The Billiard Congress of America Official Rules
The Billiard Congress of America Official Rules
You are responsible for knowing the rules, applied rulings, regulations, and schedules that pertain to any WCC event you enter. You are also responsible for cooperating with all referees and event officials, and for accurately providing all requested information concerning your participation in the event to referees and event officials when asked to do so.
Acceptance of Equipment
Once your match begins, you accept the equipment as standard and legal. After a match has begun, only a referee or event official may declare the equipment to be defective or unsuitable for play. If equipment is declared unsuitable for play, all games previously played on that
equipment will be counted.
It is a foul if you attempt to modify equipment without the permission of a referee or event official. The foul occurs immediately upon the attempt, regardless of whether or not a stroke or shot is attempted.
Use of Equipment
The WCC reserves the right to prohibit any equipment it deems untested or inappropriate.
1. You are responsible for all equipment and accessory items you bring to the table. You may not use, or attempt to use, equipment or accessory items in a manner other than their intended use:
You may use only your cue stick, held in your hand or not, to help align a shot.
You may use either a built-in or an add-on cue extender.
You may use your own chalk provided the color is compatible with the cloth.
You may not use more than two mechanical bridges at any one time. A bridge may only be used to support the cue stick or another bridge.
You may not use any item to prop up 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.
You may not use any ball, your cue stick, the rack, or any other equipment or widthmeasuring device to determine if the cue ball or any object ball would fit through a gap or to judge what ball the cue ball would contact first.
You may not wear any electronic headgear or use any electronic device during a match.
Examples include, but are not limited to: a. b.
Headphones, earphones, or electronic earplugs, including Bluetooth accessories, whether turned on or not. Medically required hearing aids are permitted.
Cell phones, pagers, or music devices. Cell phones may be worn on the belt or kept in pockets, but may not be accessed for messages or conversations at any time during a match by singles or scotch doubles players or during your game in team play. You must turn off all audible ringers and other notification tones while on the event floor. Emergency communications are permitted at any time.
3. Violation of this rule is a foul, and an unsportsmanlike conduct warning must be issued; a second violation results in loss of game; a third violation results in loss of match.
Cue Stick Requirements
Your cue sticks must meet BCAPL specifications.
If you use an illegal cue stick it is a foul, and the illegal cue stick must be removed from play.
An unsportsmanlike conduct warning must be issued; a second violation results in loss of game a third violation results in loss of match.
Starting time of Match
Player must be present with their equipment at the table or designated location within 5 minutes of their match being announced. Failure to comply will result in loss of match by forfeit.
Tournament Director will call matches on deck.
Tournament Director will call players and referee for a match.
Tournament Director will start stop watch.
After 4 minutes if player(s) has(have) not appeared to check in with Tournament Director.
Tournament Director will make final call, giving player(s) 1 minute to appear.
Match will be called if a player(s) does(do) not appear within that minute. (Rev. 01/09)
Playing Without Referees
When a referee is not available, the Tournament Director or designated event official will fulfill the duties of the referee.
Beginning of Game or Match
Your match or game begins when the cue tip strikes the cue ball during any stroke on the opening break.
No Practice Allowed During Match
It is a foul if you practice at any time during your match, including time-outs and periods of suspended play. "Practice" is defined as any stroke or shot that is not a part of your match, taken on any table at the event venue. In team play, this rule applies to all members of the team roster, whether or not they are playing at the time and whether or not they are listed on
the score sheet of the match in progress.
Singles and Doubles penalties: the first violation is a foul, and an unsportsmanlike conduct warning must be issued; a second violation results in loss of game; a third violation results in loss of match.
Team Penalties – all penalties are team penalties; second and third penalties may be incurred by any member of the team.
For practice violations by players who are actually playing in a game at that time: it is a foul, and an unsportsmanlike conduct warning must be issued to the team; a second violation results in loss of game for the player that commits the second violation; a third violation results in loss of match for the team.
For practice violations by players who are not actually playing in a game at that time: it is a foul on all tables, and an unsportsmanlike conduct warning must be issued to the team; a second violation results in loss of the current game on all tables; a third violation results in loss of match for the team.
