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When A Ball Falls Into the Pocket On It's Own

When A Ball Falls Into the Pocket On It's Own

I was playing 9-ball yesterday and my father in-law hung the 3 ball deep in the corner pocket, but it didn't fall. It just rested about as close to the edge as it possibly could without falling.

It was a real tight shot for me so I was going to try to sneak the cue ball around an object ball with a bit massé and take the cushion first to try to gain shape on the 4.

Well I missed the 3 completely so it was ball in hand back to my father in-law. He sets the cue ball down and before he gets a chance to shot the 3 ball just fell into the pocket. I guess it was hanging on by a thread.

How should that situation be handled?

  • Is the 3 ball spotted, or
  • Does it stay down and we move onto the 4, or
  • Is it my shot on the 4 (since it fell right after my shot even though I missed it)

I left the 3 down and gave him ball in hand on the 4 just to avoid conflict since neither of us knew what to do.

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

When A Ball Falls Into the Pocket On It's Own

Replies & Comments

  1. BishopA-Train on 4/2/2007 3:22:16 PM

    My opinion is that the 3 stays down and your father-in-law is to take ball in hand as usual. Had you not fouled, he wouldn't be taking ball in hand, he'd play it where it lied.

  2. Bishopdjkx1 on 4/3/2007 12:16:30 PM

    I'm 98.3% sure I have read or heard that the 5 second rule applies. If it falls before 5 seconds it counts for the shooter. If it falls after 5 seconds it is re-spotted where it was and the shot goes to the incoming player. It seems to me I heard this recently on a TV match with Danny DiLiberto mentioning this rule.

    In your example it should have been spotted and he would have had ball in hand.

  3. BishopBishop on 4/3/2007 12:18:01 PM

    It would still count even though I didn't make contact with it but actually shot at it?

  4. Bishopdjkx1 on 4/3/2007 12:33:31 PM

    I forgot about that part. LOL.

    I don't know. That is a dilemma. After some research I found that missing the ball is a foul either way. So regardless of what happens to the object ball, the opponent would have ball in hand.

    The ball dropped after 5 seconds of being motionless so it would come back up.

    Below is a snip from the BCA rules:


    If a ball shifts, settles, turns or otherwise moves by itself, the ball shall remain in the position it assumed and play continues. A hanging ball that falls into a pocket by itself after being motionless for 5 seconds or longer shall be replaced as closely as possible to its position prior to falling, and play shall continue. If an object ball drops into a pocket by itself as a player shoots at it, so that the cue ball passes over the spot the ball had been on, unable to hit it, the cue ball and object ball are to be replaced to their positions prior to the stroke, and the player may shoot again. Any other object balls disturbed on the stroke are also to be replaced to their original positions before the shooter replays.

  5. BishopBishop on 4/3/2007 1:05:50 PM

    I guess that covers it. I'm willing to bet I never see something like that happen again in my lifetime.

  6. Bishopdjkx1 on 4/3/2007 1:27:59 PM

    You should contact BCA and explain the shot. Perhaps they could include a "Bishop clause" in their rules for that situation, just in case.

  7. BishopBHQ on 4/3/2007 1:40:08 PM

    The ball gets re-spotted as close as possible to where it was. We have had that situation several times in the leagues I play in and somebody looked it up. Read paragraph 3:31 in the BCA rules.

  8. BishopBishop on 4/3/2007 3:20:46 PM

    They should have a "Bishop clause" regardless. Ha.

  9. BishopBHQ on 4/3/2007 3:25:08 PM

    A couple years ago my buddy "New York Joe" and I were playing on the new 9ft. Olhausen tables that the local place just bought.

    We had two balls locked up in the pocket, 5 & 7.

    No matter how hard we hit them, neither would drop. The cue ball was flying everywhere but those suckers wouldn't budge.

    If that happened in a tournament or a league situation, I have no idea what rule would come into play.

  10. Bishopdjkx1 on 4/3/2007 3:55:35 PM

    Paragraph 3:33 of the rules you posted earlier.

  11. BishopGeorge on 4/9/2007 6:04:01 AM

    It was more then 5 seconds I would of put the ball back as close to the pocket as I can and continue with his ball in hand.

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When A Ball Falls Into the Pocket On It's Own

  • Title: When A Ball Falls Into the Pocket On It's Own
  • Author: (Ryan Jones)
  • Published: 4/2/2007 1:03:43 PM