# Shot Clock Idea

#### JeremiahGage

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In chess tournaments, you have a given amount of time for the entire game, instead of per shot. After you make your move, you hit your clock and your opponent's time starts. If you run out of time, you lose.

I wonder if this type of shot clock could be used for reducing slow play, without interfering for the need to take more time on some shots.

For example, if each game was 5 minutes, then you could spend 4 minutes on one shot, as long as all your other shots were taken within a minute total.

Do you think pool/billiards would be improved by using this type of shot clock?
What are any potential downsides and/or side effects?

Silver Member

#### number13cfan

##### Banned
In 3 Cushion around the World, they've been using a 'shot clock' for many years now. Seems to work just fine, time allowed for each player to complete their inning is 40 seconds, with two 40 second extensions allowed per match, to 40 or 50 points.

If a player exceeds his time limit at the table, the opposing player is provided the opening shot, ' The Break Shot' of the game.

Number13cfan

#### JeremiahGage

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In 3 Cushion around the World, they've been using a 'shot clock' for many years now. Seems to work just fine, time allowed for each player to complete their inning is 40 seconds, with two 40 second extensions allowed per match, to 40 or 50 points.

If a player exceeds his time limit at the table, the opposing player is provided the opening shot, ' The Break Shot' of the game.

Number13cfan

That's a good point. I suppose the chess shot clock I described would apply better to short games like 8-ball, 9-ball, and 10-ball. Although it would be interesting to see it used for one pocket, but with a much longer time limit.

Also, there's a feature on digital chess clocks to allow a specified amount of time before the clock starts running. For example, you could have 15 seconds on each shot before you start using any of your time on the clock.

#### Donny Lutz

##### Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
shot clock

In chess tournaments, you have a given amount of time for the entire game, instead of per shot. After you make your move, you hit your clock and your opponent's time starts. If you run out of time, you lose.

I wonder if this type of shot clock could be used for reducing slow play, without interfering for the need to take more time on some shots.

For example, if each game was 5 minutes, then you could spend 4 minutes on one shot, as long as all your other shots were taken within a minute total.

Do you think pool/billiards would be improved by using this type of shot clock?
What are any potential downsides and/or side effects?

One of the best games of 8-ball I ever played took almost an hour. Nineteen safeties! And believe it or not we got an ovation from the crowd!

A time limit on a game wouldn't work very well, but a time limit on each shot does work pretty well. No shot requires four minutes! A 30 second time clock, with a 30 second extension for unusual situations is plenty of time.

#### ctyhntr

##### RIP Kelly
Silver Member
If you're running a double elimination tournament, having a game clock could reduce bottleneck on the 1 loss side. All too often I've seen tournaments held up because of a single slow match.

#### DogsPlayingPool

Silver Member
One of the best games of 8-ball I ever played took almost an hour. Nineteen safeties! And believe it or not we got an ovation from the crowd!

A time limit on a game wouldn't work very well, but a time limit on each shot does work pretty well. No shot requires four minutes! A 30 second time clock, with a 30 second extension for unusual situations is plenty of time.

Good points, and illustrates one of the issues with a chess clock in one rack games. And One Pocket probably has many of the issues of using a chess clock as straight pool does.

There are numerous problems with using a chess clock for straight pool.

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#### Donny Lutz

##### Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
clock

If you're running a double elimination tournament, having a game clock could reduce bottleneck on the 1 loss side. All too often I've seen tournaments held up because of a single slow match.

A game clock and a match clock are two very different things.

Match clocks have been used in some tournaments for more than a century. When the clock runs out, the game or the inning in progress finishes and whoever is ahead in the match wins.

A time limit on a game results in lots of unfinished games. What do you do when that happens? It would make a mess of most leagues. (Yes, I know, some are a mess anyway!)

#### Shannon.spronk

Silver Member
I don't think something like a chess clock would work too well. The longest game I have played was to get my team into the finals of a big tournament. It was winner wins. That was a very long game. Probably at least 45 minutes. There were an incredible number of safeties. I am not a slow player and neither was the other guy. My team will tell you it is one of the best games they have ever seen and also the best game that I have ever played.

#### Bella Don't Cry

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If it wasn't for the security aspect. Mobile phones could be used, as most people have a smart phone of some kind which all have a count down / timer installed. :thumbup:

Would be noisy tho and players on opposite tables may well get distracted by other timing devices going off..?

Still a nice idea tho!
:thumbup:

#### JeremiahGage

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think the best solution would be to use the setting where you get time for each shot before your total game time starts running out. This way, you could still play a lot of shots in a single game without running out your game time.

And there would be no noise because it is just a visual indicator. It would be up to your opponent to call the game when your time runs out.

#### SLIM

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i think the best solution would be to use the setting where you get time for each shot before your total game time starts running out. This way, you could still play a lot of shots in a single game without running out your game time.

And there would be no noise because it is just a visual indicator. It would be up to your opponent to call the game when your time runs out.

why would you want to set a time limit on the game?
Simply use a shot clock on players that are too slow.

