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Player A breaks while playing 8-ball.  The 8-ball enters the pocket on the break with no other extenuating circumstances.  Is player A the winner under International rules?  Are there any other set of rules whereby Player A would be declared the winner because of making the 8-ball?


Hi Herb:

Under the World Rules, formerly the World Standardized Rules, and promulgated by the World Pool-Billiard Association which bills itself as the "is the international governing body for pocket billiards", you neither win nor lose if you make the eight ball on the break. In fact, that you win when making the eight ball on the break, or its companion rule, the exact opposite that you lose, are generally rules seen only in informal venues. The rules redounds to an actual physical limitation of play and not to an origin based on what is logical for fairness and balance in the game. It's this: coin slot tables will not return the eight ball once it's pocketed, so since the game is based on climbing to that ball by pocketing all others of your group, and that's foreclosed once it's been pocketed on the first shot in the game, it necessarily had to be given a winning or losing effect. Here's the actual World Rule:

If the eight ball is pocketed, the breaker has the option of:

(1) re-spotting the eight ball and accepting the balls in position, or
(2) re-breaking.

The BCAPL (the best and most nuanced rule set there is) provide near identically:
1. If you pocket the 8-ball on the break and do not foul, you may:

a. have the 8-ball spotted and accept the table in position;
b. re-rack the balls and break again.

Since you were specific about looking for information from international rules, you may or may not know, that in England and many other English speaking countries outside the U.S and Canada, they sometimes play a different game that grew out of eight ball (which is an American invention), which is called "eight ball pool" and "blackball". It's different in quite a number of ways from what anyone in the U.S. would call eight ball. Anyway, here's the official rule from a prominent governing body of that game, the World Eightball Pool Federation:

If the Eight-Ball is potted on any break, the balls are re-racked and the same player
will break again.

Best regards,

Pool Teacher


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