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According to WPA rules,

In games in which the shooter is required to call shots, the intended ball and pocket must be indicated for each shot if they are not obvious.

However, I don't understand from this description if you are allowed to pocket some other legal ball, but not the called one, only strike the called ball.

Let's say the position is like this, with ball (1) sitting over a corner pocket X and the cueball (C) blocked by another legal ball (2), and let's say I have no other legal balls on the table (for example, only (8) left for me after these in an 8-ball game):

X \----------------
\(1)    (2)  (C)
|
|

My options would be either to play a combination shot striking (2) and potting (1), or potting (1) by playing a kick shot off the rail not visible on this diagram.

If the game is call-shot, can I nominate ball (2) and pocket (X), yet still pot (1) with the combination shot outlined above?

1 Answer 1

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However, I don't understand from this description if you are allowed to pocket some other legal ball, but not the called one, only strike the called ball.

You are allowed to pocket other legal balls. But if you don't pocket your called ball, your shot has failed.

From the same rule:

Details of the shot, such as cushions struck or other balls contacted or pocketed are irrelevant.

If the game is call-shot, can I nominate ball (2) and pocket (X), yet still pot (1) with the combination shot outlined above?

Yes. But if (2) doesn't fall, you did not complete the shot and don't get to remain at the table.

Given this is 8-ball, you could call the (1). Then if only the (1) is pocketed or both the (1) and the (2) are pocketed, you would have made the shot and can continue.

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  • So, I don't have to strike the ball I have nominated, I still can play any legal ball? I may be confusing this with snooker, which rules I know quite well (even if never played, I have watched it a lot). There if you nominate pink, for example, you have to strike it first, and only it may be potted (you don't need to nominate a pocket). Your answer seems to imply that in pool the nominated ball only needs to be potted, but the first ball struck may be any other legal ball. Is that correct?
    – woeriweuo
    Mar 24, 2023 at 21:17
  • That becomes a question about the specific game. Yes in 8-ball you may strike with the cue a ball you don't intend to pocket, but it still must be one of your group. See WPA rule 3.9 "Wrong ball first". Also look up "combination shot" (unfortunately used but not defined in the WPA rules).
    – BowlOfRed
    Mar 24, 2023 at 21:24
  • As I understand it, the rules about the called shot apply generally to all variants of pool, e.g. that linked bit of WPA rules is in a section preceding 8-ball, 9-ball and so on. For example, in straight pool any ball is legal. Which would mean I can still strike any ball, I only need to pot the nominated ball (directly or via a combination, etc.) to the nominated pocket. That was basically my confusion, what the nomination meant exactly.
    – woeriweuo
    Mar 24, 2023 at 21:29

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