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Ball-In-Hand: (1) The advantage given to a player when their opponent scratches or otherwise fouls, wherein the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the table; (2) A defensive move to pass your turn at the table.

Bank (Shot): Driving an object ball to a rail in the course of a shot.

Break (Shot): The first shot of a game.

Bridge: (1) Hand that holds and guides the cue shaft; (2) The type of hold; (3) A shaped plate mounted or placed near or at the tip of a cue stick.

Bye: A placeholder in a schedule or Tournament for a missing team or participant. When there are an odd number of teams in a division or participants in a Tournament, there will be a bye. A team scheduled to play a bye does not play and no fees are due.

Carom: The glancing of one ball off another.

Cue Ball: The white ball that a player strikes first when executing a shot.

Defensive Shots: A shot where there is no intent on the part of the shooter to pocket a ball of their category (8-Ball), or pocket any ball after contacting the lowest numbered ball on the table (9-Ball).

Double-Hit: An illegal shot involving the tip of the cue stick coming into contact with the cue ball twice during the execution of a single shot. This foul may occur through double clutching the cue ball, or in situations where the cue ball is nearly frozen to the object ball or rail. In the latter case, the double-hit often occurs due to the difficulty in moving the stick away from the shot quickly enough to avoid the cue ball rebounding back into the stick. In general, the shooter can lessen the likelihood of committing this type of foul by hitting the cue ball into the object ball or rail at an angle, or by elevating the butt of the cue about 30 degrees. This does not guarantee that a foul will be avoided; however, it cuts down the length of the follow through, which is the principal cause of a double-hit.

Draw: A method of stroking the cue ball that causes it to spin backwards after contact with an object ball.

English: A method of stroking the cue ball that causes any type of spin.

Established Skill Level: A handicap that is based on 10 match scores in a given format.

Follow: A method of stroking the cue ball that causes it to follow the object ball in the same direction.

Follow Through: The motion of the cue stick carrying through the area previously occupied by the cue ball.

Foot Rail: (1) The short rail closest to the area where the balls are dispensed; (2) The short rail closest to where the balls are racked; (3) The rail opposite from the end used by the players to break (see Table Diagram).

Foot Spot: A spot placed in the exact center of an imaginary line drawn across the pool table between the second diamonds from the foot rail (see Table Diagram).

Foul: An illegal shot resulting in loss of turn at the table and ball-in-hand for the opponent.

Frozen Ball: A ball touching another ball or a rail. If it is touching another ball, it is frozen on that ball; if it is touching a rail, it is frozen on the rail.

Head Rail: The rail closest to the end used by the players to break (see Table Diagram).

Head String: The imaginary line drawn across the pool table between the second diamonds from the head rail (see Table Diagram).

Hill-Hill Match: The point in match play where both players need only one more game to win.

Inning: A completed cycle during which both players had one turn at the table.

Jaw of the Pocket: (1) The part of the cushion that is cut at an angle to form the opening from the bed of the table into the pocket; (2) Area of the playing surface between an end rail and a side rail (see Table Diagram). A ball is considered in the jaw of the pocket if any portion crosses the imaginary line as shown in the Table Diagram.

Jump Shot: The striking of the cue ball with the cue tip, in a downward fashion, for the purpose of elevating or jumping the cue ball over an impeding object ball to achieve a legal hit.

Kick Shot: A shot that drives the cue ball to a rail before contacting the object ball. 

Lag: Method used to determine who breaks in the first game. 

Massé (Shot): A shot in which a player curves the cue ball around another ball in order to strike an intended ball. A massé is accomplished by raising the butt end of the cue and using either right or left english. The more the cue is raised, the more the cue ball will curve. Extreme massé shots, improperly executed, can cause damage to pool tables and billiard equipment. 

Miscue: A shot in which the cue’s tip does not hit the cue ball squarely and glances off without driving the cue ball on its desired course. 

Object Ball: Any ball besides the cue ball. 

On the Hill: Term used to indicate a player is one game away from winning their match. 

Open Table: Term used to describe the status of an 8-Ball game, after the break shot, in which neither player has assumed a category of object balls. The player may shoot any ball, except the 8-ball, when the table is open without fouling assuming all other aspects of a legal shot occur. 

Original Members: A term that refers to those members who were on a team when it gained qualification to a World Qualifier. 

Playing Surface: The bed of the table. 

Push-Out: A shot in 9-ball that requires announcing the intent to pushout, and then shooting the cue ball to a new position. The shooter doesn’t need to satisfy the legal shot rule (driving a ball to a rail after a legal hit). Push-outs can only be used immediately after the break, by the breaker if they pocketed a ball on the break, or by the incoming player if no balls were pocketed on the break. Any ball pocketed on a push-out does not count and will be spotted. The shooter’s opponent then has the option to shoot from the new position or tell the shooter to take the shot. Normal game rules apply from that point on. Push-outs are allowed in the Masters format and at the U.S. Amateur Championship; however, push-outs are not allowed in any handicapped competition as they give the more highly skilled player too great of an advantage.

Push Shot: A shot in which the cue ball is frozen to the object ball, and the shooter keeps the tip of the cue on the cue ball while pushing through the shot. Push shots are not fouls, but players who repeatedly guide the cue ball with force through object balls that are frozen to the cue ball, using a level cue and long follow through, may be subject to a sportsmanship penalty. In general, you can lessen the chance of being accused of shooting a push shot by hitting the cue ball into the object ball at an angle, or by elevating the butt of your cue about 30 degrees. 

Regular Shooting Cue: Any standard pool cue designed to shoot the majority of shots in a game of pool. These cues may be used to perform jump shots, massé shots, and break shots in all APA League play.

Safety: A defensive action taken when a player has no makeable or high percentage shot or chooses to leave their opponent in a difficult situation. It is a legal shot and part of the game of pool. A safety must still conform to the rules requiring the shooter to contact the correct ball first and striking a rail afterwards. If the correct ball is accidentally pocketed while playing a safety, the shooter must continue to shoot. Players with integrity call their safeties. Safeties must be marked as Defensive Shots on the scoresheet. 

Sandbagging: The unethical practice of deliberately playing below your ability in order to manipulate your handicap. 

Scratch: (1) The pocketing of the cue ball; (2) Driving the cue ball off the playing surface and onto the floor. 

Session: Refers to a season in which League play takes place. There are three sessions in each League Year: Summer, Fall and Spring. 

Soft Break: Sometimes referred to as a safe break. A break shot that is executed at a level significantly less than the breaker’s full strength. Also known as “breaking safe,” breaking soft is not allowed in APA matches. 

Specialty Cues: Cues specially designed to perform specific shots. These include, but are not limited to, jump cues, break cues, jump-break cues (combinations of jump cues and break cues) and “shorties”. 

Two-Way Shot: An attempt to pocket a ball and leave one’s opponent with a difficult shot if the attempt fails.

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