Stopping Play (deleted)
1.10 Suspended Play
Play may be suspended at the referee's discretion. It is a foul if you take any stroke or shot while play is suspended.
1.11 Time Out
If time outs are allowed by event regulations, you may only take a time out between games. Each player is allowed one time out per match. Time outs are limited to five minutes. If you exceed your allotted five minutes, or leave the playing area when not authorized to do so, you will forfeit one game for every two minute period you fail to return to the match. The two minute period begins once a referee has determined you are not present when you should be. Time outs are not allowed in team play. Note: time out does not add time to the 1 hour time limit for matches it is included. (Rev.
1.12 Lag for Break
The lag begins with each player having ball in hand behind the head string, one to the left of the long string and one to the right. The balls must be of equal size and weight. The players shoot at approximately the same time toward the foot cushion. The ball must contact the foot cushion. When the balls come to rest, the player whose ball is closest to the head cushion wins the lag. If the lag is a tie, it is replayed.
You lose the lag if your ball:
does not contact the foot cushion; contacts the foot cushion more than once; crosses the long string; contacts a side cushion; is pocketed or jumped off the table; comes to rest past the nose of the head cushion; is shot after your opponent's ball contacts the foot cushion.
The player who wins the lag may either break or require their opponent to break.
1.13 Breaking Subsequent Games of a Match/Alternate Break
Players will alternate break during match.
1.14 Racking Procedures
Racking shall be done by referee. (See referee instruction 2.7)
1.15 Deflecting the Cue Ball When Breaking
When breaking, it is a foul if you stop, grab, or deflect the cue ball after your cue tip strikes it. You will also receive a mandatory unsportsmanlike conduct warning. A second violation results in loss of game; a third violation results in loss of match.
1.16 Shot Clock Procedures
The use of a shot clock is intended to prevent slow play. There is normally no time limit for you to take a shot. However, a 60 second shot clock will be implemented after one (1) hour of play.
If a shot clock is used, it always applies to all players at that table. Shot clock procedures follow:
During a player’s inning, the 60 second shot clock starts when the previous shot ends and runs until cue tip to cue ball contact begins the next shot. If a player has ball-inhand, the shot clock starts when the player has possession of the cue ball and any spotting of balls or racking is finished.
The player will receive a 30 second and a 15 second warning from the referee. If the
player does not strike the cue ball within the 60 second period, it is a foul. (Rev 1/01
Each player is allowed one 60 second extension per rack. If both players are on the hill, each player receives two extensions in the decisive game. To use an extension, the player must verbally announce “extension” to the referee. The referee will then respond with “extension”, or “extension not allowed” if the player has no extension remaining. Timing procedures for extensions are the same as for other shots.
Calling Ball and Pocket
You must designate the called ball and the called pocket before each shot. The designation may be made verbally or by gesture. You do not have to call obvious shots. You do not need to indicate incidental kisses and caroms, or incidental cushion contacts that do not constitute bank shots or kick shots.
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 bank, kick, or combination shots, if you are not certain about a shot and you do not ask, the shot will be considered obvious
Regardless of whether or not your opponent asks, and regardless of how simple or obvious a shot may appear to you, bank shots, kick shots, and combination shots are defined as being not obvious and must always be called.
When calling bank shots, kick shots and combination shots you only have 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.
If you do not call a bank shot, kick shot, or combination shot and you pocket any ball on that shot, your inning ends and the incoming player must accept the table in position.
If a shot that was obvious prior to the stroke inadvertently becomes a bank shot because the ball did not go directly into the called pocket but instead contacted two or more cushions prior to being pocketed in the called pocket, the shot is scored for the shooter and the inning continues.
1.18 Legal Stroke
You must use a legal stroke. Any lifting, sideways, or other brushing motion of the cue stick, such that the force that propels the cue ball does not primarily result from a forward motion of the cue stick as defined under “Legal Stroke”, is a foul. (A legal stroke is defined as: Forward motion of the cue stick resulting in the cue tip striking the cue ball for only the momentary time customarily associated with a normal shot).
