9 Ball Rules

Except when clearly contradicted by these additional rules, the general rules of Millennium Pool League apply.

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 he misses, fouls, or wins 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.

2.1 Rack your own rack. Every player will rack and break their own rack. With this format you cannot win or lose the game on the break. If you pocket the 9 ball on the break, the breaker may re-rack or have the 9-ball spotted and continue to shoot.

2.2 Racking the balls. The object balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the one ball at the top of the diamond and on the foot spot, the nine 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.

3. Legal break shot. The rules governing the break shot are the same as for other shots except:

A. The breaker must strike the 1-ball first and either pocket a ball or drive at least four numbered balls to the rail.

B. 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 table.

C. 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 is re-spotted).

4. Continuing play. On the shot immediately following a legal break, the shooter may play a "push out." (See rule 5.). 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 his inning and shoots until he misses, fouls, or wins. The game ends when the nine ball is pocketed on a legal shot, or the game is forfeited for a serious infraction of the rules.

5. 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 his 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 7. And 8.) 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.

6. Fouls. 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 and if a pocketed ball is an opponent's money 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 one foul. If a player picks up an object ball from the playing surface of the table, it will result in a ball in hand foul.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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. He may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until he takes a shot.

10. Object balls jumped off the table. A non 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.

11. Jump and masse shot foul. If a match is not refereed, 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, the impeding ball moves (regardless of whether it was moved by a hand, cue stick follow-through or bridge).

12. End of game. A game starts as soon as the cue ball crosses over the head string on the opening break. 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.

13. Too many games played. If a player accidentally played more games then they are allowed (7 games for 9 ball, 4 games for 8 ball) the game is void and must be replayed as long as the error is caught before the start of the next rack. If neither team catches the error before the start of the next rack then the game remains as-is.

14. Pocketing the 9 ball. All players are required to call the 9 ball in a pocket to win the game.

  1. If the 9 ball is pocketed in an unintended pocket and is the only ball pocketed then the 9 ball is re-spotted and the opponent has the option to shoot from the current position or give the shot back to the player.
  2. If the 9 ball is pocketed in an unintended pocket and another ball is also pocketed then the 9 ball is re-spotted and the player continues to shoot.
  3. If the 9 ball is accidentally pocketed on a good hit the 9-ball will be re-spotted and the player will continue to shoot.

15. Pocketing a money ball other than the 9 ball. All players are required to call their money balls. If the money ball is pocketed in an unintended pocket, the money ball stays down and the player will continue to shoot. If the money ball is accidentally pocketed it will remain pocketed and the player will continue to shoot.

  1. If a player pockets their own money ball on a foul, it will remain pocketed and the incoming player shall have ball in hand.
  2. If a player pockets their opponent’s money ball on a foul, the money ball is re-spotted and the incoming player shall have ball in hand.

16. Handicapping games. Games are handicapped to give each player a level playing field regardless of their skill level. Skill levels are 3 through 8. Higher skilled level shooters will give “weight” or other ball(s) in addition to the 9 ball to lower skill level shooters. The following is the handicap grid and the “weight” given to each player of a lower skill level. Any player that gets “weight” is required to call his/her money balls, in addition to the 9 ball. If the weight/money ball is pocketed on the break, it is not a win. The ball must be immediately re-spotted and the player continues to shoot. If the money ball is made on the break by the opponent it is immediately re-spotted and the player continues to shoot. The player getting “weight” must remember to have their moneyball re-spotted before the next shot is taken or that money ball is lost to the player receiving it.

Handicap conversion

Last update: 9/3/19