the Tournament Organizer unless supported by the referee or the tournament director; any protests must be made beforehand.

  1. Clearing Pockets

For the ball to be considered pocketed, it must meet all the requirements described in Rule 8.3 Ball Pocketed. Although the task of clearing pockets of balls lies within the referee’s description of duties, the ultimate responsibility for any occurrence of fouls as a result of such misadministration always rests with the shooter. If the referee is absent, for example in the case of an area referee, the shooter may perform this duty himself, providing he makes his intention clear and obvious to the opponent.

  1. Time Out

*The Mission Pool League does not use Time Outs.

Unless specified otherwise by the tournament organizer, each player is allowed to take one time out of five minutes during matches.

To exercise his right to a time out the player must: (1) inform the referee of his intention and, (2) make sure the referee is aware of the fact and marks it on the score sheet and, (3) make sure the referee marks the table for suspended play. (The standard procedure will be to place a cue stick on the table.)

The opponent must remain seated as during normal play; should he involve himself in an action other than standard match-playing activities it will be considered exercising his time out and no further time out will be allowed.

– The time out at eight ball and nine ball is taken between racks and play is suspended.

– At 14.1, the time out begins between racks; and the player at the table may continue his inning should the opponent decide to take his time out. If the non-shooter takes a time out, he must make sure there is a referee to supervise the table during his absence; otherwise he has no right to protest against any misplay by the player at the table.

The player taking the time out should remember that his actions must be within the spirit of the game and if he acts otherwise, he is subject to a penalty under Unsportsmanlike Conduct. If a player is suffering from a medical condition, the tournament director may choose to adjust the number of time outs.

  1. Subsequent Break Shots

For deciding who will break in racks after the first, in games such as nine ball, the tournament management may choose a procedure different from the standard one listed in the Rules. For example, the winner may break or the players may alternate “serves” of three consecutive breaks.

  1. Rack at Nine Ball

As stated in Rule 2.2, balls other than the one and nine are placed randomly in the rack and should not be set in any particular order during any rack. If the referee is not racking, and a player believes that his opponent is intentionally placing balls within the rack, he may bring this to the attention of a tournament official. If the tournament official determines that the player is intentionally positioning balls in the rack, the player will be given an official warning to refrain from doing so. Once warned, should the player continue with intentional positioning of balls in the rack, he shall be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

  1. Open Break Requirements

The tournament management may set additional requirements on the break shot on games that require an “open” break such as nine ball. For example, it may be required to drive three balls above the head string or pocket them.

  1. Deflecting Cue Ball on Opening Break

It may be that the player miscues on a break shot and tries to prevent the cue ball from following its normal path by deflecting it with his cue stick or by some other means. This practice and other similar practices are absolutely forbidden under the unsportsmanlike conduct rule, Rule 6.16(b). Players must never intentionally touch any ball in play except with a forward stroke of the cue tip on the cue ball. The penalty for such a foul will be determined by the referee according to the unsportsmanlike conduct guidelines in Rule 6.16.

  1. Shot Clock

*The Mission Pool League does not use Shot Clocks.

A shot clock may be requested at any time during a match by a tournament official or either player involved in that match. The Tournament Director or other appointed official decides whether to use a shot clock or not. Should a shot clock be introduced, both players will be “on the clock” and there will be an official timekeeper for the duration of the match. As a recommendation, players will have 35 seconds per shot with a warning when 10 seconds remain. Each player will be allowed one 25-second extension during each rack. The shot clock will be started when all balls come to rest, including spinning balls. The shot clock will end when the cue tip strikes the cue ball to initiate a stroke or when the player’s time expires from the shot clock. If a player runs out of time, it will be a standard foul.

  1. Cue ball fouls only

If there is no referee or only “area” referees (See Regulation 5) presiding over matches, the event may be played using cue ball fouls only. That is, touching or moving any ball other than the cue ball would not be a foul unless it changes the outcome of the shot by either touching another ball or having any ball, including the cue ball, going through the area originally occupied by the moved ball. If this does not happen, then the opposing player must be given the option of either leaving the ball where it lies or replacing the ball as near as possible to its original position to the agreement of both players. If a player shoots without giving his opponent the option to replace, it will be a foul resulting in cue ball in hand for the opponent.

  1. Late Start

Players must be at the table and ready to play their assigned match at the appointed match time. If a player is late for his appointed match time, he will have fifteen minutes to report to his assigned table ready to play or he will lose the match. It is recommended to announce after five minutes a first call for the player, after ten minutes a second call and after fourteen minutes a final “one minute” warning. A stricter requirement may be used for repeat offenders.

  1. Outside Interference

See Rule 1.9 Outside Interference. The referee should ensure that interference is prevented, for example by a spectator or a player on an adjacent table, and may suspend play as needed. Interference may be physical or verbal.

  1. Coaching

It is permitted for a player to receive advice from a coach during a match. This should not be on a continuous shot-by-shot basis that changes the nature of the game. It is up to the referee and tournament management to set additional limits on this. A time out can be used to get coaching help. The coach should not approach the table. If the referee decides that the coach is interfering with or disrupting the match, he may direct the coach to stay away from the match.

  1. Act of God

It may be that something unforeseen under these rules will occur during a match. In such a case, the referee will decide how to proceed in a fair manner. For example, it may be necessary to move a rack in progress to a different table, in which case a stalemate may be declared if a position cannot be transferred.

  1. Remaining in Player’s Chair

The non-shooting player should remain in his designated chair while his opponent is at the table. Should a player need to leave the playing area during matches, he must request and receive permission from the referee. Should a player leave the playing area without the permission of the referee, it will be treated like unsportsmanlike conduct.

  1. Split Hits

If the cue ball strikes a legal object ball and a non-legal object ball at approximately the same instant, and it cannot be determined which ball was hit first, it will be assumed that the legal target was struck first.

  1. Calling Frozen Balls

The referee should be careful to inspect and announce the status of any object ball that might be frozen to a cushion and the cue ball when it might be frozen to a ball. The seated player may remind the referee that such a call is necessary. The shooter must allow time for such a determination to be asked for and made, and may ask for the call himself.