Alan Watton wrote:Surely in this case it has gone in off the Blue?
Sorry, Alan. As always, Andre is exactly correct. I suggest you heed his opinion for any rules query. His answers tend to be short, sweet, and accurate in proper "refereeing" style whereas I tend to over-elaborate my answers, likely to the dismay of many. So as per my norm, I will embellish a bit....
The relevant Rule for your situation is Section 3., Rule 8.:
"8. Touching Ball
(a) If at the completion of a stroke the cue-ball is touching a ball or balls
on, or that could be on
, the referee shall call TOUCHING BALL and,
in the event of any doubt, indicate which ball or balls on the cue-ball
is touching. ..."
There is a bit more to it after that, but that small part is sufficient to cover your situation.
In my experience, I have noted that most amateur players don't actually understand all that well what this means which is why I bolded and italicized the important part for your situation. In your original post, you stated, "Cue ball comes to rest against the Blue. The next object ball is a red." When we compare your statement to the Rule, clearly, the cue ball did NOT come to rest touching a ball that is "on, or that could be on"
. Blue is NOT on, nor could it be on because Red is on, therefore the striker has no option. Here is the part that most players seem to not understand.....yours is NOT a Touching Ball situation (notice that I use capital letters on purpose to refer to the specific Touching Ball situation according to the Rules). Yes, the White is touching the Blue so you could say that it is touching ball, but it is NOT Touching Ball if you get my meaning.
If you pay close attention watching the Professional Game, in a situation like this, the Referee will NOT announce "Touching Ball". He or she WILL look closely and determine in his or her own mind if the balls are in actual contact with each other. If the player were to ask, the Referee would answer something like, "The White is touching the Blue", but he/she still would NOT say the words, "Touching Ball". The reason the Referee examines so closely for actual physical contact is just in case the next stroke results in a Foul and a Miss (as yours did). In that case, the Referee would need to know whether or not the balls happened to be touching each other so they could be reset correctly. The Referee will purposefully avoid saying the words, "Touching Ball" because those exact words imply that the striker may simply play away from the Touching Ball and no further contact with any object ball is required. Clearly, this is NOT your situation.
So the real issue for you is that you believed that you had a Touching Ball situation; you did not. The White and the Blue just happened to be touching each other prior to the stroke, no big deal.
Foul, four away, ball in hand for the next stroke, usual options. Foul and a Miss with relevant options, if you to prefer to use that Rule in agreement with your opponent.