Safety Play on a Frozen Object Ball

J.R.

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After reading the various responses by the forum members, I am still in limbo in regards to a definitive ruling regarding a particular "safety" on a called "frozen ball" by OnePocket.org and their "Official One Pocket" rules. I have again posted my question directly below in bold print and the rules that apply per OnePocket.org and the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) . I have not included any "frozen ball" applicable rules by the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) because they are not recognized by OnePocket.org as being a reference for any rule contradictions.

This is a rules clarification question and has to do with a called "frozen ball." Can a called "frozen ball" be struck by the cue ball, come ever so slightly off the rail and then return to the same rail, be called a legal safety, without the cue ball or any other ball making contact to a rail? The reason the object ball would return to the rail could be based on a gulley in the cloth or a tilt in the table, or voodoo and a chant, but whatever the reason may be for it (object ball called frozen) to return to the same rail, is it a legal safety?

Per OnePocket.org, the "Official One Pocket" Rules state, "Unless clearly contradicted below, general pocket billiards rules of play and etiquette apply to One Pocket and complete General Rules are available from the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA)." There are two rules that reference safety play and frozen balls. Both rules do not address my clarification question regarding the object ball returning to the same rail for a legal safety. Consequently, I deferred to the General Rules of the WPA.

Official OnePocket.org rule #4. Safety Play: There is no option to ‘call a safety’ in One Pocket; if a player legally scores a ball into their own pocket they must shoot again, unless the game is over. Players may play safe to the same rail as many times as they wish, as long as either the cue ball or at least one object ball is driven to a cushion after the cue ball contacts an object ball. Standard ‘frozen ball’ rules apply to safety play.

Official OnePocket.org rule #8. Frozen balls: For a foul to result from failure to legally strike a rail after contacting a frozen ball, the ball in question must be inspected and designated as frozen prior to a player’s shot, otherwise the ball is not considered frozen. If the cue ball becomes wedged between an object ball and the cushion and frozen to both, then legal shot requirements must be met by pocketing the frozen ball, or by contacting either another ball or another cushion enroute to a legal shot. Failure to do so is a foul.

World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) rule #8.4 Driven to a Rail: A ball is said to be driven to a rail if it is not touching that rail and then touches that rail. A ball touching a rail at the start of a shot (said to be "Frozen" to the rail) is not considered driven to that rail unless it leaves the rail and returns. A ball that is pocketed or driven off the table is also considered to have been driven to a rail. A ball is assumed not to be frozen to any rail unless it is declared frozen by the referee, the shooter, or the opponent.


This particular "safety" and called "frozen ball" situation came up during a one pocket tournament and a more recent gambling session. The House (Red Shoes Billiards) ruled that the safety was legal although the "frozen ball" never went to another rail but returned to the same rail it had been frozen to.

I would propose that an addendum be added to the Official One Pocket rules to clarify the movement of a frozen object ball which after being struck by the cue ball comes off the rail and then returns to the same rail.
 

NH Steve

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I believe Dennis "Whitey" has proposed we add more to our own One Pocket rules regarding frozen balls. As you guys have posted here, there does seem to be discrepancy and gray area to the "standard rules" that our rules were intended to refer to for clarification!

I would not mind adding something to make it clear, you could have a legal shot off of a frozen ball in one of these four ways:
  1. By pocketing the frozen ball or any other ball
  2. By driving the cue ball to any rail after contact
  3. Or by driving the frozen object ball to any other rail after contact
  4. Or by driving the object ball off the frozen rail, into another object ball, causing the previously frozen ball or any other ball to contact any rail (including the one it was originally frozen to)
I would be inclined not to allow even Efren's double kiss shot, or a gully roll shot -- mainly because they seem too difficult to judge.
 

Carla Johnson

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It seems to me that in the straight pool tournaments a long time ago, an object ball frozen to the rail made that rail dead. But in the 80s or so they changed the rule, so you could hit the frozen ball and then the cue ball to the same rail. Some of the more argumentative players at Hard Times spend a lot of time arguing about push shots when the cue and object ball are frozen. They always say what you can't do. I always ask before the game what they consider legal.
 

Bob Jewett

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...

I would propose that an addendum be added to the Official One Pocket rules to clarify the movement of a frozen object ball which after being struck by the cue ball comes off the rail and then returns to the same rail.
Why not just use the WPA rules? How often will the gully problem come up?

Further, the frozen ball rule was written to avoid endless repeated safeties on the same ball. If the gully thing is happening, you are not in a repeating safety situation.

