Touchdown Billiards





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Published on Dec 22, 2010

Demonstration of a new billiard game, for those tired of 8-ball or 9-ball.


Normal pocket billiard rules are followed with regard to legal shots and fouls.

Players sink any numbered ball(s), with its number translated into yards gained.
Yardage is doubled for the corner pockets behind the head string, and tripled for the side pockets. There is a further doubling for any legal bank shot. For example, a bank shot into the side pocket would translate to 6 times the number on the ball. The maximum yardage for a single "play" would be 90 (2 x 3 x #15).

Turn of play:
Each shot is considered a "down"; four shots to make 10 yards ("first down") to continue "possession" (a player's turn). This is unlike other billiard games, in that failing to pocket a ball is a loss of down, but not necessarily a loss of turn.

Failing to make 10 yards in four shots is a loss of possession, with the opponent taking over play at the field position where the previous play ended.

A scratch is a turnover. If any balls were pocketed on a scratch, they translate into negative yardage, or the defense's "fumble/interception return". The opponent may position the cue ball anywhere on the table to begin the next possession.

Any ball pocketed unintentionally in addition to a legal shot is yardage added-on to the end of the play. On passes, it is considered to be run-after-catch yardage.

Any ball pocketed unintentionally without a successful legal shot (slop shot) translates into negative yardage; the play is considered to have lost yardage.

Players may call for a "kick" at any time. (Quick-kicks are allowed in football)
There are two options:
1) A standard 35-yard punt. This is marked off from the line of scrimmage without any shot being taken, and the opposing player takes over the table as is.
2) The player may call "kick-formation", the player is allowed to re-position the cue ball anywhere on the table, in order to set up the best possible opportunity for kick yardage. Yardage is then calculated from the line of scrimmage, for simplicity.
Any kick through the end zone (i.e. 10 yards deep) counts as a "field goal" for 3 points. Otherwise, it is considered a punt, with normal football rules for punts applying (kick into the end zone is brought back out to the 20).
A scratch on a kick is considered a "block", with any pocketed ball resulting in kick return yardage from the spot of the kick.
Failing to pocket a ball results in a zero-yardage punt.

Each 15-ball rack is a "quarter," so 4 racks equal regulation time. Possessions continue through the 1st-to-2nd and 3rd-to-4th rack, but possessions expire at the end of the 2nd and 4th racks, as two racks are considered a "half".
Each half begins at the player's own 20-yard-line, with the initial break being first down.
The 2nd and 4th quarter opening breaks are considered continuations of the previous possession and count as downs.

Football scoring is used, except that a touchdown is automatically 7 points. Field goals are 3 points, and safeties are 2 points.

After any score, play turns to the opposing player (or team), who begins possession at their own 20-yard-line. There is no re-rack.

Other standard billiard fouls result in a 5-yard penalty for delay of game. Normal football procedure applies to penalties, such as half-distance-to-goal-line, etc.

End of Game:
Player (or team) with most points at end of fourth rack is the winner.

Other Issues:
The zero-yard-line is considered to be across the goal line, while the "end zone" extends up to, but not beyond, -9 yards. That is, a ten yard gain from the 10-yard-line is a touchdown.

Players can decide for themselves how to handle "overtime" in the event of a tie game. Most likely, extra racks could be played until one of them ends with a winner.

For a more difficult contest, shots into the side pockets and all bank shots could be designated as "passing plays" so that passes beyond 10 yards deep can be ruled out-of-bounds and incomplete, with loss of down. ("Runs" could still go beyond 10 yards)

"We still call it football, though everything but the name and the ball have changed. Originally, it was football, literally and narrowly, but it long since ceased to be. Touchdown might be a better name for it today..." --Amos Alonzo Stagg

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