View Full Version : Rules: Open table - Safety with pocketed ball

04-30-2006, 08:09 AM
I have a rules question...

Playing 8-ball and BCA rules.

Player breaks and no balls go down. The other player calls safety, then shoots a solid ball into the corner pocket.

Is the table still open? Or did the safety shot assign the solids group to the player who pocketed the ball?

In the rules I see the words "legal shot" used and I also see the words "called shot" used. The shot was an obvious shot and not specifically called (as in "1 ball in the corner pocket"). The only thing which was said was "safety".

{I have no idea why this player did this, but it was done and the question of open or not came up...)

04-30-2006, 08:29 AM
If the player would have explicitly called the shot, in addition to calling the safety, I would say that this player now owns the solids group.

BCA format allows players to pocket obvious balls without calling the shot, however, the rules do say that "the choice of group is determined only when a player legally pockets a called object ball after the break shot."

I would say that this player errored in calling a safety without simultaneously stating his intent to own the solids group.

04-30-2006, 08:36 AM
According to BCA rules, the table is still open.


Brian in VA
04-30-2006, 06:00 PM
Barbara says "According to BCA rules, the table is still open."

How come? Sounds like the ball was legally pocketed to me. Curious because I'm running a league now and this is likely to happen. Probably this week. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif And I want to be ready for it.

Brian in VA - more confused by the rules of pool than golf...

Scott Lee
04-30-2006, 06:07 PM
Brian...A ball can only be pocketed on a 'called safety' AFTER the side has been determined...not on the opening shot of the game. The table is still open until a legal ball is pocketed.

Scott Lee

Fran Crimi
04-30-2006, 07:14 PM
I answer the rules questions that come into the BCA and I've seen this one come in quite a bit. The problem is in players not understanding the meaning of a safety shot. They think that they can designate a group by pocketing a ball, and then by calling a safety for the same shot, they don't have to shoot again, for whatever strategic reason. Wrong.

In call shot games, you either call a shot or you call a safety. If you call a safety and pocket a ball, it is a legal shot, which simply means it's not a foul, however you do not get credit for it, so your turn at the table ends.

If you desgnated your group, you must shoot again. If you call a safety, you can't shoot again. Therefore, you can only do one or the other. You can't do both.


04-30-2006, 07:50 PM
Here's the two rules that cover this situation:

The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls are made from only one or both groups, because the table is always open immediately after the break shot. The choice of group is determined only when a player legally pockets a called object ball after the break shot.

An object ball is considered to be illegally pocketed when (1) that object ball is pocketed on the same shot a foul is committed, or (2) the called ball did not go in the designated pocket, or (3) a safety is called prior to the shot. Illegally pocketed balls remain pocketed and are scored in favor of the shooter controlling that specific group of balls, solids or stripes.

So, although the safety is a legal shot, it may result in an illegally pocketed ball, and choice of group can't be made with an illegally pocketed ball.

04-30-2006, 09:00 PM
Table is still open to the incoming player.


Brian in VA
05-01-2006, 03:50 AM
Thanks SPetty that helps! I guess I need to get an entire rule book.

Brian in VA

Fran Crimi
05-01-2006, 04:44 AM
I think Barbara covered that pretty well.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif


Ralph S.
05-03-2006, 02:51 PM
Hi there Fran. Your explanation is good, yet I feel that every league player should know this rule before entering play. How basic can you get? No suit was declared, only a safe shot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif