Straight pool rules question, just for fun

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Here’s one for all you straight pool aficionados, two end of rack scenarios.

1 at the end of rack, the cue lies on the head spot and the 15th ball lies in the rack.

2 at end of rack 15th ball lies on the head spot, cue lies in the rack, What would say is the correct ruling on placement in these two situations?

These are so rare that they are almost never discussed. I had to dig deep into the BCA rule book to find answers,

Good Luck, as I said just for fun
 
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Bob Jewett

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... 2 at end of rack 15th ball lies on the head spot, cue lies in the rack ...
You don't give quite enough information to make a ruling. Is the 15th ball exactly on the head spot? (Which it could be if it had been spotted at the end of the previous rack.)
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
You don't give quite enough information to make a ruling. Is the 15th ball exactly on the head spot? (Which it could be if it had been spotted at the end of the previous rack.)
Yes 15th ball is exactly on the head spot naturally so that another ball could not be spotted there.
 

cjr3559

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Is this that rare situation where the center spot is used?
Yes from what I found in these diagrams. Sorry the bottoms are cut off, but you get the picture(s)

. 440B1ACD-210A-47A7-8618-F8C6DCB8A8B6.jpegE78A5EC4-B576-46F2-8DFF-29E125A57AA6.jpeg
 

L.S. Dennis

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I’ll check in tomorrow with the exact rulings on these two scenarios tomorrow. I’m surprised more people didn’t take a crack at this. One little hint, be sure to add a center spot to your table next time is gets recovered!
 

Bob Jewett

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Yes 15th ball is exactly on the head spot naturally so that another ball could not be spotted there.
In that case the cue ball is moved from the rack area to in-hand behind the line and the 15th ball is playable.
 

L.S. Dennis

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In that case the cue ball is moved from the rack area to in-hand behind the line and the 15th ball is playable.
Bob according to the BCA rule book which i have in front of me, if at the end of the rack the cue ball lies in the rack, and the 15th ball is resting on the head spot (the) ‘’15th in position (and playable) and the cue ball to center spot”

The the same is true conversely if the cue ball is lies on the head spot and the 15th ball lies in the rack it goes the center spot and the cue remains in position and playable from the head spot.

Page 41 in the BCA rule book has a chart with every possible scenario for end of rack situations.
 
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Bob Jewett

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Bob according to the BCA rule book which i have in front of me, if at the end of the rack the cue ball lies in the rack, and the 15th ball is resting on the head spot (the) ‘’15th in position (and playable) and the cue ball to center spot”

The the same is true conversely if the cue ball is lies on the head spot and the 15th ball lies in the rack it goes the center spot and the cue remains in position and playable from the head spot.

Page 41 in the BCA rule book has a chart with every possible scenario for end of rack situations.
Exactly on the line is considered not in the kitchen. An object ball exactly on the line is playable with ball in hand. Practically, the only way a ball will be exactly on the line is if it was spotted on the head spot. Here is the current applicable rule, which may have been changed/clarified in 2008:

When the shooter has the cue ball in hand behind the head string and all the legal object balls​
are behind the head string, he may request the legal object ball nearest the head string to be​
spotted. If two or more balls are equal distance from the head string, the shooter may​
designate which of the equidistant balls is to be spotted. An object ball that rests exactly on
the head string is playable.

The current official rules of pool are available on the WPA website. The BCA no longer directly controls the rules. Rulebooks printed prior to 2008 should be retired from use. There were some relatively minor changes in 2016. The safest source for current rules is the website.
 

L.S. Dennis

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Bob, this BCA rule book is the 2014 edition, so well beyond the 2008 in your reference. Click on the image and it should expand and become more legible. I agree with what you cited in your above post but that is not germane to these two particular situations, but who knows I’ve been wrong before. I tend to believe that this arcane BCA rule is probably still in effect. But like I said I’ve been wrong before…..
 

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Bob Jewett

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Bob, this BCA rule book is the 2014 edition, so well beyond the 2008 in your reference. Click on the image and it should expand and become more legible. I agree with what you cited in your above post but that is not germane to these two particular situations, but who knows I’ve been wrong before. I tend to believe that this arcane BCA rule is probably still in effect. But like I said I’ve been wrong before…..
It's not that you're wrong, exactly. The table is wrong. Go by the text. Here is the text that the table should match. It does not.

a) If the fifteenth ball was pocketed on the shot that scored the fourteenth ball, all fifteen​
balls are re-racked.​
(b) If both balls interfere, all fifteen balls are re-racked and the cue ball is in hand behind the​
head string.​
(c) If only the object ball interferes, it is placed on the head spot or the center spot if the cue​
ball blocks the head spot.​
(d) If only the cue ball interferes, then it is placed as follows: if the object ball is in front of or
on the head string, the cue ball is in hand behind the head string; if the object ball is behind
the head string, the cue ball is spotted on the head spot, or on the center spot if the head spot is
blocked.
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
It's not that you're wrong, exactly. The table is wrong. Go by the text. Here is the text that the table should match. It does not.

a) If the fifteenth ball was pocketed on the shot that scored the fourteenth ball, all fifteen​
balls are re-racked.​
(b) If both balls interfere, all fifteen balls are re-racked and the cue ball is in hand behind the​
head string.​
(c) If only the object ball interferes, it is placed on the head spot or the center spot if the cue​
ball blocks the head spot.​
(d) If only the cue ball interferes, then it is placed as follows: if the object ball is in front of or
on the head string, the cue ball is in hand behind the head string; if the object ball is behind
the head string, the cue ball is spotted on the head spot, or on the center spot if the head spot is
blocked.
Bob, I just went to the WPA web site and found the same thing you did. If you read sec (c) and section (d) carefully you‘ll see that it corroborates precisely to what I said, in fact it uses the exact same chart that the BCA used.

We’re not talking about any ball in hand situation behind the head string in these two end of rack situations. The center spot does come into play in these two very unusual situations.
 

Bob Jewett

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I was referring to the case where the cue ball is in the rack and the object ball is exactly on the head string (or spot). That is covered by the text I bolded. And that is the case where the table does not match the text.
 

L.S. Dennis

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I was referring to the case where the cue ball is in the rack and the object ball is exactly on the head string (or spot). That is covered by the text I bolded. And that is the case where the table does not match the text.
T
I was referring to the case where the cue ball is in the rack and the object ball is exactly on the head string (or spot). That is covered by the text I bolded. And that is the case where the table does not match the text.
The head string and the head spot make a difference in the case that I’ve presented and that is indicated (c) and (d) but we‘ll have to agree to disagree on how we read this. To me the table does match the text but we’ll let the people in the forum decide for themselves on this one. Good back and forth on this, As always your input is always apprecieted,
 

Bob Jewett

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The head string and the head spot make a difference in the case that I’ve presented and that is indicated (c) and (d) but we‘ll have to agree to disagree on how we read this. To me the table does match the text but we’ll let the people in the forum decide for themselves on this one. Good back and forth on this, As always your input is always appreciated,
Since I was the person who actually wrote the text of the WPA rule, I have a pretty good idea of the intent.
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Since I was the person who actually wrote the text of the WPA rule, I have a pretty good idea of the intent.
Interesting, since these two end of rack situations are never likely to occur it’s probably something we’ll never have to worry about, it may be a good time to put this thing to rest.in any case it might be a good idea to change the wording to reflect your exact intention, since the current wording seems to follow the BCA offerings., As always your input is always appreciated.
 
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DynoDan

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I think my decision to not install a ‘center spot’ was correct. Just like with the kitchen string, an imaginary point really isn’t that hard to calculate/sight. The need is likely less probable than successfully drawing 3 cards to fill a royal flush.
 

Bob Jewett

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I think my decision to not install a ‘center spot’ was correct. Just like with the kitchen string, an imaginary point really isn’t that hard to calculate/sight. The need is likely less probable than successfully drawing 3 cards to fill a royal flush.
Well, yes, but the rules require the spot to be marked. For a tournament a small X marked with a thin chalk pencil is best. Straight pool tournaments should not use those nasty sticker things.

Which reminds me of an Irving Crane story. Crane would routinely play for a spotted object ball as his break shot if the ending of the rack had been a scramble. One time at a major tournament he did so. When he got down to shoot the break shot, he shook his head and got back up. "The spot's in the wrong place." And so it was. That table also did not have the headstring marked, which the rules require.
 
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