In the event of sub-standard equipment, play might not be stopped or delayed unless conditions are severe. Particularly in tournament play, or other circumstances when time is limited, a match may be required to begin or continue on equipment such as a dirty or unlevel table. The final decision whether to start or continue play is solely at the judgment of the referee or Administrative Authority. If play continues, the Administrative Authority should make their best effort to correct the problem as soon as possible.
1. Situation: Player A, preparing to shoot a ball along the cushions and across the mouth of a side pocket, either pushes on the tip of the cushion or manipulates the cloth at the tip of the cushion at the side pocket.
Ruling: Foul, regardless of whether or not Player A attempts a shot.2. Situation: Player A, preparing to shoot, notices that the table spot is coming loose from the cloth and, being in the line of their shot, may affect the shot. Player A: (a) without consulting a referee or their opponent, removes the spot before shooting; (b) requests a referee to remove or replace the spot.Ruling: (a) - Foul, regardless of whether or not Player A attempts the shot; (b) the referee will, at a minimum, remove the spot, and replace it if possible in a manner that does not delay the game unnecessarily.Discussion: If requested, the referee will immediately address and correct the condition if possible, subject to time restraints and equipment availability as determined by the Administrative Authority of the event.It is not necessarily reasonable to expect that a player should be responsible for an in-depth knowledge of every detail of the provided equipment. Certain flaws or defects in the equipment may escape notice until they are likely to affect a specific situation. If it is reasonable to expect that the problem would be corrected if found before a game commenced, then it should be corrected during the course of a game, time and resources permitting.However, players are still bound by the procedural requirement to gain the permission of a referee or event official before making an alteration. If a player performs any act altering the provided equipment without such permission, it is a foul.
Rule 1-3-1-c: Instances have been documented in which chalk that appears to closely match the color of the cloth actually appears as a contrasting color when it comes off on the cloth. Chalk proven to cause this problem may be prohibited despite the initial appearance of compatibility.1. Situation: Player A lays their cue on the table to help line up a shot, then uses a second cue, a mechanical bridge, or other equipment to assist as well
Ruling: Foul. Only a single cue, held in the hand or not, may be used.
2. Situation: Player A, attempting to gain additional reach, partially unscrews their jointed cue in order to lengthen it.
3. Situation: Player A, preparing to shoot a jump shot, unscrews the extended butt from their jump-break cue and places it in a pocket. They then forget that the butt is in the pocket and leave it there after their inning. Player B shoots and a ball (a) rebounds from the pocket; (b) is pocketed despite the presence of the butt.
Ruling: (a) foul on Player A; (b) The result of the shot stands and the game continues.
Discussion: With the exception of chalk left on the rail, if equipment used by a player and left at the table directly interferes with their opponent’s shot, it is a foul on the player that left the equipment. If a player leaves equipment at the table and it is discovered before it interferes with the game, or if it interacts with the balls during a shot without causing a disadvantage to the opponent, it shall be removed without penalty, but a warning may be issued.
4. Situation: Player A shoots and a ball leaves the bed of the table, strikes a piece of Player B's personal chalk that they left on the rail, and falls back on the bed of the table.
Discussion: Personal chalk left on a rail is an exception to the responsibility principle of Rule 1-3-1 as applied in Situation 3 above. Personal chalk is considered a hazard for the shooter regardless of ownership.
5. Situation: Player A, with ball in hand, places the cue ball very close to two object balls that are near each other, one legal and one illegal. Player A then picks up the cue ball and re-places it in a different position before shooting toward the same object balls. Player B calls a foul for measuring.
Ruling: Whether Player A attempted a measurement is determined by the referee's judgment. The referee must carefully consider the position of the table and information gathered from the players concerning Player A’s actions.
6. Situation: Player A uses markings, inlays or rings on their cue, their finger, or a piece of chalk to measure a gap between two balls or between a ball and a cushion.
Ruling: Foul. Violation of Rule 1-3-g.
7. Situation: Player A aligns a bank shot or kick shot by using their cue or hands to judge the distance between a ball and pocket, ball and cushion, or between balls.
Ruling: Legal under Rule 1-3-f. The prohibition on measuring under Rule 1-3-g applies specifically to whether or not a ball will pass through a gap. However, in measuring for banks or kicks, the only device that may be used (in addition to your hands) is a single cue (Situation 1 applies).
8. Situation: Player A places a mark on their ferrule or other part of the cue in order to keep the cue aligned a certain way for every shot.Ruling: Legal.
1. Situation: After a match begins, a player wishes to borrow or purchase a cue or other equipment for use in their match.
Ruling: A match may not be delayed to borrow or buy equipment. A player may borrow equipment from someone in the immediate vicinity of the table, but may leave the area to borrow or purchase equipment only during an authorized time-out.
2. Situation: Player B questions the legality of Player A's cue and summons a referee (a) before Player A has used the cue to execute a shot; (b) after Player A has used the cue to execute a shot. In both cases (a) and (b), the referee determines that the cue is illegal.
Ruling: (a) No foul, but the cue must be removed from play; (b) Foul.
"Present at the table" means in the immediate vicinity of the actual table or tables to which the match is assigned. While that may be taken to include the area immediately outside the rails, seating, or other barriers defining the players' area, not much leeway will be granted. For instance: just entering the doors of the room that are a considerable distance away and then hurrying to get to the assigned table does not constitute presence at the table.If there is confusion over an administrative issue or if a player has been summoned by a Tournament Director or their representative, the presence of the player at the tournament desk may be sufficient. All cases involving presence at the table are decided at the sole discretion of the referee or Tournament Director.
Situation: Player A, with ball in hand and preparing to break with the cue ball resting in the kitchen, adjusts the position of the cue ball very slightly with a motion of the cue that meets the definition of “Legal Stroke”.
1. Situation: During a match, Player A approaches an unused table on which there are some object balls and a cue ball. Player A then (a) assumes a normal stance and bridge and shoots the cue ball directly into a pocket; (b) without assuming a normal stance or forming a bridge, uses a forward stroke motion to tap an object ball, contacting the ball with the tip of the cue and rolling it a few inches.
