There is a rare situation in snooker where it would seem a player should deliberately foul.

That is when a player is ahead by the points on the table and has a difficult-to-pot color but easy red in the jaws of the pocket.

For example, let's say that the balls on the table are one red plus the colors. The ball on is the yellow and the red ball is in the jaws of a pocket. This is an easy shot, however, the yellow ball is a long pot or otherwise very difficult to make. The player shooting is 33 points ahead of the other player.

Now, if the player attempts the yellow and misses, then the other player can pot the red and black for 8 points, then run the colors for another 27, giving 35 points in total. So, the other player would win.

Alternatively, what the player can do is carom off the yellow so as to hit the red in. He has hit the designated ball, so it is not a miss. Now of course it is a foul, so his opponent will receive +4, but the red will stay pocketed. That means there are only 27 points on the table. So, the other player will have to make a snooker to win. So, in this situation the player on can put his opponent into snookers required by fouling.

Is there any reason why this would not work?

1 Answer 1


There's no explicit rule to stop this from working. But assuming the referee were aware that the move had been intentional, they do have options to prevent the striker from profiting from the foul using the discretion afforded them under the "Unsporting Conduct" rule (Section 4, Rule 1d) to award the frame/game to their opponent:

(d) In the event that the conduct, in the opinion of the referee is sufficiently serious, the referee shall award the frame or the game to the player’s opponent, even if previous Warnings for Unsporting Conduct were not issued.

Even if the referee didn't believe the foul was intentional (or wasn't sure) they are not without options. Section 5, Rule 1 states:

(a) The referee shall:

(i) make decisions in the interests of fair play for any situation not covered adequately by these Rules;

Which basically gives the referee carte blanche to take whatever actions they deem fair - if the ref decided that the unfair advantage from fouled red pot warranted it they could replace the red.

  • Is an intentional foul really considered "unsporting", though? There are plenty of other sports where it is perfectly legal and accepted strategy to deliberately commit a foul and take the prescribed penalty, without it being considered unsporting in any way. Commented May 24, 2021 at 1:36
  • @NateEldredge That would be at the discretion of the referee I think Commented May 24, 2021 at 14:40
  • @NateEldridge What sports are you thinking of? Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 6:48

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