View Full Version : Dirty pool!
Friend of mine was shooting the last & deciding match in an 8-ball team tourney decided by total balls. He needed two balls to win the match, opponent soft breaks, my friend makes one ball then proceeds to shoot a combo of first hitting one of his opponents balls & pocketing one of his own, therefore ending the match on a foul. It started to get ugly with rants of "dirty pool" & "that's against the rules". Well, the rule sheet didnt address this issue directly so it had to stand. The losing player brought up the "poor sportsmanship" argument after he didnt have the rule book to back him up & my friend countered with " poor sportsmanship is not knowing how to lose". These two guys dont speak to each other anymore.
Poorly written or incomplete rules cause friction & leave much open to interpretation by the officials. One ref's judgement call can make or break a tight match. As players we must know the rules & abide by them but these gray areas pop up & can ruin an otherwise pleasant match. On the other hand, how many times have I heard at a tourney "why all these rules? Don't these people know how to play?" Evidently not, but as with all sports, knowing and having good rules is a distinct advantage.
Should have my friend asked an official before shooting? I think not. Nothing was said until after the last shot was taken. I think his opponent should have intervened before the last shot if he had a problem. My friend mused later that if he had miscued with the same result nothing would have been said. I thought we had evolved past the "dirty pool" part of this game? I guess some old ways die hard.
I hear tell that in parts of this country you can get something broke by playing dirty (safety) pool!
Dewey, playing a safety isn't dirty pool. I don't know if I'd have played the shot your friend did but if it's not against the rules (grey or otherwise) then I don't see the problem. It's certainly not a reason for 2 people not to talk.
It's just league.
No surprise there was a dispute. It was a team event first of all, and about every post on team events or leagues seems to have a rules dispute or sandbagging problems. Then the game was a non-game. You can't play 8-ball with total balls. There is no such game and it just doesn't work. Winning eight ball means winning the game. Period. The point of eight ball is lost by playing or counting total balls. Total balls mean straight pool. So play straight pool. Oh, but we can't do that because it takes a long time and nobody likes it and we play on bar boxes yada yada yada. So you play a no such game with no rules that address the phony situations that come up because of the phony format. I think the loser should be told that's what happens when you play phony events and games, you lose in a way not countenanced in the real game. Accept it, move on, and start to play individual matches in real pool games. Then people can play pool rather than play "league" or "team." Even team events in other individual sports follow the rules of the game. You can't count total strokes in the Ryder Cup because it is played at match play and the rules of golf don't countenance hybrids between medal play and match play. In a track and field event the last runner can't go 50 meters instead of 100 based on the performance of other team members. Sorry for the rant, but I think that these leagues and bar box events have some very negative aspects that are not good for pool. Yeah, they get some participation going, but overall I don't think they build the game as much as the time and effort put into them would suggest. I played in a bar league when I was 21 or 22. I won't play in one ever again. The behavior was too immature for a 21 year old to tolerate. OK, rant on and off again. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
03-31-2003, 11:40 AM
Hi Dewey. I am usually not one to associate anything as "dirty" pool, but that example is sure close.
However, I think the real problem is in the rules of the league. Determining the outcome of an 8-ball tournament by ballcount is asking for trouble anyway.
Weird arguments like these can only happen because of artificial rules, and the trouble is that they usually cannot be resolved by the rule book. The rule book, in this case, never anticipated 8-ball to be played as a ballcount game.
(Incidentally, if I were the tournament director, I'd find any way possible to discount the shot.)
03-31-2003, 12:01 PM
in 8 ball any type of 8ball, you ball must be struck first for the shot to count. period. if this simple rule was not addressed then boo on the officials.
03-31-2003, 12:09 PM
Gotta agree with Steve on this. Ballcount should never determine a tournament win. Total win/loss is what really matters in Eight Ball.
Ballcount may be useful in creating an in-house player rating. But IMO, that's the best and only use for it.
--Ted from Phoenix
03-31-2003, 12:10 PM
While playing 9-ball, you (meaning anyone) are stuck by a monster safe...no possible way to hit it. Hasn't everybody at some point knocked a higher numbered ball into a bad position, or locking up another higher ball and just giving ball in hand.
I think the points before were right when the team game is what gets people riled up. Or that they have no idea what a sefety is, or strategy on how to play the game, using/bending the rules.
My biggest problem on my league team is that they have no clue what a sefety is, and half the time don't see bad hits cause they are checking out the barmaids.
I don't know I could go off for a few pages on my thoughts on pool ethics and strategy...some other time
03-31-2003, 12:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dewey52:</font><hr> Friend of mine was shooting the last & deciding match in an 8-ball team tourney decided by total balls. He needed two balls to win the match, opponent soft breaks, my friend makes one ball then proceeds to shoot a combo of first hitting one of his opponents balls & pocketing one of his own, therefore ending the match on a foul. <hr /></blockquote>Some of the posts talk about playing 8-ball by ball count---However, you did say that the match depended on the two balls, right?
That I (think I) got.
