I answer the occasional question at the Allexperts.com pool and billiards section, and I had an interesting one today. The question was-
“if you have 2 balls left plus the 8 ball can you use the 8 ball on a combination shot and it be legal?”
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource
My answer was-
The strict answer to your question is “no”. According to the official BCA rule shown below, you cannot use the eight-ball in a combination until you only have one object ball left. That particular rule is one I didn’t know, and it kind of surprises me.
Everywhere I have ever played, the 8-ball was off-limits for use in combinations. The only time you could legally hit the 8-ball was after sinking all your solids or stripes. But I guess whoever made the rules liked that one.
WORLD STANDARDIZED RULES: 8-BALL
4.15 COMBINATION SHOTS
Combination shots are allowed; however, the 8-ball can’t be used as a first ball in the combination unless it is the shooter’s only remaining legal object ball on the table. Otherwise, should such contact occur on the 8-ball, it is a foul.
When I looked up this rule I was really surprised by it, if I am reading it right. There is some slight confusion in my mind about the wording of the rule.
“…the 8-ball can’t be used as a first ball in the combination unless “it” is the shooter’s only remaining legal object ball”
It sounds like the eight-ball is the last legal ball but I believe they are talking about the last solid or stripe legal ball. It just kind of confuses me as to why the eight-ball would be allowed in combinations at all.
In all of the bars and pool halls I have played in, I never saw anyone make a legal shot using the eight-ball in combination. To even try it would mean, at best, losing your shot. The eight-ball was left alone until the end.
Does anyone out there in pool-land play that way? I’d be interested to hear.
Oh well, that’s progress Sports Fans! As long as all the participants play by the same rules, it’s an even game.