View Full Version : 9-ball?
9-ball used to be a shooters game and has now been reduced to a sterilized version of outright safeties in an open shot situation and safe misses in the guise of 2-way shots. Every shot now has been reduced to a low percentage shot for whatever reason a player chooses, which undermines the true intent of what 9-ball was meant to be and the rules were changed to affect the more skilled players. No other sport in the world can say they have made accommodations of this type. Its the way that players go about winning that upsets me the most. Kind of like voting off the strongest player in the final round of the Weakest Link or a player on the Price is Right locking out a player with a dollar bid more than another contestant. I can understand why a lot of players would rather keep the rules as they are. Its been said that it takes skill and creativity to get ball in hand but my point is that it takes incredibly less to do so than to earn it by pocketing a ball, which, if you check the official rules, is the explicitly stated object of the game. 1 foul BIH was a stipulation added at another time. Having to rely on table management and pocketing skills to get back in the game or overcome nerves has become secondary.
08-09-2002, 11:56 PM
I just don't understand how you come to the conclusion that BIH somehow lowers the standards of play in 9-ball. The best have jackhammer breaks, they get out from anywhere, they kick like mules, and they play great safties. How does your game improve upon that situation??? What purity was lost with the BIH rule?
I don't know what 9-Ball you've been playing or watching, but I definitely can NOT agree with you.
Your most telling statement, "Every shot now has been reduced to a low percentage shot for whatever reason a player chooses", sounds to me that you've been getting beat by players that can read ahead, not see a run-out, and therefore play accordingly.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: canwin:</font><hr> 9-ball used to be a shooters game and has now been reduced to a sterilized version of outright safeties in an open shot situation and safe misses in the guise of 2-way shots. Every shot now has been reduced to a low percentage shot for whatever reason a player chooses, which undermines the true intent of what 9-ball was meant to be and the rules were changed to affect the more skilled players. No other sport in the world can say they have made accommodations of this type. Its the way that players go about winning that upsets me the most. Kind of like voting off the strongest player in the final round of the Weakest Link or a player on the Price is Right locking out a player with a dollar bid more than another contestant. I can understand why a lot of players would rather keep the rules as they are. Its been said that it takes skill and creativity to get ball in hand but my point is that it takes incredibly less to do so than to earn it by pocketing a ball, which, if you check the official rules, is the explicitly stated object of the game. 1 foul BIH was a stipulation added at another time. Having to rely on table management and pocketing skills to get back in the game or overcome nerves has become secondary.
08-10-2002, 08:17 AM
I do not know about nine ball in the 'old days'.
I like it because
not as many balls clogging up the table
it doesnt matter which ball goes in as long as the required one is hit first
you can get the nine ball in anytime by combination or deflection of the cb.
a beginner in the game
08-10-2002, 08:23 AM
I suggest you find a player that agrees with your opinion and have some fun.
Or play one pocket.. it'll drive you crazy.
cheesemouse, Heres a good example to illustrate my point of view to your... the best have jackhammer breaks, they get out from everywhere statement and what purity has been lost question. Here is the quick commentary on the Reyes/Immonen match.
Game 1- ball on break-bad shape-safes(a great one)-good hit but sells out.
Game 2- no ball on break-miss-slop-runout
Game 3- ball on break-bad shape-missed bank-slop-runout
Game 4- ball on break-2 way safe shot miss-a long shot miss-bad position-made a bank for the win
Game 5- no ball on break-bad shape- makes 2 way safe shot-runs out
Game 6- ball on break-bad position-safe-missed shot-slop-runs out
Game 7- ball on break-missed bank-run out
Game 8- break and run
Game 1- ball on break-bad shape-safety(another great one)-good hit but sells out
Game 2- scratch on break-ball in hand- runout-(forgets to call obvious 9)-ball in hand on 9. As Dave Barry would say- Im not making this up!
Game 3- ball on break-bad shape-miss-runout
Game 4- ball on break-miss-runout
Game 5- 9 ball on break(respot the 9)-miss-runout
Game 6- ball on break-scratch on 5 ball-ball in hand sellout
Game 7- ball on break-miss-runout
Game 8- ball on break-bad shape-safe-makes a bank
Game 9-break and run
Tiebreaker- ball on break-bad shape snooker-good hit-sell out
Lets forget whos playing and just look at the game strategy. Obviously when a player screws up on a runout, gets out of line, etc., they can bail out on the run by playing safe in order to get ball in hand or a 2 way ball in hand (kicking-making a good hit but still selling out) Its not really ball in hand but its a sell out- might as well be ball in hand. Even 2 way shots (safe shots) have an element of no commitment and can be seen as a bail out. (the logic being that if its unsuccessful, the other player is still played safe.
