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Penalty for Accidental Cue Ball Contact While Aiming


Penalty for Accidental Cue Ball Contact While Aiming

What is the penalty for accidentally knocking the cue ball while aiming for my next shot?

I was playing a game of 8-ball the other day and I was setting up for my shot and I accidentally touched the cue ball. The cue ball only moved about one millimeter, but my opponent said it was a foul. I have heard that if you make accidental contact with the cue ball and it travels less than one inch, then you are allowed to move it back to its original position.

If somebody that knows the rule that applies here, please let me know.

Hopefully I am wrong and I didn't loose the game due to this.

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Penalty for Accidental Cue Ball Contact While Aiming

Replies & Comments

  1. poolnastyFenwick on 1/24/2008 7:35:24 AM

    Causing movement of the cue ball, even accidentally, is a "standard foul", and the penalty for a standard foul is that play passes to your opponent with the cue ball in-hand from anywhere on the pool table.

    Even dropping the chalk on the cue ball is a foul. Any balls moved accidentally during a shot will be replaced by the opponent (or referee) after the shot is over and all the balls have stopped rolling. If it occurs before the shot, it will be replaced before the shot is taken.


    Here are the World Pool-Billiard Association 8 Ball rules which apply when a ball is touched in any way other than in the normal tip-to-ball forward stroke contact of a shot. (emphasis mine):

    1. Rule #3.9 - "Standard Fouls" tells us the following:

      • (a) A "Touched Ball" is a "standard foul", and,
      • (b) The penalty for "standard fouls" is that play passes to the opponent with the cue ball in hand from anywhere on the pool table.

      3.9 - Standard Fouls

      If the shooter commits a foul, play passes to his opponent. The cue ball is in hand, and the incoming player may place it anywhere on the playing surface. (See 1.5 Cue Ball in Hand.)

      The following are standard fouls at eight ball:

      • [...]
      • 6.6 - Touched Ball
      • [...]
    2. Rule #6.6 - "Touched Ball" has details which show us that this is indeed the specific "standard foul" committed.

      6.6 - Touched Ball

      It is a foul to touch, move or change the path of any object ball except by the normal ball-to-ball contacts during shots. It is a foul to touch, move or change the path of the cue ball except when it is in hand or by the normal tip-to-ball forward stroke contact of a shot. The shooter is responsible for the equipment he controls at the table, such as chalk, bridges, clothing, his hair, parts of his body, and the cue ball when it is in hand, that may be involved in such fouls.

      If such a foul is accidental, it is a standard foul, but if it is intentional, it is 6.17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

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Penalty for Accidental Cue Ball Contact While Aiming

  • Title: Penalty for Accidental Cue Ball Contact While Aiming
  • Author:
  • Published: 1/24/2008 1:22:28 AM
  • Last Updated: 12/13/2022 1:45:01 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)