View Full Version : Pool rules and moral issues?
05-14-2002, 02:05 PM
From the newsgroup rec.sport.billiard
Very interesting thread and lots of good responses.
Quoted from the NEW GROUP:
"You are in the final match of 9 ball tournament (race to 2 ) winner gets $700. The score is 1-1 and your opponent, who needs to beat you two sets is shooting. The 4-7-8-9 are left on the table. He shoots the 4 in and plays position on the 8. shoots in the eight and then sees the 7. Oncoming player takes ball in hand and runs 7 and 9 to win tournament. Tells player he is sorry to win like that. Opponent then comments that is what he expected of him anyway. When questioned he says he does not want to discuss it, that if it were him shooting he would have said you are shooting the wrong ball..this is from a player
who does not want you to say a word or move when he is shooting. The two players in question know each other well. I owned both in the calcutta so it made no difference to me who won. Who is right? I'm a friend of both (I think ). Casey"
Rules versus moral duties?
you might be surprised at some of the responses..
Here are some of the responses
Sounds like a sore loser. He blew it. Perhaps he lost the match more than the winner won it, but he lost nonetheless!
For $700.00, I'm not telling, friend or foe, their shooting the wrong ball.
It's a class issue. If player B knew that player A was going to shoot the wrong ball and failed to inform player A...player B has a class deficiency. Winning is not everything, though many think it really is. What really matters is one's integrity, dignity, and respect. Those come at a much higher expense than first place...and also are lost much faster than anyone can spend the first place money.
I would tell my opponent he is shooting the wrong ball. Always have, when there is ample time.
I would call a foul on myself. I've done so many of times. But I would also never call a foul on myself if I had any doubt one way or another. Nor would I ask if any bystander if they saw the hit.
I would always call a TD or Ref if there was to be a questionable hit.
I would never spot a slopped in 9 ball.. its a part of the game. Just like somebody that can't find the lowest numbered ball on the table. This happens.
05-14-2002, 02:18 PM
Just me, but I would tell the player if I saw he was shooting the wrong ball and there was time. Some might think this stupid, but I have to live with what I think of myself, not with what somebody else thinks.
05-14-2002, 02:23 PM
There is a school of thought that you have deprived the shooter of a very valuable lesson also. They need to learn better table management. How easy is it to spot the lowest numbered ball on the table. What better way to learn than 1st hand experience?
Also.. would you tell the person if they were shooting the ball wrong? like using follow on the nine in front of the pocket that you might think the cue ball would follow it in?
Lessons are hard to come by.. why make a distinction for just one stupid act and not all?
05-14-2002, 02:24 PM
This issue goes around and around all the time.
End result, you shoot the balls in the wrong order, it's a foul. You lost your concentration between shots.
I do not see this as a moral issue, it's the rules of pool. Let's put it this way. Let's say my opponent is playing a shot with high right english and I know for a fact that is the wrong shot, should I stop him/her and let them know? Of course, not.
Players who shoot the balls in the wrong order and get angry that his/her opponent did not let them know are sore losers. When it's your inning and you misplay some thing, it's not your opponent's fault.
For those guys/gals out there that let their opponents know about this situation, very nice of you.
For those of you that disagree with me, maybe you should try and get the BCA to change the rules and state: If a player knowing lets an opponent shoot a ball in the wrong order, that player loses his/her inning and the opponent that makes the mistake gets BIH.
05-14-2002, 02:29 PM
Now this is a new wrinkle I've not heard.
I like the idea.. this would settle this agrument forever.
05-14-2002, 02:39 PM
Interesting. It's just not a black and white issue. That obvious a mistake, I would most likely tell them, unless they were a cocky, arrogant jerk. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif It wasn't for $700.00 but I have warned opponents that they were aiming at the wrong balls or forgot to mark the pocket in league play. I guess I couldn't say for sure what I'd do until the situation presented itself.
05-14-2002, 07:13 PM
During a friendly game or normal league play, I would tell the guy in a heart beat. But, when it comes to a tournament or leaue playoffs, that is a different matter.
