View Full Version : Is sharking a form of cheating?

04-02-2006, 08:10 AM
Yesterday, while playing 8-ball with a group of non-league players, my opponent started waving his cue in a circular motion while I was lining up to shoot the 8-ball. I asked him to stop as he was in my line of view. He didn't stop and I subsequently missed a shot I ordinarily would have made. On a later attempt at shooting the 8-ball, this guy got up close to the table and started rocking his cue back and forth while I was lining up to shoot the 8. I asked him to stand back and he refused. I again missed a shot that I probably should have made. While I take full responsibility for the shots I make and don't make, it appears to me that my opponent was blatently engaging in sharking.

There are other people in this group that also engage in sharking behaviors. They do things such as:
- setting up a slug rack
- standing right next to the pocket that I'm shooting into
- standing too close to the table when it's not their turn to shoot
- waving their cue stick around.

In my opinion, "sharking" is a polite word for "cheating" in that all of these actions are designed to distract the opponent and help cause them to miss the shot.

Under BCA rules, are there any rules regarding sharking your opponent and are there any penalties for engaging in this behavior (in league play and in non-league play)?


Scott Lee
04-02-2006, 08:29 AM
All of these behaviors fall under the catagory of "poor sportsmanship", and BCA rules specify penalties for that, ranging from loss of turn, to loss of match. Personally, I would refuse to shoot until the offending party moves out of the way, or sits down. The alternative is not to play with these idiots. Anyone who does these things in an attempt to 'win' doesn't have a clue about how to play the game anyway.

Scott Lee

04-02-2006, 08:46 AM
SHARKING is just what Scott said about it. It is poor sportsmanship. The intent is to alter your focus, so that you will hopefully make a mistake.

Sharking someone can be real subtle or blatant. Sharking someone, that is sharking you, is a stepping stone to a "mild to wild" disagreement.

When I play with someone that starts that behavior, I call attention to their Sharking. If I'm gambling, I quit. If I'm in a Tournament, I call the TD. If I'm in a Ring game with my local friends & friendlies, I expect it.

04-02-2006, 08:54 AM
Moderate gambling in my circle allows woofing and counter woofing. Hell that's more than half the fun most of the times.

If it is a serious game or especially a tournament/organized-format, then "SHUT THE F'UP". I guess what I'm saying is this...have fun most of the time and get serious when serious is the game. Some people are obnoxious with complaints, don't be one of them, yet stand your ground if need be...sid

I read the original post, and you were definitely, illegally sharked. It sounds like your only option though was to quit and move to more respectable players. Ceebee getting a LD or ref is the answer, but in your case, it sounds like a BS game with BS people..sv

Fran Crimi
04-02-2006, 09:33 AM
If there's something on the line to be won or lost, whether it's money, trophy, or whatever...sharking is cheating.

If it's in a sociable atmosphere, then it's just someone trying to be cute or funny, usually winding up looking pathetic or like an idiot.


04-02-2006, 09:34 AM
when it was intentionally done I consider it as nothing but a CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR.They have the profile of criminals and they are not idiots.The thing described by sid vicious is done with mutual undrstanding among friends and I do not consider that as criminal. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

04-02-2006, 11:03 AM
Some people win by practicing and improving their playing.

Other people try to win by getting their opponent to play worse (sharking), giving poor racks, changing rules in mid game, changing the rules of a tournament to favor themselves, or out and out banning of better players from a tournament.

But you said the key thing! You were shooting in the 8!

So obviously you are a better player than this person who was sharking you. And he is trying to win by getting you to play worse. Perhaps he would do better to practice?

Sharking is a "good" sign! It typically means they are not a very good player. So when I see someone doing this, I know pretty much I am going to win. That is because while they have been putting all their energy into learning how to shark, I have been putting all my energy into practicing.

I am amused these days when I see someone sharking me. When I see it, you might see a slight smile appear on my face.

04-02-2006, 11:45 AM
BB..I agree. If someone is trying to shark me, they have so much as admitted that they believe I am the better player. And if they believe that, then I KNOW it!

