SECTION 1 EQUIPMENT
1 The Standard Table 3 Cue
2 Balls 4 Ancillary
SECTION 2 DEFINITIONS
1 Frame 12 Nominated Ball
2 Game 13 Free ball
3 Match 14 Forced off the table
4 Balls 15 Penalty points
5 Striker and Turn 16 Foul
6 Stroke 17 Snookered
7 Pot 18 Spot Occupied
8 Break 19 Push Stroke
9 In-hand 20 Jump Shot
10 Ball in Play 21 Miss
11 Ball On
SECTION 3 THE GAME
1 Description 10 Penalties
2 Position of Balls 11 Fouls
3 Mode of Play 12 Snookered After a Foul
4 End of Frame, 13 Play Again
Game or Match 14 Foul and a Miss
5 Playing from In-hand 15 Ball Moved by Other than
6 Hitting Two Balls Striker
Simultaneously 16 Stalemate
7 Spotting Colours 17 Four-handed Snooker
8 Touching Ball 18 Use of Ancillary Equipment
9 Ball on Edge of Pocket 19 Interpretation
SECTION 4 THE PLAYERS
1 Conduct 4 Absence
2 Penalty 5 Conceding
SECTION 5 THE OFFICIALS
1 The Referee 3 The Recorder
2 The Marker 4 Assistance by Officials
Measurements in parenthesis state the metric equivalent to the nearest millimetre
1. The Standard Table
The playing area within the cushion faces shall measure 11 ft 8½in x 5ft 10in
(3569mm x 1778mm) with a tolerance on both dimensions of +/- ½ in (+/- 13mm).
The height of the table from the floor to the top of the cushion rail shall be from
2ft 9½in to 2ft 10½in (851mm to 876mm).
(c) Pocket Openings
(i) There shall be pockets at the corners (two at the Spot end known as the
top pockets and two at the Baulk end known as the bottom pockets) and
one each at the middle of the longer sides (known as the centre pockets);
(ii) the pocket openings shall conform to the templates owned and authorised
by The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA
(d) Baulk-line and Baulk
A straight line drawn 29in (737mm) from the face of the bottom cushion and
parallel to it is called the Baulk-line, and that line and the intervening space is
termed the Baulk.
(e) The “D”
The “D” is a semi-circle described in Baulk with its centre at the middle of the
Baulk-line and with a radius of 11½in (292mm).
Four spots are marked on the centre longitudinal line of the table:
(i) the Spot (known as the Black Spot), 12¾in (324mm) from a point
perpendicularly below the face of the top cushion;
(ii) the Centre Spot (known as the Blue Spot), located midway between the
faces of the top and bottom cushions;
Section 1 – Snooker
(iii) the Pyramid Spot (known as the Pink Spot), located midway between the
Centre Spot and the face of the top cushion;
(iv) the Middle of the Baulk-line (known as the Brown Spot).
Two other spots used are located at the corners of the “D”. Viewed from the Baulk
end, the one on the right is known as the Yellow Spot and the one on the left as the
(a) The balls shall be of an approved composition and shall each have a
diameter of 52.5mm with a tolerance of +/- 0.05mm;
(b) they shall be of equal weight and the difference between the heaviest ball
and the lightest ball should be no more than 3g; and
(c) a ball or set of balls may be changed by agreement between the players
or on a decision by the referee.
A cue shall be not less than 3ft (914mm) in length and shall show no substantial
departure from the traditional and generally accepted shape and form.
Various cue rests, long cues (called butts and half-butts according to length),
extensions and adaptors may be used by players faced with difficult positions for
cueing. These may form part of the equipment normally found at the table but
also include equipment introduced by either player or the referee (see also
Section 3 Rule 18). All extensions, adaptors and other devices to aid cueing must
be of a design approved by the WPBSA Ltd.
Standard definitions used throughout these Rules are hereinafter italicised.
A frame of snooker comprises the period of the play from the start, see Section 3
Rule 3(c), with all the balls set as described in Section 3 Rule 2, each player
playing in turn until the frame is completed by:
(a) concession by any player during his turn;
(b) claim by the striker when; Black is the only object ball remaining on the
table, aggregate points are not relevant, and there is a difference of
more than seven points between the scores in his favour;
(c) the final pot or foul when; Black is the only object ball remaining on the
table (see Section 3 Rule 4); or
(d) being awarded by the referee under Section 3 Rule 14(d) (ii) or Section 4
A game is an agreed or stipulated number of frames.
