Nine ball is played with nine object balls numbered one through nine and a cue ball. On any shot other than the push out, the cue ball must first contact the lowest numbered ball on the table but the balls need not be pocketed in numerical order. If the shouter pockets any ball on a legal shot, he remains at the table until he either misses, fouls or wins. If he misses, the incoming player accepts all balls in position. After a foul however, the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table shooting at the lowest numbered ball left on the table. While certain "standard" fouls are penalized by ball in hand to the opponent, certain "major" fouls are penalized by loss of game. Players are not required to call any shot. The watch ends when either player has won the required number of games.
Detailed rules for nine ball are given below followed by the specific definitions of "General Rules" and technical terms. These rules do not cover specifications or parameters of cues, tables, balls, types of cloth, sanctioning conditions or the distribution of prize funds, nor do they apply to any participant, incident or event which might occur outside the jurisdiction of tournament officials in the performance of their duties. These rules govern, maintain order, and only apply during the actual playing of a tournament and only within the confines of the tournament area while play is in progress.Next › Beginning Play
2.1 Order of Play
Order of play for the opening game is determined by coin toss or lag. If the players have differing opinions on whether to flip or lag then a coin toss will be used to determine coin toss or lag. The winner has the option of breaking or assigning the break to his opponent. From that point forward the winner breaks.
In tournament nine ball, the balls are racked in a diamond formation with the one ball at the top of the diamond and on the foot spot, the nine ball in the center of the diamond and all other balls in arbitrary order unless otherwise specified by the tournament director. All balls should be touching their neighbors. If all the balls are not frozen, the breaker may ask the referee for a re-rack (in case of no referee, the breaker's opponent) prior to the break. At any time, the tournament director may declare a rack acceptable for play.
2.3 Break Shot
A legal break shot is governed by the same rules that apply to any other legal shot. In addition, the following rules apply at all times:
If the breaker pockets one or more balls on a legal break, he continues to shoot until he either misses, fouls or wins. If the shooter misses or fouls, the other player begins his inning and continues to shoot until he either misses, fouls or wins. The game ends when the nine ball is pocketed on a legal shot, or lost by one player committing a major foul.Next › Standard Fouls
4.1 Ball In Hand
When a player commits a standard foul, his inning ends, he must relinquish his turn at the table and all balls pocketed on that foul stay down with the exception of the nine ball. The incoming player now has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table. If the seated player should foul while his opponent is at the table, the shooter is awarded cue ball in hand anywhere on the table and any balls disturbed during the commission of that foul will be restored to their original positions by the referee, if requested to do so by the shooter. If a player commits more than one standard foul on one shot, they are all counted as one foul. The following are "standard fouls":
Pocketing the cue ball or driving it off the table is a foul.
4.3 Object Ball Off Table
Driving any object ball off the table is a foul.
4.4 Bad Hit
With the exception of a push out, if the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest numbered ball on the table, the shot is a foul.
4.5 No Rail
With the exception of a push out, if no object ball is pocketed, failure to drive any ball to a cushion after the cue ball contacts the lowest numbered ball on the table is a foul.
4.6 Foot on Floor
Failure to have at least one foot on the floor at the moment the cue tip strikes the cue ball is a foul.
4.7 Moving Ball
Shooting while any ball is still in motion is a foul. A spinning ball is considered to be in motion
4.8 Push Shot
If the cue tip remains in contact with the cue ball after the cue ball goes into motion it is considered a push shot. The shot is a foul. If however, the cue ball is frozen to the lowest numbered ball on the table, it is legal to shoot the cue ball with a level cue, in any direction, provided the cue tip strikes rather than pushes the cue ball.
4.9 Double Hit
If the cue tip strikes the cue ball twice on the same stroke, it is a foul. If the cue ball and the lowest numbered ball are extremely close together and the player decides to shoot directly towards the object ball, it is incumbent upon the shooter to visibly retard the forward motion of the cue ball. He must employ any stroke necessary to insure that the cue ball slows substantially after contact and does not follow the object ball at the same speed. Failure to do so will be considered a double hit, and therefore a foul.
