View Full Version : bridge length too long

07-25-2005, 10:39 AM
i measure from the tips of my fingers and my bridge is exactly one foot long. Do u think this is too long.i can shoot with it shorter but it is uncormfortable.

thank you

07-25-2005, 01:24 PM
I try to teach a bridge that is max 8", most of the better players will stretch it out to 1 foot at the max. Depending on your skill level your in the ballpark.

07-25-2005, 03:23 PM
With some shots, it seems like a longer bridge works better, with others, a shorter bridge seems to work better for me. So I use what works best for the particular situation and what is most comfortable.

If it works, don't fix it (Do what works best for YOU!)....

07-26-2005, 04:57 AM
A long bridge lends itself to being less accurate. It should be measured not from the finger tips but from the pivot point.... like where the cue rests on your hand. Teachers usually recommend 8" to 10" from the cb to the pivot point. If it's uncomfortable but you want to do what's recommended by experts then you'll have to become comfortable with the change. Or you can keep on doing what you've been doing, with the same results.

What you are really asking in this thread is "can I keep on using the same length bridge I've always used?". The answer is: do what you want but if you are going to not do what you know is recommended then why ask in the first place?

07-26-2005, 05:10 AM
Vinnie717: JimS gave some great advice.

In school we help our students recognize their "sweet spot". We then establish that as their "Standard Bridge Length". Once the Standard has been set then there are many situations when your bridge length must change and still be able to stay in your "sweet spot"......SPF-randyg

07-26-2005, 09:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JimS:</font><hr> ...The answer is: do what you want but if you are going to not do what you know is recommended then why ask in the first place? <hr /></blockquote>

I've seen recreational players who are playing fine so far as they are concerned. They may begin to get into the money at local tournaments. Then the trouble starts...

Some "better" players will start giving them unsolicited advice on their shooting. Many times this advice will wind up with the player never again playing as well, becoming discouraged, and not playing in the tournaments again.

I've seen this time and time again.

In some cases, they tell them to contort their hand into a specifc bridge. (One guy who followed this "advice" had pain in his hands for a year until he figured out that his old bridge was better for *him*.)

Or they will advise them to get a new "better" cue - playing goes out the window.

Or they will tell them a specific length bridge to use - playing goes out the window.

So my advice: If you are playing as well as you want to at this point and someone did give you unsolicited advice to change your bridge - ignore them. If however you are not happy with your playing, have asked other people for advice, want to improve, are willing to practice daily, etc. Then I would go to a qualified instructor or follow the advice here on proper bridge length.

Basically the "local" advice I have received in the past has been wrong and has hurt my game. The advice I get here is right on and has really helped me to improve. But then I am a serious player and practice frequently.

And there are pro players who do not stand, stroke, or mold their bridge exactly like instructors teach, yet they play just fine. Some of these have played the way they do since they were kids. So again... If it works, don't fix it!

07-26-2005, 10:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote vinnie717:</font><hr> i measure from the tips of my fingers and my bridge is exactly one foot long. Do u think this is too long.i can shoot with it shorter but it is uncormfortable.

thank you

vince <hr /></blockquote>

Hey Vince! Some good, no, great advice on this thread. Here's the thing with bridge length. Basicaly the shorter the bridge, the more acurate the stroke. You can tell that yourself by takeing a say, 5 in. bridge and waggle the butt sideway's and note the travel of the tip, not much....Now go way back to your foot long bridge and waggle the butt the same distance and look at the cue tip.

Now i'm not saying choke up to a 5 0r 6 in. bridge because your bridge length gives you the stroke you like now. Wut i would suggest is u working more on the shots which are prudent you choke up on, and find a shorter stroke to match when u do. On a lot of light touch shots for instance you only need draw back 2 to 4 in. to shoot the shot. On these ones i use the 50/50 rule, draw back 2 in follow 2 in. Most people miss touch shots because they follow too far with a short stroke. You end up steering, or double kissing, or getting the wieght wrong that way. St.

07-26-2005, 07:57 PM
Then it sounds like your bridge is 13 or 14 inches. As mentioned pool is played with a variety of lengths. In turn your backhand complements different bridge lengths; itís what I call - long to long and short to short. In time you'll understand why this is a good thing to know.

I suspect itís uncomfortable because you think you need more time to accelerate the cue. Hence the longer length to get the cue up to desired speed. In a short if you want to decrease your length plus develop better rhythm and timing at all lengths, do this little drill.