Slim

#### JeremiahGage

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
why would you want to set a time limit on the game?
Simply use a shot clock on players that are too slow.

Slim

Having a standardized shot clock would put everyone on an equal playing field, if implemented fairly, and reduce the controversy around the amount of time spent playing. It would be eliminate the sticky situations of "do I call a ref or not" and also be better for spectators. Many tournaments are delayed due to a match or two going way too long.

I've had the shot clock put on me as a sharking technique multiple times, and I've also had an opponent get very upset when I asked for a shot clock to be put on him.

The tricky part is, what is a fair solution that does not impede the spirit of the sport?

#### Hits 'em Hard

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Having a standardized shot clock would put everyone on an equal playing field, if implemented fairly, and reduce the controversy around the amount of time spent playing. It would be eliminate the sticky situations of "do I call a ref or not" and also be better for spectators. Many tournaments are delayed due to a match or two going way too long.

I've had the shot clock put on me as a sharking technique multiple times, and I've also had an opponent get very upset when I asked for a shot clock to be put on him.

The tricky part is, what is a fair solution that does not impede the spirit of the sport?

It needs to be explained that slow shooting is not acceptable. Reinforce etiquette. And if people have a problem with it, they can be asked to leave and not compete. Otherwise you just can't proclaim all slow matches are due to slow players. Every time I find myself in a safety battle, someone always mentions rules that indicate X number of shots without gaining position advantage. Or stalemate and replay the rack. I find both of those rules insulting to advanced players.

The only fair way to ensure matches don't take too long is a minute shot clock with no extensions allowed and no timeouts during a game. At that point a tournament director can find out who or where slow play is at. Once identified, the players involved in the slow play can be given warnings or removed from play. Every other possible option penalizes players regardless of what is truly happening in the game.

#### Joe T

##### New member
I can see it being used and it probably will be in the near future. I've always liked the idea, just haven't taken the time to fine tuned it with the penalties and such. I see it for regional and pro tournaments that have matches that are suppose to end within 2-3hrs. In a race to 9 both players would get 60-90 minutes on their game clocks and it runs while they're at the table. If your clock expires you lose a game and maybe another game for every 5 or 10 minutes you go over. This way a player could play as slow as they like or take as many breaks as they like but would be held accountable? Maybe I'll try it next week for our finals at Derby? Or maybe I'll just test it on the sidelines as I commentate on a match? It'll happen, just don't know when.

#### book collector

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Although I believe this is a great idea , I can't imagine it working.
I play almost 1 pocket exclusively and out of the last 1000 matches , only about 20 of the opponents would gather their balls on a return table after their inning.
I either had to tell them to , do it myself , or argue with them as to who had how many balls at the end of my inning.
For some reason the majority of them usually said all balls were theirs except 1!
I also have played speed chess over the board , it is difficult to remember the clock , even when it is right there in front of you, and you know that, if you forget even 1 time in a match , you can''t win.

#### Ratta

##### Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
One of the best games of 8-ball I ever played took almost an hour. Nineteen safeties! And believe it or not we got an ovation from the crowd!

A time limit on a game wouldn't work very well, but a time limit on each shot does work pretty well. No shot requires four minutes! A 30 second time clock, with a 30 second extension for unusual situations is plenty of time.

Tap Tap Tap !!!

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
In chess tournaments, you have a given amount of time for the entire game, instead of per shot. After you make your move, you hit your clock and your opponent's time starts. If you run out of time, you lose....
I've written here and in Billiards Digest about using chess clocks for pool. I've used them in 14.1 league matches. I think I posted in the 14.1 forum my proposed guidelines for use.

Depending on what you're playing, loss of game/match is too much of a penalty. If we are playing 14.1 and start with 30 seconds per ball (50 minutes to 100 points, plus 10 minutes for racking) and I run out of time at 99 and my opponent has only 10 seconds left on his clock and a pitiful total of 20 points, it would be a travesty and disgrace for him to win.

So, the penalty should be a number of points or games depending on how much time the other player has left on his clock. If I run out of time with 90 points and my opponent has 70 points but 25 minutes left, he has 50 points worth of time and so would win.

For games like nine ball and one pocket you can either have a time for each game or total time for the match.

Modern chess clocks have a feature so that you can set up a grace period at the start of each inning where the clock is not running. In league, that's set to 20 seconds. If you are in a safety battle and can get your safes off within 20 seconds, no time is charged to you.

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think that if you plan to have a clock in a match, the chess clock has a huge advantage over the single-shot-clock. Good help is hard to find.

#### JeremiahGage

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think that if you plan to have a clock in a match, the chess clock has a huge advantage over the single-shot-clock. Good help is hard to find.

I agree that the clock would need to be tailored for the game, and would almost certainly need the grace period.

Are you aware of any leagues or tournaments that use a chess clock? It would be interesting to at test the idea, then weigh the costs and benefits. Joe Tucker mentioned looking into it for American Rotation.