Russian pyramid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Russian pyramid game setup, with the object balls in a triangle rack at the foot of the table, and the cue ball behind (up-table of) the head string

Russian pyramid, also known simply as pyramid or pyramids (пирами́да, piramida) and often called Russian billiards (Russian: ру́сский билья́рд, russky bilyard) or Russian pool, is a cue sport that has several differences from Western pool, although game play is still dominated by attempts to pocket (pot) billiard balls. It is played in countries of the former Soviet Union and a variant of it, Kaisa, is popular in Finland.

Differences from other billiard games[edit]

  • Table: even though sizes vary – including: 3.5 × 7 feet (198 × 99 cm); 4 × 8 ft (224 × 112 cm); 4.5 × 9 ft (254 × 127 cm); up to 6 × 12 ft (356 × 178 cm) [1] – the official tournament size is the 12 ft model, the same size preferred for snooker, but much larger than a pool table (7 ft and 9 ft being the most common sizes for that style of game).
  • Balls: there are sixteen balls, as in pool, but fifteen are white and numbered, and the cue ball is usually red.[1] They are larger and heavier than Western billiard balls; the official tournament sizes[citation needed] (depending upon table size) are 68 mm (21116 in).[1] Smaller 60.3 (225 in) balls are available for the smaller table sizes, for amateur play.[citation needed]
  • Pockets: the corner pockets are only 4–5 mm wider than the diameter of the ball. The central pockets 14–18 mm wider than the diameter of the ball. This makes the game's mechanics like an oversized version of snooker, requiring greater precision to pocket a ball than in pool.

Variations[edit]

Russian pyramid ball at a corner pocket. The relative size of the ball and the pocket makes the game very challenging.

There are several variations of Russian pyramid, but the three most common are the following, each of which have slight variations on the rules:

  • Free pyramid (also known as American pyramid)
At any point any ball may be used as the cue ball. Players can pocket the cue ball.
  • Dynamic pyramid (also known as Petersburg pyramid)
Only one ball is the cue ball. Players can pocket the cue ball and then the scorer must choose a white ball to be taken off the table. The player then places the cue ball at any area of the table, but may not pocket it until the next stroke.
  • Combined pyramid (also known as Moscow pyramid)
Only one ball is the cue ball. Players can pocket the cue ball and then the scorer must choose a white ball to be taken off the table. The player then places the cue ball in the baulk area where balls can be only pocketed in side and far corner pockets.

All games begin with fifteen numbered white balls racked in a pyramid, as in straight pool. The first player breaks the rack with the cue ball from the baulk line. The object of the game is to pocket eight balls to win the frame. After pocketing the cue ball, the scorer must choose a white ball to be taken off the table. In combined pyramid, then the player places the cue ball in the baulk area. Balls can be pocketed in side and far corner pockets only.

Free pyramid rules[edit]

1. Tables, balls, equipment

The game of "pyramid" described in these rules is designed for tables, balls and equipment meeting the standards prescribed in the "ICP Equipment Specifications".

2. Marking of tables

2.1. The following accurate and clearly visible lines and spots must be marked on the cloth of a pyramid table:
Center Spot - the exact center point of a table’s playing surface.
Center line - a straight line drawn through the center spot parallel to the short rails. The center line divides the table’s playing surface into two halves - a head half and a foot half.
Head spot - the center point of the head half of the table’s playing surface.
House line - a straight line drawn through the head spot and parallel to the head rail.
Foot spot - the center point of the foot half of a table’s playing surface.
Spotting line - a part of the long string drawn from the foot spot to the center of the foot cushion.
2.2. The house is defined as a part of a table’s playing surface between the house-line and the head cushion.

3. Balls used

Standard set of sixteen pyramid balls: Fifteen ivory-white balls numbered 1-15 plus one colored (yellow or crimson) unnumbered ball.

4. Object of the game

To score eight points to the opponent.