4.10 Rail Safety
When the cue ball and the lowest numbered ball are very close together near a rail, there is often no viable shot for either player. Frequently, the shooter will decide to softly tap the object ball directly into the cushion for a "rail safety". The player who plays the first rail safety is permitted to use the same cushion only twice. If he plays yet another safety on his third attempt the shot must result in either ball being driven to any cushion attached to a different rail. Failure to do so is a foul.
Allowing the cue ball, playing equipment or any part of a player's body or clothing to touch any numbered ball while the cue ball is in hand is a foul.
4.12 Cue Ball
Except for ball in hand placement, if a player touches the cue ball with anything other than the chalked surface of his cue tip, he has fouled. With ball in hand, the player may place, roll or position the cue ball with anything other than the chalked surface of his cue tip.
4.13 Touched Object Ball
When a match is played under the rules of "Cue Ball Fouls Only Prior to Shot", it is not a foul to accidentally touch a single, stationary object ball while in the act of preparing to shoot. If such an accident does occur, the shooter must allow the referee or the opponent to restore the disturbed ball back to its original position - at the opponent's discretion. The opponent has the option of restoration, not the referee. If the shooter does not allow the option of restoration to his opponent (replaces the ball without asking), it is a foul. During the execution of a shot, once the cue ball has been struck with the tip of the cue stick in a standard stroke and the shot is underway regardless of how far the cue ball goes it is a foul to touch or move any object ball on the table this stands until you leave the table. Accidentally touching or disturbing two or more object balls while in the act of shooting is a standard foul. With any foul there is no restoration option.
4.14 Object Balls
Players may touch object balls only to assist the referee in the performance of his duties or to position a ball before the opening lag. If a player intentionally touches an object ball for any other purpose while the match is in progress whether that object ball is in play or not, he has fouled.
4.15 Scoop Shot
In an attempt to clear an intervening or obstructing ball, if a player shoots with extreme draw resulting in a miscue which causes the cue tip to "dig under" the cue ball thereby forcing it to rise off the cloth, he has fouled.
The non-shooting player will remain seated at all times while his opponent is at the table. Failure to do so is a foul for interference. If the non-shooting player distracts his opponent or interferes with his play in any way, (visually, audibly or physically) he has fouled. If a player shoots out of turn, or moves any ball except during his inning, it is considered to be interference. In addition to the foul, a warning could be issued to the offending player by the tournament director or head referee for "Unsportsmanlike Conduct".
4.17 Split Hit
When a referee observes that the cue ball strikes a legal object ball and a non-legal object ball at the same instant and it cannot be determined, with certainty, which ball was hit first, the judgment will go in favor of the shooter. It is deemed to be a good hit. For a foul to be called, the cue ball must clearly be seen striking the higher numbered ball first.
Using any device in an uncustomary manner is a foul. Equipment and/or accessories must not be used outside the specific purpose for which they were intended. In addition, it is illegal to mark a table in any way that could provide the shooter with an unfair advantage in lining up or executing a shot. Players may use mechanical bridges, chalk, powder and cues of their own choice and design, but tournament officials may restrict the use of such equipment if it interferes with or disrupts competitive tournament conditions.
While a match is in progress, practice is not permitted. Taking a shot, at any time, that is not part of that match is a standard foul. Please note however, that shooting while the referee has suspended play (referee's time out) is penalized by loss of game. (See "Major Fouls, 5.4)
The following major fouls are penalized by loss of game, but only if the referee has warned the player before the foul occurs. If the referee fails to warn the player, any major foul will be penalized as a standard foul, except as noted.
5.1 Three Consecutive Fouls
If a player fouls three times without making an intervening legal shot, he loses the game. The three fouls must occur in one game, in three consecutive innings. The referee (in case of no referee, the opponent) must give a warning anytime between the second and third foul. If the opponent is giving the warning, the warning must be directed right to the player at the table and the player at the table must acknowledge that the warning has been given and heard. If the opponent who is giving the warning does not make sure the player at the table acknowledges the warning then no foul will be accessed.
5.2 Coaching Assistance
While a match is in progress, players are not allowed to ask spectators for assistance in planning or executing shots. If a player asks for and receives such advice, it is loss of game. Any spectator, who spontaneously offers advice, of any kind, to a player, will be ejected from the tournament area.
