What is Bonus Ball?

Bonus Ball is a pool game developed by Larry Chiborak that is a combination of 8-ball, 9-ball, snooker, one-pocket, and straight pool. It was promoted in 2013 through the World Professional Billiard League (WPBL), a team league of professional pool players. Here’s a concise summary of the rules from the WPBL website:

Bonus Ball is played with nine billiard balls: four purple, four orange, and one black Bonus Ball. The objective of the game is to reach 30 points by pocketing balls. Each legally pocketed purple ball is worth one point, orange two points, and the Bonus Ball three points. Pocketing all three in order is called a “sequence”. A player will continue their visit at the table until they fail to legally pocket a ball, or commit a foul. If a player fails to pocket the Bonus Ball on their turn, during their next visit to the table they will restart the sequence at purple. After the final orange ball is pocketed leaving only the Bonus Ball, the purple and orange balls are re-racked, and the active player must perform a re-break. The game is played until a player reaches 30 points or the 15 minute game clock expires. Failure to reach 30 points within regulation time will result in a shootout.

The complete rules of the game are also available on the WPBL website.

Here’s an example match:

And here’s a 60-point run (in a shoot-out final) by Thorston Hohman.

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