FastCards wrote:Non-professional game (clearly...). I go in-off the pink and commit a foul. Other player, wrongly and completely by mistake, picks up the blue ball from the table and re-spots it. Neither of us can accurately say where the blue ball should be if it wasn't picked up. What's the ruling?
After poking ridicule at my opponent's action, I agreed that:
Blue was re-spotted
I was awarded 5 points
Other player got to restart with the white ball in hand.
I reckon I should have been given the restart. Other player said that as he hadn't played a shot he should get the restart. It didn't have a bearing on the game but just curious as to the official rules.
Did it look something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27_RC27gSdw
(edit: I tried to embed the YouTube video but it didn't work so anyone that knows how to do this, please do it and type how you did it for my future reference. Thanks!)
The most important thing is that in a friendly, social game, the two players mutually agreed to and accepted a resolution. I have seen situations where that was not the case and its not pretty. As for the "official" ruling, there is nothing to specifically cover what you are saying, but as you can see in the video, your situation is not entirely unique. The Rule which comes closest to foreseeing your situation is Section 3., Rule 16:
"16. Ball Moved Other than in a Stroke
(a) If an object ball in play is disturbed by the striker while the cue-ball
is in-hand, the referee will call FOUL and the cue-ball will remain
in-hand for the next stroke.
(b) A ball, intentionally moved or picked up by the striker will be
deemed forced off the table. An exception is provided for in Section
5 Rule 1(a)(i).
(c) If the referee considers that the action of forcing a ball off the table
was an act of Unsporting Conduct, they will replace that ball to the
original position or, in the case of a moving ball, to the position the
referee deemed it would have finished.
A consultation period starts when the decision is made to replace the
I know this is NOT your situation since this Rule is referring to a foul by the striker. I included it mainly for the part I bolded which is the "catch-all" Rule, Section 5., Rule 1. (a)(i):
"1. The Referee
(a) The referee shall:
(i) make decisions in the interests of fair play for any situation not
covered adequately by these Rules"
So here is the part which is important for you to understand...the Rules are not written for you playing a social game in your club. In my opinion, they should be. This is a shortcoming about which I am disappointed. Instead, the Rules are written intended solely for the officiated, professional game. As the Rules are written, the game can only be played when there is at least one officiating Referee. (There are usually three for professional matches, two are off camera.) In the previous version of the Rules, there was at least acknowledgement that the game was played at the amateur level in Section 3., Rule 19. Interpretation, which stated, "When there is no referee, such as in a social game, the opposing player or side will be regarded as such for the purpose of these Rules."
They have even removed that Rule from the latest version so in protest, I still play by the former set of Rules, not the current. But enough of my griping and moaning about the inadequacy of the current Rule set; back to your situation...(edit: In my haste, I must admit a mistake. The "no referee" Rule is still in the current Rule Set, just in a slightly different place and I missed it. I still don't like the changes written into the most current version of the Rules and will continue to play the Game based on the former version.)
So the way you handled it is fine. If it were a frame that I was playing in personally, I would have done two things differently, which also would have been fine (which probably sounds contradictory, since you took three steps and I would have changed two of them, but you will understand in a moment).
As the FORMER rule states, when you have no official referee, then when you are the striker, your opponent is regarded as the Referee for your turn at the table. And you for his. That is the reason he is obliged to spot balls for you; he is the de facto "referee". So if your opponent, acting as the Referee, commits a "foul" such as you described, it is not actually a foul at all. It is no different than Michaela Tabb making the mistake that I referenced in the video. If it was just an honest mistake, then it was worth a good, hearty laugh. NOT worth five points. The other thing I would have done differently would be to replace the Blue to as near as possible to its former position. Although, contrary to most spectators' beliefs, the Referee is not actually required to replace balls exactly where they had been, only as close as they can to the best of their ability. Obviously, in modern venues with large budgets, they have video assistance to replace balls very accurately. However, when you watch some of the video of league play when there is only one Referee, no video assistance, and not even an audience, often the Referee may be quite a bit off when trying to replace a ball to where it had been especially if several balls had been moved. Nothing wrong with that. By the Rule, he or she did it to the best of his/her ability.
If you still feel like you could not have gotten the Blue at least within several inches of where it had been, then you, my friend, need to exercise your memory a bit and observe these things more closely during the normal course of play. Snooker should be a mental exercise as well as non-strenuous physical. But most importantly, you and your playing partner agreed to re-spotting Blue which is a perfectly acceptable resolution.