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View Full Version : what exactly is a 'safety'


Jack Flanagan
04-05-2005, 11:12 PM
the locals are always calling a 'safety' or in their own words, "a safe shot",,,I've only been playing pool again for a little over 2 years (after a 25 year layoff) and I had never heard the word 'safety' before in the '60's & '70's
when I originally began playing pool.

enlighten me please,,,'just the facts,jack'

AceHigh
04-05-2005, 11:33 PM
you call a 'safety' after you expel gas from your rear. this insures that your buddies won't punch you in the shoulder.

Jack Flanagan
04-05-2005, 11:40 PM
you call a 'safety' after you expel gas from your rear. this insures that your buddies won't punch you in the shoulder.

ROFLMAO,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I'll drink to that.

chalkisfree
04-06-2005, 12:15 AM
Simply put, a safety is a defensive shot. Whether or not a player has to announce his intentions to play safe depends on the game, I think (I almost exclusively play nine-ball, in which safeties don't require any warning).

SplicedPoints
04-06-2005, 02:47 AM
Safeties are shots of defensive nature. They're usually made with an itention to 1) not let your opponent make the next shot 2) cause problem for your opponent 3) Make your own shape easier 5) cause your opponent to foul 4) Combinations of the previous intents. Some leagues/rules require you to call a safety before hand.

mjantti
04-06-2005, 03:52 AM
In straight pool the safety is a common strategy. You can shoot the break ball in the pocket and call a safety and the ball won't count and will be spotted in the foot spot and it's your opponent's turn. Usually a "safety" is used when you don't want to nominate a ball even though you're going to pocket it, can be used in straight pool and 8-ball.

sjm
04-06-2005, 04:45 AM
the locals are always calling a 'safety' or in their own words, "a safe shot",,,I've only been playing pool again for a little over 2 years (after a 25 year layoff) and I had never heard the word 'safety' before in the '60's & '70's
when I originally began playing pool.

enlighten me please,,,'just the facts,jack'

The term "safety" was around even in the 60's and 70's, and was usually associated with straight pool. In a tournament situation, a player would call "safe", "safe shot" or "safety" to announce the intention to play a defensive shot, and thereby ensure that any ball pocketed would not be interpreted as played. After any such shot, the referee would announce "safety allowed" if the shot were legal or "foul" is the safety was not legal.

vagabond
04-06-2005, 06:53 AM
the locals are always calling a 'safety' or in their own words, "a safe shot",,,I've only been playing pool again for a little over 2 years (after a 25 year layoff) and I had never heard the word 'safety' before in the '60's & '70's
when I originally began playing pool.

enlighten me please,,,'just the facts,jack'

Hi Jack,
U know that.In 60s there was another name for it.Is n`t it time to feed the chickens and pick cotton?
Vagabond

CaptainJR
04-06-2005, 07:32 AM
Personally, I never miss any shots. As far as I'm concerned anytime I shoot and a ball doesn't drop into a pocket, I played a safty. :D

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 07:50 AM
the locals are always calling a 'safety' or in their own words, "a safe shot",,,I've only been playing pool again for a little over 2 years (after a 25 year layoff) and I had never heard the word 'safety' before in the '60's & '70's
when I originally began playing pool.

enlighten me please,,,'just the facts,jack'


Sorry Jack but with all respect I have heard the term safe used from when I was 9 I would watch Basil Minicke and my uncle Cisero shoot and the term was used all the time and this was in 1957 ! When I started playing 8 in the early 60's we called safe when we were not shooting a called shot ! Perhaps this was just something analogous to New York shooters I do not know but it was common there! ;)

Jude Rosenstock
04-06-2005, 08:52 AM
the locals are always calling a 'safety' or in their own words, "a safe shot",,,I've only been playing pool again for a little over 2 years (after a 25 year layoff) and I had never heard the word 'safety' before in the '60's & '70's
when I originally began playing pool.

enlighten me please,,,'just the facts,jack'


Ok, if you're telling me that you didn't hear about the term "safety" until recently, could you please introduce me to your buddies from the 60's & 70's?

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 08:55 AM
Ok, if you're telling me that you didn't hear about the term "safety" until recently, could you please introduce me to your buddies from the 60's & 70's?


well jude they probably aren't around any more since they did not know about safes! :D

Jack Flanagan
04-06-2005, 09:32 AM
where are the rules 'Gurus' when you need them,,,???

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 09:38 AM
where are the rules 'Gurus' when you need them,,,???


:D :D :D :D :D

Billy_Bob
04-06-2005, 10:52 AM
Let's see...

There is a "safety" or "defensive shot" and then there is a "shot safety".

