8/9-ball rules PDF - American Poolplayers Association

8/9-ball rules PDF - American Poolplayers Association
Revised 3/12
Contents
APA/CPA 8-Ball Game Rules
General Description ..........................................1
Lag.....................................................................1
Racking..............................................................1
Breaking............................................................1
After the Break...................................................2
Combination Shots............................................4
Balls on the Floor...............................................4
Pocketed Balls...................................................5
One Foot on the Floor........................................5
Fouls..................................................................5
BALL-IN-HAND FOULS.....................................6
APA/CPA 9-Ball Game Rules
General Description ........................................10
Lag...................................................................10
Racking............................................................10
Breaking...........................................................11
After the Break.................................................12
Combination Shots..........................................13
Balls on the Floor.............................................13
Pocketed Balls.................................................14
Spotting Balls...................................................14
Fouls................................................................14
BALL-IN-HAND FOULS.................................. 15
© Copyright 2012, American Poolplayers Association, Inc.
APA/CPA 8-Ball Game Rules
General Description - 8-Ball is played with a cue ball
and normal rack of fifteen (15) object balls. The purpose
of this game is for one player to pocket the solid balls
numbered from 1 to 7 or the striped balls numbered
from 9 to 15, and then marking and pocketing the 8-ball
before his opponent. Choice of balls to be pocketed is
made by the player legally pocketing the first ball of the
game.
1. Lag - Method used to start a match. Players
simultaneously shoot a ball from behind the head string,
banking it off the foot rail and back to the head of the
table. Striking the side rails or any pocket results in loss
of the lag. The closest ball to the head rail wins. It is
permissible to strike the head rail. If the lagged balls
make contact during the lag, re-lag.
2. Racking - All balls should be frozen (touching) as
tightly as possible. Balls are racked with the front ball
on the foot spot and the 8-ball in the center. The
breaking player may request and receive a rerack.
3. Breaking - To be a legal break, players must break
from behind the head string. The head ball or second
ball must be struck first and at least four object balls
must be driven to the rails or a ball must be pocketed.
The cue ball may not be shot into a rail before the rack.
If the break does not qualify as legal, the balls are
reracked and rebroken by the same player. If the break
does not qualify as legal and results in a scratch, the
balls are reracked and broken by the opposite player.
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THE RACK MUST BE STRUCK BEFORE A FOUL CAN
OCCUR. Breaking safe or soft is not allowed. The League
Operator may make judgments and issue penalties to
teams and players who are not breaking hard. Breaking
just hard enough to comply with this rule is not a
guarantee against penalties. Remember, break as hard as
you can with control.
4. After the Break - Various circumstances can occur
upon completion of the break. They are:
a. A foul on a legal break results in ball-in-hand
behind the head string and the incoming player
may shoot any ball outside the head string (see
diagram of table in Team Manual for explanation).
A ball that's dead center or "out" is playable. If it
is "in", the ball is not playable. It is up to the
opponent to call the cue ball "in" before it is shot.
(See Team Manual for a more complete
explanation.)
b. No balls are pocketed and it is the other player's
turn.
c. The 8-ball is pocketed. This is a win, unless the
player scratches, in which case he loses.
d. One ball is pocketed; it is still the breaker's
turn and he continues shooting the category of
balls he just made.
e. One ball of each category is pocketed. The breaker
has his choice of balls. He may shoot any ball,
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except the 8-ball (which would be a foul), and
each pocketed ball counts. If he makes one of each
category on his second shot, he still has an "open
table." If he misses or fouls on his second shot, his
opponent has an "open table." "Open table" means
a player can shoot a combination involving a stripe
and a solid and whichever he makes, without
committing a foul, would be his category.
f. If two balls of one category and one ball of
the other category are pocketed, it is the shooter's
choice just as in "e" above.
g. Occasionally it occurs that a player mistakenly
starts shooting the wrong category of balls.
Although it is sportsmanlike for the sitting player
to remind the shooting player that he is about to
foul by shooting the wrong category of balls, it is
not a requirement for him to do so. Once the
shooter has hit the wrong category of balls, the
foul has occurred whether the ball is pocketed or
not. If the ball is pocketed, it is permissible,
though not recommended, that the sitting player
allow the shooting player to continue shooting his
balls in until he feels inclined to call the foul. The
shooting player can escape penalty by quietly
realizing his error and returning to shoot the
correct category of balls and legally contacting one
of them before his opponent calls foul, or by
finishing off the wrong category of balls and
legally contacting the 8-ball prior to his opponent
calling a foul. In other words, the sitting player
must call the foul before the shooter returns to the
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correct category and legally contacts one or before
the shooter pockets the remaining balls of the
wrong category and legally contacts the 8-ball.
