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Hi Bill,

Just to say a big thank you for your last answers in such a short time really appreciate taking the time to answer them. Unfortunately I am still having trouble on where to find the feedback box where I can type so dont think I do not appreciate what you are doing.

Anyway, I forgot to ask you a few more questions which I need clearing up.

By the way, these are all related to up to date BCA rules.

1. In straight pool I've heard of this frozen ball rule of 2 safeties? I dont understand what it is, can you please explain and does it still apply to today's rules?

2. In 8 ball if you pot the cue ball on the break due to lets say a miscue without touching the rack, can the opponent ask the breaker to break again? Or does cue ball have to go behind head string? I ask this because I've had answers that only a legal break you as the opponent can not ask for a re rack and you would have to play behind the head string.

Confusing because it seems to contradict, when are the ONLY times in straight pool and 8 ball can the opponent ask the breaker to break again? Bearing in mind the questions I've just asked

3. In straight pool, I've heard if a player picks up the cue ball when he is not supposed to it is a 15 point penalty special foul, can the opponent ask the offender to re rack with the points deducted? If he did this in 8 ball would this be ball in hand to the opponent and the same in 9 ball?

4. If you sink the cue ball on the break in straight pool without touching the rack is it a 2 point deduction, reasons why or not?

5. 8 ball - player pots all of opponents balls but misses the 8 ball. The opponent comes to the table paying more attention this time and realises all his balls have been pocketed. Does he pot the 8 ball or does he ask for a re rack?

6. Can you ever get penalised for not calling a safety if you do not nominate in both games?

Thank you Bill :)))

Answer
Hey Andrew,

As before, my comments mixed between your questions.

Hey Andrew,

1. In straight pool I've heard of this frozen ball rule of 2 safeties? I dont understand what it is, can you please explain and does it still apply to today's rules?

I think you're talking about when a ball is almost frozen and the cue ball is next to it. Often a player elects to just tap the obect with the cue ball leaving the pair of them in essentially the same position. The rule is that a player can only do that twice and on the third attempt must drive the cue ball or the object ball to another cushion. Penalty for failing to do so is ball in hand. It's just to keep two players from tapping the object ball to the rail endlessly. I don't see this specified in the current rules but I'm sure it's still used.  

2. In 8 ball if you pot the cue ball on the break due to lets say a miscue without touching the rack, can the opponent ask the breaker to break again? Or does cue ball have to go behind head string? I ask this because I've had answers that only a legal break you as the opponent can not ask for a re rack and you would have to play behind the head string.

Confusing because it seems to contradict, when are the ONLY times in straight pool and 8 ball can the opponent ask the breaker to break again? Bearing in mind the questions I've just asked

I've never seen this happen but until the cue ball hits an object ball the game hasn't started. I would say the same player simply shoots again. In eight ball, after an illegal break, the opponent can accept the table as it is, take the break shot themself, or ask the original player to break again. Straight pool the non breaker does not have the option of taking the break but can either accept the table as it is or ask the breaker to shoot again.

3. In straight pool, I've heard if a player picks up the cue ball when he is not supposed to it is a 15 point penalty special foul, can the opponent ask the offender to re rack with the points deducted? If he did this in 8 ball would this be ball in hand to the opponent and the same in 9 ball?

At the outset of a tournament how some fine points of the game are described in a players meeting. I've never heard of a 15 point penalty for picking up a cue ball. Picking it up, or touching it in any way, is simply a foul. I guess it might come under unsportsmanlike conduct in some situation and some other penalty assessed by an official but I don't think you'll find a 15 point penalty in any rule books for picking up the cue ball.  

4. If you sink the cue ball on the break in straight pool without touching the rack is it a 2 point deduction, reasons why or not?

This is an interesting question. I maintain that until an object ball is struck a game has not begun and if a player scratched without hitting an object ball he would simple try again. If however a player had an illegal break and was caused to break again the game has begun and it would be a foul to scratch without hitting anything. In any case, scratching on the break makes it a "standard foul" rather than a breaking foul and the penalty is one point, not two.

5. 8 ball - player pots all of opponents balls but misses the 8 ball. The opponent comes to the table paying more attention this time and realises all his balls have been pocketed. Does he pot the 8 ball or does he ask for a re rack?

Well, if a referee is present they would call a foul on the first occurrence of shooting a ball of the wrong suit. In top play you almost never see a player forget what suit they have, they're professionals playing for a living and very rarely make that kind of mistake. But, if it were allowed to progress as you suggest, as it does sometimes in bars, he would be eligible to simply pot the eight for the win. Of course it would be best to convince his opponent befroe doing so.

6. Can you ever get penalised for not calling a safety if you do not nominate in both games?

The only penalty for not calling a safety is not getting one. So if you pocket a ball and forgot to call a safety you'd simply have to continue to play.

Cheers,

Bill

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Bill Newsted

Expertise

I can answer questions related to shot-making, aiming, position play, strategies, practice, mental preparation and the psychology of the game. Also, rules as they vary from venue to venue and how to become a winning player. I have experience recovering and maintaining tables and will also answer questions related to cues and billiard equipment. However, I prefer not to make brand recommendations. I do not offer information identifying old tables and equipment or estimating their values.

Experience

I have played over forty years in every state in the US (except Alaska). My experience is largely in pool rooms but I have also played extensively on bar tables and in league organizations. I have directed numerous tournaments up to the professional level and have played several world champion players. I am a former Billiard Congress of America instructor.

Organizations
APA BCA

Education/Credentials
B.S. in Visual Communication M.A. in Education: Career and Technology Education

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