1.19 Legal Shot
Unless otherwise stated in specific game rules, a shot is legal if: a. a legal stroke is used; b. the first ball contacted by the cue ball is a legal object ball; c. after that contact, any object ball is pocketed, or the cue ball or any object ball contacts a cushion. If any of the above requirements are not met, it is a foul.
Cushion contact under (c) may be subject to Rule 1.20.
1.20 Object Ball Frozen to Cushion
1. If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is frozen to a cushion, then after the cue ball makes contact with the frozen object ball: a.
2. b. c. d. any object ball must be pocketed, or; the cue ball must contact a cushion, or; the frozen ball must contact a cushion attached to a separate rail, or; another object ball must contact a cushion.
Any ball, including the cue ball, which is frozen to a cushion at the start of a shot and then is forced into a cushion attached to the same rail is not considered to have contacted that cushion unless it leaves the cushion, contacts another ball, and then contacts the cushion again.
Cue Ball Frozen to Object Ball or Cushion (AR)
If the cue ball is frozen to a legal object ball, it is legal to shoot toward the object ball provided you use an otherwise legal stroke and no other foul is committed.
If the cue ball is frozen to a cushion, it is legal to shoot the cue ball into the cushion provided you use an otherwise legal stroke and no other foul is committed.
3. While the initial cue tip to cue ball contact of a stroke in the situations described in 1.21.1 and
1.21.2 is always legal, the presence of one or more object balls nearby may create the possibility of a violation of Rule 1.31 during the same stroke, but after the initial cue tip to cue ball contact. 4. Shooting the cue ball away from an object ball that is frozen to the cue ball does not constitute contact with that object ball.
1.22 Penalties for Fouls
Unless otherwise stated in a specific General Rule or specific game rules, if you commit a foul or otherwise violate the rules your inning ends and your opponent is awarded ball in hand.
1.23 Fouls Not Called
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.
1.23 Multiple Fouls
If you commit more than one foul during a shot, only the foul that carries the most severe penalty is enforced. However, unsportsmanlike conduct and deliberate fouls may be penalized in conjunction with any foul.
1.24 One Foot on the Floor
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 in regard to size, shape and manner in which it is worn.
1.25 Balls in Motion
It is a foul if you shoot while any ball is in motion. A spinning ball is in motion.
1.26 Failure to Contact Legal Object Ball First
It is a foul if the first object ball that the cue ball contacts is not a legal object ball. A simultaneous hit with a legal and illegal object ball is a legal hit.
It is a foul if you scratch.
1.28 Balls Jumped Off the Table
It is a foul if you cause any ball to be jumped off the table. (AR). Refer to rule 2.7.2 Continuing Play.
1.29 Push Shot
It is a foul if you shoot a push shot. (A push shot is defined as: a shot in which the cue tip maintains contact with the cue ball longer than the momentary contact allowed for a legal stroke.)
1.30 Double Hit
It is a foul if your cue tip strikes the cue ball more than once on the same stroke.
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, if the cue ball and object ball are in close proximity to each other and the cue ball strikes the object ball at a very slight angle the shot will be considered legal provided no other foul is committed. The referee is the sole judge of whether or not the angle taken results in a
legal shot. The referee may not advise you concerning the angle taken for the shot.
A miscue is not a foul if the shot is otherwise legal.
Disturbed Balls (Cue Ball Fouls Only)
It is not a foul to accidentally touch stationary balls located between the cue ball and the shooter while in the act of shooting. If such an accident occurs, the player shall allow the referee to restore the balls to their correct positions. If the player does not allow such restoration, and a ball set in motion as a normal part of the shot touches such an unrestored ball, or passes partly into a region originally occupied by a disturbed ball, the shot is a foul. In short, it the accident has any effect on the outcome of the shot, it is a foul. In any case, the referee must restore the positions of the disturbed balls as soon as possible, but not during the shot. It is a foul to play another shot before the referee has restored any accidentally moved balls.
It is a foul if you disturb more than one object ball.
It is a foul if a disturbed ball contacts any other ball.