5. Scoring

5.1. Any legally pocketed ball counts one point for the shooter.
5.2. In case of a foul, one point penalty is deducted from the offending player’s score. The deduction of penalty points can result in negative scores. (For instance, a final score would read 8:(-2), etc.)

6. The penalty ball

6.1. In case of a foul, one of the offending player’s previous legally pocketed balls is spotted. The ball spotted under these circumstances is called the penalty ball.
6.2. If the offending player has no legally pocketed balls, his first legally pocketed ball is spotted as the penalty ball.

7. Cue Ball and object balls

7.1. In the game of “pyramid” there is no permanent subdivision of balls into the one and only cue ball (struck by the cue) and the object balls (struck by the cue ball).
7.2. When performing any stroke (except the opening break) a player can use any ball on the table’s playing surface (regardless of its number and color) as a cue ball. Reciprocally all the other ball on the table (regardless of their number and color) can be treated as object balls.

8. Collision

8.1 A collision (a contact) of the cue ball with one of the object balls is the necessary condition of any legal shot including the opening break.
8.2. The cue ball can hit the object ball directly or after banking off any cushion.
8.3. It is a foul if the cue ball fails to make contact with any object ball.

9. Rules of play

9.1. Before any stroke (except the opening break) a player is entitled with a free choice of the cue ball.
9.2. If any ball is pocketed on a legal stroke, the shooter continues to play thus receiving a new free choice of the cue ball.
9.3. If no ball is pocketed on a legal stroke or if a stroke is illegal, a turn to perform the next stroke with a new free choice of the cue ball goes to the opponent. (In case of a foul Rule 10 applies)
9.4. It is allowed to pocket any object ball as well as the cue ball off any object ball.
9.5. There is no need to call the ball or the pocket. Any additionally pocketed ball (balls) on a legal stroke is counted in the shooter’s favor.

10. Playing after foul

In case of a foul the opponent has an option:
  • to perform the next stroke himself, or
  • to assign it to the offender.

11. Lag for Break

11.1. The following procedure is used for the lag for the opening break. With the balls in hand behind the house-line, one player to the left and one player to the right of the long string, the balls are shot simultaneously to the foot cushion and back to the head end of the table. The player whose ball is the closest to the head cushion wins the lag.
11.2. It is an automatic loss of the lag if the ball:
  • crosses into the opponent’s half of the table,
  • fails to contact the foot cushion.
  • drops into a pocket,
  • jumps off the table,
  • touches the long cushion, or
  • contact the foot rail more than once.
11.3 If both players violate automatic-loss lag rules, or if the referee is unable to determine which ball is closer, the lad is a tie and is replayed.
11.4. The player winning the lag has the choice of:
  • performing the break shot, or
  • assigning it to the opponent.

12. Racking the balls

12.1. Before the opening break fifteen ivory-white numbered balls are racked in the form of the equilateral triangle (pyramid) with the apex ball on the foot spot and the base parallel to the foot rail. All the balls must be pressed together so that they all have contact with each other. When racking the balls a standard triangle must be used.
12.2. The colored unnumbered ball used as the cue ball on the opening break must be placed in the house.

13. Position of ball

The position of a ball is judged by the position of its center.

14. House and house-line

14.1 The house area does not include the house-line.
14.2. The ball that is dead center on the house-line is judged to be outside the house. Cue ball on opening break

15. Cue ball on opening break

15.1. The opening break shot is taken with the cue ball in hand from the house (from behind the house-line).
15.2. The colored unnumbered ball must be used as the cue ball on the opening break shot.
15.3. The incoming player may place the cue ball anywhere in the house, but not on the house-line (see Rules 13 and 14).
If the cue ball is placed outside the house, the referee or the opposing player must inform the shooting player of improper positioning of the cue ball before the shot is made. Otherwise the shot is considered legal . If the shooting player is informed of improper positioning, he must then reposition the cue ball.
15.4. The cue ball is considered to be in play once the cue ball has been struck by the cue tip (see Rule 19).
15.5. As long as the cue ball remains in hand (not in play), it may be adjusted by the player’s hand, cue, etc. Once the cue ball is in play per the above, it may not be impeded in any way by the player: to do so is to commit a foul.

