View Full Version : Do you talk or shut up if you see a foul?

07-03-2002, 10:03 AM
I was watching a Lanny, a 10-1 play some girl that is a 4 handicap. She broke and he didn't see what happened. But I clearly saw what happened. I was already eliminated from the tournament. Is there a rule that says I can't say anything? Or a rule that says I must say something? Does it matter if the one that fouled says anything. I'm the newest player in these small tournaments. And I don't like arguing.

On her final stroke or pause near the cue ball, she hit it and it slowly rolled forward about 2". She instinctively continued her stroke and hit it again. After the break she said I hit the cue twice. And she asked what happens. He said I didn't see it. But if you hit it twice it's a foul and I get ball in hand. I immediately sensed she didn't want him to have ball in hand. This girl plays very good for a 4 and really plays to win.

Lanny seemed to be waiting for her to tell him to take the ball in hand. Again she said something like what now. Again Lanny said I didn't see it. But if you hit the cue twice it is a foul and I get ball in hand. He didn't force the issue. He immediately said is a rerack ok with you. She said yes. He reracked and she broke again. Being a complete gentleman he just reminded her that if you hit the cue twice on the break it is a foul and the opponet gets ball in hand.

Once before I was there for the other tournament. An argument started. And about 5 or 6 players were watching the match. But no one was really saying anything. And one of the guys wanted the last game to be replayed. He told the tournament director to ask any of his friends. They all saw it. The owner TD did and they replayed the game. What is the correct thing to do?

07-03-2002, 10:18 AM
According to most standard rules:
The non-shooting player is responsible for calling fouls. If there are any disputes, the shooting player usually has the advantage.

If there is going to be a suspected close hit, the non-shooting player can request a 3rd party (Tournament Director or referee, or agreed 3rd person) to make the call, and that call is final.

To take a poll (ask spectators what they saw) after the fact, is not only unfair, but downright stupid. To many different viewpoints and maybe predudice involved.

Calling an obvious foul on yourself is pretty standard. Everyone else saw it.. so you just make yourself look good by admitting it quickly.

Playing the game over, is probably the best way to handle the situations in most cases, but its not always fair to one of the players.

07-03-2002, 10:35 AM
partial snip:
According to most standard rules:
The non-shooting player is responsible for calling fouls. If there are any disputes, the shooting player usually has the advantage.
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Does this mean only the non shooting player can call a foul. Whenever I played if I ever fouled I would say so whether or not my opponet saw it. That is just how I play. Even if I'm breaking a rule by doing this I will still probably call a foul on myself it the situation ever comes up. But we use to play a lot of straight pool. And if you shirt or anything touched any ball, we played that as a foul. If someone fouled or if I did I got into the habit of loudly announcing "FOUL". That's what we all did. And now I think if I were to touch a non involved ball while preparing to shoot, it isn't the same kind of foul in 9 ball.

another partial snip:
To take a poll (ask spectators what they saw) after the fact, is not only unfair, but downright stupid. To many different viewpoints and maybe predudice involved.
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What happened was one player told the other player something like: Wait. Don't shoot. I want to get the owner to watch the shot. And the player shot anyway. And the player that told him to wait complained to the owner and wanted the game replayed. Which it was. The 5 or 6 were all friends of the one who took the shot. And they all said they heard the other guy tell him to wait until I get Rich. And then 2 or 3 of them said but it was a good hit.

07-03-2002, 10:41 AM
If yoy are not involved in the match, keep your nose out of their business & your opinions to yourself. It's your opponants job to watch the game. If he doesn't see anything it's his fault. That's the rule...JER

07-03-2002, 10:44 AM
Jer. Thanks.
That's a rule I like.

07-03-2002, 10:47 AM
The participants are supposed to watch and keep each other honest. Most self respecting players will call a foul on themself if their opponent didn't see it. Anyway, as a spectator, you are just that, not a referee. IMO you should let the participants settle the dispute, along with the TD if necessary. The only time I think it is appropriate to become involved as a spectator is when you are playing on a team and a teamate fails to see a foul commited. In a case like this, you are actually involved in the match to a degree.

