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Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby phil64btz

I probably did not read the rules carefully, but I could not find the answer to the following question : "Should we spot again a coloured ball on the table when it has been pocketed with a foul during the final sequence ?".
Here is the case :
All the reds have been potted and we are in the "final sequence" where we must pot the coloured balls in the ascending order of their values. Let's say the striker has to pot the blue ball. He does so correctly, but after the blue ball has been potted the cue ball also goes into a pocket, which means a foul with a 5 points penalty.
1. Should we leave the blue ball in its pocket or should we spot it back to the table ?
2. What is the reference rule we should apply ?

Thanks for your help.

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby acesinc

phil64btz wrote:I probably did not read the rules carefully, but I could not find the answer to the following question : "Should we spot again a coloured ball on the table when it has been pocketed with a foul during the final sequence ?".
Here is the case :
All the reds have been potted and we are in the "final sequence" where we must pot the coloured balls in the ascending order of their values. Let's say the striker has to pot the blue ball. He does so correctly, but after the blue ball has been potted the cue ball also goes into a pocket, which means a foul with a 5 points penalty.
1. Should we leave the blue ball in its pocket or should we spot it back to the table ?
2. What is the reference rule we should apply ?

Thanks for your help.


Hi Phil. Yes, BadSnookerPlayer is exactly correct of course in answering question 1. As for question 2., it is a little tricky to decipher the Rules as written for this information. It is a matter of being hidden in plain sight. Whenever you are trying to interpret the Rules, You need to understand, the Rules are written similar to a legal document; the terminology is very specific. To interpret, you must understand the precise definitions of words. It sounds like you took some time trying to find your answer in the Rules before posting here so I will give you a short (eh, not-so-short, really) primer in how to best search and interpret the Rules of Snooker so you are prepared for the next incident.

So first, let's break down your question:

"Should we spot again a coloured ball on the table when it has been pocketed with a foul during the final sequence ?"--this is exactly the correct phrasing for the question you are asking.

Now:

"Let's say the striker has to pot the blue ball. He does so correctly, but after the blue ball has been potted the cue ball also goes into a pocket, which means a foul with a 5 points penalty."--this is misleading and incorrect phrasing and this is the reason that you could not find your answer in the Rules. The bolded words above are the root of your problem as you will see.

The Rules of Snooker begin with Section 1, Equipment. It defines mechanical tolerancing of the table and ancillary equipment. As a player, you have very little control over this; this area is the responsibility of the venue operator, so you won't usually need to sift through the info in Section 1. during the normal course of a frame.

Section 2. is Definitions. This is where the Rules are like a legal document. This is the "language" of Snooker, giving precise meanings to the words that will be used throughout the rest of the document. These may be identical to existing English words (such as "Foul"), or they may be brand new words that were invented solely for the purpose of Snooker (such as "Snooker"), or they may be existing English words that are given a different, non-intuitive meaning for the purpose of Snooker (such as "Break"). These words should be easily understood by every enthusiast of our sport/hobby/endeavour, but oftentimes, there is confusion here. You should at some time read this section thoroughly and become comfortable with these definitions. I will give you a special little Easter egg here, one that probably only the tiniest percentage of human beings who have ever swung a snooker cue will know: As you read the remainder of the Rules of Snooker (Sections 3., 4., and 5.), you will regularly encounter words that stand out because they are printed in italics. There is a particular reason for this...you probably now already know that when you encounter any word in italics like this, it is written that way so that you know that you can always go back to Section 2. to verify the exact definition of that italicized word. Section 2. is not arranged in alphabetical order so searching is a little haphazard, but the section is not very long.

Section 3. is the meat and potatoes, how to play the game, entitled The Game. Your answer is here but it is a little tricky to find unless you are already familiar. I will get to your answer shortly. Section 3., much like my post, is rather lengthy. The only way to familiarize yourself with this section is to bludgeon your way through it. Then do it again. And again. And...you get the picture. It takes some time before knowing where to go in this section to find your answer becomes a simple matter. Just takes practice.