16. Legal opening break shot

Option A
16.1.A. The opening break shot is considered to be legal. if none of these Rules is infringed and additionally - after a collision (a contact) of the cue ball with one of the object balls:
  • the cue ball or any object ball is legally pocketed, or
  • the cue ball or any object ball has contacted two cushions, or
  • any ball ( the cue ball or any object ball) crosses the centerline after the contact with a cushion.
Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.
16.2.A. When the breaker fails to make a legal break, the incoming player has the option of:
  • accepting the table in position and shooting, or
  • accepting the table in position and assigning the next stroke to the offender, or
  • having the balls re-racked and shooting the opening break, or
  • having the balls re-racked and allowing the offending player to re-break.
Option B: The following option of performing a legal opening break shot may be used by organizers of tournaments in order to make the game more dynamic and to reduce the playing time (e.g. in case of a time limit for TV broadcast etc.).
16.1.B. The opening break shot is considered to be legal, if none of these Rules is infringed and additionally - after a collision (a contact) of the cue ball with one of the object balls:
  • any ball (the cue ball or any object ball) is legally pocketed, or
  • at least two object (numbered) balls are driven to a cushion (cushions).
Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.
16.2.B. When the breaker fails to make a legal break, the incoming player has the option of:
  • accepting the table in position and shooting, or
  • accepting the table in position and assigning the next stroke to the offender, or
  • having the balls re-racked and shooting the opening break, or
  • having the balls re-racked and allowing the offending player to re-break.

17. Alternate break

In every next game of the match opponents alternate break.

18. Beginning and completion of shot

18.1. The shot begins once the cue tip contacts the cue ball and completes once all the balls on the table have become motionless. (a spinning ball is in motion.)
18.2. It is a foul to begin the next shot while the previous shot is not completed.

19. Striking cue ball

Legal shot requires that the cue ball be struck only with the cue tip. Failure to meet this requirement is a foul.

20. Foot on floor

Player must have at least one foot in contact with the floor at the moment the cue tip contact the cue ball, or the shot is a foul.

21. Illegal touching balls

21.1. It is a foul to make contact with any ball (the cue ball or any object) on the table with anything (the body, clothing, chalk, mechanical bridge, cue shaft, etc.) except the cue tip (while attached to the cue shaft), which may contact the cue ball in the execution of a shot.

22. Fouls by double hit

If the cue tip touched the cue ball more than once on a shot, the shot is a foul.

23. Push stroke fouls

23.1. When striking the cue ball any way except those two described in Rule 23.2, it is prohibited to maintain a contact between the cue tip and the cue ball till the moment the cue ball strikes (makes contact with) the object ball. Otherwise the stroke is considered a push stroke and it is a foul.
23.2. If the cue ball is touching the required object ball prior to the shot, or if the distance between the cue ball and the object ball is so negligibly little that it is practically impossible to avoid a momentary triple contact - cue tip/cue ball/ object ball (asa rule, this distance doesn’t exceed the width of the standard chalk cube,) it shall not be considered a push stroke if a stroke is executed:
  • no less than 45 degrees away from the center line of these two balls, or
  • in such a way that the cue ball follows through the object ball no more than a half-ball. Otherwise it is a foul.
Note: Playing away from a touching object ball (without moving the latter) does not constitute a collision with this object ball. If thereafter the cue ball fails to contact any object ball, the shot is a foul (see Rule 8.3).