Ruling: (a) and (b): Foul.
Discussion: Any forward stroke motion that includes the tip contacting any ball will be considered a shot, regardless of whether or not a shooting stance or bridge is used, or whether or not the ball contacted is a cue ball or an object ball. Simply put, if the act would be considered a stroke or shot during the course of a game, it will be considered a practice stroke or shot as well. Exceptions: see Situation 2.
2. Situation: Between games of a match, and on the same table as the match is being played on, it is Player A's turn to break. Player A uses a cue to push balls left over from the previous game down to the foot of the table, contacting the balls with the cue tip in a forward stroke motion.
Ruling: Legal, provided there is no indication that Player A is attempting to practice or gain knowledge about the table with the strokes. While not encouraged, moving balls to the opposite end of the table for racking is considered an exception to Rule 1-8.
Team play: In team play, the timing of a foul issued because of practice by a player not actually playing a game at the time of the offense is dependent on the arrival of the referee at the tables involved in the match. If the referee verifies that practice has occurred, they will proceed to the tables the match is being played on and suspend play on all tables regardless of the progress of any game (Rule 9-4-1-e applies). The penalties for the foul shall then immediately be applied to all tables.If a table is between games when play is suspended, no penalty will be applied to that table. If all tables are between games, no penalty is applied on the first offense but a warning will be issued to the offending team’s captain. For second and subsequent offenses, if any table is between games when the penalty is applied then the offended team will be:
a. awarded the option to break if it is not their turn to break;b. awarded ball in hand on the first shot after the break if it is their turn to break. The penalty is not applied if there is a foul on the break.
General Discussion: When requesting that a player at the table stop shooting, or when requesting information concerning what shot is being played, requests should be made as soon as possible. While Rules 1-9-1 and 1-16-2 specify that questions must be asked prior to a player being down on a shot, situations may arise in which it is not apparent what the shooter intends to do before they start to go down on the shot.Remember that, by definition, "down on the shot" means having settled completely into a shooting position with a bridge established and pre-shot practice strokes, if any, imminent or in progress. While the player’s shooting style will be considered, simply leaning over the table and placing the bridge hand on the bed does not necessarily constitute being down on a shot.In particular, a normally quick shooter may not use their style as an excuse to circumvent their opponent’s right to obtain information. Players that choose to use a style that has little or no pre-shot routine, or a style that has no warm-up stroke motions, must take extra care to either communicate their intentions to their opponent or allow their opponent sufficient time to ask questions or summon a referee.In no case may a shooter, regardless of their style of play, intentionally try to get down on a shot quickly in an attempt to prevent an opponent from asking a question or stopping play. It is also not permissible to lead the non-shooter to believe that you intend to play one shot, then quickly adjust and play a different shot without giving them time to request information or stop play. Either of those situations may be treated as Unsportsmanlike Conduct.If a shooter has just leaned over the table to assume a shooting position but has not yet firmly established the position and started or prepared to start practice strokes, it is still permissible to stop play. At the same time, to help prevent that situation from occurring, when in the chair you must make a reasonable effort to remain alert and to anticipate situations in which you may want to stop play or request information, and do so before the shooter starts to go down on the shot.If you wish to stop play in order to summon a referee, you must clearly let your opponent know and ensure that your opponent acknowledges your request. If, during your opponent's turn, you leave the table or area to summon a referee without first stopping play, your opponent may continue to shoot without penalty.Thorough and clear communication is required of all players. If a dispute arises, or if players have persistent problems regarding this issue during a match, the referee will be the sole judge of what remedies or penalties shall be imposed, and both players may be subject to unsportsmanlike conduct warnings or penalties.During extended stoppages or suspensions caused by unusual circumstances (e.g., loss of power or equipment failure,) referees or event officials may temporarily suspend Rule 1-8 at their discretion and allow players to practice during the delay.1. Situation: Player A is completely down on the shot with a bridge established. As Player A is preparing to shoot, Player B requests a stoppage. Player A attempts to halt their shot, but contacts the cue ball. The resulting action of the balls would normally constitute a foul.Ruling: Foul on Player B. Player A accepts the object balls in position.Discussion: This situation is an exception to the principle that a foul by one player can override an earlier foul in the same inning (see AR 1-24 Situation 1). The result of Player A's action was directly caused by Player B's untimely interruption, and the shot that would have been a foul does not override the foul by Player B.2. Situation: Player A calls a shot and Player B requests that play be stopped so a referee may be called. While waiting for a referee, Player A decides to play a different shot, and shoots without the permission of Player B or the referee.Ruling: Foul on Player A. Even if the shot is changed, once play has stopped Player A must receive permission from either a referee or Player B to shoot.
General Discussion: It is your responsibility to know when it is your turn to break. If the incorrect player breaks a game and the error is discovered before the game is completed, the game will be re-racked with the proper player breaking. If the error is not discovered until after the game is completed then the results of the game are final.When the procedure for breaking subsequent games of a match calls for alternating breaks, if the incorrect player breaks a game and the error is discovered after the game is completed, the original order of the break in the following games shall remain as if no error had occurred.The winner of the lag decides who breaks the first game of the match. In subsequent games, the break must follow the procedure required by either specific game rules or event regulations. You may not voluntarily pass the break to your opponent. Intentionally executing an illegal break in order to avoid breaking will be penalized as Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
To ensure play is not delayed, an undue amount of time shall not be spent attempting to put out a perfect rack if the apex ball will not stay exactly on the foot spot. If the apex ball consistently shifts slightly when attempting to rack, it is permissible to adjust the position of the remaining balls to match the position of the settled apex ball.
