Bonus Ball Rulebook
Bonus Ball is played with nine billiard balls: four purple, four orange, and one black Bonus Ball. The objective of the game is to reach 30 points by pocketing balls. Each legally pocketed purple ball is worth one point, orange two points, and the Bonus Ball three points. Pocketing all three in order is called a "sequence". A player will continue their visit at the table until they fail to legally pocket a ball, or commit a foul. If a player fails to pocket the Bonus Ball on their turn, during their next visit to the table they will restart the sequence at purple. After the final orange ball is pocketed leaving only the Bonus Ball, the purple and orange balls are re-racked, and the active player must perform a re-break. The game is played until a player reaches 30 points or the 15 minute game clock expires. Failure to reach 30 points within regulation time will result in a shootout.
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1.0 - The Break and Shoot
2.0 - Game Play
3.0 - Specialty Shots
4.0 - Re-Spotting
5.0 - Fouls
6.0 - The Shoot Out
1.0 - The Break & Shoot
1.1 - The balls are racked with four purple and four orange balls frozen together as indicated in FIGURE 1, positioned with the apex ball on the footspot. The Bonus Ball is placed in the center of the table.
1.2 - To complete a legal break, the active player must start by placing the cue ball behind the headstring. Contact must be made with the purple head ball of the rack. Upon contact, a combination of two or more balls must be pocketed or pass the headstring.
1.3 - The 15 minute game clock begins once all balls have stopped moving and all pocketed balls are re-spotted.
1.4 - Pending a legal break, the active player will continue to shoot, regardless of having pocketed any balls.
1.5 - In the event of an illegal break, the incoming player will have the option to play the table as it lays or request a re-rack for their own opportunity to break and shoot.
2.0 - Game Play
2.1 - The objective of the game is to score 30 points within the 15 minute game clock. Each shot must be played within a 24 second shot clock.
2.2 - Points are scored by pocketing balls into your designated pockets, as indicated in FIGURE 2. Each team or player is designated three pockets on the table that they will use for the entire match: two corner pockets on the long side of the table and the opposite side pocket.
2.3 - Legally pocketed purple balls are worth one point, orange two points, and the black Bonus Ball is worth three points. Points are only accumulated by pocketing balls in a player's designated three pockets (with the exceptions of Section 3.1 TARGET SHOT and Section 3.3 RE-BREAK).
2.4 - Balls must be pocketed in sequence: purple, orange, and then the Bonus Ball. If a player fails to sink a purple or orange ball, they will continue to shoot that color on their next turn. Failure to legally pocket the Bonus Ball results in the end of the sequence, and the player must return to shooting the purple balls.
2.5 - Bonus ball is a call-shot game. Players are only required to call non-obvious shots. Only the desired ball and pocket must be specified, as additional details of the shot are not required. Any kick, bank or carom shot is not considered an obvious shot.
2.6 - It is not a foul to pocket any collateral ball(s) into any pocket (including your opponent's), assuming you make the legal shot that was called. All balls pocketed outside of the original shot are spotted on their respective spots.
2.7 - Conversely, it is a foul any time a called shot is missed and any ball enters your opponent's pocket. The resulting penalty is ball in hand for the incoming player.
2.8 - Players will be limited to a 24 second shot clock that will automatically start after the last ball stops moving on the table, or after any balls have been spotted.
2.9 - Each player is allowed one 30 second timeout per game. The timeout will stop both the shot clock and game clock. Upon completion of the timeout, the shot clock will re-start at 24 seconds; however the game clock will remain frozen until the current shot is completed. A timeout may be called at any time by either player, regardless of which player has possession of the table. However the opposing player may not call a timeout if the active player is down on the shot. If the timeout is illegally called, the active player will be rewarded with ball in hand.
3.0 - Specialty Shots
3.1 - TARGET SHOT (FIGURE 3): This shot must be called prior to execution by announcing the words "Target Shot". Using the object ball (current color in sequence) to execute a combination or carom shot, the Bonus Ball can be legally pocketed out of sequence into any pocket to earn three points. The player will remain on the same colored ball in sequence prior to the shot, regardless of the outcome of the shot.
3.2 - CONTINUATION SHOT (FIGURE 4): This shot must be called prior to execution by announcing the words "Continuation Shot". It is performed by using the object ball (current color in sequence) to complete a combination, carom, or multi-rail kickshot (minimum two rails), in attempt to pocket a ball into your opponent's pocket. Legally pocketed balls are re-spotted, and no points are awarded.
