1. 1 Definitions
  2. 2 Equipment
  3. 3 Determining First Break
  4. 4 Black Ball Rack
  5. 5 Break Shot
  6. 6 Open Table / Choosing Groups
  7. 7 Continuing Play
  8. 8 Cue Ball in Hand in Baulk
  9. 9 Touching Balls
  10. 10 Playing from a Snooker
  11. 11 Spotting Balls
  12. 12 Stalemate
  13. 13 Standard Fouls
  14. 14 Loss of Rack Fouls

Black ball is played with 15 colored object balls and the cue ball. The object balls are two groups of seven and the black ball. The player or team pocketing their group of object balls and legally pocketing the black ball wins the game. Shots are not called.

1 Definitions

The following definitions apply to black ball:

Free shot

After a foul has been committed the incoming player is awarded a free shot. On a free shot Rule Wrong Ball First is suspended and the player may take the cue ball in position or in hand in baulk.
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.

Baulk

Baulk is the rectangular area of the table that is bordered by the baulk line and the three cushions at the head of the table. The baulk line is parallel to the head rail and one fifth of the length of the playing surface away from the head cushion. For the applicable general rules, “behind the head string” should be read as “in baulk.”

Snookered

A player is said to be snookered when the cue ball has no straight, direct path to hit at least part of a legal target ball. The snooker must be declared by the referee for it to be in effect.

Ball On

An object ball is said to be “on” when it is a legal target for the shooter.

2 Equipment

The fifteen object balls include two groups of seven balls distinguished by two solid colors or by the usual pattern of numbered solids and stripes. (One through seven and nine through fifteen are the two groups.) In addition, there is a black ball or a black eight ball.
The foot spot and the baulk line should be marked.

3 Determining First Break

The player winning the lag has the option to determine who has to execute the first break shot. (See General Rule 2 Lagging to Determine Order of Play ) The standard format is alternate break (see Regulations).

4 Black Ball Rack

The balls are racked as illustrated with the black ball on the foot spot.

5 Break Shot

The following rules apply to the break shot.

  1. The cue ball begins in hand in baulk.
  2. At least one ball must be pocketed or at least two object balls must cross the center string or the break shot is a foul.
  3. If the black ball is pocketed on the break, all the balls are re-racked and the same player breaks again. Any violation of Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table or Ball Driven off the Table is ignored on a break that pockets the black ball.

Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table

If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, the shot is a foul.

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.

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.

6 Open Table / Choosing Groups

The table is said to be “open” when the players’ groups have not been decided. The table is open after the break shot and remains open until the shooter pockets balls from only one group on a legal normal shot, which means not a break shot and not a free shot. The shooter is then assigned that group of balls to pocket and the opponent is assigned the other group.

7 Continuing Play

The shooter remains at the table as long as he continues to legally pocket balls or the rack ends. If he fails to legally pocket a ball but commits no foul, the opponent shoots from the position left.

8 Cue Ball in Hand in Baulk

When the player has the cue ball in hand, he may place it by hand anywhere in baulk. The player may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball by hand until he takes a shot. The cue ball is not required to leave baulk before striking an object ball.

9 Touching Balls

If the cue ball is touching an object ball, the shooter must not play the cue ball in the direction of that ball. He is considered to have hit the touching ball when he shoots away from it if the ball is on for the shot.

10 Playing from a Snooker

When the shooter is snookered, Rule 6.3 No Rail after Contact is suspended for the shot.

11 Spotting Balls

Object balls driven off the table are spotted on the long string. If several balls are to be spotted, they are spotted in the following order: (1) the black ball, (2) balls from the group of the next shooter, or balls from the red, blue or solid group if the table is open, (3) other balls.

12 Stalemate

In case of a stalemate due to lack of progress towards a conclusion, the breaker of the rack will break again. A stalemate also occurs if the position does not allow any legal shot.

13 Standard Fouls

If the shooter commits a foul, play passes to his opponent. The incoming player has one free shot (see Free shot) as the first shot of his inning.

The following are standard fouls at black ball:

1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table

If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, the shot is a foul.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6 Touched Ball

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 16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

7 Double Hit / Frozen Balls

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.

8 Push Shot

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

9 Balls Still Moving

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

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.

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.

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 16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

15 Slow Play

If the referee 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 16 Unsportsmanlike Conduct may also apply.)

The following additional situations are fouls at black ball.

  1. Pocketing Opponent’s Ball – It is a foul to pocket an opponent’s ball without also pocketing a ball from your own group.
  2. Table Incorrect – It is a foul to play before all balls that require spotting have been spotted.
  3. Jump Shot. – Causing the cue ball to jump over any ball is a foul. (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.)

14 Loss of Rack Fouls

The player loses the rack if he:

  1. pockets the black ball on an illegal shot;
  2. pockets the black ball on a shot that leaves any of his group of balls on the table;
  3. intentionally violates 6.2 Wrong Ball First; or
  4. does not attempt to hit a ball on.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct will be penalized by loss of rack or other penalty depending on the nature of the conduct.

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;

  1. changing the position of the balls in play other than by a shot;
  2. playing a shot by intentionally miscuing;
  3. continuing to play after a foul has been called or play has been suspended; (e) practicing during a match;
  4. marking the table;
  5. delay of the game; and
  6. using equipment inappropriately.

Source: WPA

This post is also available in: German

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