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Nine Ball Rules - Mission Pool League



Nine ball is played with nine object balls numbered one through nine and the cue ball. The balls are played in ascending numerical order. The player legally pocketing the nine ball wins the rack.

2.1 Determining the Break in 9-Ball

* The Mission Pool League follows the 9-Ball scoresheet. The player who wins the lag chooses who will break the first rack. (See 1.2 Lagging to Determine Order of Play). The standard format is to alternate the break, but see Regulation 15, Subsequent Break Shots.  

2.2 Nine Ball Rack

The object balls are racked as tightly as possible in a diamond shape, with the one ball at the apex of the diamond and on the foot spot and the nine ball in the middle of the diamond. The other balls will be placed in the diamond without purposeful or intentional pattern. (See regulation 4 – Racking / Tapping of Balls). 

2.3 Legal Break Shot in 9-Ball

The following rules apply to the break shot:

(a) the cue ball begins in hand behind the head string; and

(b) if no ball is pocketed, at least four object balls must be driven to one or more rails, or the shot is a foul. (See Regulation 17 – Open Break Requirements).

The rules governing the break shot are the same as for other shots except:

– The breaker must strike the 1-ball first and either pocket a ball or drive at least four numbered balls to a rail, failure to do so is a foul. Incoming player accepts table the way it lies with ball in hand or requests a re-rack with cue ball behind the head string.

– If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, or the requirements of the opening break are not met, it is a foul, and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table.

– If on the break shot, the breaker causes an object ball to jump off the table, it is a foul and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table. The object ball is not re-spotted.

– Making the nine ball on the break is an automatic win for the player breaking.

However, if the cue ball is scratched when making the nine ball, the nine ball is re-spotted. (Using another stripe from tray if necessary.)

2.4 Second Shot of the Rack – Push Out in 9-Ball

If no foul is committed on the break shot, the shooter may choose to play a “push out” as his shot. He must make his intention known to the referee, and then rules 6.2 Wrong Ball First and 6.3 No Rail after Contact are suspended for the shot. If no foul is committed on a push out, the other player chooses who will shoot next.

– The player who shoots the shot immediately after a legal break may play a push out in an attempt to move the cue ball into a better position for the option that follows.

– On a push out, the cue ball is not required to contact any object ball nor any rail, but all other foul rules still apply.

– The player must announce his intention of playing a push out before the shot, or the shot is considered to be a normal shot.

– Any ball pocketed on a push out does not count and remains pocketed, except for the nine ball.

– Following a legal push out, the in-coming player is permitted to shoot from that position or to pass the shot back to the player who pushed out.

– A push out is not considered to be a foul as long as no rule is violated.

2.5 Continuing Play in 9-Ball

If the shooter legally pockets any ball on a shot (except a push out, see 2.4 Second Shot of the Rack – Push Out), he continues at the table for the next shot. If he legally pockets the nine ball on any shot (except a push out), he wins the rack. If the shooter fails to pocket a ball or fouls, play passes to the other player, and if no foul was committed, the incoming player must play the cue ball from the position left by the other player.

2.6 Spotting Balls in 9-Ball

If the nine ball is pocketed on a foul or push out, or driven off the table, it is spotted. (See 1.4 Spotting Balls). No other object ball is ever spotted.

2.7 Standard Fouls in 9-Ball

If the shooter commits a standard 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 nine ball:

6.1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table

6.2 Wrong Ball First The first object ball contacted by the cue ball on each shot must be the lowest-numbered ball remaining on the table.

6.3 No Rail after Contact

6.4 No Foot on Floor

6.5 Ball Driven off the Table The only jumped object ball that is spotted is the nine.

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

6.12 Cue Stick on the Table

6.13 Playing out of Turn

6.15 Slow Play

– When a player commits a foul, he must relinquish his run at the table and no balls pocketed on the foul shot are spotted, except the nine ball.

– The incoming player is awarded ball in hand; prior to his first shot he may place the cue ball anywhere on the table.

– If a player commits several fouls on one shot, they are counted as only one foul.

– All fouls must be called and acknowledged before the next shot is taken.

  1. Touching or moving the cue ball is a foul.
  2. Coaching is a foul.
  3. Shooting the cue ball into a pocket or off the table is a foul.
  4. If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest numbered ball on the table, the shot is a foul.
  5. If no object ball is pocketed, failure to drive the cue ball or some object ball to a rail after the cue ball contacts the object ball is a foul.
  6. Pocketing the nine ball and the cue ball with the same stroke is a foul.
  7. Shooting without at least one foot on the floor is a foul.
  8. An un-pocketed ball is considered to be driven off the table if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the table. It is a foul to drive an object ball off the table. The jumped object ball(s) is not spotted and play continues.

When the cue ball is in hand, the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the bed of the table, except in contact with an object ball. He may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until he takes a shot.

2.8 Serious Fouls in 9-Ball

For 6.14 Three Consecutive Fouls, the penalty is loss of the current rack. For 6.16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct, the referee will choose a penalty appropriate given the nature of the offense.

2.9 Stalemate in 9-Ball

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