The points raised in the blog ‘Conceding’ were again in evidence at the first of the three Hat Trick events.
There were three incidents where the rule needed enforcing, two involving very highly experienced and successful players. In the first incident a player had occasion to use a new cue due to unfixable problems with his old one. This new cue proved to be less than satisfactory to him after finding a kink in the shaft and continually trying to use the cue with the kink in the same position and failing and also by dint of the fact that the first frame in a best of 5 match had already been lost, decided to concede the match. This decision was taken at a point in the second frame where there were sufficient reds left for him to win it. He stated without rancour that he had decided to retire from the contest and went as far as to shake hands with his opponent and to put his hand out to me to also demonstrate that he was only upset with his less than satisfactory cue and his form and was not conceding out of pique. I did not shake hands with him but immediately informed him that he was not able to concede and stay within the rules. This player accepted my decision with very good grace, retrieved his cue and continued.
The second incident happened near the end of a frame when a player was in need of a substantial amount of penalty points which would have required many successful snookers to achieve. The realisation that the frame was beyond recovery eventually came to this player after missing yet another attempt at putting his opponent at a disadvantage and instead leaving an easy pot for him. He conceded by nodding at his adversary and stating ‘yes’ to indicate the concession. This concession was however, not accepted by the other player who decided to try to clear the table of the remaining balls. Before he could do this the conceding player retrieved the reds from the pocket nearest to him and sent them down the table towards the top cushion for the referee to rack the balls for the next frame.
A protest was made by the winner but in an acceptable manner and with the acceptance that nothing further could be done and that it was really a pointless exercise at that stage.
An apology was also forthcoming from the loser but it does illustrate the point and wording of the rule that it is only ever the prerogative of the striker to concede and only then when needing penalty points to win the frame and that there is no obligation on an opponent to accept a concession.
The third incident was perhaps the most objectionable and the only one where a little hot headedness was shown. The player in arrears was at the table with the last red available and with a points difference of less than 35 but more than 27 in favour of his opponent. Upon missing this red in an attempt to start a frame winning break and leaving it over the pocket and at the mercy of a simple stroke, this player then fired the red into the pocket with his cue stating ‘I concede’ His opponent gladly accepted the concession but the referee, quite rightly, admonished the loser and reminded him of the relevant rule which states that his actions were not acceptable.