5.3 Failure to Leave the Table
If a player does not leave the table as soon as the referee has called a foul, he loses the game. The calling of the foul itself is considered to be the referee's warning to the player.
5.4 Suspended Play
A suspension in play is a referee 's "time out". If a player shoots while play is suspended by the referee, he loses the game. Announcement of the suspension is considered sufficient warning.
5.5 Ball Tapping
Tapping balls in place while racking is not permitted at any time including practice. Only the tournament director or head referee is permitted to tap balls in place. There will be a 2 game penalty for 1st offense, loss of match for 2nd offense.
5.6 Slow Play
It is considered that any normal (i.e. not difficult or challenging position) shot shall take between 30 and 45 seconds per shot. And any difficult or challenging position shot shall take between 45 and 60 seconds per shot. If tournament officials feel that a participant is playing exceptionally slow, the player must be warned that if his slow play continues, he risks loss of game. Subsequent to the warning, if tournament officials agree that his play remains unacceptably slow, he may now be penalized one game for each game in which such slow play continues. This rule may be waived or nullified by the tournament director, as he deems appropriate.
5.7 No Concessions
Concessions are not permitted in "The Tri-State Tour" tournaments. If a player attempts to concede a game, he is given one warning that concessions are not allowed. Second offense is penalized by a one game penalty in addition to the game he conceded. Third offense is penalized by loss of match. Unscrewing a two piece cue stick (except to replace a shaft, in which case a player must first state that he is changing his shaft and it must be done on his own inning) is considered to be a concession if done during the match deciding game. No warning from the referee is required in the case of a concession. When playing the 9-Ball as the last ball on the table and both 9 and cue ball are sunk, the 9-Ball does not have to be spotted and shot (The game is considered over at this point).
6.1 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 however, the interference had no effect on the shot, the referee will again restore all disturbed balls and play will then continue. In either case, the player does not have the option of restoration since it is mandatory for the referee to restore all disturbed balls.
6.2 Settling Into Place
A ball may settle slightly after it appears to have stopped, possibly due to slight imperfections in the cloth or table slate. Unless this causes a ball to fall into a pocket, it is considered a normal hazard of play, and the ball will not be moved back. If a ball falls into a pocket as a result of such settling, it is replaced as close as possible to its original position on the lip of the pocket. If a ball falls into a pocket during or just prior to a shot, and it has an effect on the shot, the referee will restore the ball to its original position and the shot will be replayed. Players are not penalized for shooting while a ball is settling.
6.3 Jump Shots
It is legal to cause the cue ball to leave the surface of the table by elevating the butt of the cue and with a downward stroke, force the cue ball to rise off the cloth. For the shot to be legal, only the cue tip may touch the cue ball, the shot must not be ?scooped? by the ferrule. Any miscue on a jump shot is a standard foul. Jump Cues may be used as long as they conform to all of the BCA requirements for cues (i.e. must be 40? in length minimum). A player may also jump with his break cue.
6.4 Prompting Warnings
When a player thinks that the referee has failed to issue a mandatory warning to his opponent, he may remind the referee that such a warning is necessary.
6.5 Protesting Rulings
If a player believes the referee has failed to call a foul, he must protest to the referee before his opponent or he himself takes the next shot. If he fails to do so, and the foul goes unpenalized, the foul is considered not to have occurred. The referee is the final judge on all matters of judgment. His decision is his and his alone. If however, either player thinks the referee is applying the rules incorrectly, and the dispute cannot be resolved by reference to the rules, the referee must take the protest to the tournament director or his appointed substitute. The tournament director's decision will be based on the correct application and/or interpretation of the rule in question and his decision shall be final. All appeals for fouls and concessions must be made prior to another shot being played on the table.
6.6 Waiving Specific Rules
Prior to the start of a tournament, the tournament director (under PBTA sanction) has been granted the authority to waive or modify specific rules governing that particular tournament. It is the player's responsibility to be aware of any waivers, changes or modifications.
6.7 Late Start
Every player must be ready to begin his match within fifteen minutes of the start of the match or he loses by forfeit. The starting time is considered to be the scheduled start time or the time the match is announced, whichever is the latter. At a two-day event the players of the first match of the day have a 15-minute grace period to be in the room before the match is officially called.
