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Can you Shoot the 8-Ball off of an Opponents Ball and Into the Called Pocket?


Can you Shoot the 8-Ball off of an Opponents Ball and Into the Called Pocket?

Can you shoot the 8-ball off of an opponents ball and into the called pocket? Basically, it's the 8 ball rebounding off of an opponents ball before going in.

For example, in a game of "straight-in" 8 ball, can I shoot the cue ball into the 8 ball and have the 8-ball hit an opponent's object ball and rebound into the called pocket?

Put another way, can the 8 ball touch an opponent's object ball on the way to it's called pocket?

This question references the following Billiard Glossary terms:

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Can you Shoot the 8-Ball off of an Opponents Ball and Into the Called Pocket?

Replies & Comments

  1. sad4305billiardsforum on 2/10/2008 6:35:21 PM

    Yes, this is allowed.

    Having the 8 ball rebound off of an opponent's ball and into the pocket is perfectly legal, as long as:

    1. the cue ball hits the 8 ball first,
    2. the 8 ball goes into the called pocket, and,
    3. you don't scratch or commit any other standard foul

    To summarize: In 8 ball, you only need to call the ball and the pocket. That's it. The shot is "good" if the called ball goes in to the called pocket, stays there, and no other foul is committed. Incidental object balls touched, pocketed, etc. are irrelevant.


    Here are the World Pool-Billiard Association 8 ball rules that apply (emphasis mine):

    1. WPA 8 Ball rule #3.6 - "Shots Required to Be Called" tells us that the game follows the "standard call shot" clause #1.6 from the General Rules of Pocket Billiards.

      Rules of 8 Ball Pool

      [...]

      3.6 Shots Required to Be Called

      On each shot except the break, shots must be called as explained in 1.6 Standard Call Shot.

      The eight ball may be called only after the shot on which the shooter’s group has been cleared from the table. The shooter may call “safety” in which case play passes to the opponent at the end of the shot and any object ball pocketed on the safety remains pocketed. (See 8.17 Safety Shot.)

    2. The WPA general rules clause #1.6 - "Standard Call Shot" makes it very clear what aspects of the shot needs to be called in a game of eight ball pool. The "standard call shot" rule from the general rules of pocket billiards is as follows:

      General Rules of Pocket Billiards

      [...]

      1.6 Standard Call Shot

      In games in which the shooter is required to call shots, the intended ball and pocket must be indicated for each shot if they are not obvious. Details of the shot, such as cushions struck or other balls contacted or pocketed are irrelevant. Only one ball may be called on each shot.

      For a called shot to count, the referee must be satisfied that the intended shot was made, so if there is any chance of confusion, e.g. with bank, combination and similar shots, the shooter should indicate the ball and pocket. If the referee or opponent is unsure of the shot to be played, he may ask for a call.

      In call shot games, the shooter may choose to call "safety" instead of a ball and pocket, and then play passes to the opponent at the end of the shot. Whether balls are being spotted after safeties depends on the rules of the particular game.

      The same goes for the current BCA rules on the subject of calls. The shooter need only call the ball they are looking to pocket, and in which pocket they will attempt to sink it. This applies to 8 Ball, straight pool, and the majority of call shot games where "no-slop" is played. The shot is "good" if the called ball goes in to the called pocket, and stays there.

      I believe when you said "...a game of 'straight-in' eight ball...", you are referring to "no slop" rules. This isn't really a term used by the World Pool-Billiard Association rules. Note that sometimes folks take "no-slop" to mean that you will have to call every detail including caroms, rails, etc. but that's not common in professional, amateur, and league play.

    3. Further, we can look to WPA 8 ball rule #3.8 - "losing the rack" for a list of infractions involving the 8 ball which result in the loss of game. You can see that your scenario is not one of them.

      Rules of 8 Ball Pool

      [...]

      3.8 - Losing the Rack

      The shooter loses if he:

      • (a) pockets the eight ball and fouls.;
      • (b) pockets the eight ball before his group is cleared;
      • (c) pockets the eight ball in an uncalled pocket; or
      • (d) drives the eight ball off the table.

      You can see that none of these apply to your scenario, and thus, it is not a loss of game.


    As always, be certain that you are fully aware of the house rules, and that your "take" on these rules agrees with that of your opponents before the game starts

  2. sad4305Fenwick on 2/10/2008 6:54:34 PM

    This is why I hesitate to join an 8 ball league. There are so many, or too many, versions of 8 ball.

