The MISS rule - what is it?
The (IBSF and B&SCC) miss rule:
A miss is when the referee considers the striker
has not endeavoured to hit a ball on to the best
of his ability. If this is the case, then the
offending player, if requested by the next player,
has to play from the original position all balls
having been replaced. Note: if the ball on is
impossible to hit, no miss will be called.
Why is there a miss rule in snooker?
Because placing your opponent in a snooker is such an
important part of the game, it has always been required
of the player to attempt to escape them. Consider
the situation where you make a beautiful shot and place
the ball on behind a cluster and leave the cue ball far
far away. If there was no miss rule, your opponent could
just smash the cluster open. With a miss rule he
has no other option but to try and play off cushions and
maybe foul multiple times giving you a lot of points.
The rule is an attempt of a way to make players play the
game like it is supposed to be played and like it has been
What is "impossible to hit"?
A ball is impossible to hit if a shot can't possibly be
made in a way that a ball on is hit first without a foul
being made. For example: the last red is inside a cluster
of colours and you are on a red. In this case the red is
impossible to hit and so you can make any shot and a miss
will not be called.
Why does the rule rely on the opinion of the referee?
If you have a better way of writing the rule, I am most
interested to hear of it.
What about the professional miss rule then?
The WPBSA has decided that a rule that only relies on the
opinion of the referee is not enough and so they have written
down some guidelines on when a miss should be called. One
example is that if a ball on can be seen full-ball with a
direct hit, the striker must hit a ball on or a miss is
called. Without this rule, in some cases, the striker might
choose to play another ball on, maybe in fear of leaving a
shot to his opponent
What about the future of the miss rule?
A committee of professional referees has rewritten the rules
of snooker and the board of the WPBSA have approved that
rewrite. Once the IBSF also passes the new rules we may see
a slightly changed miss rule and hopefully one that returns
the professional rules to be the same as the amateur rules.
What do you know about anything, anyway?
Maybe I don't!