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The History Of Snooker

The History of Snooker

On this page I would like to give some information on the history of snooker and this must necessarily involve references to its sister game, English billiards, from which it originally evolved. There is some dispute about the actual origins of snooker, but I shall attempt to give the standard account of its history.

 For the moment, I will summarise the important features of the early history of our game, with a couple of anecdotes thrown in! One could not describe the history of snooker without first mentioning its sister game, billiards. Suffice it to say that billiards is centuries old whereas snooker in still in its relative infancy.
A form of billiards on a lawn is recorded as early as the 1340's, and Louis XI of France had a billiard table in the 1470's. Maces were used before the advent of the cue around 1800. From 1820, Edwin Kentfield, John Carr, John Roberts Senior and John Roberts Junior were important players. More on these and others later.

The Birth of Snooker

The term 'snooker' is reputed to have been given to the game by Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain (no relation to the wartime Prime Minister) in 1875. In the Officers' Mess at Jubbulpore in India, gambling games such as pyramids, life pool and black pool were popular, with fifteen reds and a black used in the latter. To these were added yellow, green and pink, with blue and brown introduced some years later. One afternoon Chamberlain's Devonshire regiment was visited by an young officer who had been trained at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. This officer explained that a first-year cadet at the Academy was referred to as a 'snooker'. Later, when one of the players failed to hole a coloured ball, Chamberlain shouted to him: 'Why, you're a regular snooker.' He then pointed out the meaning and that they were all 'snookers' at the game. The name was adopted for the game itself. Chamberlain himself joined the Central India Horse in 1876, taking the game with him. After being wounded in the Afghan War, he moved to Ooatacamund and the game became the speciality of the 'Ooty Club', with rules being posted in the billiards room.
The afrementioned John Roberts (Junior), pictured left on a cigarette card, who was then Billiards Champion, visited India in 1885, met Chamberlain at dinner with the Maharajah of Cooch Behar and enquired about the rules of snooker. He then introduced the game into England, although it was many years before it became widely played there. Manufacturers of billiards equipment, however, soon realised the commercial possibilities of snooker. John Roberts Junior, incidentally, is the subject of a very amusing anecdote as told in Donald Trelford's book 'Snookered'. Roberts was described as Billiards Champion for many years around the turn of the century, meaning English champion, which the English, considering themselves the dominant race, also assumed to mean World Champion. Roberts was very proud of his title and was also involved in manufacturing and supplying tables and equipment. Roberts' work often took him to India, and, on one occasion on that continent he was in a billiards room when a man, reputedly a marker, approached him. The man had evidently not recognised Roberts, but considered himself a good player. "Do you fancy a game?" he asked Roberts. "I'll give you 40 start, up to 100." Roberts was amazed and affronted by the man's audacity, and promptly produced his card from his wallet. The card read 'John Roberts, Billiards Champion'. After reading the card, the man, unabashed, declared: "Ah! In that case I'll make it 20 start."


