|Squirrels Eggs Pool is a pool game developed by Scott Messer and Ken Andresen of Darby O’Gill during long hours of idleness in the pubs and pool halls of North America. Loosely based on Nine Ball, Squirrels Eggs is gaining world-wide recognition, and is being touted as “… an extraordinarily fascinating diversion.” One reviewer says: "… the most fun I’ve had on a pool table since Carlotta broke into the brandy."
One can find Squirrels Eggs tournaments in The Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan. In North America, Darby hosts a tournament every Tuesday starting at 4 PM at the Dublin Pub in Raleigh Hills, Portland, Oregon.
|Squirrels Eggs is played using the official rules for Nine-Ball with the following exceptions and inclusion:
1. Any Nine Balls. As long as there are nine differently numbered balls on the table, the game may be played. The highest numbered ball will be the game-ball, and the lowest numbered ball will be the primary object ball.
2. Racking. The balls are racked in a diamond shape and arranged numerically, with the lowest numbered ball in the top or spot position, the highest numbered ball in the center of the diamond, and the other balls arranged counter-clockwise from the spot position.
3. Order of Play. The order of play for the first game is determined by lag or draw. Thereafter, the player who pockets the game-ball will rack, while the next player in order will break.
4. Object. The object of the game is to pocket the 9 Ball with a legal shot, while earning the highest amount of points. A contest is won by the player with the most points to his credit.
5. Accumulating Points. (a)- The player who legally pockets the game-ball will receive 5 points for doing so, plus one point for every object ball that remains on the table after the winning shot is concluded. (b)- A player who wins a game will receive one point for every game won. This point cannot be forfeited in play. (c)- A player may acquire 5 points by default when an opponent illegally pockets the game-ball, or scratches the cue ball after pocketing the game-ball.
6. Forfeiting Points. A player will forfeit one point from their score for every object ball they pocket or otherwise cause to come out of play, even when this results in a negative score.
7. Scratching the Game-Ball, (Fatal Scratch). Illegally pocketing the game-ball, or scratching after pocketing the game-ball, awards 5 points to each of the player’s opponents, (regardless of how many object balls remain on the table), and ends the game. No points are removed from the player’s score for this fault.
8. Double Jeopardy. A player cannot lose more than one point for pocketing the same ball. If a player pockets an object ball during the same shot that they pocket the game ball, no points are removed from their score. The player receives five points for the game-ball, and one point for each ball remaining on the table at the end of the winning shot.
9. First Contact. On each shot, the first ball the cue ball touches must be the lowest numbered object ball on the table. Failure to touch the lowest ball first constitutes a scratch, and results in the award of the next shot to the next player with ball-in-hand. The cue ball may touch a rail before touching the lowest object ball.
10. Direct Shot Foul. If a player shoots an object ball directly into a pocket, without using a rail or another ball as part of the mechanics in pocketing the ball, it is considered a foul. The player committing the foul will have one point removed from their score, (for pocketing an object ball), and forfeit their turn. The incoming player must begin his shot from the position forfeited by the player committing the foul, as this is not considered a scratch
11. Scratching on the Break. If the cue ball is removed from the table on the break shot, the player loses his turn. The next player must shoot from behind the head line at the top of the table. This is the only event that would cause a player to be forced to shoot from the head-line following a scratch.
12. Extra Shots. If a player legally pockets an object ball, which is not the 9 Ball, the player is awarded another shot. As long as a player pockets any ball with a legal shot, they are free to shoot again until committing a foul, failing to pocket a ball, or winning the game.
13. Invalid Bank Shots. An object ball that makes contact only with a rail adjacent to the pocket it has dropped into, or that has rattled at the edges of the pocket before dropping, is considered to have been shot directly into the said pocket. A rail adjacent to the target pocket cannot alone be used to meet the requirements of a legal shot.
14. Spotting Jumped Balls. A ball that has been caused to be removed from the table by a foul, (such as by jumping), is not spotted, but removed from play. The player who caused the foul is penalized a point and loses his turn as though he had scratched the cue ball.
15. Scratching on the Game-Ball. When only the game-ball remains, all rules still apply. The game-ball must be banked, or the cue ball bust hit a rail before pocketing the game-ball. If the cue ball is pocketed, but the game-ball remains, no fatal scratch has occurred, and the next player receives ball-in-hand. If the game-ball is pocketed directly, it is a fatal scratch. (See #7: Fatal Scratch).
16. Calling Shots. For the purpose of this tournament, players may discuss their shots and strategies if they wish; but a player who clearly calls his shot by announcing their intention, naming the ball and the pocket, has committed an error of etiquette, and forfeits their turn. The incoming player must begin his shot from the position forfeited by the fouling player, as this is not considered a scratch. This penalty only applies if any opposing player invokes the rule, or asks the referee to do so.
17. Follow-Through. After the cue ball has made contact with the lowest numbered object ball, a ball must either hit a rail or be pocketed. Failure to conclude a shot in this manner constitutes a table scratch and results in a loss of turn, awarding the next player ball-in-hand.
18. Double-Hits. It is permitted that the tip of the cue stick come into contact with the cue ball only once per shot. If the cue ball and the object ball are closer than the width of a chalk cube, special care must be taken to ensure that the cue ball does not bounce off of the object ball and back into the cue tip. Such a condition is a foul, and results in loss of turn, granting the next player ball-in-hand.
19. Zugzwang. A German term, (also used in chess), describing a compulsion to move. A player is responsible for hitting the lowest numbered ball, (primary object), with the cue ball before any other ball. Failure to do so, (resulting in a scratch), does not relieve the player of that responsibility. The next player may decide to accept the responsibility and take a shot; but he is not required to do so. If every other player passes the cue ball, the original player must attempt the shot until he is successful, or a ball has been removed from the table.
The game, Squirrel’s Eggs, is designed to add a high degree of strategy to 9-Ball and facilitate many people playing the same game at the same time. It tends to even the advantage of great shooters over the novice players while improving skills at complex shots when playing other games, and increasing the options a player can see on any pool table. As one becomes familiar with the game they will discover that there is very rarely any position that does not present a viable game shot. It may be difficult to see, and even more difficult to accomplish with success, but even in the face of a cumbersome snooker, there is almost always a game shot.