General Discussion: The shot clock procedures for CSI play are designed to ensure accelerated play if the Administrative Authority deems it necessary. Referees will observe matches and provide advice to the Administrative Authority, but they will not normally place a match on a shot clock on their own unless they have judged that a player is delaying a match in an unsportsmanlike manner.Experience clearly shows that complaints from players are most always the result of a clash of styles between a speedy player and a deliberate player, which does not justify placing a match on a shot clock. Historically, when referees observe players accused of playing slowly, it is rare for the average shot time of the “slow” player to exceed 45 seconds. You are not encouraged to pursue relief from a referee unless circumstances are severe.When a player is down on the shot at the ten-second mark, the pause in the shot clock is intended to allow the player to complete their normal shooting routine without fear of having a foul announcement made as they are preparing to execute the stroke. The pause is not intended to give the player an extended amount of time to continue studying the table. If the referee judges that a player is abusing the pause in order to gain an unfair advantage with respect to studying the table or making decisions, the referee may announce "ten" at their discretion and the shot clock will resume as provided for in Rule 1-15-3-c.Situation: After having announced “ten” the timekeeper calls "foul" just as Player A is moving the cue forward on a shot, and the cue tip does not contact the cue ball before the foul is called. The player cannot stop the cue in time to keep the shot from occurring.Ruling: Foul. Player B accepts the object balls in position.
Terms: When the term "call" or "calling" is used in the rules or Applied Rulings, it refers to the act of a player explicitly communicating their intentions to their opponent, either verbally or by gesture, for the purpose of calling a shot defined as not obvious. Likewise, a reference to "not calling", "without calling" or 'did not call", indicates that the player did not explicitly communicate their intentions before a shot defined as not obvious.Referee's presence: When a referee is at the table, they assume the duties and responsibilities of the non-shooting player, and any statement made by the shooter and heard by the referee, such as calling a shot, shall be considered sufficient notification to the non-shooting player. For shots other than those defined as not obvious, if a referee at a table is satisfied that the intended shot is made, the referees judgment takes precedence over any doubt that the player in the chair may have. Figure 10-5 applies to the following situations. Multiple shots are represented. In all cases, Player A is shooting and all object balls are legal balls.
1. Situation: Player A, with the cue ball at position C1, addresses the shot to pocket the 2-ball in pocket A. Both players consider the shot obvious. Player A misses the direct shot and the 2-ball travels four cushions around the table, returning to be pocketed in A.
Ruling: Legal. Player A's inning continues. Rule 1-16-7 applies.
2. Situation: Player A, with the cue ball at position C2, addresses the shot intending to play a combination shot and calls the 7-ball in pocket C. Player B acknowledges the call. The 3-ball misses the 7-ball entirely, but the cue ball follows behind and contacts the 7-ball, pocketing it in C.
Ruling: Legal. Player A's inning continues. The fact that the combination was not completed as intended is overridden by the fact that the called ball was made in the called pocket.
3. Situation: Player A, with the cue ball at position C3, addresses the shot to pocket the 5-ball in pocket B. Both players consider the shot obvious. The 5-ball rattles in the jaws of pocket B and stops, after which the cue ball follows behind it and pockets it into Pocket B.
Note: The rulings and principles for Situations 1 and 3 do not apply to Bank Pool, in Figure 10-6 which the specific number of rails to be contacted must be designated in advance and incidental kisses are not permitted.4. Situation: (Material moved to Rule 1-17-2.)
1. Situation: Player A mistakes an object ball for the cue ball and shoots with the object ball unintentionally acting as the cue ball.
Ruling: Foul. Player B accepts the object balls in position.
2. Situation: Player A shoots and the intended object ball rebounds from the pocket. Neither the cue ball nor any other ball contacts a cushion or is pocketed.
Ruling: the ball is not pocketed, but the shot is legal. For meeting the requirements of Rule 1-19-1-b, any ball that rebounds from a pocket is considered to have contacted a cushion.
3. Situation: Player A shoots and the intended object ball comes to rest within the mouth of a pocket but without contacting a cushion. The edge of the ball is past the nose of one or both cushions (Figure 10-6). Neither the cue ball nor any other ball contacts a cushionor is pocketed.
Ruling: Foul. The edge of a ball coming to rest past the nose of a cushion does not constitute contact with the cushion. Figure 10-7 applies to Situation 4. The 3-ball near pocket A has been declared frozen to the cushion.
4. Situation: Player A, with the 3-ball as a legal object ball, contacts the 3-ball, driving it across the mouth of the side pocket and contacting the cushion on the other side. Neither the cue ball nor any other object ball contacts a cushion or is pocketed.
Ruling: Legal shot.
5. Situation: The cue ball simultaneously contacts a cushion and an object ball frozen tothat cushion. There are no other balls or cushions contacted and no ball is pocketed.
Ruling: Legal shot.
Figure 10-8 applies to Situation 6. Multiple shots are represented. The 1-ball, 4-ball andthe 6-ball have been declared frozen to the cushion.6. Situation: (a) Player A, with the 7-ball as a legal object ball, shoots at the 7. The cueball contacts the 7-ball, and then contacts the 1-ball. Neither the 7-ball nor the 1-ballcontacts any other cushion. The cue ball does not contact a cushion. (b) Player A, withthe 4-ball as a legal object ball, shoots at the 4. The cue ball contacts the 4-ball, and thencontacts the 6-ball. Neither the 4-ball nor the 6-ball contacts any other cushion. The cueball does not contact a cushion.
Ruling: (a) and (b) - Foul. Since the balls were declared frozen, the cue ballcontacting them does not constitute cushion contact. Rule 1-19-5 applies.Figure 10-9 applies to Situation 7. The 5-ball near pocket A has been declared frozen tothe cushion.
7. Situation: Player A, with the 5-ball as a legal object ball, contacts the 5-ball, driving itaway from the cushion. Then, because of an imperfection in the table or other reason, the5-ball returns to the same cushion without contacting another ball. Neither the cue ballnor any other object ball contacts a cushion or is pocketed.
Ruling: Foul. To be legal, the 5-ball must contact an object ball before returning to the cushion it was frozen to at the beginning of the shot.