Section 4. is entitled The Players and, ironically, as a player, you don't need to concern yourself with it too much. Like "Equipment" is written primarily for venue operators, so "The Players" is primarily written for tournament Referees. As a player, to you, Section 4. just says, "Don't be a bell-end! Play nice!" and you shouldn't have any trouble here.

Similarly, Section 5. is entitled The Officials and it is written for the tournament Referees as their own guidelines. Again, you don't really need to concern yourself with this too often.

So the upshot is simple.....a) Before playing the game, get yourself reasonably familiar with Section 2., Definitions. b) If you have an incident during the course of play, you will need to skim through Section 3. to find the reference you need and be prepared to go back to Definitions if you see words in italics.



Now, for your situation, the governing Rule is Section 3., Rule 3. Mode of Play, sub-clause (g)(iii) which states:
"The colours then become on in the ascending order of their value as per Section 3 Rule 1(a) and when next potted remain off the table, except as provided for in Section 3 Rule 4, and the striker plays the next stroke at the next colour on;"

So you will notice some italics there. And the important (often confusing) one is potted so perhaps we should go to Section 2. and look that one up. And there, we find:

"7. Pot
A pot is when an object ball, after contact with another ball and without any infringement of these Rules, enters a pocket. Causing a ball to be potted is known as potting."

I added the bolding in there for emphasis. People often use "pot", "potting", and "potted" incorrectly. YOUR Blue was NOT potted, it was pocketed because during the course of the stroke, there was a foul, an infringement of the Rules. And so the Mode of Play Rule for the end of frame becomes very simple to understand......during the final colour sequence, each of the colours must be potted at which time they will remain off table. If they were not potted in sequence per this strict definition, then they will be re-spotted as required.

Probably more than you ever cared to know on the matter but perhaps following the line of reasoning may help next time you face some similar situation.

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby acesinc

Badsnookerplayer wrote:Great explanation Ace.

I wonder why it is called potting and whether it is related to 'putting'?


I had a similar thought when I first came across Snooker 35 years ago. Coming from an American Pool background, I had never heard the term "potting" before. But here today, if I happen to casually meet someone who turns out to be a pool player and in course of conversation I habitually use the word "pot" or "potting", there doesn't seem to be any surprise or confusion at all. Even though snooker still is not popular at all over here, I think that snooker jargon has infiltrated the American Pool world nonetheless. Probably the Mosconi Cup and merging of Pool internationally since my day I suppose.

I never did find an answer as to the origin though I must admit I didn't search too deeply.

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby Holden Chinaski

Badsnookerplayer wrote:Some light research has revealed that there was an old Dutch word 'putten' which meant to put something into a hole. I am not sure how reliable that is yet but it seems convincing.

'Put' is the Dutch word for a hole or a well. But I'm not sure what the Dutch connection with snooker is....

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby Badsnookerplayer

Holden Chinaski wrote:
Badsnookerplayer wrote:Some light research has revealed that there was an old Dutch word 'putten' which meant to put something into a hole. I am not sure how reliable that is yet but it seems convincing.

'Put' is the Dutch word for a hole or a well. But I'm not sure what the Dutch connection with snooker is....

Cheers Holden.

I read that the Medieval Dutch word meant to put in a hole (as a verb) and there was evidence that it was used in Middle English with that meaning.

Could be wrong...

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby acesinc

You could be onto something there BSP...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWVKzdyWRps



One of the comments:

"Dutch and German are two close brothers where English is their cousin whose father got married to half French and half Latin woman :-D "

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby Badsnookerplayer

I have never understood why it is called a 'cannon' as it makes no sense.

A little research shows that it is a corruption of 'carom' a term used in billiards to describe what in snooker is called a 'cannon'

But where does carom come from. Many people say it is from the French 'carombole' but I have a theory.