07-03-2002, 10:52 AM
The non-shooting player is responsible for calling fouls. You do not break any rules if you call a foul on yourself.

Calling an 'obvious' foul on yourself is very common. But, do you call a foul on yourself if you are unsure that one has been committed? I think NOT. You may be looking at the cue ball to see if it hits a rail (and it doesn't) and now you are wondering if any object ball hit a rail. Do you call a foul on yourself? Do you ask if anyone watching noticed if a ball hit the rail? sorry, its too late.. the non-shooting play makes the call.

That's why its up to the non-shooting player to pay attention to the game and call the fouls.

Touch fouls (any ball touched is a foul) and "cue ball only" fouls are the two types of ball fouls now.

07-03-2002, 11:06 AM
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Touch fouls (any ball touched is a foul) and "cue ball only" fouls are the two types of ball fouls now.
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When we use to play in the 60s, if someone touched a ball they would lose their turn. Say someone was shooting and they touched the cue or another ball with their stick, body or clothes before they shot. We would usually say, go ahead and shoot. But if they made a shot, and fouled moving a ball which would affect the next shot, they would lose their turn.
But say someone commits a touch foul. Is that a ball in hand foul? Or do players still say just go ahead and shoot?

07-03-2002, 11:15 AM
Tom, you mention about the referee's decision being final. I was at a tournament a few years ago. Dick Weaver was playing Mario Cruz, the score was 6-6 race to 7. Dick ran to the 6 where everybody knew he had to place safe (ball couldn't be made). They called over the referee over to watch the hit. Obviously it was a good hit but the referee called a foul. The referee walked away and Mario played the shot as was.

Thought that was funny, the referee's decision is final, both players disagreed with his decision so they just ignored him.


07-03-2002, 11:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>But say someone commits a touch foul. Is that a ball in hand foul? Or do players still say just go ahead and shoot?<hr></blockquote>

Touch fouls are used in refereed matches. If the referee calls the foul, the player loses their turn, and a penalty is assesed

loss of a point in 14.1

a ball is spotted up in One pocket or banks

or BIH in other games

07-03-2002, 11:22 AM
A spectator is supposed to watch only,...unless spoken to. Opinions/verbage/pointing of any kind is forbidden. A foul can be called in some cases if someone wants to press it and the match is being refereed.

As a personnal note: Snickers, laughing, comments like, "that was pityful", "I could have made that", have no place in good sportsmanship. Only the shooter should be making the comments about themselves,...such as I do when I make a stupid shot.


07-03-2002, 11:23 AM
No one ever said Referees were perfect. LOL

07-03-2002, 11:24 AM

07-03-2002, 11:26 AM
respect, and the fact that someone (horse or backer) might be caring a weapon... would keep most railbirds quiet.. too..
Keep your comments to yourself, or get involved with the action.... only thing that talks during money matches is money..

07-03-2002, 12:06 PM
I was in a 8-ball tournament once where my opponent was standing behind me bullshitting with one of our mutual friends. Anyway i was jacked up over a ball, when i was stroking i accidentally hit his ball with my cue. I told him and gave up ball in hand. He simply made his two balls and the eight and won the match puting me out of the tourney.

After the match an older man told me that i should not have told him because it was his fault that he was not paying attention. Is this the wrong thing to do?

john bastian in pa

07-03-2002, 12:12 PM
It's not a foul to touch your opponents ball, unless your tournament rules state such.

Even if you touched them, you should only tell your opponent and then they have the option of letting the ball stay where it is, or move it back.

07-03-2002, 12:31 PM
If you are not playing you mind your own business. I was betting $500. on a match and my player slept a third foul by the other player. He was the only one in the room that did not know it. It is a horrible feeling but you have to keep your mouth shut. It may not be very nice for the player who fouls to try to hide it, but it still is not your business.

07-03-2002, 12:53 PM
When in doubt, keep quiet. If it's not your match, that's the only safe policy. I always hate to pass up a golden opportunity to mind my own business.