Basically when you do not have a good or easy shot, you can leave the cue ball in a nasty spot so your opponent does not have an easy shot. Or you can knock a ball or several balls into a situation where they are more difficult to play or they wind up blocking the path of the cue ball, so your opponent does not have an easy shot.

You are leaving your opponent with no shot or only a difficult shot. You are hoping that after your opponent shoots, he will give you an easy shot.

With some games/rules, you need to first hit your object ball or the proper object ball, then drive a ball to the rail. Not doing this entitles your opponent to ball-in-hand. This means your opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the table.

So if you shoot a shot which leaves the cue ball in a very nasty spot - say hidden behind a ball, which he can not legally hit, then your opponent does not shoot a legal shot, this gives you ball-in-hand and a big advantage.

Bar pool rules are not typically ball-in-hand BTW.

With a shot safety, you might not call safety, but will attempt to make a difficult shot, and at the same time you will leave the cue ball in a good spot for your next shot, but a nasty spot for your opponent. So if you manage to pocket your ball, you can continue playing. But if your ball does not go into the pocket, your opponent will not have an easy shot or will have no shot at all.

Also if you call a safety, you can not shoot after your shot even if you pocket a ball. In other words, your opponent *must* shoot next after you call a safety. You can use this to advantage by calling a safety, shooting in one of your balls and at the same time leaving the cue ball in a nasty spot. Then your opponent misses his shot and gives you ball-in-hand. Next you can shoot another shot, first calling safety, and snooker him again. Then get ball-in-hand again. Safeties can go a long way toward helping you win a game.

There are some money tournaments which do not allow safeties. The better players will make it look like they are trying to pocket a ball, then will be way off, and say "how did I ever miss by that much?". "Oh my!" Then you will notice that the cue ball is in a nasty spot or the only shot you have is to shoot in one of your balls which is blocking his ball(s). It was a safety, but can pass as an attempted shot. When I play these guys, I accidentially miss my shots and seem to knock my balls into a position which blocks their balls. Again, not a safety :D I just missed my shot is all! These guys like to dish it out, but can't take it. They get really ticked if you play the same way they do. (If my opponent is not playing any safeties in these tournaments, then I don't either.)

Also there is an "intentional foul". Say your opponent snookers you and you are not likely to be able to make a legal (good) hit. Well you are going to give him ball-in-hand anyway, so might as well do as much damage as possible before giving him ball-in-hand. Shoot one of his balls into a nasty spot or cluster, or shoot the 8/9 ball into a nasty spot.

Jude Rosenstock
04-06-2005, 10:57 AM
Let's see...

There is a "safety" or "defensive shot" and then there is a "shot safety".

Basically when you do not have a good or easy shot, you can leave the cue ball in a nasty spot so your opponent does not have an easy shot. Or you can knock a ball or several balls into a situation where they are more difficult to play or they wind up blocking the path of the cue ball, so your opponent does not have an easy shot.

You are leaving your opponent with no shot or only a difficult shot. You are hoping that after your opponent shoots, he will give you an easy shot.

With some games/rules, you need to first hit your object ball or the proper object ball, then drive a ball to the rail. Not doing this entitles your opponent to ball-in-hand. This means your opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the table.

So if you shoot a shot which leaves the cue ball in a very nasty spot - say hidden behind a ball, which he can not legally hit, then your opponent does not shoot a legal shot, this gives you ball-in-hand and a big advantage.

Bar pool rules are not typically ball-in-hand BTW.

With a shot safety, you might not call safety, but will attempt to make a difficult shot, and at the same time you will leave the cue ball in a good spot for your next shot, but a nasty spot for your opponent. So if you manage to pocket your ball, you can continue playing. But if your ball does not go into the pocket, your opponent will not have an easy shot or will have no shot at all.

Also if you call a safety, you can not shoot after your shot even if you pocket a ball. In other words, your opponent *must* shoot next after you call a safety. You can use this to advantage by calling a safety, shooting in one of your balls and at the same time leaving the cue ball in a nasty spot. Then your opponent misses his shot and gives you ball-in-hand. Next you can shoot another shot, first calling safety, and snooker him again. Then get ball-in-hand again. Safeties can go a long way toward helping you win a game.

There are some money tournaments which do not allow safeties. The better players will make it look like they are trying to pocket a ball, then will be way off, and say "how did I ever miss by that much?". "Oh my!" Then you will notice that the cue ball is in a nasty spot or the only shot you have is to shoot in one of your balls which is blocking his ball(s). It was a safety, but can pass as an attempted shot. When I play these guys, I accidentially miss my shots and seem to knock my balls into a position which blocks their balls. Again, not a safety :D I just missed my shot is all! These guys like to dish it out, but can't take it. They get really ticked if you play the same way they do. (If my opponent is not playing any safeties in these tournaments, then I don't either.)

