Supplemental Rules

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The following are rules that are referred to within the General Rules of Pocket Billiards above. For the complete World Standardized Rules, please consider Billiards: The Official Rules and Records Book, published by the Billiard Congress of America.

Use of Equipment
Equipment Restrictions
Cue Balls Fouls
Referee's Responsiveness
Inappropriate Use of Equipment
Judging Double Hits
Out of Head String Warning


Players may not use equipment or accessory items for purposes or in a manner other than those for which the items were intended (refer to rules 3.42 and 3.43). For example, powder containers, chalk cubes, etc., may not be used to prop up a mechanical bridge (or natural hand bridge); no more than two mechanical bridges may be used at one time, nor may they be used to support anything other than the cue shaft. Extra or out-of-play balls may not be used by players to check clearance or for any other reason (except to lag for break); the triangle may be employed to ascertain whether a ball is in the rack when a match is unofficiated and the table has not been pencil marked around the triangle area. (Also see Rule 2.3)


Players may use chalk, powder, mechanical bridge(s) and cue(s) of their choice or design. However, tournament officials may restrict a player if he attempts action that is disruptive of either the house equipment or normal competitive conditions. As examples, a player may: be restrained from using red chalk on green cloth; be advised not to use powder in such an excessive fashion as to unduly affect the balls or table cloth; and be barred from using a cue with a noise-making device that is clearly disruptive to other competitors. (Also see Rule 2.15)


When a referee is presiding over a match, it is a foul for a player to touch any ball (cue ball or object ball) with the cue, clothing, body, mechanical bridge or chalk, before, during or after a shot. However, when a referee is not presiding over a game, it is not a foul to accidentally touch stationary balls located between the cue ball and the shooter while in the act of shooting. If such an accident occurs, the player should allow the Tournament Director to restore the object balls to their correct positions. If the player does not allow such a restoration, and a ball set in motion as a normal part of the shot touches such an unrestored ball, or passes partly into a region originally occupied by a disturbed ball, the shot is a foul. In short, if the accident has any effect on the outcome of the shot, it is a foul. In any case, the Tournament Director must be called upon to restore the positions of the disturbed balls as soon as possible, but not during the shot. It is a foul to play another shot before the Tournament Director has restored any accidentally moved balls. At the non-shooting player's option, the disturbed balls will be left in their new positions. In this case, the balls are considered restored, and subsequent contact on them is not a foul. It is still a foul to make any contact with the cue ball whatsoever while it is in play, except for the normal tip-to-ball contact during a shot.


The referee shall be totally responsive to players' inquiries regarding objective data, such as whether a ball will be in the rack, if a ball is in the kitchen, what the count is, how many points are needed for a victory, if a player or his opponent is on a foul, what rule would apply if a certain shot is made, etc. When asked for a clarification of a rule, the referee will explain the applicable rule to the best of his ability, but any misstatement by the referee will not protect a player from enforcement of the actual rules. The referee must not offer or provide any subjective opinion that would affect play, such as whether a good hit can be made on a prospective shot, whether a combination can be made, or how the table seems to be playing, etc.


The referee should be alert for a player using equipment or accessory items for purposes or in a manner other than those for which they were intended, or for the use of illegal equipment, as defined under 'equipment specification'. Generally no penalty is applied. However, should a player persist in such activity or use of such equipment, after having been advised that such activity or use is not permissible, the referee or other tournament official may take action as appropriate under the provisions of 'Unsportsmanlike Conduct' (Also see Rule 1.3 and Rule 1.4)


When the distance between the cue ball and the object ball is less than the width of a chalk cube, (See Diagram 18) special attention from the referee is required. In such a situation, unless the referee can positively determine a legal shot has been performed, the following guidance may apply: if the cue ball follows through the object ball more than 1/2 ball, it is a foul.


When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the head string, the referee shall warn him before he shoots if he has placed the cue ball on or within 1/2 ball width outside of the head string. If the player then shoots from on or within the specified distance outside the head string, the stroke is a foul. If the shooter places the cue ball outside of the head string beyond the specified limit, no warning is required and the stroke is a foul (See specific game rule for penalty. Also refer to Rule 3.39).

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