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Ending Stalemates (reracks)

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  • Ending Stalemates (reracks)

    Hi all,

    We all know how stalemates and re-racks are a flaw in the game, especially at the highest level, and I was wondering if
    the following (or something like it) had ever been considered as a way to do away with them.

    I've often wondered why the balk line continues to be drawn on snooker tables. I know it is used in billiards, but it does
    not serve any purpose in snooker. So why not use it to end stalemates? One simple solution might be to require every
    player to call "safety" to the referee before intentionally playing a safety shot. The rule would be that on every safety shot,
    at least one ball (whether the cue ball or any object ball) must cross the balk line. This would apply to all safeties, including
    the laying of snookers, but not to escapes from snookers.

    Admittedly, this would make certain aspects of the game, including snookering, harder. Containing safeties, for example,
    would have to be played hard enough to bring one object ball back down and across the balk line. However, it would be
    the same for both players and would, I think, all but eliminate stalemates, which tend to be the result of tippy-tappy play
    at the top end of the table.

    Any thoughts on this? Has it already been suggested and for whatever reason, would not work? I think if the balk line
    exists, then surely it should serve a purpose. Or am I forgetting/missing something?

    Cheers,

    Dan

  • #2
    Another idea might be to leave things more or less as they are now, but instead of the referee turning to both
    players and telling them that they each have "three shots" to resolve things (which is ridiculous because the
    losing player has no intention of doing so), the rule could be that the referee must instruct the losing player
    that he/she must cross the balk line within his/her next three shots (so the onus would be on the losing player
    to end the stalemate). Just another possible solution.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Billiard table has the baulk line for English Pocket Billiards - yes; and they happen to play a game called snooker on the Billiard table

      Applying a rule where a player has to play to the baulk area for a "safety" is not a good idea IMO
      Often the reason players start tippy-tappy to the triangle of reds is often because a red is up in the baulk area; so playing up to that area is not what a player wants to do.
      Also, it is not the referees job to tell a player to play a certain shot
      Having a rerack is often now agreed by the players way before a referee asks the players to solve the stalemate in three shots each

      I feel that the frequency of stalemate/rerack is not that often enough to have any major rewrite of the rules

      !"yet"
      Up the TSF! :snooker:

      Comment


      • #4
        It’s not pool it’s snooker ,nominating shots is not needed .The rule regarding re racks works pretty well now and very seldom is the ref needed to break the stalemate ,players realise this now and generally break the deadlock quickly themselves .If one player is ahead on points and the ref has to intervene because its going nowhere then the player that is ahead on points maybe he should carry those points on to the re racked frame and keep his advantage .

        Comment


        • #5
          If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

          Comment


          • #6
            'A ball must be potted or made to touch a cushion on every shot', this rule would stop the roll up snooker and the roll into the pack of reds which is the main cause of negative play leading to re-racks. This would force players to be more inventive in their negative safety and maybe make them see something actually positive which would enhance the game not only for the players but also the referees and the viewing public.
            Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
            but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

            Comment


            • #7
              Meh! ..........
              No cheap shots...well maybe the odd one if its funny...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally Posted by DeanH View Post
                The Billiard table has the baulk line for English Pocket Billiards - yes; and they happen to play a game called snooker on the Billiard table

                Applying a rule where a player has to play to the baulk area for a "safety" is not a good idea IMO
                Often the reason players start tippy-tappy to the triangle of reds is often because a red is up in the baulk area; so playing up to that area is not what a player wants to do.
                Also, it is not the referees job to tell a player to play a certain shot
                Having a rerack is often now agreed by the players way before a referee asks the players to solve the stalemate in three shots each

                I feel that the frequency of stalemate/rerack is not that often enough to have any major rewrite of the rules

                !"yet"
                Hi, I guess I didn't really explain what I meant very well in my original post.

                I know the reason players tippy-tap, because there is a ball or two in the baulk area or elsewhere that would be easy to pot
                and clear up from if one of the players played away. When the scores are close, usually early in the frame, this is not a problem,
                because the players simply resolve it themselves by immediately agreeing to a re-rack.

                The problem exists when a stalemate occurs later in a frame when one player has a large lead. This time, the leader does not
                agree to a re-rack (why would he?) so the tippy-tapping continues until the ref steps in and tells them they have to resolve it.
                This is where it gets silly, because what does "resolve" mean? There is no clear-cut definition of what that means, and further,
                there is zero incentive for the losing player to try to do so. He will simply ignore the ref and continue tippy-tapping because it
                is in his best interest to get a re-rack. Ultimately the winning player is the one forced to play the difficult "away" shot and leave
                the ball in baulk on for an easy counter clearance.

                You are correct. This rarely happens. However it does happen and it is a flaw in the game. The most recent example that I
                can think of was a match with Shawn Murphy last year. He was annoyed with the ref and said, "I'm winning. Why should I
                be forced to end the stalemate?" The pundits said that he should not have complained and that he should have resolved it if
                he wanted the frame to continue, but that is ludicrous. It is effectively rewarding negativity. Both players should always want
                the frame to continue. The negative thinking, losing player should not be rewarded for ignoring the ref and deliberately
                playing for a re-rack.

