(1) It is a Standard Foul if a ball leaves the playing surface (other than being potted) and remains off the playing surface or doesn’t return by its own means.
(2) Definitions / Examples (a) “Playing Surface”:- The Playing Surface of the table is the flat part of the table between the cushions (b) “By its own means”:- (i) It is not a foul if a ball leaves the playing surface, runs along the top of a cushion, drops back on to the playing surface and comes to rest there or falls into a pocket. (ii) It is a Standard Foul if a ball leaves the playing surface, comes into contact with a person or object that is not a part of the table and then returns to the playing surface. (c) “Off the Table”:- It is a Standard Foul if a ball leaves the playing surface and comes to rest on other than the playing surface. (e.g. On the floor or on the top of a cushion) (d) “Spotted”:- A ball is spotted when its centre point is placed on the spot or, if this is not possible, as near as possible to the spot in a direct line between the spot and the centre point of the cushion that lies the greatest distance from the Baulk Line. If this is not possible, as near as is possible to the spot, in a direct line between the spot and the centre point of the baulk line. (e) If any of the following balls require spotting, they are spotted in the following order:- (i) Eight Ball then (ii) Red Balls in any order (or balls numbered 1 to 7 in numerical order) then (iii) Yellow Balls in any order (or balls numbered 9 to 15 in numerical order) Spotted balls should be placed as close to each other and any intervening balls as possible, without touching.
(3) If a ball leaves the playing surface and remains off the playing surface, it shall be returned to the table:- (a) If it is the Cue Ball it is to be played from Baulk. (b) If it is an Object Ball (or Balls) it is to be Spotted.