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Contacting Any Ball First When Table is Open

Contacting Any Ball First When Table is Open

Following the break in 8 ball, when it is still an open table, if the incoming player contacts another ball prior to the called ball being pocketed, is this an illegal shot resulting in ball-in-hand?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Contacting Any Ball First When Table is Open

Replies & Comments

  1. user1511640387billiardsforum on 11/26/2017 3:11:27 PM

    No, it would be a perfectly legal shot when the table is still open. As long as the called ball goes into the called pocket. This only applies when the table is open.

    From the BCA/WPA World Pool-Billiard Association rules. See the bolded sentence:

    3.4 Open Table / Choosing Groups

    Before groups are determined, the table is said to be “open,” and before each shot, the shooter must call his intended ball. If the shooter legally pockets his called ball, the corresponding group becomes his, and his opponent is assigned the other group. If he fails to legally pocket his called ball, the table remains open and play passes to the other player. When the table is “open”, any object ball may be struck first except the eight ball.

    Some years ago, the BCA wrote a clarification memo which to-this-day is referred to as the "open table rule" for 8 ball. Relevant parts include:

    When the table is open it is legal to hit any solid or stripe or the 8-ball first in the process of pocketing the called stripe or solid. [...] It means that when the table is open, any ball can be legally hit without resulting in a foul. This is not a new rule for players in the United States. When the table is open and the 8-ball is the first ball contacted, no stripe or solid may be scored in favor of the shooter.

  2. user1511640387user1511640387 on 11/26/2017 4:39:38 PM

    Thanks so much for this clarification and the helpful information you provided. I operate a small neighborhood convenience store with a single pool table and due to my lack of expertise will need help like this from time to time.

  3. user1511640387user1554502111 on 4/5/2019 3:08:32 PM

    Following a break without any pocketed balls the next shooter shoots without hitting ANY balls ; but the cue ball hits one or more rails. is that a foul? We have thought it should NOT be a foul and the table remains open.

  4. user1511640387billiardsforum on 4/5/2019 3:25:37 PM

    It doesn't matter if it happens on an "open table" or not.

    If no ball is pocketed on a shot, the cue ball must contact an object ball, and after that contact at least one ball (cue ball or any object ball) must be driven to a rail, or the shot is a foul.

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Contacting Any Ball First When Table is Open

  • Title: Contacting Any Ball First When Table is Open
  • Author: (Gary Arnold)
  • Published: 11/25/2017 3:06:28 PM
  • Last Updated: 11/26/2017 3:05:15 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)