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Missed Red which falls of its own accord


I play to pot the red but manage to leave it on the edge of the pocket. My opponent, although partially snookered on the same red, attempts to pot it. He misses the red but, possibly due to the vibration of the cue ball hitting the cushion, it falls in the pocket. He claims the 'pot' as his and goes on to nominate and pot a colour. I am of the opinion that his miss gives four points away and I should continue. Comments please.

Re: Missed Red which falls of its own accord

Postby acesinc

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 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 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:

Re: Missed Red which falls of its own accord

Postby acesinc

Dan-cat wrote:Sick potter was right then - I didn't know this rule!

This actually happened to me in a tournament setting once. Red perched in a top pocket, White about four feet distant. I placed my hand and the Red plopped in. Club tables with thick, stretched, loose cloths and a surprising amount of motion will be transmitted. My opponent was startled and had no idea what to do. It doesn't happen very often professionally obviously, mainly because everything is so new and tight.

Essentially, you can think of this sort of situation as the ref having to "gaze into the crystal ball" and then he may need to figure out what he thinks would have happened and based on that decide if the stroke should be replayed or if the stroke should stand as is and balls placed as needed according to his crystal ball reading. The specific ball on edge of pocket scenario is specifically covered by Section 3., Rule 9. if you are interested but any sort of similar scenario can also and always be covered by the catch-all Section 5., Rule 1.:
1. The Referee
(a) The referee shall:
(i) be the sole judge of fair and unfair play;
(ii) be free to make a decision in the interests of fair play for any situation
not covered adequately by these Rules;...

And this gives the Referee absolute authority to place or replace balls as he sees fit and to allow or re-play a stroke as he sees fit.

Here is a famous incident in a similar vein from a bygone era apparently posted by our own beloved Roland:

I did not see this incident live but it was still being replayed on telly when I arrived in England in early '84. Note how the ref tries to replace the Blue and Green to where they were but doesn't get them video support back then obviously. Truth is probably that he was surprised....was just expecting Patsy Fagan to say he conceded the frame so he wasn't paying close attention to where things were. The referee actually screwed this one up pretty badly. At the very least, Patsy Fagan should have received a five point penalty for disturbing the Blue, but he also should have been warned that another incident of ANY sort will result in loss of the current frame (meaning it doesn't matter if it happens THIS frame....if he has another outburst 2 or 3 frames down the line, he would forfeit THAT one).

I didn't see it, but I am assuming that is the sort of warning Robbo received for his recent incident. Fine or no fine, that is up to the WPBSA, but ref has the authority to say that ungentlemanly conduct will cost you a frame or more.