I have been on both sides of this issue. When I shot the wrong ball, I accepted the responsibility for the mistake. When some one else shot the wrong ball, it is their responsibility. The shooter is responsible for whatever happens at the table.
If you tell your opponent he is making a mistake in a tournament, and give up the prize money, you are very kind. If you do it in league playoffs, you are also very kind, but you are also jeapardizing the success of your whole team.
Rich R.~~~a very dificult issue.
phil in sofla
05-14-2002, 07:16 PM
I don't play for serious money in matches, and I don't play in tournaments with sizable purses.
My habit is to alert my opponent if I'm playing an individual match, and not to alert my opponent if I'm playing in league, as to what I perceive may be a foul about to happen by mistake.
First, I play cheap games with my friends, not people I don't know, so those are social games, with $1 a game or $5 a set just a way to keep track. The friendship is the over-riding thing in those matches, even though I'm competitive and try my best to win.
In league or tournaments, a little more formal setting, people are supposed to be a little more serious, pay attention, and if they aren't, there is a captain and teammates to set them straight. People routinely give courtesies in social game situations that they do not give in a serious situation. For example, if my opponent accidentally feathers the cue ball when practice stroking, committing a foul, I may very well say 'put it back where it was and shoot.' In league or a tournament, I'm taking ball in hand on the foul, no ifs, ands, or buts.
So I think it's situational ethics for me. It's not like you've hidden the proper ball to shoot at, or done anything wrong, or yourself committed some foul that you are not calling on yourself. A player is alone and responsible for what they do at the table, and shouldn't require a babysitter coach from their opponent.
And, btw, it isn't uncommon when I DO alert my social game opponent as to some foul I think he's going to commit that my sight angle is bad, and that the aiming is actually on the correct ball after all, sometimes directly at it, and sometimes as a kick.
Now, if you jump up or bark out a warning when the guy is down on his shot, and it was a false alarm, you know THAT may very well be regarded as sharking the player.
05-14-2002, 08:21 PM
A race to "2" for $700? That must be some tournament. But I think I would be thanking the pool god for being so good to me. Because all the time he would be shooting I am praying to the pool god to make him miss or scratch or miscue or hide himself. So I guess I would consider my prayers answered if he shot the wrong ball. Especially for $700. Playing for the fun of it or for a few bucks then what difference does it make? But I guess that explains why a lot of the better players don't watch the opponent shoot. Then they can always say they weren't watching. Jake~~~has never played a match worth more than $100.
05-14-2002, 09:02 PM
Final match of a tournament for all the marbles and this guy all of a sudden can't see or count. The pool gods are close at hand and you don't want to mess with the pool gods; this guy is a loser and probably kicked his dog before he left to play pool. My lips are sealed. If he said anything out of line to me about it my response would be "pay attention, nimrod"
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: cheesemouse:</font><hr> this guy is a loser and probably kicked his dog before he left to play pool. My lips are sealed. If he said anything out of line to me about it my response would be "pay attention, nimrod" <hr></blockquote>
cold. very cold.
perhaps the guy was a really good person who was to nice to pets, old people and beginning players who just happened to have an otherwise perfectly engineered, razor-sharp mind slip one itty-bitty gear. huh?
and then this otherwise perfect human realized he just pissed-away 700 bux and he showed just the tiniest bit of irritation at the lucky s.o.b. who came by to gloat even though his mind was boiling with thoughts that would have fit nicely in a really good slasher movie. did he act on those evil thoughts even though objects, both blunt and sharp, were readily at hand?? no!
besides, any reasonable review by a pannel of responsible professionals would surely see that the real culprit was that hiding-ass 7 seven ball which did it's dimensionalshift worm-hole trick and pretended not to exist until it was too late. (i could prove it but the mossad stole my video tapes.)
yea, it was that 7 ball. it caused the problem. they say they're indestructible those 7 balls but i showed 'em. you weren't so inde-friggin-structable when you got a coupla 9mm punched in ya were ya. huh?
but i digress.
i just wanted to say that i don't think that makes him a bad person. necessarily.
dan...have you any idea how long it takes me to type this stuff with my nose? huh? doya? huh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
05-14-2002, 09:53 PM
Stop please!!!!!!!!!your cracking me up. LMAO /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Your concentration and alertness are as much a part of your game as your bridge, your stroke, your knowledge of angles and your draw shot. A breakdown in any of them is likely to hurt you and cost you a match and/or some money. The guy in this analogy had a lapse and suffered for it.
