Talk:Blackball (pool)

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No one knows this as 'Blackball' in the UK[edit]

in fact i've never even heard it called Blackball before, until I visited this article. and that was after spending a long time trying to find it (talk) 15:58, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Not so. There are blackball leagues throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland while in Scotland there are over 40 pool leagues playing exclusively blackball pool. More leagues play World Rules pool than Blackball rules in England however.

I was also surprised to see this called Blackball. It is more common by far to simply call the game 'Pool', and from my experience is also the more common variant. -- (talk) 02:30, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

UK pool[edit]

There's a website at which provides information about UK Blackball. The site is currently being worked on and there's much more information to be added. Feel free to use anything if you believe it would be useful. I think the Wikipedia UK blackball article could possibly benefit from a major re-write. It's been largely unchanged for quite a few years. Cheers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scottish8ball (talkcontribs) 14:07, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Some basic information here... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blackballuk (talkcontribs) 15:06, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

More relevant information? The current website address of the European Blackball Association... There's some information about blackball pool here which may prove useful... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:53, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

May I direct you to There's a good deal of information about blackball both in Scotland (and more generally) which you may find useful in bringing Wikipedia up-to-date on this subject. In particular the introduction of certain rule changes which have had a big impact. There's also a campaign mentioned which promotes the sport and the twitter account @blackballpool indicates how popular blackball has now become. It has grown tremendously in Africa. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scottish8ball (talkcontribs) 13:12, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Blackball is one set of rules. 'World Rules' is another. Blackball is not a generic name for pool in the UK. There should indeed be separate pages for WEPF 'world rules' and World Pool Association 'blackball rules'. Or a single topic UK Pool and then describe various rule sets separately. The current content is flawed I'm afraid.

As regards the image description, to say that this represents a 'kick shot' in action does not really work. The rules described are not accurate as far as blackball is concerned. The set or colour is not nominated by the player. There are several other discrepancies I'm afraid.

I wonder if there should be a wider UK/English pool with a lot of this info in it. There is mention of the EPA and the World Eight Ball Pool Federation Rules but it feels a bit like this is saying everyone plays Blackball rules and calls the game Blackball and they don't.

There should be a World Eight Ball Pool Federation Rules page but I think one UK pool page with the rules (Blackball, World Eight Ball Pool Federation Rules, BAPTO)off it?

I might start a World Eight Ball Pool Federation Rules page to get the ball rolling! --Watford147 (talk) 16:56, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I've tried to address the historical relationship a little better. You are right that the article is glaringly flawed, especially with BAPTO being missing. I would strongly advise against forking the article any time soon, as WP:AFD will just merge them again. It would be better to drastically improve this article, and then if necessary rename it (however I think it would be vastly preferable to keep this article at Blackball (pool) than to move it to Eight-ball pool, as it will be too easily confused with Eight-ball. UK pool or something like that is too general - other games than these are played on pool tables in Britain! Improve the article first, we'll worry about what to call it later. PS: I also favor the blackball name for the article, because blackball is inevitably going to be the direction of this "class" of games' evolution, as the WPA is huge and global and pushing for Olympic sanctioning. The older variants are going to be increasingly marginalized over the next decade, and are almost certainly going to see their rulesets shift toward WPA's (while WPA will almost certainly make concessions back in their direction, until all three bodies agree on a common set of rules). The same thing has been happening in US/intl. eight-ball, with WPA making rules changes to get buy-in from BCA (which eventually became satisfied and is now an official WPA affiliate and shares the same rulesets), meanwhile the major formerly-US and now increasingly international amateur league, VNEA, is making more changes every year that bring it in line with the WPA/BCA rules. It's just a natural process of compromise and nothing to worry about :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 17:27, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Pub rules[edit]

Also I believe a decent explanation of the differences between common Pub Rules and World Rules would be definitely useful, and they certainly are both in common use in the UK. Also, I read potting the black on a break means you win - I only recall playing under rulesets to the opposite effect (probably Pub Rules), it counts the same as if you had potted the black at any other time before your colours are down - you instantly lose the game. Piro RoadKill (talk) 10:28, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