07-03-2002, 01:03 PM
Hi Eddie. I was in a match two weeks ago where my opponent was on the 2. However, the 3 was right next to it. I was in a position where I could see the shot, and just assumed that he was shooting the 2. He shot the 3 instead. He had totally blocked out the 2 and didn't know he had committed a foul. I called it on him, but very politely. I would have told him that he was shooting the wrong ball before he pulled the trigger, but at the angle I was at, couldn't tell which ball he was shooting at.

Three weeks ago, I played a guy who was much better than I. Chris and Christ were sitting at a table close by and watching the match. I got down on my shot, which was the 6, the cb rolled downtable where I wanted it to, by the 5. I had done the same thing.

My opponent never told me that I was shooting at the wrong ball. Chris never said anything because it's not his game. It is not the spectator's job to make the calls, it's the player's.

If I'm playing in a match, and I see that my opponent is aiming on the wrong ball, yes I would say something because I feel I am an honest player. I play straight up and expect the same out of my opponent. Now if I'm watching a match, and I see a foul going to occur, or has occurred, I keep my mouth shut.

It is the job of both players to watch their own match. If a foul is made, it is their responsibility to take care of it, and no one else's.


Heide ~ will never hit a ball out of turn again!

07-03-2002, 01:53 PM
yeas but shouldnt the guy be paying attention? If he does not call the foul and there is $100 riding on it Im not gonna call it! He should be paying attention!

john bastian in pa

9 Ball Girl
07-03-2002, 02:37 PM
Just yesterday I was watching my bud playing in the playoffs at Corner Billiards. It was an intense game so I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. My friend got down on a shot, missed it, but he stayed down. When he got back up, his shaft hit the side of the table. I winced 'cause that's not music to a cue owners ears. Anyway, his opponent, who was standing behind my friend and heard that sound, started to argue with him that the cue ball hit the stick and that he should get ball in hand. Now I saw the whole thing, but I didn't say anything because it's not my game. This went on for about 5 minutes until his opponent turned to me and ASKED me if I had saw it. I said yes I saw it and the cue ball did not hit his cue. He through his hands up in the air and said ok.

The moral of my story is I only speak up when I'm asked to watch the shot or in a situation like the above. Now, if I have mutual friends playing for money, I let them know from the beginning that I don't want to be involved in watching shots, etc.

07-03-2002, 02:44 PM
i always say something but i never demand what rules require. ususally i point out the foul and allow continued shooting if the opponent shooter wants that..usually people do what is right. at times with people that are obvious BSers and percieve my kind gesture as weak foolishness instead of a chance to show thier honesty...those people i double my resolve and let a fun game become focused. so far i've won all but one game involving these challenges(a game that still smarts but i got him back over a year later by running him 5-0 in second round play).
i have to admit, in the final placing games of a tournament, when the crowd is watching, i never have to say anything, the observers take care of fouls where i don't have to. overall i point out what i saw as a problem hit, which luckily rarely happens..then i let the shooter decide what to do. if in a money game sheer guilt ensures they don't do it repeatedly. if that were to happen i would quit playing the person but it hasn;t happened yet. i have no belief in karma or that sort of thing but guess i let karma sort out what happens from the honesty challenge point forward.
best regards,

9 Ball Girl
07-03-2002, 02:49 PM
Check this one out:

I went to a 9 ball tournament and was watching 2 of my friends playing, Player A and Player B (don't want to mention names). Player A was shooting and in the middle of the rack, Player B said he had to go to the men's room. He then told Player A to keep shooting. That there is a BIG NO NO at least when I'm playing. (If nature calls, I'll wait 'til the game is over).

Player A kept shooting as Player B went to the men's room. Player A hit the 7 ball but scratched. He put the cue ball back on the table. When Player B came back, Player A never told him that it was ball in hand. Player B now had a tough cut shot on the 7 which he misses, and Player A ran it out to win the hotseat!

Now, several of us saw the whole thing but we didn't say anything because 1. we're not involved in the game and 2. as for me I don't care if it's my Grandma that I'm playing, I stay put and watch every move. In this case, I think both players are at fault but Player B should not have left the table.

