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Fouls and Cheating in 9-Ball

Fouls and Cheating in 9-Ball

After just getting back into the game I have been playing many new to me players. No tournaments so far. I, in the past, thought that pool was a game of honor (kind of how golf is).

I see no advantage to not calling a foul on ones self. Cheating is cheating and I was raised to believe cheaters never win. After all it's not love or war.

I have done it, called a foul on myself, many times, as right now I'm not very good or as steady as I should or will be again I hope.

Someone should have caught it if eyes were on the game. I did play someone who fouled and continued to shoot and I think less of them since.

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Fouls and Cheating in 9-Ball

Replies & Comments

  1. Fenwickbilliardsforum on 12/31/2007 1:56:50 PM

    I 100% agree with you, but unfortunately, as much as billiards is a game of honor, it is as much a game of deceit, cheating, and unsavory methods and intent.

    Billiards has this dark kind of association with gambling, cheating, deceit, and hustling. The big chain pool halls are working hard to change this, by making their establishments smoke free, and family friendly. Unfortunately, though, deceitful play goes on all over the place.

    I wonder if it was like that back in the 1800s? It was actually probably a lot worse.

  2. FenwickFenwick on 1/2/2008 9:38:52 AM

    I can't take credit for this but thought it was a good read.

    Submitted by The Monk (themonk):

    What happens when a Match Player competes with a Gambler? Nothing. A Match Player will not compete with a Gambler. There is a distinct difference between the two players. The Match Player is seeking the ultimate game, while the Gambler seeks to destroy. The sweetest words a gambler will hear is "I am broke" while the words that sing the melody of this great game to the Match Player are, "nice game".

    There is a band of Match Players all across this land. They play for high stakes. Some as much as one hundred thousand dollars on one match. But it is not the money. It is the love of the game. The ultimate game. When two Match Players get together you are in for a rare and beautiful treat. You will be taken back in time when being a gentleman was the highest calling.

    I was playing a match in Michigan. It was a great contest. The kind that went back and forth. His name was Clark Gravedoni. I tried a break shot and failed. He needed only a few more balls so I sat down with the loss in my mind. I sat there for the longest time. I didn't want to watch. I was going to listen for the sound of balls falling into the leather pockets. But I heard no sound. Nothing happened. I looked up and Clark was starring at me. "What happened?" I asked.

    "I just fouled." He said.

    I got up and ran out. At the time I was not surprised at all that he would call a foul on himself. He was a Match Player. I ran out and took him to the finest restaurant. The match is the expression of his art. Therefore he plays only one match. There can be only one match between two Match Players. May all the rolls go your way.

  3. Fenwicktedmauro on 1/15/2008 7:33:17 PM

    Nice thread. We have a pretty large BCA league here in Pueblo Colorado and while the largest percentage of players will say that's a bad hit, or that's a foul, there are still quite a few who will cheat in a heart beat. I have even seen some pretty good arguments when a player calls a blatant foul and the player who committed the foul denies it and acts like a jerk.

  4. Fenwickguest on 4/11/2008 11:10:28 PM

    I have one quick question, here's the scenario. You break, nothing goes in, the opposing player goes to hit a solid but doesn't make the shot, my turn comes I logically aim for stripes but my ball doesn't go in, here's the kicker. Is the opposing player allowed to hit a stripped ball after their first attempt was a solid?

  5. FenwickFenwick on 4/11/2008 11:23:14 PM

    Yes. The table is still open. Side Bar; today I called 2 fouls on myself while my opponent had his back turned to the table and 1 while he had gone to the rest room. See above; What happens when a Match Player competes with a Gambler?

  6. Fenwickquickshot on 4/11/2008 11:41:01 PM

    Fenwick: It would appear to me that you come from another generation. Probably the same one I come from. Thanks for the match play story.

  7. FenwickJJFSTAR on 4/12/2008 1:09:03 PM

    If you say you see no advantage in not calling a foul on yourself I can tell you one, if the players are self reffing the match and you commit a foul that is not so obvious and your opponent doesn’t call foul you retain your shot, it is not cheating by any set or rules you want to look up period.

    On the flip side if you argue with someone who has called a foul on you and you know you fouled you are a jerk and should be warned first by the captain, tournament director or whoever is in charge at the time and on second offence be told to find someone else to play for. Warn and then oust. I am a team captain and that's how I would handle it.

