|WORLD STANDARDIZED RULES: 9-BALL
(WPA World Standardized Rules reprinted with permission by the
Billiard Congress of America, all rights reserved.)
Except when clearly contradicted by these additional rules,
the General Rules of Pocket Billiards apply.
5.1 OBJECT OF THE GAME
Nine-Ball is played with nine object balls numbered one through
nine and a cue ball. On each shot, the first ball the cue ball
contacts must be the lowest numbered ball on the table, but
the balls need not be pocketed in order. If a player pockets
any ball on a legal shot, he remains at the table for another
shot, and continues until missing, committing a foul, or wining
the game by pocketing the 9-ball. After a miss, the incoming
player must shoot from the position left by the previous player,
but after any foul the incoming player may start with the cue
ball anywhere on the table. Players are not required to call
any shot. A match ends when one of the players has won the required
number of games.
5.2 RACKING THE BALLS
The object balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the 1-ball
at the top of the diamond and on the foot spot, the 9-ball in
the center of the diamond, and the other balls in random order,
racked as tightly as possible. The game begins with cue ball
in hand behind the head string.
5.3 ORDER OF BREAK
Winner of the lag has the option to break. In 9-Ball, the winner
of each game breaks in the next, unless otherwise specified
by the tournament organizer. However, the Mezz Tour has chosen
to use alternate breaking. The following are common options
that may be designated by tournament officials in advance:
(a) Players alternate break.
(b) Loser breaks.
(c) Player trailing in game count breaks the next game.
5.4 LEGAL BREAK SHOT
The rules governing the break shot are the same as for other
1. The breaker must strike the1-ball first and either pocket
a ball or drive at least four numbered balls to the rail.
2. If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, or the
requirements of the opening break are not met, it is a foul,
and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the
3. If on the break shot, the breaker causes an object ball to
jump off the table, it is a foul and the incoming player has
cue ball in hand anywhere on the table. The object ball is not
re-spotted (exception: if the object ball is the 9-ball, it
5.5 CONTINUING PLAY
On the shot immediately following a legal break, the shooter
may play a "push out." (See Rule 5.6). If the breaker
pockets one or more balls on a legal break, he continues to
shoot until he misses, fouls, or wins the game. If the player
misses or fouls, the other player begins an inning and shoots
until missing, committing a foul, or winning. The game ends
when the 9-ball is pocketed on a legal shot, or the game is
forfeited for a serious infraction of the rules.
5.6 PUSH OUT
The player who shoots the shot immediately after a legal break
may play a push out in an attempt to move the cue ball into
a better position for the option that follows. On a push out,
the cue ball is not required to contact any object ball nor
any rail, but all other foul rules still apply. The player must
announce the intention of playing a push out before the shot,
or the shot is considered to be a normal shot. Any ball pocketed
on a push out does not count and remains pocketed except the
9-ball. Following a legal push out, the incoming player is permitted
to shoot from that position or to pass the shot back to the
player who pushed out. A push out is not considered to be a
foul as long as no rule (except rules 5.8 and 5.9) is violated.
An illegal push out is penalized according to the type of foul
committed. After a player scratches on the break shot, the incoming
player cannot play a push out.
When a player commits a foul, he must relinquish his run at
the table and no balls pocketed on the foul shot are re-spotted
(exception: if a pocketed ball is the 9-ball, it is re-spotted).
The incoming player is awarded ball in hand; prior to his first
shot he may place the cue ball anywhere on the table. If a player
commits several fouls on one shot, they are counted as only
5.8 BAD HIT
If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the
lowest numbered ball on the table, the shot is foul.
5.9 NO RAIL
If no object ball is pocketed, failure to drive the cue ball
or any numbered ball to a rail after the cue ball contacts the
object ball on is a foul.
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.
5.11 OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE
An un-pocketed ball is considered to be driven off the table
if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the table. It is
a foul to drive an object ball off the table. The jumped object
ball(s) is not re-spotted (exception: if the object ball is
the 9-ball, it is re-spotted) and play continues.
5.12 JUMP AND MASSÉ SHOT FOUL
If a match is not refereed, it will be considered a cue ball
foul if during an attempt to jump, curve or massé the
cue ball over or around an impeding numbered ball, the impeding
ball moves (regardless of whether it was moved by a hand, cue
stick follow-through or bridge).
5.13 THREE CONSECUTIVE FOULS
If a player fouls three consecutive times on three successive
shots without making an intervening legal shot, the game is
lost. The three fouls must occur in one game. The warning must
be given between the second and third fouls. A player’s
inning begins when it is legal to take a shot and ends at the
end of a shot on which he misses, fouls or wins, or when he
fouls between shots.
