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Break off

Postby elnino

This is a continuation of the Foul and a Miss thread.

The following is a quote from an article on Foul and a Miss written by Stephen Hendry dated 9 November 2014:

"Note: when a player, while breaking off, misses all balls, this is a foul. But in contrast to the main rule no miss is called. However , the referee will additionally call 'free ball' if the cue-ball is snookered on all reds."

Is this correct?

Re: Break off

Postby acesinc

elnino wrote:This is a continuation of the Foul and a Miss thread.

The following is a quote from an article on Foul and a Miss written by Stephen Hendry dated 9 November 2014:

"Note: when a player, while breaking off, misses all balls, this is a foul. But in contrast to the main rule no miss is called. However , the referee will additionally call 'free ball' if the cue-ball is snookered on all reds."

Is this correct?



As you appear quite astute as to application of the Rules yourself, I am not sure if this is a question or a quiz... :-)

Now, I am not one to argue with the great Stephen Hendry, I have nothing but respect, but my trainer gave me a bit of advice--do not trust that the players of the game will actually understand the rules of the game.

I have never seen a professional opening break off where the striker fails to hit the reds, but I have swerved many an uncontrolled break off shot myself and always call it as a miss. Reading through that section of the Rules again, I see no such exception. In fact, coupling this query with one of your previous entries, as I see it, if the striker takes the opening shot twice in a row failing to strike a red, the referee will be obliged to warn him that a third such miss will result in loss of frame.

Going back to the "red covering red" scenario you posed earlier, the opening table position is exactly such a case. Either of the corner balls is clearly available for central full ball contact if all the other reds were extricated from the table. However, they usually present an opportunity for free ball if with the missed break off shot the cue ball returns somewhere central on the table within the baulk area. (Generally, the pink and/or blue will cover the left edge of one corner ball and the right edge of the other corner ball, thus, free ball.)

I am a pretty bad player, but I never have managed to completely miss the pack twice in a row, though I have seen others accomplish this feat. Even now having considered it, I don't think as the opponent I would have the audacity to give warning if my opponent did this unless a match was particularly important for some reason (read: $$$).

I would appreciate a reference for that Stephen Hendry article if you have it available. I am guessing it will prove an interesting read.

Re: Break off

Postby elnino

Reference for the Stephen Hendry article requested (extract below):

Snooker Masterclass / Stephen Hendry. - London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 1995. - ISBN 0 7475 1870 X.

Miss
This has become one of the most discussed rules in snooker and often causes controversy. Basically, a miss is called when a referee does not believe a player has made a sufficiently good attempt to hit the ball 'on'. If a miss is called, there are three courses of action: the player of the miss can be asked to play again from the position in which the cue-ball has stopped; he can be asked to play again from the cue-ball's original position, which means that the referee has to replace the cue-ball; or the other player can take on the shot himself from where the cue-ball has come to rest. The rule, sensible in essence, was introduced as a means of preventing a player sacrificing a few penalty points in order to avoid leaving his opponent with a break-building opportunity. A competent referee takes into account the awkwardness of a shot as well as the overall standard of a player when deciding whether or not to call a miss. In professional snooker, since 1 January 1991, the rules have been much more rigid. If a player can see any part of the ball 'on' and fails to make contact, a miss is automatically called.

Note : when a player, while breaking off, misses all balls, this is a foul. But, in contrast to the main rule (see the line "A miss is when the ...", above) no miss is called. However, the referee will additionally call 'free ball' if the cue-ball is snookered on all reds.

Happy reading.

Re: Break off

Postby acesinc

Ummm.....I was rather expecting a bit more meat with this meal. The extract from your post immediately above contains really little more information than your original post. However, I was able to glean a tidbit or two from it so let me know if you agree...

I simply Googled verbatim your reference of "Snooker Masterclass / Stephen Hendry. - London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 1995. - ISBN 0 7475 1870 X" and checked the results. The very first webpage that came up for me is

"www.euronet.nl/users/cor/miss.html"

which is a blog apparently written by a snooker enthusiast from the Netherlands by the name of Cor van Dusschoten. In the blog, he cites various references, the Stephen Hendry quotation being one of them. Stephen Hendry apparently had written an instructional book in 1994 by the name of Snooker Masterclass from which your quote is presumably extracted. However, from the phrase, "Note: when a player..." and concluding with, "...is snookered on all reds.", these words appear to me to be from the blog author, Mr. van Dusschoten, not from Stephen Hendry's writing.

I don't own nor intend to acquire Mr. Hendry's book (being in the US, this would be quite a heroic feat in itself), so I cannot verify my theory here. As for interpretation of the rule, until someone can reference an authority on the topic, I will have to stick with my interpretation above.

What do you think, Elnino?

Re: Break off

Postby elnino

I'm not able to verify the authorship of the phrase "...is snookered on all reds." You may be correct in assuming that it was the Dutchman.

However your interpretation provided on 26 June 2015 of the issue raised is unquestionable and impeccable as usual.

Re: Break off

Postby Dan-cat

I bet Clive Everton ghost wrote that book, as he did just about all the others!

Re: Break off

Postby acesinc

Dan-cat wrote:I bet Clive Everton ghost wrote that book, as he did just about all the others!


I had exactly the same thought about a ghost writer (didn't realize it was Clive). In 1994, Stephen Hendry would have still been a whippersnapper in his early 20's, in his prime with the world on a string, winning everything in sight. I doubt he was much interested in sharing his secrets with the world but he surely would have been happy to sign the cheques.