Q & A: Questions

Snooker Cue

Posted on 6th February 2016 by Bob Jennings of Great Bar, Birmingham.

In a recent match player A potted a red and the white finished up snookered in the cluster of reds, player A nominated the Blue, and while attempting to hit the white he touched one of the reds and a foul was called.

Player B asked Player A to play again, where he played the white and hit the Blue, a foul was called and player A asked "Why? As I hit the blue which was the ball I originally nominated before the 1st foul."
The referee explained that although the original nominated shot was the Blue (where he fouled by touching a red) when asked to play again he should have played a Red. Was the referee correct?
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Posted on 18th October 2015 by Dennis Lomas of Bury, Lancashire.

In a recent match player A went in off, the referee took the white ball out of the pocket and placed it on the table behind the D up against the cush. Player B returned to the table after chalking his cue and played his shot from where the referee had placed the white and the referee called a foul.
The referee had not said anything to the player prior to the shot being taken. Should the referee have placed the ball in the D or handed it to the player and not placed it on the table?
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Posted on 13th April 2015 by Jack of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

In a recent game my opponent pocketed both the blue and the yellow ball on the same shot. The black spot was the only one open. Which ball is spotted on the black spot?
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Posted on 8th December 2013 by Simon Green of Southampton.

During the televised tournaments we frequently hear the commentators mentioning different statistics, for example the head to head record between two players, or the number of centuries made by a particular player. Are these statistics available online?
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Posted on 18th May 2013.

In a league doubles match, the referee called a foul when it was a player's first shot at the table. One player asked the other, "what shall I do next?" whilst standing 2 or 3 feet away from the table and standing behind the cue-ball which was on the side cushion, and more or less, in line with the object-ball which was about to be struck. This was a two way conversation between the two players.

The team which were called foul upon were very unhappy, and insisted that they were not "at the table" since the striker had not yet touched the table. I understand that there is no mention of touching the table in the rules, but everyone in the club insisted that the referee was wrong.

How exactly do you define "at the table?"   Could you shed some light on this situation?

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Posted on 21st February 2013.

In a cup match tonight a player was not happy with how the black was spotted after he potted it. He told the ref who again respotted it. Still not happy the player picked it up and respotted it himself. Is this not a 7 point foul? He went on to make a 50+ break and cost us the game. I await your response with interest.
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Posted on 23rd January 2012 by Eddy Hughes.

I have been explaining to my grandchildren about snooker and a fact I'm sure is true has cropped up and I'm now unsure about the answer in today's game.

I would like confirmation or not as to if the referee supplies the set of balls used in 'match play' snooker, which is currently being televised. I feel sure I understand that this was the case in times past but am unsure about any recent changes.
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Posted on 20th August 2012 by Gary Potter of the Rhondda Valley.

I'm aware that in doubles my partner can advise me on the first shot of a break.
Am I right to believe he cannot intervene or recommend further after the first shot is played? As that would result in a foul.
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Posted on 29th August 2011 by Eric Rowntree of Portsmouth.

Player A comes to the table mid game and he is faced with a touching ball. No other reds are available so he strikes the cue ball away, hits nothing, but because his cue ball starts from a touching ball it is deemed to have touched a red, so no penalty is awarded.

Player B comes to the table, pots a red and his cue ball ends up touching another red. His next shot must be aimed at a colour, but because his cue ball is touching, is he automatically penalised knowing that his cue ball is already deemed to have touched a red?
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Posted on 12th June 2011 by Simon Rae of Perth, Australia.

Would you be able to answer a question I have regarding the rules, it regards a player being snookered? Is it legal to place an object (say a piece of chalk), or otherwise mark, on the rail above the point on the cushion where you intend to hit.

I think this would be useful in instances where there is a likelihood of a 'miss' being called as it would give the player a point of reference to make their adjustment in the event that they are asked to play again from the same position.
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Posted on 6th June 2010 by Joseph Ruskiewicz of Switzerland.

On the internet one reads about etiquette of playing snooker. No drinks on table, no loud noises etc. And all of this make sense, however, it makes the assumption that you have referee. When you have a private game between two people, who replaces the color balls and who marks the scores? My mates and I have been playing the following:

The person who is not on replaces colors and marks the points for the other person when he is finished, and every person is responsible for marking their own fouls.
Another point that may be relevant is the calling (or attention) to fouls. That is, should it be gentleman like, or is it up to the opponent to look for fouls?

Can you direct me to how a private game should be conducted?
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Posted on 16th May 2010 by John Spicer of Bournemouth.

Where do you play from when your opponent accidently pots the white and there is no space in the semi circle for the white?
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Posted on 11th April 2010 by Keith Hall of Warrington.

