Stephen Maguire today criticised the miss rule after he was called for ten successive misses - four off the record - when snookered on all the colours in his totesport.com Welsh Open semi-final against Ali Carter.

"It's a stupid rule and could have cost me the match," said Maguire, who trailed 5-2 at the time but ultimately won the frame despite giving away 40 points in fouls.

He did not criticise the match referee, Pete Williamson, who correctly applied the rule. Maguire could easily have hit the black off the top cushion but would have left a red on to a corner pocket had he done so.

Instead, he nine times attempted the green and had a go at the yellow as well. His attempts weren't helped by the fact that the side cushion was sliding.

The miss rule as it now stands was never intended to illicit 30 or 40 points from a single snooker.

However, before it was changed players were guilty of not making good enough attempts to get out of snookers.

The way out of all this would be the bold move of simply allowing players to put the cue ball where they liked after a foul. It would also considerably speed up play.

I don't believe this should ever happen in a ranking event because it would negate much of the skill - and drama - associated with top level match snooker.

But you could bring it into a new event as a novelty. I'm sure the new regime running snooker have already considered it.


Anonymous said...

I've said the same many times but you get the "traditionalists" who shoot you down! They seem to believe the miss rule has been there since the dawn of time but it's relatively new having been introduced "officially" in September 1995. The miss rule is very negative because it revolves around safety and it is ridiculous that a player can score 40 points by default - there's no skill in that. The other problem with the miss rule is that it is not often played at the lower levels of the game because it is so complicated for your average club player. I think the rules of snooker should be able to be applied at every level. By simply allowing the other player to place the cue ball anywhere on the table it will achieve its aim of making players try their best to hit the object ball. It also immediately converts play to attack in one shot rather than having endless minutes go by whilst the referee tries to put balls back into their original places! Come on Barry, be bold and change it for the good of the game (at all levels!).

Anonymous said...

why not have a penalty of only one point for a foul after three fouls have been made?

Mal said...

Leaving a cue ball in hand would in many situations (incl Maguires) be more costly than the miss rule being applied. It was maguire who snookered himself unluckily and if that rule was applied, it could have cost him the frame. How about giving a certain number of attempts (perhaps 3) and then on the next (4th attempt) if another foul happens, the cue ball can be placed in the 'D' which would give more options, but not necessarily give an easy clearance.

kimball said...

Why not read the rulebook and stick to the rules intention!!!

Daniel said...

Having ball-in-hand anywhere is too far fetched for me. How about having the option of a free-ball after say 3 misses? Dan

kimball said...

How about reading the rulebook!

kimball said...

I am watching the match on E-sport now,typically, they cut the sequens out. Took to much time!

Newfred said...

I like the idea of free ball after 3 misses, but not of ball in hand. A player could make a very good attempt from a fluke snooker and leave the whole table on for his opponent with a ball in hand.

Another alternative is simply to change the way the rule is enforced. How about removing the stipulation (effectively) that the player must attempt the easiest escape? How about saying instead that the referee must deem that the player has made a fair attempt at his nominated shot, and issue clear guidance to referees about how this is to be implemented?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kimball, these other idea's are ridiculous. Mcguire called it "a stupid rule" how and why i ask? Maybe attempting the green off 3 cushion's when it was sliding, was a stupid shot selection.. The rules there for a reason and as Kimball said "read the rulebook".

Anonymous said...

Ball in hand more costly?

If Maguire had been faced with leaving ball in hand after the first attempt to hit a baulk colour, surely he would have been more likely to play for the simple black. That was the intention of the miss rule when it was first introduced wasn't it? But the current rule has not achieved its intention because Maguire would rather have had 10 attempts at a baulk colour than 1 simple shot on the black because he didn't want to leave an easy red.

I don't see that the current rule is achieving its original intention at all. Ball in hand would be more likely to result in players attempting the easy escape rather than the more difficult one!

Ball in hand does not have to follow every foul either, just the ones where the striker fails to contact the ball on. So a regular in-off could still see the cue ball being placed in the D.

A simple rule that could be applied by players at every level.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

Being able to place the cue ball wherever you like after a foul is pretty much a done deal for the Players Championship, isn't it?

snookerfanatic said...

Maguire could have easily hit the black, instead he chose to play a much more difficult shot. That's the risk he took and he was deservedly punished. I personally loved watching the incident - I was supporting Maguire at the time and willing him to hit the green but it was amusing how the white kept missing the green on both sides so he knew the shot was on, but couldn't get it right.

It added a nice dynamic to the frame, Carter got a 40 point start but Maguire still ended up winning it.

Maguire can have no complaints as far as I'm concerned. He knows the rules, he chose to play a difficult shot whereby he wasn't leaving anything for his opponent (otherwise he wouldn't have been put back in to play by Carter).

The fact he also took on a chancy plant at a vital moment which cost him a frame proves that his judgement in shot selection isn't as sound as say John Higgins and when you're at that level shot selection is what it's all about. He CHOSE to give away 40 points, it wasn't forced on him and I think the miss rule after all it's controvesy since inception is finally in a robust state after years of tinkering. Definitely don't get rid of it now!

Anonymous said...

I think Barry Hearn should play around with the miss rule in this new One frame tourney, the Players Championship and any event that isn't already established. Maybe it's the game that needs to change.

Anonymous said...

Snooker needs updating. We need a ranking event where the colours are moved to different spots. The baulk colours move to the black, pink and blue spots, with high value balls moving to the green, yellow and brown spots.

Mixing things up like this is the only way to save snooker from the farce of the misses yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Why is he moaning, anyway?
He's already admitted that he didn't want to win the match because he is scared of facing Ronnie or John!

Claus Christensen said...

I found it supremely entertaining. He had an easy shot, chose to play an insanely difficult green, made the shot in the end and WON the frame.

It is such a tricky concept but I find that every alternative seems to have its own weakness. If there was a logical replacement for the miss rule I would like to see it implemented or at least tested.

Greg P said...

Personally I think the kicks, and the inconsistency of pockets and cushions, is a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Nott said...

The only thing I saw in those situations was a stubborn and slightly poor Maguire. With a very easy to hit black its a miss everytime, and tbh cushion sliding or not I expect the world #2 to hit it earlier than he did.

My gripe with the missrule is that most referees do not apply the rule as it is written. Its like they don't dare not calling it a miss even when they shouldn't. Safest way out of the spotlight.

Another thing I don't like about the rule may seem stupid but it is what I see down at the club. When players who can hardly make a 16 break uses the missrule like they see it on tv it gets really ridiculous. One could say they should understand why they shouldn't use it but don't we all want to play a game with the same rules as the pro-game?

I think the rule should be simplified.

I like the '3 misses then freeball' option.

Anonymous said...

Why not scrap the miss rule and just have a larger penalty, 10 points or whatever, for not making contact with the ball on?