Rules of Play

1.         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.

2.         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).

3.         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. Breaking player has the right to request a re-rack if there gaps between racked balls, or if the base of the rack is not positioned parallel to the table foot cushion.

4.         ORDER OF BREAK:

The winner of the coin toss will have the option to break or pass it on to his opponent. From then on the event frames will be alternating break.

5.         LEGAL BREAK SHOT:

The player 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 ask 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.

6.         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 in order to pocket a nominated ball.


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.


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 asking for a re-rack, re-break and continue to play. If he scratches while doing so, the same option will go to his opponent.


The incoming player has the option of having the 8 ball spotted or asking for a re-rack. The re-rack can be made by the incoming player or the player who made the illegal break, at the option of the incoming player. If the incoming player elects to have the 8 ball spotted, the incoming player now plays and the player who made the illegal break leaves the table.

10.     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.


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.

12.     FOULS:

The following infractions are considered fouls:

  1. Failure to execute a legal shot as defined in the rules.
  2. Pocketing the cue ball or driving any ball off the table.
  3. Failure to make first contact with any nominated ball.
  4. Shooting without at least 1 foot touching the floor.
  5. Failure to either pocket a ball or drive a ball to a rail during any shot.
  6. Moving or touching any ball by any means other than by legal play (this includes all body parts, articles of clothing, bridges and equipment).
  7. Picking up or shooting the cue ball while any balls are still in motion.
  8. Deflecting cue ball prior to hitting the rack.
  9. Coaching. Any member of a team called for coaching will result in a foul on the player shooting.
  10. Positioning the cue ball in front of the headstring and plays a shot, after a scratch on a legal break.


If an object ball is frozen (touching) a rail, a shooter must either send it to another rail or make sure that the cue ball or any other ball reaches a rail.  Failure to do so is a foul.


Illegally pocketed balls are not re-spotted, except the 8-Ball on a break (refer clause 9).


If the cue ball is directly touching one of the player’s group of balls, contact must still be made.   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, player must play away from that ball, make contact with one of player’s own balls, and make sure a ball is driven to the rail.

16.     JUMP SHOTS:

Jump shots are not 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


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.


If you drive an object ball off the table, it is a foul and the ball is not re-spotted.


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.


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.

21.     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.


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 are allowed, but are limited to a maximum of three (3) intentional fouls per frame. If the player exceeds this limit it is automatic loss of frame.


The Event wants to avoid enforcing time limits on players, but ask that everyone make an effort to shoot within a reasonable length of time.  Mobile phones are to be turned off by the players.


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.


A player must choose his own shots. If there is any interference by any other person or persons that may influence the players shot choice than the referee may suspend play and warn the Captain, or Team or spectator(s) that coaching is not allowed and on the next instance a foul will be called on the player and the offending player or spectator(s) will be asked to leave the area for the remainder of the players match.


It is the responsibility of the team Captains to know and understand the rules, and may approach the referee to deal with any problems or disputes that may arise, and intervene fairly in any matters that require mediation. A Captain should always keep in mind that he is an ambassador for his team.


The match referee shall be totally responsive to players inquiries regarding 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 his ability. The referee must not provide any subjective information such as how the table is playing. The Event also has a Head Referee and can be used by the match referee to consult in situations that require more clarity.


This is when the cue ball and object ball are in contact with each other or are less than one “cue chalk” apart. The referee must declare that the balls are frozen and the player must shoot the cue ball at an angle of at least 45% at the object ball. This is to avoid double contact with the cue and object balls. Failure to do so will be judged as a foul shot and will result in a ball in hand penalty


All Team Captains or Managers must provide the starting 20 players list which can also include up to 5 reserves no later than 30 minutes prior to the commencement of play of the first round.

The starting 20 players will be placed in groups of five and once nominated the order of players cannot be changed. Player substitutions are permitted only after round one, when team reserves can take the place of players in the team starting 20 players. The player substitution can only take place before the commencement of the new round and once nominated cannot be removed until after the completion of the round.  Once player lists are nominated the order of players cannot be changed. Once a player is substituted that player is not permitted to play again in the tournament.


If when the match referee calls for the nominated players to start the match and a player is absent and has not provided the match referee with prior notice that is agreed by the match referee then the frame shall be awarded to the opponent. If after a further 10 minutes the player is still absent then the second frame shall also be awarded to the opponent.

——————– END OF 8-BALL RULES ——————–

… and well done for reading them!!

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