I would feel pretty dumb after helping him with his game if it decided the match. It's really not that hard a decision for me to make. I would also feel a little dumb taking the money if my opponent had helped me win it in that manner. Bad situation, but you're on your own out there. Not my job to help you count the balls.
I might feel differently if I were Bill Gates, but $700 will feed me for most of the month. Couple of weeks, anyway. Or at least until day after tomorrow.
Okay, so everyone thinks differently and all that but the overwhelming feeling I'm getting here is sympathy for the loser. If you reread the original post carefully, you might get the opinion (as I did) that this guy is maybe not so nice. You might even get the opinion that if the shoe were on the other foot that he wouldn't have said anything either. It's really academic, because it WAS his responsibility to pay attention. Even horses can count to nine, you know.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Lorri:</font><hr> Okay, so everyone thinks differently and all that but the overwhelming feeling I'm getting here is sympathy for the loser. <hr></blockquote>
ok, in the interest of full disclosure, i should probably mention that i did this last thurs nite at league. i had b.i.h. w/1 stripe & 2 solids left. set up and killed the stripe. i was solids. there was no question at all that the fat little weasel should have told me. i wouldn't have.
we're holding services for him this thursday nite.
15 seconds of silence.
I'm officially pulling out of the CCB tourney.
05-14-2002, 11:12 PM
I have a hard enough time playing my own game let alone playing my opponents game for them as well. I wouldn't tell him until after he shot it. And I am really a nice guy from what I hear.
If I was the guy who shot the 8 ball in before the 7 and my opponent (who knew what I was doing) did't inform me that I was shooting the wrong ball... (regardless of the amount of money on the game)...I would be pissed...(I have done that more than once in my life time) BUT...Rules are rules....and if I fouled by having a lapse of memory by doing such...then I have only myself to blame...
NOW...If I was his opponent and saw him shooting the wrong ball...I would feel obligated to tell him...WHY?
Because I believe pool is a gentleman's and lady's game...and we should act as such...
This afternoon I was playing snooker with two friends for money and as I put my bridge hand down on a shot near some balls and I accidently brushed a ball ever so lightly with that hand...I knew that neither of my friends saw it...and since it was so slight...I decided to shoot my shot and I made a red ball...I then missed my numbered ball and chalked up my score...BUT...before the next guy could shoot...I hollored STOP...and explained what happened and apologized to them ...I took off my point plus seven more for fouling...(I'll sleep better tonight...)
RonC (rgc) in SC
05-15-2002, 12:29 AM
Phil in SOFLA. beat me to it, and I agree with him. It all comes down to situational ethics< who you are playing against, type of match and setting of said match>. If I were friends with the opponent, then yesI would say something. If it's a tourney or money match against an unknown, then I keep my mouth shut, as he should be watching and paying attention the same as me. As for the idea from Poolguy, it has some very sound reasoning to it. Way to be thinking Poolguy.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Stranger:</font><hr> Tom...
BUT...before the next guy could shoot...I hollored STOP...and explained what happened and apologized to them ...I took off my point plus seven more for fouling...(I'll sleep better tonight...)
RonC (rgc) in SC <hr></blockquote>
been there. done that. got a teeshirt??
i would let him commit the foul also, i mean it was a mistake on his part and that mistake came from his obvious lack of concentration, which in turn is probably the number one reason for most mistakes in a pool match anyways. if i saw my opponent going for a shot on the nine and i knew that by the way he was aiming it would never go, i definately wouldn't tell him he was aiming wrong, i would just let him make the mistake as anyone would. so i can't see why you would help somebody out that's trying to take your money, i mean call me crazy but i play pool to win, when i get on the table i want to beat my opponent so bad he feels totally humiliated as he breaks his cue down, and i am surely not going to hold my opponents hand and walk him through the match just to make sure he doesn't make any dumb mistakes. but that's just my opinion.....:)
Ralph I never read all the posts, but that pretty well covers my thinking.
been there. done that. got a teeshirt??
