GENERAL RULES OF POCKET BILLIARDS (as applied to 8-ball)
1.You are responsible for knowing the rules, regulations, and schedules that pertain to any SBPL match. You are also responsible for cooperating with all league officers, and for accurately providing all requested information concerning your participation in league matches to league officers when asked to do so.
1.2Acceptance of Provided Equipment
1.Once your match begins, you accept all provided equipment as standard and legal. After a match has begun, only a league officer may declare the equipment defective or unsuitable for play. If the equipment is declared unsuitable for play, all games previously played on that equipment will be counted.
1.3Use of Equipment
1.You are responsible for all equipment and accessory items you bring to the table. You may not use equipment or accessory items in a manner other than their intended use.
2.You may use your cue, held in your hand or not, to help align a shot;
3.You may use either a built-in or an add-on cue extender;
4.You may use your own chalk provided it is compatible with the cloth;
5.You may use a billiards glove;
6.You may not use more than two mechanical bridges at any one time. A bridge may only be used to support the cue or another bridge;
7.You may not use any item to support or elevate your bridge hand. You may hold chalk in your bridge hand while bridging, but the chalk may not be used to elevate your hand off the table;
8.You may not use any ball, your cue, the rack, or any other equipment or width-measuring device or any part of your body to determine if the cue ball or an object ball would fit through a gap or to judge what ball the cue ball would contact first.
Your cues must meet BCAPL specifications.
a.The width of the cue tip must not exceed 14 millimeters. There is no minimum width.
b.The weight of the cue must not exceed 25 ounces. There is no minimum weight.
c.The length of the cue must be at least 40 inches. There is no maximum length.
2.It is a foul if you take a shot with a cue that does not meet BCAPL specifications. The cue must be removed from play.
1.7Beginning of Game or Match
1.Your match or game begins when the cue tip strikes the cue ball during any stroke on the opening break.
1.You may request the assistance of a league officer if you need information concerning the rules. If you desire the assistance of a league officer, you must notify your opponent and your opponent must acknowledge your request. If it is your opponent's inning, you must notify them before they are down on the shot. After play has stopped, it is a foul if you take any stroke or shot until both teams agree that the dispute has been settled.
1.13Order of Break / Breaking Subsequent Games of a Match
1.In weekly matches, the player that has the "BK" listed next to their name has the option of break. In tournaments, the winner of the coin toss has the option of break. If the match is race-to-two or higher, the loser of each game has the break option in the next game.
2.It is your responsibility to know when it is your turn to break. If an 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.
1.In league play, when you are breaking, you may rack for yourself, you may designate a teammate to rack for you, or you can allow your opponent to rack for you.
2.You must rack the balls as tightly as possible. That means that each ball should touch all adjacent balls.
3.You should refrain from tapping balls unless necessary. It is preferable to brush the area of the rack and ensure that the spot attached to the cloth, if any, is in good condition.
4.If the rack does not meet the requirements of the specific game, it will be corrected without penalty. If your opponent's rack does not meet the requirements and you do not notify them before they break, the game will continue with no penalty.
1.17Calling Ball and Pocket
1.You must designate the called ball and the called pocket before each shot. You may make the designation verbally or by gesture. You may only call one ball on a shot. You do not have to call obvious shots. You are not required to indicate incidental kisses and caroms, or incidental cushion contacts that do not constitute bank shots or kick shots.
The following shots are never considered obvious:
3.If you are not certain what shot your opponent is attempting, it is your responsibility to ask. You must ask before your opponent is down on the shot. With the exception of shots defined as not obvious, if you are not certain about a shot and you do not ask, the shot will be considered obvious.
4.You must always call shots that are defined as not obvious. This rule applies regardless of whether or not your opponent asks about the shot, and regardless of how simple or obvious the shot may appear.
5.When calling bank shots, kick shots, jump shots, and combination shots you are only required to designate the called ball and called pocket. If shooting a combination you do not have to say the word "combination", or state which ball will be struck first, or the sequence of balls. When shooting a bank shot or kick shot you do not have to say the word "bank" or "kick" nor specify which cushions will be involved in the shot.
6.If you do not call a bank shot, kick shot, or combination shot and you pocket any ball except the 8-ball, your inning ends and the incoming player must accept the table in position.