A match is an agreed or stipulated number of games.
(a) The White ball is the cue-ball.
(b) The 15 Reds and the 6 colours are the object balls.
5. Striker and Turn
The person about to play or in play is the striker and remains so until the final
stroke, or foul, of his turn is complete and the referee is satisfied that he has
finally left the table. If a non-striker comes to the table, out of turn, he shall be
considered as the striker for any foul he may commit before leaving the table.
When the referee is satisfied that the above conditions have been met, the
incoming striker‟s turn begins. His turn and his right to play another stroke ends
(a) he fails to score from a stroke; or
(b) he commits a foul; or
(c) he requests the opponent to play again after his opponent has committed a
(a) A stroke is made when the striker strikes the cue-ball with the tip of the
cue, except whilst addressing the cue-ball (known as feathering)
(b) A stroke is fair when no infringement of Rule is made.
(c) A stroke is not completed until:
(i) all balls have come to rest;
(ii) the striker has stood up, in readiness for a succeeding stroke, or
leaving the table;
(iii) any equipment being used by the striker has been removed from a
hazardous position; and
(iv) the referee has called any score relevant to the stroke.
(d) A stroke may be made directly or indirectly, thus:
(i) a stroke is direct when the cue-ball strikes an object ball without first
striking a cushion;
(ii) a stroke is indirect when the cue-ball strikes one or more cushions
before striking an object ball.
(e) Following the final stroke of the opponent‟s turn, if an incoming player
plays a stroke/strikes the cue-ball before the balls have come to rest, he
shall be penalised as if he were the striker, and his visit to the table shall
A pot is when an object ball, after contact with another ball and without any
infringement of these Rules, enters a pocket. Causing a ball to be potted is
known as potting.
A break is a number of pots in successive strokes made in any one turn by a
player during a frame.
(a) The cue-ball is in-hand:
(i) before the start of each frame;
(ii) when it has entered a pocket;
(iii) when it has been forced off the table; or
(iv) when the black is spotted in the event of tied scores.
(b) The cue-ball remains in-hand until:
(i) it is played fairly from in-hand; or
(ii) a foul is committed whilst the ball is on the table.
(c) The striker is said to be in-hand when the cue-ball is in-hand as above.
Section 2 – Snooker
10. Ball in play
(a) The cue-ball is in play when it is not in-hand.
(b) Object balls are in play from the start of the frame until pocketed or forced
off the table.
(c) Colours become in play again when re-spotted.
11. Ball On
Any ball, which may be lawfully struck by the first impact of the cue-ball, or any
ball which may not be so struck but which may be potted, is said to be on.
12. Nominated Ball
(a) A nominated ball is the object ball which the striker declares, or indicates
to the satisfaction of the referee, he undertakes to hit with the first impact
of the cue-ball.
(b) If requested by the referee, the striker must declare which ball he is on.
13. Free Ball
A free ball is a ball, other than the ball on, which the striker nominates as the
ball on when snookered after a foul (see Section 3 Rule 12).
14. Forced off the table
A ball is forced off the table if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the
table or in a pocket, or if it is picked up by the striker, or intentionally moved by
hand whilst it is in play except as provided for in Section 3 Rule 14(g).
15. Penalty Points
Penalty points are awarded to an opponent after any foul.
A foul is any infringement of these Rules.
The cue-ball is said to be snookered when a direct stroke in a straight line to
every ball on is wholly or partially obstructed by a ball or balls not on. If one or
more balls on can be struck at both extreme edges free of obstruction by any
ball not on, the cue-ball is not snookered.
(a) If in-hand, the cue-ball is snookered if it is obstructed as described above
from all possible positions on or within the lines of the “D”.
(b) If the cue-ball is so obstructed from hitting a ball on by more than one ball
(i) the ball nearest to the cue-ball is considered to be the effective
snookering ball; and
(ii) should more than one obstructing ball be equidistant from the cueball, all such balls will be considered to be effective snookering balls.
(c) When Red is the ball on, if the cue-ball is obstructed from hitting different
Reds by different balls not on, there is no effective snookering ball.
(d) The striker is said to be snookered when the cue-ball is snookered as
(e) The cue-ball cannot be snookered by a cushion. If the curved face of a
cushion obstructs the cue-ball and is closer to the cue-ball than any
obstructing ball not on, the cue-ball is not snookered.
