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Ball drops without interference

Postby Badsnookerplayer

This (very unlikely) scenario would leave me unsure what to do.

A black (or any colour) is left teetering on the edge of the pocket on the previous shot.

I approach the table and play a red. I miss it and it travels around the table heading towards the teetering black. Before it reaches the black, the black drops in. The red follows it into the pocket, having not touched it.

What would be the procedure to follow?

Re: Ball drops without interference

Postby acesinc

Badsnookerplayer wrote:This (very unlikely) scenario would leave me unsure what to do.

A black (or any colour) is left teetering on the edge of the pocket on the previous shot.

I approach the table and play a red. I miss it and it travels around the table heading towards the teetering black. Before it reaches the black, the black drops in. The red follows it into the pocket, having not touched it.

What would be the procedure to follow?


Hi Player. This sort of thing does happen, balls fall in on their own, but extremely rare that it should happen like you suggest in your scenario. (Big surprise there, eh?) This same topic, similar circumstance has been covered in detail before so you may wish to read the whole thread here:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=6844

but the actual answer to your question is in the very last post. How this situation would be officiated would actually end up according to the opinion of the official, i.e., the Referee, and so it may conceivably be handled differently by different Referees. It falls under the catch-all Section 5., Rule 1. referenced in that other thread. So if it were ME that is officiating this situation, this is my response...

In the interest of fair play, the Black ball fell of its own accord, not in control of the striker. Neither player should benefit from such a situation. If the balls are replaced and the stroke played again, obviously the striking player would benefit with another chance to pot the Red previously missed. If we were to assume that the fluke Red would have knocked in the Black and remained in the jaws, the incoming striker would obviously benefit with a gifted easy opening Red. Therefore, as Referee, I need to make my best judgement as to WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED had the Black not fallen in during transit. So my decision is Foul, seven away for the Red knocking Black in the pocket, the Red also follows the Black into the pocket (even if the Red seemed that it would hit at an angle, I will put it in the pocket as I cannot possibly predict with any accuracy how it would have reacted) and Player B is the new striker.

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I do want to stress this is my own interpretation. Certainly, others may have a different opinion. There is no "right" answer because the Rules fully admit that not every conceivable situation can possibly be covered in the written Rules and that is why the special clause in Section 5. Rule 1. is there.


And if there is no Referee, just a friendly game, then SnookerEd's answer is the best: Order another pint, have a good laugh, and come to an agreement what you should do. Flip a coin if you have to; it is a gentlemen's game so if the players are in disagreement over what the actual call should be, then really you just need to come to an agreement of how to decide which call to use to continue. And if you lose the coin flip (or arm wrestle, or juggling contest, or whatever you want), then don't harbor resentment, just play the game.