7.When the 8-ball is your legal object ball, if you pocket the 8-ball on a bank shot, kick shot, jump shot, or combination shot but fail to call the pocket you lose the game.
A shot that was obvious prior to the shot will count for the shooter if the shot inadvertently:
a.becomes a bank shot because the called ball did not go directly into the called pocket but instead contacted two or more cushions prior to being pocketed in the called pocket, or;
b.becomes a kick shot because the cue ball initially missed the called ball, contacted one or more cushions, and then pocketed the called ball in the called pocket.
1.You must use a legal stroke. A legal stroke is defined as the forward motion of the cue resulting in the cue tip striking the cue ball for only the momentary time customarily associated with a normal shot. "Forward" means relative to the cue itself, along the long axis of the cue and away from the butt, and has no relevance to any part of the table or any relationship to the player or any part of their body Any lifting, sideways, or other brushing motion of the cue, such that the force that propels the cue ball does not primarily result from a forward motion of the cue as defined under "Legal Stroke", is a foul. (See Diagrams 4 and 5).
For a shot to be legal, the first ball contacted by the cue ball must be a legal object ball. After that contact:
a.any object ball must be pocketed, or;
b.any object ball or the cue ball must contact a cushion.
If the ball used to meet the cushion contact requirement of 1.19.1(b) is declared frozen to a cushion at the beginning of the shot, then that ball must leave the cushion it is frozen to and then:
a.contact a cushion other than the one to which it was frozen, or;
b.contact another ball before it contacts the cushion to which it was frozen. NOTE: The two cushions on either side of a side pocket are now considered different cushions.
3.An object ball is not considered frozen to a cushion unless it is declared frozen immediately prior to the shot, and the shooting player agrees. A ball is frozen to a cushion if it is touching that cushion. If only loose strands or fibers of cloth extend from a cushion and contact the ball, then that ball is not considered frozen to that cushion.
4.If a player mistakes an object ball for the cue ball and unintentionally shoots with the object ball acting as the cue ball, it is a foul.
1.20Cue Ball Frozen to Object Ball or Cushion
1.The cue ball is not considered frozen to an object ball or cushion unless it is declared frozen immediately prior to the shot.
2.If the cue ball is frozen to a legal object ball, it is legal to shoot toward the object ball provided you use a legal stroke.
3.If the cue ball is frozen to a cushion, it is legal to shoot the cue ball into the cushion provided you use a legal stroke.
4.The presence of one or more object balls or a cushion nearby may create the possibility of a violation of Rule 1.30 during the same stroke, but after the initial cue tip to cue ball contact.
5.Shooting the cue ball away from an object ball that is frozen to the cue ball does not constitute contacting that object ball.
1.21Penalties for Fouls
1.If you commit a foul or violate the rules your inning ends and your opponent receives ball in hand.
1.23Fouls Not Called
1.Any foul not called before the next stroke is taken is considered to have not occurred. The failure to call a foul on any previous shot does not restrict the ability to call a similar foul on any future shot.
1.25One Foot on the Floor
1.It is a foul if you do not have at least one foot in contact with the floor when the cue tip strikes the cue ball. Footwear must be normal with regard to size, shape, and manner of wear.
1.26Balls in Motion
1.It is a foul if you shoot while any ball in play is in motion. A spinning ball is in motion.
1.It is a foul if you scratch.
1.It is a foul if you cause any ball to be jumped off the table.
1.It is a foul if you shoot a push shot. A push shot is a shot in which the cue tip maintains contact with the cue ball longer than the momentary contact allowed for a legal stroke.
2.When the cue ball is frozen to another ball or a cushion, and a player legally shoots toward the frozen ball or cushion under Rule 1.20.2, it is not to be considered a push shot even though the cue tip may contact the cue ball for a slightly longer time than a normal shot.
1.It is a foul if your cue tip strikes the cue ball more than once on the same stroke.
2.It is a foul if your cue tip is still in contact with the cue ball when the cue ball strikes an object ball. However, such a stroke may be considered legal if the object ball is legal and cue ball strikes it at a very fine angle.
1.A simultaneous hit with a legal and illegal object ball is legal.