The cue ball is frozen to the 10-ball, with the 3-ball close by but not frozen to the cue ball. Under Rule 1-20-2, the shooter may shoot toward the 10-ball using any legal stroke, and by rule the contact between the cue ball and the 10-ball will be legal. However, if the shooter elects to use an angle that drives the cue ball toward the 3-ball, there is a possibility that a violation of Rule 1-30 may occur with respect to the cue ball and 3-ball, creating a double hit foul under Rule 1-30 regardless of the legality of the initial contact with the 10-ball.This is only one of countless possibilities. Care should be taken anytime another object ball or cushion is near the frozen cue ball, as well as near the ball or cushion to which it is frozen.When the cue ball is frozen to an object ball, a foul can still occur if the cue tip is kept in contact with the cue ball for longer than a normal stroke, resulting in a push shot.
General Discussion: There is no requirement for a player that fouls to make their opponent aware of the foul. Also there is no requirement that an incoming player, before taking ball in hand, confirm that a shooter has fouled.While CSI hopes that good sportsmanship and good communication prevail, situations will inevitably arise in which there is a disagreement between players whether a foul was committed. In such a situation, if the incoming player takes ball in hand without consulting with their opponent, and then a referee cannot positively determine that the opponent did indeed foul, the incoming player has touched the cue ball with no basis to do so, and will be charged with a foul. However, the basis for the foul will be Rule 1-33-7-a, and it will not be considered a deliberate foul under Rule 1-40-a.If a foul occurs on the last shot of a game, or if scoring errors occur at the end of a game or in the game count, you must call the foul or note the error before the break shot of the next game has occurred. If the foul or errors in question occur in the last game of a match, they must be noted before both players have left the playing area.
Situation: Player A commits a foul during the shot. Player B approaches the table to take ball-in-hand and picks up the cue ball while the cue ball or any other ball on the table is still in motion.
Ruling: Foul on Player B under Rule 1-40-b-2
Discussion: In general, if one or more fouls is committed by each player during the same shot, the last foul overrides the earlier fouls and is the only foul enforced. (Exception: see AR 1-9 Situation 1).
Rule 1-30-2: The term "fine angle" used in Rule 1-30-2 is often referred to in various other ways, including the common terms "thinning", "feathering", "sharp cut" or "barely grazing". However, when attempting to avoid a foul by complying with the provisions of the rule, there is not necessarily a particular angle that will guarantee a legal shot in any given circumstance. Whether a shot of this type is legal is affected by several factors, and the referee's judgment is final. Please see the discussion at AR 10-2 situation 2 for additional information.
In that situation, however, it is also possible that an unintentional miscue may happen, and a double hit foul will occur during the miscue with the second contact being with the ferrule or the shaft, as opposed to the tip.A simple miscue, with no associated double hit foul as described above, has no effect on a shot under the rules. If there is no associated double hit, and a called ball is pocketed despite a miscue, it is simply a lucky occurrence for the shooter.
Situation: Player A, (a) while breaking, or (b) on a shot after the break, accidentally contacts the cue ball during a practice stroke, then immediately executes a shot while the cue ball is still in motion or after it has come to rest.
Ruling: (a) and (b): Foul under Rule 1-30, regardless of whether the second stroke was deliberate or impulsive.
General Discussion: The term "cue ball fouls only", while a misnomer, is so commonly used that CSI will continue its use. However, as the rule describes, it clearly does not mean that no fouls can occur if the cue ball is not involved. The term applies to fouls involving disturbed balls under Rule 1-33.The term “outcome of the shot” is considered to mean only the action of the balls on the table as a result of the immediate shot, and is not related to the ending position of the table or any effect the ending position may have on the desires, strategy or intentions of the offended player.The effect of the above statement is that, while extremely rare, it is possible that a foul may be committed under Rule 1-33 that results in the offended player being left in an undesirable position. However, the possibility of such an event is outweighed by theoffended player (in most games) having ball in hand and the strategic advantages that are inherent with it.If it can be determined that an offending player deliberately created a situation that was detrimental to the offended player by abusing the provisions of Rule 1-33, it may be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and the offended player may be awarded a remedy to counteract the undesirable position.Whether a ball has passed through the area originally occupied by a disturbed ball is at the sole judgment of the referee.
Discussion: Rule 1-33-6: The “game winning ball” is designated by rule in 8-Ball, 9-Ball and 10-Ball. In One Pocket and Bank Pool, a ball is designated as the game-winning ball if it is the last ball on the table and the shooter needs only one more ball to win the game. There is never a specific game-winning ball in 14.1 Continuous.
1. Situation: Player A accidentally moves an object ball while establishing their bridge. Then, while standing up off the shot to resolve the situation, Player A again accidentally touches or moves the same object ball.
Ruling: The second or subsequent accidental touches on the same object ball are considered to be a single act. Player B may elect options in accordance with Rule 1-33-3. Only the original position or final position of the disturbed ball may be elected. Intermediate positions between accidental movements may not be elected.
2. Situation: Player A accidentally disturbs an object ball and, (a) while the disturbed ball is still in motion or (b) after it comes to rest, intentionally touches it or picks it up to replace it before Player B makes a decision on restoration.
Ruling: Foul under Rule 1-33-3. In (a) the disturbed ball must be restored. In (b) Player B may elect to have the ball restored or placed in its disturbed location.
3. Situation: The 3-ball touches the cue ball.Ruling: Foul under Rule 1-33-7-c.4. Situation: The 3-ball does not contact the cue ball but moves along the line of the shot and comes to rest as indicated in Figure 10-11a. The cue ball moves along path C-1.
Discussion: Be careful not to confuse the terms involving disturbed balls. A disturbed ball is not a ball set in motion as a result of the shot, and the area originally occupied by a ball set in motion as a result of the shot is not relevant. In this situation the cue ball is not a disturbed ball. The fact that the 3-ball passed through the area originally occupied by the cue ball is irrelevant.
5. Situation: The 3-ball does not contact the cue ball but moves along the line of the shot and comes to rest as indicated in Figure 10-11a. The cue ball moves along path C-2.
Ruling: Foul. The cue ball passed through the area originally occupied by the disturbed 3-ball.
Figure 10-12 applies to Situation 6.