For 15 minutes every time before play or practice for at least two weeks. (Well this is practice). LOL Shoot with a 4" to 5" bridge and move your back hand up accordingly. Mark your shaft lightly with a lead pen if you choose. I say this because most people get way long in the first minute (they cheat). LOL Just do it no matter the shot. I would suggest don't try to bite off any super strokes just yet. Just play simple runs/shots at first for that time.

You can draw table length even with a short bridge. What you'll find is when you resume normal play, your normal bridge length "will" decrease. I've taught this method with very good success. Try it if you like. I'll say this about B/L, average players and even well above rarely have a stroke accurate enough to use a very long bridge.


07-27-2005, 04:34 AM
thanks i will try that today.

07-27-2005, 11:18 PM
I gave you the short version (no pun intended). By that I mean in explanation. Once you resume normal play even an 8" bridge feels a lot more comfortable. It just takes a little time to learn the timing at a short length. Thats when it starts kicking in. You'll struggle at first with the very short lenght but don't worry about it. Let me know how it works.


07-28-2005, 04:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote vinnie717:</font><hr> thanks i will try that today. <hr /></blockquote>

When I made the switch to a shorter bridge it helped me to make sure I paused at the back of the stroke... like Allison or Buddy.

I just re-read my earlier post and I don't like the hard-ass way I came on. I wanted to convey that the first step towards improvement is a WILLINGNESS to change. Making changes that are recommended by teachers is fun for me. It's a challange and it makes me feel like I'm going up the ladder.

07-28-2005, 05:36 AM
JimS: We are all on the same ladder. Some of us are just at different rungs than others. Going up the ladder is fun, rest too long and someone will pass you.....SPF-randyg

Fran Crimi
07-28-2005, 09:04 AM
I just want to add that height above the cue is a relevent factor. If you shorten your bridge length, you may feel like you want to stand higher. That's ok to do, even if it's just to shorten it as an exercise, then when you bring it back a little more, stand back lower again.


07-28-2005, 09:25 AM
Good point Fran, that is certainly possible. Tis also why I mentioned he got the short version (no pun intended). I wanted to keep it fairly simple.


Fran Crimi
07-28-2005, 09:35 AM
The only reason I mentioned it is because I think it's a good exercise and I wouldn't want to see him abandon it because he couldn't pocket balls with the shorter bridge, maybe because he couldn't see as well.

Good idea, Rod. I'm an advocate of taking things to the extreme as an exercise. Seems to help finding middle ground better.


07-29-2005, 06:11 AM

Rod points out that "your backhand complements different bridge lengths." You might want to think about that and check the position of your back hand. One sometimes sees a player who has a very long bridge and who places his back hand very close to the butt end of his cue. If a player who does this moves his bridge hand forward, he'll probably be uncomfortable unless he moves his back hand forward too.


07-29-2005, 09:17 AM
Fran, Joe Canton who I played with at his poolroom in Troy was 5ft2/10 inches tall so most of his down table shots were with a bridge of 15 to 20 inches long, the only time his bridge was shorter was when he was playing across table. In his prime he was deadly with the long bridge, later in life he came down with glaucoma and his game deteriated.####

Fran Crimi
07-29-2005, 08:39 PM
Good story, Dick. I bet it saved him a lot of mechanical bridge shots. I can't remember how long Boston Shorty's bridge was. Do you know?


08-01-2005, 02:51 PM
Fran, Boston Shorty would only play if you let him climb up on the table. Maybe in a tourney he obey the rules but I never saw him play that he wasn't climbing up on the table. Joe would have eaten him alive playing one foot on the floor. ####

08-04-2005, 05:48 AM
How tall are you? People with long arms can often justify a slightly longer bridge length simply because they can take the cue further on the backstroke and remain comfortable. Does the ferrule come all the way back to your bridge hand fulcrum at the rear of your backstroke (a.k.a. the Pause position)? If not, the unused space is unneeded length that will magnify any error. An average med/hard 13mm tip only has (at most) maybe 4-5mm of contact patch when it hits the cue ball, making good contact and stroke that much more precious. It would help to identify what exactly the discomfort is with shorter bridge distances that you don't like. Some things are an aquired taste, and maybe good bridging is one of them. Many newbies who a just learning how to form a bridge with their hand give voice to this issue. You are a player with experience, and therefore the habits you are comfortable with are that much more difficult to bend, break, reform, twist, or uh.... change!

Good luck and straight stroking!


08-04-2005, 10:04 AM
I'm just a beginner, but I think 12" is fine. I'm actually trying to get my bridge length down to about 14", which I think is ideal for me. Any shorter than that and I feel like I can't let my stroke out.