Our Monday Activity was overseen by our teacher Paul
Three of our students, Thales, Maho and Keiko joined him for a game of pool.
Pool is a popular game that is played all over the world by millions of people. However, there are many different varieties of the game, all with distinctly different rules and regulations. By far, the most popular forms of the game are the ones that originated in the USA, known as ‘eight-ball’ and ‘nine-ball’ pool.
Both are played on a normal sized pool table with the regulation six pockets, and both have multiple championships around the world. However, it is eight-ball that is the more common game – the one you’ll most likely see being played at your local pool hall and the one that most people first think of when the word pool is mentioned.
Eight-ball pool can be played as a singles or doubles game and is played with cues and 16 balls, 15 object balls, and one cue ball (the ball the players strike to try and hit the other balls). Pool can be a relatively high-speed game compared to its close relatives snooker and billiards but that makes it no less skillful with players requiring a high degree of skill, concentration, and tactical thinking to play the game at a high level.
8 Ball pool is won when one of the following occurs:
- A player pots all of their designated balls and then legally pockets the 8 ball into their nominated pocket.
- The opposing player illegally pots the 8 ball before clearing their own set of balls.
- The 8 ball is knocked of the table by the opposition.
The rules of pool are some of the most contested of any sport, with slightly differing variations being played in different countries, cities, areas, and even establishments. However, the World Pool Billiard Association (WPA) have produced a standardized set of rules for both amateur and professionals by which to abide.
- Before the game begins, the object balls should be placed in a triangular rack and positioned at the lower end of the table so that the apex ball of the rack lies on the foot spot. The order of the balls should be random apart from the black 8-ball, which should be placed in the middle of the third row. The white ball should be placed anywhere behind the service line on the table.
- If it is the first game in a match, a coin should be tossed to decide who gets to choose whether to break. After that, the break is taken in turns.
- To make a legal break, the player must hit the balls and ensure that four balls hit cushions and that the cue ball doesn’t go down a pocket. If the 8-ball is potted on the break, the player is entitled to ask for a re-rack.
- The first player to pot an object ball will then have to continue to pot the balls from that category (stripes or solids). The opposition player will have to pot the other group.
- A player will continue to make shots until they foul, or fail to pot an object ball. Then it is the turn of the opposing player. Play continues like this for the remainder of the game.
- If a player commits a foul, the opposition player is entitled to place the cue ball anywhere on the table. There are numerous fouls in pool, some of the most common being:
- Failing to hit your own object balls.
- Hitting the cue ball off the table.
- Potting one of the opposition’s object balls.
- Hitting the cue ball twice.
- Pushing the cue ball rather than striking it.
- A player taking a shot when it is not their turn.
- Once all of a player’s balls have been potted, they must then sink the 8 ball. They must first designate which pocket they intend to pot the 8-ball in and then do as stated. Failure to do so will result in the opposition player returning to the table. If the player pots the 8 ball in any other pocket other than the nominated one, they forfeit the game.
In Australia, there is a two shot rule, when the opposite player commits a foul, the other party can play twice. That rule is more common in Pubs.
If you want to find more about the rules, click here
Maho and Keiko had never played pool before, so Paul and Thales taught them the rules, how to hold the cue and pot all the balls. It was a fun afternoon spent speaking English!
Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE, and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.