18. Spot Occupied
A spot is said to be occupied if a ball cannot be placed on it without that ball
touching another ball.
19. Push Stroke
A push stroke is made when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cueball:
(a) after the cue-ball has commenced its forward motion; or
(b) as the cue-ball makes contact with an object ball except, where the cueball and an object ball are almost touching, it shall not be deemed a push
stroke if the cue-ball hits a very fine edge of the object ball.
20. Jump Shot
A jump shot is made when the cue-ball passes over any part of an object ball,
whether touching it in the process or not, except:
(a) when the cue-ball first strikes one object ball and then jumps over another
(b) when the cue-ball jumps and strikes an object ball, but does not land on
the far side of that ball;
(c) when, after striking an object ball lawfully, the cue-ball jumps over that
ball after hitting a cushion or another ball.
A miss is when the cue-ball fails to first contact a ball on and the referee
considers that the striker has not made a good enough attempt to hit a ball on
Snooker may be played by two or more players, either independently or as
sides. The game can be summarised as follows:
(a) Each player uses the same White cue-ball and there are twenty-one
object balls – fifteen Reds each valued 1, and six colours: Yellow valued
2, Green 3, Brown 4, Blue 5, Pink 6 and Black 7.
(b) Scoring strokes in a player‟s turn are made by potting Reds and colours
alternately until all the Reds are off the table and then the colours in the
ascending order of their value.
(c) Points awarded for scoring strokes are added to the score of the striker.
(d) Penalty points from fouls are added to the opponent‟s score.
(e) A tactic employed at any time during a frame is to leave the cue-ball
behind a ball not on such that it is snookered for the next player. If a
player or side is more points behind than are available from the balls left
on the table, then the laying of snookers in the hope of gaining points
from fouls becomes most important.
(f) The winner of a frame is the player or side:
(i) making the highest score;
(ii) to whom the frame is conceded; or
(iii) to whom it is awarded under Section 3 Rule 14(d)(ii) or
Section 4 Rule 2.
(g) The winner of a game is the player or side:
(i) winning most, or the required, number of frames;
(ii) making the greatest total where aggregate points are relevant; or
(iii) to whom the game is awarded under Section 4 Rule 2.
(h) The winner of a match is the player or side winning most games or, where
aggregate points are relevant, with the greatest total.
2. Position of Balls
(a) At the start of each frame the cue-ball is in-hand and the object balls are
positioned on the table as follows:
(i) the Reds in the form of a tightly-packed equilateral triangle, with the
Red at the apex standing on the centre line of the table, above the
Pyramid Spot such that it will be as close to the Pink as possible
without touching it, and the base of the triangle nearest to, and
parallel with, the top cushion;
(ii) the six colours on the spots designated in Section 1, Rule 1(f).
(b) If an error in setting up the table is made, Section 3 Rule 7(c) shall apply,
the frame starting as in Section 3 Rule 3(c).
Section 3 – Snooker
(c) After a frame has started, a ball in play may only be cleaned by the
referee upon reasonable request by the striker and:
(i) the position of the ball, if not spotted, shall be marked by a suitable
device prior to the ball being lifted for cleaning;
(ii) the device used to mark the position of a ball being cleaned shall be
regarded as and acquire the value of the ball until such time as the
ball has been cleaned and replaced. If any player other than the
striker should touch or disturb the device, the Referee shall call
PENALTY and the offender shall be penalised as if he were the
striker, without affecting the order of play. The referee shall return
the device or ball being cleaned to its position, if necessary, to his
satisfaction, even if it was picked up.
3. Mode of Play
The players shall determine the order of play by lot or in any mutually agreed
manner, the winner having the choice of which player plays first.
(a) The order of play thus determined must remain unaltered throughout the
frame, except a player may be asked by the next player to play again
after any foul.
(b) The player or side to strike first must alternate for each frame during a
(c) The first player plays from in-hand, the frame commencing when the cueball has been placed on the table and contacted by the tip of the cue
(i) as a stroke is made; or
(ii) while addressing the cue-ball.
(d) If a frame is started by the wrong player or side:
(i) it shall be restarted correctly, without penalty, if only one stroke has
been played and no foul has been committed since; or
(ii) it shall continue in the normal way if another stroke has been played,
or if a foul is committed after the completion of the first stroke, with
the correct order of starting being resumed in the following frame
such that one player or side will have started in three consecutive
(iii) it shall, in the event of a stalemate being declared (See Section 3
Rule 16) be re-started by the correct side.