It helps to think about why a rule is there before you start thinking about the precise wording/implementation of the rule.
 

baby huey

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Trying to determine if a cueball double kissed a frozen object ball back to the rail is difficult at best to determine accurately. Trying to referee that shot would open up standard safety play to too much interpretation thus creating a troubling potential rule change. Leave it alone. Frozen balls or the cueball must clearly hit a rail after the object ball is struck.
 

J.R.

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Why not just use the WPA rules? How often will the gully problem come up?

Further, the frozen ball rule was written to avoid endless repeated safeties on the same ball. If the gully thing is happening, you are not in a repeating safety situation.

It helps to think about why a rule is there before you start thinking about the precise wording/implementation of the rule.
Serendipity! Tonight, I was at Red Shoes Billiards, giving a fella named "LA Charles" 9 to 8 in one pocket for $60 a game. Balls were scattered all over the table when he sliced a ball 45 degrees to his pocket while simultaneously playing the cue ball to kick a ball away from my pocket. The end result was the cue ball and object ball were frozen near my pocket to each other and also to the end rail while the object ball LA Charles cut to his pocket hung up in the jaws. Additionally, there were two balls near each other in a blocking position on the end rail between the frozen balls and the ball hanging in the jaws of my opponent's pocket. My options were limited and an intentional foul was imminent. This is where serendipity played its part. I doubt that I would have attempted this shot because I had never tried to execute it before. But because of this post, I decided to try it. I told my opponent what I was going to do. My opponent yelled out to the owner to watch the hit. I barely nudged the cue ball into the object ball which came out 4 or 5 millimeters and ducked right back into the end rail. The owner said, "That was good." My opponent said, "I got f##### again."

How often will the gully problem come up? I don't know but it does come up and I'm fortunate that the owner had a ruling for it that has been one of the house rules at Red Shoes Billiards for many years.
 

Bob Jewett

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... I barely nudged the cue ball into the object ball which came out 4 or 5 millimeters and ducked right back into the end rail. The owner said, "That was good." My opponent said, "I got f##### again."

How often will the gully problem come up? I don't know but it does come up and I'm fortunate that the owner had a ruling for it that has been one of the house rules at Red Shoes Billiards for many years.
Time for new cloth.:giggle:
 

Red Shoes

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The room was completely "RE-CLOTHED" by Jerimy Chambers with Simonis #860 HR approx. 3 months ago.....They of course were playing on the main house table (#14) which is played on 12-16 hours a day (7 days a week). Barring any problems I will "RE-CLOTH ALL TABLES" in the fall....as I have done for the last 25 years.
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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In JR's match the cloth is obviously in good shape, as Red Shoes points out. I believe a gully can form even though there is visual sign of a gully, thus a ball frozen to the rail slight tapped could subtly leave and then subtly re-contact the rail, as happened in this scenario. Also a cushion that is improperly install upon a rail, or the cloth is stretched and tightened improperly can cause a rail to have a non straight edge.

WPA frozen ball IMO is a poor rule and creates an almost impossible scenario to judge, for it would be very hard to see a minute (thousands of an inch. like 1/64" or 1/32) leaving the rail and then re-contacting, and it would take another person to judge because the shooter would be to far away to see the action in a lot of scenarios.

It is also way out of align with American Historical Frozen OB to a cushion rule. I'd like to see efforts towards maintaining historical American rules as much as possible for it is the roots of OP, its heritage and foundation. Whitey
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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I believe Dennis "Whitey" has proposed we add more to our own One Pocket rules regarding frozen balls. As you guys have posted here, there does seem to be discrepancy and gray area to the "standard rules" that our rules were intended to refer to for clarification!

I would not mind adding something to make it clear, you could have a legal shot off of a frozen ball in one of these four ways:
  1. By pocketing the frozen ball or any other ball
  2. By driving the cue ball to any rail after contact
  3. Or by driving the frozen object ball to any other rail after contact
  4. Or by driving the object ball off the frozen rail, into another object ball, causing the previously frozen ball or any other ball to contact any rail (including the one it was originally frozen to)
I would be inclined not to allow even Efren's double kiss shot, or a gully roll shot -- mainly because they seem too difficult to judge.
Thanks Steve!
IMO the correct way to write a frozen ball is to include it into the legal shot rule. A legal shot for example: A legally executed shot has to be legally stroked and does not result in a foul. Also, the cb must contact an ob and either pocket an object ball or drive an ob to a rail, or the cb must thereafter contact a rail.
When the ob is frozen to a rail then either the ob must be pocket or driven to another rail, or another ob or cb must contact a rail. Exception to this rule is a simultaneous hit upon the ob and rail by the cb, whereas there is no further shot requirements.
When the cb and object ball are frozen to the same rail: Using the cb to make a legal shot it then must leave the rail and then contact the object ball and then it is legal to contact the rail it was once frozen to. Ob: frozen ob to rail rules apply, except simultaneous hit is void.
When an ob is frozen to a side rail it is legal drive it across the side pocket and contact the other side rail.
A frozen ball is not regarded as frozen unless declared frozen. Proper etiquette: The shooter points to the frozen ball and declares; "frozen".

