1.2 Lagging to Determine Order of Play
The lag is the first shot of the match and determines order of play. The player who wins the lag chooses who will shoot first.
The referee will place a ball on each side of the table behind the head string and near the head string. The players will shoot at about the same time to make each ball contact the foot cushion with the goal of returning the ball closer to the head cushion than the opponent.
A lag shot is bad and cannot win if the shooter’s ball:
- crosses the long string;
- contacts the foot cushion other than once;
- is pocketed or driven off the table;
- touches the side cushion; or
- the ball rests within the corner pocket and past the nose of the head cushion.
In addition, a lag will be bad if any non-object-ball foul occurs other than 6.9 Balls Still Moving.
The players will lag again if:
- a player’s ball is struck after the other ball has touched the foot cushion;
- the referee cannot determine which ball has stopped closer to the head cushion; or
- both lags are bad.