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Question for Bob Jewett re "the most serious" foul
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Seth C.
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Question for Bob Jewett re "the most serious" foul - 05-23-2018, 07:58 AM

Bob -- This isn't a question pertaining to straight pool only, but I figured you'd be most likely to see it if I posted it in this forum.

The WPBA rules include Rule 6 (Fouls). The preamble reads: "The following actions are fouls at pool when included in the specific rules of the game being played. If several fouls occur on one shot, only the most serious one is enforced. If a foul is not called before the next shot begins, the foul is assumed not to have happened."

The fouls that are then listed are:

6.1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table
6.2 Wrong Ball First
6.3 No Rail after Contact
6.4 No Foot on Floor
6.5 Ball Driven off the Table
6.6 Touched Ball
6.7 Double Hit / Frozen Balls
6.8 Push Shot
6.9 Balls Still Moving
6.10 Bad Cue Ball Placement
6.11 Bad Play from Behind the Head String
6.12 Cue Stick on the Table
6.13 Playing out of Turn
6.14 Three Consecutive Fouls
6.15 Slow Play
6.16 Ball Rack Template Foul
6.17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Is the "only the most serious one is enforced" language just poorly worded and unnecessary? Is the word "serious," as used here (as part of the string of words reading "the most serious one"), intended to refer to "serious fouls," or not? When trying to answer these questions, I thought about 14.1 context, starting with consideration of what "serious fouls" exist in 14.1.

There are only two "serious fouls" in 14.1. They are listed in 4.11: 6.14 (Three Consecutive Fouls) and 6.17 (Unsportsmanlike Conduct). The rest of the above-listed fouls are "standard fouls" in 14.1. The penalty for the serious foul of three consecutive standard fouls is prescribed: 15 points and re-rack (which is a penalty that is distinct and in addition to the one point penalties for each of the three consecutive standard fouls). The penalty for the serious foul of unsportsmanlike conduct is in the referee's discretion.

It sure seems that the "only the most serious one is enforced" language can’t be a way of saying that if both a standard foul and a serious foul occur at the same time, only the serious foul is enforced, because we know that an individual, third consecutive standard foul is enforced (loss of one point) at the same time that the serious foul of three consecutive fouls is enforced (15 points and re-rack penalty).

In the case of there being two standard fouls occurring on the same shot, I don’t see how this “most serious” language comes into play. Take, for example, a shot where the player both unintentionally touches an OB with his shirt sleeve while stroking the CB, and unintentionally fails to execute a called safe shot because he doesn’t get a ball to a rail. Which is "the most serious" of these fouls? Does it matter? Isn't the player penalized just one point?

I may/must be missing something.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Seth
  
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05-23-2018, 06:04 PM

Obviously I am not Mr. Jewett. But, I will chime in anyway

"Serious Fouls" and "most serious" are two completely different things.

If two or more "standard fouls" happen on the same shot then any one of the two or more would be the "most serious". It's only a one point penalty.

If one or more "standard fouls" happen on the same shot and then the cue ball appears to be heading into a pocket and the player grabs it before going into the pocket or stops it with their cue (as just one example)... that's a "Serious Foul" as in Unsportsmanlike Conduct. That's a 15 point foul (and only that if there is no Ref) and the standard foul does not count in the score. The "Serious Foul" in this case would obviously also be the "most serious".

As for the three foul rule... simple: the 15 point penalty and re-rack applies because the third foul has already happened. The player is penalized additionally, after the third foul occurs, by rule. The the additional 15 point penalty does NOT happen on the actual shot, it is applied after. The "most serious" does not apply in this case.
  
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Bob Jewett
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05-23-2018, 06:54 PM

The foul section was written in a way that it applies to all games. The "most serious" part should probably be reworded. At 14.1 the classic case is when the player fails to get two object balls to the cushion on the opening break and also scratches. In that case only the two-point penalty is assessed.

At nine ball I suppose the clause applies if the player commits a usual foul, like a bad hit, and also has unsportsmanlike conduct. Even in that case it is not necessarily the UC that is penalized since the player might just get a warning for that and the bad hit gives up ball in hand.

It would be better if the rule read that the foul with the larger penalty is the one that is enforced. Or, that part could be left out and specific cases could be discussed in the game rules.


Bob Jewett
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05-26-2018, 04:34 PM

Thank you.
  
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