The mistake WPA and Bcapl/csi rules make is that they first do not declare what constitutes a legal shot. Plus declaring the simultaneous hit within the rule, and of course when the cb and ob are frozen to the same rail.

Also, I am not a fan of when an ob is frozen to a rail and the result of the shot ends up not contacting a rail but does contact another ball frozen to a separate rail. Under bcapl, not sure about wpa, this is not a legal shot for the subsequent ob contacted was froze to the rail. I would make this a legal shot. Why, I would considered the frozen ball one and the same as contacting the rail, plus this subsequently contacted ball would have to be declared frozen, anyway. Just extra non-sense IMO.

In this thread's scenario, one could simply slightly masse' into the ob and then contact the rail. So do you think it is reasonable, and should be a considered a legal shot???? Whitey
 
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Bob Jewett

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I think you guys are going in the wrong direction. The frozen ball rule causes more problems than it solves, especially at one pocket. "You didn't get a rail." "You didn't call it frozen!" "You just called if frozen last shot!" "That was last shot. It wasn't called frozen for this shot." And a whole bunch more. You need to think on the problem you are trying to solve, not some tradition that is broken and wrong.
 

Bob Jewett

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How about this for the rule: "Any contact on a frozen ball is considered to have driven it to a cushion." That would solve a lot of problems. What problem would it cause?
 

LSJohn

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How about this for the rule: "Any contact on a frozen ball is considered to have driven it to a cushion." That would solve a lot of problems. What problem would it cause?
Right on, Bob; the way many of us think, that's definitely out-of-the-box, and I like it!

Some people thought Henry Ford was going to ruin everything. :D
 

Bob Jewett

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... Some people thought Henry Ford was going to ruin everything. :D
There were some bumps along the way with Ford. Do you not remember the Pinto?
:giggle:

I was serious about the "what problems would it cause?" question. A huge reason to not change rules are the unintended consequences. It wasn't a rule change but look at the havoc tight nine ball racks have caused in that game.
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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How about this for the rule: "Any contact on a frozen ball is considered to have driven it to a cushion." That would solve a lot of problems. What problem would it cause?
Will if it was Jake Schaefer & Willie Hoppe playing they could nurse that for hours, I think that is a problem! Very boring and seriously prolongs the game. Further this is why I like the 3 shot rule when the ob is frozen or within a 1/2 ball width of the rail. It would be good for all games.

The frozen ball to a rail rule and the 3 shot frozen ball rule are/were in place to keep the game moving along. This problem was recognized many decades ago, and thus solved with these rulings!

I hate it when someone plays a chicken shit roll up on an object ball on the rail, and now you got to go along. This happened to me once in 9-ball, it was ridiculous, and for this reason I sincerely believe the 3 shot rule is a great rule because that shooter that started this unbearable fiasco is the one that has to get out of it, or face a stiff penalty. Appropriate penalty in OP would be BIH-BTL. Whitey
 

Bob Jewett

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Will if it was Jake Schaefer & Willie Hoppe playing they could nurse that for hours, I think that is a problem! Very boring and seriously prolongs the game. Further this is why I like the 3 shot rule when the ob is frozen or within a 1/2 ball width of the rail. It would be good for all games.

The frozen ball to a rail rule and the 3 shot frozen ball rule are/were in place to keep the game moving along. This problem was recognized many decades ago, and thus solved with these rulings!

I hate it when someone plays a chicken shit roll up on an object ball on the rail, and now you got to go along. This happened to me once in 9-ball, it was ridiculous, and for this reason I sincerely believe the 3 shot rule is a great rule because that shooter that started this unbearable fiasco is the one that has to get out of it, or face a stiff penalty. Appropriate penalty in OP would be BIH-BTL. Whitey
I don't think many hits on a single ball is much of a problem at one pocket because there is usually a move off the frozen ball that benefits you. The game is not symmetrical -- the two players have different pockets.

At nine ball it can be a problem. The stalemate rule fixes that. Replay the rack at nine ball.

Stalemate at one pocket: keep the score and lag for break.

The three safes rule was broken at 14.1. There were too many tricky ways to break the sequence. The stalemate rule works fine.
 

NH Steve

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A three shot limit — or make it two like the three foul rule and must warn if on two — but a third would be considered a foul; that might work instead of worrying about whether a ball is frozen or not.

thinking out of the box again. ...
 
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