Also there is an "intentional foul". Say your opponent snookers you and you are not likely to be able to make a legal (good) hit. Well you are going to give him ball-in-hand anyway, so might as well do as much damage as possible before giving him ball-in-hand. Shoot one of his balls into a nasty spot or cluster, or shoot the 8/9 ball into a nasty spot.



Wow, that's as wordy as it gets!

A safety is simply a deliberate play that does not have an offensive intent and is meant to prevent your opponent from winning. A "two-way" shot is simply a safety that allows the shooter to continue his inning if he succeeds in pocketing the ball but leaves nothing if he doesn't.

Jack Flanagan
04-06-2005, 11:53 AM
I still see no purpose in calling a safety,,,,if you miss; you still miss,,,why announce to the world that you can't make a ball ?,,,the idiots around here believe if they call a safety and accidently pocket the 8 ball, they didn't lose and the 8 is spotted and the game goes on........................?

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 12:06 PM
I still see no purpose in calling a safety,,,,if you miss; you still miss,,,why announce to the world that you can't make a ball ?,,,the idiots around here believe if they call a safety and accidently pocket the 8 ball, they didn't lose and the 8 is spotted and the game goes on........................?

The idea of a safety is not to cover a miss! As stated earlier it began in straight pool to notify your opponent that you had no intention of shooting / pocketing a ball! the strategy therefore was 1, since pool then was played by gentlemans rules :D you were being informative and alerting him to watch for a good hit! I.E. a ball being driven to the rail ! 2, if you made a ball you were alerting him that in that case instead of it counting it came back up! This was neccesary and also useful strategy ! Nowadays it is used in 8 and other BIH games for similar reasons :cool:

Jack Flanagan
04-06-2005, 12:30 PM
I guess what I'm searching for is in what rule book and where in that book is a safety/safe shot described and allowed,,,(not talking about "Dew Drop Inn" house rules)

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 12:34 PM
I still see no purpose in calling a safety,,,,if you miss; you still miss,,,why announce to the world that you can't make a ball ?,,,the idiots around here believe if they call a safety and accidently pocket the 8 ball, they didn't lose and the 8 is spotted and the game goes on........................?


What that rule is called is a SHAMMY! :D, not a safety ! LOL! since it is a SHAM of the highest order! There is no rule saving you from a loss when calling a safe in 8 if the 8 drops after calling it ! That is taking safeties to a level they were never intended to go! IMO! :D

DaveK
04-06-2005, 12:38 PM
I still see no purpose in calling a safety,,,,if you miss; you still miss,,,why announce to the world that you can't make a ball ?,,,the idiots around here believe if they call a safety and accidently pocket the 8 ball, they didn't lose and the 8 is spotted and the game goes on........................?

If the game is 8 Ball, yes, they are idiots. If you play a defensive shot that includes potting one of your own balls (in 8 ball), you need to call 'safety' or your opponent may make you shoot again believing that you simply potted on of your balls. You are correct in saying it's usless to call 'safety' when you play a defensive shot that doesn't include potting your own ball. But it can be critical to let your opponent know if you play safe by potting a ball.

Dave, who thinks that sacrificing one of your balls for a safety is not good practice, you might need that ball later in the game ...

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 12:38 PM
the locals are always calling a 'safety' or in their own words, "a safe shot",,,I've only been playing pool again for a little over 2 years (after a 25 year layoff) and I had never heard the word 'safety' before in the '60's & '70's
when I originally began playing pool.

enlighten me please,,,'just the facts,jack'


From the WORLD POOL - BILLIARDS ASSOCIATION WEBSITE .....

6.7 RULES OF PLAY

1. A legally pocketed ball entitles a shooter to continue at the table until he fails to legally pocket a called ball on a shot. A player may shoot any ball, but before the shot, must designate the called ball and called pocket. Details such as kisses, caroms, combinations, or cushions (all of which are legal) need not be indicated. Any additionally pocketed ball(s) on a legal stroke is scored as one point for the shooter.

2. On all shots, a player must cause the cue ball to contact an object ball and then (1) pocket a numbered ball, or (2) cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a cushion. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul. When an object ball is not frozen to a cushion, but is within a ball's width of a cushion (referee to determine by measurement if necessary), a player is permitted only two consecutive legal safeties on that ball using only the near rail. If such safety play is employed, that object ball is then considered frozen to the rail on the player's next inning. The General Rules of Pocket Billiards "Frozen Balls" requirements apply if the player chooses to make the first cue ball contact with that object ball on the third shot. (Note: If a player has committed a foul on the shot immediately before or the shot immediately after playing this ball, then he must immediately meet the requirements of the "Frozen Ball" rule when playing this object ball. Also, if he has committed two consecutive fouls, he must immediately meet the requirements of the Frozen Ball rule when playing this object ball. If such player fails to meet the requirements of the Frozen Ball rule, he is considered to have committed a third successive foul and the appropriate point penalty is assessed as well as one point for each of the previous fouls. All 15 balls are then reracked and the player committing the infraction is required to break, as at the beginning of the game.)