What kind of t-shirt is that Dan?
05-15-2002, 07:08 AM
A couple weeks ago I shot the wrong ball three times in two days. Twice in one match and once a couple days before. And in all three instances my opponents didn't tell me until after the shot. In one case I shot the 4, the 5 and was lining up on the 6 (he was spotting me the 6) when he asked me what I am doing? I looked at him dumbfounded and he pointed out the 3. All I could do is laugh. I didn't blame my opponents for not pointing out MY mistake, but I was starting to question my own sanity. How could I not know what ball to play? It's not like there are a 100 to keep track of. This never happened before; and I hope it never happens again. I consider it a lesson well learned. Jake~~~looking forward to allowing others to learn this valuable lesson as well. LOL
class is one thing being a moron is another. if i was a football player am i to tell the other guy he's offside, in basketball am i to tell the guy at the foul line he's over the line, knowing the rules and situation is part of the game and if you want to improve learn to accept this.i agree cheating however is wrong. i do speak from experience in this matter several years ago in a match in valley forge after the break needing 1 more game to cash i broke made a ball and had a easy 1 ball and easy 2 ball to start with a dead 3-9combo and went brain dead and shot the 2. when called on it i was only mad at me not the oppenant. also i was the tourney director for several wpba events and during one of their national events jones was kicking for a hit on the 3 ball, hit it but missed seeing the 2 ball and ball in hand was given to her oppenate with no complante for loree jon jones. so grow up and stop looking to blame someone else for your mistake.
I'd like to think I'd do the right thing....but I"m not sure that I would given the circumstances of this story.
I know that if I didn't like the person I was playing I'd be very tempted to let him shoot the wrong shot but I'd feel like I cheated.
As RonC posted, I believe that pool should be a gentelmans/ladies game where ethics take precedence over greed. I just don't know if I'm committed to my ethical beliefs to the extent that I'd be able to make the decision quickly enough to do the right thing. Temptation would cause me to have an inner debate and I might not react quickly enough to my conscience to do that for which I would later like myself.
05-15-2002, 10:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: houstondan:</font><hr> have you any idea how long it takes me to type this stuff with my nose? huh? doya? huh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I thought you said last week that the nice nurse gave you a pencil to hold in your teeth /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif.
As to the topic, I agree with Elvis. I have a hard enough time playing my game. I don't feel responsible for watching my opponent's shot selection. In a friendly game I would probably tell him but not in a league or tournament.
05-15-2002, 02:42 PM
I tired of read about this being a moral issue. It's not a moral issue. A person should not feel guilty for letting his/her opponent foul. When I let my opponent foul, I sleep fine at night, because it was an unforced error.
As for all of you who believe that it's a gentleman or lady thing to do, you can not be more WRONG!! The gentleman or lady thing is calling a foul on yourself even if your opponent never noticed the foul. Don't be fooled into believing that helping your opponent win is the gentleman or lady thing to do.
The person making the mistake is the player with control of the table. Shooting the wrong ball is no different than scratching. The player made a mental error and is going to pay for it. $1, $100, $700 or $1M - doesn't matter a foul is a foul.
05-15-2002, 05:11 PM
NOT a moral issue at all.
NOT an Ethical issue at all.
Its about being fair to your opponent and yourself.
Fair.. In a tournament, you should not warn your opponent that is about to make a mistake. This is not fair to you or your opponent. To be able to learn from a mistake, it helps if there are consequences.
You don't warn an opponent that they are making a bad decision to try to make a ball, rather than shooting a safety do you?
So you might think that 'warning a player about to shoot the wrong ball' is the gentlemanly thing to do? Well why stop there... why not tell them everything they are doing wrong?
You want to sleep good at nite.. never play pool again.. it will guarantee you won't have to put yourself into this very difficult situation.