3.3 - RE-BREAK (FIGURE 5): When the bonus ball is the only remaining ball on the table, play is stopped and the purple and orange balls are re-racked. The active player is then required to pocket the Bonus Ball into any pocket on the table while simultaneously attempting to carom the cue ball into the rack (similar to a straight pool break shot). The following restrictions and conditions apply:
3.3.1 - Pocketing the Bonus Ball into one of the three designated pockets and caroming the cue ball into the rack is considered a legal re-break. Three points are rewarded for pocketing the Bonus Ball, and the player continues their inning by starting a new sequence (shooting purple). If the player fails to contact the rack during the re-break, the player is forced to play a "forced-safety", as outlined in Section 3.4. Three points are still awarded for successfully pocketing the Bonus Ball.
3.3.2 - It is possible to pocket the Bonus Ball into the opponent's pocket, but it is mandatory that the cue ball successfully carom into the rack. Failure to contact the rack results in a foul and no points are awarded. The incoming player is then awarded a Break and Shoot.
3.3.3 - Failure to pocket the Bonus Ball during a re-break is an illegal shot. If contact with the rack was made, the incoming player has the option to Break and Shoot, or play the table as it lays. If contact was not made, then the incoming player must Break and Shoot.
3.3.4 - When re-racking the balls for a re-break, if the cue ball occupies the area within the rack, the active player receives ball in hand.
3.3.5 - When re-racking the balls for a re-break, if the Bonus Ball occupies the area within the rack, the Bonus Ball is then re-spotted at its designated default position at the center of the table.
3.4 - FORCED SAFETY: The forced safety occurs after the Bonus Ball is pocketed into the player's designated pocket during a re-break, yet the cue ball fails to contact the rack. The active player is required to contact a purple ball and drive the cue ball and at least one other ball to a cushion. Possession of the table is then relinquished to the opponent.
4.0 - Re-Spotting
4.1 - Balls are spotted in the following default locations, as indicated in FIGURE 6:
4.1.1 - Purple: On the footspot. If the spot is obstructed, the ball will re-spot a ball's width distance towards the footrail.
4.1.2 - Orange: On the headspot. If the spot is obstructed, the ball will re-spot a ball's width distance towards the headrail.
4.1.3 - Bonus Ball: On the center spot. If the spot is obstructed, the ball will re-spot a ball's width distance towards the footrail.
4.2 - All balls pocketed during the break and re-break are re-spotted at their default locations.
4.3 - Balls must always be pocketed in sequence: purple, orange, Bonus Ball. If there is no ball present on the table necessary to continue the sequence, the necessary ball will be re-spotted at it's default location. Re-spotting occurs when the spotted ball is required as the object ball.
4.4 - Illegally pocketed balls must be re-spotted.
5.0 - Fouls
5.1 - All fouls result in the opponent being rewarded ball in hand.
5.2 - Failure to complete the shot within the allotted 24 second shot clock results in a foul.
5.3 - The WPBL adheres to "all ball fouls". It is considered a foul if any part of a player's body or cue stick accidentally contacts any ball on the table. The incoming player will receive ball in hand as well as the option to have the ball moved back to its original position.
5.4 - It is a foul to pocket any ball into your opponent's pocket after failing to pocket the called shot.
5.5 - The following standardized billiard rules apply, all of which are considered fouls:
5.5.1 - Failing to first contact the object ball (current color in sequence).
5.5.2 - The cue ball does not contact a cushion after contacting an object ball.
5.5.3 - The cue ball is pocketed.
5.5.4 - A shot is executed without at least one foot on the floor.
5.5.5 - Knocking the cue ball or any object ball off of the table.
5.5.6 - Shooting a ball before all balls have stopped moving or been re-spotted.
5.5.7 - Putting a hand in a pocket to catch a ball that has not yet left the playing surface.
5.5.8 - Double-hitting the cue ball.
5.5.9 - Playing out of turn (Scotch format).
6.0 - The Shoot Out
6.1 - A shootout occurs when neither player has scored 30 points within regulation time (15 minutes).
6.2 - Starting with the player that has the least game points, each player will be awarded the opportunity to break and shoot, attempting to improve their score (maximum 30 points).
6.3 - If either player reaches 30 points, they will be awarded the victory. If both players fail to reach 30 points, the player with the highest game score wins.
For a complete breakdown of the amateur rules, click here.