PDA

View Full Version : BCA Rule - Judging Gaps



Steve Lipsky
05-06-2003, 07:51 AM
From the BCA website:

3.42 DEVICES
Players are not allowed to use a ball, the triangle or any other width-measuring device to see if the cue ball or an object ball would travel through a gap, etc. Only the cue stick may be used as an aid to judge gaps or as an aid to aligning a shot., so long as the cue is held by the hand. To do so otherwise is a foul and unsportsmanlike conduct. (Also see Rules 1.3, 1.4 and 2.15)

So if I get ball-in-hand, I am not allowed to take the cueball and place it in a tough spot on the table to see if a ball (object or cue) fits??

Even worse, this is a judgment call; who's to say that when I go to place the cueball in that awkward area, that I might not want to shoot from there?

I am not sure if the rule was meant to be this ambiguous (it may have meant to bar you from using a previously-pocketed ball as a measuring device), but as it is, it would apply to the cueball in a ball-in-hand situation.

Am I reading this wrong?

Thanks,
Steve

pooltchr
05-06-2003, 08:07 AM
I think what this is referring to would be using a ball to measure the distance between a blocking ball and the rail to see if a ball will fit through the gap. You can place the cue anywhere on the table with ball in hand, but remember it is always live, so if you accidentally touch it to another ball, it is an automatic foul.

Tom_In_Cincy
05-06-2003, 08:56 AM
Steve,
I don't profess to be an expert at the BCA or WPA rules, but I do reserve the right to complain about them... LOL

Your question about the ambiguity of the rule is valid. I am not sure why its illegal at all. Unless you hit the obstructing ball or eliminate the potential agurements that can come about from the slightest movement of the ball.

There are quite a few rules that I have been upset with over the yeas. And, the BCA has a tendancy to re-write their own rules (or at least leave out portions) almost every year since they started selling the rule book.

BTW, there isn't a 'rules committee" anymore for the BCA, it was disbanded in the late 90s. So, you ask yourself.. who's changing the rules? and why?

The BCA says they are not the rules maker anymore. The World Billiards Association is. And who is on that rules committee? They don't even have rules for One-Pocket!!!

In response to your original question, I personally do not think it should be a foul if you use a pocketed ball to measure or use the cue ball (with BIH) for the same purpose. This rule, to my understanding was to eliminate any outside device for measuring (i.e. mirrors) to gain an advantage at the table. But, I see no reason you can't use what considered essential to the game.. i.e. the balls, pocketed or cue ball (with BIH) JMHO

SPetty
05-06-2003, 09:36 AM
Hi Steve,

Here's a post about this very same topic from a few months ago...

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=ccb&Number=65459&page=&vie w=&sb=&o=&vc=1

I agree that you should be allowed to put the cue ball anywhere you want to and then move it, but I was overruled by houstondan and Rod on that issue...

Hope to see you in Vegas this year!

-- SPetty

Steve Lipsky
05-06-2003, 10:02 AM
Thanks for that thread, SPetty.

Well, now I'm not happy. I will never understand this rule.
If I were playing in Vegas, and somebody called me on this, I cannot imagine the level of tilt I would have gone on.

How about the following situation:

START(
%C\1N6%Dh9J9%Ei1L1%FL0L7%Gp9R7%HM3D8%IE6P6%P\4T7%Q Z1N4

)END

If I weren't sure the 4-ball goes (with a stop-shot on the 3), I would normally "pretend" my cueball were the 3-ball, and see if I thought the shot went like that. In other words, I would take practice strokes from the 3-ball (at the 4-ball) as if it were my cueball. Is this illegal too?!

- Steve

Eric.
05-06-2003, 10:55 AM
I'm by far, not the rules expert. This is what I usually do:

Since the CB is always live, and can be fouled with BIH, I use the "3 finger" tool-my 3 fingers are 2 1/4" across. Saves me the chance of fouling the CB.

FWIW.

BTW-coming to dinner in Vegas, on the 9th? PM me if you're interested...

Eric >also known as Julie/Cruise Director

MarkUrsel
05-06-2003, 11:36 AM
I've seen this actually called once in a BCA city championship. The guy in question had ball in hand and while holding the cue ball, passed it back and forth between the rail and an object ball to see if there was enough clearance. That was a foul and was exactly what the rule was referring to.

As for your diagram, I think the same thing would apply if you set the cue ball carefully in front of the 4-5 cluster to see if the 4 would go without hitting the 5 first. If you then picked up the cue ball and lined up straight for the 3, I'd have to call that a foul as you'd be using the cue ball as a measuring device.

[ QUOTE ]
If I weren't sure the 4-ball goes (with a stop-shot on the 3), I would normally "pretend" my cueball were the 3-ball, and see if I thought the shot went like that. In other words, I would take practice strokes from the 3-ball (at the 4-ball) as if it were my cueball. Is this illegal too?! <hr /></blockquote>

No, that's not illegal in any way I can think of. You aren't moving anything other than your cue, and you're holding your cue. The rule about measuring devices says you can use your cue as long as you're holding it.

Insert the usual "I'm not a referee" disclaimers here. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Steve Lipsky
05-06-2003, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MarkUrsel:</font><hr> As for your diagram, I think the same thing would apply if you set the cue ball carefully in front of the 4-5 cluster to see if the 4 would go without hitting the 5 first. If you then picked up the cue ball and lined up straight for the 3, I'd have to call that a foul as you'd be using the cue ball as a measuring device.
<hr /></blockquote>

Holy crap... if anyone ever called that a foul on me, and was proven correct by the book, I would have no choice but to quit the game forever.

Of course, we'd still be friends, Mark /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

All kidding aside, though, I think I would quit the game permanently.

- Steve

MarkUrsel
05-06-2003, 12:08 PM
Steve,

You're definitely right about two things; Rule 3.42 is ambiguous and a judgement call. When is the ball-in-hand a cue ball and when is it a measuring device?

To me, it's a pretty rinky-dink rule and really splitting hairs. Personally, I wouldn't call it on anyone. On the other hand, I've seen it called, and supported by the TD in a sanctioned BCA event.

In a tournament, you might want to be aware of the rule, and its interpretations, just to avoid having to quit the game! Or better yet, run the situation by a few BCA referees and get a more accurate answer than mine.

smfsrca
05-06-2003, 12:21 PM
Also from the same BCA site under 9 ball rules
[ QUOTE ]

5.10 IN HAND
When the cue ball is in hand, the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the bed of the table, except in contact with an object ball. The player may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until shooting.
<hr /></blockquote>

Fred Agnir
05-06-2003, 12:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MarkUrsel:</font><hr> Steve,

You're definitely right about two things; Rule 3.42 is ambiguous and a judgement call. When is the ball-in-hand a cue ball and when is it a measuring device? <hr /></blockquote>Ok, I'll wade in to muck up the waters.

Rule 1.3. Excerpt...

...Extra or out of play balls may not be used by players to check clearance...

This by implication says that Rule 3.42 is talking about extra balls, not balls in play.

Rule 2.19 prevents a player from moving an object ball in play...

Ergo, by deduction, conclusion and after reading Keener's thesis filled with proposed explanations that weren't tested yet still theorized *and* written in black and white althought limited evidence suggested otherwise...

... that you can use the cue ball as a measuring device to check for clearance, if the cue ball is in hand. My feeling is that 3.42 served some intent, but that intent got a little lost.

Fred &lt;~~~ that's how I'd vote, if I had a vote

Steve Lipsky
05-06-2003, 12:31 PM
Hey Fred. While I am happy that I do not appear to be alone in my interpretation, now I am thoroughly confused. Some people on this thread have stated that BCA refs were calling it a foul.

We really need a BCA rep on this board. It would make things a lot easier.

- Steve

Rod
05-06-2003, 12:42 PM
Steve,
I agree with Mark on both examples. However if you feel the rule is open-ended then before you ever play you should ask a ref the interpretation of this rule. Honestly in more recent years I've never done such or seen a very experienced player do it either. The c/b or a pocketed ball simply can not be used as a measuring device.

Here is an interesting foul. This was called by a BCA ref in Vegas. My friend showed me this 2 years ago after his return. It is close enough to make the point but not exact.
All he tried to do here is hide the c/b with low left.

START(
%Ag9S1%BW7Z6%CG8R8%DK8J5%EV8P0%FO2U9%GK6N8%Hf8I8%I P4L0%Ph2T5
%UD3U8%Vm6T1%YI4[1%Zk9S9%eA5b0
)END

It was determined he fouled because of a double hit. It was ruled because of the left english it had to be a foul. The ref said had he used center or right he would not have called the foul.

I have seen this foul happen many times but it doesn't have to be a foul. It seems their not leaving any leeway. Personally even without knowing the rule, or judgement in this case, I've just used center or right because a foul is more than possible. He swears he didn't foul, but-----------

MarkUrsel
05-06-2003, 12:43 PM
[ QUOTE ]
5.10 IN HAND
When the cue ball is in hand, the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the bed of the table, except in contact with an object ball. The player may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until shooting.<hr /></blockquote>

Don't you just love ambiguous, vague, and now contradictory rules? 3.42 says "cannot use a ball", 1.3 says "Extra or out of play balls". So which is it?

