image credit: Shutterstock.com
Cuesports is a general term that refers to a variety of ball games such as pool, snooker and billiards. Here are the basic rules that govern these games.
There are several types of pool played, but the most popular versions are eight-ball pool and nine-ball pool. In eight-ball pool, a total of 16 balls is used - one cue ball and 15 object balls (seven solid colours, seven stripes and the no.8 black ball).
To start the game, the 15 balls are placed in a triangular rack with the no.8 ball placed at the centre and one of the player’s strikes the cue ball to hit the rack. The opponent can call for a re-rack if the player fails to make a legal break, meaning that less than four balls hit the cushions.
Once the balls are scattered after the break shot, players are assigned to either the stripes or solids and each will have to proceed to pocket his allotment before pocketing the no.8 ball in order to win the game.
In nine-ball pool, the balls are placed in a diamond shape configuration and a white cue ball is used to make the break to start the game. To win the game, the no.9 ball has to be pocketed and this can occur at any time during the game. A legal shot in nine-ball pool requires striking the cue ball into the lowest numbered ball on the table and subsequently either pocketing the numbered ball or driving any ball (including the cue ball) to any rail. Failure to do so constitutes a foul shot, which means that the incoming player is able to place the cue ball anywhere on the table.
Also known as English billiards, this sport is played with two cue balls and one object ball. Each player uses a different cue ball, with one claiming the white ball and the other using the yellow cue ball. The game starts when both players ‘string’ to determine who shoots first, and this is done by both players hitting the cue ball so that it hits the top cushion and then returns back towards the baulk line. The player whose ball is nearest to it then chooses which cue ball to use as well as whether to break or let the opponent start. Different points are awarded for different moves (Cannon, Winning Hazard, Losing Hazard), and the game is won by the first player to reach a designated number of points or having the most points if it is a timed game.
The main objective of snooker is to win by scoring more points than your opponent.
There are 22 balls in snooker (1 cue ball, 15 reds and 6 colours – yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black), with the red ball yielding one point and the colour balls worth between two to seven points.
At the start, the red balls are arranged in a triangle, with the pink ball place slightly above the apex of this triangle, while the other colour balls are place in their spots on the table (see image).
Gameplay for snooker requires a specific sequence to pocket the balls. A player first needs to pocket a red ball, to be able to shoot a colour ball and this continues until are the red balls are pocketed. While this process of clearing the red ball occurs, the colour balls are put back onto their original starting positions every time they are potted until the red balls are cleared. When this happens, the colour balls have to be potted in sequence – yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and finally black, with the victor the one with the most points.
In terms of basic fouls, snooker shares many similar ones with pool and billiards. These are not having one foot on the ground when shooting, shooting before the other balls stop moving, touching the cue ball with something other than the tip of the cue, causing the ball to jump off the table, or touching an object ball when placing the cue ball on the table. When a foul happens in snooker, typically points are deducted, and when the cue ball enters the pocket, the game continues with the ball being place on the baulk line or the ‘D’ area and a player can either choose to take the shot or ask the opponent who had pocketed the cue ball to take the re-start.
To receive the latest updates on the happenings in the Singapore sports scene, or to find out more about some of the latest programmes on offer at ActiveSG, like our Facebook page here.