Once a player makes legal contact with the 8-ball,
the player assumes control of that category of
wrongly pocketed balls and can win the game by
pocketing the 8-ball. In addition, if the sitting
player does not call a foul before his opponent’s
turn ends, and subsequently contacts the wrong
category himself, both players will assume the
new category of balls for the remainder of the
game. Before any foul has occurred, the shooter
also may avoid penalty by asking the sitting
player which category of balls he has. The sitting
player must tell him the truth.
5. Combination Shots - Combination shots are legal,
but striking the correct ball first is required except in an
"open table" situation. The 8-ball is not neutral. A
player is credited with all balls he legally pockets.
When a player does not pocket one of his balls but
pockets an opponent's ball, he loses his turn. The
opponent gets credit for the pocketed ball. No pocketed
ball is ever spotted.
6. Balls on the Floor - If the 8-ball is knocked on the
floor, it is loss of game. Object balls knocked on the
floor are spotted. If the spot is taken, the ball is placed
on a line directly behind the spot as close as possible.
Knocking a ball other than the cue ball on the floor is
not a foul. It might occur that a player pockets his ball
while simultaneously knocking another ball on the floor.
In this situation, it is still his turn and the ball is not
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spotted until he misses. If the ball on the floor is one of
the shooter's balls, it is spotted when the shooter has
pocketed all of his other balls or misses.
7. Pocketed Balls - Balls must remain in a pocket to be
legal. If a ball goes in a pocket, but bounces back onto
the playing surface, it is not considered pocketed. If it is
the 8-ball, it is not considered either a win or loss. If it
is the cue ball, it is not considered a scratch.
8. One Foot on the Floor - While shooting, at least one
foot must be on the floor at all times if a bridge is
available. There is no foul—simply stop the shooter and
hand him the bridge. League Management cannot
guarantee the presence of bridges and some Host
Locations may not have them.
Exception: Players shooting from a wheelchair must
remain seated in their wheelchair while shooting.
9. Fouls - If any of the following fouls are committed, the
penalty is ball-in-hand for the incoming player. Make
certain you have ball-in-hand before you touch the cue ball
by confirming with your opponent. Ball-in-hand means
you are allowed to place the cue ball anywhere on the
table (with the exception of a scratch on the break which
results in ball-in-hand behind the head string) and shoot any
of your balls (or the 8, if all of your category of balls have
been pocketed). Even after having addressed the cue ball,
a player may, if not satisfied with the placement, make
further adjustments with the hand, cue stick or any other
reasonable piece of equipment. A foul may be called only
if the player fouls while actually stroking at the cue ball,
meaning a double hit of the cue ball (sometimes called
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double clutching). The ball-in-hand rule penalizes a player
for an error. Without this rule, a player could benefit by
accidentally or purposely scratching or otherwise fouling.
ONLY THE PLAYER OR THE TEAM CAPTAIN
MAY OFFICIALLY CALL A FOUL although anyone may
suggest to the player or the team captain that a foul
should be called.
THESE ARE THE ONLY FOULS RESULTING IN
BALL-IN-HAND:
a. Anytime the cue ball goes in a pocket, on the floor,
or otherwise ends up off the playing surface.
b. Failure to hit your object ball first. (A player who is
shooting stripes must hit a striped ball first.) The
8-ball is not neutral. The shooter has the advantage
in these situations unless his opponent has asked an
outside party to watch the hit. Protect yourself. If
you think your opponent is attempting a shot that
could result in a bad hit, get someone to watch the
shot before he starts shooting. Teams involved in
repeatedly calling bad hits without outside party
verification may be subject to penalty points for
disruptive unsportsmanlike behavior.
c. Failure to hit a rail after contact. A sentence that
should answer many questions is: "Any ball
(including the cue ball) must go to a rail AFTER
LEGAL contact." A pocketed ball counts as a rail.
d. The object ball is frozen to a rail and the player is
contemplating playing a "safety." In order for the
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"frozen ball" rule to be in effect, the opponent
must declare the ball frozen and the player should
verify. Once it is agreed the ball is frozen the
player must drive the object ball to another rail (of
course, it could hit another ball, which in turn hits
a rail) or drive the cue ball to a rail after it touches
the object ball. If the latter method of safety is
chosen the player should be sure to obviously
strike the object ball first. If the cue ball strikes
the rail first or appears to hit both the rail and ball
simultaneously, it is a foul unless either the cue
ball or object ball went to some other rail.
e. It is a foul to jump a cue ball over another ball
by cuing it up in the air (scooping) on purpose.