    After looking at the BCA rule book I could not find the official answer to your question. The people I play with do not make you call a kiss shot on the 8 ball as you described but a bank shot must be called. I have had some players call it a foul and lose of game if the 8 ball touches a rail on the way to a pocket. They claimed it is a bank shot? That was in the Greater Metropolitan Pool League from years ago.

    It is best to set the rules before playing any game of 8 ball. If your playing straight in, a game I'm not familiar with, I would guess a kiss is not allowed? Someone with first hand knowledge of straight in could give you a better answer.

  3. sad4305sad4305 on 2/10/2008 7:01:26 PM

    Thanks for your feedback Fenwick. This was supposed to be a "friendly" game between neighbors and it's escalated into some very ill feelings. Hopefully I'll get some additional replies, but it sounds like the rule should be discussed before the game starts.

  4. sad4305billiardsforum on 2/10/2008 7:06:23 PM

    Agreed. There is absolutely no need to call the kiss detail that you described.

    I'm also all for clarifying rules before play, but it is impossible to run through every situation before hand.

  5. sad4305Fenwick on 2/10/2008 9:12:37 PM

    "This was supposed to be a "friendly" game between neighbors and it's escalated into some very ill feelings."

    That is a sad thing when a friendly game goes sour. I have a neighbor who wants to play but if, I repeat, ( if ), I were to beat him on his own table I would not feel right and think he would feel even worse. It has happened to me before with other friends. Plus he insists on playing for money. I don't want or need his money and the hard feelings that goes with it! Do you live in my subdivision. Just kidding.

    "I'm also all for clarifying rules before play, but it is impossible to run through every situation before hand."

    I agree 100%. I guess you need to ask before every shot when playing with strangers or friends. But in bar leagues, BCA certified, you can not ask a question of your opponent, team captain or team mate as that is considered coaching or unsportsmanlike conduct. And if you play Ball in Hand you have to ask before you pick up the Cue Ball or that is a foul also! You can not catch a ball going into a pocket including the Cue Ball. That rule I agree with.

    The funny thing is that I just had this conversation with a straight pool buddy recently about how the game of 8 ball has changed from bad to worse; just our humble opinion. That is the reason that a group of us only play pool with each other; we're older and mellower. If playing with a stranger I will ask as many rule questions I can think of. Do your self a favor and go to the BCA official rules web site or the pool rules section here.

    Print a copy and ask where it states your shot was a foul. This might, I would hope, end the bad feelings?

    By the way, since getting back to playing this past October after doing other things in life, I have been wrong many times on many issues or rules and have had to come back the next day to say I was wrong about a rule. I think that is what reasonable adults do.

  6. sad4305Firework on 5/19/2008 7:05:30 AM

    "... A combination shot can never be used to legally pocket the 8-ball, except when the 8-ball is the first ball contacted in the shot sequence..."

    If the cue ball touches the 8-ball first, then other things don't matter. This is a legal shot in the game of "8-ball" pool.

  7. sad4305quickshot on 6/9/2008 1:10:19 AM

    If it is a called straight-in shot that is exactly what it is. And in MHO a combination shot would not be a legal 8 ball shot. I think the shot is self explanatory. Straight in is straight in with out any detours. Not even a wavy line.

  8. sad4305blackmantis24 on 7/4/2008 5:25:25 PM

    I agree with @quickshot. If it is supposed to be straight in, I think if it touches the cushion first, its not legal much less anything else.

  9. sad4305dlabout on 7/21/2008 2:49:30 PM

    Wow, call me crazy but this "straight-in" game sounds a little difficult.

    You could pick at the rules to what ever degree you like.

    Contacting a short rail is a bank, contacting the inside of the point of a pocket is contacting a rail. Contacting kisses, and the like makes a fun game a complicated game.

    You will find that in most cases if you go by "call the ball and the pocket" rules this will eliminate all the arguments.

    I have found that those who wish to hold players to kisses and short rails don't typically have enough control of the game to execute shots cleanly.

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Can you Shoot the 8-Ball off of an Opponents Ball and Into the Called Pocket?

  • Title: Can you Shoot the 8-Ball off of an Opponents Ball and Into the Called Pocket?
  • Author:
  • Published: 2/10/2008 6:04:57 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/15/2022 5:47:45 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)