Pool/Billiards/question on break


On the Break ( Playing Ball in hand) player strikes cue ball, and hits rack but only knocks 2 or 3 balls barely away from rack due to not hitting hard enough or a error. is this a penalty.

Hi Robert.

From the perspective of authoritative rules, and assuming we are talking about eight-ball you did not specify the game that is an illegal break.

To make a legal break a player must legally pocket a ball or cause at least four object balls to contact one or more cushions.

The penalty for an illegal break (whether a foul occurred or not an illegal break is not in and of itself a foul) is that the opponent may: re-rack the balls and break themselves or require the first person to re-rack the balls and break again.

The game cannot proceed until a legal break occurs by one player or the other. (This is a pretty new rule. The rule before 2012 was that the opponent had the two options above as well as two others: The opponent could accept the table in position, or take ball in hand if a foul also occurred, but these have been removed and now they require a legal break no matter what.)

Note that intentionally executing an illegal break in order to avoid breaking can be penalized as unsportsmanlike conduct if someone is officiating.

Best regards,

Pool Teacher


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