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Failing to Contact the 8 Ball

Failing to Contact the 8 Ball

In 8 ball, what happens if you are shooing for the 8-ball, but you fail to contact it, or any other ball?

For example, if you shoot for the 8-ball and do not make contact with it (completely miss it) and do not hit any other ball, is that a scratch and loss of game?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Failing to Contact the 8 Ball

Replies & Comments

  1. user1527119921billiardsforum on 5/23/2018 8:56:47 PM

    In eight-ball, by definition, a scratch is a shot on which the cue ball is pocketed. So your scenario wouldn't be considered a "scratch" and thus, rules applicable to scratching wouldn't apply.

    The shot you described does, however, result in a "foul" because it does not meet the minimum requirements. According to the current World Pool-Billiard Association rules for 8 ball, the shot is a foul:

    6.3 No Rail after Contact

    If no ball is pocketed on a shot, the cue ball must contact an object ball, and after that contact at least one ball (cue ball or any object ball) must be driven to a rail, or the shot is a foul. (See 8.4 Driven to a Rail.)

    8.4 Driven to a Rail

    A ball is said to be driven to a rail if it is not touching that rail and then touches that rail. A ball touching a rail at the start of a shot (said to be “frozen” to the rail) is not considered driven to that rail unless it leaves the rail and returns. A ball that is pocketed or driven off the table is also considered to have been driven to a rail. A ball is assumed not to be frozen to any rail unless it is declared frozen by the referee, the shooter, or the opponent. See also Regulation 29, Calling Frozen Balls.

    Since, in your turn at the table you committed a "standard foul" and failed to legally pocket the called ball, your inning is over and your opponent takes the table.

    3.9 Standard Fouls

    If the shooter commits a 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 only way the involvement of the 8-ball results in a full loss of game is when you actually pocket the 8-ball and foul in some way. Your scenario doesn't fit any of these:

    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.

    These do not apply to the break shot. (See 3.3 Break Shot.)

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Failing to Contact the 8 Ball

  • Title: Failing to Contact the 8 Ball
  • Author:
  • Published: 5/23/2018 7:58:42 PM
  • Last Updated: 5/23/2018 8:59:29 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)