6.8 Unsportsmanlike Conduct
If the referee and the tournament director agree that a player has committed an act which is embarrassing, insulting or detrimental to other players, tournament officials or the sport in general, the tournament director has the authority to penalize or disqualify, with or without warning, any player who displays unsportsmanlike conduct or behavior.
The referee will maintain order and enforce all rules. He has the final decision in all matters of judgment. His duties include but are not limited to the following:
7.1 Before the Match
Before the match, the referee will clean the table and balls if necessary. He will make sure that chalk and mechanical bridges are available. He will mark the head string and long string if they are not already so marked.
A player may call a referee or tournament director at any time to rack the balls for the match currently being played. The referee will rack the balls as tightly as possible, which means each ball should be touching its neighbors. Tapping a. ball into place is not recommended; it is preferable to thoroughly brush the rack area to even out the surface of the cloth.
7.3 Calling Fouls
The referee will call all fouls as soon as they occur and will inform the inning player that he has ball in hand. When possible, the referee will clean the cue ball and hand it to that player.
7.4 Clearing Pockets
On tables that 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 since he has no recourse if a ball rebounds from a full pocket back onto the table.
7.5 Cleaning Balls
At anytime during a match, a player may ask the referee to clean one or more balls. The referee will clean any visibly soiled ball.
7.6 Soliciting Information
If the referee does not have a clear view of a possible foul, he may ask anyone for assistance in determining what occurred. The referee will then carefully weigh all evidence before rendering a decision.
7.7 Mandatory Warnings
The referee must warn a player, who is about to commit a major foul, otherwise any foul is considered to be a standard foul (except as specially noted). The referee must warn a player, who is on two consecutive fouls, otherwise the player is considered to be on only one foul prior to the shot. The referee must warn a player when an object ball is frozen to a cushion, otherwise any contact with that ball is considered to have driven it to that cushion. The referee must issue warnings as soon as the corresponding situation arises since any announcement given just as the player is about to shoot is not valid. The player must be given enough time to react to the warning.
7.8 Restoring a Position
When it becomes necessary, the referee will restore disturbed balls to their original positions to the best of his ability. The referee may ask for information in this regard if he is not sure of the original positions. If the balls ware disturbed by a player, his opponent has the option of preventing restoration. In this case, the referee should clearly indicate where the balls would be moved to if they were restored; then only restore them if requested to do so.
7.9 Advice vs. Rules Clarification
The referee must never give advice nor offer opinion to the players on points of play. Only when asked by either player for clarification of a rule will the referee then explain that specific rule to the best of his ability, but any incorrect statement by the referee will not protect a player from enforcement of the actual rule. When asked, the referee must tell either player the score, how many fouls is each player on, is the cue ball frozen to an object ball, etc. If the referee sees that a foul is about to be committed by either player, he must say nothing until after the foul since any warning before the foul would constitute "advice" from the referee.
7.10 Suspending Play
The referee has the authority to suspend play (or "referee's time out") during protests or whenever he feels that conditions are unsuitable for play to continue. If a spectator is interfering with the game, play can be suspended until that spectator is removed from the area.
When a referee is not available, the player who is not shooting will assume the duties of the referee in terms of racking.
8.1 Third Opinion
When any shot arises that is likely to lead to dispute, a tournament official should be called to watch the shot and provide the ruling. It is the player who is not shooting responsibility to call a tournament official to rule on any questionable shot. If a player does not call a tournament official on a questionable shot and relies on his own perception or that of a spectator to make the call and a dispute arises after the shot the call will automatically go to the shooter. If a player calls for a tournament official and the player at the table does not wait for the tournament official and shoots before the tournament official arrives, this is considered a standard foul and ball in hand will be awarded to the non shooting player.
8.2 Resolving Disputes
The tournament director or his appointed substitute will resolve any difference of opinion between two players. The tournament director or his appointed substitute decisions shall be final. All disputes must be settled before any play in a match is continued, if play continues the dispute is considered to not have happened.