                Simply changing the rule so that the ref warned the losing player that he has to cross the baulk line within the next three
                shots would solve this. Playing into baulk would be similar to escaping from a tough snooker, i.e. trying to hit the easy
                "ball on" in baulk without leaving it. That tough shot should be forced on the player who is losing, not the one who is
                winning. If both players quickly agree to a re-rack, no problem. But once it becomes clear that one player is refusing to
                agree (because he is winning by a lot by that point), then the referee steps in and warns the loser to cross the baulk line.
                Failure to do so after three shots results in a four-point foul for that player with each subsequent failure.

                I realize this rarely happens, but when it does it is contentious. I think it is easily solved, so that is why I posted this.

                Cheers,

                Dan.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Dan
                  Thanks for your clarification
                  1. I don't see it as "contentious"
                  2. The referee does not state "resolve it" but "...the referee shall allow play to continue with the proviso that the situation must change within a stated period...", Change can be that the cue ball has gone a different path, ended in a different position than before, etc.- the situation is now different. The winning player can still control this and the losing player can also.
                  The period is often "within three shots each" for a change to occur; if both players do not then the referee will arbitrarily rerack. The Winning Player had their chance to protect their lead, the losing player had their chance to gain an advantage somehow No one else to blame but themselves
                  3. I don't like the idea of "over the baulk line" as this can seriously disadvantage a player and the main role of the referee is to ensure a fair game where no player is disadvantaged either by the other player (i.e. by cheating) or by the application of the rules themselves.

                  Up the TSF! :snooker:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally Posted by DeanH View Post
                    Hi Dan
                    Thanks for your clarification
                    1. I don't see it as "contentious"
                    2. The referee does not state "resolve it" but "...the referee shall allow play to continue with the proviso that the situation must change within a stated period...", Change can be that the cue ball has gone a different path, ended in a different position than before, etc.- the situation is now different. The winning player can still control this and the losing player can also.
                    The period is often "within three shots each" for a change to occur; if both players do not then the referee will arbitrarily rerack. The Winning Player had their chance to protect their lead, the losing player had their chance to gain an advantage somehow No one else to blame but themselves
                    3. I don't like the idea of "over the baulk line" as this can seriously disadvantage a player and the main role of the referee is to ensure a fair game where no player is disadvantaged either by the other player (i.e. by cheating) or by the application of the rules themselves.

                    Hi Dean,

                    Thanks for the reply. While I see your point, I do not agree with it. And here is why.

                    You state, "the losing player had their chance to gain an advantage somehow. No one else to blame by themselves."
                    This is flawed reasoning in my opinion, because in this particular situation a re-rack IS to the advantage of the losing
                    player. By doing nothing but continuing to tippy-tap, they gain the advantage because the only "punishment" is a
                    re-rack, which from their point of view is a do-over, a mulligan for a frame that they were likely to lose. I realize that
                    the spirit of the rule is to make it fair for both players, however, very few players in a losing position like that would
                    ever do anything to force a change within the next three shots. There is simply no incentive for them to do so. The
                    end result, while not intended, is that the game becomes unfair to the winning player. They will lose their lead and
                    have to start from scratch if they do not do anything to change the situation within the next three shots; whereas the
                    losing player does not have to do anything and gets to start over. I hardly think that is fair. I think we would both
                    agree that in these situations, "doing something to change the situation" is usually highly risky. The onus should not
                    be on winning player to take a risk (or else sacrifice the frame) when the stalemate situation simply occurred by
                    chance and not as a result of the losing player deliberately creating it to give him/her a chance of a re-rack.

                    The other poster made an interesting suggestion about requiring a cushion to be struck or a ball to be potted on
                    every shot, however that would change the dynamics of the game far too much, including in situations that have
                    nothing to do with stalemates. It would also make the game a bit too similar to American cue sports, which is how
                    things have already been going in recent years, and I have to say I am not a fan of it.

                    Cheers,

                    Dan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally Posted by Daniel Marc Brooks View Post

                      The other poster made an interesting suggestion about requiring a cushion to be struck or a ball to be potted on
                      every shot, however that would change the dynamics of the game far too much, including in situations that have
                      nothing to do with stalemates. It would also make the game a bit too similar to American cue sports, which is how
                      things have already been going in recent years, and I have to say I am not a fan of it.

                      Cheers,

                      Dan
                      This isn't a rule about cushion after contact as it is with US pool, it's the same rule used in the snooker shootout. A ball on must be potted or either the cue ball or an object ball should touch a cushion in some aspect of the stroke played, cue ball can touch a cushion before or after contacting a ball on, a ball on must be potted or played onto any other object ball which is then made to touch a cushion. If a ball on or object ball is touching a cushion (frozen) then it must be potted or the cue ball must touch a cushion either before or after contacting it or any ball on played onto to it must touch a cushion either before or after contacting it or the frozen object ball must touch another cushion
                      When you think about this rule it makes perfect sense in stopping the negative roll up which leads to re-rack situations, also the endless replacing of balls after a dolly roll snooker and doesn't interfere with any positive safety or break building. This rule would be a boon in local league snooker for the scratch player who has to give forty or more start to someone whose only purpose is to defend that start.
                      Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
                      but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

                      Comment

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