View Full Version : Anyone else toyed with a snooker stance?

02-02-2005, 06:31 AM
Has anyone else been successful with the open stance i.e. "Allison fisher stance". I've experimented with it and found myself uncomfortable and the feeling that I was reaching too much with my bridge hand. There was a couple of positves I noticed though. Its easy to get down on the shot the same way each time because you basically just stand behind the shot and bend down. I also noticed you can keep your head a little more level.

02-02-2005, 06:44 AM
Based on Allison's success and the accuracy of most of the snooker players I watch on tv, I also had to try it. I guess its one of those things where you go back to what's comfortable for you and I found after a couple of hours, I returned to the more orthodox stance. Maybe I need to stay with it longer and see if it bears any fruit. Chuck

02-02-2005, 06:56 AM
I've also tried the pause on the backstroke thing too and that really screwed me up. I know for sure that that has no place in my game. I prefer to pause at the cue ball and then draw back and forth. That seems to be more aligned with my natural rhythm.
We know how a snooker player turned pool pro shoots but has anyone ever gone the other way. Been a pool pro and started playing snooker. I've played pool for around 12 years, if I started playing snooker would my "traditional stance" be so bad for the game of snooker? Maybe I'll find a snooker table and play the game sometime. I've never actually seen one.

02-02-2005, 07:05 AM
There is a happy medium between American style stance and the snooker stance, and it gives you more stability and control. CJ Wiley's tapes teaches just that...sid

02-02-2005, 07:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> There is a happy medium between American style stance and the snooker stance, and it gives you more stability and control. CJ Wiley's tapes teaches just that...sid <hr /></blockquote>

I have cj wiley vol. 2 but would definately like to pick up the rest of the set.

02-02-2005, 07:27 AM
I'm not the biggest fan of CJ's stuff, but the break was one I did take to...sid

02-02-2005, 07:57 AM
Well I use it and I must say that it has improved my consistancy. I've always played with my legs spread sort of square to the table, but the stance became snooker like square just a year ago when I REALLY started working on my fundamentals. The first time I tried to put my head down very low, by back felt sore, but I immediately noticed improvement in sighting. The most difficult part of that snooker technique for me was to try to eliminate cue wobbling (up and down movement) as much as possible which is essential if you want to have your chin down low. It was frustrating how sometime ago I used to hit my chin with the cue during preliminary strokes. Now it was obvious that I was raising my elbow without realizing. That was tough to correct!

I used instructions from this (http://www.fcsnooker.co.uk) site...Frank Callan, coach of Hendry and Davis. Even though I spend infinately more time playing pool than snooker (almost no snooker tables in my area), I used snooker players as a role model on technique because I find their strokes amazing to watch. I know most people would prefer watching something long and fluid like Bustamante's stroke, but not me.

My favourite 9ball player to watch would be Pagulayan. He pauses at adress and at backstroke, doesn't wobble at all, while preserving Filipino grip and classic pool stance. It seems to me like he combines Filipino technique with some snooker elements....killer combination if you ask me. If I had seen him play some 2 years ago, maybe I would have copied his style...who knows.

Besides, I think a good stance is the one which allows you enough room to shoot, while being very stable. I can't see how a good stance no matter how it looks could hurt you playing any billiard game.

Gayle in MD
02-02-2005, 08:16 AM
I use an open stance, and the pause. I really like the open stance, it works well for me. I think, though, that there are individual physical requirements which would dictate which stance works for an individual.

Studying Alison's stance, and preshot routine, has really helped my game. In particular, taking five aiming strokes, then a pause, with my shot on the sixth stroke, has brought my game way up compared to when I was taking three strokes, and then a pause.

Gayle in Md.

Fred Agnir
02-02-2005, 08:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> Has anyone else been successful with the open stance i.e. "Allison fisher stance". <hr /></blockquote>Just for what it's worth, the snooker players I've talked to consider Allison's stance a "pool stance."

Checking out tapes of Allison from 15 years ago, there's a remarkable difference. She has added a little more upright standing as well as a slight bend in the knees. Presumably to facilitate more power.

So, before you go and changing your stance to a "snooker stance," just make sure that you're changing the appropriate things.


02-02-2005, 08:42 AM
The following applies to righties: the snooker stance, in my opinion, requires more of an even weight distribution between the two feet or even a shade more on the right side or rear foot.Also, the left foot in 'my snooker stance',is closer to the table-there is no set rule.As for your reaching problem, get a bit closer before you take up your stance, or use a longer bridge(from cue tip to bridge hand).Also, a little weight forward is a good thing. Please let me know if this helps.

02-02-2005, 08:54 AM
The playing surface on a pool table is two full inches below that of an "English" snooker table - a lot!! That is probably why Allison made the changes.

02-02-2005, 10:03 AM
One thing I have noticed since changing my stance from nearly 45 degrees to about 80 degrees was the cue position in relation to my body and the second was the ease of keeping my head straight. When I stood the old way which is the typical stance I think everyone is talking about, my head was tilted and now it it straight up and down. I noticed that in a mirror one day and realized that if you tilt your head even a little you don't see the objects accurately. I also have Cj's tapes and found them quite interesting and entertaining but not so much educational. Much of what has settled in as I have been progressing through the Billiard Sanctuary DVD's is that I have a clear understanding of why I am doing things. Whereas before I just had information. Tim teaches the stance which is what I think you are referring to. It is forward with both feet and incorporates the 3 parts (A, B, C)'s. Each part is talked about in detail so that you form this stance correctly. If I were to try to stand facing forward without these teachings I must say I would have given up and gone back to the old style. What I found was the balance must be correct for this to work. More of my balance is on my right side so I feel aligned with my head straight. I think the stance is a big part of learning how to stroke the cue and I would absolutely reccommend giving it a try.