1927 Joe Davis 20–11 Tom Dennis
1928 Joe Davis 16–13 Fred Lawrence
1929 Joe Davis 19–14 Tom Dennis
1930 Joe Davis 25–12 Tom Dennis
1931 Joe Davis 25–21 Tom Dennis
1932 Joe Davis 30–19 Clark McConachy
1933 Joe Davis 25–18 Willie Smith
1934 Joe Davis 25–23 Tom Newman
1935 Joe Davis 25–20 Willie Smith
1936 Joe Davis 34–27 Horace Lindrum
1937 Joe Davis 32–29 Horace Lindrum
1938 Joe Davis 37–24 Sidney Smith
1939 Joe Davis 43–30 Sidney Smith
1940 Joe Davis 37–36 Fred Davis
1941 World War II
1942 World War II
1943 World War II
1944 World War II
1945 World War II
1946 Joe Davis 78–67 Horace Lindrum
1947 Walter Donaldson 82–63 Fred Davis
1948 Fred Davis 84–61 Walter Donaldson
1949 Fred Davis 80–65 Walter Donaldson
1950 Walter Donaldson 51–46 Fred Davis
1951 Fred Davis 58–39 Walter Donaldson
1952 Horace Lindrum 94–49 Clark McConachy
1952 Fred Davis 38–35 Walter Donaldson
1953 Fred Davis 37–34 Walter Donaldson
1954 Fred Davis 39–21 Walter Donaldson
1955 Fred Davis 37–34 John Pulman
1956 Fred Davis 38–35 John Pulman
1957 John Pulman 39–34 Jackie Rea
1964 John Pulman 19–16 Fred Davis
1964 John Pulman 40–33 Rex Williams
1965 John Pulman 37–36 Fred Davis
1965 John Pulman 25–22[n 2] Rex Williams
1965 John Pulman 39–12 Fred Van Rensburg
1966 John Pulman 5–2[n 2] Fred Davis
1968 John Pulman 39–34 Eddie Charlton
1969 John Spencer 37–24 Gary Owen
1970 Ray Reardon 37–33 John Pulman
1971 John Spencer 37–29 Warren Simpson
1972 Alex Higgins 37–32 John Spencer
1973 Ray Reardon 38–32 Eddie Charlton
1974 Ray Reardon 22–12 Graham Miles
1975 Ray Reardon 31–30 Eddie Charlton
1976 Ray Reardon 27–16 Alex Higgins
1977 John Spencer 25–21 Cliff Thorburn
1978 Ray Reardon 25–18 Perrie Mans
1979 Terry Griffiths 24–16 Dennis Taylor
1980 Cliff Thorburn 18–16 Alex Higgins
1981 Steve Davis 18–12 Doug Mountjoy
1982 Alex Higgins 18–15 Ray Reardon
1983 Steve Davis 18–6 Cliff Thorburn
1984 Steve Davis 18–16 Jimmy White
1985 Dennis Taylor 18–17 Steve Davis
1986 Joe Johnson 18–12 Steve Davis
1987 Steve Davis 18–14 Joe Johnson
1988 Steve Davis 18–11 Terry Griffiths
1989 Steve Davis 18–3 John Parrott
1990 Stephen Hendry 18–12 Jimmy White
1991 John Parrott 18–11 Jimmy White
1992 Stephen Hendry 18–14 Jimmy White
1993 Stephen Hendry 18–5 Jimmy White
1994 Stephen Hendry 18–17 Jimmy White
1995 Stephen Hendry 18–9 Nigel Bond
1996 Stephen Hendry 18–12 Peter Ebdon
1997 Ken Doherty 18–12 Stephen Hendry
1998 John Higgins 18–12 Ken Doherty
1999 Stephen Hendry 18–11 Mark Williams
2000 Mark Williams 18–16 Matthew Stevens
2001 Ronnie O'Sullivan 18–14 John Higgins
2002 Peter Ebdon 18–17 Stephen Hendry
2003 Mark Williams 18–16 Ken Doherty
2004 Ronnie O'Sullivan 18–8 Graeme Dott
2005 Shaun Murphy 18–16 Matthew Stevens
2006 Graeme Dott 18–14 Peter Ebdon
2007 John Higgins 18–13 Mark Selby
2008 Ronnie O'Sullivan 18–8 Ali Carter
2009 John Higgins 18–9 Shaun Murphy
2010 Neil Robertson 18–13 Graeme Dott
2011 John Higgins 18-15 Judd Trump
2012 Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-11 Ali Carter
2013 Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-12 Barry Hawkins
2014 Mark Selby 18-14 Ronnie O'Sullivan
2015 Stuart Bingham 18-15 Shaun Murphy

Full Snooker Rules

Rules of Snooker

Read below for the complete run down of the rules of Snooker.



Measurements in parenthesis state the metric equivalent to the nearest millimetre

1. The Standard Table

(a) 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).

(b) The height of the table from the floor to the top of the cushion
Rail shall be from 2ft9½in to 2ft 10½in (851mm to 876mm).

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 authorised by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).

Baulk-line and Baulk
(d) 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.

The "D"
(e) 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).

(f) 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.
(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 Green Spot.

2. Balls

The balls shall be of an approved composition and shall each have a diameter of 52.5mm with a tolerance of +/- 0.05mm and:
(a) they shall be of equal weight within a tolerance of 3g per set
(b) a ball or set of balls may be changed by agreement between the players or on a decision by the referee.

The correct value for the balls are as follows


3. Cue

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.

4. Ancillary

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.


1. Frame
A frame of snooker comprises the period of the play from the first stroke, with all the balls set as described in Section 3 Rule 2, until the frame is completed by:
(a) concession by any player during his turn,
(b) claim by the striker when only the Black remains and there is more than seven points difference between the scores in his favour,
(c) the final pot or foul when only the Black remains, or
(d) being awarded by the referee under Section 3 Rule 14(c) or Section 4 Rule 2.

2. Game
A game is an agreed or stipulated number of frames.

3. Match
A match is an agreed or stipulated number of games.

4. Balls
(a) The White ball is the cue-ball.
(b) The 15 Reds and the 6 colours are the object balls.

5. Striker
The person about to play or in play is the striker and remains so until the referee has decided he has left the table at the end of his turn.