07-03-2002, 03:19 PM
Eddie, I and others was watching a match between to good players. I know both of them very well. Player A asked for the ref to call a hit on a shot he is about to shoot. He shoots the shot and the ref calls a bad hit. Player A looks at me with a disgusted look, and I acknowledged his despair. It was a terrible call, the hit was good. Me and about 5 others knew it was good, but didn't say anything. Player B looks at A and says was it a good hit? Player A says yes but go ahead and shoot. Player B says he feels bad but shoots anyway. Player B knew as well as the rest of us that the hit was good. It was up to B to concede the shot, but he didn't and by then the c/b had been moved. Still another area you don't say anything unless asked. After that no one asked that ref to make a call.

Voodoo Daddy
07-03-2002, 06:14 PM
As a boy coming up in the pool room I learned a few things. Keep you mouth shut and your eyes and ears open, never get into anyones game and keep your opinions to yourself during a match {money or otherwise} until its over and even then you use discretion. Its the safe way to go and it cancels all potential problems.


07-03-2002, 07:12 PM
Last Thur I was asked to make a call in the 7 &amp; under turnament. I quickly said my eyes aren't that good. And I haven't made any calls yet. That I just recently started replaying. They say that's ok. It's easy. Just get up close here and watch the hit. In high school everyone trusted in my then excellent eyesight and honesty. And another of the younger players also came over to watch. As soon as the ball was hit he yelled good hit. It startled me. And the players looked and aked, it was a good hit, wasn't it? I said yes. It really wasn't that close.
So I guess you are supposed to immediately call the hit?
And I guess if someone agrees to call the hit, they have the official sayso?

07-03-2002, 08:19 PM
Howdy Eddie,
There is some unwitten code of coduct among the regulars( I do not know about the APA Leagues and others) Here Are some (1) Saw nothing and heard nothing (2) If a stranger comes to the pool room and asking for a particular player never give any info but call( if u want to be nice) that guy and tell him that a stranger is looking for him. Cheers

07-03-2002, 08:31 PM
Howdy 9 Ball girl,
Next say ``I saw nothing, I heard nothing`` cheers

07-04-2002, 03:41 AM
If you are not playing, you are a spectator and remain silent-it is up to the players to keep an eye on the table-if a shot looks like it could be a possible foul, its the opponents place to call a ref to watch the shot-if a ball is moved (not the cueball) by accident, the ball can be replaced(I believe by opponent) or kept where it is, it is not a foul! Fouls are on the cueball-should the opponent double hit the cueball and the other player did not see it,that opponent usually says so-at least respectable ones-and from my experience, if they do not call it on themselves, they wind up losing anyway because now they know they did wrong-its a mental thing! Whats great about watching is, you get to know respectable and non-respectable players!

07-04-2002, 04:26 AM
partial snip:
Whats great about watching is, you get to know respectable and non-respectable players!
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I also kind of like just watching the action &amp; competition. And most of my playing was in the 60s in a couple local small pool halls. So I never really got to see players as good as these 9s, 10s, and 11s, etc play. When I was playing against my 10 he played almost errorless. What I do is I sort of watch like I would if watching a tv match. Sort of like I'm shooting each shot and planning position for the next shot only. Sometimes I feel this can keep me in, or get me into a game better. It's probably stupid. Like when I'm watching a tv match. I just take it this shot and the position for the next. And then after each shot I'm thinking, I can do that. And if they make an error or get bad position I'm thinking I could have or would have done this instead.

When we used to play if the next table was empty, we would always learn against it watching the game closely. And we were constantly moving around to keep out of the shooters way. But also to always have a good view of any upcoming shots. Is this considered a no-no or improper. We especially did this while playing 3 cushion. Especially me because back then I always had the best eyesight. I called hundreds of hits in 3 cushioned games when the balls would just barely touch without perceptively moving the other ball. And when I watched Roberto Rojas in a 3 cushion match last week, he too would leave his seat and position himself closely near the end of a billiard shot if it was going to be close. And that is another little thing that helps keep me in the game and relieve some of my nervousness. But I don't see it too much in 9 ball in the tournaments and not at all on the tv matches. I do see it in the 9 ball money games.