Victorian Billiards & Snooker Association Inc.

Representing & Developing Billiards & Snooker as a sport in Victoria

VBSA Patron: The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria.


(Victorian Billiards & Snooker Association Inc.)
VBSA Patron: The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria.
Representing & Developing Billiards & Snooker as a sport in Victoria


Referee Q & A

Need Clarification or advice?

Contact: Larry Eforgan

Victorian Director of Referees

Ring: 0432 798 777


Coming events
Reventon Masters
Starts: Dec 14, 2018

Referee Q & A

Posers Nos 24, 25 & 26

Here are three more from John, Snooker this time.


No. 1.

In a frame of Snooker there are ten reds left on the table. The incoming striker is snookered on all and has been given a free ball. He nominates the Pink and pots it. He then nominates the Blue and pots it as well, however the Referee was still in the process of returning the Pink to its spot when the stroke was played.

What is the action of the Referee?


No. 2.

In a frame of snooker Player A is snookered, plays a poor attempt at getting out of the snooker and hearing the referees call of a Foul & A Miss, knows he is going to get put back, so obligingly picks up the cue ball and hands it to a very surprised referee. Now what as the referee, are you going to do next?


No. 3.

We all know that as a player you can only concede when you are the striker. However here is an interesting situation for you to ponder. In a frame of snooker, the striker comes to the table needing only the Black to win and it is a simple pot. Before the striker has potted the Black the non striker has unscrewed his cue. Is this an act of conceding? Then for some unknown reason the striker misses the Black. Is the non striker now entitled to reassemble his cue and play the next stroke?





By: Larry Eforgan  Wed 27th Jul 2016 - 4:49PM

Posers Nos. 20, 21, 22 and 23


Situation 1.

During a match with two sessions of play, Player A has to leave the room for a comfort stop during the first session. He is away from the table for 1 minute and 35 seconds and the referee has taken a note of the time to be added on. Should this time be added on and played out at the end of the first session, or at the end of the match (i.e. at the end of the second session?)

Situation 2

Near the end of a two hour match, there are a few seconds remaining, and it is going to be a very close finish. Player A (who is just a few points behind his opponent) is at the table. He asks the referee how much time is left. The referee tells him, and Player A quickly plays two more scoring shots to win the match.

(a) should the referee have told Player A how much time was remaining?

(b) Player B feels that the referee's actions contributed to him losing the match. He claims that the referee's actions assisted his opponent, and he was powerless to do anything about it. What rights does Player B have in these circumstances?

Situation 3

Player A is in a very difficult position, with all three balls in a straight line, and his opponent's cue ball and the red ball touching. He tries to play a cannon of the side cushion onto the other two balls but misses them both. The referee calls the foul. His opponent (Player B) would normally have the option of spotting the balls up or playing them from where they lay, but his cue ball and the red ball are touching. Player B has indicated that he wished to play the balls from where they lay by playing away from the touching red ball (as in Snooker). Does he have this option or must the balls be spotted because Player B's cue ball is touching the red ball?

Situation 4

Player A places his cue on the table and obtains the long cue and long rest from the referee for his next shot. He plays his shot with the long equipment. One of the balls is about to make contact with the cue that he left on the table. The referee sees this is about to happen and quickly removes the cue from the table, and contact is avoided. Should the referee have taken this action? 

By: Larry Eforgan  Tue 19th Jul 2016 - 11:59AM

Posers 18 & 19

Here are a couple of real situations that arose in recent matches and are in a way connected, the first one from a match observed by Frank Galanos in N.S.W.

The referee correctly reacts to a foul by also calling a miss. The non offender approaches the table and inquires of the trainee referee if it is also a free ball. After some lengthy deliberations from this inexperienced referee, the offending player gets up from his chair, retrieves a red from a pocket and places it, as a guide, next to the ball that could be causing the confusion. At which point the non offender turns to the referee and claims a seven point penalty.

At no time did his opponent disturb any ball in play, either by hand or with the red he had taken from the pocket.

What should be the response from the referee?


The second incident occurred during a Maccabi competition night and arose when a player fouled, which also prompted the referee to call a miss. As soon as this player had fouled he turned his back to the table with his bridge hand still resting on it and put his other hand over his eyes as if to say ‘oh! what an idiot I am’. The next sequence of events was that the cue ball, still in motion, struck the players bridge hand. Reacting in complete surprise to the ball touching his hand the player quickly pulled it away, inadvertently knocking the only red left on the table into a pocket. His opponent was then 33 points in arrears even after the awarding of the four points for the foul and required at least 7 penalty points to win. The acting referee when questioned, was adamant that he was sure there was no intention by the offender to divert or stop the cue ball or to remove the last red from the table. It did however, result in the non offender being hugely disadvantaged.

