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 wining 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 games.
||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.
||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 advance:
(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
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
re-spotted (exception: if the object ball is the 9-ball, it
||On the shot immediately following
a legal break, the shooter may play a "push out."
(see "Push Out" rule below). 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 con-tact 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 is violated (exception: "Bad
Hit" and "No Rail" rules). 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 re-spotted (exception: if a pocketed ball is the
9-ball, it is re-spotted). 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.
||A game starts as soon as the cue ball
crosses over the head string on the opening break. 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.