World Eight Ball Pool Federation Rules

A. The Spirit of the Game

The game is known as Eight-Ball Pool. It is expected that players will always play the game in the true spirit and in a sporting manner. The referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the spirit and rules of the game are observed.

B. Equipment
The game of Eight-Ball Pool is played with:-
  1. A "Cue Ball" - being a white ball.
  2. Fifteen "Object balls" - consisting of:-
    1. "Colours" - being a group of seven red balls (or balls numbered 1-7) and a group of seven yellow balls (or balls numbered 9-15).
    2. The "Eight-Ball" - being a black ball marked with a number "8".
  3. A six pocket rectangular Pool Table with general characteristics as follows:
    1. The cloth will be marked with a "Spot" at the position where a straight line drawn diagonally from the centre of a side pocket to the centre of a corner pocket would intersect with a straight line drawn from the centre of the opposite side pocket to the centre of the other corner pocket.
    2. The cloth will be marked with a "Baulk Line" being a straight line drawn from cushion to cushion, parallel to, and one fifth of the length of the table from, the face of the cushion that lies the greatest distance from the spot.
C. Definitions
  1. Shot: A "Shot" begins when all balls stop moving from the previous shot. A player "Plays a Shot" by striking the Cue Ball with the tip of the cue. A "Shot" ends when all balls stop moving from the current shot.
  2. Play: To "Play" and Object Ball is to play a shot that results in the Cue Ball's first contact with another ball to be with that Object Ball. To "Play" the cue ball is to strike it with the tip of the cue.
  3. Ball On: At any time during a frame, a ball "On" is any Object Ball that the player may play without incurring a penalty.
  4. Pot: A ball is "Potted" when it leaves the bed of the table, enters a pocket and remains in that pocket.
  5. Visit: A "Visit" comprises one shot or a series of shots. Each visit lasts until the player fails to pot a ball "On". (Or until a foul is committed or the frame ends).
  6. Turn: A players "Turn" at the table comprises one visit or, after most fouls committed by the opponent, two visits.
  7. Frame: A "Frame" is one game of Eight-Ball Pool between two players or two pairs of players. A frame is played from the opening break and usually through until the Eight-Ball is potted. (Note: there are other ways that a frame may end - see "Loss of Frame").
  8. Match: A "Match" is a predetermined number of frames of Eight-Ball Pool between two players, two pairs of players or two teams of players.
  9. Player in Control: A player (and the player's partner in doubles) is deemed to be "In Control" of the frame from the time that the balls stop moving from the final shot of an opponent's turn until the balls stop moving from the final shot of the player's turn. There can be no instance, once a frame has commenced, that someone is not in control.
D. Object of the Game
  1. The object of the game is to win by being the first player to Pot a group of colours in any order and in any pocket and then Pot the Eight-Ball in any pocket.
  2. When "On" a group of colours, potting more than one ball of that Colour in the same shot is allowed. But a separate shot must be played to pot the Eight-Ball and win the game.
E. Playing from Baulk
  1. "Baulk" is the rectangular area of the table that is bordered by the Baulk Line and the three cushions at that end of the table.
  2. When playing from Baulk:-
    1. The centre point of the Cue Ball must be in Baulk when a shot is played. (If the centre of the Cue Ball is directly on the Baulk Line it is not deemed to be in Baulk.)
    2. The Cue Ball can be moved into position by hand or with the shaft of the cue, but when touched by the tip of the cue, a shot is deemed to have been played.
    3. The Cue Ball may be played in any direction.
    4. If a player wishes to play from Baulk after a "Foul Snooker", "Foul Jaw Snooker", or "Time Foul" the player must verbally advise the referee of this choice and the referee will then recover the Cue Ball and hand it to the player or place it on top of, and in the centre of, the cushion at the Baulk end of the table for the player to retrieve by hand. If the player touches or recovers the Cue Ball it is a Standard Foul. {see(K) Standard Fouls (21)}.
    5. After an "In Off","Foul Snooker","Foul Jaw Snooker", or "Time Foul" the player must endeavour to position the Cue Ball so as not to create a Foul Snooker. If the player claims a Foul Snooker from Baulk, the referee may choose to move the Cue Ball around to determine if there is any position in Baulk where the player would not be Foul Snookered. Whether such a position is found or not, the referee will announce the result and hand the Cue Ball back to the player or place it on top of, and in the centre of, the cushion at the Baulk end of the table for the player to retrieve by hand.
F. The Break
  1. The object balls are racked with the Eight-Ball on the Spot.
  2. In the absence of any competition / tournament rules to the contrary, a coin will be tossed to determine which player will break. If a series of frames is to be played (A Match), the break of each subsequent frame will alternate.
  3. The first shot of a frame is called the "Break". To "Break". the Cue Ball is played at the triangle of Object Balls from Baulk. The frame is deemed to have commenced the instant that the Cue Ball is played.
    1. The Break will be deemed a "Fair Break" if:-
      1. At least one Colour is potted.
        and/or
      2. Four Object Balls (at least) are driven to a cushion.
    2. If the Break is not a Fair Break it is a Non-Standard Foul and:-
      1. The opponent is awarded two visits.
      2. The balls are re-racked.
      3. The opponent re-starts the game and is under the same obligation to achieve a Fair Break.
      1. If the Cue Ball is potted on a Fair Break it is a Non-Standard Foul that is penalised by the turn passing to the opponent.
      2. If the break is not a Fair Break and the Cue Ball is potted, the penalty for failure to perform a Fair Break applies. (see (b) above).
  4. If the Eight-Ball is potted on any break, the balls are re-racked and the same player will break again. When the Eight-Ball is potted on the break, all other aspects of the shot are ignored. (Except if a Serious Foul or breech of the "Spirit of the Game" occurs).
G. Legal Shot
  1. On all shots, the player must:-
    1. Cause the Cue Ball's initial contact with a ball to be with a ball "On",
      AND THEN
    2. Pot a ball "On" OR Cause the Cue Ball or any Object Ball to contact a cushion.
  2. Failure to play a Legal Shot is a Standard Foul.
  3. Exceptions:
    1. On the Break, the conditions of a Legal Shot do not apply. (see (F) The Break)
    2. When playing out of a Total Snooker a player is only obliged to meet the conditions of (1)(a) above. (see (Q) Total Snookers).
  4. Interpretations:
    1. If the Cue Ball's initial contact is with an Object Ball that is touching a cushion, simply forcing that Object Ball into the same cushion does not constitute a Legal Shot.
    2. If the Cue Ball and the Object Ball are touching the same cushion, simply forcing the Cue Ball and / or that Object Ball into the same cushion does not constitute a Legal Shot.
H. Deciding Colours
  1. General
    1. When Colours have not been decided the table is deemed to be "Open". When the table is open a player may play at either group of Colours.
    2. Colours can never be decided on a foul shot.
    3. Once Colours are decided, the player remains "On" that coloured group for the duration of the frame. The opponent remains "On" the opposite coloured group.
    4. Playing a shot after neglecting to nominate a choice of Colours is a Standard Foul. Any balls potted on such a shot are left in the pocket and ignored for the purpose of deciding Colours.
  2. On the Break
    1. If no Colours are potted on the break the table is "Open".
    2. If one or more Colours are potted on the break the player then has a right and obligation to verbally advise the referee of a choice of Colour before proceeding. Failure to do so is a Standard Foul. If a player is fouled under this rule the opponent faces an "Open" table.
      1. if the player nominates a Colour that was potted on the break, the player is on that Colour no matter what happens next.
      2. if the player nominates a Colour that was not potted on the break, to be on that Colour, the player must pot a ball of that Colour on the next shot.
  3. After the Break
    1. If a player pots one or more balls of the same Colour, the player is then "On" that Colour.
    2. If a player pots one or more balls of different Colours, the player then has a right and obligation to verbally advise the referee of a choice of Colour before proceeding. Failure to do so is a Standard Foul. If a player is fouled under this rule, the opponent faces an "Open" table.
I. Time Allowed
  1. A player has a maximum of sixty seconds to play each shot.
  2. The Referee will start timing when all balls have come to rest from the previous shot.
  3. If the first thirty seconds elapses before a shot is played, the referee will call "Thirty Seconds" as a warning to the player. This call must be made the instant the thirty seconds has expired. A Referee should not postpone the call because it appears that the player is about to play a shot.
  4. If a shot is not played within sixty seconds it is a Non-Standard Foul. The oncoming player is awarded two visits from:-
    1. Where the Cue Ball lies, OR, if the player wishes
    2. From Baulk
  5. The referee may decide to grant "Time Out". being a period when timing ceases:-
    1. At the request of a player. (For example, something is obstructing the player or the player needs to leave the playing area.) AND/OR
    2. Because the referee deems that it is warranted. (For example, the referee may call time out when making a close foul snooker decision or when searching for a piece of equipment requested by a player.)
J. Fouls
There are four types of foul. Standard Fouls, Non-Standard Fouls, Serious Fouls and Loss of Frame Fouls. A player can only be penalised for one foul at a time. If two or more fouls are committed during a shot, the foul that carries the most severe penalty will apply except in the case of a Time Foul, where the incoming player has the right to "Ball in hand", penalty for Time Foul still applies, even though a Serious Foul has been called and applied.
K. Standard Fouls

Standard fouls are to be called by the referee as soon as they occur and the fouled player is in control, until all balls from that shot come to rest. The referee then awards two visits to the opponent.

  1. Potting the Cue Ball - "In Off" {except on a Fair Break - see (F) The Break (4)(c)(1)}. The incoming player plays from Baulk {see (E) Playing from Baulk (d)(1)}.
  2. Playing from outside Baulk when obliged to play from Baulk. {see (E) Playing from Baulk (2)(a)}
  3. Potting an opponent's ball. (except when it is the properly nominated ball following a Foul Snooker or Foul Jaw Snooker)
  4. Failing to cause the Cue Ball's initial contact with a ball, to be with a ball "On".
  5. Accidentally striking the Cue Ball with any part of the cue other than the tip.
  6. Accidentally striking an Object Ball with any part of the cue.
  7. Playing a shot before all balls have come to rest from the previous shot.
  8. Playing a shot before any balls that require spotting, have been spotted.
    1. Touching the table while having a cigarette (lit or unlit) in hand or mouth.
    2. Causing a cigarette (lit or unlit) to touch the table or enter the space directly above the table.
    3. Touching the table while having a beverage container in hand.
    4. Causing a beverage container or beverage to touch the table or enter the space directly above the table.
  9. Touching the table when not in control of the frame. {see(C) Definitions (9) - Player in Control.} Exception - When a player's turn is finished, that player has a maximum of 10 seconds to move away from the table. (see 11 below)
  10. Not moving away from the table within 10 seconds of the time that all balls stopped moving from the final shot of a turn at the table.
  11. Coaching:- During a frame, a player is required to play without receiving any advice from other persons relating to the playing of the frame. Should a team member or bona-fide supporter of a player offer advice, the referee will issue a "First and Final Warning" to that person that a repetition will result in the player being penalised via a Standard Foul.
    Because it may not always be possible for the Referee to hear if a statement made to a player is advice, the referee may issue the First and Final Warning on the grounds that any statement made to a player, other than general barracking, is deemed to be coaching.
    In a tournament setting, a First and Final warning may be given once only, before the commencement of the day's play as a block warning to all players and spectators
  12. Leaving the playing area without permission. If a player needs to leave the playing area during a frame or match, "Time Out" must firstly be granted by the referee. {see (I) Time Allowed (5)}
  13. Playing a shot after neglecting to nominate a choice of Colour when the obligation and right to do so existed. {see (H) Deciding Colours (1)(e)}
  14. Playing a push shot or Double Hit of a type defined in (O) Push Shots and Double Hits.
  15. Failing to perform a "Legal Shot". {see (G) Legal Shot}
  16. After being awarded a Foul Snooker or Foul Jaw Snooker:- Playing an opponents ball or the Eight Ball without first nominating that ball.
  17. Playing a shot while not having at least one foot touching the floor.
  18. Failing to "Play Away" from a touching ball. {see (T) Touching Balls (1)(a)}.
  19. A ball remaining off the table. {see (U) Balls Off the Table}
  20. Players body or clothing touching any ball
L. Non-Standard Foul
Non-Standard Fouls are to be called by the referee as soon as they occur and the fouled player is in control, until all balls from that shot come to rest. The referee will then impose the relevant penalty. Non-Standard Fouls are so called because the penalty and / or options of the incoming player may vary.
  1. Failure to perform a Fair Break. {see (F) The Break (4)(a)&(b)}
  2. Failure to play a shot within 60 seconds of the time that the balls came to rest from the previous shot. {see (I) Time Allowed (4)}.
  3. Potting the Cue Ball on a Fair Break. {see (F) The Break (4)(c)(1)}
M. Serious Standard Fouls
Serious Fouls are to be called by the referee as soon as they occur and the fouled player is in control, until all balls from that shot come to rest. The referee will replace the balls as near as possible to the positions they were in before the Serious Foul was committed and award two visits to the opponent.
  1. Playing a shot out of turn (accidentally or deliberately).
    1. A player who plays a shot at any time during a frame when the right to do so does not exist has played out of turn. (For example, A player who plays a shot immediately after playing a foul or immediately after the referee has called a foul on that player, has played out of turn.)
    2. Exception - A shot played out of turn accidentally, that disrupts the balls to such an extent that the Referee deems it impossible to replace them, the Referee will give the opponent the choice of either playing the ball from where they lie or replaying the frame. If the frame is replayed the same player is to break again.
  1. Deliberately striking a ball other than the Cue Ball with the tip of the cue.
  2. Deliberately causing any ball or balls to be moved in a manner other than that which may result from playing a normal shot.
  3. Deliberately striking the Cue Ball with other than the tip of the cue.
  4. Causing the Cue Ball to jump over any ball. (If the Cue Ball leaves the bed of the table and misses an Object Ball that would have been struck had the Cue Ball not left the table on an otherwise identical shot, the Cue Ball is deemed to have jumped over that Object Ball.)
  5. Deliberately interfering, by word or action, so as to disrupt an opponents play.
N. Loss of Frame Fouls
  1. Committing a foul in the same shot that the Eight Ball is potted. (Except on the Break).
  2. Potting the Eight Ball when a ball or balls of the player's own Colour are still on the table. (except on the Break)
  3. Potting the Eight Ball and the last ball or balls of the player's own Colour in the same shot
  4. Committing two Serious Fouls in the one frame.
  5. Committing a Serious Foul that disrupts the balls to such an extent that the referee deems it impossible to replace them as close as possible to their original positions.
  6. Any deliberate attempt to prevent the opponent from potting the Eight Ball, when the opponent is on the Eight Ball, by way of a Serious Foul or other unsporting manoeuvre.
  7. If a player breeches the "Spirit of the Game" to such an extent that the frame (or match) should be awarded to the opponent.
O. Push Shots and Double Hits
  1. Definitions: Most shots commonly known as "Push Shots" in the game of "Snooker" are allowed in the game of Eight-Ball Pool. Generally, any shot played with speed will not be deemed to be a Push Shot regardless of the fact that the cue tip may have come into contact with the Cue Ball more than once.
  2. Exceptions that are Standard Fouls:-
    1. When, during the playing of a shot, the tip of the cue strikes the Cue Ball twice and the referee is able to actually see each contact.
    2. When, during the playing of a shot, a player plays the cue so slowly through the Cue Ball that the cue tip remains in contact with the Cue Ball so as to be visibly pushing it along.
    3. When the Cue Ball is played into a touching Object Ball. {see (T) Touching Balls}
P. Snookers
  1. Definition: A player is Snookered when it is impossible to play the finest cut possible on both sides of any of that player's own Colour by way of a "straight-line" shot. Snookering an opponent is not a foul.
  2. A player cannot be Snookered by a ball of the player's own Colour. That is, if one of the player's own coloured group is an obstructing ball, it will be ignored for the purposes of determining a Snooker.
  3. A player cannot be Snookered on an Object Ball if the Cue Ball is touching that Object Ball.
  4. A player cannot be Snookered by the straight sections of the cushions. If a straight section of a cushion is preventing the finest possible cut on the side of an Object Ball, that section of cushion will be deemed not to exist for the purposes of determining a Snooker on that Object Ball.
    Exception - In a Total Snooker the straight sections of cushion DO come into consideration. If a player has to strike a cushion prior to impact with a "Ball On", then a "Total Snooker" does exist
  5. If an Object Ball is partly obscured by a curved section (Jaw), this in itself does not constitute a Snooker.
Q. Total Snookers
  1. Definition: A player is in a Total Snooker when it is impossible to play any part of any of the player's own Colour by way of a "straight line" shot. Leaving an opponent in a Total Snooker is not a foul.
  2. If a player believes that a Total Snooker exists, the player may ask the referee for a ruling.
  3. If the referee rules that a Total Snooker exists, the player's obligations under the "Legal Shot" rule are relaxed as follows:- The player need only cause the Cue Ball's initial contact to be with a ball "On". The requirement to pot a ball and / or cause a ball to strike a cushion is waived.
R. Foul Snookers
  1. Definition: When an opponent plays a foul shot and this results in the incoming player being snookered, the incoming player is deemed to be Foul Snookered.
  2. If a player believes that a Foul Snooker exists, the player may ask the referee for a ruling.
  3. If the referee rules that a foul snooker exists, the player initially has the following options:-
    1. Play the Cue Ball from where it lies. {see (4)(a) below} OR
    2. Ask the referee to remove the Cue Ball so as to allow the player to play from Baulk. {see (4)(b) below }
      1. If the player chooses to play the Cue Ball from where it lies, the player may, if the player wishes, nominate the Eight Ball (but see (5) below) or any one of the opponent's Colour. The player can nominate a particular ball by verbal description of it or its position or by pointing at it. The Referee may ask for further information if any doubt exists as to which ball has been nominated.
      2. Once nominated, a ball is deemed to "become one" of the player's Colour for the first shot of the first visit. The player may then play any of the player's own Colour or the nominated ball. If any of the player's Colour and/or the nominated ball are potted, the player continues with the first visit.
    1. If the player chooses to play the Cue Ball from Baulk, a Foul Snooker may no longer exist. In this case the procedure under the heading (E) Playing from Baulk (2)(d) &(2)(e) should be followed. If the referee decides that a Foul Snooker does still exist, the player may nominate a ball and follow the procedure in (4)(a) above.
  4. If the Eight Ball is nominated it may be played, but potting it will mean loss of frame.
  5. If a player is "On" the Eight Ball and Foul Snookered:- The player may play a nominated ball or the Eight Ball and pot either or both of these balls, directly or indirectly, in any pocket or pockets.
    Assuming the player does not commit a foul:-

i. If neither the Eight Ball or the nominated ball is potted, the player's first visit is complete.

ii. If the nominated ball is potted and the Eight Ball is not, the player continues with the first visit.

iii. If the nominated ball and the Eight Ball are potted, the player wins the frame.

iv. If the Eight Ball is potted and the nominated ball is not, the player wins the frame.

