Post a reply

Replacing balls after a foul

Postby elnino

Normally, reds are not replaced on the table once pocketed or forced off the table. An exception covered already is when a non-offender asks for balls to be replaced after a Foul and a Miss is called. Are there any other circumstances when red has to be replaced after a foul?

Re: Replacing balls after a foul

Postby acesinc

elnino wrote:Normally, reds are not replaced on the table once pocketed or forced off the table. An exception covered already is when a non-offender asks for balls to be replaced after a Foul and a Miss is called. Are there any other circumstances when red has to be replaced after a foul?

Reds replaced after a foul? Yes, I can think of a few. I had referenced the genesis of a change in the rules in response to one of your earlier posts. In a circumstance of a foul and a miss sequence where the offending player commits some other ancillary foul, such as bumping a ball or whatever, the call is simply "foul" and whatever penalty points need be awarded for the situation. It is treated identical to a foul and a miss call in that the balls are replaced to the referee's satisfaction, the foul and a miss sequence continues BUT with a very important difference that, if it had been a case of potentially losing the frame with three sequential misses, this ancillary foul DOES NOT count as one of those three misses.

In fact, the foul and a miss sequence is not necessarily a requirement for ball replacement of this nature. If the striker is at the table and preparing for his stroke (imagine an awkward situation where he is bridging over top of balls and trying to wiggle everything into position), then fouls any ball, the opponent has the option of having balls replaced or not. Essentially, it is treated exactly as if it were a foul and a miss but it is not called as foul and a miss since no stroke actually occurred so it obviously cannot be a "miss". But (and this is critically important), the opponent only has this choice if he puts the fouling striker back in to play. In other words, the non-fouling player may not elect to have the balls replaced, then play the next shot himself. If he takes the shot himself, he must play the balls from wherever they finished. Again, the same as "foul and a miss" can't put the balls back then play at the shot yourself.

Another potential foul with ball replacement (or, more accurately, ball placement,) would be in a case of ungentlemanly conduct. Back in the late 70's or early 80's in a match between I believe Patsy Fagan and David Taylor (but my memory may be a bit convoluted), Fagan was frustrated with a shot, remained at the table and stroked a ball in motion (I think the cue ball) that was heading for a pocket. In such a case, the call would be "foul" with penalties awarded and the referee may determine whatever he believes the stopping position would have been for any ball involved if not for the interference. At the time, it was such an odd occurrence that the referee asked if Fagan was conceding to which he answered, "No," then went on to win the frame. Properly, under current rules, the referee has the option of warning against such conduct, and/or awarding the frame and/or game to the opponent if the conduct is severe enough. I think Fagan should have lost that frame without even a warning.

There are also a few non-foul circumstances where reds or any other balls may need to be replaced. Most have probably seen a ball teetering on the edge of a pocket and falling in after the original striker has left the table and the new striker is set to play. (This just happened to me a few weeks ago.) This is usually caused when a striker grips the cloth and the action can be transmitted even across a surprising length of the table to move a ball. There is no foul nor points awarded; the ball is simply replaced and the new striker continues his turn. A much less common case I have not yet seen happen but it is in the rules....same case of a ball on the edge of a pocket, the striker plays his stroke and while the balls are in motion, the ball plops into the pocket of its own accord without even being struck. In such a case, the referee would replace all balls to his satisfaction and the same striker would play again with no foul having been committed. But if that ball that fell in was not actually involved in anyway with the stroke (for instance, the striker was playing at a completely different ball in a different area so the teetering ball simply fell in from vibration or whatever), then the stroke would stand as is, but that ball would be replaced to its position, no foul, and the striker would continue his turn if he had scored on the stroke.

In short, it can all be rather complicated.

Re: Replacing balls after a foul

Postby elnino

Two further scenarios have occurred to be that require red ball(s) to be replaced.

1) When a "stationary or moving ball is disturbed other than a striker", say a spectator; and, resulted in a red ball entering a pocket. The Referee would replace the red ball and any other ball affected by the stroke. Striker would replay the stroke without penalty.

2) If a striker borrows any ancillary equipment from the Referee, and a red is inadvertently pocketed as a result of the equipment disintegrating before or during the execution of the stroke, the red and any other ball so disturbed would be replaced.
The striker would retake the stroke without penalty.

Re: Replacing balls after a foul

Postby acesinc

elnino wrote:... a red is inadvertently pocketed as a result of the equipment disintegrating before or during the execution of the stroke...