(e) For a stroke to be fair, none of the infringements described below in Rule
10 (Penalties) must occur.
(f) For the first stroke of each turn, until all Reds are off the table, Red or a
free ball nominated as a Red is the ball on, and the value of each Red
and any free ball nominated as a Red, potted in the same stroke, is
(g) (i) If a Red, or a free ball nominated as a Red, is potted, the same
player plays the next stroke and the next ball on is a colour of the
striker‟s choice which, if potted, is scored and the colour is then
(ii) The break is continued by potting Reds and colours alternately until
all the Reds are off the table and, where applicable, a colour has
been played at following the potting of the last Red;
(iii) The colours then become on in the ascending order of their value as
per Section 3 Rule 1(a) and when next potted remain off the table,
except as provided for in Section 3 Rule 4, and the striker plays the
next stroke at the next colour on;
(iv) In the event that the striker, in a break, plays before the referee has
completed spotting a colour while all other balls are at rest, the value
of the colour shall not be scored and Section 3 Rule 10(a) (i) or
Section 3 Rule 10(b) (ii) shall apply as appropriate.
(h) Reds are not usually replaced on the table once pocketed or forced off
the table regardless of the fact that a player may thus benefit from a foul.
However, exceptions are provided for in Section 3; Rules 2(c) (ii), Rule 9,
Rule 14(b) and (f), 15(a) and 18(c).
(i) If the striker fails to pot a ball, he must leave the table without undue
delay. In the event that he should commit any foul before, or while leaving
the table, he will be penalised as provided for in Section 3 Rule 10. The
next stroke is then played from where the cue-ball comes to rest, or from
in-hand if the cue-ball is off the table, except when the cue-ball is
replaced in accordance with Section 3 Rule 14(e).
(j) If any ball enters a pocket and rebounds onto the bed of the table, it does
not count as having been pocketed. The striker has no redress if this
occurs because a pocket is overloaded.
4. End of Frame, Game or Match
(a) When Black is the only object ball remaining on the table, the first score
or foul ends the frame excepting only if the following conditions both
(i) the scores are then equal; and
(ii) aggregate scores are not relevant.
(b) When both conditions in (a) above apply:
(i) the Black is spotted;
(ii) the players draw lots for choice of playing next;
(iii) the next player plays from in-hand; and
(iv) the next score or foul ends the frame.
Section 3 – Snooker
(c) When aggregate scores determine the winner of a game or match, and
the aggregate scores are equal at the end of the last frame, the players in
that frame shall follow the procedure for a re-spotted Black set out in (b)
5. Playing from In-hand
To play from in-hand, the cue-ball must be struck from a position on or within the
lines of the “D”, but it may be played in any direction.
(a) The referee will state, if asked, whether the cue-ball is properly placed
(that is, not outside the lines of the “D”).
(b) If the tip of the cue should touch the cue-ball while positioning it, and the
referee is satisfied that the striker was not attempting to play a stroke,
then the cue-ball is not in play.
6. Hitting Two Balls Simultaneously
Two balls, other than two Reds or a free ball and a ball on, must not be struck
simultaneously by the first impact of the cue-ball.
7. Spotting Colours
Any colour pocketed or forced off the table shall be spotted before the next
stroke is made, until finally potted under Section 3 Rule 3 (g) (iii).
(a) A player shall not be held responsible for any mistake by the referee in
failing to spot correctly any ball.
(b) If a colour is spotted in error after being potted in ascending order as per
Section 3 Rule 3 (g) (iii), it shall be removed from the table without
penalty when the error is discovered and play shall continue from the
(c) If a stroke is made with a ball or balls not correctly spotted, they will be
considered to be correctly spotted for subsequent strokes. Any colour
incorrectly missing from the table will be spotted:
(i) without penalty when discovered if missing due to previous
(ii) subject to penalty if the striker played before the referee was able to
effect the spotting.
(d) If a colour has to be spotted and its own spot is occupied, it shall be
placed on the highest value spot available.
(e) If there is more than one colour to be spotted and their own spots are
occupied, the highest value ball shall take precedence in order of
(f) If all spots are occupied, the colour shall be placed as near its own spot
as possible, between that spot and the nearest part of the top cushion.
(g) In the case of Pink and Black, if all spots are occupied and there is no
available space between the relevant spot and the nearest part of the top
cushion, the colour shall be placed as near to its own spot as possible on
the centre line of the table below the spot.
