Find a copy of the Snooker Definitions here



A frame of snooker comprises the period of the play from the first stroke, with all the balls set as described in Section 3 Rule 2, until the frame is completed by:

a) concession by any player during his turn,

b) claim by the striker when only the Black remains and there is more than seven points difference between the scores in his favour,

c) the final pot or foul when only the Black remains, or

d) being awarded by the referee under Section 3 Rule 14(c) or Section 4 Rule 2



A game is an agreed or stipulated number of frames.



A match is an agreed or stipulated number of games.



a) The White ball is the cue-ball.

b) The 15 Reds and the 6 colours are the object balls.



The person about to play or in play is the striker and remains so until the referee has decided he has left the table at the end of his turn.



a) A stroke is made when the striker strikes the cue-ball with the tip of the cue.

b) A stroke is fair when no infringement of Rule is made.

c) A stroke is not completed until all balls have come to rest.

d) A stroke may be made directly or indirectly, thus:

  • a stroke is direct when the cue-ball strikes an object ball without first striking a cushion
  • a stroke is indirect when the cue-ball strikes one or more cushions before striking an object ball.



A pot is when an object ball, after contact with another ball and without any infringement of these Rules, enters a pocket. Causing a ball to be potted is known as potting.



A break is a number of pots in successive strokes made in any one turn by a player during a frame.



a) The cue-ball is in-hand

  • before the start of each frame,
  • when it has entered a pocket, or
  • when it has been forced off the table.

b) It remains in-hand until

  • it is played fairly from in-hand, or
  • a foul is committed whilst the ball is on the table

c) The striker is said to be in-hand when the cue-ball is in-hand as above.


Ball in Play

a) The cue-ball is in play when it is not in-hand.

b) Object balls are in play from the start of the frame until pocketed or forced off the table.

c) Colours become in play again when re-spotted.


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.


Nominated  Ball

a) A nominated ball is the object ball which the striker declares, or indicates to the satisfaction of the referee, he undertakes to hit with the first impact of the cue-ball.

b) If requested by the referee, the striker must declare which ball he is on.


Free Ball

A free ball is a ball which the striker nominates as the ball on when snookered after a foul (see Section 3 Rule 10).


Forced Off the Table

A ball is forced off the table if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the table or in a pocket, or if it is picked up by the striker, whilst it is in play except as provided for in Section 3 Rule 14(h).



A foul is any infringement of these Rules.



The cue-ball is said to be snookered when a direct stroke in a straight line to every ball on is wholly or partially obstructed by a ball or balls not on. If one or more balls on can be struck at both extreme edges free of obstruction by any ball not on, the cue-ball is not snookered.

a) If in-hand, the cue-ball is snookered if it is obstructed as described above from all possible positions on or within the lines of the “D”.

b) If the cue-ball is so obstructed from hitting a ball on by more than one ball not on

  • the ball nearest to the cue-ball is considered to be the effective snookering ball, and
  • should more than one obstructing ball be equidistant from the cue- ball, all such balls will be considered to be effective snookering balls.

c) When Red is the ball on, if the cue-ball is obstructed from hitting different Reds by different balls not on, there is no effective snookering ball=

d) The striker is said to be snookered when the cue-ball is snookered as above

e) The cue-ball cannot be snookered by a If the curved face of a cushion obstructs the cue-ball and is closer to the cue-ball than any obstructing ball not on, the cue-ball is not snookered.


Spot Occupied

A spot is said to be occupied if a ball cannot be placed on it without that ball touching another ball.


Push Stroke

A push stroke is made when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cue-ball

a) after the cue-ball has commenced its forward motion, or

b) as the cue-ball makes contact with an object ball except, where the cue-ball and an object ball are almost touching, it shall not be deemed a push stroke if the cue-ball hits a very fine edge of the object ball.


Jump Shot

A jump shot is made when the cue-ball passes over any part of an object ball, whether touching it in the process or not, except:

a) when the cue-ball first strikes one object ball and then jumps over another ball,

b) when the cue-ball jumps and strikes an object ball, but does not land on the far side of that ball,

c) when, after striking an object ball lawfully, the cue-ball jumps over that ball after hitting a cushion or another ball.



A miss is when the cue-ball fails to first contact a ball on and the referee considers that the striker has not made a good enough attempt to hit a ball on.