(FAQ) How to keep score with coins

(About the Author)

When another scoring system is not available (moveable beads, balls, etc.), coins are placed under a cushion at each diamond to track the score of a race to a number.

The coins are placed at the zero position (head rail, center diamond) and are not touched until a winner of a game moves his coin to the next diamond to signify a win. (Usually dimes or pennies are used.) On each win, the player moves his coin either clockwise or counter-clockwise to the next diamond. Anyone coming near the table in the middle or end of a match will know the score by locating the two coins.

If the coin was not pushed under the table rails far enough and any moving ball contacts the coin, there is the informal and formal solution. In informal circumstances, for fun or small stakes, the vast majority of players take it as a table hazard, such as lint or broken bits of chalk. Although it can be a good excuse to start an argument if so inclined.

In formal tournaments, if a coin interferes with the rolling of any balls, it is considered a foul on the player who did not properly ensure it was out of play. This is from the Player Responsibility rule which requires that any objects brought to the table by the player must not interfere or interact with rolling and stationary balls. The standard foul for the game is applied. (For example, if on the stroke, your knuckle hit the chalk and it flew onto the table and hit any ball, you committed a foul. If no ball was touched, no foul.)

When beads or other scoring systems are used to track points, the coins can be used to track fouls. This is necessary in games where three consecutive fouls have a serious penalty. In case of tracking fouls, the opposing player must ensure the appropriate coin is moved.

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