Post a reply

Re: Touching Ball

Postby elnino

Section 3 Rule 8. re: Touching Ball

provides the answer to your question:-

(b) When a touching ball has been called, the striker must play the cue-ball away from that ball without moving it or it is a push stroke.

A follow up on this theme:

Striker plays away from the declared touching ball, the cue rebounds off a cushion and hits the previously declared touching ball. is this legal?

Re: Touching Ball

Postby Andre147

elnino wrote:Section 3 Rule 8. re: Touching Ball

provides the answer to your question:-

(b) When a touching ball has been called, the striker must play the cue-ball away from that ball without moving it or it is a push stroke.

A follow up on this theme:

Striker plays away from the declared touching ball, the cue rebounds off a cushion and hits the previously declared touching ball. is this legal?


Yes it is, what matters is at the moment the striker strikes the cue ball, the touching ball or balls can't move, when the cue ball come to rest, if it ends touching that ball or balls, it is a legal shot.

However, it's in the rules that if the referee considers that "any movement of a touching ball at the moment of striking was not caused by the striker, he will not call a foul"

Re: Touching Ball

Postby elnino

Andre147 appears to have misunderstood the follow up question.

The player has played away from the touching ball without moving it. The cue ball collided with the touching ball after rebounding off a cushion. It is a perfectly legal stroke.

The rule only requires the the player to play away from the touching ball without moving it. Any subsequent collision of the cue ball and the touching ball after this condition has been fulfilled is not a foul.

Re: Touching Ball

Postby PoolBoy

I agree - that is my understanding of the rule.
However, it's no different to Andre's interpretation, above!

Re: Touching Ball

Postby muppalla_kishore

I potted a red ball and i need to go for colour ball,
scenarios 1. cueball touched the red ball what next?
Scenario 2: cueball touced colour ball?
please help me out.

Re: Touching Ball

Postby Badsnookerplayer

1. You must nominate a colour, play away from the red ball and hit the nominated colour ball.
2. You can nominate the touching colour and play away from it without moving it. Or you can nominate a different colour and play this instead.

I am pretty sure this is correct but happy to be corrected.

Re: Touching Ball

Postby acesinc

Badsnookerplayer wrote:1. You must nominate a colour, play away from the red ball and hit the nominated colour ball.
2. You can nominate the touching colour and play away from it without moving it. Or you can nominate a different colour and play this instead.

I am pretty sure this is correct but happy to be corrected.



Both points absolutely correct Player.

My own personal note to add....for some reason, in social games, it seems to me that most players are compelled to declare "Touching ball!" anytime the White comes to rest touching another ball no matter the situation. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, it is a true statement, but you can also yell at the top of your lungs, "The sky is blue!" after every shot if you wish. Like myself toward my opponent when he unnecessarily declares touching ball, people will just look at you like you are crazy is all.

Professionally, what will happen is that the Referee will examine the state of the balls, whether White is touching or not, but will only verbally declare, "Touching ball" if it is relevant to do so. So the question then is, "Well, then, when is it 'relevant'?"

If a Red has just been potted so that the ball on must now become a colour then if White ends up touching another Red at rest, it is irrelevant and not declared. However, the Referee will examine and determine in his own mind that White and Red are in fact touching while not verbally declaring such. He will do this as a matter of habit just in case the follow up shot turns out to be a "Foul and a Miss" situation....then the Ref knows that balls must be touching when he resets.

Likewise, if Red is the ball on and White came to rest against a colour, the Ref will take note but not verbally declare and for exactly the same reason.

Last thing that I will emphasize on your second point, BadSnookerPlayer:
"2. You can nominate the touching colour and play away from it without moving it. Or you can nominate a different colour and play this instead."