We've had a terrible time with WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV (and sometimes WP:NFT) problems at Eight-ball in tryign to handle the same pub/bar vs. competition rules comparison. The problem is that there are virtually no reliable sources anywhere for pub/bar rules, and they radically vary by region, even venue. It's something more suited to some external book, a Bob's Guide to Playing Pool on the Road or whatever, that gather's actual research data on what the rules are in various areas. It's not an encyclopedia's job.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:45, 13 April 2014 (UTC)


The ball set up is described as that for World Rules. It is also the set up for blackball rules. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Do you reckon we could get a few better pictures in? The current one is a smidge blurry. Might also be nice to have a picture or diagram of the setup of the balls. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

WEPF vs. WPA rules error?[edit]

The WPA section used to say:

Blackball rules are very similar to the WEPF World Rules. One notable difference is that after a fault, the incoming player has a free shot (i.e., may take the cue ball in position or in-hand in baulk; the "wrong ball first" rule is suspended) and also has next visit (continues playing even if no ball or opponent's ball is potted on the free shot).

After a recent change it now says:

Blackball rules are very similar to the WEPF World Rules. One notable difference is that after a fault, the incoming player has a free shot (i.e., may take the cue ball in position or in-hand in baulk; the "wrong ball first" rule is suspended) and also the player does not have a next visit (does not continue playing even if no ball or opponent's ball is potted on the free shot).

There's no source cited for this make-it-say-the-opposite change. Even if it's correct about the WPA rules, it would mean taht the WEPF and WPA rules are even more similar that the article said, so the section is still wrong in describing "one notable difference" that it now is suggesting is the same for both rulesets!

Given that all of this material was written something like 4 or 5 years ago, both rulesets needs to be re-checked and summarized here correctly as to what they say as of August 2016.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:39, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

If I understand the rule correctly I would say the WPA rule relating to being limited to one free shot when your on black is unfair. It effectively means your opponent can deliberately not play their own color in order to give you an unplayable shot on black so no matter how bad they play you never get 2 shots on black. To paraphrase Gomez. "Dirty pool old man".(Mike G 21/11/14)

Having done some research, it looks as though the WPA rules changed at the beginning of 2008, from this (published July 2006) to this (published December 2007). By my interpretation, the specific rule under discussion did indeed change.

The old rules explicitly state (section 6a) that the opponent gets "a free shot plus one visit".

The new rules do not mention a second shot or visit at all. Section 5.13 states "If the shooter commits a foul, play passes to his opponent. The incoming player has one free shot (see Free shot) as the first shot of his inning."

Assuming that "inning" (defined by Section 8.12) can be taken as synonymous with "visit", and noting that Section 5.13 does not modify Section 5.7, which indicates that if you don't legally pocket a ball then your turn/visit/inning ends, then I would conclude that the change made to the article is correct, and is in line with the change made to the rules themselves. I'd also agree that it does represent a major difference from WEPF "World Rules" in that WEPF expressly gives two visits, but no free shot (except partially so in the case of a snooker), whereas the new WPA rules do give a free shot but, seemingly, no second visit. Even before the change, it was still a fairly significant difference (colloquially, "two shots carry" vs. "two shots don't carry").

Given the great popularity of rule sets that (in varying senses) give "two shots", I personally think the WPA rules are a bit remiss in not making it more explicit that an incoming player doesn't get a second shot following a miss on the free shot. But since they don't say anywhere that you do, I can only interpret it as meaning that you don't.

As for BAPTO, the rules page of their website states that they now "adhere to the new WPBA [sic] Blackball rules", but then provides a link to the old ones!! However, the BAPTO rules dating from 2000 are still reproduced on their website. I do agree that these merit at least a mention in the article.

I'll see if I can firm up the above conclusions, and, if I get a chance, will attempt to rewrite the section at some point. In the meantime, I'd be grateful for anyone either agreeing or disagreeing with me! Quackdave (talk) 14:54, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for doing the work on that. That's looks like a good review of the source material. I've self-reverted my {{dubious}} tag on this, and trust that you can write up clearer wording distinguishing the rules variances. The rules material on both variants could probably use a lot of copyediting and checking. An anon recently replaced one rule with a different but not incompatible rule (without a source); I re-edited it to keep both, pending verification.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

World Blackball Championship[edit]

The section relating to the World Blackball Championship could perhaps be updated. The WBC 2014 is to be held in Perth, Scotland. I have added relevant details here... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:43, 18 April 2014 (UTC)