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Rule to Hit an Object Ball Then Hit a Rail

Rule to Hit an Object Ball Then Hit a Rail

A friend and I , both very experienced pool players, have a disagreement about the history of the requirement in 8 and 9 ball, particularly, that you must hit an object ball, and then a ball must either be pocketed or must hit a rail, or there is a foul with ball in hand.

Obviously, the rule is different in many games, such as one pocket, 14-1 continuous, snooker, etc.

But, was there ever a time, in official billiards rules, where a player was only limited by a sense of fair play in a choice to merely roll the cue ball against another ball without the necessity of hitting a rail? I've been playing since 1956, and of course when I first started in Southern Va., I never heard of ball in hand, and players were merely expected to make a bona fide attempt to make a shot. Now, of course, we all play "hit a ball, hit a rail", or it's a foul and it's ball in hand.

My friend says that the pros all played the same way I grew up, and the hit a ball, hit a rail requirement only came in with television coverage. Doesn't seem right to me.

Does anyone know the history of this subject?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Rule to Hit an Object Ball Then Hit a Rail

Replies & Comments

  1. Frank ReynoldsZeke on 11/11/2014 9:03:42 AM

    This is from this website's "general rules of pocket billiards" I do not know the history of this rule but it has been around for a very long time.

    General Billiard Rules - Legal Shots (Regulation 3.19)

    Unless otherwise stated in a specific game rule, a player must cause the cue ball to contact a legal object ball and then:

    Pocket a numbered ball, or; Cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a cushion or any part of the rail. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.

  2. Frank ReynoldsFrank Reynolds on 11/12/2014 4:57:55 AM

    Thanks, zeke, I'm familiar with the rule, it's the history of when it became a rule, and if there was a,previous rule for such situations. Is there a site where I can read the rules that applied in, say, 1920, or even further back?

  3. Frank ReynoldsZeke on 11/12/2014 6:47:34 AM

    This Wiki definition does not provide a true history but suggests 1940 was the time frame at which the rules were formed that became "accepted" as being truly 8-ball centric.

    But Mosconi, "Fats" and other legends of the day made "Straight Pool" THE game of the land.

    8-ball being more a way to raise revenue in neighborhood bars than skill level enhancement for the masses.

    Now, all we see on TV is 9-ball - making it THE game d'jour in billiard halls - while bars are strictly 8-ball venues.

    The game of eight-ball is derived from an earlier game invented around 1900 (first recorded in 1908) in the United States and initially popularized under the name "B.B.C. Co. Pool" (a name that was still in use as late as 1925) by the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company. This forerunner game was played with seven yellow and seven red balls, a black ball, and the cue ball. Today, numbered stripes and solids are preferred in most of the world, though the British-style offshoot, blackball, uses the traditional colors (as did early televised "casino" tournaments in the U.S.). The game had relatively simple rules compared to today and was not added (under any name) to an official rule book (i.e., one published by a national or international sport governing body) until 1940.

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Rule to Hit an Object Ball Then Hit a Rail

  • Title: Rule to Hit an Object Ball Then Hit a Rail
  • Author:
  • Published: 11/11/2014 8:27:02 AM