It is a foul to accidently touch the cue ball. (Rev 1/11)
1.33 Jump Shots and Massé Shots
Jump shots are legal shots. However, it is a foul to intentionally cause the cue ball to rise off the bed of the table by "digging under" or "scooping" the cue ball with the cue stick.
If you attempt to jump over or massé 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 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.
Any attempt to curve the cue ball around an impeding ball is a massé shot, regardless of the degree of elevation of the cue stick or amount of curve.
1.34 Position of Ball
The base of a ball determines its position unless otherwise stated in specific game rules.
1.35 Shooting with Ball in Hand Behind the Head String Deleted by WCC Committee Jan. 2011.
1.36 (Deleted per BCAPL)
1.37 Ball in Hand Placement
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 stick to place the cue ball, any action which would be a legal stroke will be considered a shot, and must meet the requirements of a legal shot or it is a foul.
Once you have picked up the cue ball to take ball in hand, it remains in hand until your next stroke. After it has been picked up, the cue ball may be placed, picked up again and replaced successive times until that stroke is taken.
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. You may request that a referee pick the cue ball up for you immediately after a foul.
When placing the cue ball, it is a foul to touch any object ball with the cue ball or your hand which holds the cue ball. "Hand" is defined as including the wrist up to a point where a wristwatch would normally be worn. If the foul involves only a single object ball your opponent has the option of restoration as described in Rule 1.33. If more than one object ball is involved, there is no restoration option.
1.38 Illegal Marking
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 placing any mark on any part of the table. The foul occurs at the moment you attempt to mark the table, regardless of whether you remove the mark, or whether a shot is taken.
In addition to any penalty required by specific game rules, an unsportsmanlike conduct warning must be issued; a second violation results in loss of game; a third violation results in loss of match.
1.39 Deliberate Foul
It is a deliberate foul if you:
intentionally strike the cue ball with anything other than your cue tip; pick up the cue ball or contact the cue ball with your hand in order to end your inning; intentionally stop or deflect any ball that is in motion; catch any ball that is falling into a pocket; place your hand into a pocket while any ball is in motion near or toward that pocket; cause a ball to move by contacting or moving any part of the table in any way. In addition to any penalty required by specific game rules, the mandatory penalty for a deliberate foul is an unsportsmanlike conduct warning. A second violation results in loss of game; a third violation results in loss of match.
Unless otherwise stated in specific game rules, if you violate (c) your opponent may have the ball either spotted or pocketed. If you violate (d) your opponent may have the ball spotted, placed on the lip of the pocket, or pocketed. The remaining balls are left in position.
During your match, it is a foul if you ask for or intentionally receive assistance in planning or executing any shot. A mandatory unsportsmanlike conduct warning will be issued. A second violation results in loss of game; a third violation results in loss of match.
Any person except your opponent who offers any significant assistance to you, whether verbal or non-verbal, will be removed from the area.
The Administrative Authority of the event may modify this rule for team or doubles play.
1.41 Non-Shooting Player Requirement
When it is not your turn, you must not intentionally do anything which distracts your opponent or interferes with their play. Any such act is unsportsmanlike conduct.
Concession of Game (deleted)
1.43 Concession of Match
When your opponent is on the hill, if you make a motion to unscrew you’re playing cue stick during your opponent's inning you lose the match.
1.44 Unsportsmanlike Conduct
You must not commit any act which is unsportsmanlike in nature. This includes, but is not limited to, actions which are embarrassing, disruptive, or detrimental to other players, spectators, event officials, or the sport in general.
Players are responsible for their actions at all times while they are present at the event venue, whether playing or not.
Unsportsmanlike conduct is penalized at the discretion of the referee or other designated event officials. Penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct vary and are based upon the referee’s or event official’s judgment of the severity and nature of the unsportsmanlike act. Referees or event officials have the authority to penalize or disqualify, with or without warning, any player who acts in this manner.
Unsportsmanlike conduct warnings and penalties required by rule carry forward only in regard to the specific rule violated. Unsportsmanlike conduct warnings and penalties related to conduct or behavior carry forward and are cumulative during the entire event.