How should the referee react to this?

By: Larry Eforgan  Sat 9th Jul 2016 - 10:50AM

Poser No. 17

In the course of a frame of snooker the striker is on a colour after potting a red. The Pink ball is able to be potted but in a very awkward position and will need the long equipment to be used. All the other colours are in positions too difficult for a potting attempt. He tries to play the Pink but after a few attempts to get the equipment into the correct position he gives up and decides to play safe off one of the other colours. In removing the equipment from the table he fouls a red ball. At no time did he declare that he was attempting the Pink although it was entirely obvious that it was the ball being aimed at.

What should be the ruling of the referee in this case.

By: Larry Eforgan  Thu 12th May 2016 - 11:12PM

Trivia 11

In a frame of Snooker, the scores are level and only the Pink and Black are left on the table. The Pink ball is hanging over the edge of one pocket and the Black is hanging over another one such that they are both impossible to strike without propelling them into the pocket.


Player A. pots the Pink and the referee calls 'six' and everything is perfectly correct. However player A. loses the frame without making a Foul. How does this happen?


There is no trick and the striker did not hit the Black so hard that it bounced out of the pocket. There was no disqualification or conceding in this case and he did not drop dead.

By: Larry Eforgan  Sat 7th May 2016 - 1:11PM

Poser No. 16

This poser raised some questions which made it necessary to issue a second but very similar poser with which to elicit the correct answer to the rule in question.

Both are posted here and the attachments contain the answer/s and  also an explanation of the bone of contention and a recommendation.


The original poser was:-

Player A. pockets the cue ball, the referee calls ‘foul’ and the appropriate penalty. He then adjusts the score board and places the cue ball under the baulk cushion for player B.

Player B. approaches the table and stupidly runs his hand along the rail as he is walking towards baulk, in doing so he inadvertently touches an object ball. The referee calls 'foul' and the appropriate penalty.

Where is the cue ball? (Where can it be)?

Which of the players is now the striker and what are the options open to that player?


It was then re-posted in a revised form thus:-

Player A. pockets the cue ball, the referee calls ‘foul’ and the appropriate penalty. He then adjusts the score board and places the cue ball under the baulk cushion for player B.

Player B. approaches the table and rolls the cue ball into the ‘D’ and in the action of removing his hand, brushes the Brown causing it to roll off it’s spot. The referee calls ‘foul’ and the appropriate penalty.

Where is the cue ball? (Where can it be)?

Which of the players is now the striker and what are the options open to that player?



By: Larry Eforgan  Sat 7th May 2016 - 9:12AM

Poser No. 15

The striker is preparing to play a stroke from a position where the cue ball is close to an object ball and on the far side of that ball from the striker such that he has to play with a raised bridge hand. He then contacts the obstructing ball with his cue whilst feathering, the referee observes this and immediately call a foul.

Q. 1. Can this also be called a miss?

Q. 2. Can the non striker request that all balls be replaced and the stroke re-played by the offender regardless of whether a miss has been called or not?

By: Larry Eforgan  Thu 11th Feb 2016 - 11:01AM

Trivia No. 10

Most Snooker buffs will know that Ken Doherty, Mark Selby and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, twice in the space of 5 months, have missed the final black in failing to complete a 147 but can you name the other three to have hung their heads in disappointment in professional tournaments for the same reason?


By: Larry Eforgan  Mon 7th Dec 2015 - 2:55PM

Poser No.14


Jason Colebrook sets the next Billiards posers and asks:-

In the rules of snooker there are six spots described in the rules - but in

billiards only four spots are described in the rules:

1. What are they called?

2. Three are used commonly, two in only rare circumstances - what are those


By: Larry Eforgan  Tue 27th Oct 2015 - 1:30PM

Poser No.13


1. At the start of a session how is it determined which player plays with the Yellow Ball?

2. When is a warning issued in a Billiards match?

3. If a player is cautioned for ungentlemanly conduct, hwo many such warnings can be given?

4. What happends when a player uses fingers to see if the red ball can be placed on its spot?

5. If a player asks the referee: a) What colour is my cue ball? and b) What is the score? Should the referee give any answer?

By: Larry Eforgan  Fri 16th Oct 2015 - 2:48PM

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