In India there is a game called 'Carrom' which involves flicking counters off of each other. As snooker was invented in India, my theory is that this is the source of the phrase 'cannon'. I may be wrong.

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby acesinc

Badsnookerplayer wrote:I have never understood why it is called a 'cannon' as it makes no sense.

A little research shows that it is a corruption of 'carom' a term used in billiards to describe what in snooker is called a 'cannon'

But where does carom come from. Many people say it is from the French 'carombole' but I have a theory.

In India there is a game called 'Carrom' which involves flicking counters off of each other. As snooker was invented in India, my theory is that this is the source of the phrase 'cannon'. I may be wrong.


Gonna have to put in a logical but respectful disagreement here, Player. I am not particularly strong on etymological histories of words, but chronologically, I don't think your theory can be correct.

I have also heard the tale that "cannon" is a corruption of "carom" with a French base as you said. And I left it at that, satisfied my curiosity at the time. But I see a problem with bringing India into this equation because "cannon" is not really a snooker term at all. It is a much older term from English Billiards having a much longer history to it. To put it in perspective, Snooker is generally agreed to have been invented in India by the English in the year 1875; call it 140 years ago or so. English Billiards has been around in some form since something like the late 1500's or early 1600's. Sometime in the 1700's, the Red Ball was added and cannons became a primary form of scoring for English Billiards. And this was occurring in England at the time, probably another 100 years or so before Snooker would be invented. The term, "cannon" was simply adapted to describe a similar action in a frame of snooker, but while the cannon is a scoring stroke for Billiards, it has no point value for Snooker. So in this chicken/egg scenario, I have got to think that the term "cannon" already existed for English Billiards in England before Snooker was invented in India, and also before Carrom which may have come before or after Snooker...which one is not at all clear to me.

No offence, of course. You have got me curious about Indian Carrom so I did look it up. I agree that must be related somehow but I would think that Carrom must be the successor, not the predecessor, of "cannon".

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby Badsnookerplayer

Hello Ace.

I think you are right there as I did not consider Billiards which pre-dated the origins of snooker. It does seem too much of a co-incidence that carrom and carom are not related but I agree with your notes.

As a sidenote, the French word carambole describes the red object ball, and according to Wiki:

In modern French, the word carambolage means 'successive collision', currently used mainly in reference to carom or cannon shots in billiards, and to multiple-vehicle car crashes

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby acesinc

I did find a piece of dated information on snookergames.co.uk that may prove useful. Just a definition:

"Carambole
A - The original term for a 'cannon', named after a small Spanish fruit.
B - A game introduced to England from France around 1772, in which a 'Carambole' (a red ball) was added to the two white balls already in use. This gradually evolved into the game of English Billiards as we know it today."

A very long time ago, I did develop a theory about this. I am no linguist but have always had a minor interest and respect for the origins of words. I expect you will find it to be more of a psychedelical musing than a theory, but here goes....

From the first time someone taught me my first bit about English Billiards, I heard the anecdote about how "'cannon' is a corruption of the French 'carom'", and that always seems to happen when players talk about Billiards. I have heard that phrase, "'cannon' is a corruption of the French 'carom'" many, many, many times; it is almost as if collectively, as cueists, we are apologizing...."Um, yes, right....the word 'cannon' was an accident, that is not what it was supposed to be at all, pardon..."

To me, "cannon" is a beautiful descriptive word for the action performed. In a way, it reminds me of an old Western movie, the bad guy is beating feet to get away, the sheriff is hot on his tail. The sheriff takes a pot shot..."BANG!..ping!" as the bullet ricochets off a boulder the bad guy just dashed behind. Some seriously intense action, ya know?, like in a frame of English Billiards. So "cannon" is a perfect term to describe it. Certainly nothing to apologize for.

So how did this "accident" happen? The definition above cites the date as 1772. Think about that a little bit....those uppity colonials across the pond were causing a ruckus, dumping perfectly good tea into the harbour and all, resources were required there that could have been used elsewhere expanding the empire, and those troublesome French were a general thorn in the side again throwing their lot in with the colonists. But that was all political and military stuff, people were still people and still did the things that people do.

