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Free Ball Foul with Multiple Reds?

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  • Free Ball Foul with Multiple Reds?

    Hi everyone,

    An interesting, i think, situation in a match last night that neither of us knew the answer to. In summary, there were 3 reds close to the cushion a foot or so south of the middle pocket. My opponent fouled but ended up leaving me a free ball. I chose the yellow (i cant at this point remember whether the yellow was the ball causing the snooker), which i attempted to pot into the middle. I missed (just) with the ball clipping both knuckles and winding up in the middle of the table. Unfortunately for me, this meant it blocked the path of the white to the gaggle of reds. This image might help;

    Effectively, my opponent couldnt see both sides of the northernmost of those reds, and couldnt see the left of the 3 at all (ish). He could however see all of the right side of the northernmost ball, and obviously could hit them via the cushion. But given that he couldnt see the whole of any red, this was called a foul and i got a 4 point penalty.

    I wasnt particularly worried - the game commenced and i ultimately lost on the black - though my opponent has today offered to replay the frame having thought about this some more (very admirable!).

    I think the rule is that you can only be stopped from being able to hit the whole ball by another ball that is not on, in other words the cushion (or a knuckle) cant be considered to stop you from being able to see the ball. I think therefore that being unable to see the full right hand side of the reds is not a problem. But im being blocked from seeing the southernmost red by the northernmost red, not the yellow.

    Any ideas what the right decision is?

  • #2
    Each Red is considered singularly, as if it was the only red on the table; in your case there was no snooker AND so no foul, AND so no penalty points should have been awarded
    By your description, the cue ball could hit both extreme edges (not "full ball" or "whole ball" - this is only used when a Miss is called and the 3 and loss frame is in force, not defining snookers) of the "northern-most" ball; so no snooker on one Red, so no snooker on all Reds, no snooker no foul as you have not accidentally snookered by the nominated free ball, so no Free ball option anyway.
    Cushions do not come in to defining a snooker as it is always by a "direct" stroke - i.e. in a straight line, not off a cushion or swerve.
    See this article for a great explanation for this and other scenarios

    Welcome to TSF by the way
    Last edited by DeanH; 6th December 2019, 07:55 PM.
    Up the TSF!


    • #3
      In addition
      you can download some late night reading from here

      Definition of a Snooker:
      Rule 2.17 Snookered
      The cue ball is snookered when a direct stroke in a straight line to every ball on is wholly or partially obstructed by a ball or balls not on. If one or more balls on can be hit at both extreme edges free of obstruction by any ball not on, the cue ball is not snookered.

      "extreme edges" not "full ball" or "whole ball"
      Up the TSF!


      • #4
        Hi Dean, thank you!

        Thanks for that, very helpful. I knew that re extreme edges, just easier to explain i though :P

        One question though. My opponent couldnt see the left extreme edge of the northernmost ball (by this, i mean the one closest to the baulk cushion), though would have been able to hit the left extreme edge of the southernmost ball (that is the ball thats closed to the side cushion) had the northernmost red ball not been in the way. I think rule 2.17 confirms that, as the ball blocking the southernmost red is a ball that is on, i cant be snookered.

        I suppose the logical conclusion of this is, following a mi**** break-off shot that misses the pack of reds and goes in off, you cant have a free ball because you could see all (the extreme edges) of at least a couple of reds on either side of the triangle, even though you cant actually hit that extreme edge because theres another red in the way.

        I think...?


        • #5
          If you CAN NOT hit BOTH extreme edges of ANY Red - a snooker exists and all the usual applies.
          If you CAN hit BOTH extreme edges of ANY red - NO snooker, game continues.

          I wrote my answer with the reading that the northern-most red COULD be ht on both edges (if you ignore the other reds), if you say he could not then there was a snooker, and a foul (snookering behind a nominated free ball, penalty points apply, free ball option.
          Up the TSF!


          • #6
            So, i think im getting there (apologies!) - if the northernmost red was blocking the path to the left extreme edge of another red, and you could therefore hit the left extreme edge of the southernmost ball if the northernmost ball was removed, then it cant be a snooker and thus it wasnt a foul caused by playing a snooker with a free ball, thus no 4 point penalty to me?


            • #7
              no, remember Reds are considered on their own, a red cannot snooker another Red, in your scenario the Yellow is the snookering ball.

              Take each Red in turn, individually, in relation with the Yellow and the Cue Ball, to check if a snooker exists.
              Last edited by DeanH; 6th December 2019, 05:23 PM.
              Up the TSF!


              • #8
                From the image it looks like if you removed the middle red then the cue ball could pass the yellow to hit the extreme left (southern) edge of the northernmost red, so the player is not snookered on that red, hence not snookered, period. As Dean said, you need to look at whether each red could be hit on both extreme edges or not, on the basis that there are no other reds in the way.
                Duplicate of banned account deleted


                • #9
                  Thats very helpful, thanks - much appreciated!