Integrity.. well if you want this game to grow.. its always a good thing for players to learn the rules and how to play the game.... you are depriving them of both.. (shame on you)
05-16-2002, 12:18 PM
I couldn't agree with you more!
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Lorri:</font><hr> Okay, so everyone thinks differently and all that but the overwhelming feeling I'm getting here is sympathy for the loser. If you reread the original post carefully, you might get the opinion (as I did) that this guy is maybe not so nice. You might even get the opinion that if the shoe were on the other foot that he wouldn't have said anything either. <hr></blockquote>
Just so you know, it appears that the person who made the post has some history with the "fouling player". The latter is an RSB regular, and posted his version of events:
> Here are the facts:
> As I was lining up for the five ball or it could have been the six ball in
> the corner pocket, directly across from me, there was a person on the next
> table who was throwing the cue ball into the pocket with his hand, rather
> hard. When that person saw I was waiting for him to stop the distraction he
> did stop whatever he was doing. At that time I got back down on the shot
> and played shape on the wrong ball in which YOU called "foul" or "that's a
> What I told my opponent and what I did was:
> As I shook his hand, I said "Congratulations, good game".
> Afterward my opponent came up later and said "I'm sorry". That is when I
> said, "Name omitted, I really don't want to talk about. I got what I
> He then surmised that I was talking about him in a derogatory manner. The
> only derogatory thing I said to him was Congratulations, good game which was
> said in a civil manner but meant sarcastically because it wasn't a good game
> by either of us.
> My opponent wanted to continue the conversation but I was not pleased with
> the outcome and did not want to discuss anything at that point and told him
> so without any anger whatsoever. I was emotionally charged after making
> such a blunder and admitted to him that the outcome was all my fault and I
> did get what I expected:
> In past pool tournaments, I have been known to tell my opponent that they
> were attempting to shoot the wrong ball. ( FTR, I am no goody-goody boy but
> believe in fair play in pool tournaments.) When pressed by my opponent to
> admit that I was wrong for making the comment, "I got what I expected", I
> told him additionally that "(N-O), I probably would have told you that you
> were shooting the wrong ball." And that made him even more upset so I chose
> not to discuss the situation any further.
> I genuinely don't expect my opponent to tell me that I am shooting the wrong
> ball. It is a nice, classy way to show sportsmanship but I don't expect it.
> BTW, is it true that my opponent looked at you when I was getting ready to
> shoot the wrong ball and you gave him one of those "cringe looks" that
> indicates "No, don't you dare tell hiim"? This was remarked to me by
> someone who has no ax to grind with you BTW..
> BTW, is my opponent the same person who when you and he were on my BCA pool
> team, you organized a gambling match in which I thought you wanted to stake
> me and in fact you were trying to stake him against me?
> This is my opinion of my opponent: who should remain nameless. FTR, except
> for this one lapse of moral judgment, he has always been of exceptional
> character, great, friendly competition, above board in all that I have ever
> perceived except in this one instance. He said "I'm sorry" and I just hope
> that he was sorry because he knew he made a mistake in moral judgment and
> not just that he was sorry because he won the way he won.
> My opponent was the one who knocked me into the loser's bracket and I warmly
> shook his hand and congratulated him with full intent to come back out of
> the loser's bracket and feel his competitive fire.
> It was just unfortunate that I had a lapse in mental concentration as we
> would have had a glorious finish in the second set (because I was coming out
> of the loser's bracket I had to beat my opponent twice) regardless of the
> Wondering if you are my friend.
> P.S. Please share my post with my opponent and invite him to discuss the
> situation with me as I am no longer emotionally charged. He's a nice guy.
Actually Tom, this is not a very good solution. For example, it's my turn but I don't have a very good shot. What do I do? I could on purpose shoot the wrong ball and then claim my opponent didn't warn me, now I would have BIH. I see this as creating more arguments than it solves. Jim R.
<blockquote><font class=&quot;small&quot;>Quote: PoolFan:</font><hr> .......because it was an unforced error.
Please define "unforced error". While you're at it, since you introduced "unforced error", what then would be a "forced error" ???
