PPA Rules Guidance for Referees

To be used in conjunction with the PPA Rules Sheet

The referee should make the appropriate calls to assist the players and to inform spectators during play, they may advise players on the rules of the game, only if requested.

A referee SHOULD NOT inform any players they are about to commit a foul, remaining impartial at all times. If the impartiality of the referee is ever in question an agreement as to action on the evening should be made between the team Captains or by any PPA officials present. A full report should then be passed on to the PPA committee.

TERMINOLOGY

  • Break – Refers to the first shot of a frame.
  • Open table – A legal group of balls has not been established by either player therefore a player may play at any group of object balls. It would be a foul to play the black (following the break).
  • Free table – A player may play at any ball on the table, including the black, and pot any object ball, except black, unless on black (this only occurs following a foul).
  • Shot – Means striking the cue ball once. Visit – Refers to one turn at the table comprising of one or a series of shots.
  • Object ball – Ball other than the Cue-ball

LEGAL SHOT

To play a legal “Shot” a player must strike the cue ball and hit a legal “Object” ball and cause either of the following.

  1. Straight Line Shot – An object ball or any other legal ball AFTER the cue balls “initial” contact must be Potted OR any ball (it can be the object ball, black ball, cue ball or any other coloured ball) must hit a cushion.
  2. Off the Cushion Shot – If a player plays the cue ball off the cushion BEFORE “initial” contact then AFTER cue balls “initial” contact must be Potted OR any ball (it can be the object ball, black ball, cue ball or any other coloured ball) must hit a cushion.
  3. Escaping from a Snooker Shot – A player trying to escape from a snooker has only to contact the object ball with a shot played from any angle “off a cushion.” It is not necessary to Pot a bll OR cause any ball to hit a cushion AFTER contact.
    If a player can see the very edge of the object ball it is not a snooker and both 1. & 2. above must be applied.
    If the Referee does not consider the player to be snookered and a legal shot has not been played then a FOUL must be called.
    * NOTE : Players should ask for confirmation of a snooker before playing a Shot. If a player does not ask if snookered and plays an “Off the cushion shot” BUT the Shot is legal. NO FOUL has been committed.
  4. Touching a cushion Shot – If a player hits or drives an object ball which is “touching” a cushion into the same cushion or along it then AFTER the cue balls “initial” contact must be Potted OR any ball (it can be the object ball, black ball, cue ball or any other coloured ball) must hit a cushion.
    * If a Referee does not call “ball is touching a cushion” it is assumed NOT “to be touching.”

JUMP SHOT

Below are just two examples of a jump-shot (Rule 5D)

  • Cue ball rolling along the top of the rail and passing over a part of any ball on or near the cushion BEFORE rolling back on to the table to strike an object ball.
  • Cue-ball not being in contact with the bed of the table at the instant it first strikes an object ball.

PUSH SHOT

A Push shot is defined ‘where the cue tip remains in contact with the cue ball for more than the momentary time commensurate with a normal stroked shot, or the cue tip remains in contact with the cue ball once it has commenced its forward motion’.

Should the cue CLEARLY appear to remain in contact with the cue-ball after the cue ball has started to move forward, then a Push Shot should be called.

This foul is most likely to happen if a player is attempting to play towards a cushion or an object ball that is very close or touching the cue-ball. (Rule 5P)

ON THE FIRST OCCASION A BALL IS POTTED

Foul Shot – If on the first occasion that an object ball is potted, a foul is committed, either from a legal break or otherwise.

The award to the opponent of the open table over-rides the free-table; that is the first ball legally potted establishes the group for the player in control of the table at that time. (Rule 4G)

REPLACEMENT OF BALLS OFF THE TABLE

  • One object ball – ball to be replaced on, or as near as possible to the black spot between the black spot and the centre of the baulk line (Rule 5G).
  • More than one object ball excluding the black – Oncoming player to the choose order in which the balls are to be placed as for one object ball. Balls must NOT be touching. (Rule 5G).
  • More than one ball including the black – Black ball on, or as near as possible to the black spot, other balls – oncoming player to choose order. (Rule 5G).

BALLS MOVED BY OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE

Ball(s) moved by (other than the players involved) outside interference, including the referee, should be replaced as close as possible to their original positions by the referee (do not ask the players advice).

If this is not possible then the frame should be restarted, same player to break, no penalties.

FOLLOWING A FOUL

First Visit

  • Following a foul a player is entitled to the cue-ball in hand (Rule 6B).
  • Players are advised to ask the referee to retrieve the cue-ball, however they are entitled to pick up the cue ball themselves; they DO NOT have to ask the referees permission.
  • Picking up the ball in this manner is not a foul UNLESS the player commits a foul in doing so (e.g. moves another ball with his hand or the cue ball).
  • Should the player ask the referee to retrieve the cue-ball the referee SHOULD NOT place the cue-ball on the table but IN THE HAND of the on coming player.

Second Visit

  • The second visit starts when the cue tip makes contact with the cue ball after failing to pot on the first visit and when all the balls have come to rest. NOT when the referee calls second visit.
  • A ball that drops into a pocket in-between the Referee calling second visit and the tip making contact with the cue ball on the second visit, will deem to have been potted on the first visit (Rule 8C).

COACHING

All matches

  • No coaching is allowed at any time, this includes discussion of the game between spectators within earshot of the players. Referee’s action as above.
  • Despite the above recommendations if advice or coaching given clearly affects the outcome of the frame, the frame can be awarded after the first offence (e.g. Player about to pot black when a spectator informs them that a ball of their own group is left on the table.)
  • Referees are advised to monitor both players whilst they are involved in a game. If a player is in conversation with spectators, whilst their opponent is at the table, the referee is justified to request that the player ceases the conversation if he believes the player is receiving advice.

