If you have 2 balls in the kitchen and the other person scatches can you spot one

This issue is precisely why all current sets of rules governing league, tournament, and professional play have switched to giving ball in hand "anywhere" on a foul.

Years ago a player could intentionally scratch any time their opponents balls were all in the kitchen, forcing them to kick at an object ball. But many years ago the Billiard Congress of America (BCA)ruled that it was bad form for a player to benefit from a shot that was not legal. So for several years the ruling was the ball closest to head string would be spotted and the incoming player could shoot at it from behind the head string. We used to practice "spot shots" a lot back in those days because they came up a lot.

But a spot shot is no bargain, particularly if your opponent has a ball on or near the spot as well. That's why all sets of official rules in the BCA, APA, WBA, TAP, and others rule now that any foul gives the incoming player ball in hand anywhere on the table, shooting in any direction.

Of course in many bar room situations they play by all kinds of local rules. I always recommend that serious players join sanctioned leagues and tournaments that play by specific sets of rules. If you're in a bar, ya kind of have to play whatever made up rules they use.

Play well and enjoy,



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Bill Newsted


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.


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.


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

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