Definition of owe a ball

This is when a player has scratched and the foul in one pocket calls for them to spot a ball, but not able to be spotted at the time. In this case a coin is usually placed on the side of the table to keep tabs.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

An outgrowth of the training template concept, a racking template is a racking tool used in place of a traditional rigid ball rack for pool or snooker balls, consisting of a very thin, e.g. 0.14 mm (0.0055 in), sheet of material such as paper or plastic with holes into which object balls settle snugly against one another to form a tight rack (pack). The template is placed, stencil-like, in racking position, with the lead ball's hole directly over the center of the foot spot. The balls are then placed onto the template and arranged to settle into their holes, forming a tight rack. Unlike with a training template, the balls are not tapped to create divots, and instead the template is left in place until after the break shot at which time it can be removed (unless balls are still sitting on top of it). Manufacturers such as Magic Ball Rack insist that racking templates are designed "to affect the balls to a minimum", and while pro player Mike Immonen has endorsed that particular brand as a retail product, as of September 2010, no professional tours nor amateur leagues have adopted that or any other racking template. Although Magic Ball Rack implies development work since 2006, other evidence suggests invention, by Magic Ball Rack's founder, in mid 2009, with product announcement taking place in September of that year.
A reference to the amount of English applied to the object ball from the cue ball.
Linen made from flax and produced in Ireland which is often used to wrap the gripping area of the butt of a cue.
A situation in which a ball strikes another ball which is close to a rail and the struck ball rebounds back into the ball it was hit by; usually but not always unintended.
The ball meant to be struck and sunk in your called shot.
Literally, a pocket, but generally used in the phrases losing hazard - potting (pocketing the cue ball off another ball - and winning hazard - using the cue ball to pot another ball - the two types of legal shots that pocket balls in games in which the term is used at all, which is very few today. The term principally survives in English billiards, in which both types of shots are point-scoring. Formerly, a large number of different games made use of the two types of hazards as point scorers or losers in various different ways (thus their suggestive names). The term ultimately derives from holes or pockets in the table to be avoided, in very early forms of billiards. While the terms are disused in pocket billiards today, their lingering effect is obvious, as the vast bulk of such games focus on making winning hazards and avoiding losing hazards (a notable exception being Russian pyramid in which both are legal shots).
In golf billiards, an area of the table (sometimes marked) that a player will be penalized for entering if their ball does not leave. Derives from the use of the term in the outdoor game of golf.
Similar to run out, but more specific to making all required shots from the start of a rack. Also known as also break and run or break and dish.
This is a bank in which the object ball hit will cross the path of the cue ball on the way to its destination.
A type of safety shot in the middle of a safety exchange that is not intended to put the opponent in a difficult situation regarding their next safety, but rather played so as to not leave an easy pot on. A typical example in snooker, which sees the most shots of this kind, is a slow roll-up into the pack.
This is to have control on the cue ball in your shots.
A pool table where two shims have been placed on the sides of each pocket (in the jaws beneath the cloth), making the pockets "tighter" (smaller). Such tables are "tougher" than unshimmed or single-shimmed tables.
In snooker, after particular fouls are committed, the referee can call a "free ball." This allows the next player to assign any ball as "ball on" if he or she is shooting next.
The 'Lady Jane Grey' is a rarely used term to describe a shot in the game of snooker. The cue ball is baulk side of the spotted black after potting a red ball. The black is powerfully potted into a top corner pocket and the cue ball bounces off the top cushion into the red balls, moving them into space, thus allowing the continuation of a break. Named after Lady Jane Grey, the 16th Century Queen of England, possibly because the speed the cue ball must be hit matches the speed with which she was deposed from the throne.
A situation where the cue ball is directly in front of another ball in the line of the shot such that the player is hampered by it, having to bridge over it awkwardly with the likelihood of a foul looming if the object ball is inadvertently touched.
An upright pin, which looks like a miniature bowling pin, cone or obelisk. Skittles, as employed in billiards games, have been so-called since at least 1634. One standardized size, for the largely Italian and South American game five-pins, is 25 mm (1 in.) tall, with 7 mm (0.28 in.) round bases, though larger variants have long existed for other games such as Danish pin billiards. Depending upon the game there may be one skittle, or several, and they may be targets to hit (often via a carom) or obstacles to avoid, usually the former. They are also sometimes called pins, though that term can be ambiguous. Because of the increasing international popularity of the Italian game five-pins), they are sometimes also known even in English by their Italian name, birilli (singular birillo). Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots. #Flat, thin rectangular skittles, somewhat like large dominoes, approximately 6 in. tall by 3 in. wide, and placed upright like an obelisks on the table in specific spots, are used in the obsolescent and principally Australian games devil's pool and victory billiards. Depending upon the exact game being played, there may be one pin, or several of various colors (e.g. ten white and two black in devil's pool), and they may be targets or obstacles, most commonly the latter. They are usually made of plastic, and are increasingly difficult to obtain, even from Australian billiards suppliers. A black obelisk skittle of this sort features prominently, as a particularly dire hazard, in several scenes of sci-fi/pool film Hard Knuckle (1992, Australia). Skittles as used in billiards games date to ground billiards (13th century or earlier) played with a mace, and hand-thrown games of bowls from at least the same era using the same equipment. Ball games using a recognizable form of skittle are known from as early as ca. 3300 BCE in Ancient Egypt.
A cue dedicated to jumping balls; usually shorter and lighter than a playing cue and having a wider, hard tip. Also referred to as a jump stick.
This is a kind of cue made of only two pieces of wood, and joined together using an advanced adhesive along the points of the cue. This connection gives the cue a flawless look and a fluid feel when shooting.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
Also spot-stroke, spot hazard. A form of nurse shot in English billiards, in which the red ball, which must be spotted to a specific location after every time it is potted before another shot is taken, is potted in such as way as to leave the cue ball in position to repeat the same shot, permitting a skilled player to rack up many points in a single break (series of shots in one visit).
Certain rules say you must designate your shot before taking it. Generally this is just calling the ball to be sunk in which pocket, and is not dependent on touching rails or other balls, but very well can be.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the foot of the table. Frequently used imprecisely, to mean foot cushion. Compare top rail; contrast head rail.
Artistic pool is a trick shot competition, inspired by the related discipline of artistic billiards.
This is English that turns into running action after contact with the object ball. This will open up the angle on a bank.
This is a style of play where the player is required to stay on top of all the scoring practices. Scratches and points will disappear if they are not remembered.