6. Stroke
(a) A stroke is made when the striker strikes the cue-ball with the tip of the cue.
(b) A stroke is fair when no infringement of Rule is made.
(c) A stroke is not completed until all balls have come to rest.
(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.

7. Pot
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.

8. Break
A break is a number of pots in successive strokes made in any one turn by a player during a frame.

9. In-hand
(a) The cue-ball is in-hand
(i) before the start of each frame,
(ii) when it has entered a pocket, or
(iii) when it has been forced off the table.
(b) It 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.

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 which the striker nominates as the ball on when snookered after a foul (see Section 3 Rule 10).

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, whilst it is in play except as provided for in Section 3 Rule 14(h).

15. Foul
A foul is any infringement of these Rules.

16. Snookered
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 not on
(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 cue-ball, 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 above
(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.

17. Spot Occupied
A spot is said to be occupied if a ball cannot be placed on it without that ball touching another ball.

18. Push Stroke
A push stroke is made when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cue-ball
(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 cue-ball 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.

19. 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 ball,
(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.

20. Miss
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.



1. Description
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(c) 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, 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) Yellow on the right-hand corner of the "D"
(iii) Green on the left-hand corner of the "D"
(iv) Brown on the Middle of the Baulk-line,
(v) Blue on the Centre Spot,
(vi) Pink on the Pyramid Spot, and
(vii) Black on the Spot.
(b) 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, he 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.
(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 game.
(c) The first player plays from in-hand, the frame commencing when the cue-ball has been placed on the table and contacted by the tip of the cue, either
(i) as a stroke is made, or
(ii) while addressing the cue-ball.
(d) For a stroke to be fair, none of the infringements described below in Rule 12, Penalties, must occur.
(e) 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 or each Red and any free ball nominated as a Red, potted in the same stroke, is scored.
(f) (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 spotted.
(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 Rule 4 below, and the striker plays the next stroke at the next colour on.
(g) Reds are not replaced on the table once pocketed or forced off the table regardless of the fact that a player may thus benefit from a foul. Exceptions to this concept are provided for in Section 3 Rules 2(b)(ii), 9, 14(f), 14(h) and 15.
(h) If the striker fails to score or commits a foul, his turn ends and the next player plays from where the cue-ball comes to rest, or from in-hand if the cue-ball is off the table.

4. End of Frame, Game or Match
(a) When only the Black is left, the first score or foul ends the frame excepting only if the following conditions both apply:
(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
(iii) the next player plays from in-hand, and
(iv) the next score or foul ends the frame.
(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) above.

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(f).
(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(f)(iii), it shall be removed from the table without penalty when the error is discovered and play shall continue.
(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 oversight,
(ii) subject to penalty if the striker player 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 spotting.
(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 the cue-ball comes to rest touching another ball or balls that are, or could be, on, the referee shall state TOUCHING BALL and indicate which ball or balls on the cue-ball is touching.
(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 the 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
(ii) 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.

9. Ball on Edge of Pocket
(a) If a ball falls into a pocket without being hit by another ball, and being no part of any stroke in progress, it shall be replaced and any points scored shall count.
(b) If it would have been hit by any ball involved in a stroke:
(i) with no infringement of these Rules, all balls will be replaced and the same stroke played again, or a different stroke may be played at his discretion, by the same striker.
(ii) if a foul is committed, the striker incurs the penalty prescribed, 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.

10. Snookered After a Foul
After a foul, if the cue-ball is snookered, the referee shall state FREE BALL (see Section 2, Rule 16).
(a) If the player next in turn elects to play the next stroke,
(i) he may nominate any ball as the ball on, and
(ii) any nominated ball shall be regarded as, and acquire the value of, the ball on except that, if potted, is 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 on, or
(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 table.
(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.

11. Fouls
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 foul.
(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 12 below, and
(ii) has to play the next stroke if requested by the next player.