6. Situation: While Player A is shooting, during the backwards motion of the cue immediately prior to forward motion of the stroke, the cue accidentally contacts the 3-ball and moves it away from the cue ball as indicated. The shot is then executed.
Discussion: This situation is an exception to the strict interpretation of Rule 1-33-2 and Rule 1-33-4. At the beginning of the shot, even if the cue ball is within the area originally occupied by the disturbed ball (¼” or closer), the initial motion of the cue ball, away from the original position of the disturbed ball, is not to be construed as a ball set in motion passing through the area originally occupied by the disturbed ball. However, if the cue ball returns to that area later in the shot, Rule 1-33-4 then applies and the shot becomes a foul.
If the referee judges that the motion of the disturbed ball is intentional, it will be considered a deliberate foul under Rule 1-40-c.
7. Situation: Player A commits a foul, after which the cue ball is still on the table. Player B approaches the table and accidentally picks up an object ball, mistaking it for the cue ball. No other ball is disturbed.
Ruling: No foul on Player B. The object ball is restored and Player B continues with ball in hand.
8. Situation: Player A is down on a shot. After disturbing a single ball, Player A stands up off the shot. Player A does not communicate with Player B concerning the disturbed ball. Player B is (a) aware of the disturbed ball, but say says nothing; (b) not aware of the disturbed ball. With no action having been taken by either player concerning the disturbed ball, Player A now goes down on the shot a second time and shoots.
Ruling: (a) and (b): No foul - play continues.
Discussion: The shooter has no obligation to notify their opponent that a ball has been disturbed. In (a), if the shooter’s opponent observes a disturbed ball and does not explicitly communicate their desire to restore the ball, it constitutes a decision to leave the disturbed ball where it came to rest. In (b), it is the responsibility of the shooter’s opponent to be aware of all action on the table.
9. Situation: Player A disturbs a ball and Player B opts to have it restored. Without the assistance of a referee, both players discuss and agree on the position of the restored ball. As Player A is preparing to shoot, either Player A or Player B decides that the restored position is not accurate, and (a) requests that the position of the restored ball be changed; (b) moves the ball to a different position.
Ruling: (a) - The ball will remain in the first position agreed on by the players; (b) - foul on the player that moved the ball.
Discussion: Once players have agreed on a position for a restored ball, the decision is final. (also See Discussion Situation 10)
10. Situation: Player A has disturbed the 7-ball before shooting, and Player B has made their decision regarding restoration. Player A then shoots, and a ball set in motion by the shot contacts the 7-ball.
Ruling: No effect – play continues.
Discussion: Situations 9 and 10, Once a decision has been made concerning whether to restore that ball then the position decided on is final and becomes the original position of that ball from that point forward. Any further intentional movement of the object ball is a deliberate foul under Rule 1-40-c. Particularly when restoring a ball without the assistance of a referee, players must ensure that they have reached a satisfactory agreement on the restored position.
11. Situation: Player A legally pockets the game winning ball and all of the balls on the table have stopped moving. Player A then disturbs more than one object ball.
Ruling: No effect – Player A wins the game.
The only relevant information concerning this rule is the position of the object or cue ball, as defined by Rule 1-35, when it makes contact with another ball or a cushion. That position is the base of the ball. The edges of the ball have no relevance. Figure 10-13 applies to the situations that follow. Multiple cue ball positions and shots are represented. Cue ball position C2 and the 1-ball are above the head string (behind the line). The 3-ball is below the head string (out of the kitchen). The 5-ball is on the head string. In all situations, Player A has cue ball in hand behind the line and all object balls are legal object balls.
1. Situation: Player A shoots from position C1, contacting the 3-ball while the cue ball isstill behind the line.
Ruling: Legal. The 3-ball is below the head string (out of the kitchen). The position of the cue ball when it strikes the 3-ball is not relevant.
2. Situation: Player A shoots from position C1, contacting the 5-ball.
Ruling: Legal. The 5-ball is on the head string, which is not part of the kitchen.
3. Situation: Player A calls the 4-ball in Pocket B, shoots from position C1, contacts the 3-ball, and then draws the cue ball back to pocket the 4-ball.
Ruling: Legal. The 4-ball was not the first ball contacted by the cue ball, and the first ball contacted was below the head string (out of the kitchen).
4. Situation: Player A calls the 4-ball in pocket B, and then shoots from position C2 with extreme spin. The cue ball contacts the side cushion at a point below the head string, and then pockets the 4-ball.
Ruling: Legal. The cue ball’s contact with the first cushion was below the head string (out of the kitchen).
5. Situation: Player A calls the 1-ball in Pocket A, and then shoots from position C3, cutting the 1-ball into Pocket A. The cue ball is past the head string when it contacts the 1-ball.
Ruling: Foul. The 1-ball was behind the head string and was the first ball contacted by the cue ball. The cue ball did not contact a cushion at a point below the head string before contacting the 1-ball, nor was the cue ball's first contact with a ball below the head string. The fact that the cue ball crossed the head string before contacting the 1-ball is irrelevant.
6. Situation: Player A calls an object ball that is outside of the kitchen, then places the cue ball in position C4 and kicks at the called ball by contacting a cushion behind the head string first.
Ruling: Foul. The cue ball’s contact with the first cushion was behind the line (in the kitchen).
General Discussion: With cue ball in hand, the freedom to place the ball anywhere on the table does not include placement of the ball for the purpose of measuring a gap between balls, between a ball and a cushion, or in an attempt to determine whether a ball can be contacted before another ball. The provisions of Rule 1-3-1-g apply to ball in hand placement, and a foul may occur if any particular use, placement or motion of the cue ball, while in hand, violates that rule. It is not necessarily a defense against a foul for a player with ball in hand to use the cue ball in such a manner, and then claim that they were considering shooting from a particular position and changed their mind. Whether a foul has occurred in such a situation is at the sole judgment of the referee.Rule 1-38-3: If the referee picks up the cue ball to give it to a player for ball in hand and disturbs one or more balls when doing so, they must be restored by the referee.
