View Full Version : Ethics

07-26-2005, 02:13 AM
I need some honest opinions from the veterans that have been playing the leagues for awhile.

I really hate to take this very far but it's driving me insane. My GFriend whom I've been with for almost a year introduced me to the game of pool, and of course I took to it like a junkie, and became obsessed. I practiced alot, and attended all of my significant others league nights to support her playing. Soon, I get elected to sub on the team for lack of regular members showing. After about six months of obsessive practice and a very expensive cue as a gift from my GFriend, I get to a skill level where I feel comfortable commiting to playing on the league team. Now the problem. I subbed on another league that plays ACS rules, and I learned them in order to better my abilities. As you may well know, a failed hit on an object ball awards your opponent ball in hand. This is a common foul. The league that I will be playing in plays by some type of bar rules that are typed up and that I've not seen published anywhere. This league has no rule on object ball contact. In other words there is no foul if you shoot you're ball and do not contact it, you only lose your turn.

My question, my GFriend insists that if I play defensively in order to put my opponent in an unfavorable position (such as in a game of nine ball when you cannot pot a ball but are practicing good follow up placement) I get told I am playing "dirty pool", and am shunned for it. To me I am only playing the game to win, which I thought was the point. My view is if there is no rule on object ball contact then I am going to take advantage of that and if people are going to cry about it then they should be playing BCA or a league where there are rules about such things.

Is there really an "honorable" way to play pool, or is this just an excuse poor players use when they get beat by a better player ("he was playing dirty pool").

You're input is greatly appreciated and so sorry for the long post.

Rich R.
07-26-2005, 03:04 AM
Find yourself another league, BCA, APA or TAP, where they have real rules that are published. Get away from the bar room leagues where they make up rules as they go. JMHO.

07-26-2005, 04:51 AM
Either accept the rules of the group you and the GF play in and consequently get to play with your GF, or play by real pool rules and maybe lose your GF and certainly not be welcomed in her group of pool friends. That's the real world answer.

The rules you are wanting to follow sound like the real thing and the way pool should be played but if the group you are hanging with does not play by them then you'll not make friends by throwing their pool ignorance in their faces. Playing safeties is not "dirty pool", it's smart pool. I don't think it involves ethics it's a "when in Rome" situation.

07-26-2005, 05:12 AM
I understand EXACTLY where you are coming from. Our local league has always been just a Bar Association league and the rules, as they call them, sound very similar to the ones in your league... Can't play safety and must make an "honest effort" to pocket your ball. Well, with experience and a little thought, you'd be surprised how an "honest effort" can just miss the pocket and lock your opponent up where he can't see a ball with a periscope. No ball in hand reward, but at least he's not taking balls off the table.

Solution: Well, you can do what I'm doing. I've been "asked not to play" in our local league after this season anyways (too many complaints from average players about me and one of my team mates), so I've gotten all the package from Mark Griffin and am working on organizing a BCA league. We've talked to most of the teams on the present league and they are all for it. I know it will be a pain in the ass, but in the end, it will give our local players something to shoot for besides a cheap trophy... they'll be able to go to the Nats if they want and play there. With this Bar Association league they have now, their only choice, there is no sanctioning body of any kind and you never get outside of the city with it. That will change in 2006. Real Rules, Real Pool and a chance to play in Vegas.


07-26-2005, 05:20 AM
It sounds like they are using the "honest effort" rule. You have to make an honest effort to hit the object ball. And maybe you have to make an honest effort to sink the object ball. In other words, it seems like they are simply outlawing safety play. While this is certainly different from any official set of rules for pool, the members of this "league" have adopted them and you should go along with their "rules" or find another league. Of course, if you have good control of the cue ball, you could APPEAR to be following their rules and still execute safeties by intentionally missing a shot and leaving the cue ball safe. But I wouldn't advise this alternative as it violates the spirit of their rules. Short answer: Yes, it is unethical to violate the stated or simply understood rules of the "league" you play in. Just MHO.

07-26-2005, 09:01 AM
There is an obvious safety... Then there is the "shot safety".

With a shot safety, you attempt to make a ball - sometimes a difficult shot, but the cue ball will wind up in a nasty spot for your opponent (should you miss), yet leave you a shot if you make it.

The most import thing is to leave the cue ball in a nasty spot.

Now what you do... You may have several easy shots which are blocking your opponents balls (8-ball), so don't shoot those (yet). But you have a ball which is in a bad spot and hitting this ball a certain way would move it to a better spot *and* leave the cue ball in a nasty spot for your opponent at the same time.

But the thing is, where you actually hit it will not make the object ball in any pocket, but you need to hit it that way to get the cue ball to go where you want. So pretend to line up the shot in a pocket in that direction. Call the ball to be made in that pocket - check angles with your cue and so forth. Make a good show of it.

Then hit it and "accidentially" miss badly - cue ball goes into nasty spot as planned. Say "Jeeze! I can't hit a bull in the butt with a base fiddle today!" Walk back to seat and look disgusted with yourself.

This is what the better players in my area do when playing at tournaments where safeties are not allowed. And *only* the better players can do this. Lesser skilled players can only shoot obvious safeties. So if you ask me, the no safety rules at these tournaments gives an advantage to the better players.

07-26-2005, 09:54 AM
Is it any wonder that US pool is in the state its in? From Mosow to Jakarta to Dubai, the game of snooker is played by the same rules.
You cant promote a game when everyone makes up their own rules.

Q.......thinks its not dirty to use the rules [ any rules] to your own advantage.

07-26-2005, 10:54 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. I will definately use the word "oops" alot in my play this season with this league. Last season they all saw the "sub" that wasn't that great, I'll just use that image to my advantage.

Happy Hunting

07-27-2005, 01:07 PM
I wouldn't do that..."oops" That falls into sandbagging or Sharking. They will still be made at you when you win.
Sounds like you love billiards. Find a game or leauge or tourny that will be a challange to you and you will Grow better. This leauge sound very social I can't imagine that there are the "Really Good" players there. Don't put them down they are having fun at their level so be it but you need to step up and play with the big boys so to speak. Then maybe you could have your girl sub on one of these teams. From what I have seen girls learn safty play rather quickly and they can beat much better players who always try to run the table by sinking two and ducking.

07-27-2005, 02:56 PM
I like the idea of finding a better league, however you may wish to treat that league more like run out practice. Attempt to make every ball no matter what. Play super aggressive to train yourself that at certain times you don't need to duck. If you couple that with practice and some other leagues where you do play safe you will still become a well rounded player.

I know some players in bar leagues where they were always encouraged to play safe. So much so that they can safe the heck out of you, but now they can't make 2 or 3 balls in a row. After all in most pool games you have to pocket balls to win. Maybe make the most out of it and have fun until you can find a better league.