1.45 Spotting Balls
1. Balls to be spotted are placed on the long string with the number facing up. A single ball is placed on
3. the foot spot. If more than one ball is to be spotted, they are placed on the long string in ascending numerical order, beginning on the foot spot and moving toward the foot of the table.
If other balls interfere with spotting, the ball(s) will be spotted 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, the ball(s) will be spotted on the long string beginning at the foot spot and moving toward the head of the table.
Whenever possible, spotted balls will be placed frozen to interfering object balls or other spotted balls.
If the cue ball is the interfering ball, the spotted ball will be placed as closely as possible to the cue ball without being frozen to it.
1.46 Jawed Balls
If balls are wedged between the sides of a pocket or between cushions and any of those balls are suspended in the air, the referee 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 referee will then place the balls in the positions as judged and play will continue.
1.47 Non-Player Interference
If balls are moved because of the action of a non-player or other influence beyond the control of the players, a referee will restore the balls as nearly as possible to their original positions and play continues. If the referee judges that the balls cannot be restored, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again.
1.48 Balls Settling or Moving Spontaneously
If a ball shifts, settles, turns or otherwise moves "by itself", the ball shall remain in the position it assumed and play continues. A hanging ball that falls into a pocket "by itself" after being motionless for 5 seconds or longer shall be replaced as closely as possible to its position prior to falling, and play shall continue. If an object ball falls into a pocket "by itself" as a player shoots at it, so that the cue ball passes over the spot the ball had been on, unable to hit it, the cue ball and object ball are to be replaced to their positions prior to the stroke, and the player may shoot again. Any other object balls disturbed on the stroke are also to be replaced to their original positions before the shotter replays.
2.1 The Game
8-Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls numbered 1 through 15. Each player or team has a group of seven balls: the solid colored balls numbered 1 through 7, or the striped balls numbered 9 through 15. The 8-ball is the game winning ball. The object of the game is for you to pocket your entire group of balls, and then pocket the 8-ball.
2.2 8-Ball Rack
The balls are racked as follows:
in a triangle with the apex ball on the foot spot; the rows behind the apex are parallel to the foot rail; the 8-ball is in the middle of the row of three balls;
2.3 8-Ball Break Requirements
the remaining balls are placed at random, except that the ball at each rear corner of the rack must be of a different group than the other rear corner. The left/right orientation of the groups for those two balls does not matter.
You begin the break with ball in hand behind the head string. There is no requirement for the cue ball to contact any particular ball first. You must pocket a ball or cause at least four
object balls to contact the cushions or it is an illegal break. If you pocket a ball you continue to shoot; if you do not pocket a ball or you commit a foul, your inning ends.
If your break is illegal, your inning ends. Your opponent may: a. accept the table in position if you did not scratch; b. accept the table in position with ball in hand anywhere on the table if you did scratch; c. re-rack the balls and break; d. require you to re-rack the balls and break again.
If you scratch on a legal break and do not pocket the 8-ball, your inning ends and any other pocketed balls remain pocketed. Your opponent has ball in hand anywhere on the table.
If you foul on a legal break but do not scratch or pocket the 8-ball, your inning ends and any other pocketed balls remain pocketed. Your opponent may:
accept the table in position or; take ball in hand anywhere on the table.
In all cases on the break, jumped balls other than the 8-ball are not returned to the table except in the case of a re-rack. (Rev 1/11)
2.4 8-Ball Pocketed on the Break
If you pocket the 8-ball and do not foul, you may:
have the 8-ball spotted and accept the table in position or; re-rack the balls and break again.
If you pocket the 8-ball and scratch your inning ends. Your opponent may:
have the 8-ball spotted and take ball in hand anywhere on the table; re-rack the balls and break; c. require you to re-rack the balls and break again.
If you pocket the 8-ball and foul but do not scratch, or if you jump the 8-ball off the table, your inning ends. Your opponent may:
have the 8-ball spotted and take ball in hand anywhere on the table;
have the 8-ball spotted and accept the table in position;
re-rack the balls and break; d. require you to re-rack the balls and break again.