What I don't understand is, how you're friend's shot ended the match with the foul. Did you mean "ended the inning"? Would this not simply be ball in hand to the other guy? What rule-set were you playing by?
03-31-2003, 01:05 PM
You're playing by ball count.
You can't spot the balls on a barbox.
Your teammate made the match ball.
I give him kudos for creativity /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif. But I, like others, don't like the format of the game a whole lot.
03-31-2003, 01:16 PM
Perfectly legitimate. It's not nice. It's not friendly. But it's legal and was the right shot for that type of format.
There are many instances in recognized rulesets of various games where taking an intentional foul can be a strong or even a winning move. Hardly any difference in your scenario.
It would be wrong, IMO, to call this shot "unsportsman-like" while the jumped ball intentional foul in one pocket, or the intentional tap on the cueball in 14.1 is praised as good stategy.
Fred <~~~ been there, done that
03-31-2003, 01:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark1002000:</font><hr> Hi Dewey:
Gotta agree with Steve on this. Ballcount should never determine a tournament win. Total win/loss is what really matters in Eight Ball. <hr /></blockquote>That may be all nice and good, but that's not really the question in this case. The unfortunate reality is that in the U.S., the VNEA and the BCA leagues use a ballcount method for amateur 8-ball. Disputing the merits really is a fruitless debate. Because even if you and Steve are right (which you are), ballcounting system don't go away.
Additionally, APA (American Poolplayers Association) 9-ball rules use a ballcount system. For amateur league night, it's tough to get around these systems if we're going to keep the million amateur league players interested.
03-31-2003, 01:24 PM
Our league matches and league tournament work somewhat like this. You play five rounds of 5 games, and score 10 for a win, and 0-7 for a loss, (1 pt for each ball you made). Each round is decided on higher total points, and there is a sixth point for higher overall points.
In this situation, going in to the last game one team was up by 9 points, so they just needed 2 more to guarantee the win. The game was over because the guy intentionally fouled the second ball in, scoring the required 2 points for the win.
I have seen this situation come up in league, but I have not seen this particular tactic. When the other guy made a soft break, he was asking for similar tactics against him.
If I needed to win 10-1 or better, and I had the break, I would definitely be going for the runout - a soft break usually ends up with a scrappy match with lots of visits each, not a 10-0 or 10-1, from my experience.
03-31-2003, 01:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> It would be wrong, IMO, to call this shot "unsportsman-like" while the jumped ball intentional foul in one pocket, or the intentional tap on the cueball in 14.1 is praised as good stategy.
Fred <~~~ been there, done that <hr /></blockquote>
Fred, I must disagree. Both of the examples you cite above are not gamewinners. In other words, you do not automatically win the game on the foul. This is markedly different than what happened in that league.
The only thing that might come close is the 9-ball situation where your opponent is on two fouls, and you completely hide the object ball by taking a foul yourself. With ball-in-hand, he is unable to make any hit at all and loses the game.
I would say that the above scenario is still different, because your opponent still technically gets an inning. The 8-ball situation is ending the game on a foul, which is ludicrous.
03-31-2003, 01:40 PM
I agree about ending a game on a 'foul' sucks. This should never be allowed. Its almost sacralige.
The infamous BCA rules for their leagues members, has to have a list of 'action items' because of the nature of their reluctance to change. I believe they are in the last year of a 5 year moritorium on rule changes to conform to the international rules.
This situation is unique, but I must admit, CREATIVE. Amature pool leagues are notrious for rule interpretation arguments.
IMO, the soft break (even if it conformed to the 4 balls must hit a rail in 8 ball) was an intential act of safety play, inviting creative play. Well, it just got more creative than they ever thought.
By the rules, they won... you don't have to like the result, but they won 'fair and square' by the rules.
But, it just doesn't sit with me too well, intentionally fouling, to pocket a ball, to WIN a match, is very un-sportsmanlike.
03-31-2003, 01:44 PM
This thread is reminding me of a great post by Ron Shepard in the RSB forum. I will always remember it.
Someone wrote in and asked about a particular position. Ron responded with the only shot, a safety. The guy writes back and says, "Oh, I forgot to say, we don't play safes in this league and there's no ball-in-hand rule."
Here's the post:
<font color="blue">>I'm sorry, I guess I should've given more info. In this bar league, no
>in hand, as well as "safety" is given a "bad" connotation if you catch my
Then you aren't playing real pool, you are asking what to do in a pillow fight.
If you take the tactics out of the game, then what good is asking about a
No offense intended, but who cares?"</font color>
I think its application to this situation is at least partly valid.
03-31-2003, 01:45 PM
But, it just doesn't sit with me too well, intentionally fouling, to pocket a ball, to WIN a match, is very un-sportsmanlike. <-------- Tom
Yeah its like the hustle of breaking a rack of 8-ball making a ball, having an impossible run out...looking at your opponent saying "I bet you $5 you don't get another shot"...them taking it...and then you hit the 8 ball straight in, and collect the money. (That is if they pay up)
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