3. When the 14th ball of a rack is pocketed, play stops momentarily with the 15th ball remaining in position on the table; the 14 pocketed balls are then racked (with the space at the foot spot vacant in the triangle). Player then continues, normally pocketing the 15th (or "break" ball) in such manner as to have the cue ball carom into the rack and spread the balls to facilitate the continuance of his run. However, player is not compelled to shoot the 15th ball; he may shoot any ball he desires. See Diagram below if the 15th ball is pocketed on the same stroke as the 14th ball.

15th ball lies / Cue ball lies In the Rack Not in the Rack and not on the Head Spot* On The Head Spot*
In the Rack 15th ball: foot spot
Cue Ball: in kitchen 15th ball: head spot
Cue Ball: in position 15th ball: center spot
Cue Ball: in position
Pocketed 15th ball: foot spot
Cue Ball: in kitchen 15th ball: foot spot
Cue Ball: in position 15th ball: foot spot
Cue Ball: in position
Behind Head String, but not on the Head Spot 15th ball: in position
Cue Ball: head spot
Not behind Head String, and not in the Rack 15th ball: in position
Cue Ball: in kitchen
On the Head Spot 15th ball: in position
Cue Ball: center spot


*On the spot means to interfere with spotting a ball on the spot.
:D4. A player may call a safety rather than an object ball (for defensive purposes). Safety play is legal, but must comply with all applicable rules. The player's inning ends when a safety is played, and pocketed balls are not scored. Any object ball pocketed on a called safety is spotted.

5. A player may not catch, touch, or in any way interfere with a ball as it travels toward a pocket or the rack area on a shot (to include catching a ball as it enters a pocket by having a hand in the pocket). Doing so is a special "deliberate foul" and is penalized one point for the foul and an additional 15 point penalty, for a total of 16 points. The incoming player then has choice of (1) accepting the table in position with the cue ball in hand behind the head string, or (2) having all 15 balls reracked and requiring the offending player to shoot under the requirements of the opening break.

6. If the 15th (unpocketed) ball of a rack and/or the cue ball interferes with the triangle being lowered straight down into position for racking, refer to the diagram, which indicates the proper manner of relocating balls. (The gray boxes are those situations in which there is no interference, both balls remain in position.)

7. When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the head string (as after a scratch) and all object balls are behind the head string, the object ball nearest the head string may be spotted upon request. If two or more balls are an equal distance from the head string, the player may designate which of the equidistant balls is to be spotted.
:D :D :D

MrLucky
04-06-2005, 12:45 PM
link to site....http://www.wpa-pool.com/index.asp?content=rules_141 :cool:
As I said in my post this began with Straight Pool and has been carried over by some to 8 and other games (I do it myself to let my opponent know what I am doing when attempting a safe shot so they will be aware to watch it for a foul):D ! but it by no means saves a player from losing a eight ball game by scratching the 8 after it is called ! he still loses!!! :)

randyg
04-06-2005, 03:30 PM
Safety=Ball In Hand

Qnut
04-06-2005, 03:32 PM
I guess what I'm searching for is in what rule book and where in that book is a safety/safe shot described and allowed,,,(not talking about "Dew Drop Inn" house rules)

That would depend on whose rules you are going by. Is this general bar play? Tourney play of some sort? Some type of sanctioned league?

In most of the bars I have played in, playing safetys (ie intentionally missing a shot and leaving your opponant hard) tends to be frowned on (and doing so to the wrong person may get you more trouble than you want).

I would think most tourneys would allow them, although I have played in some where they weren't allowed. In those formats you were expected to make a legitimate attempt to pocket a ball, even if the shot were something ridiculous. I don't like this format since playing a shot like that usually winds up aiding your opponant. It goes against the object of the game--winning.

I play TAP 8 ball, and safetys are allowed. You can call them if you wish, although most of the time it will be obvious. It does aid the scorekeeper by preventing the question before it's asked. In TAP you can also call a safety before a shot and go on to make one of your own balls. Since you called a safety, the shot goes over to your opponant even though you made your shot. In certain situations, this may be beneficial.

I also play APA 8 ball, which allows safetys. Again, you can announce them if you wish, but it's not required. Unlike TAP though, you can't make a shot and call a safety. Since the APA plays "slop," it doesn't matter where you pocket a ball, you keep shooting.

In my experience, there is no certain set of rules which everyone abides by.

~Chris

coolpoolfool
04-07-2005, 06:40 AM
I'm glad this thread was started, because I've never seen anyone play safeties except in pro matches.