Foul and a Miss - Guidelines for interpretation

The MKCSL has always, and will always, insist on playing the miss rule as part of the game of snooker. It is part of the rules and thus should be played by all players.

The 'Miss Rule' has always had much controversy surrounding it. Here are some guidelines to help you understand it.

Definition of a ball on: Any ball which may be lawfully struck by the first impact of the cue-ball or any ball which may not be so struck but which may be potted is said to be 'on'

This rule does not apply if either player requires snookers before or as a result of the foul committed, unless the striker has obviously made no attempt to hit a ball on.

The referee shall call 'Foul and a Miss' when the striker fails to hit any ball 'on' when any of the following apply:

  • The striker can hit any part of any ball on without having to use side, swerve, or a cushion.
  • The striker has not hit the cue ball with sufficient strength to reach a ball 'on' unless extra strength changes the angle from which the ball bounces off from the cushion.
  • The striker has not tried the easiest shot to hit a ball 'on'
  • The striker has not given the shot sufficient thought.
  • The striker has played a swerve shot in preference to using a cushion.
  • The striker has hit the snookering ball on the way past, if not snookered in all directions.
  • The striker has made a poor attempt at escaping from a snooker.

When the striker can directly hit the centre of a ball on (i.e. without having to hit a cushion first), and fails to do so on 2 consecutive attempts at the same shot, he/she shall be warned by the referee that a third miss will result in the frame being awarded to their opponent. Any other fouls, such as moving a ball by hand, shall not disturb this sequence of misses.

When another red prevents centre ball contact with a red, this will count as centre ball contact.

Players may assist the referee in re-positioning balls but must not touch them. Any such occurrence will cause the player to be penalised as if they are the striker, but will not affect the order of play.