So now you have safties, safety battles, 2 way safe shots, ball in hand (penalty for kicking and missing/scratching), and the 2 way ball in hand. What purity has been lost? Id much rather see a shooting battle and shooting options for the above and close the door on so many bail out options. Then the purity of the game would reveal itself.
Troy, I just posted a response to cheesemouse. If you were to read that, you would begin to see my point of view. First let me say that changing 9-ball to 1 miss ball in hand has compromised the basic fundamental strategy of the game. If you had fewer bail out options and couldnt rely on BIH to get you out of trouble, you would return the game back to its origin and make it a tougher game and more interesting game than what it has become. In response to players reading ahead, not seeing a run out and therefore playing accordingly I say: everyone looks at the table differently and everyone looks at a table with different perspectives and a differing set of skills behind their analysis , so not seeing a runout is vague, as one persons runout is another persons bail out (play accordingly). Plus the fact that many people, pros included screw up a clear runout and bail out. Every shot has been reduced to an opportunity to bail out. That flies in the face of nature, the universe and the game itself.
08-20-2002, 11:18 AM
So, what do you suggest Canwin?
Spot the fouled ball and pushout option anytime in the rack?
I guess your safety game's not so strong ?
Everyone has their opinion of how a game should be played. Earl Strickland's one of the most offensive players (no pun intended) but he hates jump shots. Jump shots tend to be much more offensive than kicking out a safe. But kicking takes a lot more skill. Kicking out of a safe to put your opponent in a safe requires not only kicking skill, but creativity and superb cue ball control.
Potting a ball means that the CB speed and trajectory are the only variables. Playing a good safe requires total control of both balls.
Steve Davis played a beautiful shot in the Worlds. This was a two rail bank, close to the first rail, with perfect CB weight, so the 1 ball died on the rail with the CB 0.5" away.
Efren Reyes is the King of kicking out of iron-clad safeties, and getting his opponent in jail. At the same time, he's played some of the most aggressive kick shots you'll ever see.
Safeties can be the most creative shots, requiring the ultimate in finesse, planning and table knowledge.
Yes, the game can be incredibly technical. Why? Because a player knows that one mistake can see his opponent run off 7 racks in a row.
I'm sure if your game is strong, you'll have got drunk sometime, played on a bar table, turfed the house mob from the table, and got a whole bunch of attitude for not letting up on anyone. Well, hey, the game's not about losing.
9-ball still is a shooters game. You'll see the hot-shots everywhere, but only the guys with real knowledge and finesse can play a rounded game and hang with the big boys.
08-20-2002, 05:43 PM
In your rundown of the match you sighted I have to assume you condensed this from a longer match discription or you were there or you viewed it on TV. You inserted the word 'slop' into nearly every game. It has been my observation when playing and observing top players they rarely, I repeat, rarely SLOP a ball. Now there is an exception to everthing and this match may have been one of them but I doubt it. I am more inclinded to beleive what you see as slop is more likely a very skillfully executed shot.
Its not a representative argument to pick special cases and offer it as an example as it doesnt really address the issue in the everyday world of the average player. These people (Strickland and Reyes) are the exceptions to the typical experience and not the rule. I like the pun though.
You never heard of the terms iron clad safties or getting/putting your opponent in jail associated with 9-ball until 1 miss BIH was incorporated into the game. Those terms were used to describe moves in 1 pocket.
What were once situations in 1 pocket, have now become situations in 9-ball thanks to 1 miss BIH. It has changed the fundamental nature of the game. When you say those terms, you imply that the kicker is going to give up BIH and I agree. And thats a point Im trying to make. There are situations that are impossible, if not next to impossible, to kick out of safely. There are alot of these instances where even if you make a good hit you still sell out. Plus all these safties gives players all kinds of options to not run out when they sense difficulty. If shooting is easier than playing a safe, why do you think players resort so often to playing safe instead of trying to shoot their way out of trouble? Their strategy is always the same inevitable safe shot. Some will find this exciting, then again, some find stamp collecting exciting. Different strokes.
That aint shootin 9-ball as it was meant to be played. Ive heard of hunters going into the woods, building a trough and feeding the deer months before the season starts then coming back and shooting the deer from a blind that they have built near to the trough. That aint shootin.
Would the game of 1 pocket or straight pool be changed drastically with 1 miss BIH? I know thats a rhetorical question but try to imagine that! Would that be shootin?
PS How do you go about using the WEI diagram you sent. I dont know anything about it. Thanks Canwin
08-21-2002, 02:32 PM
Here is the link to the WEI table help:
You can follow the direct link there, or you can download it.