    When I am playing for "funzies" no matter what I will call fouls on myself and give my opponent the CB or mark myself down for a lost point every time if they are in the room or not. But when I am in competition and there is not a referee it is my opponent’s job to be watching the game as it is mine when my opponent is shooting.

    There are some out there that cannot shoot when such a situation happens in a critical match to those I say; call the foul on yourself especially if it is early in the game he might not run out and then your head is where it should be when it is your inning.

    Playing for fun and in competition are 2 different worlds for most of us. I see very few whose fun games are just like their competition games. Be honorable sure if you foul in a big match stand up, look at your opponent, give him/her a long pause and a good stare enough time to say "foul". If they are not doing their job keep shooting if you are comfortable with it; it is not now and never will be cheating.

  8. Fenwicktreehumper on 4/12/2008 9:18:16 PM

    Well said, the rules are clear on the foul call being made by a referee or in a non-officiated game by the opponent. It is a ruthless way to play but where should your opponents eyes be? On the game or the hottie at the bar?

  9. Fenwicktedmauro on 4/13/2008 5:14:56 PM

    Sometimes the hottie at the bar is the better choice. lol

  10. Fenwickquickshot on 4/16/2008 11:16:58 PM

    I was watching one of the ladies matches between Lee and Vivian (forget last name). They both shot the 9 ball around a couple of times and missed. Lee was so excited she shot the 9 into the pocket. Vivian, not the ref, called her on it for not calling the pocket. Lee was gracious about it even though it was an obvious shot. Vivian proceeded to take the next shot and missed. I did not believe it. Lee then called and sunk the 9 ball. It was a lesson in losing focus. They were simple shots.

  11. Fenwicktedmauro on 4/17/2008 5:21:42 AM

    It was Vivian Villarreal. Not sure about spelling. They also call her the Texas Tornado. I watched a replay of that match on ESPN a while back. I hung out in the pool room one night in Michigan when my son played in the BCA Junior Nationals. She is a cool lady.

  12. Fenwickmrgregory on 5/1/2008 9:39:49 AM

    After playing on and off mostly in bars for the last 30yrs I have started playing in local tournaments. I now will call my own fouls because i have started playing the game against myself, not against my opponent. I try to play as though I am playing against a computer that is going to beat me if I make any mistake. This had made me more conscious of fouls and I hardly ever make a foul since I know I am going to call it on myself.

    I can concentrate on the game more because I don't have to worry whether my opponent new I fouled and just didn't want to call it.

    And I sleep better at night


  13. Fenwickquickshot on 5/1/2008 10:42:13 AM

    Good for you Mark. Maybe it will become contagious.

  14. Fenwickfolk on 7/25/2008 10:05:36 AM

    This is one topic that has been on my mind lately. I've played pool off and on for the past 20 years only occasionally participating in open tournements at local halls. When I first began to play, I would often play with the owner of the pool hall. Aside from often getting free tabletime, I also got free lessons and a fantastic playing partner. Often we would only play straight pool, as 8 and 9 ball was too boring for him. The two things that he always tried to teach me while playing was play defensivly, and the importance of sportsmanship.

    As the thread by The Monk stated, this game can be broken down into match players, and gamblers. I usually try to avoid playing the gamblers, but I do respect that it is a traditional aspect of the game. In my mind the specific rules are there to give gamblers specific boundries. Even if some are in their favor. As a match player, I rely on sportsmanship and the rules to define my game. Last week I played more of a 'gambler' type. He would talk down his skill, not call or deny fouls, then play like an ace when I would sneak ahead. I managed to win that match and it made the game all the sweeter to know that I won while also being a sportsman. Last night I had a match against another match player. While I did lose that match, it was a great game and alot of fun.

    I guess it boils down to each persons ethics and what you feel is cheating. If your opponent plays by the exact rules and will not call their own fouls, its technically not cheating. It is just up to you if your going to play by those rules also or your own rules. I respect the gambler type for the way they play, I just couldnt do it myself.

  15. Fenwickquickshot on 7/25/2008 11:47:06 PM

    Who was it that said, "To thine own self be true." It may have The Bard.

