9-ball rules

  1. OBJECT OF THE GAME. Nine Ball is played with nine object balls numbered one through nine and a cue ball. On each shot the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest-numbered ball on the table, but the balls need not be pocketed in order. If a player pockets any ball on a legal shot, he remains at the table for another shot and continues until he misses, fouls, or wins the game by pocketing the 9-ball. After a miss, the incoming player must shoot from the position left by the previous player, but after any foul the incoming player may start with the cue ball anywhere on the table. Players are not required to call any shot. A match ends when one of the players has won the required number of games.
  2. RACKING THE BALLS. The object balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the number one ball at the top of the diamond and on the foot spot, the 9-Ball in the center of the diamond, and the other balls in random order, racked as tightly as possible. The game begins with cue ball in hand behind the head string.
  1. LEGAL BREAK SHOT. The rules governing the break shot are the same as for other shots except: a. The breaker must strike the 1 ball first and either pocket a ball or drive at least 4 numbered balls to the rail. If any ball is pocketed, he continues shooting. b. If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, or the requirements of the opening break are not met, it is a foul and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table. c. If, on the break shot, the breaker causes an object ball to jump off the table, it is a foul and the incoming player has cue ball in hand from anywhere on the table. The object ball is not re-spotted (exception: if the object is the 9-Ball, it IS re-spotted). d. A coin toss will determine who has the option to break in the first leg of the match. Players will then alternate the break. The away team will make the call.
  1. CONTINUING PLAY. On the shot immediately following a legal break, the shooter may play a “push shot.” (See Rule 5.). If the breaker pockets one or more balls on a legal break, he continues to shoot until he misses, fouls, or wins the game. If the player misses or fouls, the other player begins his inning and shoots until he misses, fouls, or wins. the game ends when the nine ball is pocketed on a legal shot, or the game is forfeited for a serious infraction of the rules.
  1. PUSH SHOT. The player who shoots the shot immediately after a legal break may opt to take a push shot. If the breaker has potted one or more balls on a legal break, it will be his option. If no balls were pocketed, the incoming player will have the option. The push shot is a tactical shot that is generally used when the shooter has a high risk of fouling while attempting to hit the lowest numbered ball on the table after a break. On a push shot, the cue ball is not required to contact any object ball nor any rail, nor must the lowest ball be hit. Any ball, or balls, can be either hit or pocketed. If the 9-ball is pocketed, it will be re-spotted. All other balls will remain pocketed. All other foul rules still apply, including pocketing the cue ball. The player must openly declare that he is playing a push shot before he plays, or the shot is considered to be a normal shot. Once a push shot is taken, the incoming player then has the option of either shooting on, or passing the shot back to the player who pushed out. A push out is not considered to be a foul. An illegal push out is penalized according to the type of foul committed. After a player scratches on the break shot, the incoming player cannot play a push out.
  1. FOULS. When a player commits a foul, he must relinquish his run at the table and no balls pocketed on the foul shot are respotted (exception: if a pocketed ball is the 9-ball, it is respotted). The incoming player is awarded ball in hand; prior to his first shot he may place the cue ball anywhere on the table. If a player commits several fouls on one shot, they are counted as only one foul. Touching any ball with any part of the body, rest, cue, bridge, or clothing is a foul.
  1. BAD HIT. If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest- numbered ball on the table, the shot is foul.
  1. NO RAIL. If no object ball is pocketed, failure to drive the cue ball or any numbered ball to a rail after the cue ball contacts the object ball on is a foul.
  1. BALL IN HAND. When the cue ball is in hand, the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the bed of the table, except in contact with an object ball. He may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until he takes a shot.
  1. OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE. An unpocketed ball is considered to be driven off the table if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the table. It is a foul to drive an object ball off the table. The jumped object ball(s) is not respotted (exception: if the object ball is the 9-ball, it is respotted) and play continues.
  1. JUMP SHOTS. Jump shots are not allowed.
  1. COACHING. Coaching is NOT permitted during play. A player who wishes may ask any question concerning the rules before making a shot, but may not ask for advice on strategy. It is the player’s responsibility to know the sequence of balls to be hit. If any of his teammates see him/her lining up for a shot on a ball out of sequence, it will be a foul if they notify him.
  1. END OF GAME. The game ends at the end of a legal shot which pockets the 9-ball. A game can not end on a foul. If there is a foul while pocketing the 9-ball, it is re-spotted. The opponent will then have ball in hand.