  1. If a Foul Snooker exists and the Cue Ball is touching an opponent's ball or balls, the player may, but is not obliged to, nominate one of those touching balls.
S. Foul Jaw Snookers

If an opponent fouls and the Cue Ball come to rest on or near a Jaw (curved part of a cushion), and that jaw is preventing the player from playing the finest cut possible on both sides of any of that player's own colour by way of a "straight line shot, the player is deemed to be Foul Snookered and all the rules pertaining to Foul Snookers will apply.

T. Touching Balls
  1. General
    1. If the Cue Ball is touching an Object Ball, the player is obliged to "Play Away" from that Object Ball at an angle of more than 90 degrees. (That is, play the shot without causing the Cue Ball to make any initial further contact with that Object Ball)
    2. If, when playing away from a touching ball, the touching ball rocks or moves without being contacted further, but simply because the Cue Ball is no longer there, no penalty will apply.
  2. When Colours have been decided:-
    1. Playing away from a touching Object Ball of the player's own Colour:-
      The instant a player plays away from a touching Object Ball of the player's own Colour, the player is deemed to have played that ball. Therefore, the player needs to then only pot a ball or cause any ball to strike a cushion to fulfill all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    2. Playing away from a touching Object Ball of the opponent's Colour.
      The player must play away from the touching ball and then meet all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
      1. Playing away from the touching Eight Ball when "On" the Eight Ball.
        The player must play away from the touching Eight Ball and then need only cause any ball to strike a cushion to fulfill the requirements of a Legal Shot.
      2. Playing away from the touching Eight Ball when not "On" the Eight Ball.
        The player must play away from the touching Eighth Ball and the meet all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    3. Playing away from two or more touching Object Balls:-
      1. If any of the touching Object Balls are of the player's Colour, the player will be deemed to have played away if the player plays away from any one of the touching balls of the player's Colour. That is, the player may play into any of the other touching balls. The player needs then to only pot a ball or cause any ball to strike a cushion to fulfill the requirements of a Legal Shot.
      2. If none of the touching Object Balls are of the players coloured group, the player must play away from all the touching balls and then meet all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
  3. When Colours have yet to be decided:-
    1. Playing away from a touching Coloured Ball
      The instant a player plays away from a touching Object Ball the player is deemed to have played that ball. Therefore, the player needs to then only pot a ball or cause any ball to strike a cushion to fulfill all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    2. Playing away from a touching Eight Ball
      The player must play away from the touching Eight Ball and then meet all the requirements of a Legal Shot.
    3. Playing away from two or more touching Object Balls.
      If the player plays away from any of the touching Coloured Balls the player is deemed to have played that ball. That is, the player may play into any of the other touching Object Balls. The player needs to then only pot a ball or cause any ball to strike a cushion to meet all the requirements of a Legal Shot.

U. Balls off the Table

  1. It is Standard Foul if a ball leaves the playing surface (other than being potted) and remains off the playing surface or doesn't return by its own means.
  2. Definitions / Examples
    1. "Playing Surface":- The playing surface of the table is the flat part of the table between the cushions.
    2. "By its own means":-
      1. It is not a foul if a ball leaves the playing surface, runs along the top of a cushion, drops back on to the playing surface and comes to rest there or falls into a pocket.
      2. It is a Standard Foul if a ball leaves the playing surface, comes into contact with a person or object that is not a part of the table and then returns to the playing surface.
    3. "Off the Table":- It is a Standard Foul if a ball leaves the playing surface and comes to rest on other than the playing surface. (e.g. On the floor or on the top of a cushion)
    4. "Spotted":- A ball is spotted when its centre point is placed on the spot or, if this is not possible, as near as possible to the spot in a direct line between the spot and the centre point of the cushion that lies the greatest distance from the Baulk Line. If this is not possible, as near as is possible to the spot, in a direct line between the spot and the centre point of the baulk line.

      If any of the following balls require spotting, they are spotted in the following order:-

1. Eight Ball then

2. Red Balls in any order (or balls numbered 1 to 7 in numerical order) then

3. Yellow Balls in any order (or balls numbered 9 to 15 in numerical order)

Spotted balls should be placed as close to each other and any intervening balls as possible, without touching.

  1. If a ball leaves the playing surface and remains off the playing surface, it shall be returned to the table:-
    1. If it is a Cue Ball it is to be played from Baulk.
    2. If it is an Object Ball (or Balls) it is to be Spotted.

V. Balls Falling Without Being Hit

  1. Any ball that falls into a pocket at any time, without being struck, shall be replaced by the Referee to its original position, no penalty, player in control continues with the visit.
    If any other balls are moved in these circumstances they shall also be replaced as near as possible to their original positions and the player in control continues with that visit.

W. Interference

  1. If any balls are moved during a frame:-
    1. By a person other than the players taking part in the frame or,
    2. As a direct result of one of the players being bumped or,
    3. Due to any other event deemed outside the players' control such as:-
      1. "An Act of God" such as an earthquake etc
      2. Tip falling off a cue or end falling off a spider etc,

The referee will replace the balls as near as possible to the positions they were in before the incident occurred, no penalty shall be imposed on either of the players and the frame shall continue.

    1. The referee will prevent any unauthorised marking of the table. If a player causes a block of billiard chalk or other foreign matter to be on any part of the table it is not a foul. However, the referee will ensure that the item is removed.
    2. If a player repeatedly causes a block of billiard chalk or other foreign matter to be on any part of the table the referee may deem that the player has breached the Spirit of the Game and award the frame to the opponent.
    3. Exception to (a) above:- A cigarette or beverage container. {see (K) Standard Fouls (9)}

X. Impossible Shot

A situation may arise during a frame where it is impossible for a player to play a shot without fouling. In such a situation the player has no other option but to commit a foul.

Y. Stalemate

The referee shall declare a Stalemate if both the player and the opponent have three turns in succession where the Cue Ball fails to make contact with an Object Ball. In such a case, the frame will be replayed with the same player breaking.