(h) In all cases, the colour when spotted must not be touching another ball.
(i) A colour, to be properly spotted, must be placed by hand on the spot
designated in these Rules.
8. Touching Ball
(a) If at the completion of a stroke the cue-ball is touching a ball or balls on,
or that could be on, the referee shall state TOUCHING BALL and indicate
which ball or balls on the cue-ball is touching. If the cue-ball is touching
one or more colours after a Red (or a free ball nominated as a Red) has
been potted, the referee shall also ask the striker to DECLARE which
colour he is on.
(b) When a touching ball has been called, the striker must play the cue-ball
away from that ball without moving it or it is a push stroke.
(c) Providing the striker does not cause any touching object ball to move,
there shall be no penalty if:
(i) the ball is on;
(ii) the ball could be on and the striker declares he is on it; or
(iii) the ball could be on and the striker declares, and first hits, another
ball that could be on.
(d) If the cue-ball comes to rest touching or nearly touching a ball that is not
on, the referee, if asked whether it is touching, will answer YES or NO.
The striker must play away without disturbing it as above but must first hit
a ball that is on.
(e) When the cue-ball is touching both a ball on and a ball not on, the referee
shall only indicate the ball on as touching. If the striker should ask the
referee whether the cue-ball is also touching the ball not on, he is entitled
to be told.
(f) If the referee is satisfied that any movement of a touching ball at the
moment of striking was not caused by the striker, he will not call a foul.
(g) If a stationary object ball, not touching the cue-ball when examined by the
referee, is later seen to be in contact with the cue-ball before a stroke has
been made, the balls shall be repositioned by the referee to his
satisfaction. This also applies to a touching ball which later, when
examined by the referee is not touching; the balls shall be repositioned by
the referee to his satisfaction.
9. Ball on Edge of Pocket
When a ball falls into a pocket without being hit by another ball, and:
(a) Being no part of any stroke in progress, it shall be replaced and any
points previously scored shall count.
(b) If it would have been hit by any ball involved in a stroke:
(i) with no infringement of these Rules (including cases where an
infringement would have occurred but for the ball falling into a
pocket), all balls will be replaced and the same stroke played again,
or a different stroke may be played at his discretion, by the same
(ii) if a foul is committed, the striker incurs the penalty prescribed in
Section 3 Rule 10, all balls will be replaced and the next player has
the usual options after a foul.
(c) If a ball balances momentarily on the edge of a pocket and then falls in; it
shall count as in the pocket and not be replaced.
The following acts are fouls and incur a penalty of four points unless a higher one is
indicated in paragraphs (a) to (d) below. Penalties are:
(a) value of the ball on by:
(i) striking before the referee has completed the spotting of a colour
taken as a free ball;
(ii) striking the cue-ball more than once during a stroke;
(iii) striking when both feet are off the floor;
(iv) playing out of turn, or playing a stroke before his opponent‟s turn has
ended contrary to Section 2 Rule 6 (e);
(v) playing improperly from in-hand, including at the opening stroke;
(vi) causing the cue-ball to miss all object balls;
(vii) causing the cue-ball to enter a pocket;
(viii) causing the cue-ball to be snookered behind a free ball, except as
provided for in Section 3 Rule 12(b) (ii);
(ix) playing a jump shot;
(x) playing with a non-standard cue; or
(xi) conferring with a partner contrary to Section 3 Rule 17(e);
(b) value of the ball on or ball concerned, whichever is higher, by:
(i) striking when any ball is not at rest;
(ii) striking before the referee has completed the spotting of a colour that
is not a free ball;
(iii) causing a ball not on to enter a pocket;
Section 3 – Snooker
(iv) causing the cue-ball to first hit a ball not on;
(v) making a push stroke;
(vi) touching a ball or ball marker in play; or
(vii) causing a ball to be forced off the table;
(c) value of the ball on or higher value of the two balls concerned by causing
the cue-ball to first hit simultaneously two balls, other than two Reds
(when Red is the ball on) or a free ball and a ball on;
(d) seven points if the striker:
(i) uses a ball off the table for any purpose;
(ii) uses any object to measure gaps or distance;
(iii) touches any ball during consultation as described in Section 3, Rule
(iv) plays at Reds, or a free ball followed by a Red, in successive
(v) uses any ball other than White as the cue-ball for any stroke after the
frame has started;
(vi) fails to declare which ball he is on when snookered or when
requested to do so by the referee; or
(vii) after potting a Red (or free ball nominated as a Red), commits a foul
before a colour has been nominated.
