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General Rules:

Defensive Shots

PAGE 31-32

A Defensive Shot is any shot taken without the intent to legally pocket a ball.  This definition includes, but is not limited to, shots taken in an attempt to hook the shooter’s opponent. The shooter’s INTENT is the determining factor. Unless the shooter declares that their shot was a Defensive Shot, it is up to the scorekeeper to decide if the shooter intended to try and pocket a ball.  Consistently and correctly marking Defensive Shots ensures the effectiveness of The Equalizer®.  

Defensive Shots fall into two basic categories: ethical and unethical.  The scorekeeper should mark both types as Defensive Shots on the scoresheet. 

Ethical – There are several types of ethical Defensive Shots:

Safety – A safety is a defensive action taken when the shooter has no makeable or high percentage shot, or chooses to leave their opponent in a difficult situation. 

Legal Contact Only – Making legal contact with no intent to pocket a ball in an attempt to deny your opponent ball-in-hand.

Picking Up the Cue Ball – Conceding your shot at the table by giving ball-in-hand to your opponent.

Intentionally Shooting the Wrong Ball – Shooting at an opponent’s ball (8-Ball), or out of rotation (9-Ball), for the purpose of creating a more favorable table layout for the shooter.

Unethical – Intentionally missed shots for the purpose of handicap manipulation.  Taking unethical Defensive Shots is a form of sandbagging.

NOTE 1: An attempted Defensive Shot that results in the legal pocketing of one of the shooter’s category of balls (8-Ball) or the legal pocketing of any object ball (9-Ball) does not end the shooter’s turn. The shooter must continue to shoot, and the shot should be marked as a Defensive Shot.  

NOTE 2: An attempt to pocket a ball and leave one’s opponent with a difficult shot if the attempt fails, is not considered a Defensive Shot.   These shots are often called “two-way shots” because they have both offensive and defensive qualities. Two-way shots can be unethical if they are used to mask a player’s intent by making it appear as if there is an attempt to pocket a ball, when the true objective is to play a safety that is difficult for a scorekeeper to recognize.  Scorekeepers who observe shooters playing multiple two-way shots in a match should make a note on the scoresheet.

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