The emoji is accurate; I literally lost my coffee on this one.

Elnino, please do not be offended by this question, but are you a native English speaker? If the answer is no, I commend you; your comprehension, grammar, and usage seem to be probably better than most native speakers. I only ask because you seemed to make this statement with a straight face. Again, please don't be offended by the question because your communication skills are excellent no matter the answer.

If you don't understand why this strikes me funny, it is because "disintegrating" is a term more commonly used when an outer space alien points a death ray gun at you and you disappear in a pile of dust. If this were to ever happen during a frame of snooker, I think I would have much bigger concerns than whether to replace the red ball or not! <laugh> I have a feeling that you probably meant to use a different word; I am not exactly sure what word was intended, but I do understand exactly what you mean by the statement.

So getting back on topic, you are exactly correct. To paraphrase the rule that you are referencing, it essentially imposes no liability on the striker for sub-standard house equipment. The most common problem is the head of the rest falling off the end of the stick because the wooden threads have been stripped away. This doesn't happen professionally because a part of the referee's job is to thoroughly examine all equipment prior to a match, essentially like a pilot walking around the airplane to check that the duct tape on the motors is still sticky enough. ( :chuckle: Sorry, I am still giddy from the above.)

So the striker cannot be held responsible for things outside his control: referee, spectators, house equipment. However, the striker is definitely responsible for things that are under his control or in his possession. For instance, if you strike the cue ball and the tip falls off your cue and onto the surface of the table, then a ball rolls toward and bumps into the now unattached tip, this would be a foul. It is yours, you are responsible (and this is true even if it is a house cue or borrowed from someone as you are still responsible for it). Similarly, Mark Williams had a famous folly a few years ago. He thought he would use his extension for a shot, changed his mind, and set it on the table surface. His cueing was tenuous over several balls and using a rest. He saw the white heading toward his forgotten extension but could not snatch away his set up to grab the extension as he would have disturbed the other balls with his cue and rest. The white bumped and "Foul". This did not result in any balls being replaced because, as you stated, replacement may only happen in a circumstance of a red going in a pocket if this gave a benefit to the fouling player or if the interference was considered by the referee to be intentional.


This made me think of another answer to your original question of when the referee might replace reds after a foul....

There is a "catch-all" statement in the Rules that essentially says that the referee has complete power to do anything he believes is appropriate for the situation. To quote it, Section 5., Rule 1. The Referee says that the referee shall:

"... be free to make a decision in the interests of fair play for any situation not covered adequately by Rule"

and here is an example where that would come into play. Say that the striker has just potted a red, there is one red still on the table in the jaws of a pocket, and he is now up by 34 points. The striker misses his attempt at colour and in his movements, sweeps the last red into the pocket with his elbow or something. Even with the four point penalty, the non-striker now needs snookers to win, but he did not before the foul. The referee would interpret this foul, whether intentional or not, as providing an advantage to the fouling player and he would replace that red back into the jaws of the pocket from whence it came.

There's probably more possible situations, but you get the idea.

Re: Replacing balls after a foul

Postby elnino

Acesinc no offense taken. Very flattered.

I'd a gut feeling you would work it out. You're absolutely correct.

The threads on the rest disintegrated causing the head to fall off. The detached head then collided with a red ball and sent it into a pocket.

Re: Replacing balls after a foul

Postby acesinc

elnino wrote:Acesinc no offense taken. Very flattered. ...

Thank you.

Actually, Elnino, you strike me as the type of personality who is continuously trying to improve in whatever it is that you decide to do. I think it would be incredibly interesting to get you on a snooker table for a day, a week, perhaps a lifetime.

As I believe that you are always striving to improve yourself, I will let you in on a secret...what first tipped me off that English is probably a second language for you is that I noted a couple of times that you incorrectly used the articles "a" or "an". I am sure that you already know this but maybe you forget sometimes: "a" is used before a noun that begins with a consonant, "an" is used before a noun that begins with a vowel (with some exceptions beginning with the letter "h" such as "an hour"...I understand that English has a LOT of exceptions to its linguistic rules which is what makes it very difficult for a non-native speaker).

I took French for a couple years in high school, but I really can't speak a word of it. Reminds me of a joke I heard....

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bi-lingual.
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Tri-lingual
What do you call someone who speaks ONE language?


There is often the greatest humor when there is an element of truth.