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Picking Up Cue Ball Before it Stops


Picking Up Cue Ball Before it Stops

In this situation, when is the play considered to be dead?

When playing 8 ball, a player made first contact with the opponents ball rendering a foul which results in the opponent getting ball in hand. The player who committed the foul, then immediately picked up the cue ball and gave it to his opponent, before the cue ball came to a complete stop.

The opponent (player receiving ball in hand) wanted the cue ball to continue rolling because it may have continued into one of his other balls and given him better position.

The player who committed the foul argued that the play was considered dead immediately upon the foul being committed and therefore he was allowed to pick up the cue-ball immediately after the foul was committed even though the cue ball had not come to a complete rest.

What is the correct answer here?

Is the play considered dead once the foul has been committed or does the cue ball have to come to a rest?

If so, what is the added consequence for the player who picked up the cue ball if the ball in hand has already been awarded?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Picking Up Cue Ball Before it Stops

Replies & Comments

  1. Jake Wiebebilliardsforum on 8/15/2018 6:34:01 PM

    Thanks for this question. It's one of the more interesting questions and scenarios I've seen on here in a long time. Thanks for taking the time to explain it clearly and in detail.

    So the fouling player committed "Standard Foul" 6.2 "Wrong Ball First" (as you correctly explained).

    I believe the fouling player is in the wrong in arguing that he was allowed to then pick up the ball while it was still moving. A few applicable rules come to mind.

    1. The minute the foul occurs, the play passes to the opponent. This means the fouling player technically has no right to touch any balls at this time.

      3.9 Standard Fouls

      If the shooter commits a foul, play passes to his opponent.

    2. By touching a moving ball, he committed foul 6.6 "Touched Ball"

      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.

    3. Since it was not an "accidental" touch, but rather, a purposeful one, he would be assessed an additional "serious foul" of 6.17 "Unsportsmanlike Conduct". But here is where the penalty gets murky.

      6.17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct

      The normal penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct is the same as for a serious foul, but the referee may impose a penalty depending on his judgment of the conduct. Among other penalties possible are a warning; a standard-foul penalty, which will count as part of a three-foul sequence if applicable; a serious-foul penalty; loss of a rack, set or match; ejection from the competition possibly with forfeiture of all prizes, trophies and standings points.

      Unsportsmanlike conduct is any intentional behavior that brings disrepute to the sport or which disrupts or changes the game to the extent that it cannot be played fairly. It includes

      (a) distracting the opponent;
      (b) changing the position of the balls in play other than by a shot;
      (c) playing a shot by intentionally miscuing;
      (d) continuing to play after a foul has been called or play has been suspended;
      (e) practicing during a match;
      (f) marking the table;
      (g) delay of the game; and
      (h) using equipment inappropriately.

    4. Here is what the 8-ball rules say about the penalty for "Serious Fouls":

      3.10 Serious Fouls

      The fouls listed under 3.8 Losing the Rack are penalized by the loss of the current rack. For 6.17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct, the referee will choose a penalty appropriate given the nature of the offense.

    If you play in a league, it would be worth checking with a few different folks on this one, and if you know any referees, it might be worth clarifying what type of penalty they would assess in this scenario, given that the player already committed a "standard foul". If you find out anything more from elsewhere, please let us know.

    One problem is that it is near impossible for a referee to "remedy" that situation for you since we can't know exactly if and how the cue ball would have affected the other balls on the table had it been allowed to continue.

    It he is an experienced player, then in my opinion, it should result in loss-of-game for that player.

  2. Jake WiebeJake Wiebe on 8/15/2018 8:02:53 PM

    Thank you for that excellent answer. The boys are talking about it now.

    It is agreed that the cue ball was almost at a stop and would most likely NOT have impacted the shape of the game in any way. One player contests that once the foul has been committed, play ceases and passes to the opponent. The other contests that play has not ceased until all balls come to a complete stop. It seems that they both have a point and have hit a grey area.

    To clarify the situation, the player did not intend to alter the game, but merely acknowledge the foul and offer up the cue ball to the other player. I don't think the intention was to demonstrate unsportsmanlike conduct rather the opposite.

    To summarize however, my final question on the subject is this; is the play considered dead upon foul or is it dead upon all the balls coming to rest? Both of these players are very good friends and they often play in our tournaments.

    Actually, nevermind, haha. You already answered it in 3.9.

    Thank you very much.

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Picking Up Cue Ball Before it Stops

  • Title: Picking Up Cue Ball Before it Stops
  • Author:
  • Published: 8/14/2018 10:40:42 AM
  • Last Updated: 8/15/2018 6:06:51 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)