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Resolving Wrong Ball Plays

Stop play when a Wrong Ball is suspected.

Once you have identified the correct striker's ball and striker (see Rule 1(e)), apply Rule 11 to find the resolution:

  1. if the correct striker played then Rule 11(b) applies
  2. if the partner of the correct striker played then Rule 11(c) applies
  3. if an opponent played then Rule 11(d) applies, unless ….
  4. ….if an opponent (of the last person to play, and who played their own ball) played the previous turn using one of the other side's balls then Rule 11(e) applies.

That's the full story. Rule 11(f) limits how far back you look, when there have been multiple errors (only the final wrong ball is dealt with). Rule 11(g) says if a correct ball in sequence is played, any previous wrong balls are condoned.

The most mind-bending part is Rule 11(e) - because it covers the one situation where this careful definition and use of "striker" and "striker's ball" breaks down. So we end up with a long mouthful of words instead. It's best explained with an illustration:

  • Two turns before play is stopped, Ray mistakenly plays Blue
  • Then in the last turn before play is stopped, Babs plays Black
  • When play is stopped, it becomes clear there was no ball that Babs could have legally played (since the "striker's ball" after Blue would have had to be Red - but that would have left Ray playing two turns consecutively, which would clearly be wrong). So Rule 11(e) is specifically to resolve this conundrum.
  • Play then continues with Ray resuming the sequence by playing the ball following Black - so Ray plays Yellow.


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