If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break and not noticed until after another shot has been taken the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again. (Rev 1/11)
2.5 Table Open After the Break
The table is always open after the break and remains open until groups are established. When the table is open, all object balls except the 8-ball are legal object balls and combination shots involving balls of different groups are legal. The 8-ball may be part of such a combination if it is not the first ball contacted by the cue ball. It is a foul if the 8-ball is contacted first. (Rev 1/11)
2.6 Establishing Groups
Groups are established when the first object ball is legally pocketed on a shot after the break.
The player legally pocketing the first ball is assigned that group, and the opponent is assigned the other group.
If all of either group of balls are pocketed on the break or illegally pocketed before the groups are established, either player may legally shoot the 8-ball during their inning. If the 8-ball is legally pocketed on such a shot, the game is won.
in a timely manner, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again.
2.7 Continuing Play
Once they are established, groups can never change for the remainder of that game. If a player shoots the wrong group and no foul is called before the next shot and the player continues to shoot at that group, or if at any time during the game it is discovered by the player(s) or a referee that the players are shooting the wrong groups for any reason and a foul was not called
Once groups are established, play continues with each player having their group as legal object balls. Balls in your opponents' group and the 8-ball are illegal object balls. When it is your inning, you continue to shoot as long as you legally pocket a ball on each shot. If you do not legally pocket a ball, your inning ends.
Jumped balls and illegally pocketed balls are not returned to the table, but do count in favor of the player with that group.
2.8 Safety Play / No Call / No Pocket
Prior to any shot except the break you may declare a safety. On a safety, your inning ends after the shot regardless of whether or not you pocket any ball, including an obvious ball or a called ball. You must declare the safety to your opponent before the shot, and they must acknowledge your intentions. If you do not declare a safety or it is not acknowledged, and you pocket an obvious ball or a called ball, your inning continues and you must shoot again. Balls pocketed on a safety are illegally pocketed balls.
Safety shots must meet the requirements of a legal shot.
2.9 Shooting the 8-Ball
The 8-ball becomes your legal object ball on your first shot after the last ball of your group is pocketed. The first player to legally pocket the 8-ball wins the game.
With the exception of the provisions of Rule 2.10, if you foul but do not pocket the 8-ball, it is not loss of game. Your opponent is awarded ball in hand.
2.10 Loss of Game
You lose the game if:
you illegally pocket the 8-ball; you jump the 8-ball off the table on any shot other than the break; you pocket the 8-ball on the same shot as the last ball of your group;
you violate any General Rule that requires loss of game as a penalty;
you pocket the 8-ball on a bank shot that you do not call.
If a referee has judged that the table is in a position such that any attempt to pocket or move a ball will result in loss of game, and each player has played three innings without significantly changing the position, the referee will declare a stalemate and the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again.
Instructions for Referees
3.1 TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS/REFEREES
Where these rules refer to a “referee,” it should be noted that the referees’ prerogatives and discretion also pertain to other tournament officials as appropriate.
3.2 REFEREE’S AUTHORITY
The referee will maintain order and enforce the rules of the game. The referee is the final judge in all matters of fact, and is in complete charge of the match. The referee may consult other tournament officials for rule interpretations, ball positions, etc. However, all matters of judgment are his and his alone; they cannot be appealed to higher tournament authority by players; only if the referee is in error on a rule or its application, may higher tournament authority overrule him.
When asked for a clarification of a rule, the referee will explain the applicable rule to the best of his ability, but any misstatement by the referee will not protect a player from enforcement of the actual rules. The referee must not offer or provide any subjective opinion that would affect play, such as whether a good hit can be made on a prospective shot, whether a combination is makeable, how the table seems to be playing, etc.
3.3 REFEREE’S RESPONSIVENESS
The referee shall be totally responsive to player’s inquiries regarding objective data, such as whether a ball will be in the rack, if a ball is in the kitchen, what the count is, how many points are needed for a victory, if a player or his opponent is on a foul, what rule would apply if a certain shot is made, etc.
