D I A R Y
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The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.




Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rule Rant - the break shot

There's probably more than one stupid rule in pool.
And some inconsistency.

For example:
In 9-ball,
if you get the 9 on the break, you win,
but if you scratch and get the 9 on the break,
the 9 is spotted, you give up ball in hand,
and the game continues.

In 8-ball,
if you get the 8 on the break, you win,
but if you scratch and get the 8 on the break,
you lose.

Why should the rules be so inconsistent?
Nine ball is played on tables that are rented by the hour.
Nine ball is preferred because it is a fast game,
so you get more (games) for your money.

Eight ball is played on tables that are rented by the game.
Eight ball is preferred because it is a slow game,
so you get more (time) for your money.

But with coin-operated bar tables
all balls, 8 included, stay down,
so the 8 could not possibly be spotted
and therefore the rule must declare
a winner or loser when the 8 is sunk.

Ok, how about if you are playing on a table
where pocketed balls are not imprisoned?
Like this morning, at the 8 ball "Blast",
on bar tables that are unlocked,
for league play.
Surely then the rule would not apply, right?
Wrong.
Even when the reason for the rule is removed,
the rule still applies.
It's madness, I tell you!!

The purpose of the break shot in 8 and 9 ball
is to spread the balls around the table
in a relatively random layout,
and at the same time to sink a ball,
stay at the table and continue to play.
While the object of the break shot is acceptable,
it relies almost entirely on Chance for the result
and therefore makes a mockery of 8 and 9 ball
as a test of skill.
The most important shot of the games, the break,
relies to a great extent, on Luck!

Now, consider straight pool.
No such thing as Chance on the break.
You have to call every ball and pocket.
The opening break of the game is a safety.
This truly marks straight pool as a game of skill.

But, back to 8 and 9 ball...
When will the rules be changed?
A professional player wants to win
by demonstrating his skill, not pure Luck.
And, to lose by Luck alone is the worst.
Like this morning,
when I sunk the 8 on the break,
and scratched on the same shot.
Automatic loss of game!

I think 8 ball is the only game in pool
where you can lose on the break.
It just doesn't make sense.

(blog top)


2 Comments:

Blogger J E F R E N said...

In BCA, you dont win or lose when you sink the 8ball of the break.

Monday, October 01, 2007 6:49:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Johnson said...

Yeah, what jefren said. Yes, APA is win/lose. I am surprised some Pro tournaments have win/lose for 8 on the break.

Monday, October 01, 2007 11:43:00 AM  

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