Dan-cat wrote:Acesinc! Clear this up! :)
Oh, sorry, I thought this was finished...
Sickpotter of course was exactly correct. If the Red fell in pocket by any means other than ACTUAL contact with the White (or other ball in case of a plant), then this Red has not been potted and is to be put back. It may have fallen in due to vibration of the cushion as pondered, could have been the cloth moving from placing/lifting the bridge hand, could have been a train rolling by on the track outside...whatever. If not pocketed through physical contact, it is simply not potted and must be replaced.
Now as to a foul and whose turn at the table it is now, that may be another question...
Assuming that everything stated by the original poster is true and accurate to the actual facts, then Sickpotter's analysis is correct; that is, foul, four away (assuming no other higher value foul). This original case is a foul because the stroke has already been played and the Red did not fall into the pocket until the White had passed by the Red and clearly had not made contact with it in the passing. Other scenarios are possible however.
In a somewhat different hypothetical....it has happened that simply placing one's bridge hand PRIOR to a stroke can transmit movement of the cloth causing a precariously perched ball like this to fall in. This is NOT a foul, and also, this is NOT a pot. The rule is that the ball was pocketed as a result of an outside agent not in control of the striker. Therefore, the ball is replaced as well as possible to its original position and the stroke is replayed by the same striker without penalty. This is even true if the striker plays his stroke and WHILE THE WHITE IS STILL IN TRANSIT toward the Red (but has not yet reached it), it falls in the pocket of its own accord (perhaps cloth moved when striker raised his hand or whatever). Again, no foul, balls are replaced as well as possible and the stroke is replayed without penalty. This same rule is also applied in the incidence of a rest with a faulty head that falls off and strikes a ball on the table....it is no foul as it is no fault of the striker so balls reset and stroke replayed.
Definitely a bit trickier to understand is if the White is played, passes by but DOES NOT contact the Red in the jaws, but then the ball falls in clearly on its own and the White goes on to strike another Red somewhere. This will surely cause a lifelong bitter feud, but the proper ruling is simply FAIR stroke, no score, the perched Red is replaced as near as possible and it is the next striker's turn.
Now, the original poster stated that the ball perhaps could not be placed EXACTLY where it was because it was simply liable to fall in again. There is no contradiction here. The rules simply say that balls must be replaced as closely as possible to their original positions such that the table situation remains constant (i.e., you say opponent was actually snookered on the ball perched on the pocket so if it fell in on its own before his stroke, obviously it must not be put back in such way that he can now strike it directly). So simply replace it as close as possible to where you think it was such that it does not fall in the pocket.
Here is a professional example of a situation where a ball simply could not be put back EXACTLY where it was in the original stroke but as you will see, there is no real problem, the balls are simply put back as close as possible and the following stroke played:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce8wjs7K0aI