04-02-2006, 01:20 PM
Crazy as it seems I have always considered sharking a challenge to my ability to blank things out.

I pride myself, when I am focused and playing well, on being completely oblivious to what is going on around me while I am at the table.

I don't condone sharking, but I think it is almost as much the problem of the sharkee as the sharker.

Others have made all the correct suggestions about appropriate responses and they are all fine.

For myself, if it is not an incredibly important or costly match, I try and shoot through it and then act like I didn't notice anything.

There is nothing worse for someone who is attemping a sharking move than to be summarily ignored.

04-02-2006, 04:05 PM
This is definitely cheating. Something you may want to try, my uncle used to scoop/jump the cue ball at the offending person, if he thought they were to close to the table or trying to shark him. They learned once someone got beaned in the head.

DG - I wouldn't do this as the owner may not appreciate this tactic

04-03-2006, 12:48 PM
If someone displays the type of behavior you're referring to, refuse to shoot 'til they stop. You have that right. Sorry, but if you go ahead and shoot and miss, you've allowed them to set up shop, rent free, in your head. You've allowed them to accomplish what they set out to do, which was to distract you. Again, DON'T shoot if they refuse to stop the sharking technique.

04-03-2006, 04:38 PM
DG in centralpa. That was the thought that came to my mind. I would start practicing my jump shots, it is possible to jumb the object ball and then have the cueball jumb the table too.####

04-03-2006, 07:12 PM
I think in situations like described above the high road is the best road especially if there is no referee around. Just focus and fire. Imagine the time you made the same shot without the distractions. Imagine sinking the shot and keeping the table. If you don't like the people around the table move on or out of the bar or pool hall. There is no peaceful solution other than winning the game unless an official can intervene. If money is involved outside a refereed match then you have to sleep in the bed you made.

- Kevin

04-06-2006, 06:02 PM
I have my own method for handling morons like this. I ask them to refrain first, if they dont I lay a stack of hundred dollar bills on the table, and say fine, we have a bet for this amount on this shot, put your money down and do what ever you want.i'm not a pro but better than the average player. I handle being hustled the same way, most hustlers have a comfort level, be it $10. $20, $50 per game, I put $1000 on the table and if they take it, their game goes to crap. By the way i'm new here, but my step-father was a pro and toured the country in the late 30s and 40s as the mask marvel. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/C5Sam/cw_0001.jpg

04-07-2006, 09:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Lashlarue:</font><hr> By the way I'm new here, but my step-father was a pro and toured the country in the late 30's and 40's as The Mask Marvel.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/C5Sam/cw_0001.jpg <hr /></blockquote>Welcome. How cool is that! I've never heard of The Pocket Billiards Mask Marvel! Was he known outside of the Mask? What did his show consist of? Did you attend his shows?

Feel free to start a new thread about The Mask Marvel if that would be more appropriate.

04-07-2006, 12:56 PM
He married my mom, after he had toured the midwest, and had settled into a job as a blackjack dealer in the notorious Newport Ky. He was 53 then and still considered the best in the Cincinnati, area. He was the best I ever saw, playing nightly after work on snooker tables that were dice tables during business hours.That was using pool size balls. I once saw him make 25 straight spot shots on those tables. Yet he claimed he was much better before he had to start wearing glasses. He played league pool in Vegas right up until his death in 1982 at age 78. His name by the way,was Charley White and National Billiard Co. out of Cincinnati sponsored those tours. He had an array of trick shots but only used them if he couldn't get a cash game with the local hustler.I could write a novel on his exploits, but then again they all arent pool related...

04-07-2006, 01:21 PM
Charlie White was indeed a masked marvel. He would travel in the south and was very well known in Arkansas, Tennessee as well as Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas and Florida. Most pool players knew who he was even when he wore the mask. This was back in the times when many professional wrestlers wore masks and TV shows with masked heros were popular.

Charile was the first person (maybe 1965) I ever saw do what we now call "finger pool" ala Mike Massey although I remember him not being as good at it but it was still impressive. He could shoot one handed as well as he could with two and jacked up as well.