Z. Referee's Guideline and Duties

The Referee's Duties and Guidelines listed below supplement those directions contained in various other sections of these rules.

  1. The Referee's decision is final except where players have been advised that it is possible to appeal to a Head Referee or other higher authority.
  2. Information to be disclosed / not disclosed by a referee:-
    1. A player is responsible for knowing the rules of the game. It is not the referee's duty to explain or quote the rules to a player.
    2. A referee, if asked by a player, may divulge certain information pertaining to the frame in question under the guidelines of the "Past, Present and Future Rule". A referee may divulge information relating to any past event or present situation in the frame. For example:- "Who's turn is it?" - Present. "Was that a foul?" - Past. Which Colour am I On?" - Present. However, "If I play this shot will it be a foul?" is a question regarding the Future and the referee should advise the player that the referee cannot answer this type of question.
  3. The referee shall toss a coin to determine the break and announce the result.
  4. If an Object Ball (or balls) is potted on the break the referee will advise both players of this fact by announcing "Ball (or balls) potted". When a player has a right and an obligation to nominate a choice of Colour, and does so, the referee will announce "Player 'A' On Red (or Yellow) Balls". When that player's turn is complete the referee w ill advise the incoming player of the situation by announcing "Player 'B' on Yellow (or Red ) Balls".

a. The Referee will call fouls as soon as they occur.

      1. The call for a Standard Foul is "Foul, Two Visits".
      2. The call for a Non-Standard Foul is "Foul, (and announce the relevant penalty)."
      3. The call for a Serious Foul is "Serious Foul, Two Visits".
      4. The call for a loss of Frame Foul is "Loss of Frame".

b. After a player has been awarded two visits the referee will make no call until the player fails to pot a ball "On". (Except for 30 second time warnings and for any fouls that may occur) The referee will then call "Second Visit" to advise the player that the first visit is complete and the second visit is about to begin.

  1. The referee will call any instance when the Cue Ball is touching a ball "On".
  2. In the absence of any competition / tournament rules to the contrary, two referees will referee each frame. One referee will make the standard calls such as "Second Visit" and a "Player a on Red (or Yellow) Balls" while the other referee will keep the time. Both referee's will be involved in the refereeing of the frame and either can call fouls. If one referee calls a foul, the other referee can not overrule the call. That is, the two referees have equal authority.
These Playing Rules are the copyright of the World Eight-ball Pool Federation
REFEREES CALLING PROCEDURES

BLACK BALL POTTED ON THE BREAK SHOT: Call:- “Void Break”, (Retrieve all Balls and re-rack)…”Same Player to Re-start Frame, No Penalty”.

FOUL BREAK: Call:- “Foul Break”, …. (Re-rack Balls)…”Opponent to Re-start Frame with Two Visits”.

CUE BALL POTTED ON A FAIR BREAK: Call:- “Foul”,…..”One Visit”. Timing to re-start on handing the cue ball to the oncoming player. Call:- “Time Running”.

In the event of a player showing reluctance to accept the cue ball, i.e., Gamesmanship, place the cue ball on the baulk rail and call;- “Time Running”.

ANY STANDARD FOUL WHEN GROUP NOT ESTABLISHED: Call:- “Foul, Two Visits, Open Table”.

BREAK SHOT, LEGAL BALL(S) POTTED, ONE GROUP ONLY: Call:- “Red/Yellow Balls Potted”…

If player nominates the group potted Call:- “Red/Yellow Balls in Play”.

If player nominates the group not potted Call:- “Red/Yellow Balls Nominated”.

If colour nominated is then potted Call:- “Red/Yellow Balls in Play”.

Failure to pot nominated colour Call:- “Open Table”.

BREAK SHOT, BOTH GROUPS POTTED: Call:- “Red & Yellow Balls Potted”.

After nomination, Call:- “Red/Yellow Balls in Play”.

BREAK SHOT, FAIR BREAK, NO BALLS POTTED: Call:- “Open Table”.
FIRST APPROACH AFTER GROUPS ARE ESTABLISHED: On the first time only, that a player is in/takes control of the table, after groups have been established. Call:- “Red/Yellow Balls in Play”.
ANY STANDARD FOULS DURING A FRAME: Call:- “Foul, Two Visits”. No further call is made (other than time calls/fouls) until a pot “on” is missed. Then Call:- “Second Visit”. No call is made at the end of this visit.
NON STANDARD FOULS: Call:- “Foul”. Then impose relevant penalty and/or await direction from the oncoming player. Add “Open Table” if no group established.
SERIOUS FOULS: Call:- “Serious Foul”. Replace any ball(s) moved,…Call:- “Two Visits”. Add “Open Table” if no group established.
LOSS OF FRAME FOULS: Call:- “Loss of Frame”. Explain reason.
TIME FOULS: At 30 seconds, Call:- “Thirty Seconds”. This must be called on time even if the player appears to be about to stroke the shot. At Sixty Seconds, Call:- “Time Foul, Two Visits”. Add “Open Table” if no group established.
TOUCHING BALL(S): When the cue ball is in contact with any ball(s) “on”, Call:- “Touching Ball(s)”. Clearly point to ball(s) in contact with cue ball.

TIME OUT: If Time Out is granted or required by the Referee, Call:- “Time Out”.

At the end of the Time Out period, Call:- “Time Running”.
TOTAL SNOOKER/FOUL SNOOKER: After a request from a player only, Call:- “Total/Foul/Jaw Snooker”, or as appropriate, with “Time Out” calls if necessary.
STALEMATE: If the Stalemate Rule is invoked, Call:- “Stalemate, Re-start of Frame, Same Player to Break”, “One Visit”.
BALL NOMINATION: Where a player has a right of ball nomination, after nomination, point to nominated ball and Call:- "Red/Yellow/Black Ball Nominated"”.

© These calling procedures are copyright of the English Pool Association / E.P.R.A.
For information about these calling procedures please e-mail EPA Rules Revision Subcommittee

 

GUIDANCE TO REFEREES
The English Pool Association, in association with the English Pool Referees Association, issues the following guidance. It is intended to be both guidance to the rules of the World Eight Ball Pool Federation and the English Pool Association, and guidance to refereeing the game of Eight Ball Pool. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the W.E.P.F. Rules and the E.P.R.A. Calling Procedure. In this guidance extracts from the rules of the World Eight Ball Pool Federation are in italics.

Should any guidance contained herein conflict with the instructions of a Senior Referee, the instructions of the Senior Referee shall take precedence.

1. Equipment (rule B)
Players may not use equipment or accessory items for purposes, or in a manner, other than for which the items were intended.

A rest should be provided as part of in house equipment. Most venues will also supply other forms of mechanical bridge (for example spider, swan neck) however, if these are not available no allowances should be made.

2. Definitions (rule C)

The word 'Striking' means making contact between the cue tip and a ball.
3. Playing from baulk (rule E)
Although it is the duty of the Referee to recover the cue ball following an “in off”, a player will not be penalised for performing this duty. If the player recovers the cue ball, or the player is preventing the Referee from recovering the cue ball, timing will commence from the point the cue ball reaches the trough. At this point call “Time running”.

When a player commits a foul with the cue ball in hand:

· If the foul is made before the cue ball is placed on the table, the opponent has two visits, ball in hand.

· If the foul has been made after the ball has been placed on the table then the opponent must play from where the cue ball lies (whether in or out of baulk), unless foul snookered.

It is not a foul for a player to use the cue to reposition the cue ball in baulk, when the cue ball is in hand. However if the tip of the cue touches the cue ball during such a manoeuvre a standard foul will be called, for failing to perform a legal shot. However, if this happens prior to the break a foul break will be called, thereby allowing the opponent to reposition the cue ball.

4. The Break (rule F)
4.1 Lag for break

If competition or tournament rules require a lag for break then the following procedure should be used:

Each player should use balls of equal size and weight. With the balls in baulk, one player to the left and one to the right of the table, the balls are struck simultaneously to the foot cushion and back to the baulk end of the table. The player whose ball is the closest to the innermost edge of the baulk cushion wins the lag. The lagged ball must contact the foot cushion at least once. Other cushion contacts are immaterial, except as prohibited below.
It is an automatic loss of the lag if:
(1) the ball crosses into the opponent's half of the table,
(2) the ball fails to contact the foot cushion,
(3) the ball drops into a pocket,
(4) the ball jumps the table,
(5) the ball touches the long cushion,
(6) the ball rests within the corner pocket and past the nose of the head cushion, or
(7) the ball contacts the foot cushion more than once.
If both players violate automatic-loss lag rules, or if the referee is unable to determine which ball is closer, the lag is a tie and is replayed.

If one player strikes the ball, the other player has to strike his ball before the opponent’s ball reaches the foot cushion in order to have a simultaneous lag. If this is not the case and the referee feels that the player who played second wanted to get an advantage out of that, then the lag has to be replayed.

4.2 Restarted Frame
A restarted frame (caused by a stalemate or accidental shot out of turn) will be replayed with the player who made the legal break in that frame breaking again. The player will break with one visit, even if the player originally started with two visits.

The exception to this is when a frame is re-racked because of a Void Break.

4.3 Void Break

A void break does not result in a restart as defined above. When the 8-Ball is potted from the break shot all aspects of the break are ignored (except if a serious foul or breech of the ‘Spirit of the Game’ occurred) and the break will be taken again with no penalty.

As soon as the black ball falls the referee will call “Void break” and both the object balls and the cue ball may be gathered for the re-rack. There is no need to wait for all balls to stop moving.

If the player broke with two visits, again the player will break with two visits.

5. Legal Shot (rule G)

If a player plays a shot that causes a ball to enter a pocket and jump out, without making contact with a cushion, then no penalty for failing to hit a cushion will apply. For the purposes of the Legal Shot rule (determining if a ball has hit a cushion), the back of the pocket will count as a cushion.

If a player plays into a ball touching a cushion, and that ball comes away from the cushion and returns to the same cushion, without touching another object ball, then the shot is a foul. However, if that ball comes away from the cushion, hits another object ball, and returns to the original cushion, then the shot is legal.

Simultaneous initial contact between a ‘ball on’, and a ‘ball not on’, is NOT a foul.

If a player plays into a ball touching a cushion, and the cue ball simultaneously contacts the ‘ball on’ and the cushion, a legal shot has NOT been completed.

6. Total Snooker (rule Q)

The definition of a snooker does not apply to a total snooker.

If a shot is not preceded by a foul, and a player asks the Referee for a snooker, the Referee should interpret this as if the player were asking for a total snooker. The call, if awarded, should be “Total Snooker”, to make it clear that a total snooker has been awarded.

7. Deciding Colours (rule H)
During an Open Table the 8-Ball cannot be used as a ball ‘on’, unless nominated after a foul snooker.

A Referee should not request nomination from a player as this could be interpreted as coaching.

Players are normally advised of playing groups once and then afterwards only if asked directly by the player in control.

8. Time Allowed (rule I)
Players have 30 seconds, to play their shot, from the 30 seconds indication.
8.1 “Time Out”
If a player plays a shot while “Time Out” has been called (for example when a Referee is away from the table getting a rest) it is a Serious Foul penalised under M1 Deliberately playing a shot out of Turn.
8.2 Granting a “Time Out”

“Time out” may be called at the Referees discretion. For example:

· Player requesting a rest (which is not immediately available)

· Something obstructing the player

· Player needs to leave the playing area very urgently

· Referee making a close snooker, total snooker or touching ball decision

· Player lost a contact lens

· Player fastening shoe laces
8.3 Refusing a “Time Out”

The following are examples of when “Time out” should not be called:

· Any telephone call

· Player needs to visit WC (player can go before or after a frame with the permission of the Referee)

· Fetching a drink from an area away from the table

· Looking for a cigarette or lighter away from the table

· Searching for chalk
9. Fouls
If a player that plays a shot immediately after a time foul has been called then the rules pertaining to a serious foul will apply, with the addition that the oncoming player may also have ball in hand.
10. Standard Fouls
10.1 Coaching (Rule K12)

For any event administered by the EPA, the following ‘First and Final Warning’ will be given at the commencement of a days play as a block warning to all players and spectators:
“ Good morning / afternoon / evening Ladies and Gentleman, my name is … and I am the Senior Referee for this event. In accordance with the rules this is the first and final warning for coaching. Any word or action deemed as coaching by a referee will be penalised by a Standard foul, two visits. This includes using a mobile phone whilst in the arena.”

Coaching of any sort (even coaching that prevented a loss of frame foul being committed) can only be penalised via a standard foul, and then only if the warning has been issued.

In doubles, talking between partners is allowed from the point balls stop moving at the end of a partner’s turn (throughout the opponent’s turn), and until the cue ball is struck at the beginning of the other partners turn. However, only the player whose turn it is, is allowed to touch the table (rule K10).
10.2 Cigarettes or Beverages (Rule K9)

For the purposes of this rule the word ‘Cigarette’ should be considered generic, encompassing Cigars, Cheroots and Pipes.

A cigarette contained in a packet, which protrudes from a (breast) pocket, does not constitute a foul. A cigarette placed behind the ear will constitute a foul if entering the space above the table.
10.3 Touching the Table (Rule K10)
If a player touches the table in appreciation or frustration of a good shot and it is obvious the players opponent is about to lose control of the table, i.e. the balls are almost at rest and nothing will be pocketed, a foul should not be called. However, the referee should remind players to stay away from the table until all balls have come to rest.
11. Examples of Serious Fouls (Rule M)
1. Playing a shot out of turn

 

 

Call “Serious Foul”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Replace balls

 

Cannot replace balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accidental

 

Deliberate

 

 

 

 

 

Replace the balls, and call “2 visits”

 

Call “2 visits”

And ask the opponent if a re-rack is required.

 

Call “Loss of frame”

refer M. 1.a)

 

refer M. 1.b)

 

refer N. 5

                      

Note - Although this may appear to be
coaching the rules require the referee
to ask the question

For example,

Accidental: A player that plays a shot immediately after a foul has been called.

Deliberate: A player that plays a shot during a time out (see 8.1 “Time Out”), or the incorrect doubles partner playing a shot. A player taking a second visit when not entitled should normally be penalised under rule K10, as soon as the table is touched. 2. Deliberately striking a ball other than the cue ball with the tip of the cue.

For example
Playing an object ball with the cue, instead of the cue ball.
Moving a ball by hand.
Throwing the cue on the table.

3. Deliberately causing any ball or balls to be moved in a manner other than which may result from the playing of a normal shot.

For example banging the side cushion to propel a ball further then it would have otherwise travelled and stopping the normal travel of an object ball by hand or other means (stopping the normal travel of the cue ball should be penalised via a standard foul under rule K.21).
If the opponent is on the 8-Ball then a loss of frame foul shall be called under N6.

4. Deliberately striking the cue ball with other than the tip of the cue.

For example using the butt of the cue to play the cue ball.

5. Causing the cue ball to jump over any ball.

The cue ball leaving the bed of the table and making first contact with the reverse side of an object ball, that it would have struck had it not left the table on an otherwise identical shot, is not a jump shot.

If the cue ball leaves the bed of the table, jumps over an object ball, hits the cushion, and returns to make first contact with that object ball, then a jump shot has been played.

6. Deliberately interfering by word or action, so as to disrupt an opponents play.

Examples include rattling of change, verbal barracking and noisily chalking cue, so as to cause disruption.

12. Loss of Frame Fouls (rule N)

Points that will be classified as “Breaching the Spirit of the Game” are:

· Foul language

· Player throwing cue around

· Arguing with an opponent, spectator or Referee

· Continuously disagreeing with the Referees decision and/or ruling

· Repeatedly marking the table (rule W2)

· Player (or players partner in doubles) breaking down, or putting away, cue

13. Snooker’s (rule P)

It is important to remember that a snooker is completely different to a total snooker, in both definition and application. The definition of a snooker is only applicable following a foul.

When assessing a snooker the distance between object ball and cue ball is important. When the cue ball and object ball are a table length apart, the points of finest cut are almost the extreme sides of the object ball. As the distance between the balls decrease, the points of finest cut become closer together. When the two balls are touching the two points of finest contact are the same point. Hence a player cannot be snookered on a touching ball.
14. Foul Snooker (rule R)
If a player has been awarded a Foul Snooker, and the player picks up the ball, it is a standard foul (see K21; the Referee must retrieve the cue ball). The opponent comes to the table with cue ball in hand.
14.1 Assessing a Snooker in baulk (rule E)
All positions for the cue ball in baulk must be examined. This includes being able to place the cue ball in the jaws of a pocket (but not touching a ball ‘on’), or being able to place the cue ball in the middle of a cluster of balls. A Referee should not attempt to place the cue ball into such positions; the fact that it could be done is enough to deny a snooker.
14.2 Nomination of free ball (rule R)

Consider the following: A player is on yellows, and has been awarded a foul snooker. The player nominates a ball by pointing at a group of red and yellow balls. While the Referee is trying to figure out which ball was nominated the player gets down and plays a shot at that group of balls that results in the cue ball hitting a red ball on the first impact.

In this situation the player should have waited for the Referee to confirm the nomination, by pointing to the nominated ball. The player has committed a standard foul.
15. Touching balls (rule T)

When the cue ball is touching two or more object balls, and at least one is a ‘ball on’, so long as the player plays away from at least one ‘ball on’, the player may play into any of the other touching balls without penalty.

This also applies to an open table, where both sets of coloured object balls are on. For example, if the cue ball is touching a red and the 8-Ball, the player may play away from the red and into the 8-Ball.
16. Balls falling without being hit (rule V)
The instant that the Referee has determined that a shot is over, time will be started. Any subsequent ball falling, no matter how close to time starting, will be treated as falling without being hit, and it shall be replaced where it was prior to falling. If a ball falls in without being hit timing shall be restarted when the ball(s) have been replaced.
17. Interference (rule W)
17.1 Replacing balls (rule W1)

The decision where to replace balls lies only with the Referee. In some circumstances the Referee may choose to ask advice regarding the position of balls, but the final decision must lie with the Referee.

No matter how widely balls are scattered the Referee will still replace them, to the satisfaction of the referee. There is no provision for a re-rack because of outside interference.
17.2 Chalk on the table (rule W2)

The Referee should always ensure that chalk is removed.

It is only if the Referee believes that chalk, or other foreign matter, is being used to mark the table that the Referee shall issue a verbal warning. Three warnings in the same frame will result in loss of frame.
18. Basic Duties of the Referee
18.1 Objective

The Referee should ensure the game is played according to the rules, and to announce shots in accordance with the calling procedure, for the benefit of both the players and the spectators.

The Referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the rules are observed. The referee may, as appropriate, issue warnings, call on a Senior Referee, abandon the game, or in extreme circumstances award frame or game away.
18.2 Positioning of the Referee

The Referee will be in such a position that a clear view of the table and player is available, without obstruction or distraction to the player, also bearing spectators in mind.

Most occasions will allow a referee to change position after every shot. This opportunity should be taken, and will have three benefits:

· the best view possible

· will not obstruct the view of the same spectators

· continual movement will increase the alertness of a Referee

18.3 Duties and positioning of the timekeeper

In most cases a separate timekeeper will be static, and be in such a position that a clear view of the table is available. It maybe necessary to move, particularly if 60 seconds is approaching and the view is obstructed by the player in control or by the other Referee.

In most situations timing will commence from when the timekeeper sees all the balls stop moving. However, following an ‘In off’ time starts when the other Referee calls “Time Running”

Most stopwatches require three clicks, the first to stop, the second to reset and the third to start. Timing can be more accurate if the first two clicks are performed while the balls are still moving. As soon as the balls stop moving only the last click need be performed.
18.4 Preparing a table

· • Brush the cushions in the direction of the nap. (This is normally from the baulk end for the side cushions and clockwise for the end cushions. However, some tables may differ. The direction of the nap can be determined by lightly brushing fingers on the cloth in both directions.)

· Remove bad dust spots by gently flicking the brush in the opposite direction to the nap

· Brush table in the direction of the nap

· Iron the table in the direction of the nap

If no iron is available, turn the brush upside down and forcefully push brush up the table. Then brush again.
19. Further Duties of the Referee (rule Z)
1. In the event of a player refusing to accept a decision, then the Referee will abandon the game, reporting the facts to the governing body concerned (e.g. Tournament Director, Competition Organiser). 3. The player who wins the toss will have the choice of first break. If a player has been awarded frames at the start of a match (e.g. for late arrival) the choice of break commences from the first frame to be played; it is not back dated to the first frame on the score sheet. In a doubles match the break will also alternate between partners. Once the order of play has been determined during the first turn of each pair, that order shall remain for the duration of the match. 6. Where the cue ball is touching any object ball and in playing away, this object ball moves by virtue of settling into a hollow or similar fault of the table, then it is not a foul. If a table is in poor condition, whenever any ball(s) are touching the cue ball, it should avoid any disagreements if it is called touching by the Referee.
20. Guidance for walkabout refereeing
• Mobility: move from table to table, watching out for tight situations.
• Know which tables are in the allocated zone and cover all the allocated tables.
• If a walkabout Referee witnesses an incorrect decision by a table Referee, the call should be overruled.
• A walkabout Referee should know the result sheet system in use, and be able to explain to competitors as required. • Ensure the time between frames is kept to a minimum to keep the competition flowing. This is particularly important during team matches (where re-racking of balls between frames, and getting the next players to table are points that may need consideration).
• Keep Senior Referee (or Organiser) informed at all times of unusual events that may develop. For example, a match in your allocated region may be progressing slowly and an adjacent table is spare.
• Be aware of the required player dress code (if in doubt alert the Senior Referee, who will take any action necessary, normally reporting it to the Tournament Director).
• If the Senior Referee is asked for, find the Senior Referee, advise the Senior Referee of the situation and your decision away from table, before returning to table.
21. Correcting mistakes

Do not be afraid of admitting mistakes and correcting them:

For example, a player A has two visits, and the Referee forgets to call “Second Visit” at the end of the first visit. Player A moves away from the table and player B touches the table. Player B cannot be penalised. If a Referee makes no call at the end of a visit it is reasonable for a player to assume it is also the end of the turn. The Referee has made a mistake by forgetting to call “second visit” and player A should return to the table, on “Second Visit”.
22. Suggested equipment

· Ball marker (two coins could be used if a ball marker is not available)

· Paper and pen

· Coin (with heads and tails)

· Spare cue ball for assessing tight total snooker’s and snooker’s. (It is a good idea to remove the spare cue ball before announcing the decision, thereby preventing unnecessary questioning of the decision.)

· Spare stopwatch.
23. Interpreting a players call
Some calls a player makes are not strictly correct, but it should be obvious to a Referee when taking the situation into account what the player means. This is particularly important when a language barrier exists.
24. Miscellaneous

1. A Referee should not submit to unnecessary requests for balls to be cleaned. Never attempt to lift a ball for cleaning if it is in a crucial position.

2. A Referee should never drink alcohol until stood down at the end of the day. Cigarettes should not be smoked while the Referee is on the floor.

3. Time keeping is important when returning for breaks. A Referee will normally be asked to report to the Senior Referee when relieved, or when returning from a break, or both. A 15-minute break period does not mean 15 minutes away from the table. There will always be a certain changeover time, thus reducing 15 minutes to possibly 13 minutes. Remember, if you are late back from a break, it is your colleagues that suffer.

4. A Referee should always know what time they are required for the ‘start of day’ briefing.

5. Some Tournament Directors will have additional rules that complement the World Eight Ball Playing rules (examples being slow play, determination of break, dress code). If such rules exist the Senior Referee will advise.
25. Final Note
This guidance should not be considered exhaustive. A Referee should not be afraid to ask a Senior Referee, no matter how trivial the question. Asking a question will install confidence in both the Referee and the Senior Referee.
26. Glossary

This guidance has been compiled using the following material:

World 8 Ball Pool Rules

World Rules Calling Procedure

Senior Referees Duties / Assistant Senior Assessment

South African Pool Association “Interpretation of the World Eight-Ball Pool Rules”

EPA directive on Coaching

Discussions held at EPRA meetings

26.2 Suggested Reading

World 8 Ball Pool Rules

World Rules Calling Procedure

26.3 Suggestions for Improvements

(Issue 2, January 2004)

Any suggestions for improvements in this publication should be addressed to the Chairman of the EPA Rules Revision Subcommittee.


© This Referees Guidance is copyright of the English Pool Association/E.P.R.A.
For information about this Referees Guidance please e-mail EPA Rules Revision Subcommittee

 

ALL ABOUT SNOOKERS

Sometimes it's hard to visualize how the "written" rules should be interpreted. So here you will find 8 images, courtesy of Roy Slater, which explain how Snookers are defined within World rules