12. Penalties
All fouls will incur a penalty of four points unless a higher one is indicated in paragraph (a) to (d) below. Penalties are:
(a) value of the ball on by
(i) striking the cue-ball more than once,
(ii) striking when both feet are off the floor,
(iii) playing out of turn,
(iv) playing improperly from in-hand, including at the opening stroke,
(v) causing the cue-ball to miss all object balls,
(vi) causing the cue-ball to enter a pocket,
(vii) playing a snooker behind a free ball,
(viii) playing a jump shot,
(ix) playing with a non-standard cue, or
(x) 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,
(iii) causing a ball not on to enter a pocket,
(iv) causing the cue-ball to first hit a ball not on,
(v) making a push stroke
(vi) touching a ball in play, other than the cue-ball with the tip of the cue as a stroke is made, 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 or a free ball and a ball on.
(d) A penalty of seven points is incurred if the striker
(i) uses a ball off the table for any purpose,
(ii) uses any object to measure gaps or distance,
(iii) plays at Reds, or a free ball followed by a Red, in successive strokes,
(iv) uses any ball other than White as the cue-ball for any stroke once the frame has started,
(v) fails to declare which ball he is on when requested to do so by the referee, or
(vi) after potting a Red or free ball nominated as a Red, commits a foul before nominating a colour.

13. Play Again
Once a player has requested an opponent to play again after a foul, such request cannot be withdrawn. The offended, having been asked to play again, is entitled to
(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
The striker shall, to the best of his ability, endeavour to hit the ball on. If the referee considers the Rule infringed, he shall call FOUL AND A MISS unless only the Black remains on the table, or 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, in the direction of the ball on with sufficient strength, in the referee’s opinion, to have reached the ball on but the obstructing ball or balls.
(a) 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, 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.
(b) 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 call FOUL AND A MISS unless either player needed snookers before, or as a result of, the stroke played and the referee is satisfied that the miss was not intentional.
(c) After a miss has been called under paragraph (b) above when there was a clear path in a straight line from the cue-ball to a ball that was on or that 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 same position shall be called as a FOUL AND A MISS regardless of the difference in scores, and
(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.
(d) After the cue-ball has been replaced under this Rule, 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, 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 and
(i) the next player may elect to play the stroke himself or ask the offender to play again from the position left, or
(ii) the next player may ask the referee to replace all balls moved to their original position and have the offender play again from there, and
(iii) if the above situation arises during a sequence of miss calls, any warning concerning the possible awarding of the frame to his opponent shall remain in effect.
(e) All other misses will be called at the discretion of the referee.
(f) After a miss and a request by the next player to replace the cue-ball, any object balls disturbed will remain where they are unless the referee considers the offending player would or could gain an advantage. In the latter case, any or all disturbed balls may be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction and in either case, colours incorrectly off the table will be spotted or replaced as appropriate.
(g) 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.
(h) 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, if necessary, even if it was picked up.
(i) The next player may ask if the referee intends to replace balls other than the cue-ball in the event that he should ask for the stroke to be played from the original position, and the referee shall state his intentions.

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, other than the striker’s partner, causes the striker to move a ball.
(b) No player shall be penalised for any disturbance of balls by the referee.

16. Stalemate
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 and
(a) the same player shall again make the opening stroke,
(b) the same order of play shall be 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 again, even if the foul was made out of turn, and the original order of play is maintained such that the offender’s partner may lose a turn.
(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 the frame.
(e) Partners may confer during a frame but not
(i) whilst one is the striker and at the table, nor
(ii) after the first stroke of the striker’s turn until the break ends.

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 are not the responsibility of the striker. Should this equipment prove to be faulty and thereby cause the striker to touch a ball or balls, no fouls will be called. The referee will, if necessary, reposition any balls in accordance with Rule 15 above and the striker, if in a break, will be allowed to continue without penalty.

19. Interpretation
(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 physical handicaps. In particular and for example:
(i) Section 3 Rule 12(a)(ii) cannot be applied to players in wheelchairs, and
(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 and green.
(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.


1. Conduct
In the event of:

(a) a Player taking an abnormal amount of time over a stroke or the selection of a stroke; or
(b) any conduct by a Player which in the opinion  
 of the referee is wilfully or persistently unfair; or
(c) any other conduct by a Player which otherwise     
 amounts to ungentlemanly conduct; or
(d) refusing to continue a frame;
the referee shall either:
(e) warn the Player that in the event of any such further
 conduct the frame will be awarded to his opponent; or
(f) award the frame to his opponent; or  
(g) in the event that the conduct is sufficiently serious
award the game to his opponent

If a referee has warned the Player under (e) above, in the event of any further conduct as referred to above, the referee must either:
(a) award the frame to his opponent; or
(b) in the event that the further conduct is sufficiently serious, award the game to his opponent.

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 opponent.
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.

2. Penalty 
(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 unplayed 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

3.     Non-striker
The non-striker shall, when the striker is playing, avoid standing or moving in line of sight of the striker. He shall sit or stand at a reasonable distance from the table

4.     Absence
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.

5.     Conceding
(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.
(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 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 Rule,
(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 stroke,
(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 his decision.

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 handicapped players according to their circumstances.