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World Eight-ball Pool Federation Rules

THE RACK
A. The Spirit of the Game
The game is known as Eight-Ball Pool. It is expected that players will always play the game in the true spirit and in a sporting manner. The referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the spirit and rules of the game are observed.
B. Equipment
The game of Eight-Ball Pool is played with:-
  1. A "Cue Ball" - being a white ball.

  2. Fifteen "Object balls" - consisting of:-

    1. "Colours" - being a group of seven red balls (or balls numbered 1-7) and a group of seven yellow balls (or balls numbered 9-15).

    2. The "Eight-Ball" - being a black ball marked with a number "8".

  3. A six pocket rectangular Pool Table with general characteristics as follows:

    1. The cloth will be marked with a "Spot" at the position where a straight line drawn diagonally from the centre of a side pocket to the centre of a corner pocket would intersect with a straight line drawn from the centre of the opposite side pocket to the centre of the other corner pocket.

    2. The cloth will be marked with a "Baulk Line" being a straight line drawn from cushion to cushion, parallel to, and one fifth of the length of the table from, the face of the cushion that lies the greatest distance from the spot.
C. Definitions
  1. Shot: A "Shot" begins when all balls stop moving from the previous shot. A player "Plays a Shot" by striking the Cue Ball with the tip of the cue. A "Shot" ends when all balls stop moving from the current shot.

  2. Play: To "Play" and Object Ball is to play a shot that results in the Cue Ball's first contact with another ball to be with that Object Ball. To "Play" the cue ball is to strike it with the tip of the cue.

  3. Ball On: At any time during a frame, a ball "On" is any Object Ball that the player may play without incurring a penalty.

  4. Pot: A ball is "Potted" when it leaves the bed of the table, enters a pocket and remains in that pocket.

  5. Visit: A "Visit" comprises one shot or a series of shots. Each visit lasts until the player fails to pot a ball "On". (Or until a foul is committed or the frame ends).

  6. Turn: A players "Turn" at the table comprises one visit or, after most fouls committed by the opponent, two visits.

  7. Frame: A "Frame" is one game of Eight-Ball Pool between two players or two pairs of players. A frame is played from the opening break and usually through until the Eight-Ball is potted. (Note: there are other ways that a frame may end - " see (N) Loss of Frame").

  8. Match: A "Match" is a predetermined number of frames of Eight-Ball Pool between two players, two pairs of players or two teams of players.

  9. Player in Control: A player (and the player's partner in doubles) is deemed to be "In Control" of the frame from the time that the balls stop moving from the final shot of an opponent's turn until the balls stop moving from the final shot of the player's turn. There can be no instance, once a frame has commenced, that someone is not in control.
D. Object of the Game
  1. The object of the game is to win by being the first player to Pot a group of colours in any order and in any pocket and then Pot the Eight-Ball in any pocket.

  2. When "On" a group of colours, potting more than one ball of that Colour in the same shot is allowed. But a separate shot must be played to pot the Eight-Ball and win the game.
E. Playing from Baulk
  1. "Baulk" is the rectangular area of the table that is bordered by the Baulk Line and the three cushions at that end of the table.

  2. When playing from Baulk:-

    1. The centre point of the Cue Ball must be in Baulk when a shot is played. (If the centre of the Cue Ball is directly on the Baulk Line it is not deemed to be in Baulk.)

    2. The Cue Ball can be moved into position by hand or with the shaft of the cue, but when touched by the tip of the cue, a shot is deemed to have been played.

    3. The Cue Ball may be played in any direction.

    4. If a player wishes to play from Baulk after a "Foul Snooker", "Foul Jaw Snooker", or "Time Foul" the player must verbally advise the referee of this choice and the referee will then recover the Cue Ball and hand it to the player or place it on top of, and in the centre of, the cushion at the Baulk end of the table for the player to retrieve by hand. If the player touches or recovers the Cue Ball it is a Standard Foul. {see(K) Standard Fouls (21)}.

    5. After an "In Off","Foul Snooker","Foul Jaw Snooker", or "Time Foul" the player must endeavour to position the Cue Ball so as not to create a Foul Snooker. If the player claims a Foul Snooker from Baulk, the referee may choose to move the Cue Ball around to determine if there is any position in Baulk where the player would not be Foul Snookered. Whether such a position is found or not, the referee will announce the result and hand the Cue Ball back to the player or place it on top of, and in the centre of, the cushion at the Baulk end of the table for the player to retrieve by hand.
F. The Break
  1. The object balls are racked with the Eight-Ball on the Spot.

  2. In the absence of any competition / tournament rules to the contrary, a coin will be tossed to determine which player will break. If a series of frames is to be played (A Match), the break of each subsequent frame will alternate.