Situation: Player A, with ball in hand, drops the cue ball into a pocket or knocks it into a pocket before executing a stroke.
Ruling: Player A still has ball in hand.
Rule 1-40-b: This rule does not apply to handing or moving the cue ball to the opponent after a foul has already been committed.1. Situation: Player A plays a shot that is legal in all respects. As the cue ball is slowing at the end of the shot, Player A lightly taps the rail with his hand in a gesture of desire for the cue ball to stop rolling.
Ruling: Legal, provided the referee judges that the tapping was not hard enough to interfere with the action or position of any ball on the table.
2. Situation: Player A disturbs a ball and, either while the disturbed ball is still in motion or after it has come to rest and before Player B has a chance to exercise the option to leave it in place, touches it or picks it up in order to restore its position.
3. Situation: Playing on a table with a ball return system. Player A, either as the shooter or the non-shooting player, attempts to retrieve any ball by reaching into a pocket after the ball has been pocketed but before it has entered the ball return system.
Ruling: Deliberate foul under Rule 1-40-d. Exception: legal if the pocketed ball is stationary but has remained in the pocket because of a defect in the pocket lining or ball return system.
It is common for Administrative Authorities to modify or relax coaching rules during doubles or team play. It is also common to have controversies caused by that situation. When coaching rules have been modified, you must be sure that you understand the modifications and that you take care not to violate them.Billiards-related written reference material, or such material accessed through electronic means, may not be consulted during your match.
Exceptions: Score sheets (including foul counts and any other necessary scoring information) and other match-related administrative material. The CSI Rule Book may also be consulted. However, a match may not be delayed unnecessarily to consult a rule book. If you have a rules-related question, summon a referee for assistance.
Players should advise their acquaintances that will be spectators not to make comments to them concerning the game during a match, other than to provide general encouragement. Spectators associated with the player put the player at risk of a coaching foul if they make certain specific comments about the progress of a game or specific events of the game.
The non-shooting player has certain rights with regard to inspecting the position of the table prior to their opponent being down on a shot. For example, checking whether the cue ball is frozen to an object ball, checking whether balls are frozen to a cushion, or whether a ball is in or out of the kitchen are permitted.The non-shooting player may also inspect the position of the table for the express purpose of deciding whether to call a referee to watch a shot. However, they may not inspect the table simply to see whether an object ball has a clear path to a pocket or for any other reason that has no bearing on the need to call a referee.
This rule is a natural extension of Rule 1-44, Concession of Match, and is designed to enforce good and proper sportsmanship at the end of every game. It is also specifically designed to acknowledge that the game is frequently the subject of valid interests of spectators and media who have a reasonable expectation of viewing a complete game.CSI requires all players to complete every game on the table, and to use extra care in choosing their words and actions toward the end of a game. If a dispute arises as to whether a concession has occurred, the referee’s judgment will be final.
1. Situation: In a game of 8-Ball, the 8-ball is the only ball left on the table. Player A shoots, misses and scratches, leaving the 8-ball hanging on the lip of a pocket and giving up ball in hand to Player B. Player A takes their chair without saying anything. Player B approaches the table, retrieves the rack and moves the 8-Ball to the rack in preparation for racking the next game.
Ruling: Violation of Rule 1-43-4 by Player B. Loss of game.
2. Situation: In a game of 9-Ball, Player A breaks, makes the 9-ball and scratches. Then: (a) Player B, not realizing that Player A scratched, gathers the balls to the foot of the table in preparation for racking the next game; (b) Player A, not realizing that they scratched, gathers the balls to the foot of the table in preparation for racking the next game.
Ruling: (a) Loss of game for Player B; (b) loss of game for Player A. Both (a) and (b) are violations of Rule 1-43-4
Situation: Players A and B are both on the hill. Player A, having broken the final game of the match with a break cue and not pocketing a ball, retires to the chair. While Player B is at the table, Player A unscrews their break cue to put it away.
Ruling: No concession. The cue Player A unscrewed was not their playing cue.
General Discussion: Unless specifically stated otherwise, no act, failure to act, statement, or omission of information that would normally be legal under the rules is exempt from being penalized under Rule 1-45 if it is the judgment of a referee or other event official that it was committed in an unsportsmanlike manner.The situation from the above discussion of Rule 1-44, Concession of Match, will serve to demonstrate the principle. Despite the specific wording of Rule 1-44 and AR 1-44 that goes with it, if a referee judged that the timing, body language, relative positions of the players, or any other pertinent information relative to the unscrewing of the break cue gave the clear overall effect of an unsportsmanlike act, the player would still be subject to penalties under Rule 1-45.Particular sensitivity will be applied to issues involving communication between players. Attempts to manipulate the rules concerning communicating and acknowledging called shots, safeties, or other required information will receive special scrutiny. For instance, acknowledging a called shot or safety with a barely perceptible nod and then trying to claim later that you did not acknowledge the call will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct. It is incumbent on both players at all times to ensure that clear communication takes place.
Team Penalties: In team play, unsportsmanlike conduct violations committed by team members who are not involved in a game will be penalized as team fouls. Penalties, if applicable to play, will be applied to all tables.Penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct violations committed by team members that are involved in a game may be applied to the player or the team, at the discretion of the referee.Multiple Violations of general unsportsmanlike conduct warnings and penalties will be noted by event officials and records maintained throughout the event. Penalties specified by the rules as being cumulative during a match carry forward only through the match. However, repeated willful violations of the rules, or any current or previous pattern of misconduct, may be considered by event officials in determining penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.
1. Situation: Player A, wanting to end their inning but not wanting to disturb the lay of the table, taps the cue ball with a legal stroke, moving it only slightly and not attempting to complete a legal shot.
