Pool/Billiards/question on break

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Question
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.

Answer
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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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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I have been a dedicated player of pool and 3-cushion Billiards for many years. I have given lessons professionally and have run and participated in too many tournaments to name, including professional events such as the U.S. Open. I am also a cue collector and student of all aspects of the game. Note: I was starting to get far too many questions about pool cue (and pool table) valuation and identification and will no longer take these questions, sorry. I am a player and historian of the sport and the heart of my expertise is not product comparison or appraisal.

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