View Full Version : can anybody explain english and ball positioning?

07-23-2005, 10:07 PM
i dont really get what do right and left english does on cut shots on where the ball position is. can someone explain english and how it is useful for ball positioning? thank you.

07-24-2005, 10:25 AM
Basically, *after* the cue ball hits the object ball, then hits a cushion, english will then change where the cue ball will go.

To better understand this, clear all balls off the table and just leave the cue ball. Shoot the cue ball from the side pocket to the rail and then back into the corner pocket. Aim at the diamond between the opposite side and corner pocket (half way). Shoot it with left english, then center hit, then right english.

Notice how the cue ball will come back off the rail different directions depending on the spin of the cue ball?

That is all there is to it.

Practice a shot.... Place an object ball so it is about an inch out from a corner pocket. Then shoot the ball in from the far rail. Shoot it in 10 times with left english, then 10 times with a center hit, then 10 times with right english.

Notice that the cue ball generally comes back different directions depending on the spin of the cue ball?

Of course where exactly the cue ball comes back will also depend on where exactly you hit the object ball. If you can hit the object ball in the same exact spot each time, then you will more easily see how using english will change the direction of the cue ball after the hit. (when it hits the cushion after the hit).

It is best to avoid using english unless necessary. Many times you can get the cue ball to stop at a good location, just by hitting it with the proper speed and a center hit.

When I first started playing pool, some "expert" told me to use english. Well this was the worst advice anyone could give a beginner. I was just trying to learn how to make the balls with a center hit, and you need to aim differently when using english. Totally messed up my aiming. Furthermore there is a problem called "squirt" or cue ball deflection when using english. The cue ball will go to a different spot when shooting with english. To add more problems to this, different cues will deflect the cue ball different amounts when using english! (There is a low deflection shaft made by Predator FYI)

Anyway the BEST advice I ever got was to *not* use english.

I now have a few years under my belt of playing, have a low deflection shaft, and sometimes use english, but only when necessary.

07-24-2005, 11:27 AM
Lots of people can.

07-24-2005, 03:19 PM
Also, some people consider "english" as only relating to the sides, while hitting above or below the cue ball horizon would be "follow" (topspin) and draw (bottom), respectively.

In general, sidespin is used to position off of a rail, while top and bottom spin are used to control position off of a ball.

If you have a consistent speed of stroke, you might find some interest in practicing shooting into a rail, but using "tip" measurements to adjust. For example, if you shoot the cue 'long table', say, from the headstring to the center diamond, medium-ish speed, and move the cuetip to the left one cuetip's width, then the cueball should come back around one diamond to your left. Two tips, for two diamonds.---This is a very trial-and-error thing, since your "medium" is probably much different than mine. I may have just learned how to hit for these measurements, an you might have different results, but the idea is to make your stroke speed consistent, and then see what kind of relation you get, comparing cue tip offset to the amount of return angle.

And, although I have already said that you tend to use follow and draw "off a ball", you can also use them with the rail in certain cases. For example, if you ever had a need to avoid a blocking ball, and bank to hit a safe, you could use draw--basically, in the masse form--and go into the rail with a narrow angle, but rebound at a much wider angle.


07-24-2005, 03:47 PM
Greetings, winz: One of the people who posts here--dr. dave--has an instructional web site you might find helpful. Go to The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards at http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/ and click on Normal Video (NV) clips, then scroll down to Chapter 4--Spin and English--and click on NV 4.12, Using English for position control. Good luck--AS

07-25-2005, 07:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> Also, some people consider "english" as only relating to the sides, while hitting above or below the cue ball horizon would be "follow" (topspin) and draw (bottom), respectively... <hr /></blockquote>

Good point! Yes I am one of those who consider english to only be when hitting the sides of the cue ball, but when hitting the top center, I call it "follow", and when hitting the bottom center, I call it "draw".

Note that I *do* use follow and draw quite a bit (hitting top and bottom of cue ball), but as I said above, I try to avoid using english unless necessary (hitting sides of cue ball).