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Legal 9 Ball Break. BCA Rules

Legal 9 Ball Break. BCA Rules

If the 1 ball is missed on the break but 4 balls touch the rails, what is the rule?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Legal 9 Ball Break. BCA Rules

Replies & Comments

  1. user1508080594billiardsforum on 10/31/2017 8:28:24 PM

    Unless I am misunderstanding your scenario, the break shot is "legal" in that you drove 4 balls to the rails, and didn't shoot any balls off the table, but you also committed a foul by not hitting the one-ball.

    In this case, play passes to the opponent.

    BCA 9-ball rules merged with (now follows) World Pool and Billiard Association 9-Ball rules, in which you can find all of these details (the part about hitting balls in order is found in a different section from the "Legal Break Shot" section.) The key wording is found in section 2.5 "Continuing Play":

    2.5 Continuing Play
    If the shooter legally pockets any ball on a shot (except a push out, see 2.4 Second Shot of the Rack – Push Out), he continues at the table for the next shot. If he legally pockets the nine ball on any shot (except a push out), he wins the rack. If the shooter fails to pocket a ball or fouls, play passes to the other player, and if no foul was committed, the incoming player must play the cue ball from the position left by the other player.

    Note the "or fouls" part in bold. Then in section 2.7 "Standard Fouls" we can see the 2nd item applies:

    2.7 Standard Fouls
    If the shooter commits a standard 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 nine ball:

    6.1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table
    6.2 Wrong Ball First; The first object ball contacted by the cue ball on each shot must be the lowest-numbered ball remaining on the table.

    So, it is possible to have a "legal break shot" as you did, but to also foul, which you did. You met all of the reqirements of the break shot, but not all of the requirements of a "legal shot" in general.

    UPA 9-Ball rules (which are basically the same as the BCA/WPA 9 ball rules in terms of this scenario) explains it all in the same section, and I find it easier to understand when it's all in one place:


    For the break shot to be legal, the breaker (with the base of the cue ball placed anywhere behind the head string) must either pocket a number ball or drive at least three (3) number balls to one or more rails. If the breaker fails to make the legal break requirement, the balls will be re-racked and the opponent shall have the option of breaking, or requesting the offending player to break again.

    NOTE: If the cue ball is touched by the cue tip and does not meet the legal break requirement, it is considered an “illegal break.”

    A Legal Break with a Foul committed:

    If the breaker makes a legal break, however, commits a foul on the legal break the game is to continue with the opponent having ball in hand.

    Break fouls include the following:

    1. If the 1-ball was not struck first.
    2. If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table.
    3. If any numbered ball leaves the table or comes to rest on top of a rail.

  2. user1508080594user1508080594 on 10/31/2017 9:19:55 PM

    Thanks, the ref in the tournament made the wrong call. He had the other player re rack and let him break. I fortunately won the game anyway but thought the ref made a bad call.

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Legal 9 Ball Break. BCA Rules

  • Title: Legal 9 Ball Break. BCA Rules
  • Author:
  • Published: 10/15/2017 11:16:35 AM