If a foul is committed, the referee shall immediately state FOUL.
(a) If the striker has not made a stroke, his turn ends immediately and the
referee shall announce the penalty.
(b) If a stroke has been made, the referee will wait until completion of the
stroke before announcing the penalty.
(c) If a foul is neither awarded by the referee, nor successfully claimed by the
non-striker before the next stroke is made, it is condoned.
(d) Any colour not correctly spotted shall remain where positioned except that
if off the table it shall be correctly spotted.
(e) All points scored in a break before a foul is awarded are allowed but the
striker shall not score any points for any ball pocketed in a stroke called
(f) The next stroke is played from where the cue-ball comes to rest or, if the
cue-ball is off the table, from in-hand.
(g) If more than one foul is committed in the same stroke, the highest value
penalty shall be incurred.
(h) The player who committed the foul:
(i) incurs the penalty prescribed in Rule 10 (Penalties); and
(ii) has to play the next stroke if requested by the next player.
(i) If a striker, when snookered or hampered in any way, fouls any ball
including the cueball while preparing to play a stroke, if requested by his
opponent to play again, the opponent shall have the choice as to whether the
ball on shall be the same as it was prior to the infringement, namely:
(i) Any Red, where Red was the ball on;
(ii) The colour on where all the Reds were off the table; or either
(iii) A colour of the striker‟s choice, where the ball on was a colour after a
Red had been potted; or
(iv) The option of playing the next Red or Yellow when there are no Reds
Any ball(s) moved shall be replaced to their original position(s) by the referee if
requested by the non-offender.
12. Snookered After a Foul
After a foul, if the cue-ball is snookered (see Section 2, Rule 17), the referee
shall state FREE BALL.
(a) If the player next in turn elects to play the next stroke:
(i) he may nominate any ball as the ball on, but a free ball cannot be the
(ii) any nominated ball shall be regarded as, and acquire the value of,
the ball on except that, if potted, it shall then be spotted.
(b) It is a foul if the cue-ball should:
(i) fail to hit the nominated ball first, or first simultaneously with the ball
(ii) be snookered on all Reds, or the ball on, by the free ball thus
nominated, except when the Pink and Black are the only object balls
remaining on the table.
(c) If the free ball is potted, it is spotted and the value of the ball on is scored.
(d) If a ball on is potted, after the cue-ball struck the nominated ball first, or
simultaneously with a ball on, the ball on is scored and remains off the
(e) If both the nominated ball and a ball on are potted, only the ball on is
scored unless it was a Red, when each ball potted is scored. The free ball
is then spotted and the ball on remains off the table.
(f) If the offender is asked to play again, the free ball call becomes void.
13. Play Again
Once a player has requested an opponent to play again after a foul or
requested the replacement of ball(s) after a FOUL AND A MISS, such request
cannot be withdrawn. The offender, having been asked to play again, is
(a) change his mind as to:
(i) which stroke he will play; and
(ii) which ball on he will attempt to hit;
(b) score points for any ball or balls he may pot.
14. Foul and a miss
(a) The striker shall, to the best of his ability, endeavour to hit the ball on or a
ball that could be on after a Red has been potted. If the referee considers
the Rule infringed, he shall call FOUL AND A MISS unless:
(i) any player needed penalty points before, or as a result of, the stroke
(ii) before or after the stroke, the points available on the table are equal
to the points difference excluding the value of the re-spotted black;
and the referee is satisfied that the miss was not intentional.
(iii) a situation exists where it is impossible to hit the ball on.
In the latter case it must be assumed the striker is attempting to hit the
ball on provided that he plays, directly or indirectly, at the ball on with
sufficient strength, in the referee‟s opinion, to have reached the ball on
but for the obstructing ball or balls.
(b) After a FOUL AND A MISS has been called, the next player may request
the offender to play again from the position left, or at his discretion, from
the original position, with all balls being replaced, in which latter case the
ball on shall be the same as it was prior to the last stroke made, namely:
(i) Any Red, where Red was the ball on;
(ii) the colour on, where all Reds were off the table; or
(iii) a colour of the striker’s choice, where the ball on was a colour after a
Red had been potted.