1.A miscue is not a foul.
1.33Disturbed Balls (Cue Ball Fouls Only)
1.It is not a foul if you accidentally touch an object ball with any part of your body, clothing or equipment. Your opponent has the option to leave the disturbed ball where it came to rest or to restore it to its original position. If the disturbed ball is to be restored, your opponent may restore it, or you may restore it with your opponent's permission.
2.If you disturb an object ball and, in the same shot, commit a foul that is not related to the disturbed ball: you are penalized for the foul, and your opponent has the restoration option for the disturbed ball that was not involved in the foul.
3.If a disturbed object ball falls into a pocket, your opponent has the restoration option. However, if the disturbed ball is the 8-ball, it is not a loss of game, and the 8-ball must be restored.
4.It is a foul if you disturb the cue ball.
1.34Jump Shots and Massť Shots
1.Jump shots are legal shots. However, it is a foul if you intentionally cause the cue ball to rise off the bed of the table by "digging under" or "scooping" the cue ball with the cue.
2.If you attempt to jump over or massť around an impeding illegal object ball then Rule 1.33, Disturbed Balls, does not apply to the impeding ball for that shot. If the impeding illegal object ball moves during the stroke it is a foul regardless of whether it was moved by the cue ball, your equipment or any part of your body.
3.Any attempt to curve the cue ball around an impeding ball is a massť shot, regardless of the degree of elevation of the cue or amount of curve.
1.35Position of Ball
1.The base of a ball determines its position (see Diagram 2).
1.38Ball in Hand Placement
1.When you have ball in hand, you may use your hand or any part of your cue, including the tip, to position the cue ball. If you use your cue to place the cue ball, any action that would be a legal stroke will be considered a shot, and must meet the requirements of a legal shot or it is a foul.
2.Once you have picked up the cue ball to take ball in hand, it remains in hand until your next stroke. You may place the cue ball, pick it up again, and replace it successive times until you take that stroke.
3.Immediately after a foul, when you are picking up the cue ball the first time to take ball in hand (as opposed to placing the cue ball or picking it up again for successive placements before the next shot), the provisions of Rule 1.33.1 apply to touching or disturbing a single object ball with the cue ball or your hand.
4.When placing the cue ball, it is a foul if you touch or disturb any object ball with the cue ball or your hand that holds the cue ball. Your "hand" is defined as including the wrist up to a point where a wristwatch would normally be worn. Your opponent has the option to leave the disturbed ball where it came to rest or to restore it to its original position.
1.39Marking the Table
1.It is a foul if you intentionally mark the table in any way to assist you in executing any shot or future shot. Marking includes the deliberate placement of chalk or any other object at a specific point on a rail or cushion to aid the alignment of a shot, or deliberately placing any mark on any part of the table.
During a game, it is a foul if you commit any of the following deliberate and unsportsmanlike acts. A second violation results in loss of game.
a.Intentionally strike the cue ball with anything other than your cue tip.
b.Intentionally cause any ball in play to move by contacting or moving any part of the table in any way.
Intentionally stopping or deflect any ball that is in motion.
i.In addition to the foul penalty, your opponent may have the deflected ball spotted or pocketed.
ii.It is an immediate loss of game if the deflected ball is the 8-ball or if the deflected ball contacts any other ball.
Place your hand into a pocket while any ball is in motion near that pocket.
i.It is loss of game if the ball involved is the 8-ball and it was not the break shot.
ii.If this was the break shot or the ball near the pocket was an object ball, your opponent may have the ball spotted, placed along the lip of the pocket, or pocketed.
1.41Coaching and/or Distracting a Player
1.Coaching a player during their game is strictly prohibited. Friends and bystanders may not coach players either. "Coaching" is giving advice to the player about a future shot in the playerís game, regardless if the player or his opponent is currently shooting. A player is allowed to ask an opposing team member what his or her object ball is during the game.
2.Intentionally distracting an opponent during their game is also strictly prohibited. "Distractions" include talking to your opponent while they are shooting, standing in your opponentís line of sight during their shot, making loud noises while your opponent is shooting, etc.