2 foul BIH instead of 1 foul BIH. You keep all balls down on the break ,if you scratch, and shoot out of the kitchen at the next numerical ball in sequence. If theres a ball in the kitchen thats next in sequence, you would drop that ball(or balls) and shoot the next sequential ball that is out of the kitchen. In the event of BIH you would keep the ball down ,if you made one, and all the other balls would remain on the table (kitchen included). If you have just the 9 and another ball left on the table and scratch, then you would spot the other ball if its in the kitchen and shoot from of the kitchen or shoot from the kitchen at the ball if its out of the kitchen. If the 9 is the only ball on the table and you scratch, then you shoot from the kitchen at the 9 or spot the 9 if its in the kitchen and shoot from the kitchen. On any BIH all made balls stay down and all balls that are on the table remain(kitchen included).You can push out any time. If you push out, its not a scratch, but you are on your first foul and all the balls on the table remain as they are. Your opponent has the option to shoot or let you shoot. If he/she shoots then your foul is erased and you start over at zero fouls. If your opponent lets you shoot(when your on 1 foul) and you scratch or foul again(bad hit or didnt go to a rail after making contact with the object ball or any other regular foul) then your opponent gets BIH. Try it-its real! canwin
Cueless Joey- I would opt for 2 foul ball in hand 9-ball where you can push anytime in the game. The rules are: if you scratch on the break-all balls stay down and the opponent gets BIH in the kitchen but has to shoot outside of the kitchen at the next ball in numerical sequence. If the next ball in sequence is in the kitchen then you drop that ball(or balls) and shoot the next sequential ball that is outside of the kitchen. Throughout the game, any balls pocketed stay down regardless of a scratch, slop, foul or BIH with 1 exception: if there is only one ball left on the table besides the 9 and you pocket that ball but scratch, then that ball respots. If you scratch in the same situation without making the ball and that ball ends up in the kitchen, then that ball is spotted. When only the 9 remains and you scratch, there are 2 scenarios. #1- If you just pushed out(1 foul) then scratch, that makes 2 fouls and your opponent gets BIH. #2- If you arent on any fouls, your opponent shoots from the kitchen. In either case, if you made the 9 when you scratched, the 9 gets spotted. If you miss the 9 and it ends up in the kitchen, it gets spotted. If you push out,scratch, or foul in any way you are on 1 foul. If you pushout and your opponent elects to shoot, then you go back to zero fouls. If you scratch or foul and make a legal shot on your next turn, then you go back to zero fouls. But you know what happens when you have one foul and you dont make a legal shot. The dreaded BIH! canwin
Cheesemouse, I left out all the safties and safety battles so I could get to the point of the discussion. Its kind of like relaying a baseball game and leaving out the ....he took 2 strikes and 2 balls and struck out..bla bla Its not a shot for shot recap but its correct. Goto insidepool.com and click on Efren R. V. Mika Immonen Match For 50,000. As Dave Barry would say..Im not making this up. Canwin
OK, it's not always true to say that running out is easier than playing safe. Nor is the opposite true. There are clearly situations where a safety is easier than the runout. That generally happens because the shooter has missed position.
Now, perhaps he's got the option of a really tough, low percentage shot, or a precision safe. Take a B player in the same situation. The shot might actually be so low a percentage shot that both the B and pro player have about the same percentage. However, the pro may have an 80% chance of getting safe, vs. 5% for the B player. Which approach is better for the game? I think it's the one where knowledge and finesse gets the greatest reward.
Yes, BIH changes the game. I think it's for the better. In straight pool, for example, it can be advantageous for a strong player to take a deliberate foul against a weaker player. That's not pool. BIH properly penalises the foul.
The fact that it adds an extra dimension to the game is also good.
Maybe I get a better class of televised pool. The World Championships were full of incredibly aggressive shots. Other tournaments that have a shot clock tend to cut down on the number of safes.
Maybe I'm unusual, in that I figure you can keep a blam-blam 20-second shootout match. I figure that, properly played, 9-ball, 8-ball, one-pocket and 3-cushion are equally entertaining. Apologies to the straight pool guys, but I'm watching my grass grow right now.
I can't say I'm a fan of slow or excessive safety play. The answer, of course, is to concentrate, run a few racks, and drill the sonofa :-)
Thanks to Canwin for providing the link to the RSB help page. Neat, eh?
Oops, sorry, it was "heater" that provided the link.
08-21-2002, 06:05 PM
Have you ever heard of Equal Offence? I think this game might be more to your liking.
As far as BIH changing 9 ball from the game "as it should be played", well that is an opinion that is shared by some players.
Rules change for the better in most popular games.
The old "Straight Pool" rules did not allow for a 15th ball to be outside the rack. Players were given a "free shot" into the rack, and if something went, they got credit for that ball, and then had to resume calling their shots.
The longest run under the "old" rules was in the 90s.
When the rule changed.. and the new game became popular for 60 some years.. it was called 14.1
9 ball is still evolving.. just like 14.1 did.
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