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What to Do when Shooting "Ball-in-Hand From the Kitchen" But Your Balls Are All in the Kitchen?


What to Do when Shooting "Ball-in-Hand From the Kitchen" But Your Balls Are All in the Kitchen?

We're playing by specific 8 ball rules which state that if a foul is committed (e.g. a cue ball scratch), play passes to the opponent with "ball-in-hand from the kitchen" (aka behind the head-string).

How does "ball-in-hand from the kitchen" work when all object balls are in the behind the head-string?

So let's say that your opponent scratches, and you have ball-in-hand from the kitchen, but your only remaining ball is behind the head-string.

How do you shoot at your object ball?

Is your object ball spotted somewhere beyond the head-string?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

What to Do when Shooting "Ball-in-Hand From the Kitchen" But Your Balls Are All in the Kitchen?

Replies & Comments

  1. user1202332720billiardsforum on 6/13/2008 8:39:19 PM

    First I should note that in 8 ball pool, "ball-in-hand from behind the head-string" is not a thing according to the World Pool-Billiard Association 8 Ball rules. These WPA eight ball rules are the predominant rules for 8 ball, and they state that if you commit a standard foul, then play passes to your opponent with "ball-in-hand anywhere on the table".

    But you are right, some localized leagues (e.g. BCA) have rules for this, and thus, override WPA rules when playing in those respective leagues - but I don't think it's as common.

    I'm going to assume that you are playing by the BCA's eight ball rules (and by extension, the BCA's general rules of pocket billiards - (playing from behind the string) rule:

    General Billiard Rules - Playing From Behind The String (Regulation 3.39)

    When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the head string, "in the kitchen", he or she must drive the cue ball to a point across the head string before it contacts either a cushion, an object ball, or returns to the kitchen.

    Failure to do so is a foul if a referee is presiding over a match. If no referee is present, the opponent has the option to call it either a foul or to require the offending player to replay the shot again with the balls restored to their positions prior to the shot with no foul penalty imposed.

    An exception exists here: if an object ball lies on or outside the head string, and is thus playable, but so close that the cue ball contacts it before the cue ball is out of the kitchen, the ball can be legally played, and will be considered to have crossed the head string.

    If, with cue ball in hand behind the head-string and while the shooter is attempting a legitimate shot, the cue ball accidentally hits a ball behind the head string, and the cue ball crosses the line, it is a foul.

    If with cue ball in hand behind the head string, the shooter causes the cue ball to hit an object ball accidentally, and the cue ball does not cross the head-string, then the incoming player has the option of either:

    • calling a foul and having cue ball in hand, or
    • having the balls returned to their original position, and having the offending player replay the shot.

    If a player under the same conditions intentionally causes the cue ball to contact an object ball behind the head-string, it is considered unsportsmanlike conduct.

    In this case your only option (if you decide to play your shot) is to send the cue ball up-table, bank it off the opposite end rail sending it back to (hopefully) strike your only remaining object ball which was so unfortunately placed.

    It really is a rule that perhaps should be re-examined, in my opinion, since it basically punishes you when it should be rewarding you for your opponent's mistake.

  2. user1202332720quickshot on 6/25/2008 11:26:38 AM

    This rule is not very clear.

    What you are saying here is that a player has to make a kick shot from behind the kitchen.

    If both the cue ball and the object ball are in the kitchen wouldn't the object ball be spotted at the far head spot?

    I thought that playing "ball-in-hand from behind the head string" referred to an opponent scratching on the break and then for the rest of the match, ball-in-hand is a player's option (but maybe I am mixing up APA rules and BCA rules).

  3. user1202332720blackmantis24 on 7/1/2008 11:39:55 AM

    Both the APA and the BCA have the rule in place.

    In the event of a scratch on the opening break by player A, player B has ball in hand behind the head string (in the kitchen).

    8 ball bar games are usually played where after any scratch the other player gets ball-in-hand in the kitchen and then again you don't have to hit an object ball either.

  4. user1202332720choke2much on 2/4/2009 6:42:54 PM

    Another question. Player B has ball in hand behind the line. His remaining 2 solid balls (playing 8 ball) are behind the line. Which ball gets spotted. I have a $1.00 bet with 3 players on this. I say the ball closest to the spot/line (head string) get spotted. They say the ball closest to the rail (in the head) gets spotted. Thanks, Frank

  5. user1202332720Justanotherevolutionary on 2/4/2009 6:51:05 PM

    I say you find a new set of rules to play by. =) Or why not just fire the cue ball in the pocket and let them deal with it from in the kitchen....This has gota be the dumbest damn rule ever. GRRRRRRR

  6. user1202332720choke2much on 2/4/2009 8:45:18 PM

    Dumb?....which ball gets spotted? It's in the rule book somewhere. Closest to the back rail or closest to the line? I have big $$$ riding on this.

  7. user1202332720quickshot on 2/4/2009 10:30:37 PM

    That's a good question. Whether BCA or APA I think the rules may be the same. To my knowledge the rule applies as such: If two balls are behind the head string the one nearest the string line will be the one spotted. If the two balls are of equal distance the players can made a determination between themselves as to which one will be spotted.

  8. user1202332720Justanotherevolutionary on 2/5/2009 8:59:57 AM

    Maybe I misunderstand what is being asked here. But in the APA you don't play from the kitchen, except on a scratch break. So this isn't even relative to APA rules. Unless you make a 12 ball break and scratch! Ahem. As for BCA it is the ball closest to the head spot gets spotted if memory serves me right, which it usually doesn't. I'll say it again, it's a dumb rule, and this is why I play APA.

  9. user1202332720quickshot on 2/5/2009 9:29:05 AM

    For equal distances I guess it becomes a coin flip, or whatever color one likes, or if it is stripes or solids. Just have fun with this.

  10. user1202332720Mitch Alsup on 2/5/2009 11:48:27 AM

    As to the original question: If you have ball-in-hand you can put the ball anywhere on the table and shoot. If you have ball-in-kitchen, the cue ball must go behind the string (in the kitchen) and you must shoot out of the kitchen before contacting one of your balls.

    In BCA the only time you have ball-in-kitchen is after a scratch on the break. Here the question does not apply because groups have not been chosen.

    At the local bar I play at, we play ball-in-kitchen (and no slop). Depending upon where my ball might be in the kitchen, I will play a long bank, or I will play a masse off the side rail--contacting the rail just outside the kitchen with enough english to retrun into the kitchen. 3-rail banks are semi-self correcting so if you ball is sitting near a pocket, this kind of shot is a reasonable choice. Occasionally, I will play a bounce off the farther tit of the side pocket and bring the ball back into the kitchen from there (recommended only in extreme circumstances).

    All in all, you have to get good at long banks some time in your career, so why not just practice them as part of your regular game?

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What to Do when Shooting "Ball-in-Hand From the Kitchen" But Your Balls Are All in the Kitchen?

  • Title: What to Do when Shooting "Ball-in-Hand From the Kitchen" But Your Balls Are All in the Kitchen?
  • Author:
  • Published: 2/6/2008 9:18:40 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/14/2022 7:27:37 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)