Accidental miscuing is not a foul unless other
rules in this section are violated.
f. Receiving illegal aid (coaching from person(s)
other than the coach) during your turn at the
table. It is not considered illegal aid to remind a
player to mark the pocket when shooting the
8-ball, or to tell a player a foul has occurred.
Anyone may do so.
g. Causing movement of the cue ball, even
accidentally, is a foul. It is not a foul to
accidentally move any other balls (including the
8-ball) unless, during his turn at the table, a player
moves a ball and it in turn strikes the cue ball.
Even dropping the chalk on the cue ball is a foul.
Any balls moved accidentally during a shot must
be replaced by the opponent after the shot is over
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and all balls have stopped rolling. If it occurs
before the shot, it must be replaced by the
opponent before the shot is taken.
Exception: If an accidentally moved ball comes in
contact with the cue ball, creating a foul, no object
ball will be replaced.
h. If, during the course of a shot, the cue ball does
not touch anything.
i. Use caution when picking up or placing the cue
ball in a ball-in-hand situation. The cue ball is
always alive. If the cue ball, or the hand holding it
or moving it, touches another ball it is a cue ball
foul and your opponent has ball-in-hand. Be
especially careful when picking up or placing the
cue ball in a tight spot.
j. The player or his coach (during a coaching timeout) may place the cue ball in a ball-in-hand
situation. The same rule regarding placing the
cue ball applies to the coach as applies to the
player. If the player, or coach fouls in the process
of placing the cue ball, it will be ball-in-hand for
the opponent. Therefore, it should be the player's
choice if he wishes to place the cue ball or allow
his coach to do so.
10. There are various ways to lose:
a. Your opponent pockets his numerical group and
legally pockets the 8-ball.
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b. You pocket the 8-ball out of turn or knock it on
the floor.
c. You pocket the 8-ball in the wrong pocket or fail to
properly mark the pocket.
d. You foul the cue ball and then pocket the 8-ball.
e. When playing the 8-ball, you scratch.
Note: If you are shooting at the 8-ball and miss it altogether
without scratching, you have fouled and your opponent has
ball-in-hand, but you don’t lose because of this foul.
f. A game is forfeited if you alter the course of the
8-ball or the cue ball in a game losing situation.
11. How to Win - A player has won the game when all
the balls of his numerical group have been pocketed
and he has legally pocketed the 8-ball in a properly
marked pocket without scratching. To properly mark
the pocket, a coaster or some other reasonable object
(to avoid confusion, we do not recommend marking the
pocket with chalk), must be placed next to the pocket
the 8-ball is intended to enter. Both teams may use the
same marker. Only one marker should be on the table.
If the marker is already at the intended pocket from a
previous attempt or game, it is not necessary for the
shooter to touch it, pick it up or reposition it.
Note: You cannot play the 8-ball while simultaneously
playing the last ball of your category. The 8-ball must
be a separate shot.
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APA/CPA 9-Ball Game Rules
9-Ball for everyone! Here's your chance to play the
same game the pros play and have a great chance at
winning.
General Description - 9-Ball is played with a cue ball
and nine object balls numbered 1 through 9. 9-Ball is a
rotation game, meaning the balls are shot in numerical
order. The shooter must strike the lowest numbered
ball on the table first. The game is over when the 9-ball
is legally pocketed. A player retains his turn at the table
as long as he strikes the lowest numbered ball first and
legally pockets a ball. He need not pocket the lowest
numbered ball to continue shooting. He may, for
example, shoot the 1-ball into the 4-ball thus pocketing
the 4. He will continue shooting and must, once again,
strike the 1-ball first. If the shooter shoots the 1-ball into
the 9-ball and the 9-ball is pocketed without committing
a foul, the game is over.
1. Lag - Method used to start a match. Players
simultaneously shoot a ball from behind the head string,
banking it off the foot rail and back to the head of the
table. Striking the side rails or any pocket results in loss
of the lag. The closest ball to the head rail wins. It is
permissible to strike the head rail. If the lagged balls
make contact during the lag, re-lag.