3.If you feel that your opponent is being coached or that you are being distracted, stop the match and inform the referee and/or the opposing team captain of the problem. A warning is usually sufficient to correct the problem.
4.Teams only get one warning per match. If the coaching or distraction continues after being warned, the offending team will forfeit that game.
5.If there is a disagreement about whether coaching or distractions have occurred, stop the match and contact a league officer immediately.
1.42Non-Shooting Player Requirement
1.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.
2.When requesting that a player at the table stop what they are doing, as well as when requesting information concerning what shot is being played, requests should be made as soon as possible. While Rules 1.9 and 1.17.3 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 being down on the shot. With respect to Rules 1.9, 1.17 and 1.42, "down on the shot" means having settled completely into a shooting position with a bridge established and pre-shot practice strokes imminent or in progress. While the playerís shooting style will be considered, simply leaning over the table and placing the bridge hand on the bed does not necessarily constitute being down a shot. In no case may a shooter attempt to get down on a shot quickly in an attempt to prevent an opponent from asking a question or stopping play. 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 may still be permissible to stop play. At the same time, to help prevent that situation from occurring, when in the chair it is your responsibility to remain alert and make every effort to anticipate situations in which you may want to stop play or request information.
3.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.
4.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 league officer will be the sole judge of what remedies or penalties shall be imposed.
1.44Concession of Match
1.In weekly match play, if you make a motion to unscrew your playing cue during your opponent's inning you lose the game. In tournament play, if your opponent is on the hill and you make a motion to unscrew your playing cue during your opponent's inning you lose the match. This rule does not apply to break cues and jump cues, which may be unscrewed at any time without penalty.
1.46Spotting The 8-Ball (see Diagram 8)
1.If the 8-ball is spotted it is placed on the foot spot with the number facing up.
2.If other balls interfere with spotting, the 8-ball will be placed on the long string below the foot spot, but as close as possible to the foot spot, without moving the interfering balls. If there is no space available on the long string below the foot spot, they will be placed on the long string above the foot spot, but as close as possible to the foot spot, without moving the interfering balls.
3.Whenever possible, the 8-ball will be frozen to interfering object balls. If the cue ball is the interfering ball, the 8-ball will be placed as closely as possible to the cue ball without being frozen to it.
1.If balls are wedged between the sides of a pocket or between cushions and any of those balls are suspended above the bed of the table, the two players will inspect the balls and judge whether, if they were free to fall directly downward, the balls would come to rest on the bed of the table or in the pocket. The players will then place the balls in the positions as judged and play will continue.
1.If balls move because of the action of a non-player or other influence beyond the control of the players, the players will restore the balls as nearly as possible to their original positions and play will continue. If the interference occurs during your shot and has an effect on the outcome of the shot, you shoot again. In either case, if both players judge that restoration is not possible, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again.
1.49Balls Settling or Moving
1.If a ball settles or otherwise moves by itself, it will remain in the position it assumed and play continues. It is not a foul if a ball settles or otherwise moves by itself as you are shooting. If a ball that you are shooting at settles while you are shooting but does not fall into a pocket, the result of the shot stands.
2.If a ball is hanging on the lip of a pocket and falls into that pocket by itself after the shooter has left the table to end their inning or after being stationary for five seconds or longer, it will be replaced as closely as possible to the position it was in prior to falling.
If a hanging ball drops into a pocket by itself as you are shooting, the ruling depends on the ensuing action of the balls:
a.if no ball passes through the area originally occupied by the hanging ball, it is restored and play will continue;
b.if the cue ball, before contacting another ball, passes through the area originally occupied by the hanging ball and, without contacting any other balls, either scratches or remains on the table, both the cue ball and the object ball are restored to their prior positions and you shoot again;
c.if the shot is legal and any ball passes through the area originally occupied by the hanging ball, including the cue ball with or without scratching, and any other balls are contacted by such a ball at any point during the shot, the players will attempt to restore the position prior to the shot and you shoot again. If restoration is not possible, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again;
d.if the shot is illegal because the cue ball first contacts an illegal object ball before it or any other ball passes through the area originally occupied by the hanging ball, it is a foul. The incoming player accepts the object balls in position. If the hanging ball is designated by specific game rules as the game winning ball it must be restored, otherwise it is not restored.