9.1 Shot, Inning, Game, Match
A shot begins at the instant the cue tip strikes the cue ball and ends when all balls have stopped rolling or spinning. A player's inning begins when it is legal for him to shoot and ends at the conclusion of a shot on which he either wins, fouls or misses. A game starts the moment the cue ball crosses the head string on the opening break and ends at the conclusion of a legal shot which pockets the nine ball, or when a player forfeits the game as the result of a foul. A match begins when both players have struck both balls for the lag and terminates when the deciding game ends.
9.2 Above the Head String A ball is above the head string (commonly called, "behind the line") if its center lies between the head string and the head cushion. A ball is below the head string if its center lies on the head string or between the head string itself and the foot cushion.
9.3 Break Box
On every break shot, the cue ball must be shot from within the confines of the "break box". This box is defined as an area extending nine inches to the left and to the right of the head spot along the head string, then extending two perpendicular lines from the head string to the head rail creating an area 18" by 25". If the table is not marked at nine inches then the two diamonds on the head rail define the box. Failure to shoot the cue ball from within this area on the break shot is a foul.
A ball resting on the edge of a pocket is considered to have stopped if it remains motionless for five seconds. If anyone causes such a ball to fall in before the five second limit by bumping or otherwise moving the table, the ball is considered not pocketed and will be replaced at the edge of the pocket as close as possible to its original position. The time begins when all other balls have stopped and time ends when five seconds have elapsed.
A ball is considered pocketed when it enters either a pocket or the ball return system of the table. A ball that hits the lining of a pocket or another ball already in the pocket and returns to the surface of the table (or jumps off the table) is considered not pocketed. If a ball comes to rest on the lip of a pocket so that it is partly supported by another ball, in the referee's judgment, it is considered to be pocketed if removal of the supporting ball would cause the supported ball to fall into the pocket.
9.6 Ball to a Cushion
A ball is considered driven to a cushion if it is not touching a cushion, and is then driven to a cushion. A ball that is touching a cushion at the start of a shot and then is forced into the same cushion is considered not to have been driven to that cushion. A ball is considered to have been driven to a cushion if it touches the pocket rim, back, face or pocket liner.
9.7 Spotting Balls
All object balls that have been pocketed illegally or driven off the table stay down. No ball ever comes to the spot with one exception; the nine ball will be respotted if pocketed on a scratch or foul. The opponent then has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table.
9.8 In Hand
When the cue ball is in hand, the shooter may place the cue ball anywhere on the table except in contact with any object ball. He may adjust the position of the cue ball with anything other than the chalked surface of his cue tip until he takes a shot.
9.9 Off the Table
A ball is considered to be driven off the table if it comes to rest on anything other than the cloth bed of the playing surface. Driving the cue ball or any object ball off the table is a standard foul.
9.10 MiscueA miscue occurs when the cues tip slides off the cue ball due to insufficient chalk or contact was made too far from center ball. It is usually accompanied by a sharp "snapping" sound. This is only considered a standard foul if the cue ball does not subsequently create a legal shot or if a double hit occurs.
Player's lag by shooting simultaneously from behind the head string, contacting the foot rail and having the lag ball come to rest as close as possible to the head rail. Object balls are substituted if two cue balls are not available. It is automatic loss of lag if a player's ball crosses the centerline of the table, does not contact the foot rail, hits the long rail coming back to the head rail, is pocketed or driven off the table or hits any object ball. It is also loss of lag if the lag ball comes to rest within the corner of any pocket. All ties are replayed. The least distance between the outer surface of the lag ball and the nose of the head cushion determines winner of the lag.
9.12 Push Out
The player who shoots the shot immediately after a legal break shot may elect to play a push out, sometimes called a "roll out". On a push out, the cue ball is not required to contact any object ball nor any rail, therefore Rules 4.4 and 4.5 are invalid, but all other foul rules still apply. The player must announce either to his opponent or to the referee his intention of playing a push out before the shot, or the shot is considered to be a normal shot. Acknowledgement by the opponent or the referee must be received before the shot is played or the shot is considered to be a normal shot. Any ball pocketed on a push out does not count and stays down unless the shooter deliberately sinks the nine ball in which case it will be respotted. Following a legal push out, the incoming player is permitted to shoot from that position or pass the shot back to the player who pushed out. A push out is not considered to be a foul as long as no rule (except 4.4 and 4.5) is violated. An illegal push out is penalized according to the type of foul committed.