5.10 seems unambiguous for nine-ball and would seem to take precedence over 3.42. In that case, I guess you don't have to worry about quitting the game. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

The situation I witnessed was in a BCA eight-ball tournament. The eight-ball rules do not have a rule similar to 5.10, so there's that ambiguous problem again.

Good question Steve!

pooltchr
05-06-2003, 12:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Steve Lipsky:</font><hr>
We really need a BCA rep on this board. It would make things a lot easier.

- Steve <hr /></blockquote>
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe randyg was on the BCA rules committee at one time. Maybe we could get him to weigh in on this subject.

Steve Lipsky
05-06-2003, 01:06 PM
Rod, could you re-post your diagram, please? I am not sure I understand what is happening here.

Thanks,
Steve

smfsrca
05-06-2003, 01:25 PM
Picture the following cartoon:
Two wild west pool players, the seated player with his sidearm drawn and fired at the other.
A small flag draping from the pistol saying "BCA 3.14".
The player at the table with the cueball in one hand and his sidearm in the other, also drawn and fired, with a draping flag labeled BCA 5.10.
The title of the cartoon is "BCA Rule lawyers match-up".

Rod
05-06-2003, 01:40 PM
Sure Steve,

Line A is the path that the c/b would take with an extremely thin hit one the one. Line B is the path he tried/ or took with low left. Line A could have been a direct scratch into the corner, and maybe it was, this is just an example.

START(
%Af1S0%BU9Z4%CJ5L8%Df4N3%ER2N8%FS7U8%GO7I0%Hg6H5%I L7O4%Pf3T4
%Qq3R2%Ro0Q1%UD4W0%Vr0R8%YH2[3%Zo4R3%eA8b0
)END
The use of left caused the foul ruling. It can be a foul no doubt, but it doesn't have to be. Like I said it seems they don't give any leeway. It really depends on how the balls lie and the c/b direction IMO. Now if another ball is frozen to the other side of the one like this,

START(
%Af1S0%BU9Z4%CJ5L8%Df0Q7%ER2N8%FS7U8%GO7I0%Hg6H5%I L7O4%Pf3T4
%Qq3R2%Ro0Q1%UD4W0%Vr0R8%YH2[3%Zo4R3%eA8b0
)END

it is more likely a foul can happen because the one can't move to the side. Like I said it depends on how the balls lie and shot angle. I have seen fouls like this many times. Just thought you might want to know.

Did that help?

Rod

Rod
05-06-2003, 01:41 PM
LOL, I like that picture Steve.

Steve Lipsky
05-06-2003, 01:47 PM
Got ya, Rod, thanks.

That is an interesting foul. I agree with you, also, that it should not automatically be called a foul. Without a table to practice on, my inclination is that if it were a foul, the desired cueball action would not take. Therefore, if the cueball indeed drew off the tangent line, I would probably call it a good hit.

Thanks Rod.

- Steve

Fran Crimi
05-06-2003, 02:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote MarkUrsel:</font><hr> Steve,

You're definitely right about two things; Rule 3.42 is ambiguous and a judgement call. When is the ball-in-hand a cue ball and when is it a measuring device? <hr /></blockquote>Ok, I'll wade in to muck up the waters.

Rule 1.3. Excerpt...

...Extra or out of play balls may not be used by players to check clearance...

This by implication says that Rule 3.42 is talking about extra balls, not balls in play.

Rule 2.19 prevents a player from moving an object ball in play...

Ergo, by deduction, conclusion and after reading Keener's thesis filled with proposed explanations that weren't tested yet still theorized *and* written in black and white althought limited evidence suggested otherwise...

... that you can use the cue ball as a measuring device to check for clearance, if the cue ball is in hand. My feeling is that 3.42 served some intent, but that intent got a little lost.

Fred &lt;~~~ that's how I'd vote, if I had a vote <hr /></blockquote>

I'll add to the murk a little. I would interpret balls in play to mean that they are capable of being played. Being played means balls that can be shot. Being shot means either with your cue tip or another ball.

Having said that mess...I don't think the BIH cb is in play until it is permanently set by the shooter. How do we know when the shooter permanently sets the cb? We don't know until he actually strikes the cb. So, according to my convoluted deduction, a bih cb isn't in play until struck by the shooter. That means that measuring with a bih cb is illegal. Makes perfect sense to me. I think.

Fran /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif