SNOOKER RULES - click here to link to WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association) website to download or view a complete book of the latest rules. This is a 64 page PDF book that is readable and printable.


LMSSL Rules - 1 page

To view and/or print our league rules that are different from the International Rules of Snooker, click on this link: LMSSL Rules.pdf


"To Call or Not To Call" Video Introduction

The following is a introduction to and explanation of the rule demonstration videos "To Call or Not To Call", created by the Lower Mainland Seniors Snooker League


Objective of the videos

  1. To standardize the various interpretations that our LMSS League follows.
  2. To demonstrate many scenarios and to explain how the rules should apply.
  3. To increase players’ knowledge of what the rules are in order to avoid disputes and  disagreements.
  4. To provide opportunity for players to study and review in private.
  5. "To Call or Not To Call" rule demonstration videos
  6. To view each video click on any of the titles below. The video will open and play in a new window. After viewing video close window and choose another from list.

"To Call or Not To Call" rule demonstration videos

To view each video click on any of the titles below. The video will open and play in a new window. After viewing video close window and choose another from list.

  1. Meet John Horsfall - host, technical adviser and demonstrator
  2. Angled ball rule
  3. Communication stop point - when you can and when you can not talk to you partner
  4. Foul and Miss - coming up short
  5. Foul and Miss - if open ball not chosen
  6. Foul and Miss - lack of skill
  7. Foul and Miss - open ball definition
  8. Foul and Miss - options
  9. Foul and Miss - surrounded
  10. Foul and Miss - What we do not call
  11. Free ball combo
  12. Free ball combo to win
  13. Free ball definition
  14. Free ball options
  15. Free ball more options
  16. Free ball roll up to nominated ball
  17. Nominated ball part of snooker
  18. Nominate colour early
  19. Push shot foul tandems
  20. Push shot thin edge
  21. Avoid push shots
  22. Re-spotting black etc no space
  23. Re-spotting double colours
  24. Re-spotting colours all spots taken
  25. Simultaneous Hit ruling
  26. Simultaneous trick shot
  27. Touching yellow options
  28. Touching Ball definition
  29. Trick Follow Thru
  30. Trick Follow Thru in slo mo
  31. Opponent is referee
  32. On Call Referees

CREDITS: This project was commissioned by the delegates of the Lower Mainland Seniors Snooker League at the AGM of June 2007. Vancouver, B.C.

- JOHN HORSFALL-host, technical adviser and demonstrator

- FRANK BOURASSA-project coordinator/author

- DAVE CAIRNS - Rules Committee Member

- GAETAN LAFLEUR - Rules Committee Member

- BILL MILLER - Rules Committee Member

- STEVE SURINAK - Rules Committee Member

- LEO VANDEN BOOGARD - Rules Committee Member


        Thanks to Ted Wormworth, President of BC Cue Sports, for his opinions and assistance with the final stages of the project. Thanks to Leo van den Boogaard for the use of his billiards room for videotaping and to Ivan Gimesi for his assistance and advice.


  1. KNOWLEDGE OF RULES. Free-balls, the foul and miss rule, push-shot.
  2. DISPUTE RESOLUTION  PROCESS. Current process not working.
  3. REFUSAL OR FEAR TO CALL A FOUL. ie. The communication foul during a run/break.
  4. SPORTSMANSHIP INCONSISTENCY. Failure to call or acknowledge a foul on yourself. If your partner clearly talks to you illegally during a break…. the opposition should not have to call it nor “overlook it”.



        What is a “SNOOKER” ? The definition of a snooker in the International Rules states the following:

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


Implications of a “SNOOKER” STATEMENT OF A FEW FACTS: The cue-ball is either snookered or not. There is no half-way definition.  If the direct line to hit an object ball in its entirety, that is including both “extreme edges” is obstructed in any way it is deemed to be snookered. The closest “obstructing ball” is defined to be the “effective snookering ball” and any other obstructing balls farther away are ignored even though they may prevent the striker from being able to strike the object ball.


Practical applications of a “SNOOKER”See the "Free Ball" demonstration videos, using the nominated ball after a foul snooker is an example of using the “effective snookering ball” rule. This example has been thoroughly studied and is correct as stated in the video


Options for a striker if a "FREE BALL" is declared. Remember the “options”… but the striker may shoot at the normal “ball on” if he wishes to; whether he can see part of it or not.


PUSH SHOT - Avoiding a "PUSH SHOT"

  1. Short follow through.
  2. Elevated draw shot.
  3. Another example of a foul push shot.
  4. A thin edge shot which is foul.
  5. A “good” soft thin edge shot.
  6. A “good” hard thin edge shot.



  1. The most common error myth about re-spotting balls is that it is a foul if someone either forgets to re-spot or spots a ball incorrectly .
  2. The above errors are not fouls and there is no penalty regardless of who committed the error , who is the striker and  who discovers the error.
  3. This is how the error is corrected:   The missing ball is simply re-spotted and the play or break/run continues normally.   No foul, no penalty.     (Reference is on page 9 #7 a to j.)
  4. If a ball is incorrectly spotted and it is discovered immediately it must be moved to its correct spot but if one player has already taken a shot or more then the incorrectly spotted ball is condoned and it remains where it was spotted.
  5. The only foul and/or penalty that might occur is if the striker continues his break without leaving sufficient time for the ball to be re-spotted by  “whoever”, either the referee, his opponent, his partner  or himself

FOUL AND MISS - What is a “Foul and Miss”?

  1. The expression “miss” also means “foul and miss”.
  2. A “foul and miss” occurs when the referee considers that the striker has not made a good enough attempt to hit the “ball on”.


Severe penalty for “Foul and Miss ”

Because the penalty for a “foul and miss” can be very severe, players should be aware when this situation might occur so they can avoid it themselves; and secondly so they can take advantage of the penalty options if this call is made against their opponent (s).


Foul and miss rule adaptations for LMSSL

The Lower Mainland Seniors Snooker League Constitution states:  Foul and Miss rule will remain in the constitution and will only apply to the following three scenarios:

  1. A miss on an open ball. i.e. "Failure to 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" or
  2. When snookered, coming up short of the ball on. i.e. "Failure to strike the cue ball with sufficient strength (for its intended path) to reach a ball that is or could be on."
  3. With the exception that if there is no possible route to the object ball;  if the cue ball is struck with sufficient effort to reach the vicinity of the object ball then the “Foul and Miss” rule will not apply.
  • No way to hit it legally. Must be hit hard enough to reach it via the shot’s intended path which should be chosen in a plausible general direction. Clearly explained in the intro to “foul and miss” in the International Rules.
  • If you choose a difficult shot when a simpler and easier “ball on” is available it is an automatic “foul and miss” because of the rule in scenario #1 whereby there is a ball that “could be on”.
  • Lack of skill or judgement is not grounds to call a “foul and miss” in our League.


Parts of the International “foul and miss” rule that our league does not follow.

  1. No awarding of frame after warning after three  repeated misses on an open ball.
  2. No subjective judgement concerning skill or ability.  Only criteria is “did he try?”  Not ”he should have been able to hit that.”
  3. The ruling that foul & misses are not called if either player needs a hook is not to be called. Our  rules apply “all the time.”



  1. Our last AGM, June 2007, recommended we adopt the “on-call” referee system that is very commonly used in most large pool tournaments.  For example in nine-ball, eight-ball, and snooker.
  2. Notwithstanding the following suggestions it is recognized that in reality  “most of the refereeing” will be left to the opposing pair of non-strikers as stated in the International Rules of Snooker, 1995, on page 14, Section 3, #19 c.
  3. The rules committee recommends that prior to each league match the captains should name at least two players from their respective teams to act as “on-call referees”.
  4. If the non-striking team does not request an “on-call referee” and a foul is committed then hopefully the striker will acknowledge the foul.  If not then the benefit of the doubt is to go to the striker unless there are witnesses to verify that the foul occurred
  5. Either the striker or the non-striker may request an “on-call referee” as the sole arbitrator to observe possibly contentious shots.