24. Legal shot

Any shot (except the opening break) is considered to be legal (legally completed) if none of these is infringed and additionally - after a collision ( a contact) of the cue ball with one of the object balls any ball on the table’s playing surface (the cue ball or any object ball):
  • is pocketed, or
  • rebounds off any cushion and thereafter: (a) touched another cushion, or (b) drives any ball to another cushion, or (c) touches any ball frozen to another cushion, or
  • crossed the center line and thereafter: (a) touches any cushion, or (b) drives any ball to any cushion, or
  • rebounds off any cushion and thereafter: (a) crosses the center line, or (b) drives any ball across the center line.
Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.
Notes:
All the elementary playing acts (collisions of the balls, rebounds off the cushions, crossing the center line, etc.) must occur only in the above-mentioned order. Otherwise it is a foul.
If the cue ball strikes the object ball that is frozen to the cushion, and this object ball rebounds off the cushion, strikes the cue ball is return and drives it to any cushion or across the center line, the shot is considered to be legal only if there were two separate collisions - cue ball/object ball and object ball/cue ball. Otherwise it is a foul.
A ball crosses the center line only if the center of the ball crosses the center line.
If a ball rebounds off a jaw (“a nose”) of a side pocket and returns to its half of the table, its center has crosses the center line at least once.

25. Legally and illegally pocketed balls

25.1. A ball is considered legally pocketed if as a result of a legal stroke, it drops off the bed of the table into the pocket and remains there.
25.2. All the legally pocketed balls are taken out from the pockets and placed on a special ball rack. (Each player has his individual ball rack)
25.3. If any of these Rules is infringed on a stroke, all the balls dropped into the pockets as a result of this stroke are considered illegally pocketed.
25.4. All the illegally pocketed balls don’t count and are to be spotted along with the penalty ball.
25.5. A ball that rebounds from a pocket back onto the table bed is not a pocketed ball. (No penalty is to be imposed.)

26. Ball on the edge of pocket

26.1. If a ball hanging on the edge of pocket falls into a pocket without being hit by another ball, and no being a part of any stroke in progress, it shall be replaced as closely as possible to its original position prior to falling, and play shall continue.
26.2. If an object ball drops into a pocket without being hit b another ball as a player shoots at it, all the balls are to be replaced to their positions prior to the stroke, and the player shoots again.
26.3. If a ball balances momentarily on the edge of a pocket and then fall in, it shall count and not be replaced.

27. Ball jumped off table

27.1. Balls coming to rest other than on the bed of the table after a stoke (on the cushion top, rail surface, floor, etc.) are considered jumped balls.
27.2. A ball may bounce on the cushion tops and rails of the table without being a jumped ball if it returns to the bed of the table by itself and without touching anything that is not a permanent part of the pyramid table.
Balls that strike or touch anything not a part of the table, such as light fixture, chalk on the rails and cushion tops, etc., shall be considered jumped balls even though they might return to the bed of the table after contacting items which are not parts of the table.
27.3. When a stroke results in the cue ball or any object ball being a jumped ball off the table, the stroke is a foul.
27.4. All jumped balls are spotted after completion of the shot along with the penalty ball.

28. Spotting balls

28.1. All the illegally pocketed, jumped off and penalty balls are spotted after the completion of the previous shot and before the beginning of the next one.
28.2. A single ball is placed on the foot spot:
  • If more than one ball is to be spotted, they are placed in an arbitrary order on the spotting line from the foot spot to the foot cushion as close as possible but not frozen to each other.
  • When any balls on or near the spotting line interfere with the spotting of balls, the balls to be spotted are placed on the spotting line as close as possible to the foot spot and as close as possible to the interfering balls without being frozen to them.
  • If there is no sufficient room on the spotting line between the foot spot and the foot cushion for balls that must be spotted, such balls are then placed on the extension of the spotting line (between the foot spot and center spot), as close as possible to the foot spot.
28.3. Any spotted ball can be used by the incoming player as the cue ball or as the object ball.

29. Slow play

If in the opinion of the referee a player is impeding the progress of the tournament or game with consistently slow play, the referee can warn the player and then at his discretion impose a maximum 45 seconds time limit that applies to both players between shots (that is, both players are put on a shot-clock). If the referee does impose a time limit and that limit is exceeded by a player who has received a 10 second “time” warning a foul will be called.
The shot-clock starts when the precious shot ends, and runs until the next shot begins. The time while a shot is in progress is not counted.
If the player has not approached the shot, a warning with the announcement of “time” should be make 10 seconds prior to the time limit being reached. :In case of a player down over a ball at the ten second mark prior to the game limit, no announcement is to be made and no penalty is to be imposed. In the event of the player standing up off the shot, “time” will be called at that point and normal shot-clock procedure is followed.
Each player may call for one extension per game. Extension period is identical to the time limit imposed. In the event of a tie score in the match with only one game remaining, each player may utilize two extensions. The player must ensure that the referee is aware when an extension is called.

