1. Start of play - the home team breaks first and writes their line-up down first. The break will alternate thereafter. During International competition, the teams will flip a coin to determine home team.
  2. If the breaker hits the racked balls with the cue ball driving four or more numbered balls to a cushion or pocketing one or more object balls, the game is considered started. If the player fails to make a legal break, it is not a foul; however, the opponent has the option (1) accepting the table in position and shooting, or (2) have the balls reracked and shooting the break himself or have original breaker rebreak.
  3. Stopping or deflecting the cue ball prior to hitting the racked balls are considered fouls and loss of turn. The opponent will receive cue ball in hand behind the headstring.
  4. When positioning the cue ball for the break shot, the base of the ball must be behind the headstring (kitchen).
  5. If a player scratches on a legal break shot, (1) all balls pocketed remain pocketed (exception, the 8-ball), (2) it is a foul, (3) the table is open.

    PLEASE NOTE: Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the headstringand may not shoot an object ball whose base is not outside the headstring, unless he/she first shoots the cue ball past the headstring and causes the cue ball to come back behind the headstring and hit the object ball. If a player positions the cue ball completely and obviously outside the kitchen and shoots the cue ball, it is a foul, if called by the opponent.

  6. The opposing player must inform the breaking player of improper positioning of the cue ball before the shot is made. If the opposing player does not so inform the breaking player before the shot is made, the break is considered legal. If the shooting player is informed of improper positioning, he/she must then reposition the cue ball.
  7. Making The 8-Ball On The Break: (Leagues may adopt Option #1 or Option #2)

    Option #1. An automatic win for the player breaking, however, if the cue ball is scratched when making the 8-ball on the break, the opponent wins the game.

    Option #2. The breaker may ask for a rerack or have the 8-ball spotted and continue shooting. Should the breaker pocket the 8-ball and scratch, the incoming player has the option of spotting the 8-ball and shooting from behind the headstring or reracking and assuming the break. Using Option #2, a game cannot be won or lost with an 8-ball on the break, regardless of what is pocketed on the same shot.

    During International Championships and Junior Championships, Option #2 will be used.

  8. If the player legally breaks the racked balls and does not make any balls, his opponent then shoots, having an open table.
  9. If a player jumps an object ball off the table on the break shot, it is a foul and the incoming player has the option of (1) accepting the table in position and shooting, or (2) taking cue ball in hand behind the headstring and shooting. Any jumped balls are spotted in numerical order.