The bolded passage.....
gninnur karona wrote:If the touching ball is a red and the player is next obliged to hit red they can freely play away from the red and no foul is committed if the cue ball strikes another red or any colour (although that act may subsequently result in a foul being committed). I understand that.
The rules state "If the cue-ball is touching one or more colours after a Red (or a free ball nominated as a Red) has been potted, the referee shall also ask the striker to DECLARE which colour they are on." They also state "If requested by the referee, the striker must declare which ball they are on."
The touching ball cannot be legally hit so presumably cannot be nominated. If the player has an available colour that they wish to pot or play safe off fine but what happens if the player is snookered on all other colours? And why can't the player just play away from the touching ball without touching any other ball as they can when the touching ball is red?
Whaaat? [insert meme of a dumbfounded Moe Szyslak]
Clearly, this is the source of your confusion.
"And why can't the player just play away from the touching ball without touching any other ball as they can when the touching ball is red?
They can. As you should now understand from your replies thus far.
I like to use a sort of science analogy when explaining Touching Ball--Schrodinger's cat. A Touching Ball situation is a "quantum state" of both having been contacted by and/or not been contacted by the cue ball. Like the proverbial cat must be considered to be both alive and dead until the box is opened, the Touching Ball must be considered either already contacted or not depending upon the decision of the striker.
Example......Touching Ball Red, player decides to play away and try to lay a snooker, directing the White behind one of the Baulk colours. Contact with Red is already made so no additional contact with Red is necessary. BUT........Ball On is Red and the White happens to be touching a colour, say Blue for this example. Contact with Blue is NOT considered to have already been made; it would be an automatic Foul, Five Away if contact is already made before the striker even plays a stroke. To this day, I still cringe when Red is Ball On and my opponent declares, "Touching Blue" when he steps to the table. Um,.....no. White happens to be touching the Blue ball, but it is not a Touching Ball, per the Rules because White did not come to rest touching a ball that is On or could be On. This happens regularly though I have tried to explain many times. I don't try to explain anymore, I just cringe.
So now if we take your more complicated scenario after a Red is potted and the Ball On or could be On is any nominated colour and the White happens to come to rest in a state touching two colours, let's say Blue and Green. Schrodinger's cat is exactly the reason why the Rules require that the striker MUST declare verbally which of the colours he is On for that stroke. The White can be considered to be both touching and not touching both the Blue and the Green and striker is free to declare either or neither and may declare an entirely different colour if he so chooses. It MUST be a verbal declaration because until then, like the cat, no one (other than the striker) can know whether the White is "Touching" the Blue, the Green, or neither. If the White happens to be touching the Blue and the Green, and the Black is perched near the jaws of a pocket, and the striker lines up his cue stick pointing toward the Black, how we can possibly know if the Ball On is the Green or the Blue (the intent is to roll White off a cushion behind the Black for a very difficult snooker), or if the Ball On is Black and a pot is being attempted? We cannot possibly know unless the striker declares. Therefore, the Rules REQUIRE verbal declaration in such a case.