  16. Fenwickbilliardsforum on 5/17/2009 10:25:27 AM

    Folk, I agree with you 100% in that I think it is an individual thing.

    Regardless of YOUR OWN morals and playing style, you always have to be prepared for others who do not play at the same level of sportsmanship as you.

    I think that's one of the things that makes the game fun; not knowing exactly who and what you will be up against. It makes it more of a mental challenge.

    I think you find this in any sport.

  17. FenwickFenwick on 8/17/2009 4:53:20 AM

    It's been almost 2 years since I started this thread. My thoughts have changed slightly. I started to play in a league this summer, first time sense 1982. While I call fouls on myself playing straight pool league play is different. It's up to my opponent to pay attention to the table IMO now. The very first night my partner while playing a safe made a bad hit. I almost spoke up but notices both of the other players, 2 man teams, were busy watching a baseball game. Had they said something my partner would have said, " yes, bad hit, ball in hand." They should have been watching. I myself have not to my knowledge had anything happen during a match that was questionable. That being said if I do I'll simply stand up, count to ten and if no one speaks up I'll continue shooting as if nothing happened. I will still feel the guilt though but I think it's part of the game. Now the question is, is that cheating?

  18. Fenwicktedmauro on 8/17/2009 6:28:32 AM

    I would have to say that it's not cheating. I learned that sometimes your team mates will get pretty upset with you if you start calling fouls on yourself. In our local leagues, we have a player and a spotter on each team. It's up to your opponent and their spotter to call fouls on you. If they miss a foul, the you snooze you loose rule kicks in.

  19. FenwickFenwick on 8/18/2009 4:09:06 AM

    Thanks Ted. Actually it was somewhat of a rhetorical question or a poll on ethics. This fall I will have two different partners, again it's a 2 man teams. One is my current 9 ball partner and the other wants to play by the honor system or the military code of conduct rules. He's a man of honor, former Marine like myself and wants to call fouls on his self. It's the only area where we have a difference of opinion. The reason I almost spoke up the first night was my long hours playing straight pool. This is the first time playing 9 ball since the late 60's. I sometimes have to be reminded to play the correct numbered ball and not go for a run out to get on the break ball. Brain Farts.

  20. Fenwicktedmauro on 8/18/2009 9:30:52 PM

    LoL. I love a good game of 14.1 Straight pool myself. Nine ball is much more fast paced and exciting for spectators however. Take it easy on the brain.

  21. Fenwickbuckshotshoey on 9/18/2009 8:02:55 PM

    Sorry, just a bit confused... Since when do you have to call a pocket when you play 9 ball? Just curious.

  22. FenwickFenwick on 9/18/2009 8:15:33 PM

    In the WPBA you have to call the pocket on the 9. I think all in the pro tours you have to call the 9 except on a combo; not sure. When it started I'll have to do a search.

  23. Fenwickbuckshotshoey on 9/18/2009 8:28:08 PM

    Agreed... By the rule book it is not cheating. Even the APA team manual states that if you accidentally start shooting the wrong category of balls, and you opponent doesn't notice, you can quickly change back, or continue to shoot until you make legal contact with the 8 ball. BUT, the definition of LEGAL, and SPORTSMANSHIP are two very different things.

    Just two days ago during league, my opponent and I took the match to the rubber match. I was down to the 8 and missed.... go figure. He plays a pretty good safe. I had to kick at it foot rail to head rail. I did make contact with the 8 but nothing hit a rail after the contact. This is a foul in APA. I guess I'm used to being honest with myself because when I practice alone, I will call fouls on myself. I looked at my opponent and said ball in hand. He looked at me kind of dazed and confused and said it was a good hit. I said...Yes but nothing hit a rail after contact. He took ball in hand and run his remaining 3 balls and the 8, winning the match.What happened next shocked me. My team captain gave me holy hell for not letting him call the foul. While technically that was the legal thing to do, I didn't feel it was the sportsmanlike thing to do. And, with where the cue ball was sitting, he would have run out anyway being a pretty good 5. Even though I lost the match, I don't feel one bit bad about it... I truly didn't deserve it.

  24. FenwickFenwick on 9/19/2009 3:57:44 PM

    Was the object ball frozen to the rail?