The definition above says about "adding a Red ball" so that means previously, it was just a matter of each player having his own cue ball, two white balls on a table. Now, most everyone probably knows that all of the games in the billiard family are really just indoor, smallish versions of the outdoor lawn games. At first, tables were just tables.....no cushions, pockets, just roll the balls around on the surface and figure out some purpose in doing this. My understanding is that sometime in the 1600's I believe is when the English Billiard Table essentially evolved to its "modern form", namely, barriers on the side to keep the balls from falling off and pocket openings in their same general present location to act as targets. But only apparently the two White balls. So I suppose the idea was to score points one of two ways: either pot your opponent's White into a pocket, or play your White in off the opponent's. I can't think of anything else to do here.

I imagine Billiards was a fairly elite and noble game in those days, decent equipment for the game would not have come cheap. I don't expect Oliver Twist would have been a billiard player. Also take note, communication was very poor, travel was slow and tedious, one would not nip off to Paris for the weekend. Excursions of any kind would be lengthy, communication with the folks back home would strictly be by written word taking days or weeks to arrive.

So given that lengthy set up, in this cheery scene, I picture two friends, successful businessmen perhaps, who occasionally meet for a relaxing game of Billiards, knocking about two White balls, and also discussion of current affairs, business, and politics. Eventually, one of them decides his presence is needed in France somewhere for some business deal in which he is invested so he sets off across the channel expecting to be gone a number of months. While in France, he discovers the French also enjoy a game of Billiards now and then, but their tables have no pockets at all. Instead, the target is the balls themselves, a third Red ball added, with points scored through the action of what his reasonably competent knowledge of French deems to be a "carom". He must write back home to tell his friend of this discovery...

Remember, this is hand written documentation. These are quite well educated people using the flowing cursive script of the day. The writing utensils were plucked from the asses of gooses, and the inks were not exactly indelible, needing to retain the intended intelligence over the course of a significant journey back to England. And to top it all off, the guy in France is trying to introduce a brand new word, never heard in the English language before to his buddy back home. "Carom"....think about what that word would look like if it were written on a scroll in the old time, cursive script. Coincidentally, "c", "a", and "o" would certainly have similar circular shapes to them. And likewise, "r", "m", and "n" are essentially a series of humps. It is actually a minor miracle that the corruption retained at least a few of the correct letters.

So I think the guy back in England read this post from his friend and thought to himself, "Idiot! Doesn't even know how to spell! It should be 'cannon', not 'canonn'! Hmmmmm......it does sound like a pretty good idea though. I can stain that extra cue ball red and invite Carl over to try a game. He is a better player than that dope Phillipe anyway...."

....................

I have never told that story to anyone before. I guess you are my "special guy" BadSnookerPlayer.

Writing this reminded me of something that I learned when I was a little kid, like 8 or 9 years old and it has stuck in my brain all these years. It was a Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon in a newspaper and it said the "worst spelling" of all time was such-and-such person in such-and-such town on this such-and-such date wrote a letter intending to use the word "coffee". Having never seen the word written before, he spelled it phonetically with some silent letters in there as "k-a-u-g-h-p-h-y" spelling what should have been a six-letter word with eight letters, not a single one of which is correct.

Language is funny.

Re: Foul during final sequence (no more reds)

Postby Badsnookerplayer

An interesting write-up and theory Ace. I like etymology and consider myself to know a few things.

The assumption that cannon comes from carom is so widely held that it is probably never questioned. Now I think of it, it is not a natural corruption from 'carom' to 'cannon. I am starting to wonder if you are correct and it is just a fluke that cannon and carom sound alike.

A look at the definition of 'cannon' provides (apart from the obvious artillery piece):

'to knock or hit against someone or something suddenly and forcefully as you are running'

I can't find a date for that usage though. It either explains everything or it is derived from the billiards term. All or nothing!