This is a case where the player is obligated to make a verbal declaration lest the Referee will nearly certainly call a Foul. If the ball on is colour and White ends up touching, say, Yellow, the Referee will declare "Touching ball!" So say the player just jacks up over the Yellow and pots the Green. The Referee will call, "Foul!" The player may protest, "It was obvious that I was playing toward the Green!" The Referee (if he wants to be a nice guy) can explain, "Well, it was even more obvious that you were playing AWAY from Yellow so how can I possibly know what colour is your intention unless you tell me?"

It is ALWAYS a good idea to declare verbally when touching a colour, whether the intent is the touching ball or some other ball; eliminates any possible doubt.


And a last personal note.....in a social environment, declaring "Touching ball" is supposed to come with a certain etiquette that seems to have fallen by the wayside with most all of the players in my club. Few people seem to know their personal responsibility when a touching ball situation occurs. So in an effort to educate the masses, following is the etiquette explained to me when I learned the game thirty some years ago.

In a Refereed situation, if the Referee declares "Touching ball", then it is touching ball and that is all there is to it. But in a self-refereed game between two players, either player can make the verbal statement, "Touching ball". It is usually the striker who will make this call, but not necessarily. Notice I use the term "statement" and "call" and not the more authoritative "declaration" because the referee duties of a non-refereed frame should rightfully be by agreement of the players, therefore the initial statement, "Touching ball!" is really just a statement to say, "I believe the balls are touching; you are welcome to check them if you wish." In a manner of speaking, this is really a question, and awaits an answer from the opponent. So the opponent (if he tends to be a distrustful sort or if the original player is known to be nefarious) may amble over to view the situation and agree or disagree. But usually, the opponent won't even bother to examine and will just reply with, "Touching ball!", in essence, saying, "I agree with what you say that you see. Go ahead and play your stroke."

Even though I have explained this (seemingly obvious to me) etiquette numerous times, most often, I will state, "Touching ball" then wait about five seconds or more before I go ahead and play my shot to a silent response.

Re: Touching Ball

Postby Badsnookerplayer

Thanks Ace - clear and comprehensive as always. I'd always taken the fact that people don't check a touching ball as sportsmanship/trust but all of my opponents would either acknowledge the statement or indeed question it.

Re: Touching Ball

Postby SnookerEd25

An anecdote from an old Snooker book I had when I was a kid (possibly 'World Snooker with jack Karnehm' (1982)) tells of referee John Smyth refusing to declare a touching ball, even though both players felt it was touching a red, and as they pressed the issue he removed a cigarette paper from his pocket, and carefully inserted it between the white & red thus proving his point.

Not always such a steady hand though as he is the same ref. who, when attempting to re-spot the pink in the midst of a pack of reds, inadvertantly allowed the ball to slip from his grasp, scattering the reds all over. The players diplomatically agreed on a re-rack (though i'd be interested in AcesInc's opinion on what should have happened next according to the rule-book)...

Re: Touching Ball

Postby acesinc

SnookerEd25 wrote:An anecdote from an old Snooker book I had when I was a kid (possibly 'World Snooker with jack Karnehm' (1982)) tells of referee John Smyth refusing to declare a touching ball, even though both players felt it was touching a red, and as they pressed the issue he removed a cigarette paper from his pocket, and carefully inserted it between the white & red thus proving his point.

Not always such a steady hand though as he is the same ref. who, when attempting to re-spot the pink in the midst of a pack of reds, inadvertantly allowed the ball to slip from his grasp, scattering the reds all over. The players diplomatically agreed on a re-rack (though i'd be interested in AcesInc's opinion on what should have happened next according to the rule-book)...


Thank you SnookerEd, I am honored and humbled. I will say that I don't consider myself a true "expert"; I did have an initial Referee Training course, but nothing advanced, no additional follow up. For some reason, the spirit of the Rules have always made perfect, elegant sense to me so I seem to have an inherent knack for the "why"s of the Rules beyond the normal "what"s and "how"s.