5.14 END OF GAME
On the opening break, the game is considered to have commenced
once the cue ball has been struck by the cue tip. The 1-ball
must be legally contacted on the break shot. The game ends at
the end of a legal shot which pockets the 9-ball, or when a
player forfeits the game as the result of a foul.
In addition, the Mezz Tour has adopted a Code of Conduct to
be adhered to by all players during Mezz Tour events, as well
as a set of specific tournament rules. Failure to adhere to
ALL rules of conduct may result in penalties, which may include
any or a combination of the following:
ADDITIONAL MEZZ PRO-AM 9-BALL TOUR RULES AND
CODE OF CONDUCT
- Forfeiture of matches or games
- Disqualification from the tournament
- Tour points penalty
- Forfeiture of prize monies
- Refusal of entry into current event
- Complete suspension/banning from future Mezz events.
- No exceptions will be made
The following rules are used in conjunction with the World Standardized
1. CONCESSION OF THE 9-BALL
Under no circumstances may the non-player concede the 9-Ball,
or any preceding ball. Concession of the game before the player
in play has completed the game will result in the loss of that
game, as well as the next. This rule is not open to negotiation
between opponents, and any two players found to be allowing
the concession of the 9-ball will both be disqualified from
2. TAKING BREAKS DURING MATCHES
Players are allowed to take no more than one break away from
the table after the match has started, unless in the case of
an emergency, or to call the tournament director to observe
a shot/make a ruling. The break may not be longer than 10 minutes.
Violation may result in loss of the match, depending a decision
by the tournament director.
3. SLOW PLAY
The Mezz Tour does not make use of a "shot clock."
However, unnecessary time-wasting is un-sportsmanlike and any
player deemed to be wasting time on purpose in order to unsettle
their opponent, may be given a warning, and following that,
a similar violation will result in loss of the match being played.
Players who, by nature, play slowly, may be asked to speed up
their game by the tournament director.
4. KEEPING SCORE
It is each player's responsibility to register their own score
immediately after each game and prior to the next break. Failure
to do so, and an attempt to register the score later in the
match, such as during the next game, entitles the opponent to
request the tournament director to resolve the correct score
by any means necessary, including the solicitation of spectators
and/or other players. The final decision lies in the hands of
the tournament director.
5. CALLING FOULS
The non-player is responsible for calling fouls incurred by
his/her opponent at the time of, or immediately following (before
the next shot is played), a foul. Failure to do so results in
the loss of the right to call that foul. In the event that a
player calls a foul and his/her opponent continues playing without
having the foul verified by the tournament director, the tournament
director may be called upon by the opponent to determine if
a foul has occurred.
6. REQUESTING OBSERVATION
If a player wants to have a shot observed for a possible foul,
they must inform their opponent in order to stop them from playing
the shot unobserved. If the shooter continues to play the shot
before the tournament director is present to watch the shot,
it will be an automatic foul. The decision of the tournament
director is final.
7. SIMULTANEOUS CONTACT (SPLIT HITS)
If the cueball makes contact with two balls simultaneously,
and it is not possible to clearly determine which ball was struck
first, the benefit of the doubt will go to the shooter, and
the shot shall be deemed a good hit.
8. TALKING TO SPECTATORS
It is considered unsportsmanlike behavior to talk to non-players
while your match is in progress. It is common courtesy to let
your opponent play without interference or distraction. Under
no circumstances may a player receive any information from anyone
except the tournament director. A warning may be incurred, and
upon subsequent violation, the player may forfeit the match.
9. CELL PHONES
Player cell phones must be turned off during a match. Players
will not be allowed to make or receive phone calls while the
match is in progress. A first violation will get a warning from
the tournament director, and subsequent violations may result
in the loss of the match.
10. DRESS CODE
All players will be expected to be dressed respectably. No sweat
pants, sports shorts, torn jeans, T-shirts, or tank tops (men),
unless it is an official Falcon Cue or Mezz 9-Ball Tour T-shirt.
T-shirts my be worn underneath a sweater. Players may be refused
entry into the tournament, and will not be allowed to play in
money rounds on the final day of the tournament if dressed inappropriately
11. SPLITTING AND SAVING
Under no circumstances will players be allowed to split prize
monies by not playing out scheduled matches, nor will they be
allowed to "save" each other percentages of prize
monies. All matches will be played out, and if players are deemed
to lose matches intentionally, both players will be penalized
to the fullest extent. This may include forfeiting any prize
monies and/or tour points.
12. GENERAL CONDUCT
Players are expected to behave like good sportspeople during
all Mezz events and tournaments, and unsportsmanlike behavior
will not be tolerated. Unsportsmanlike behavior includes abusive
language, obscene gestures, abuse/damage of equipment/facilities,
intoxication leading to any kind of disruption, and gambling
or solicitation to gamble with an opponent in a tournament match.
Offenders may be penalized in various ways without warning,
and possibly be banned from future events.