Official Team Manual
APA/CPA Official Team Manual for League Years 2023/2024, 2024/2025 & 2025/2026
The rack must be struck before a foul can occur.
A player must break from behind the head string for the break to be considered legal; in addition, at least four object balls must be driven to the rails or an object ball must be pocketed. The cue ball may not be shot into a rail before hitting the rack.
NOTE: A player who is physically unable to break due to a medical condition may pass the break to the opponent, but only with prior approval from Local League Management. Such occurrences should be marked as a Defensive Shot and an inning where appropriate. Players are not allowed to have a teammate break for them.
The cue ball’s point of contact with the table is used to determine if it is behind the head string, also referred to as being in. To make this determination simply compare the head string, an imaginary line connecting the two diamonds that are second from the head rail (see Table Diagram, pg. 86), to the cue ball’s point of contact. A ball that is dead-center on the head string is considered out, or not behind the head string.
The cue ball must make contact with the rack as follows to be considered legal:
8-Ball – The head ball or the second row of balls must be struck first. Failure to strike the head ball or second row of balls does not result in a foul.
9-Ball – The 1-ball must be struck first. Failure to strike the 1-ball first does not result in a foul.
If the rack is struck, but the break does not qualify as legal, the balls are reracked by the non-breaking player and rebroken by the same breaking player.
If the rack is struck, but the break does not qualify as legal and results in a scratch, the balls are reracked and broken by the opposite player.
Breaking safe or soft is not allowed. Make a note on the scoresheet if you observe a player breaking safe or soft. Local League Management may issue penalties to teams and players who are not breaking hard. Breaking just hard enough to comply with this rule is not a guarantee against penalties. Break as hard as you can while maintaining control.