- OBJECT OF THE GAME
8-Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and 15 object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls 1 through 7 (solids or spots) while the other player has 9 through 15 (stripes). The player who pockets all the balls of his group first and then legally pockets the 8-Ball wins the game.
- CALL SHOT
Obvious balls and pockets do not have to be nominated, though the referee or opponent always has the right to ask which ball and pocket. Bank shots and combination shots are generally not considered obvious and should be nominated. Note that it is not necessary to nominate specific details such as the number of rails, banks, kisses, caroms, etc. Any additional balls pocketed on the shot remain pocketed, regardless of whether they belong to the player or his opponent. If the nominated or obvious object ball is not pocketed in the nominated or intended pocket, then it is loss of turn (not ball in hand).
- 8-BALL RACK
The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot string of the table with the 8-Ball in the center, any ball on the foot spot, and a solid and striped ball at the back corners. Balls are to be racked by the person breaking.
- ORDER OF BREAK
Players will undertake a ‘lag’ at the commencement of the match to determine who breaks. Players should shoot their lag shots simultaneously. The lag will be retaken if a player’s lag ball reaches the foot rail before the second player has commenced his lag shot. The winner of the lag has the option to break or require the opposing player to break. From then on, frames will be alternate break.
- LEGAL BREAK SHOT:
The player breaking must shoot the cue ball from behind the head string and either pocket a numbered ball or drive at least 4 numbered balls to a rail. Failure to do so is a foul. The incoming player will then have the option of either accepting the table as it is and begin shooting or have the balls re-racked and then break the rack himself or require his opponent to re-break. It is not necessary to hit the front ball on the break, and the break is not a call shot. If a ball is pocketed on the break, the breaker continues shooting, if not his opponent continues.
- CHOICE OF GROUP:
The table is considered open after a break, regardless of what balls were pocketed. The first legally pocketed ball after the break determines a players group. While the table is open, it is legal to hit any ball other than the 8-ball to pocket a nominated ball.
- SCRATCH ON A LEGAL BREAK:
If a player scratches (cue ball is pocketed, or a ball is forced off the table) on a legal break shot, it is a foul. The opponent will have ball in hand from behind the head string. He may shoot at any ball that is not behind the head string, and the table is still open. 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. All pocketed balls remain pocketed.
- 8-BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK:
If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, the breaker will have the option of re-spotting the 8-Ball, and accepting all balls in their position, or reracking and re-breaking. If he scratches while doing so, the same option will go to his opponent.
- 8-BALL LEAVING THE TABLE ON THE BREAK:
The break is a foul. The incoming player has the option of having the 8-ball spotted, or re–racking and breaking.
- LEGAL SHOT:
On all shots, a shooter must hit one of his balls first. Failure to do so is a foul. After contact with any of his balls, a ball must either go in a pocket or a ball (any ball on the table) MUST be driven to a rail. Failure to do so is a foul.
- FOUL PENALTY:
All fouls will result in 1 shot, ball-in-hand, from anywhere on the table for the opponent, except for the break shot. A player must stop shooting when a foul is called.
The following infractions are considered fouls:
- Failure to execute a legal shot as defined in the rules.
- Pocketing the cue ball or driving any ball off the table.
- Failure to make first contact with any nominated ball.
- Shooting without at least 1 foot touching the floor.
- Failure to either pocket a ball or drive a ball to a rail during any shot.
- Moving or touching any ball by any means other than by legal play (this includes all body parts, articles of clothing, bridges and equipment).
- Picking up or shooting the cue ball while any balls are still in motion.
- Deflecting cue ball prior to hitting the rack.
- Coaching. The referee may suspend play and warn the spectator or team member that coaching is not allowed and on the next instance a foul will be called on the player.
- Positioning the cue ball in front of the head string and plays a shot, after a scratch on a legal break.
- OBJECT BALL FROZEN TO THE RAIL:
If an object ball is frozen (touching) a rail, a shooter must either send it to another rail, legally pocket a ball or make sure that the cue ball or any other ball reaches a rail. Failure to do so is a foul.
- ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS:
Illegally pocketed balls are not re-spotted, except the 8-Ball on a break (refer clause 9).
