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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
Laws Questions - Doubles Games

John Riches posed the following questions on the way certain laws apply in doubles games. These are difficult refereeing questions.

1). Law 5f says, in part: "If the striker plays neither of his balls during a turn, he must state which of his balls is deemed to have been played so that he is then responsible for the position of that ball." If I play an opponent's ball on the first stroke of our turn, and my ball has been left on a hoop by the opponents, can I nominate my partner's ball as the ball we are deemed to have played, in the hope that I may be able to claim a wiring lift with my ball in the next turn?

2. Law 26a2 says, in reference to playing a wrong ball: "If the error is rectified and was committed in the first stroke of one of the first four turns of the game, the correct ball is placed on any unoccupied point on either baulk-line as the striker chooses and the striker is deemed to have played a stroke with that ball." In a singles game, if I hit an opponent's ball into play on the first or second turn of the game, it is clear that I can place either of my balls on the yard-line under Law 5f. In a doubles game, can we place my partner's ball on the yard-line and I take the next turn with the ball I have decided to play with?

3. Law 43b referring to Handicap doubles, says: " If the striker plays a wrong ball in the first stroke of a non-bisque turn and the error is rectified, either player who could lawfully have played the first stroke of the turn may then play a half-bisque or bisque." In a handicap doubles game, if I hit an opponent's ball into play on the first or second turn of the game, can we decide to take a bisque or half-bisque and that my partner will play the turn?

Answers - supplied by Stephen Mulliner.

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Updated 28.i.16
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