When racking balls, a triangle must be used as the balls are racked in a diamond formation. The one ball must be on the top of the diamond nearest the head rail and resting on the foot spot while the nine ball is in the center of the diamond The remaining seven balls will be in arbitrary order. Every ball within the rack should be in contact with every adjacent ball. At any time, the tournament director may declare a rack suitable for play.
9.14 Legal Shot
A player must cause the cue ball to contact a legal numbered ball and then either:
9.15 Use of Equipment
Players may not use equipment or personal items for purposes other than those for which the items were intended Example; chalk cubes may not be used to prop up a mechanical bridge. No more then two mechanical bridges may be used at any one time, nor may they be used to support anything other than the cue shaft. Out-of-play balls may not be used to measure gaps or spaces between balls or between ball and cushion except to verify the winner of the lag. In addition, the choice of personal equipment employed by any player is subject to the tournament director's approval if such equipment proves to be distracting to other players or interferes with play in general. Example: a player cannot use powder in such an excessive fashion that would unduly affect the roll of the balls. Further, players are not permitted to use powder or chalk to "mark" a cushion as an aid in aiming a bank or kick shot.
9.16 Player Responsibility
It is the player?s responsibility to be aware of all rules, regulations and schedules applying to his competition. While tournament officials will make every reasonable effort to have such information readily available to all players, the ultimate responsibility rests with the player himself. The player has no recourse if such information is not volunteered. The responsibility for knowing his situation, scheduled match times, rule changes and tournament format lies with the player himself. It is also the player?s responsibility to know and confirm the score of a match after game.
9.17 Wedged Balls
If two object balls should become wedged or jammed between the jaws (pocket liners) of a corner pocket, the tournament director or referee will be called upon to make the following determination. If in his judgment, the center of either ball is suspended over the edge of the corner slate and removal of the other ball would allow said ball to drop into that pocket, the referee will declare that ball pocketed. He will then physically pocket that ball leaving the other ball in position and play will continue with the original player shooting and credited with a pocketed ball. For the referee to make such a call, the two balls must have become wedged as the result of a legal shot.
9.18 Supported Ball
As the result of a drop pocket becoming full or nearly full, should a ball come to rest on the edge of the slate resting against one of the previously pocketed balls within that pocket, the tournament director or referee will again follow the same procedure as in Rule 9.17, Wedged Balls. If in his judgment, removal of the supporting ball would cause the object ball in question to drop into that pocket, the shooter will be credited with a pocketed ball and will continue to shoot provided the object ball came to rest against the supporting ball as the result of a legal shot.
The Tri-State Tour honors the Code of Conduct and Ethics as established by the MPBA, PBTA and the WPBA. Professional conduct while on the tournament floor is paramount in the best interests of our sport. A participant's behavior, both in and out of competition affects the image of our game and the potential for all touring professionals to earn a living through sanctioned competition. To that end, vulgarity, profanity, conceding and /or forfeiting games or matches will not be tolerated. A player will remain seated whenever his opponent is at the table, and during instruction. While a player may be assessed a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct resulting in ejection from a tournament, fine and further penalties may be imposed by The Tri-State Tour Official or the Executive Director of The Tri-State Tour.
These rules are for everyone who is a member of The Tri-State Tour and their guests. These rules apply to every member, even if you're not currently playing in the event.
No open barking for games.
No open gambling.
No sharking. No cursing. No taunting of players.
No Unsportsmanlike Conduct (throwing of equipment, throwing a tantrum, etc.)
These new dress code requirements are being instituted in an effort to create a better overall appearance. Even though this code is only a guideline for clothing and conduct, it is imperative that the appearance and the conduct of the players be brought up to a professional level in order to acquire sponsorships. The sponsors that have been contacted in the past have been reluctant to become involved with Pool in any way because of the reputation associated with the sport. This reputation is directly related to the way players dress and conduct themselves. If you as a player would like to see increased added's and other amenities, it is imperative that you cooperate and help to promote the new dress code and conduct requirements.
Dress Code Requirements: