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What if a Player Hits a Solid or Striped Ball Directly with the Pool Cue?


What if a Player Hits a Solid or Striped Ball Directly with the Pool Cue?

What happens is a player mistakenly shoots an object ball with the pool cue directly?

I was playing an 8 ball money match last night. My opponent was 80 years old. He had a senior moment and used his cue stick to shoot the 6 ball directly into the pocket.

He did not use the cue ball.

Neither of us knew what to do.

  • Is that a loss of game?
  • Is it a legal foul?
  • Do we re-spot the 6 ball?

It got a bit controversial. What was the proper ruling?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

What if a Player Hits a Solid or Striped Ball Directly with the Pool Cue?

Replies & Comments

  1. user1200595591billiardsforum on 1/15/2008 6:35:21 PM

    It is not a loss of game.

    Accidentally shooting an object ball directly with the pool cue is a "touched ball" foul, which is a "standard foul" in eight ball pool. The penalty for "standard fouls" in 8 ball is that your inning is over and your opponent starts his inning with the cue ball in-hand from anywhere on the table.

    If the 6 ball was pocketed during this shot, it remains in the pocket.

    It sounds as though it was certainly an accidental shot, and I would absolutely give your elderly opponent the benefit of the doubt. As you'll see below, the "accidental" vs. "purposeful" distinction makes a difference to the outcome. Doing it accidentally results in a "standard foul" penalty (ball-in-hand for opponent) whereas doing it purposefully results in an "unsportsmanlike conduct" penalty (potential loss of game).


    Here are the World Pool-Billiard Association 8 Ball rules which apply (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.

    3. Rule #3.7 - "Spotting Balls" tells us that the 8 ball is the only ball ever spotted eight ball pool. This means the 6 ball in your scenario remains pocketed.

      3.7 - Spotting Balls

      If the eight ball is pocketed or driven off the table on the break, it will be spotted or the balls will be re-racked. (See 3.3 Break Shot and 1.4 Spotting Balls.) No other object ball is ever spotted.

  2. user1200595591tedmauro on 1/15/2008 7:09:32 PM

    Most pool games today are played with "cue-ball-foul-only" rules. This would mean that you simply re-spot the 6 ball and continue the game.

    When I first started playing in the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) leagues 20 years back, this would have been a ball-in-hand foul. The BCA has since revised the rules and it is now a cue-ball-foul-only.

    It really depends on the rules that you are playing by.

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What if a Player Hits a Solid or Striped Ball Directly with the Pool Cue?

  • Title: What if a Player Hits a Solid or Striped Ball Directly with the Pool Cue?
  • Author:
  • Published: 1/15/2008 5:19:23 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/13/2022 6:14:47 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)