These anecdotes of John Smyth are entertaining. He was a primary Referee back when I first began watching the game. As for your query, I cannot give an absolute answer; I can only offer my opinion and it is this. By Section 5. which defines the duties and responsibilities of the officials, primarily the Referee, he or she is the all-powerful entity as far as a tournament match goes. Jan Verhaas recently demonstrated this as we will all remember at the WC Final when he called a foul on Mark Selby for not contacting Black.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lli3Oh9LkMo

You can agree or disagree all you wish, but the fact remains that Jan Verhaas made the call so it is Gospel. As this relates to the John Smyth story then is that at the time, John Smyth was absolutely free to make a decision as to how to proceed based on his determination of what was in the best interest of fair play. What decision he would have made then would have come down to a fairly simple to answer "yes" or "no" question.....at the time of disturbing the Reds, was either of the players in a position of control in the frame? Quite obviously, this is generally determined by the scoreboard. At the professional level of play, several points one way or the other, perhaps even twenty points difference is not really much of an advantage unless the frame is nearly complete without further scoring balls available. So if it was early in the frame (which I assume it was if there were still lots of Reds out), then John Smyth would have called for a reset of the frame whether the players agreed to it or not. In the end, it is his decision, not theirs. If one of the players had been at an advantage at the time of the incident, he simply would have done his best to replace the balls as well as he could.

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the Referee's responsibilities in resetting ball positions such as this or more commonly, in a Foul and a Miss situation, and also misconception about the players' authority to call for a re-rack. To be clear, the Referee never actually owes anything to anyone when he makes any sort of decision....that is why I say he (or she) is an all-powerful entity. For John Smyth, this means that he was certainly not required to prove anything to the players about the balls touching or not using the cigarette paper. He just did it I'm sure to stop the quibbling and get back to the game. Generally, Referees are a humble and likeable breed so they will try to extend the fullest possible courtesy to the players just to be nice and keep things friendly. So contrary to popular belief, it is not in the Rules at all that all balls MUST be replaced exactly for a FAAM. Au contraire, that is not even remotely possible when there is not video support. The Referee does not even need agreement from the players after resetting the balls like this; he will just ask their approval out of courtesy but if either player were to prove a nuisance, the Referee is actually free to just overrule them and just say "Play on". So by the Rules, the Referee does the best he can do to get the balls back where he thought they were which is what John Smyth may have decided to do had the score difference been significant. (By the way, another misconception is that the FAAM rule is a fairly recent innovation; it is not. It has existed for many decades but was under-utilized so the "big change" to the Rules was to basically take the decision out of the hands of the Referee and simply say that virtually ANY miss will be a FAAM. Curiously, about the only time that FAAM is NOT called these days is when the Referee will invoke his own Section 5. "fair play clause" if he believes that calling FAAM for a particular stroke would not constitute fair play.)

As my other example, people seem to think that the Players themselves have the right to call for a re-rack; they do not. They may request it, even both agree on it, but ultimately, it is strictly up to the Referee whether to reset or not and when is the proper time to do so is will be decided by the Referee depending on whether a state of stalemate exists. So in a poor quality frame, the players may wish to re-rack and request to do so, but the Referee may tell them to play on if stalemate does not exist. So what is "stalemate" then? In its simplest form, compare to chess....one player has just King, the other player has just King and one Rook (castle). So the King just moves back and forth one space and Rook moves the same distance to force checkmate every move....over and over forever. So this is a stalemate. So for snooker, it similarly means that the players simply repeat the same series of shots, not necessarily exactly the same but very similar, over and over. For instance, one player rolls into the pack of Reds. The other player rolls White back to the Black cushion. First player rolls into the pack again. And so on, over and over. The Referee will intervene to say either play a different shot or I (the Referee) will call stalemate. So the players may ask for a reset just because they don't like the situation, but the Referee is not obligated to honor that request. He usually does, but not always.

I like to re-watch this video on occasion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIEuU8CZjGQ
It is exactly the type of frame that the players may well ask for a re-rack (they don't in this case), but the Referee may well deny them and force them to play on because clearly, there is never a situation of stalemate.