(c) If the striker, in making a stroke, fails to first hit a ball on when there is a
clear path in a straight line from the cue-ball to any part of any ball that is
or could be on, the referee shall always call FOUL AND A MISS unless as
described under paragraph (a)(i) and (a)(ii).
(d) After a miss has been called under paragraph (c) above when there was
a clear path in a straight line from the cue-ball to a ball that was on or
could have been on, such that central, full ball, contact was available (in
the case of Reds, this to be taken as a full diameter of any Red that is not
obstructed by a colour), then:
(i) a further failure to first hit a ball on in making a stroke from the
original position shall be called as a FOUL AND A MISS regardless
of the difference in scores;
(ii) if asked to play again from the original position, the offender shall be
warned by the referee that a third failure will result in the frame being
awarded to his opponent; and
(iii) if asked to play from the position left, the FOUL AND A MISS
situation starts again.
(e) After the cue-ball has been replaced under this Rule, and the striker fouls
any ball, including the cue-ball while preparing to play a stroke, a miss will
not be called if a stroke has not been played. In this case the appropriate
penalty will be imposed. The next player may then elect to play himself or
ask the offender to play again from the position left or the original
position. If being asked to play again, the ball on shall be the same as
prior to the last stroke made, namely:
(i) any Red, where Red was the ball on;
(ii) the colour on, where all Reds were off the table; or
(iii) a colour of the striker’s choice, where the ball on was a colour after a
Red had been potted;
If the above situation arises during a sequence of miss calls as described
under paragraph (d), any warning concerning the possible awarding of
the frame to his opponent shall remain in effect.
(f) When any ball is being replaced after a miss, both the offender and the
next player will be consulted as to its position, after which the referee‟s
decision shall be final.
(g) During such consultation, if either player should touch any ball in play, he
shall be penalised as if he were the striker, without affecting the order of
play. The ball touched shall be replaced by the referee, to his satisfaction,
even if it was picked up, Section 3. 10 (d) (iii).
15. Ball Moved by Other than Striker
If a ball, stationary or moving, is disturbed other than by the striker, it shall be
re-positioned by the referee to the place he judges the ball was, or would have
finished, without penalty.
(a) This Rule shall include cases where another occurrence or person,
causes the striker to move a ball, but will not apply in cases where a ball
moves due to any defect in the table surface, except in the case where a
spotted ball moves before the next stroke has been made.
(b) No player shall be penalised for any disturbance of balls by the referee
If the referee thinks a position of stalemate exists, or is being approached, he
shall offer the players the immediate option of re-starting the frame. If any
player objects, the referee shall allow play to continue with the proviso that the
situation must change within a stated period, usually after three more strokes
to each side but at the referee‟s discretion. If the situation remains basically
unchanged after the stated period has expired, the referee shall nullify all
scores and re-set all balls as for the start of a frame. The same player shall
again make the opening stroke, subject to Section 3 Rule 3(d) (iii), with the
same established order of play being maintained.
17. Four-handed Snooker
(a) In a four-handed game each side shall open alternate frames and the
order of play shall be determined at the start of each frame and, when so
determined, must be maintained throughout that frame.
(b) Players may change the order of play at the start of each new frame.
(c) If a foul is committed and a request to play again is made, the player who
committed the foul plays the next stroke and the order of play is
unchanged. If the foul was called for playing out of turn, the offender‟s
partner will lose a turn, whether or not the offender is asked to play again.
(d) When a frame ends in a tie Section 3 Rule 4 applies. If a re-spotted Black
is necessary the pair who play the first stroke have the choice of which
player will make that stroke. The order of play must then continue as in
(e) Partners may confer during a frame but not whilst one is the striker and
has approached the table until the break has ended with a non-scoring
stroke or foul.
18. Use of Ancillary Equipment
It is the responsibility of the striker to both place and remove any equipment he
may use at the table.
(a) The striker is responsible for all items including, but not limited to, rests
and extensions that he brings to the table, whether owned by him or
borrowed (except from the referee), and he will be penalised for any fouls
made by him when using this equipment.
(b) Equipment normally found at the table which has been provided by
another party including the referee is not the responsibility of the striker. If
this equipment should prove to be faulty and thereby cause the striker to
touch a ball or balls, no foul will be called.
(c) The referee will, if necessary, reposition any balls in accordance with
Section 3 Rule 15 above and the striker, if in a break, will be allowed to
continue without penalty.
