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Game Rules:

After The Break

PAGE 46-47

They are:

A foul on a legal break will result in ball-in-hand for the opponent.

No balls are pocketed; it is the opponent’s turn.

An object ball is pocketed; it is still the breaker’s turn. 


a. If a scratch occurs on the break, the opponent receives ball-in-hand, which must be executed from behind the head string, shooting at a ball that is outside the head string. If an object ball is dead-center on the head string, or out, then it is playable. If it is in, the ball is not playable. If the two players cannot agree on whether an object ball is in or out, then a third party should be consulted. If a third party is consulted, the third party’s call is final. If no agreed upon third party is available, then a coin flip will decide the issue. To intentionally shoot at a ball that is in is a sportsmanship violation to be reported to Local League Management.

NOTE: The cue ball must be in as previously noted before play can begin. This is not a foul; no penalty may be assessed. It is up to the opponent to check to be sure the cue ball is in before it is shot. If the cue ball is out, the shooter must readjust the cue ball to a position behind the head string.

b. If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, it is a win unless the player fouls the cue ball, in which case it is a loss.

c. If one or more object balls from one category are pocketed on the break, that becomes the shooter’s category of balls.   

d. If balls from each category are pocketed on the break (for example, two solids and one stripe), it is still an open table.

The breaker has the option to shoot any ball except the 8-ball (which would be a foul); any ball pocketed without fouling counts. If the shooter makes one ball of each category on their second shot, the table remains open; a miss or foul on the second shot results in an open table for the opponent. If the opponent then pockets a ball and fouls, it is still an open table.

NOTE: During an open table, a player can shoot a combination involving stripes and solids; the legally pocketed ball will determine their category of balls for the remainder of the game. The 8-ball may not be used as the first ball in a combination shot, as it is never neutral.


a. A foul on a legal break will result in ball-in-hand for the opponent anywhere on the table. Pocketed balls, if any, stay down (are not spotted), except the 9-ball. Pocketed balls are marked as dead balls on the scoresheet.

b. If the 9-ball is pocketed on the break, this is a win unless the player scratches, in which case the 9-ball (any other available high numbered ball is adequate) is spotted and the turn passes to the opponent. If the foot spot is occupied by another ball, the 9-ball is placed directly behind that ball and as close to the foot spot
as possible.

c. If one or more balls are pocketed on the break, it is still the breaker’s turn.

NOTE: Push-outs are fairly standard in pro events and in the U.S. Amateur Championship; however, they are not allowed in APA handicapped competition. Masters Divisions are non-handicapped and follow U.S. Amateur Championship rules; therefore, the push-out is allowed, and any balls pocketed on a push-out will be spotted.  

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