Doubles

  • The PPA allows discussion about a game, between partners in-between visits only, NOT in-between shots during a visit. A visit starts when the oncoming player touches the table in any way (Rule 8C), up until an opponent does likewise.
  • A referee should enforce this rule strictly if there are any balls over pockets that may drop into the pockets of their own accord.
  • During any discussion if the player who is about play the next shot touches the table, the discussion must stop. Should the player who is not about to play the next shot touch the table, discussion must stop.
  • Should a ball drop into a pocket prior to the correct player touching the table this would be deemed to have been potted out of turn and so a foul (Rule 5L).
  • If the wrong player does go to play a shot the referee SHOULD NOT warn players they are about to play out of turn, this would be coaching. Similarly if a spectator or the other partner warns the player this would also be coaching and should be treated as any other coaching offence.

RE-RACK

Only referees should make the decision on whether a game has reached a re-rack situation, they should not consult the players involved.

The referee can consult the rule sheet, a league approved referee if one is present or the team captains, but the final decision still lies with the referee. If a re-rack is decided upon, the referee is advised to rack the balls immediately to prevent arguments.

Legal Shot is impossible to play – Referees are advised that the rule that determines this re-rack situation is worded ‘a legal shot is impossible to play’. No allowance should be made for a player’s ability or lack of it.

The referee should not pick-up a ball to see if it will go through a tight gap. (Rule 9)

Stalemate – Should a game reach the situation where it appears that no shots are being played by either player that are likely to lead to the game being concluded.

The referee should call’ Please make progress’ to both players. The referee should NOT suggest a number of shots in which this needs to happen. If after this call the referee is convinced that the game has reached a stalemate situation, he should call a re-rack. (Rule 9).

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

PPA Pool Rule 1 states …players and teams should play 8 Ball Pool in the true spirit of the game and in a sportsmanlike manner. It should be clearly understood that the referee is the sole judge of what is fair and unfair play. The referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that these rules are observed.

The PPA has classified the below as Unsportsmanlike Conduct

  • Attempting to put a player off by calling out during their visit to the table
  • Excessive use of a mobile phone by a participating player · Movement or encouraging movement by others to put a player-off during play
  • Coaching (See Below) 

Should any of these occur during a match the referee should carry-out the following:

Players

  1. Issue a request that the behavior must stop
  2. Issue a final warning that the behavior must stop
  3. Award a foul to the affected opponent on the grounds of unsporting behavior
  4. Award the frame to the opponent

Spectators

  1. Issue a request to all concerned to show for respect to both players.
  2. Speak to the captains or the proprietor of the premises regarding the offending person(s).
  3. Ask that the offender(s) are removed from the table area.
  4. Declare the frame void and report the details to the PPA Committee.

REFEREE’S CALLING PROCEDURE

FOUL BREAK
‘Foul break’ – Opponent to re-start the frame with two visits.’

BLACK POTTED ON BREAK SHOT
‘Void break’ – Same player to re-start the frame, without penalty.

FOUL MADE ON A LEGAL BREAK
Cue-ball in-off — ‘Foul, one visit, free table, open table’
Any other foul — ‘Foul, two visits, free table, open table’

FOUL ON AN OPEN TABLE
‘Foul, two visits, free table, open table’

FOUL DURING AFTER GROUPS HAVE BEEN DECIDED
‘Foul, two Visits, free table, first shot’

CUE BALL IN-OFF OR ANY BALL FORCED OFF TABLE, AT ANY-TIME
Call Foul as appropriate Retrieve and wipe the ball before handing it to oncoming player/replacing it on the table.
DO NOT place the cue ball on the table.

FOLLOWING A FOUL, AND PLAYER POTS A BALL WITH FIRST SHOT
‘First visit’ — Continue to call ‘first visit’ until a legal shot is played where no pot is made,
‘Second visit’ — No further call is made until the next shot where no pot is made, then ‘Visit Over.’

BALL/S POTTED ON A LEGAL BREAK
If an Object Ball (or balls) is potted on the break the referee will advise both players of this fact by announcing “Ball (or balls) potted”.

RED AND YELLOW BALLS POTTED ON THE SAME SHOT, ON AN OPEN TABLE
‘Red and yellow balls potted, please nominate’
After nomination (Without further prompting) ‘Red/yellow nominated.’

RED OR YELLOW BALL POTTED ON AN OPEN TABLE
‘Red / yellow balls in play.’ — After this visit is over, to the oncoming player
‘Yellow / red balls to play’ — After this point no mention of colour must be made, unless directly asked by a player.

CUE BALL TOUCHING OWN GROUP (OR ANY IF ON A FREE TABLE)
‘Cue ball touching red / yellow / black.’

OBJECT BALL TOUCHING A CUSHION
“Ball is touching cushion”

SNOOKER
Call a “It’s a Snooker” as appropriate.

STALEMATE
‘Stalemate’ then explain the reason why IE
‘Lack of progress’,
‘Impossible to play own group.’ Re-rack the balls, and restart the game with the same player to break with no penalty.

LOSS OF FRAME
‘Loss of frame’ then explains the reason i.e. ‘Black and white potted’ ‘Black potted early.’

FRAME WINNING SHOT
‘Frame’, ‘……………. leads by ….. frames to ……’ or ‘Frame and match won by ………….’