Ruling: (a) foul on Player A. It is not Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
Discussion: The intentional commission of a foul, which frequently occurs when a player executes a foul shot that gives up ball in hand but still puts their opponent at a disadvantage, is an accepted practice. This is not a deliberate foul as addressed by Rule 1-40 and Rule 1-45-4. A common example is a player, in an 8-Ball game, intentionally shooting at the opponents group in order to pocket the opponent’s ball or move it into an unfavorable position. Even though the shooter gives up ball in hand, they hope that the resulting position of the table works in their favor. During this type of shot, the foul is contacting an illegal object ball first, but otherwise the shot is executed legally, using the cue ball and using a legal stroke.However, if the shot were executed by contacting the object ball directly with the cue, the foul would be penalized under Rule 1-40, with a mandatory warning given (assuming only one ball was moved), and a loss of game being awarded on the second offense.
2. Situation: During a match, Player A asks Player B if it is legal to use a certain cue or piece of equipment. Player B, knowing that the cue or equipment is illegal and that it would be a foul to use it: (a) remains silent or responds "I don't know"; (b) gives a response that specifically or implicitly gives Player A permission to use the cue or leads Player A to believe that the cue is legal. Player A uses the cue to execute a shot.
Ruling: (a) foul on Player A; (b) unsportsmanlike conduct by Player B with loss of game for the first violation.
Discussion: Players are not required to assist their opponents in any way. In (a), Player A proceeds at their own peril, and should consult a referee if they desire further information. In (b), it is willful unsportsmanlike conduct for Player B to trap Player A into a foul. During a match, players committing the willful act of providing incorrect or misleading information to their opponents are not protected by Rule 1-1-2 if their opponent commits a foul based on that information. In that instance, their opponents are relieved of their responsibility for knowledge of the correct information under Rule 1-1. The protection of Rule 1-1-2 is specifically reserved for event officials and referees. If you have a question concerning the rules, you should always consult a referee or event official rather than your opponent.
1. Situation: In 14.1 Continuous, after racking fourteen balls to continue the game, the fifteenth ball is illegally pocketed before the rack is contacted by a ball.
Procedure: The fifteenth ball is spotted without the use of a racking device. If the 15th ball will not settle in a position that is frozen to the balls in the front row of the rack of fourteen balls, there is no consequence and the game will proceed.
When playing a shot after a position has been restored, you are not required to attempt the same shot. Figure 10-14 applies to Situation 1. The 7-ball near the corner pocket is hanging on the lip of the pocket and either frozen to the jaw of the cushion (A) or not frozen to the cushion (B).Situation: Player A, with the 7-ball as a legal object ball, shoots at the 7. The shot is considered obvious without contention. The cue ball passes extremely close to the 7-ball but does not contact the 7-ball. Then, because of vibration or cushion compression, the 7-ball falls into the corner pocket.
For the purposes of Rule 2-2-d, the common practice of alternating solids and stripes around the outside of the rack is permissible, provided the pattern is altered so there is a stripe in one rear corner and a solid in the other and that the position of any particular ball is not consistent between racks.
Situation: Player A, preparing to break and having placed the cue ball, accidentally or intentionally contacts the cue ball with a legal stroke motion. Regardless of the reason (accidental contact, miscue or any other reason) and regardless of how far the cue ball moves, four object balls are not driven to a rail and no ball is pocketed.
Situation: Player A breaks and pockets the 8-ball. Before Player A elects an option under Rule 2-4, Player B approaches the table and: (a) picks up the cue ball; (b) gathers the balls to the foot of the table in preparation for a re-rack.
Ruling: (a) Foul on Player B. Player A will first make the choice to spot the 8-ball or re-rack. If Player A chooses to spot the 8-Ball, they will have ball in hand anywhere on the table. (b) Loss of game for Player B under Rule 1-43-4.
Discussion: In Situation 1(a), although Player A must complete their election under Rule 2-4 in order to continue the game, the foul on Player B occurred after the break shot had been completed, and is therefore penalized appropriately.
General Discussion: Rule 2-6-3: If a game has ended and then the players realize they shot the wrong groups, the game is not replayed and the result stands.1. Situation: With the table open, Player A calls a safety and pockets a stripe.
Ruling: Legal shot. Player A's inning ends. Player B accepts the table in position. The table is still open. Under Rule 2-6 groups cannot be established by a safety.
If following the advice in the Applied Ruling for “Safety”, care should be taken when shooting the 8-ball. In 8-ball, any ball pocketed on a safety, whether intentional or not, is defined as an illegally pocketed ball. If you call a safety while shooting the 8-ball and it is pocketed it is a loss of game under Rule 2-10-a.
The 8-ball becomes your legal object ball regardless of whether the last object ball of your group is legally pocketed, illegally pocketed, or jumped.
It is not necessary for the referee to observe the three attempts by each player prior to the balls arriving at their position.If the players agree that the table is in a stalemate position, they may mutually declare a stalemate before each player has completed three innings and without informing a referee.
Rule 3-5-1-c: If the 9-ball is illegally pocketed but not noticed by either player, and any shot is taken before it is noticed, the game will be re-played with the player who broke breaking again.
Rule 4-5-1-b: If the 10-ball is illegally pocketed but not noticed by either player, and any shot is taken before it is noticed, the game will be re-played with the player who broke breaking again.
If you illegally pocket a ball and foul on the same shot, you must spot a ball in addition to the ball that was pocketed on the shot. Therefore, two balls are spotted after such a shot (provided that you have a ball to spot – otherwise spotting is delayed.)
It is not possible to have ball in hand when the 14 previously pocketed balls are racked and the provisions of Rule 6-9 are applied, so Rule 1-36 never applies to the first shot after a subsequent rack is prepared. On the first shot after a subsequent rack is prepared, it is always legal to shoot at the 15th ball, regardless of the placements of the 15th ball and the cue ball.
Players who use a wheelchair or other equipment to assist mobility are not required to follow the restrictions of Rule 8 if they are playing in a non-wheelchair event.
General Discussion: Rule 10-1-3-c, Although such measures are rare, referees are authorized to specifically direct players' actions, including requiring a player to occupy a specific spot, such as sitting in the player's chair, or requiring a player to refrain from engaging in other actions, such as conversing with their opponents or teammates other than when necessary. In addition to the other general encouragement concerning good sportsmanship that appears throughout this publication, here CSI specifically encourages all players to take every possible action to prevent any dispute from reaching a point that requires such action.Use of such measures is a referee's last resort, and occurs only when players are already engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct and are at peril of being penalized for that conduct. However, if the situation has reached that point and players then continue to disregard referees' instructions, referees are authorized to issue further warnings and advanced penalties without hesitation.
