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Hi there,
Just wondering about the correct ruling for reracking object balls after the 14th ball has been pocketed. Situation being... The 15th ball is overlapping the triangle line of the apex/foor spot. However, the centre point of the 15th ball is not on the line or within the triangle. The 15th ball in other words is more outside the triangle line then in even though it partially overlaps the line. Would it be spotted on the apex forming a complete rack again? If the 15th ball's centre point was on the line would this also be moved to form a complete rack again also?

Thank you :)

Hey Andrew

First, sorry for taking so long to get to your question. I've been away.

You've left out one piece of information that is necessary for me to give you an exact answer--what happens with the 15th ball depends on where the cue ball is at the end of the rack. However, since you didn't say, I am going to assume it is out in the open of the table and not in the rack, on the head spot, or itself interfering with racking. If any of the latter situations were the case, what would be done with the 15th ball would change.

To quote Rule 6-9 of the BCAPL (the best, most nuanced rule set out there), the rule for the 15th ball being moved for interference with racking comes into play where it is "in the rack or interfere[s] with the lowering of the triangle". In any case where it would interfere (including if it was directly centered on the foot spot), the rule is that the 15th ball is moved to the head spot and the cue ball is played from position. The rule is less technical than, say, the situation where you need to determine whether an object ball is or is not behind the head string when you have ball in hand from the kitchen, where the base of the ball is used; intragame racking is all about practicality; if you would have to move it to rack, it gets moved.

The older World Standardized Rules: 14.1 were identical. Rule 6.7(6) provided: "If the 15th (un-pocketed) ball of a rack and/or the cue ball interferes with the triangle being lowered straight down into position for racking, refer to the diagram" (with the diagram providing the same repositioning).

However, the World Rules have a slightly different choice of language. They provide at Rule 4.8 that: "When the cue ball or fifteenth object ball interferes with racking fourteen balls for a new rack, the following special rules apply. A ball is considered to interfere with the rack if it is within or overlaps the outline of the rack."

There is no interpretation anywhere, but I think this could be used for a slightly different result by interpretation through ambiguity. The "rack", depending on context, can refer to the physical rack or it can refer to a set of balls in formation. So the "outline of the rack" could mean simply a line extending down from the edge of the balls in formation, or it could mean the edge of a physical rack.

Moreover, what bothers me about the prior rules above is that it makes no provision for the plastic racks that have the wide brim at the edge of them, which mean that, depending on what type of rack you use, the area where the 15th ball will interfere with the lowering of the rack is going to be a significantly larger or smaller depending on what type of rack you are playing with. But frankly I think this rule is intended to mean the same thing as the other versions of the rule, talking about the lowering of the triangle.

I hope this clears up the issue. If you want to read the BCAPL for yourself, please go to The rule I quoted from them is at page 52.

Best of luck,

Pool Teacher  


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I have wide ranging knowledge of all the cue sports, with the exception of snooker. I can answer most questions related to playing any of the standard games such as straight pool (14.1 continuous) eight-ball, nine-ball, one-pocket and 3-cushion billiards and the variations on these games. Questions welcomed regarding technique, strategy and rules, history of the sport, trick shots, the mental game, practice, practice drills, pool/billiards publications, and so on. I DO NOT DO CUE OR TABLE APPRAISALS OR IDENTIFICATION. See below.


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