2. Racking - Nine balls are used and are racked in a
diamond shape. The 1-ball is at the front of the rack
and on the foot spot. The 9-ball is in the center and the
rest of the object balls can be placed in any numerical
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order. All balls should be frozen (touching) as tightly as
possible. The breaking player may request and receive
a rerack.
Note 1: When using coin-operated tables, save some money
by using all the balls in the event of a short game. Example:
If the 3 and 9 are made on the break, the balls are reracked
(because a 9-on-the-break is a winner) using the 10 and 11
balls. The sequence in the next game is 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,10,11.
The 11, in effect, is the "9-ball" (last ball) in this game. Do
not say the 10 replaces the 3; it is too confusing. Shoot the
balls in numerical order.
Note 2: The breaker can demand that the lowest available
nine balls be used each game.
3. Breaking - To be a legal break, players must break
from behind the head string, the head ball must be
struck first and at least four object balls must be driven
to the rails or a ball must be pocketed. The cue ball may
not be shot into a rail before the rack. Failure to strike
the 1-ball first does not result in a foul. If the break does
not qualify as legal, the balls are reracked and broken
by the same player. If the break does not qualify as legal
and results in a scratch, the balls are reracked and
broken by the opposite player. THE RACK MUST BE
STRUCK BEFORE A FOUL CAN OCCUR. Breaking safe
or soft is not allowed. The League Operator may make
judgments and issue penalties to teams and players who
are not breaking hard. Breaking just hard enough to
comply with this rule is not a guarantee against
penalties. Remember, break as hard as you can with
control.
Page 11
4. After the Break - Various circumstances can occur
upon completion of the break. They are:
a. A foul on a legal break will result in ball-in-hand
anywhere on the table for the breaker's opponent.
Pocketed balls, if any, stay down (are not spotted),
except the 9-ball.
b. No balls are pocketed and it is the other player's
turn.
c. The 9-ball is pocketed. This is a win unless the
player scratches, in which case the 9-ball (any
other available high numbered ball is adequate) is
spotted and the turn passes to the opponent with
ball-in-hand anywhere on the table.
d.One ball or a number of balls are pocketed. It is
still the breaker's turn and he shoots at the lowest
numbered ball on the table.
e. Occasionally it occurs that a player mistakenly
shoots the wrong ball. Although it is
sportsmanlike for the sitting player to remind the
shooting player he is about to foul by shooting the
wrong ball, he is not required to do so. Once the
shooter has hit the wrong ball, the foul has
occurred whether the ball is pocketed or not. If
the ball is pocketed, it is permissible, though not
recommended, that the sitting player allow the
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shooting player to continue shooting until he feels
inclined to call the foul. The shooting player can
escape penalty by quietly realizing his error and
returning to shoot the correct ball and striking it first
on a shot prior to his opponent calling the foul. In
other words, the sitting player must call the foul
before the shooter has shot the correct ball.
Note: Push-outs are fairly standard in pro events and in the
U.S. Amateur (conducted by the APA/CPA); however,
APA/CPA rules for all handicapped competition does not
allow push-outs.
5. Combination Shots - Combination shots are legal
and extremely common in 9-Ball. Just make sure to hit
the lowest numbered ball on the table first.
6. Balls on the Floor - Knocking the cue ball off the
playing surface is covered under fouls. Object balls that
get knocked off the playing surface will be immediately
spotted on the foot spot. If the foot spot is taken, the
ball will be placed on a line directly behind the foot spot
as close to the foot spot as possible. If two balls are
knocked on the floor, they are placed in numerical order
with the lowest numbered ball closest to the foot spot.
Spotted balls will be frozen to one another. Knocking
an object ball on the floor is not a foul. It might occur
that a player legally pockets a ball while simultaneously
knocking some other ball(s) on the floor. In this
situation, the ball(s) is spotted and the player continues
shooting until he misses.
Page 13
7. Pocketed Balls - Balls must remain in a pocket to be
legal. If a ball goes in a pocket but bounces back onto
the playing surface, it is not considered pocketed.
Note: It occasionally happens on tables with small pockets
that two balls become jammed in a pocket and are leaning
over the edge of the slate to some degree. They are off the
playing surface and are pocketed. Drop them in and resume
playing the game unless the pocketing ends the game.
8. Spotting Balls - Other than the circumstances
described in "Balls on the Floor," the only ball that will
ever be spotted will be the 9-ball when the shooter has
pocketed the 9-ball and scratched or otherwise fouled.