Troy...~~~ Has heard it used in Tennis and doesn't understand it in that context either.
I think you may have me confused with someone else. I haven't watched any tournament finals lately, nor do I organize matches. Perhaps you meant your post for the originator of the thread and quoted me by mistake?
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Lorri:</font><hr> Hello Gideon,
I think you may have me confused with someone else. I haven't watched any tournament finals lately, nor do I organize matches. Perhaps you meant your post for the originator of the thread and quoted me by mistake? <hr></blockquote>
Sorry, Lorri, I obviously didn't make myself clear.
What I meant what that the original poster to RSB (who posted the description of the incident) seemed to have a history with the person he described. I did intend to quote you, because I thought that you (and others) were basing your views on the conduct of the player in question on one side of the story - I just wanted the board to see the other side.
Sorry for the confusion.
05-17-2002, 06:14 PM
you are correct.. I should have included a "LOL" after my post.. to let you know that I was not serious.
05-17-2002, 06:21 PM
Un-forced error is a double fault (loss of point)
Forced error is a returned shot that is not successful. (loss of point)
Tennis related reply.. I have no idea how it relates to POOL
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Un-forced error is a double fault (loss of point)
Forced error is a returned shot that is not successful. (loss of point)
Tennis related reply.. I have no idea how it relates to POOL <hr></blockquote>
Well Tom, I actually think the Tennis guys just like to hear themselves talk.
I've heard the term "unforced error" used in Tennis when a player hits a ball into the net, hits out, etc... To me that is simply an "error", a missed shot.
I have never heard the term "forced error". But common sense would indicate that there should be such a term since it would be the opposite of an "unforced error".
Troy...~~~ Just ramblin' /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
05-17-2002, 06:47 PM
Well Stranger.. if its a gentlemanly thing to do.. and it makes you feel good.. then that is reason enough for you to continue to do it.
I have done the same thing.. but I have been discussing this with lots of other players and your reply is the most consistant response I have recieved.
The one different response is "why deprive the opponent the opportunity to learn from their mistake.. and the consequence that comes with it?" ALSO... "if you say your opponent making a mistake on shooting a straight in 9 ball, by putting top english on the cue ball.. and you know that the cue ball will follow the 9 into the pocket, would you tell them?"
Where do you draw the line on you telling your opponent they are making a mistake?
Shooting the wrong ball could be a strategy by your opponent, knowing that the table would be difficult for you to get out.. even with ball in hand.
Its easy to correct your buddies, its a win-win situation.. they say "thanks.. you are a gentleman".. and continue to play.. but you are in your home situation.. surrounded by players that know you.. its real easy to make the call that will make you look good. Or at the very least, they won't think you are a jerk..
Calling a foul on yourself is easy too.. if it was obvious. Or even if it wasn't obvious.. You feel better about your accomplishment. Win or lose.
But, you aren't in the position to always call a foul on yourself. If you are stroking at the cue ball and it moves, do you think it was hit by your cue (you didn't feel it) but you saw the cue ball move.. maybe it was just settling, you can't be sure... but you saw it move.. and you are pretty sure that you didn't hit it.. do you still call a foul? even though you aren't sure?
05-17-2002, 06:52 PM
One of my biggest pet peeves..
Very poor sports announcers.. that believe that the audience tunes in just to hear them talk.. Dumb.. real Dumb.
No problem Gideon. :-) I hope now that you're here you'll stick around. It's always nice to welcome another gentleman to the Board!
05-17-2002, 10:30 PM
A "forced error" is called a "winner" for the player who did it right. You either hit the ball past the other player, or force him to hit a poor shot. An analogy for pool would be; unforced error - you missed the damn shot, forced error (winner) you left him locked up and you run out with ball in hand.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: MikeM:</font><hr> A "forced error" is called a "winner" for the player who did it right. You either hit the ball past the other player, or force him to hit a poor shot. An analogy for pool would be; unforced error - you missed the damn shot, forced error (winner) you left him locked up and you run out with ball in hand.
My point exactly. No need for the extra words.
He hit a winner.
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