Official BCA 8 Ball Rules

Standardized World Rules

Except when clearly contradicted by these additional rules, the General Rules of Pocket Billiards apply.

1. OBJECT OF THE GAME. Eight Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls of the group numbered 1 through 7 solid colors, while the other player has 9 thru 15 stripes. THE PLAYER POCKETING HIS GROUP FIRST AND THEN LEGALLY POCKETING THE 8 BALL WINS THE GAME.

2. CALL SHOT. In Call Shot, obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated. It is the opponent's right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot. Bank shots and combination shots are not considered obvious, and care should be taken in calling both the object ball and the intended pocket. When calling the shot, it is NEVER necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions, banks, kisses, caroms, etc. Any balls pocketed on a foul remain pocketed, regardless of whether they belong to the shooter or the opponent.

The opening break is not a called shot. Any player performing a break shot in 8 Ball may continue to shoot his next shot so long as he has legally pocketed any object ball on the break.

3. RACKING THE BALLS. The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the 8 ball in the center of the triangle, the first ball of the rack on the foot spot, a stripe ball in one corner of the rack and a solid ball in the other corner.

4. ALTERNATING BREAK. Winner of the lag has the option to break. During individual competition, players will alternate breaking on each subsequent game.

5. JUMP AND MASSE SHOT FOUL. While cue ball fouls only is the rule of play when a match is not presided over by a referee, a player should be aware that it will be considered a cue ball foul if during an attempt to jump, curve or masse the cue ball over or around an impeding numbered ball that is not a legal object ball, the impeding ball moves, regardless of whether it was moved by a hand, cue stick follow through or bridge.

6. LEGAL BREAK SHOT. Defined. To execute a legal break, the breaker with the cue ball behind the head string, must either 1, pocket a ball, or 2, drive at least four numbered balls to the rail. If he fails to make a legal break, it is a foul, and the incoming player has the option of 1 accepting the table in position and shooting, or 2, having the balls reracked and having the option of shooting the opening break himself or allowing the offending player to rebreak.

7. SCRATCH ON A LEGAL BREAK. If a player scratches on a legal break shot, 1, all balls pocketed remain pocketed, exception, the 8 ball: see rule 9, 2, it is a foul, 3 the table is open. PLEASE NOTE, Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string and may not shoot an object ball that is behind the head string, unless he first shoots the cue ball past the head string and causes the cue ball to come back behind the head string and hit the object ball.

8. OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE ON THE BREAK. If a player jumps an object ball off the table on the break shot, it is a foul and the incoming player has the option of 1, accepting the table in position and shooting, or 2, taking cue ball in hand behind the head string and shooting.

9. 8 BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK. If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, the breaker may ask for a rerack or have the 8-ball spotted and continue shooting. If the breaker scratches while pocketing the 8 ball on the break, the incoming player has the option of a rerack or having the 8 ball spotted and begin shooting with ball in hand behind the head string.

10. OPEN TABLE. Defined. The table is open when the choice of groups stripes or solids, has not yet been determined. When the table is open, it is legal to hit a solid first to make a stripe or vice-versa. Note: The table is always open immediately after the break shot. When the table is open it is legal to hit any solid or stripe or the 8-ball first in the process of pocketing the called stripe or solid. However, when the table is open and the 8 ball is the first ball contacted, no stripe or solid may be scored in favor of the shooter. The shooter loses his turn and any balls pocketed remain pocketed, and the incoming player addresses the balls with the table still open. On an open table, all illegally pocketed balls remain pocketed.

Continue on to page 2 of the Official BCA 8 Ball Rules.