8-ball rules

1.OBJECT OF THE GAME– 8-Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and 15 object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls 1 through 7 (solids or spots) while the other player has 9 through 15 (stripes). The player who pockets all the balls of his group first and then legally pockets the 8-Ball wins the game.

2. CALL SHOT– Obvious balls and pockets do not have to be nominated, though an opponent always has the right to ask which ball and pocket. Bank shots and combination shots are generally not considered obvious, and should be nominated. Note that it is not necessary to nominate specific details such as the number of rails, banks, kisses, caroms, etc. Any additional balls pocketed on the shot remain pocketed, regardless of whether they belong to the shooter or his opponent. If a ball other than the one nominated goes in or into a pocket other than the one nominated, it is loss of turn (not ball in hand).

3. 8-BALL RACK– The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot string of the table with the 8-Ball in the center, any ball on the foot spot, and a solid and striped ball at the back corners.

4. ORDER OF BREAK– The winner of the coin toss will have the option to break or pass on it to his opponent. From then on the match will be alternating break.

5. LEGAL BREAK SHOT– The player must shoot the cue ball from behind the head string and either pocket a numbered ball or drive at least 4 numbered balls to a rail. Failure to do so is a foul. The incoming player will then have the option of either accepting the table as it is and begin shooting or have the balls re-racked and then break the rack himself, or ask his opponent to re-break. It is not necessary to hit the front ball on the break, and the break is not a call shot. If a ball is pocketed on the break, the breaker continues shooting, if not his opponent continues.

6. CHOICE OF GROUP– The table is considered open after a break, regardless of what balls were pocketed. The first legally pocketed ball after the break determines a players group. While the table is open, it is legal to hit any ball other than the 8-ball in order to pocket a nominated ball.

7. SCRATCH ON A LEGAL BREAK– If a player scratches (cue ball is pocketed or a ball is forced off the table) on a legal break shot it is a foul. The opponent will have ball in hand from behind the head string. He may shoot at any ball that is not behind the head string, and the table is still open. All pocketed balls remain pocketed.

8. 8-BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK– If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, the breaker will have the option of spotting the 8-Ball or asking for a re-rack. If he scratches while doing so, the same option will go to his opponent.

9. LEGAL SHOT- On all shots, a shooter must hit one of his balls first. Failure to do so is a foul. After contact with any of his balls, a ball must either go in a pocket or a ball (any ball on the table) MUST be driven to a rail. Failure to do so is a foul.

10. FOUL PENALTY- All fouls will result in 1 shot, ball-in-hand, from anywhere on the table for the opponent, except for the break shot.

11. FOULS- The following infractions are considered fouls: A. Failure to execute a legal shot as defined in the rules. B. Pocketing the cue ball or driving any ball off the table. C. Failure to make first contact with any of your designated balls. D. Shooting without at least 1 foot touching the floor. E. Failure to either pocket a ball or drive a ball to a rail. F. Moving or touching any ball by any means other than by legal play (this includes all body parts, articles of clothing, bridges and equipment). G. Shooting while any ball is still in motion.

12. OBJECT BALL FROZEN TO THE RAIL– If an object ball is frozen (touching) a rail, a shooter must either send it to another rail or make sure that the cue ball or any other ball reaches a rail. Failure to do so is a foul

13. ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS– Illegally pocketed balls are not re-spotted, except the 8-Ball on a break

14. TOUCHING BALLS– If the cue ball is directly touching one of your group of balls, contact must still be made. You do not have the option of playing away. It is necessary to make contact with that or another ball, and a ball must make contact with a rail. If the cue ball is touching one of your opponent’s balls, you must play away from that ball, make contact with one of your own balls, and make sure a ball is driven to the rail.

15. JUMP SHOTS– Jump shots are not allowed in the league, unless both captains agree before the match to allow them.

16. COMBINATION SHOTS– Combination shots using your opponent’s balls or the 8 ball are allowed, providing one of your group of balls is the first to be hit.

17. BALLS JUMPED OFF TABLE– If you drive an object ball off the table, it is a foul and the ball is not re-spotted.

18. HANGING BALL– A ball hanging precariously at the edge of a pocket falls in after being motionless for 5 seconds will be re-spotted as closely as possible to its position prior to falling.

19. PLAYING THE 8 BALL– As this is a call shot game, a shot on the 8-Ball need not be nominated if it is an obvious shot. A scratch or a foul on the shot is not loss of game unless the 8 Ball is pocketed or jumps off the table.

20. LOSS OF GAME– A player loses the game if he fouls while pocketing the 8-ball, jumps it off the table at any time, puts it in a pocket other than the one nominated, pockets it with any of his group of balls left on the table, or scratches while pocketing it.

21. POCKETING OPPONENT’S BALL– As long as your ball is the first ball hit, pocketing your opponent’s ball is not considered a foul, it is loss of turn only unless you pocket one of the balls in your group as well. The order is not relevant. You cannot nominate your opponent’s ball as a shot

22. ELIGIBLE PLAYERS– Any player is eligible to play as long as they have not played for another 8-Ball team during the season.

23. INTENTIONAL FOULS– When playing under ball-in-hand rules, intentional fouls are not only allowed, but often important strategy. Only under the 2-shot rule, which we do not use, are they considered either poor sportsmanship or loss of game.

24. TIME LIMITS DURING PLAY– The league wants to avoid enforcing time limits on players, but ask that everyone make an effort to shoot within a reasonable length of time. Mobile phone calls during play should consist of little more than “I am busy. I’ll call you back in a few minutes.”

25. SPORTSMANSHIP– We must remind everyone that we are a recreational bar league, not a professional one. The matches are expected to be somewhat competitive, but the priority is for it to be an enjoyable experience.

26. CAPTAIN RESPONSIBILITY– Captains have a great deal of leeway within the league. If both team captains agree beforehand to any variation of the rules, it is allowed. It is the responsibility of the team Captains to know and understand the rules, deal with any problems or disputes that may arise, and intervene fairly in any matters that require mediation. A Captain should always keep in mind that he is an ambassador for his team.