View Full Version : Cue stick on table-- foul?

phil in sofla
06-27-2002, 04:59 PM
I often use my cue tip to point at my desired contact point on the object ball. This usually involves placing the tip of the cue on the cloth in front of the object ball.

I don't think this is that unusual, although most better players I see only do this on harder cuts, or when the allowable margin error on the shot is reduced, say for a not straight in combo or if another ball is blocking part of the pocket you're shooting the OB into. I maybe do it too much, but then I'm generally aiming the ball into the left or right 1/3rd of the pocket to give me a full ball's width of margin for error.

Last season, our league banned this practice, 'at the bar owners' request,' allegedly because it marked the tables. This season, they relaxed AND strengthened the ban, stating that any marking of the table, including by the tip, was a ball in hand foul. However, since simply placing the tip on the table does NOT mark the table (so far as I've ever noticed), it would appear now to be legal except in unusual cases where the table gets marked, maybe putting the surface of the chalked tip on the nose of the rail or something.

What is your thinking on this? Generally, is using the tip on the table to aid in aiming allowable where you play? Am I right to think that letting the cue out of your hand, to rest it totally on the table, IS a foul, an impermissible use of some device for aiming, similar to marking an aim point on the rail with a piece of chalk?

Also, would it help me if I worked on seeing the line in most situations without this pointing?

06-27-2002, 05:15 PM
the short answer is that any marking of the table as an aid to aiming is a foul by bca. setting the chalk on the rail at the bank aiming point is a foul.

in real life, mostly, you just move the chalk or erase the mark, warn the guy and move on. laying the stick on the table may be a foul if you are using it to plot an aiming point but a lot of people will call the foul as soon as you let go of it and cannot then be argued out of it no matter what.


Cueless Joey
06-27-2002, 09:07 PM
Dan, setting the chalk is not a foul is it? You are not altering anything. The other guy can ask to remove it, but can't call foul imo.

06-27-2002, 10:48 PM
All this bickering about fouls are signs of weakness! If your good your good no matter what you think of your opponent. Whether he's marking the table with the tip of it's cue (w/c IMO he/ahe may even not know about it or it's he's way of pendulum stroke style that touches the table with his/her cue tip). Don't be a loser just play and beat your opponent the best u can.

Putting the chalk on the rail is not a foul. How can you tell he/she intentionally put to mark it. Whether he/she is doing it you can't. Unless you know what he/her thinking.

phil in sofla
06-28-2002, 11:55 AM
There's merit in what you write, sort of, but of course, one can only control ones own nitpicking, not when your opponent choses to invoke some rule and call a foul on you. Once someone invokes those rules, whatever they are is the deciding question. And I doubt most of us simply ignore cue ball fouls and let them shoot even when they've touched the cue ball, or let a failure to hit a rail after a good hit go, and not take ball in hand, however much we're interested in proving we're best simply by playing better.

Which was sort of what happened to me to prompt this post. My opponents weren't calling a foul on me for touching the tip to the cloth, but in a reasonable and sportmanslike manner, were warning me about the rule that could give them ball in hand, since they thought it was a specified foul. They immediately said they were not calling me on a foul, just giving me a chance to not do it again, or they would call it.

Since it was clearly only if it marked the table that it was a foul, and since I don't mark anything by that action, which they agreed when I pointed that out to them, the whole question went away into 'nevermind' land.

06-28-2002, 12:16 PM
Hi, Phil:

Generally, you can expect the following: It's not a foul to lay the tip of your cue stick on the table for aiming purposes providing that the cue is held by hand (not laid on the table) and providing that you don't mark the table with the tip.

It is, by the way, illegal to place the chalk as an aiming aid.

These situations are covered by the BCA General Rules as stated below:

41. DEVICES. Players are not allowed to use a ball, the triangle or any other width-measuring device to see if the cue ball or an object ball would travel through a gap, etc. Only the cue stick may be used as an aid to judge gaps, etc., so long as the cue is held by the hand. To do so otherwise is a foul and unsportsmanlike conduct.

42. ILLEGAL MARKING. If a player intentionally marks the table in any way to assist in executing the shot, whether by wetting the cloth, by placing a cube of chalk on the rail, or by any other means, he has fouled. If the player removes the mark prior to the shot, no penalty is imposed.

06-28-2002, 01:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr> Dan, setting the chalk is not a foul is it? You are not altering anything. The other guy can ask to remove it, but can't call foul imo. <hr></blockquote>

yep, putting the chalk at the aiming point on the rail is a foul.

3.43 b.c.a (2002) illegal marking "if a player intentionally marks the table (including the placement of chalk) to assist in executing the shot, it is a foul."

that couldn't be much more clear. i don't call it as a foul. i just move the chalk. i have however, had it called on me when one of my idiot teammates moved a piece of chalk "out of my way" while i was down on the shot. the other guys went berserk trying to come up with some kind of mixture of rules to nail me with. coaching? nope, i didn't ask for or use the help. marking? i didn't do it. interferrence? i'm the one to call that and i'm not. i finally just decided to shoot a completely different shot to try to placate 'em.

i don't call nitpicky stuff but i know the book well enough to defend myself when someone else does.