OF THE GAME
Nine-Ball is played with nine object balls numbered one through nine and a
cue ball. On each shot, the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest
numbered ball on the table, but the balls need not be pocketed in order. If a
player pockets any ball on a legal shot, he remains at the table for another
shot, and continues until missing, committing a foul, or winning the game by
pocketing the 9-ball. After a miss, the incoming player must shoot from the
position left by the previous player, but after any foul the incoming player may
start with the cue ball anywhere on the table. Players are not required to call
any shot. A match ends when one of the players has won the required number of
The object balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the 1-ball at the top of
the diamond and on the foot spot, the 9-ball in the center of the diamond, and
the other balls in random order, racked as tightly as possible. The game begins
with cue ball in hand behind the head string.
ORDER OF THE BREAK
Winner of the lag has the option to break. In 9-Ball the winner of each game
breaks in the next unless otherwise specified by the tournament organizer. The
following are common options that may be designated by tournament officials in
(a) Players alternate break.
(b) Loser breaks.
(c) Player trailing in game count breaks the next game.
The rules governing the break shot are the same as for other shots except:
1. The breaker must strike the1-ball first and either pocket a ball or drive
at least four numbered balls to the rail.
2. If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, or the requirements
of the opening break are not met, it is a foul, and the incoming player has cue
ball in hand anywhere on the table.
3. If on the break shot, the breaker causes an object ball to jump off the
table, it is a foul and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the
table. The object ball is not respotted (exception: if the object ball is the
9-ball, it is respotted).
On the shot immediately following a legal break, the shooter may play a
"push out." (See Rule 6). If the breaker pockets
one or more balls on a legal break, he continues to shoot until he misses,
fouls, or wins the game. If the player misses or fouls, the other player begins
an inning and shoots until missing, committing a foul, or winning. The game ends
when the 9-ball is pocketed on a legal shot, or the game is forfeited for a
serious infraction of the rules.
The player who shoots the shot immediately after a legal break may play a
push out in an attempt to move the cue ball into a better position for the
option that follows. On a push out, the cue ball is not required to contact any
object ball nor any rail, but all other foul rules still apply. The player must
announce the intention of playing a push out before the shot, or the shot is
considered to be a normal shot. Any ball pocketed on a push out does not count
and remains pocketed except the 9-ball. Following a legal push out, the incoming
player is permitted to shoot from that position or to pass the shot back to the
player who pushed out. A push out is not considered to be a foul as long as no
rule (except Rule 7 and Rule 8) is
violated. An illegal push out is penalized according to the type of foul
committed. After a player scratches on the break shot, the incoming player
cannot play a push out.
When a player commits a foul, he must relinquish his run at the table and no
balls pocketed on the foul shot are respotted (exception: if a pocketed ball is
the 9-ball, it is respotted). The incoming player is awarded ball in hand; prior
to his first shot he may place the cue ball anywhere on the table. If a player
commits several fouls on one shot, they are counted as only one foul.
If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest numbered
ball on the table, the shot is foul.
9 NO RAIL
If no object ball is pocketed, failure to drive the cue ball or any numbered
ball to a rail after the cue ball contacts the object ball on is a foul.
10 IN HAND
When the cue ball is in hand, the player may place the cue ball anywhere on
the bed of the table, except in contact with an object ball. The player may
continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until shooting.
BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE
An unpocketed ball is considered to be driven off the table if it comes to
rest other than on the bed of the table. It is a foul to drive an object ball
off the table. The jumped object ball(s) is not respotted (exception: if the
object ball is the 9-ball, it is respotted) and play continues.
AND MASSE SHOT FOUL
If a match is not refereed, it will be considered a cue ball foul if during
an attempt to jump, curve or masse the cue ball over or around an impeding
numbered ball, the impeding ball moves (regardless of whether it was moved by a
hand, cue stick follow-through or bridge).
If a player fouls three consecutive times on three successive shots without
making an intervening legal shot, the game is lost. The three fouls must occur
in one game. The warning must be given between the second and third fouls. A
player's inning begins when it is legal to take a shot and ends at the end of a
shot on which he misses, fouls or wins, or when he fouls between shots.
14 END OF
On the opening break, the game is considered to have
commenced once the cue ball has been struck by the cue tip. The 1-ball
must be legally contacted on the break shot. The game ends at the end of a legal
shot which pockets the 9-ball, or when a player forfeits the game as the result
of a foul.