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Cue Ball Frozen to Opponent's Object Ball

Cue Ball Frozen to Opponent's Object Ball

If the cue ball is frozen to one the OPPONENT'S group of balls, and the opponent's ball(s) move when you take your shot, is it a foul?

After causing the opponent's frozen object ball to to move ever so slightly, the cue ball then strikes one of my object balls and drives it to a rail (or into a pocket). Is that legal?

I agree that if the cue ball was not touching their object ball and it moves, then I would have HIT it first. But if the cue ball is ALREADY touching it (frozen to it) and it moves even slightly, is that considered hitting it? It just seems to me that I didn't actually "hit" it in my turn, because the cue ball was ALREADY touching it!

So put another way: If the cue ball is frozen to one of your opponents' group of balls, and when you shoot, the opponent's object ball moves, is that a foul?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Cue Ball Frozen to Opponent's Object Ball

Replies & Comments

  1. pinches24billiardsforum on 11/25/2006 10:44:55 PM

    Short answer: It is a foul only because the opponent's object ball moved.

    The scenario where the cue ball is frozen to an opponent's ball (in eight ball pool), has been the subject of much argument (see all of the answers below this one).

    However, there are subtle references in the World Pool-Billiard Association rules that apply.

    • When the cue ball is frozen against the opponent's object ball, the shooting player must play away from that ball (otherwise you violate the rule that says you must make contact with an object ball from your own group first).
      • Unless the opponent's ball moves, it is not considered to have been hit.
    • When shooting away from the frozen object ball, the shot still must satisfy all of the requirements of a legal shot in 8 ball.

    Here is the reference to the WPA 8 ball rules section that comes into play (emphasis mine):

    6.7 Double Hit / Frozen Balls (8 Ball)

    If the cue stick contacts the cue ball more than once on a shot, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is close to but not touching an object ball and the cue tip is still on the cue ball when the cue ball contacts that object ball, the shot is a foul. If the cue ball is very close to an object ball, and the shooter barely grazes that object ball on the shot, the shot is assumed not to violate the first paragraph of this rule, even though the tip is arguably still on the cue ball when ball-ball contact is made.

    However, if the cue ball is touching an object ball at the start of the shot, it is legal to shoot towards or partly into that ball (provided it is a legal target within the rules of the game) and if the [frozen] object ball is moved by such a shot, it is considered to have been contacted by the cue ball. (Even though it may be legal to shoot towards such a touching or “frozen” ball, care must be taken not to violate the rules in the first paragraph if there are additional balls close by.)

    The cue ball is assumed not to be touching any ball unless it is declared touching by the referee or opponent. It is the shooter’s responsibility to get the declaration before the shot. Playing away from a frozen ball does not constitute having hit that ball unless specified in the rules of the game.

    Others may say that it's an automatic foul, under the premise that the cue ball is already touching the opponent's ball when the shot it taken and thus it constitutes contacting that ball first. This is not the case.

    It would indeed make no sense if it was a guaranteed foul, so a cue ball touching the opponent's ball is never considered a foul as long as the shooting player doesn't move it during the shot.

    The shooting player simply treats the scenario as if the cue ball can't be legally played in the direction of the opponent's object ball. However, it is perfectly fine to play away from the frozen ball, with the usual restrictions that an object ball from the shooter's own group must be contacted first.

    Some more insight on this from some friends...

    • J.R. says:

      It's foul no matter the movement is inevitable or not. Either way, how does one determine between "inevitable movement" and "regular movement".

    • Rich says:

      I am not sure how inevitable movement would be possible without some a defect in the cloth, table, or ball. I'd think this is a foul.

    • M. says:

      If you shoot away from the object ball, and don't touch it with your cue, hand, or any other object, the object ball will not move under ideal billiard playing conditions. Therefore, when the object ball does not move, there is no way you could call a foul. If the object ball does move, then it's a foul. Period.

  2. pinches24jana on 11/27/2006 10:37:20 PM

    As @billiardsforum has noted, what you have described is a foul no matter what the circumstances of the lay of the balls, and no matter whether the movement of the opponent's object ball was inevitable or not.

    In this case, it is just unfortunate for the shooting player who is in this situation.

    The opponent may have purposely left the cue ball so close that it is now frozen. This type of thing is common in defensive billiard play.

  3. pinches24Ginger on 1/6/2007 1:56:37 AM

    I've got some problems with that. Sure, conditions on the pool table may not be "ideal" but both players are subject to the pool table's conditions, whether good or bad, inevitable or certain.

    For example, my cue ball sits two diamonds above the side pocket, 1/2" off the left rail. My object ball sits 1/4 diamond below the side pocket also 1/2" from the left rail. I shoot the cue ball at a reduced speed and hit the object ball with a direct hit that is straight on. The object ball travels straight and true until it reaches the area which is 1 diamond from the corner pocket and then begins to veer off to the right and stops on the pocket corner.

    Each and every billiard player and spectator sees my ball veer to the right and miss the pocket. We all know that this is NOT counted as a pocketed ball, right? After all, everybody saw the object ball miss the pocket and everybody knows the table caused the ball to veer and miss the pocket.

    How is the scenario in the question above any different from this one?

  4. pinches24Ross on 1/6/2007 2:02:00 AM

    @Ginger, I am sorry but your example is totally different since players can know that the billiard table is not level and make the appropriate adjustments. You can still make the shot if you shoot the ball harder or "play the lean."

    Ever hear of "house roll" before?

    In the case of object ball and the cue ball being frozen together, there is nothing one can do to prevent the object ball from rolling once you hit the cue ball.

  5. pinches24kellystick on 8/1/2007 1:37:48 PM

    The scenario described in the original question is a foul because the opponent's object ball moved. PERIOD.

    Players should not have special allowances (by way of rules) to get free of a skill defense (even if the defense was by accident).

    So, here's a new defensive shot for you to learn so that you too can take advantage of this situation—Leave your opponent with the cue ball frozen to one of your balls! This can actually be a skill defense.

    Just because the ball is frozen to an opponent's object ball does not mean you MUST make contact with that ball first. You have to aim away from it.

    That means your options are limited but they are not zero. In defense, control and table management is what it is all about. It is no different if you shoot to hide the cue ball behind your balls in order to limit your opponent. The exception is if you actually freeze the cue ball then you have limited your opponent even more by causing him to potentially have to jack up his cue to shoot over your ball etc.

    Thus, your opponent is penalized for your skill at defense, as it SHOULD be.

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Cue Ball Frozen to Opponent's Object Ball

  • Title: Cue Ball Frozen to Opponent's Object Ball
  • Author:
  • Published: 11/25/2006 8:21:25 PM
  • Last Updated: 3/16/2022 5:53:28 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)