30. Non-player interference

If during the match the balls are moved by a non-player (directly or by an influence on the shooter), the balls shall be replaced as near as possible to their original positions immediately prior to the incident, and play shall resume with no penalty on the player imposed. If the match is officiated, the referee shall replace the balls.
This rule also applies to “act of God” interference such as earthquakes, hurricanes, light fixture falling, power failures, etc.
If the balls cannot be restored to their original positions, the colored unnumbered ball is placed in the house (if the unnumbered ball is out of play, it should be return in play instead of any numbered ball remaining on the bed of the table), all the numbered balls remaining on the bed of the table are racked in the form of the pyramid (or the truncated pyramid) with the apex on the foot spot and the game will continue with the requirements of the normal opening break (players lag for break). Scoring of points is to be resumed at the score at the moment of game disruption.

31. Non-shooting player interference

If the non-shooting player distracts his opponent or interferes with his play, he has fouled. If a player shoots out of turn, or moves (or touches) any ball except during his inning, it is considered to be interference.

32. Penalties

32.1. The penalties are imposed in case:
  • the cue ball fails to make contact with any object on the stroke (see Rule 8.3);
  • of an illegal opening break shot (see Rule 16.1);
  • the next shot begins while the previous shot is not completed (see Rule 18.2);
  • of illegal striking the cue ball (see Rule 19);
  • the player fails to have at least one foot in contact with the floor at the moment the cue tip contacts the cue ball (see Rule 20);
  • of illegal touching balls (see Rule 21);
  • of a double hit (see Rule 22);
  • of a push stroke (see Rules 23.1 and 23.2);
  • of an illegal (illegally completed) shot (see Rule 24);
  • of the cue ball or any object call being a jumped ball off the table (see Rule 27.3);
  • of infringing the provisions of the “Slow play” Rule (see Rule 29);
  • of a non-shooting player interference (see Rule 31).
32.2. If the player infringes several Rules on the single stroke, single penalty is imposed.

Russian Pyramid World Championship[edit]

Since 2000, Russian Pyramid World Championships have been held for Russian pyramid. The world governing body for the sport, establishing published rules and equipment standards, is the International Pyramid Committee, with its largest regional affiliate being the European Pyramid Committee.

Notable players[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The so-called "American" version, free pyramid, adapts well to use in fiction because of its simple rules (i.e., the plot does not have to side-track into complicated gameplay explanation), and has featured prominently in notable Russian films such as The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979) and The New Adventures of the Elusive Avengers (1968).

Related games[edit]

Finnish kaisa[edit]

Main article: Kaisa (billiards)

Kaisa or karoliina is a Finnish "national" billiard game, that is a close cousin to Russian pyramid, as it is played with similar equipment (i.e. large balls and tight pockets). However, it is played with two white cueballs, one for each player, two red balls and a yellow ball, or kaisa. A player must pocket a nominated ball, scoring points. Extra points are given from hitting other balls in addition to the target ball. All balls are spotted and the game is played to 60 points. Kaisa is often regarded as the most difficult game of pocket billiards in the world.

Russian pool[edit]

Comparison of 68 mm (21116 in) Russian and 57 mm (214 in) American-style pool balls.

American-style pocket billiards (pool) balls have been adapted for use on Russian billiards tables, for playing eight-ball, nine-ball and other pool games. The balls are 68 mm (21116 in) in diameter, like those for pyramid, and thus much larger than the American-style balls they are patterned after (as illustrated to the right).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c editors (2007). "Russian Billiards". BilliardsVillage.com. Retrieved 2008-08-14.