When asked for a clarification of a rule, the referee will explain the applicable rule to the best of his ability, but any misstatement by the referee will not protect a player from enforcement of the actual rules. The referee must not offer or provide any subjective opinion that would affect play, such as whether a good hit can be made on a prospective shot, whether a combination is can be made, how the table seems to be playing, etc.
3.4 FINAL TOURNAMENT AUTHORITY
Though these rules attempt to cover the vast majority of situations that arise in competition, there still may be an occasional need for interpretation of the rules and their proper application under unusual circumstances. The Tournament Director or other official who assumes final responsibility for a tournament will make any such required decision (other than referee’s judgment calls) at his discretion, and they shall be final.
3.5 WAGERING BY REFEREES
Referee are strictly prohibited from any wagering of any kind involving the games, players or tournament in any way. Any such wagering by a referee (or other tournament official) shall result in his immediate dismissal and the forfeiture of his entire financial compensation for the tournament.
3.6 EQUIPMENT PREPARATION
In general, the referee will have the table and balls cleaned as necessary. He will ensure that chalk, powder, and mechanical bridges are available. He will mark or have marked the spots, the head string, the long string, and the outer edge of the triangle, directly on the playing surface when required by specific game rules.
After the referee has racked the balls for a game, the player may examine the balls as racked but the referee shall be the sole authority regarding the suitability of the rack for play.
If a referee incorrectly calls a shot, where required by specific game rules, a player should correct him before completing the shot. If an incorrect call does occur for any reason, the shot shall be credited if, in the judgment of the referee, the player did legally execute the shot as intended.
3.9 CALLING FOULS
The referee will call fouls as soon as possible after they occur. No further play may occur until a decision regarding a foul has been rendered and both players informed. If the offending player continues to shoot after a foul is called, the referee may consider the action to be unsportsmanlike conduct, and the offending player loses the game (or fifteen points if in 14.1 Continuous). The referee shall inform the incoming player of ball-in-hand where specific game rules apply and should NOT
pick up the cue ball unless requested by the incoming player. The referee may announce “Ball-in-
hand”. (Rev. 01/03)
3.10 SPLIT HITS
When the referee observes that the cue ball strikes a legal object ball and a non-legal object ball at approximately the same instant, and it cannot be determined which ball was hit first, the judgment will go in favor of the shooter.
3.11 CLEARING POCKETS
On tables, which do not have ball return systems, the referee will remove pocketed object balls from full or nearly full pockets. It is the player’s responsibility to see that this duty is performed; he has no recourse if a ball rebounds from a full pocket.
3.12 CLEANING BALLS
During a game a player may ask the referee to clean one or more balls. The referee will clean any visibly soiled ball.
3.13 SPOTTING BALLS
To avoid any unnecessary guidance to a player when spotting balls, the referee should position each ball so that the number is facing upward.
3.14 SOLICITING INFORMATION
If the referee does not have a clear view of a possible foul, he may form his decision by any means by which he feels comfortable.
3.15 INAPPROPRIATE USE OF EQUIPMENT
The referee should be alert for a player using equipment or accessory items for purposes or in a manner other than those for which they were intended, or for the use of illegal equipment, as defined under “equipment specifications”. Generally, no penalty is applied. However, should a player persist in such activity or use such equipment, after having been advised that such activity or use is not permissible, the referee or other tournament official may take action as appropriate under the provisions of “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.” (Also see Rules 1.3 and 1.4.)
3.16 MANDATORY WARNINGS
The referee must warn a player who is about to commit a serious foul (such as requesting coaching assistance, or failure to stop shooting after a foul has been called) whenever the referee has been given enough time to do so; otherwise, any foul is considered to be a standard foul (except as specially noted).
For instance, in games where the rule applies the referee must inform a player who has had two consecutive fouls; otherwise, the player is considered to have had only one foul prior to the shot; the referee must inform a player when an object ball is touching a rail, otherwise any contact on that ball is considered to have driven that ball to the rail. The referee should notify the player as soon as the corresponding situation arises and whenever enough time was given to issue the warning. A warning issued just as a stroke occurs or is about to occur is not considered sufficient time for the shooter to react and the warning will be considered not to have been issued. (Rev 1/11)
3.17 RESTORING A POSITION
When necessary for balls to be restored or cleaned, the referee will restore disturbed balls to their original position to the best of his ability. The players must accept the referee’s judgment as to placement. The referee may ask for information for this purpose from whatever source deemed appropriate.