- TOUCHING BALLS:
If the cue ball is directly touching one of the player’s group of balls, contact must still be made. A player does not have the option of playing away. It is necessary to make contact with that or another ball, and a ball must make contact with a rail. If the cue ball is touching one of the opponent’s balls, the player must play away from that ball, make contact with one of the player’s own balls, and make sure a ball is driven to the rail.
- JUMP SHOTS:
Jump shots are allowed. A jump shot is a shot in which the cue ball is intentionally made to leave the surface of the table after being hit by the cue stick. The cue ball must be struck above the equator. Scoop shots not allowed.
- COMBINATION SHOTS:
Combination shots using your opponent’s ball(s) or the 8 ball are allowed providing one of your group of balls is the first to be hit.
- BALLS JUMPED OFF TABLE:
If you drive an object ball off the table, it is a foul and the ball is not re-spotted.
- HANGING BALL:
A ball hanging precariously at the edge of a pocket falls in after being motionless for 5 seconds will be re-spotted as closely as possible to its position prior to falling.
- PLAYING THE 8 BALL:
As this is a call shot game, a shot on the 8-Ball need not be nominated if it is an obvious shot. A scratch or a foul on the shot is not loss of game unless the 8-Ball is pocketed or jumps off the table.
- LOSS OF GAME:
A player loses the game if he scratches after pocketing the 8-ball, jumps it off the table at any time, puts it in a pocket other than the one nominated, pockets it with any other balls left on the table, or scratches while pocketing it. If a player concedes, he loses the match. For example, if a player unscrews his jointed playing cue stick while the opponent is at the table and during the opponent’s decisive rack of a match, it will be considered a concession of the match.
- POCKETING OPPONENT’S BALL:
As long as your ball is the first ball hit, pocketing your opponent’s ball is not considered a foul, it is loss of turn only unless you also pocketed the ball that you nominated in the nominated pocket as well. The order is not relevant. You cannot nominate your opponent’s ball as a shot.
- INTENTIONAL FOULS:
Intentional fouls are allowed. Where the referee considers no legal shots are being attempted by players at the table, the referees may call the frame a stalemate and the frame will be re-played.
We must remind everyone that this is an amateur event, not a professional one. The matches are expected to be somewhat competitive, but the priority is for it to be an enjoyable experience. Cheering or otherwise supporting is welcomed but “sledging” a player is considered unsportsmanlike conduct. The match referee may intervene and ask the person offending to leave the area whilst the match is in play. Mobile phones are to be switched off or on silent when in hearing distance of the table.
- PLAYERS RESPONSIBILITY:
Players must choose their own shots. If there is any interference by any other person or persons that may influence a player’s shot choice than the referee may suspend play and warn the spectator or team member that coaching is not allowed and on the next instance a foul will be called on the player and the offending spectators or team members will be asked to leave the area for the remainder of the player’s match. Use of any electronic device while playing is strictly prohibited.
- REFEREE RESPONSIBILITY:
The match referee is to be totally responsive to players’ request for objective information, such as if a player or his opponent is on a foul and in general what rules apply. A referee when asked by a player for clarification of a rule shall explain the applicable rule to the best of the referee’s ability. The referee must not provide any subjective information such as how the table is playing. The Event also has a Head Referee who the match referee may consult in situations that require more clarity.
- FROZEN BALLS:
Frozen or touching balls are when the cue ball and object ball are in contact with each other. The referee must declare that the balls are frozen, and the player must be careful to avoid double contact with the cue and object balls. Failure to do so will be a foul shot and result in a ball in hand penalty.
- PLAYER NOT AVAILABLE TO COMMENCE GAME:
When a match referee calls for the nominated players to start a game and a player is absent and has not provided the match referee with prior notice, and to which the match referee has agreed, then the first frame shall be awarded to the opponent after 5 minutes has lapsed. If the player is still absent after a further 5 minutes, then the second frame is awarded to the opponent and frames will continue to be awarded to the opponent every 5 minutes until the winning number of frames is reached.
- TIME LIMITATION ON SHOT:
There is a 60 second time limit on all shots. The timing starts when all balls have become stationary. A time warning will be given by the referee once 45 seconds have elapsed that the player has 15 seconds to execute the shot. Each player has a maximum of two 30 second extensions per frame, one extension per shot. An extension is automatic after the sixty seconds has elapsed. A 15 second time warning also applies to the extended time. If the player fails to make the shot within the total timeframe then ball in hand is awarded to the opponent. Players should make every effort to not waste time during the frame.