(a) Throughout these Rules and Definitions, words implying the masculine
gender shall equally apply to and include the female gender.
(b) Circumstances may necessitate adjustment in how Rules are applied for
persons with disabilities. In particular and for example:
(i) Section 3 Rule 10 (a) (iii) cannot be applied to players in
(ii) a player, upon request to the referee, shall be told the colour of a ball
if he is unable to differentiate between colours as, for example, red
(c) When there is no referee, such as in a social game, the opposing player
or side will be regarded as such for the purpose of these Rules.
(a) In the event of:
(i) a Player taking an abnormal amount of time over a stroke or the
selection of a stroke; or
(ii) any conduct by a Player which in the opinion of the referee is wilfully
or persistently unfair; or
(iii) any other conduct by a Player which otherwise amounts to
ungentlemanly conduct; or
(iv) refusing to continue a frame;
the referee shall either:
(v) warn the Player that in the event of any such further conduct the
frame will be awarded to his opponent; or
(vi) award the frame to his opponent; or
(vii) in the event that the conduct is sufficiently serious, award the game
to his opponent.
(b) If a referee has warned the Player under (v) above, in the event of any
further conduct as referred to above, the referee must either:
(i) award the frame to his opponent; or
(ii) in the event that the further conduct is sufficiently serious, award the
game to his opponent.
(c) If a referee has awarded a frame to a Player‟s opponent pursuant to the
above provisions, in the event of any further conduct as referred to above
by the Player concerned, the referee must award the game to the Player‟s
(d) Any decision by a referee to award a frame and/or the game to a Player‟s
opponent shall be final and shall not be subject to any appeal.
(a) If a frame is forfeited under this Section, the offender shall:
(i) lose the frame; and
(ii) forfeit all points scored and the non-offender shall receive a number
of points equivalent to the value of the balls remaining on the table,
with each Red counting as eight points and any colour incorrectly off
the table being counted as if spotted.
(b) If a game is forfeited under this Section, the offender shall:
(i) lose the frame in progress as in (a); and
(ii) additionally lose the required number of un-played frames to
complete the game where frames are relevant; or
(iii) additionally lose the remaining frames, each valued at 147 points,
where aggregate points apply.
The non-striker shall, when the striker is playing, avoid standing or moving in the
line of sight of the striker. He shall sit or stand at a reasonable distance from the
table and avoid making any movement or action that may interrupt the
concentration of the striker.
In the case of his absence from the room, the non-striker may appoint a deputy
to watch his interest and claim a foul if necessary. Such appointment must be
made known to the referee prior to departure.
(a) A player may only concede when he is the striker. The opponent has the
right to accept or refuse the concession, which becomes null and void if
the opponent chooses to play on.
(b) When aggregate scores apply and a frame is conceded, the value of any
balls remaining on the table is added to the score of the other side. In
such case, Reds shall count as eight points each and any colour
incorrectly off the table shall be counted as if spotted.
(c) A player shall not concede a frame in any match unless snookers are
required. Any breach of this rule shall be regarded as ungentlemanly
conduct or misconduct by the player concerned.
1. The Referee
(a) The referee shall:
(i) be the sole judge of fair and unfair play;
(ii) be free to make a decision in the interests of fair play for any situation
not covered adequately by these Rules;
(iii) be responsible for the proper conduct of the game under these Rules;
(iv) intervene if he sees any infringement of these Rules;
(v) tell a player the colour of a ball if requested; and
(vi) clean any ball upon reasonable request by a player.
(b) The referee shall not:
(i) answer any question not authorised in these Rules;
(ii) give any indication that a player is about to make a foul
(iii) give any advice or opinion on points affecting play; nor
(iv) answer any question regarding the difference in scores.
(c) If the referee has failed to notice any incident, he may at his discretion take
the evidence of the marker or other officials or spectators best placed for the
observation or may view a camera/video recording of the incident to assist
2. The Marker
The marker shall keep the score on the scoreboard and assist the referee in
carrying out his duties. He shall also act as recorder if necessary.
3. The Recorder
The recorder shall maintain a record of each stroke played, showing fouls where
appropriate and how many points are scored by each player or side as required.
He shall also make note of break totals.
4. Assistance by Officials
(a) At the striker‟s request, the referee or marker shall move and hold in
position any lighting apparatus that interferes with the action of the striker in
making a stroke.
(b) It is permissible for the referee or marker to give necessary assistance to
players with disabilities according to their circumstances