3.18 OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE
When outside interference occurs during a shot that has an effect on the outcome of that shot, the referee will restore the balls to the positions they had before the shot, and the shot will be replayed. If the interference had no effect on the shot, the referee will restore the disturbed balls and play will continue. If the balls cannot be restored to their original positions, the game should be replayed with the original player breaking.
3.19 ILLEGALLY CAUSING BALL TO MOVE
Any player who, in the referee’s judgment, intentionally causes a ball to move by any illegal means
(pushing on bed cloth, bumping or slapping table, etc.) will lose the game and/or match by forfeit. No preliminary warning from the referee is required. (Referee’s judgment and discretion under
3.20 JUDGING DOUBLE HITS
When the distance between the cue ball and the object ball is less than the width of a chalk cube, special attention from the referee is required. In such a situation, unless the referee can positively determine a legal shot has been performed, the following guidance may apply: if the cue ball follows through the object ball more than ½ ball, it is a foul.
3.21 OUT OF HEAD STRING WARNING
Deleted by WCC Committee Jan. 2011.
3.22 REMAINING IN PLAYER’S CHAIR
Players are to remain in the chair designated for their use while the opponent is at the table. Should a player need to leave the playing area during a match, he must request and receive permission from the referee. Should a player leave the playing area without permission of the referee, it will be considered a concession and loss of game (or fifteen points if in 14.1 Continuous). The referee shall apply his good judgment to ensure that undue time is not being used or that a player is not abusing the privilege as a means of unsettling an opponent.
3.23 OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE PROHIBITED
Unless specifically permitted by the rules of a given tournament, players may not knowingly accept any form of playing advice during a match. A player may not engage in communication either verbal or nonverbal, with persons other than the tournament officials or his opponent during play, or during time-outs. Should a player desire to so communicate, for example to obtain a beverage, get a piece of equipment etc., he should either communicate through a tournament official or with the approval and observance of the referee. If the referee has reason to believe that a player knowingly solicited or accepted outside assistance in any manner regarding the play of a game or match, he shall take steps appropriate under the provision of “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.” In team or doubles play, communication rules may be altered by the appropriate organization as provided for under
3.24 NON-PLAYER INTERFERENCE OR HARASSMENT
If a non-player by any means interferes with either or both players, the referee should request the offending non-player or players to be removed from the playing area for the duration of the match.
3.25 SLOW PLAY (See rule 1.16)
A player may request a rule interpretation or protest a failure to call a foul to the referee or appropriate tournament authority; but the request or protest must be made immediately and prior to any subsequent shot being taken, or it cannot be considered or honored. If the player fails to do so, the foul is considered not to have occurred. The referee is the final judge on matters of fact. If either player thinks that the referee is applying the rules incorrectly or has made an interpretation incorrectly, the referee must take the protest to the tournament director or his appointed substitute. The tournament director or his appointed substitute’s interpretation of the rules is final. Play will be suspended until the protest is resolved. All players must honor an opponent’s request that play be halted if an official is to be summoned or if a referee is to check or verify a rule question. Failure to honor such requests may result in disqualification or forfeiture of the game or the match under the provisions of
3.27 SUSPENDING PLAY
The referee has the authority to suspend play during protest by players and whenever he feels that conditions are unsuitable for play to continue. If a spectator is interfering with the game, play may be suspended until that spectator is removed from the area. (Also see Rule 1.10)
3.28 UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
The referee has the right and obligation to ensure that no player engages in any activity which, in his judgment, is unsportsmanlike in nature, embarrassing, disruptive or detrimental to other players, tournament officials, or hosts, or the sport in general. The referee or other officials shall have the right to penalize or disqualify, with or without warning, any player who acts in an unsportsmanlike manner.
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