  3. The first shot of a frame is called the "Break". To "Break". the Cue Ball is played at the triangle of Object Balls from Baulk. The frame is deemed to have commenced the instant that the Cue Ball is played.

    1. The Break will be deemed a "Fair Break" if:-

      1. At least one Colour is potted.
        and/or
      2. Four Object Balls (at least) are driven to a cushion.

    2. If the Break is not a Fair Break it is a Non-Standard Foul and:-

      1. The opponent is awarded two visits.
      2. The balls are re-racked.
      3. The opponent re-starts the game and is under the same obligation to achieve a Fair Break.

      1. If the Cue Ball is potted on a Fair Break it is a Non-Standard Foul that is penalised by the turn passing to the opponent.
      2. If the break is not a Fair Break and the Cue Ball is potted, the penalty for failure to perform a Fair Break applies. (see (b) above).

  4. If the Eight-Ball is potted on any break, the balls are re-racked and the same player will break again. When the Eight-Ball is potted on the break, all other aspects of the shot are ignored. (Except if a Serious Foul or breech of the "Spirit of the Game" occurs).
G. Legal Shot
  1. On all shots, the player must:-

    1. Cause the Cue Ball's initial contact with a ball to be with a ball "On",
      AND THEN
    2. Pot a ball "On" OR Cause the Cue Ball or any Object Ball to contact a cushion.

  2. Failure to play a Legal Shot is a Standard Foul.

  3. Exceptions:

    1. On the Break, the conditions of a Legal Shot do not apply. (see (F) The Break)

    2. When playing out of a Total Snooker a player is only obliged to meet the conditions of (1)(a) above. (see (Q) Total Snookers).

  4. Interpretations:

    1. If the Cue Ball's initial contact is with an Object Ball that is touching a cushion, simply forcing that Object Ball into the same cushion does not constitute a Legal Shot.

    2. If the Cue Ball and the Object Ball are touching the same cushion, simply forcing the Cue Ball and / or that Object Ball into the same cushion does not constitute a Legal Shot.
H. Deciding Colours
  1. General

    1. When Colours have not been decided the table is deemed to be "Open". When the table is open a player may play at either group of Colours.

    2. Colours can never be decided on a foul shot.

    3. Once Colours are decided, the player remains "On" that coloured group for the duration of the frame. The opponent remains "On" the opposite coloured group.

    4. Playing a shot after neglecting to nominate a choice of Colours is a Standard Foul. Any balls potted on such a shot are left in the pocket and ignored for the purpose of deciding Colours.

  2. On the Break

    1. If no Colours are potted on the break the table is "Open".

    2. If one or more Colours are potted on the break the player then has a right and obligation to verbally advise the referee of a choice of Colour before proceeding. Failure to do so is a Standard Foul. If a player is fouled under this rule the opponent faces an "Open" table.

      1. if the player nominates a Colour that was potted on the break, the player is on that Colour no matter what happens next.
      2. if the player nominates a Colour that was not potted on the break, to be on that Colour, the player must pot a ball of that Colour on the next shot.

  3. After the Break

    1. If a player pots one or more balls of the same Colour, the player is then "On" that Colour.

    2. If a player pots one or more balls of different Colours, the player then has a right and obligation to verbally advise the referee of a choice of Colour before proceeding. Failure to do so is a Standard Foul. If a player is fouled under this rule, the opponent faces an "Open" table.
I. Time Allowed
  1. A player has a maximum of sixty seconds to play each shot.

  2. The Referee will start timing when all balls have come to rest from the previous shot.

  3. If the first thirty seconds elapses before a shot is played, the referee will call "Thirty Seconds" as a warning to the player. This call must be made the instant the thirty seconds has expired. A Referee should not postpone the call because it appears that the player is about to play a shot.

  4. If a shot is not played within sixty seconds it is a Non-Standard Foul. The oncoming player is awarded two visits from:-

    1. Where the Cue Ball lies, OR, if the player wishes

    2. From Baulk

  5. The referee may decide to grant "Time Out". being a period when timing ceases:-
    1. At the request of a player. (For example, something is obstructing the player or the player needs to leave the playing area.) AND/OR

    2. Because the referee deems that it is warranted. (For example, the referee may call time out when making a close foul snooker decision or when searching for a piece of equipment requested by a player.)
J. Fouls
There are four types of foul. Standard Fouls, Non-Standard Fouls, Serious Fouls and Loss of Frame Fouls. A player can only be penalised for one foul at a time. If two or more fouls are committed during a shot, the foul that carries the most severe penalty will apply except in the case of a Time Foul, where the incoming player has the right to "Ball in hand", penalty for Time Foul still applies, even though a Serious Foul has been called and applied.

These Playing Rules are the copyright of the World Eight-ball Pool Federation
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