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Using the rack to check a break ball
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AZslim
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Using the rack to check a break ball - 05-10-2018, 07:49 PM

Hello All,

I was playing straight pool with no referee and used the rack to hold over the table (I didn't touch the table or any balls) to check if a potential break ball would be in the rack or not. Some people told me this was illegal. I cannot find this rule in any rule book I have read.

Is it illegal?

Sorry if this is a FAQ, this is my first post here.

Thanks.
  
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ChrisinNC
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05-10-2018, 09:25 PM

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Originally Posted by AZslim View Post
Hello All,

I was playing straight pool with no referee and used the rack to hold over the table (I didn't touch the table or any balls) to check if a potential break ball would be in the rack or not. Some people told me this was illegal. I cannot find this rule in any rule book I have read.

Is it illegal?

Sorry if this is a FAQ, this is my first post here.

Thanks.
My guess is it is not a foul to do what you're describing, as long as you don't touch a ball in play when you are checking. I wouldn't even think it would be a foul if you actually set it on the table either. This is why I like to draw an outline of the outer edge of the rack on the table, so you'll know without having to check with the rack.
  
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AZslim
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05-10-2018, 10:02 PM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
My guess is it is not a foul to do what you're describing, as long as you don't touch a ball in play when you are checking. I wouldn't even think it would be a foul if you actually set it on the table either. This is why I like to draw an outline of the outer edge of the rack on the table, so you'll know without having to check with the rack.
Thanks, this is how I see it. The pool room owner doesn't want to draw the rack outlines on the tables so I think it's kind of important we get to do this.
  
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Bob Jewett
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05-10-2018, 10:21 PM

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Originally Posted by AZslim View Post
Thanks, this is how I see it. The pool room owner doesn't want to draw the rack outlines on the tables so I think it's kind of important we get to do this.
If there is a particular table that multiple people play 14.1 on, you might try asking him if you can mark it lightly with tailor's chalk as an experiment. You need only a light line to see in/out -- it can be hard to see from six feet away. In any case, it will be gone in a week if it's not re-marked.


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05-10-2018, 10:30 PM

It is not a foul to use the rack if there is no rack outline on the table.

You can even set the rack on the table. It's the only way to tell if a ball is in the rack or not in the rack.

But, if you touch a ball, technically that's a foul but, I won't call it unless the player checking the rack actually moves a ball.
  
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AZslim
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05-11-2018, 07:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
If there is a particular table that multiple people play 14.1 on, you might try asking him if you can mark it lightly with tailor's chalk as an experiment. You need only a light line to see in/out -- it can be hard to see from six feet away. In any case, it will be gone in a week if it's not re-marked.
That's a good idea...the owner is a good guy he may go for it.
  
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05-11-2018, 09:11 AM

I agree that it's not a foul, but it seems odd that while this is okay, it's not okay to use a ball to measure clearance from a cushion for example. Seems like the same kind of thing.
  
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05-11-2018, 09:17 AM

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Originally Posted by Saturated Fats View Post
I agree that it's not a foul, but it seems odd that while this is okay, it's not okay to use a ball to measure clearance from a cushion for example. Seems like the same kind of thing.
I don't see that as the same thing because you know where the rail is but unless the rack area is marked you don't know unless you use the rack to determine it.
  
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ChrisinNC
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05-11-2018, 09:41 AM

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Originally Posted by Saturated Fats View Post
I agree that it's not a foul, but it seems odd that while this is okay, it's not okay to use a ball to measure clearance from a cushion for example. Seems like the same kind of thing.
No, not at all the same thing. A piece of equipment can only be used for it's intended purpose, as defined in the rulebook. Using a ball or a piece of chalk as a measuring device is clearly a foul. Setting the rack down where it would be placed, to determine if a ball is in the racking area, if there is no line indicating where the rack is set, is not a foul.

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 05-11-2018 at 09:42 AM. Reason: edit
  
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05-11-2018, 10:50 AM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
No, not at all the same thing. A piece of equipment can only be used for it's intended purpose, as defined in the rulebook. Using a ball or a piece of chalk as a measuring device is clearly a foul. Setting the rack down where it would be placed, to determine if a ball is in the racking area, if there is no line indicating where the rack is set, is not a foul.
Not intending to split hairs but couldn't it also be argued that using the rack to "measure" if a ball is outside is not it's intended use. If you don't rack after using it for this purpose?

And no, I never call fouls for any of that unless the other guy plays hardball on me.

Another question relating to all the measuring: you sometimes see pros using their handspan to measure where to shoot a kick off the rail - i.e. doubling the distince OB to rail outside the rail. Wouldn't this technically be a foul?
  
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05-11-2018, 11:33 AM

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Originally Posted by Meucciplayer View Post
Not intending to split hairs but couldn't it also be argued that using the rack to "measure" if a ball is outside is not it's intended use. If you don't rack after using it for this purpose?

And no, I never call fouls for any of that unless the other guy plays hardball on me.

Another question relating to all the measuring: you sometimes see pros using their handspan to measure where to shoot a kick off the rail - i.e. doubling the distince OB to rail outside the rail. Wouldn't this technically be a foul?
Your hand is not a piece of pool equipment or an accessory, so using your hand to judge a distance or a gap is not a foul. A cue stick, if held in the hands, is the only piece of equipment allowed for judging gaps or distances for a rail first shot. This is addressed in the Official BCA General Rules of Pocket Billiards, under section 41, Devices.

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 05-11-2018 at 11:44 AM. Reason: edit
  
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05-11-2018, 11:56 AM

They way i rule this in my 14.1 League is that you can hold the rack above the rack area, but you are not allowed to place the rack on the table. Several times players have asked me to rack the balls for them in the end to resolve any disputes if it is that close.

Our tables have the outline on the tables, so the lines should be correct if they use the racks that were used to draw the outlines.

If a different rack is used during the game that is the rack that can only be used during racking. a player cannot switch to meet the outlines if it is that close.

-Steve


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05-12-2018, 02:33 AM

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Originally Posted by stevekur1 View Post

If a different rack is used during the game that is the rack that can only be used during racking. a player cannot switch to meet the outlines if it is that close.

-Steve
Would it then be an option to "hand rack" Corey Deuel-style if the rack outline itself is the only problem interfering with the OB? Or would a rack (the rack provided by the TD) be mandatory?
  
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Bob Jewett
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05-12-2018, 08:23 AM

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Originally Posted by Meucciplayer View Post
Would it then be an option to "hand rack" Corey Deuel-style if the rack outline itself is the only problem interfering with the OB? Or would a rack (the rack provided by the TD) be mandatory?
The outline and the actual racking are technically independent. For example, if the table has been "tapped" or "trained" and no rack is used, an outline must still be drawn and in/out is determined from that outline. In/out is not determined by interference with the racking process.

A slightly different example: measuring the break ball indicates that it is half a millimeter outside the triangle and the triangle is used to rack. The ball should be marked, removed from the racking area, and put back after the balls are racked.

Another example: if you are using a Sardo rack, which has a much larger outline than a traditional rack and also a very complicated outline, the outline should be marked with a traditional rack to avoid changing the game significantly.


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05-12-2018, 09:40 AM

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... an outline must still be drawn and in/out is determined from that outline. In/out is not determined by interference with the racking process.
Wow! I didn't see that coming.
  
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