General Discussion: It is common for referees to be asked questions when off-duty, or when on duty but not having been properly called to a table. Should that occur, the referee will first ask the person if they or their team is involved in a match. If they are, the referee will advise the player to return to their match table and summon an on duty referee with responsibility for that table. If the person is not involved in a match, the referee will attempt to answer the question to the best of their ability, or refer the player to a referee supervisor or the Administrative Authority.
After having been involved in a call dealing with a particular rules issue or judgment, some players will seek out other referees independently after the match in an attempt to find a different opinion. They may even do so while the match is still in progress because they are a teammate or friend of the person involved in the call.Players who do so must realize that they are seeking an answer from a referee who was not involved in the match, who was not at the table to make the call, and who has no way of knowing what the players involved in the call may have told the referee who actually made the call.By rule, judgment calls cannot be protested, and players in a match are offered protection from incorrect rule applications by the protest procedures established in Rule 10-5. It is unsportsmanlike conduct for any person to attempt to impeach any previous decision by trying to find a different ruling during or after the match by any method other than established protest procedures. If a person does receive a different response, it will not override or affect the prior ruling.1. Situation: Player A, with the cue ball having been declared frozen to a legal object ball or cushion, asks a referee “What is the rule about the cue ball being frozen to the object ball (or cushion)” or any question to that effect.Procedure: The referee shall inform Player A that they may shoot toward the frozen object ball, and as long as they use a legal stroke then the shot will be legal with respect to the cue ball and frozen object ball or cushion. They will also explain that fouls may be committed on the shot that are not related to the frozen cue ball.
Discussion: The type of shot described in this situation is specifically referred to in Rule 1-20-2 and Rule 1-20-3, and therefore is required to be explained by the referee under Rule 10-2-1-b-1. By explaining to the player that fouls may occur on the shot that are not related to the frozen cue ball, the referee ensures that the player does not have the impression that the frozen cue ball exempts them from all fouls (foot off floor, intentional miscue, push shot, Rule 1-40 violations, etc.)
2. Situation: Same situation as above, but there is another object ball or cushion nearby. (See Figure 10-10) Player A, after hearing the above response from the referee, asks, “will I foul because of the other nearby ball (or cushion)?”
Procedure: The referee will state that it is possible that a double hit foul might occur because of the nearby ball or cushion, but that they cannot answer this specific question because it would constitute offering an opinion. They will only judge the result of the shot and make the call.Discussion: Since the situation is specifically referred to by Rule 1-20-4, if asked the referee must make the shooter aware of the possibility of a double hit foul occurring because of the nearby ball. However, the referee has no way of knowing or predicting the actual outcome of the shot, and therefore advising the player would constitute offering an opinion, which is prohibited by Rule 9-2-1-b-1.
3. Situation: Player A, with the cue ball close to but not frozen to a legal object ball, asks the referee what angle is necessary to achieve the “fine angle” referred to in Rule 1-20-2, or about a specific angle at which they intend to shoot and if it will be legal.
Procedure: The referee will state they cannot answer this question because it would constitute offering an opinion. They will only judge the result of the shot and make the call. The referee has no way of knowing the actual result of the shot prior to its execution.Discussion: Situations 2-3, When judging shots, some factors that cannot necessarily be predicted by the referee (actual tip placement on the cue ball, speed of stroke, etc.) may have an effect on the outcome of a shot. In addition, those factors frequently cannot be determined prior to the actual shot, either from information provided by the shooter before the shot or by the shooter’s apparent intentions as displayed by their set-up for the shot. However, regardless of those unpredictable factors that may be present, it is well established that the legality of a shot can most always be accurately judged by carefully observing the resulting behavior of the balls.
While it is not the intent of CSI to withhold any necessary rules information from players, that principle must be carefully balanced by the need to not have referees advise players on the actual execution of shots in a competitive environment (Situations 1 and 2 above excepted). There is also a likelihood, because of the unpredictable factors referred to above, that even if a referee were to advise a player, a foul could still occur regardless of information provided by the referee, no matter how accurate or well intentioned.Finally, it is not within the scope of this document to address the training of referees, or to discuss an analysis of the physics involved in billiards, in order to provide information or benefit to players regarding how shots are judged and what methods referees use. Players who wish to explore such knowledge have a wealth of information available to them from various sources (e.g., the internet, instructional academies and independent instructors, CSI referee training, CSI referees who will provide such information when in non-competitive environments, etc.), and they should avail themselves of any opportunity in a non-competitive environment to improve their knowledge of such subjects.
Discussion: Rule 10-3-4, Placing a match on a shot clock does not constitute the match being presided over by a referee. If players desire a referee to watch the details of a particular shot, they must make a request as in any other match.
1. Situation: After having been called to the table to watch a shot and while the player is preparing to shoot, the referee observes the player accidentally knock a piece of chalk onto the bed of the table. The player is unaware that the chalk is on the bed.
Procedure: The referee shall not alert the player or move the chalk. To do so could potentially affect the course of the match outside of the provisions of the rules. While a match is in progress, the referee will take no action concerning equipment unless it is within the rules and they have been specifically asked to do so by a player.
While referees are free to solicit information from any source, they are neither required nor specifically encouraged to consult spectators regarding judgment calls. If doing so, the referee should be certain that the spectator is trusted, knowledgeable, preferably trained as an observer or referee, and has no association whatsoever with any player or team member involved in the match.Referees are neither required nor necessarily encouraged to consider video evidence. If a referee chooses to consider video evidence, no call will be overturned unless the video, in the judgment of the referee, provides clear and convincing evidence. In particular, the referee must be certain that the angle provided by the camera does not cause an illusion concerning the angles resulting from the contact of the balls, which may appear deceptive, particularly from low camera angles and certain camera positions.