8 Ball Rules
These rules are adapted from the Billiard Congress of America for Dooly's 8-Ball Fun League and tournaments.
1. OBJECT OF THE GAME
Eight-Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and 15 object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls of the group numbered 1 through 7 (solid colors), while the other player has 9 through 15 (stripes). The player pocketing either group first and then legally pocketing the 8-ball wins the game.
2. CALL SHOT
In Call Shot, obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated. It is the opponent's right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot. Bank shots and combination shots are not considered obvious, and care should be taken in calling both the object ball and the intended pocket. When calling the shot, it is never necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions, banks, kisses, caroms, etc. Any balls pocketed on a foul remain pocketed, regardless of whether they belong to the shooter or the opponent. The opening break is not a "called shot." Any player performing a break shot in 8-Ball may continue to shoot so long as any object ball is legally pocketed on the break.
3. RACKING THE BALLS
The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the 8-ball in the center of the triangle, the first ball of the rack on the foot spot, a stripe ball in one corner of the rack and a solid ball in the other corner.
4. DECISION OF BREAK
Flip a coin (NOT OVER THE TABLE). Winner of the coin toss has the option to break. During competition, players will alternate breaking on each subsequent game.
5. NO JUMP SHOTS OR MASSE
6. LEGAL BREAK SHOT
To execute a legal break, the breaker (with the cue ball behind the head string) must either pocket a ball, or drive at least four numbered balls to the rail. If s/he fails to make a legal break, the other player has three choices:
A) Play from there.
B) Break again.
C) Have the other player re-break.
7. SCRATCH ON A LEGAL BREAK
If a player scratches on a legal break shot (cue ball is pocketed):
A) All balls pocketed remain pocketed (exception, the 8-ball: see rule 9).
B) It is a foul.
C) The table is open.
NOTE: Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string and may not shoot an object ball that is behind the head string, unless he first shoots the cue ball past the head string and causes the cue ball to come back behind the head string and hit the object ball.
8. OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE ON THE BREAK
If a player jumps an object ball off the table on the break shot, it is a foul and the incoming player has the option of accepting the table in position and shooting, or taking cue ball in hand behind the head string and shooting.
9. 8-BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK
If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, breaker may re-rack or have the 8-ball spotted and continue shooting. If the breaker scratches while pocketing the 8-ball on the break, the incoming player has the option of a re-rack or having the 8-ball spotted and begin shooting with ball in hand behind the head string.
10. OPEN TABLE
The table is "open" when the choice of groups (stripes or solids) has not yet been determined. When the table is open, it is legal to hit a solid first to make a stripe or vice-versa. The 8-ball can be used in the middle of a combination, but if it is the first ball contacted, it is a foul and no stripe or solid may be scored in favour of the shooter. The shooter loses his turn; the incoming player is awarded cue ball in hand; any balls pocketed remain pocketed; and the incoming player addresses the balls with the table still open. On an open table, all illegally pocketed balls remain pocketed.
NOTE: The table is always open immediately after the break shot.
11. CHOICE OF GROUP
The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls are pocketed from only one or both groups. The choice of group is determined only when a player legally pockets a called object ball after the break shot.
12. LEGAL SHOT
On all shots (except on the break and when the table is open), the shooter must hit one of his group of balls first and pocket a numbered ball, or cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a rail.
NOTE: It is permissible for the shooter to bank the cue ball off a rail before contacting the object ball; however, after contact with the object ball, an object ball must be pocketed, or the cue ball or any numbered ball must contact a rail. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.
13. SAFETY SHOT
For tactical reasons, a player may choose to pocket an obvious object ball and also discontinue his turn at the table by declaring "safety" in advance. A safety shot is defined as a legal shot. If a player fails to declare "safety" to his opponent and the called object ball is pocketed, the shooter is required to shoot again. Any balls pocketed on a safety shot remain pocketed.
A player is entitled to continue shooting until failing to legally pocket a ball of his group. After a player has legally pocketed all of his group of balls, he shoots to pocket the 8-ball.
15. FOUL PENALTY
In the event of a foul, opposing player gets cue ball in hand. This means that the player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table (does not have to be behind the head string except on opening break). This rule prevents a player from making intentional fouls which would put an opponent at a disadvantage. With "cue ball in hand," the player may use a hand or cue (including the tip) to position the cue ball. When placing the cue ball in position, any forward stroke motion contacting the cue ball will be a foul, if not a legal shot.
16. ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS
An object ball is considered to be illegally pocketed when that object ball is pocketed on the same shot a foul is committed, or the called ball did not go in the designated pocket. Illegally pocketed balls remain pocketed and are scored in favour of the shooter controlling that specific group of balls, solids or stripes. The penalty is loss of turn only.
17. OBJECT BALL JUMPED OFF THE TABLE
If any object ball is jumped off the table, it is a foul and loss of turn, unless it is the 8-ball, which is a loss of game. Any jumped object balls are not re-spotted.
18. PLAYING THE 8-BALL
When the 8-ball is the legal object ball, a scratch or foul is not loss of game if the 8-ball is not pocketed or jumped from the table. Incoming player has cue ball in hand.
19. LOSS OF GAME
A player loses the game by committing any of the following infractions:
A) Fouls when pocketing the 8-ball (exception: See Rule #9).
B) Pockets the 8-ball on the same stroke as the last of his group of balls.
C) Jumps the 8-ball off the table at any time.
D) Pockets the 8-ball in a pocket other than the one called.
E) Pockets the 8-ball when it is not the legal object ball.
20. COACHING (Applies to team play)
A player can ask for a coach any time during the game. A player can ONLY be coached by a member of his own team. No unsolicited coaching is acceptable.
NOTE: All infractions must be called by the opponent before another shot is taken, or else it will be deemed that no infraction occurred. THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN CALL A FOUL IS THE OPPONENT.