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Billiards - historic rules / hazard + cannon limit

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  • Billiards - historic rules / hazard + cannon limit

    I've been reading up on how the rules of Billiards developed to the ones currently in use starting from about 1900.
    Got quite some details, but what I did not come across was on when the 75 cannon or 15 hazard limit were introduced.

    Any further insight on this would be appreciated

  • #2
    Not really my area, but I have some information which may help.

    The consecutive hazard limit has been in and out of the game on several occasions. It seems to have first been reduced to 15 as an experimental measure applicable to the amateur championship only in 1931. Although not adopted as a general rule at this time, the professionals picked it up and used it for their competitions from 1939, although it went back to 25 hazards in 1959. The occasion you are probably looking for is the change in 1964 which specified a 15 hazard limit (both winning and losing), and although the winning hazard limit was progressively reduced to the current two pots from the spot, the losing hazard limit has remained in place at this level since that date.

    The limit on consecutive cannons was raised from 35 to 75 on 1st September 1970.


    • #3
      Thanks 100-uper

      this would make my timeline as follows:

      1885: first meeting of the professionals to agree on common rules
      1889: push shot outlawed, red ball to centre spot after two spot pots
      1890: definition of standard pocket size
      1902: red ball to middle spot after two pots from pyramid spot (in case the top spot is covered)
      1907: cradle / anchor cannon outlawed
      1902: two misses in succession outlawed
      1927: consecutive hazards limited to 25
      1929: after 35 consecutive direct cannons, an indirect cannon has to be played
      1930: opponent white being placed on spot in the middle of the D after 25 hazards (if it was off table at the beginning of the break)
      1932: introduction of baulk line rule (once every 200 points)
      1935: change of baulk line rule (between 180 and 200 points for pro's, every 400 points for am's)
      1960: 15 consecutive spot pots allowed (i guess before red goes to the centre spot)
      1964: red ball always spotted on the top spot, consecutive hazards limited to 15
      1968: spot pots reduced to 5, then red placed on the centre spot
      1970: limit on consecutive cannons raised to 75
      1978: spot pots reduced to 2 (pro's)
      1979: spot pots reduced to 3 (am's)
      1983: spot pots reduced to 2 (am's)

      It's kinda annoying that the pro's tended to make up their own rules for their matches and most time you never know whether they ended up in official rules or not. For example: 1931 Gold Cup tournament was played with a 75 cannon limit. In 1940, Lindrum had a break of 3361 under a consecutive cannon and hazard limit of 15. No one liked the baulk line rule for match play and so on. Not to mention the spot-barred and all-in rules back when John Roberts was playing ...

      But nevertheless it's interesting to see how late even fundamental changes (the number of allowed spot pots and cannons) were made. In fact this makes Michael Ferreira's record break uncomparable to current records as he was still allowed 5 spot pots in 1978.
      Last edited by Redphex; 5 June 2013, 04:53 PM.


      • #4
        I would say that the start of your list (1885) was the formation of the Billiard Association rather than the first meeting of the professionals to agree on common rules. They met in 1870, together with table manufacturers, to agree "championship" rules, and the same parties agreed "common" rules in 1872.

        There is a continuing tradition of professionals playing to rules which were different to those officially issued by the amateur governing body. Snooker as well as billiards. Even today, the "baulk-line" rule is used in some competitions at billiards, and not many amateur snooker leagues apply the "miss" rule.