  25. Fenwickbuckshotshoey on 9/19/2009 11:37:54 PM

    No. The object ball, the 8 in this case, was in the middle of the table. The only way for me to get to it in that particular instance was to send the cue ball to the head rail and "KICK SHOT" back at it (I suppose I could have went off a side rail but would have had to use some crazy english to get it there. Like I said, it was a pretty good safe.). The cue ball hit the 8 ok but I didn't put enough juice on it to send something to a rail (or make it) after legal contact. Thats a foul in APA.

  26. FenwickFenwick on 9/20/2009 5:45:12 AM

    "The cue ball hit the 8 ok but I didn't put enough juice on it to send something to a rail (or make it) after legal contact. That"s a foul in APA."

    I would have called that on myself also but the player should have been paying attention. Forget what your team captain said or take it with a grain of salt. You did the right thing IMO and yours.

    I was surprised the last night of league, position night. I became distracted and so was my partner. I broke rule number one. I tell my partner and friends when I'm in a game don't talk to me period. A few people got in my ear and even blocked my view of the table. The person I was playing stood in disgust and said ball in hand. I fouled. Then he said I know you didn't see it but I balked and never hit a rail.

  27. Fenwicktedmauro on 9/20/2009 6:58:02 AM

    What a nice honest player that was.

    We were shooting in the semi finals of our city 9 ball league Thursday night when one of my team members started lining up shots of whiskey. This could be bad for a guys pool game as well. I only drank one and finished the match with 4 wins and 1 loss.

    We are in the final 3 today and the match starts in a couple hours.

  28. FenwickFenwick on 10/15/2009 11:44:50 AM

    I just joined the Billiard Congress of Wisconsin. Dress code and rules of conduct, whole 9 yards. Played in the open division, no handicapping, race to 9. It goes from Master division to junior division. I'm ranked at the bottom of the adult division, B. I'll be in the A or AA division before the season is over me thinks? I won't bash the B.C.W. but not all players play on the up and up. Had one player foul and while I was calling him on it he shot the next ball. His normal game is to slow play you but he took just 1 second to shoot his next shot. He heard me but just blew it off. I called him on it! Being after the fact not much I could do except add his name to my cheater list and told him so. 1 win against a AA player, 9/8 and lost 9/5 to a Master player. Lost 1/7 against the cheater, also a AA player. Even if there were not so many eyes watching I could not avoid calling a foul on myself. My peers are present and I couldn't live it down. Here's another gem. One player saw my Justa Bridge attached to my Viper jump cue and walked across the room and tried to walk away with it while I was at the table. A friend asked him what he thought he was doing. Taking the house bridge for my next shot. Every table has a house bridge and my Viper doesn't look like a plain Jane house bridge and a Justa Bridge isn't standard looking. He told this guy that belongs to someone and it's not you. So I'm back to calling fouls on myself even if the player is not watching. I might make 1 or 2 exceptions?

  29. Fenwicktedmauro on 10/17/2009 9:09:53 PM

    It takes all kinds I guess. All we can do is roll with the flow and follow our gut instincts. Cheaters never truly win and winners never really cheat. Thieves will always be losers. Good luck with your new association with the BCW. I am currently in New Hampshire working with a Master Billiards Instructor.

  30. FenwickFenwick on 10/17/2009 10:40:04 PM

    Ted, Can you elaborate? "I am currently in New Hampshire working with a Master Billiards Instructor."

  31. Fenwickquickshot on 10/18/2009 7:04:38 AM

    Hi Ted. Who's taking care of the farm?

  32. Fenwicktedmauro on 10/18/2009 8:31:23 AM

    I came to NH last week on Wednesday. I am taking a course with Ken Tewksbury and getting my certification as a billiards instructor. I just finished as a matter a fact. I am now a certified billiards instructor. :) My nephew is running the business and it's to cold to be farming. lol

  33. Fenwickquickshot on 10/18/2009 5:38:13 PM

    Well congratulations to you. Happy to hear you are moving up in the billiards world. It can only be for the better, both for you and your students which I am sure will be in abundance.

  34. Fenwicktedmauro on 10/19/2009 6:10:27 AM

    Thanks for the positive words and thoughts.

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Fouls and Cheating in 9-Ball

  • Title: Fouls and Cheating in 9-Ball
  • Author: (Ken Steinlee)
  • Published: 11/26/2007 5:10:22 PM