Player A commits an in-off foul and Player B has the white in-hand in the D - Player B positions the white according to a shot he wanted to take which happened to be cueing over the brown which was on the baulk cushion. He accidentally fouls that brown with the cue whilst feathering, but not having taken the stroke. He calls his own foul and receives the appropriate penalty.

Question is, does the white have to stay where it is, having not had a stroke played, or can player A deem it still to be 'in hand' and move it to a more sensible position?!

My 2nd question is regarding the push stroke... rule 18 part a)... "A push stroke is made when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cue-ball (a) after the cue-ball has commenced its forward motion."

What does this refer to exactly? Surely if you're playing any shot with any amount of follow through, deep screw, powerful top spin etc, the tip will be in contact with the cue-ball after it has started moving forwards? Is this referring to a 'double nudge'?
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Posted on 23rd February 2010 by Adam Liddell of Bournemouth.

Which is the most difficult game, snooker...   or chess?
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Posted on 16th February 2010 by Ian Phipps of Bristol.

I just potted the last red and the white went in-off. My opponent places the white in the D in several places and claims a free ball as the yellow is down the table near the blue which is on it's spot.
I claim it's an optical illusion to look in the whites path to the yellow because the white is close to your eye, then the blue is 3 feet away and looks smaller, the yellow is 1 foot away again and looks smaller still.
So I place a red either side of the blue which reveals clear paths for the white to hit the yellow. Who is right? How is a free ball decided when long distances are involved?
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Posted on 7th February by Gareth Evans of The Rhondda, S. Wales.

I wonder if you could shed some light on this, whilst browsing ebay I noticed a set of billiards balls that contained 4 reds, 4 whites and 1 black. I've tried google, etc, and the lads in my snooker team but to no avail and I wondered what game they were used for?
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Posted on 31st January 2010 by Mike Pitre of Goderich, Ontario.

Are there any rules on legal breaks. Do any balls have to hit a rail for a legal break? Also can you tell me where I can get a template for the curve in the pocket openings.
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Posted on 31st May 2009 by Robert Kirby of Sheffield.

What is the height to the top of the cushion from the slate bed playing surface on a full size snooker table? I think it's about 37mm or 1 7/16 inch.
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Posted on 6th October 2008 by David Drielsma of Brussels, Belgium.

I have a question that came up the other day while chatting with snooker mates (purely theoretical - it didn't all actually happen):

It's about commiting a fault by touching a ball with something else than the cue (usually the hand or arm, or the player's clothes). Would it be considered as a fault to touch a ball extremely slightly, for instance with one's hair or with a little wire coming out of the player's shirt? (so not with the actual skin or cloth itself).

Also - and that one already happened to one of my mates (well, he said): what if the ball is touched by some fluid (not to mention: blood - or anything else coming out of the player's nose, sometimes at great pace)?

I know this sounds funny but quite interesting I guess...
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Posted on 15th June 2008 by Bob Haggarty of London, Ontario.

During our club's recent doubles tournament a disagreement arose over the interpretation of what constitutes conferring under Section 3 Rule 17 (e).

The partner from one team encouraged his own partner (who was at the table) by referring to the quality of his partner's shot making, e.g. "good shot" or "well done", etc. The referee construed this as conferring and imposed a penalty under Section 3 Rule 12 (x), "conferring with a partner contrary to Section 3 Rule 17 (e)". The offending partners felt a penalty was unfair as the one partner was only complimenting the other partner. The other team felt the referee was perfectly correct as conferring could take the form of advice, compliments (which could be advice disguised as compliments) etc., and the best way to resolve the matter would be for a partner to remain silent while his partner is at the table.

Would you please give me your comments on this matter and in particular what does the word "confer" imply within Section 3 Rule 17(e)?
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Posted on 5th May 2008 by Mark Litten of Worcester.

Suppose I have 70 points and my opponent has 20. I have just potted a red but have snookered myself on all colours with 51 points (3 reds + blacks, etc.) possible remaining. That means my opponent could win with 71 or more should I lose control of the cue ball.

Knowing that illegally potted reds are not returned to the table, what would keep me from fouling, illegally potting a red, giving my opponent 4 points whilst leaving only 43 points (2 reds + blacks, etc.) possible? Now my opponent's maximum would be 67 and would need a snooker to win.   Is this possible?
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Posted on 20th January 2008 by Danny Nicholas of Cardiff.

In snooker has the 4 point minimum penalty always been the rule. I seem to recall it used to be the value of object ball fouled on. Please confirm.
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Posted on 13th May 2007 by Chris Brown of Oldham.

I was in discussion with a mate of mine who says that the pockets in televised championships are wider than the ones at a standard snooker club so they can get higher breaks. I disagreed saying that if anything it would be the other way around with the championship tables having smaller more accurate pockets because of the level of the players.

Snooker clubs tend to have one or two match tables which are obviously different to the rest of the club table. Can you shed some light on this aspect?
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Snooker Cue