If the shooter makes the 9-ball on the break and fouls or
scratches, the 9-ball (and only the 9-ball) is spotted. If
the shooter is shooting at the object ball and plays it into
the 9-ball and pockets the 9-ball, but scratches or
otherwise fouls in the process, the 9-ball is spotted.
The incoming player has ball-in-hand and will be
shooting at the lowest numbered ball on the table.
Note: If a ball which has been hanging in a pocket for more
than a few seconds suddenly falls in, it is to be placed back on
the table where it was originally.
9. Fouls - If any of the following fouls are committed,
the penalty is ball-in-hand for the incoming player.
Make certain you have ball-in-hand before you touch the
cue ball by confirming with your opponent. Ball-in-hand
means you are allowed to place the cue ball anywhere
on the table and shoot the lowest numbered ball on the
table. Even after having addressed the cue ball, a player
Page 14
may, if not satisfied with the placement, make further
adjustments with the hand, cue stick or any other
reasonable piece of equipment. A foul may be called
only if the player fouls while actually stroking at the cue
ball, meaning a double hit of the cue ball (sometimes
called double clutching).
The ball-in-hand rule penalizes a player for an error.
Without this rule, a player could benefit by accidentally
or purposely scratching or otherwise fouling.
ONLY THE PLAYER OR THE TEAM CAPTAIN MAY
OFFICIALLY CALL A FOUL, although anyone may
suggest to the player or the team captain that a foul
should be called.
THESE ARE THE ONLY FOULS RESULTING IN
BALL-IN-HAND:
a. Anytime the cue ball goes into a pocket, on the
floor, or otherwise ends up off of the playing
surface.
b. Failure to hit the correct ball first. (The correct ball
is always the lowest numbered ball on the table.)
The shooter has the advantage in these situations
unless his opponent has asked an outside party to
watch the hit. Protect yourself. If you think your
opponent is attempting a shot that could result in
a bad hit, get someone to watch the shot before he
starts shooting. Teams involved in repeatedly
calling bad hits without outside party verification
may be subject to penalty points for disruptive
unsportsmanlike behavior.
Page 15
c. Failure to hit a rail after contact. A sentence that
should answer many questions is: "Any ball
(including the cue ball) must go to a rail AFTER
LEGAL contact." A pocketed ball counts as a rail.
d. The object ball is frozen to a rail and the player is
contemplating playing a "safety." In order for the
"frozen ball" rule to be in effect, the opponent
must declare the ball frozen and the player should
verify. Once it is agreed the ball is frozen the
player must drive the object ball to another rail (of
course, it could hit another ball, which in turn hits
a rail) or drive the cue ball to a rail after it touches
the object ball. If the latter method of safety is
chosen the player should be sure to obviously
strike the object ball first. If the cue ball strikes
the rail first or appears to hit both the rail and ball
simultaneously, it is a foul unless either the cue
ball or object ball went to some other rail.
e. It is a foul to jump a cue ball over another ball by
cuing it up in the air (scooping) on purpose.
Accidental miscuing is not a foul unless other
rules in this section are violated.
f. Receiving illegal aid (coaching from person(s) other
than the coach) during your turn at the table.
g. Causing movement of the cue ball, even
accidentally, is a foul. It is not a foul to accidentally
move any other balls unless, during his turn at the
table, a player moves a ball and it in turn strikes the
Page 16
cue ball. Even dropping the chalk on the cue ball is
a foul. Any balls moved accidentally during a shot
must be replaced by the opponent after the shot is
over and all balls have stopped rolling. If it occurs
before the shot, it must be replaced by the opponent
before the shot is taken.
Exception: If an accidentally moved ball comes in
contact with the cue ball, creating a foul, no object
ball will be replaced.
h. If, during the course of a shot, the cue ball does not
touch anything.
i. The player or his coach (during a coaching time-out)
may place the cue ball in a ball-in-hand situation. The
same rule regarding placing the cue ball applies to
the coach as applies to the player. If the player, or
coach fouls in the process of placing the cue ball, it
will be ball-in-hand for the opponent. Therefore, it
should be the player's choice if he wishes to place
the cue ball or allow his coach to do so.
j. Use caution when picking up or placing the cue ball
in a ball-in-hand situation. The cue ball is always
alive. If the cue ball, or the hand holding it or
moving it, touches another ball it is a cue ball foul
and your opponent has ball-in-hand. Be especially
careful when picking up or placing the cue ball in a
tight spot.
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