Fred Agnir
02-02-2005, 12:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote woodsy:</font><hr> The playing surface on a pool table is two full inches below that of an "English" snooker table - a lot!! That is probably why Allison made the changes. <hr /></blockquote>Um... no.


02-02-2005, 12:37 PM
I use a stance that is closer to squared up than in line, but it's not as square as a full on snooker stance, which I find uncomfortable. I found it much easier to set up on my aiming line this way with minimal "foot shuffling".Also, the bodyweight is more evenly centered between the feet, making the stance more stable. My feeling is the body is "open" to the shot and it seems like there's more clearance for the stroke. My accuracy improved right away because of the added stability.

The pool players who are walking a tightrope look like a good wind could blow them over.


02-03-2005, 03:52 AM
Like any part of your game consistancy is the key. Look at Bustamante's stroke, hard to duplicate but he can really work it.......

02-04-2005, 09:40 AM
If anyone is interested in experimenting with a snooker/open stance, I noticed that when you keep your feet closer together, it makes the stance a little more comfortable.

02-08-2005, 01:45 AM
If your want to experiment with the snooker stance, use Stephen Hendry as your model, NOT alison fisher

02-08-2005, 01:08 PM
Does anyone have a description of the "snooker stance"?

02-08-2005, 01:52 PM

The most notable difference from the American stance, where one foot is in front and the other is back at about 45degrees is: In the snooker stance your feet are square or one is not in front of the other, you are square to the ball.

02-20-2005, 05:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr>The most notable difference ..In the snooker stance your feet are square or one is not in front of the other, you are square to the ball.<hr /></blockquote>

If I understand you right, I would say the complete reverse is true. The classic snooker stance is to align the feet more in line with the cue than I have seen pool players do. The front leg is bent at the knee, taking most of the weight, and the toes nominally aligned with the shot, or as close as feels comfortable. The back leg is kept straight, with the foot at nominal right angles to the shot, again what is comfortable to you. You can then shift ever so slightly forward to keep some slight weight on the bridge hand, which is vital to keep it rock solid on the table.

From directly above, the back foot will be under the ball-cue shot line, and the front foot off to one side because of your body. With the bridge hand also on the shot line (obviously) this gives a very stable base triangle, fundamental to good cueing.

Taller men may need to use more of a tripod stance, stand more open to the shot, and even bend both legs to get down to the shot. The average Brit finds the classic snooker stance suits the height of a snooker table. This may not be true for the average American. Standing facing the shot makes it more difficult to keep the point of the elbow above the cue line as the cue moves further away from the body, another fundamental to forging a repeatable cueing action. Steve Davis is a model of good snooker technique, but his stance is not. Believe it or not, we think hes tall, and his stance reflects that.

02-20-2005, 08:19 AM

I am a big believer that stance and alignment are as critical to improvement as understanding the fundamentals of a good stroke. In fact, I believe proper stance and alignment lend themselves to the development of a consistent stroke. In addition, head position, (level eyes, cue in relationship to the eyes, etc.) and its consistency also are to be considered in a solid stance and alignment.

Ken Venturi once stated that good golfers do not lose their swing, they get out of position, i.e. they lose their stance and alignment. Get the player back into position, i.e. a proper stance, posture and alignment and their swing comes back to them.


"I am 5'7" and very flexible from martial arts" I mention this as a point of reference because it appears to me that height and body type do impact what a proper stance might look or feel like for each player.

As someone who has struggled with stance and alignment off and on since I started playing again I recently adopted what I call a modified Alison Fisher stance. That is to say it is an open snooker stance very much like Alison's with a WIDE base. I experimented with the snooker stance for a long time and found that by taking a wider base with my feet the open stance and my stroke fell into place. (Basically, my pre-shot routine has me setting up to the shot similar to Alison, bending at the waist to drop the cue into position, and then widening my stance prior to taking any warm up strokes and as I drop my head in place over the cue.) In addition, for me I find that this stance promotes level eyes and a more consistent head position in relationship to the cue.

Prior to widening my base I did not have much success with a more open snooker stance and just could not get comfortable over the shot.


Finally, Bert Kinister has a tape called "Advanced Fundamentals." While the concepts on this tape could certainly be debated an interesting point made, that makes sense to me is that we each have a different skelatal structure. We need to get our skelaton in a natural postion so that we do not need to use muscles to hold things in place. Rather once we find our natural stance and alignment for our body type we will find that the cue will be on line and that the pendulum can swing freely and on line consistently since it is in its natural position and not held in place by contortions of the body or muscles.

All the best to all my friends on the CCB

02-20-2005, 03:00 PM
About 5 years ago I started having back pain and numbness dowm the back of both legs. After telling the Physical Therapist that I played pool, the first thing he asked was whether I used an "American" stance or a "Snooker" stance. His explanation was that a "Snooker" stance is much easier on the back and legs since there's less twisting.
I tried modifying my stance and it did seem to help, but I'm old school and my normal stance is too ingrained to do much altering.

Might be food for thought though...