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Hi there,

1. I understand that the only time bad play behind the head string in 8 ball only applies after either scratching the cue ball on the break or if any ball including the cue ball jumps off the table on a break the opponent either accepts the table in position or takes cue ball in hand behind head string. I believe that is right, but from these infringements can the opposing player ask the offending player to break again?

2. In 9 ball can you play a push out following an illegal break or a legal break but scratched cue ball?

3. In straight pool I heard if you scratch on the break you lose 1 point instead of 2? Surely thats an illegal break and 2 points should be deducted?

4.On subsequent breaks in straight pool does the breaker still have to meet the requirements of 2 object balls hitting a rail and the cue ball?

5. I played a friend not so long ago and I set up the rack following a previous rack he thought because he was breaking that he could move the cue ball. He moved the cue ball where he wanted behind the head string different from where it was originally, whats the procedure?

6. Can bad play from behind the head string apply every time in straight pool following a cue ball scratch? Or only once in the match or current rack e.g. the initial break shot of the rack or match?

7. When playing straight pool if you do not nominate a ball and pocket or call a safety, what happens?

8. In straight pool, the initial rack of the break the breaker fouls and 2 points are deducted from his score. The opponent gets him to break again and commits another foul. Is it now another 2 points deducted making -4 points for the breaker or is just reset back to zero?

Sorry for all the questions, these all relate to BCA rules by the way which I am interested in learning and the rule book doesnt always make sense and leaves ambiguity.

Thank you :)

Thank you :)

Sorry for the late response.  I didn't see the email.

1. can't ask him to break again.  

2.  a push can follow a break, but the break has to be legal.  In APA, the breaker has to break again until it is legal, unless they break and scratches.

3.  it is 2 pts penalty and you can have the balls re-racked and make it shoot again.

4. no.  no requirements.  They can play an intential foul and just roll the cueball to the rack or they can skim the rack and only have the cueball hit a rail.

5.  good question.  if it is a freindly game, I would just put the cueball back where it was.  I don't see that rule covere.  If it is on purpose, then he could lose the rack or match for unsportsmanlike conduct.  I think I would just call it a foul and put the cueball back where it was.

6.  applies anytime.  when you have ball in hand, it has to be behind the line and you have to shoot at balls past the line.

7.  Loss of turn and ball get spotted.  But, we don't usually have to call ball and pocket when making obvious shots though.  If I am shooting the 1 ball into the side and make it, I keep going and don't call EVERY ball.  It is mostly for questionable shots, banks, caroms, etc.

8.  yes...another -2 pts to him.

Hope that helps!


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Dan Werner


All aspects of the game, strategy, runs, etc. Main focus is 8ball, 9ball, and straight pool. Pattern Play, 2-way shots, kicks, banks, throws, trick shots, shot selection, caroms, league play, safety play, and more. Don't ask me about cue's, manufacturers, how much a table is worth, etc. I just don't know.


20 years playing pool

BCA, APA, and past amateur leagues/tours

Bachelors in Business Administration/Marketing

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