The biggest upset in pool right now that confuses the public and players are the rules. America, Europe, and Asia all play rules different to one another.
All successful sports play with one set of rules that are easy to understand.
For example, America usually plays with the One on the spot, rack your own. Fouls are OK; if you move a ball with anything but your cue you can replace the ball where it was and continue to shoot. I don’t agree with this (if you make a foul it’s ok to keep shooting.)
10-Ball has different rules for several events. Some are call shot and some are not. Sometimes it’s call safe too.
In Europe, 9-Ball is played with the Nine on the spot, and the three point rule is enforced. 10-ball, call shot, WPA rules.
Asia can’t make their mind up. Sometimes the one ball is on the spot, sometimes the nine ball is on the spot.
10-Ball is usually call shot, but in the Philippines they don’t like call shot for money games — which, again, does not make sense to me.
Push shots are sometimes allowed, sometimes not… again, madness. It’s a foul.
8-Ball has different rules worldwide
What we’re doing with all these rules is confusing the public and the players, and making the sport disorganized.
10-Ball was designed to be call shot — for tournaments, to take the slop out of the game — but everyone keeps trying to change the rules. We should stick to 10-Ball being call shot only, and in addition I would suggest that it should be break outside the box.
9-Ball should be nine on the spot, using a magic rack, and break inside the box.
8-Ball should be open table after the break, not using stripes to play onto solids for the first shot or vice versa.
Jump cues should not be allowed.
9-Ball should be nine on the spot, magic rack, break in the box.
Every major event we play at a pro level has different rules, which is why a player meeting is always needed at the tournament before it even starts. Sometimes these player meetings can go on for hours.
In the China Open, we put the one ball on the spot, and the ball is wired to the corner pocket. This is the same with the World 9-Ball.
The U.S. Open has the nine ball on the spot with the break box. I think these are the best rules, and what the majority of the players want.
Matchroom also plays with the nine ball on the spot.
It’s amazing to me that all these major events play different rules.
In major golf events, they set the course up to be a test for the top players — not to make it as easy as possible. With pool, it seems like we make the game as easy as possible.
Maybe it’s because the organizers don’t understand the game, or they want it over as quick as possible. Obviously a match will end quickly when there is a guaranteed ball on the break, since there will be less safety play.
I think the majority of players want the nine ball on the spot with breaking in the box and call shot. The game has moved on now, and the standard worldwide is so high — so the game must be more difficult. In the past, nobody knew anything about the break, and balls were racked and broke, unlike the rack mechanics we have today. Now, we have different equipment and conditions.
If we all played one set of rules worldwide, people would understand the game better since it would be easier to follow. Players will understand how to practice for each event coming up. Then players’ meetings would not be needed — this saving a lot of time for both the players and organizers.
For pool to be taken seriously as a sport going forward, it’s very important to unify the set of rules worldwide. I can’t think of any other sport where different rules are played each event.
Not only should the rules be standardized, but the pockets should be the same for all professional events. They should be four to four and quarter. Too many of the events use pocket sizes that are too big at a professional level. The same set of rules should be applied not only to professional levels, but amateur levels too.
It’s a simple fix.
My hopes for the sport I love are that these changes will take place, and the pool industry gets unified for the good of the sport and for the next generation.
It’s important to give the young players wishing to be professional in the future a chance to make a real living.