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Free Ball Rules

Postby blackball3

Hi hope you can help. If you are awarded a Free ball do you have to nominate what ball you are going to use as the free ball ? Even if the ball you are going to use as a free ball is on its own and not near any other colour ?
Also is it a penalty if you don't verbally nominate ?

One more question. After potting a Red ball do you have to verbally nominate the colour you are going for even if it is obvious ?

Re: Free Ball Rules

Postby acesinc

blackball3 wrote:Hi hope you can help. If you are awarded a Free ball do you have to nominate what ball you are going to use as the free ball ? Even if the ball you are going to use as a free ball is on its own and not near any other colour ?
Also is it a penalty if you don't verbally nominate ?

One more question. After potting a Red ball do you have to verbally nominate the colour you are going for even if it is obvious ?


This is perhaps the simplest "Rules" question that I have ever endeavoured to answer on this forum. But at the same time, the answer that I give will very probably be believed and trusted by the fewest number of readers compared to answers I have given for previous posts. I will take your question at face value, though I am not certain of the context in which you ask it. (I will say that my assumption is that you had an opponent who attempted to penalize you for not verbally nominating a Free Ball.)

So the simple answer to every single one of your questions (including "Is it a penalty....?) is NO, you actually NEVER of your own accord have to verbally nominate anything, Free Ball, colour, or whatever else one might wish to nominate. The ONLY time that you MUST declare your intention verbally is if you are requested to do so by the referee (or by your opponent who is acting as the referee).

As with many questions about the Rules, this really has different meanings if you are talking about the Professional game or just a simple amateur social game with a mate. So to be clear, I will quote the governing Rule verbatim with some emphasis added. It is Section 2. Definitions, Rule 12.:
____________________________________
12. Nominated Ball
(a) A nominated ball is the object ball which the striker declares, or indicates to the satisfaction of the referee, he undertakes to hit with the first impact of the cue-ball.
(b) If requested by the referee, the striker must declare which ball he is on.
____________________________________

So what this means is that Snooker is still a gentleman's game so that the Players ought to trust in each other's integrity (otherwise, they ought not be playing Snooker together). In a Professional match, pretty much everyone in the Universe who is watching knows the intention of the striker at the outset of his stroke, and that is what is meant by the phrase, "indicates to the satisfaction of the referee". If there is any doubt about it, such as if he is on Colour and there are two colours very close to each other so that maybe it is not very clear which one he is aiming at, he still actually has no requirement to verbally nominate. BUT, if he does not verbally nominate, then he does run the risk of having a foul called on him at the discretion of the referee. So it is in the best interest of the player to make the verbal nomination in such a case.

This probably sounds contradictory.....he doesn't have to nominate but he might be called with a foul if he doesn't nominate.....so let me give an example. Let's say the striker has potted the Red and is on colour. Let's say the White is way down on the Baulk end of the table but the Blue and the Black are quite near each other but far from the White on the opposite end of the table. The striker intends to play Blue. He need not say a word. He lines up his shot, plays it, and strikes Blue full ball. The referee will not call foul because it is quite obvious that the player struck cleanly and did exactly what he intended to do. Now let's change that just a tiny little bit. NOW....he lines up his shot, plays it, miscues so that the White slowly meanders down table, and just barely strikes the Blue full ball. What will the referee say? "Foul, seven away."

The player can argue that he intended Blue all along. The referee will simply say, "Your intention was not clear. You did not nominate a ball. Foul, seven away." So the point of a verbal nomination is to protect yourself in case what you are intending to do is not crystal clear to the referee.

Now as for social frames with a friend, essentially, the same rule applies except that now, your opponent is acting as the referee. So whatever your intention of the shot is must now be clear to HIM, whether you verbally say anything or not. If your opponent has a history of being a real tool (bell-end, I guess would be the equivalent British term), then yes, you had better make a point of verbally nominating everything....not because the rules require it, but because the guy you are playing is a real jerk. And if this is the reason you are asking this question (because your opponent is a bell-end), then take it to the extreme just to make the point, nominate EVERYTHING. When you are down to the final colours, nominate Yellow, then Green, then Brown,....etc. Hell, go ahead and nominate every Red while you are at it.


   

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