View Full Version : How do you aim a masse shot?
08-11-2005, 08:54 AM
When you want to go around a ball to stike another ball (and make it into a pocket), how do you determine the amount of spin, the amount of elevation of the cue and the strength of the stoke?
Is there a practice routine the will help one develop the feel for this shot?
I usually just avoid the shot because I have no idea what will happen when I attempt it. I will attempt a 3 rail kick before I will try the masse.
08-11-2005, 09:17 AM
I'm assuming you're not talking about U-turns, lol. For me, just watching Ginky one night at a local tournament spin out of a number of second-rate safeties burned a pretty useful stroke into my brain.
Mainly, I learned to stop trying to hit the shot too hard or with extreme elevation.
But unless somebody's got yet another system out there, I think it's a feel shot and you've just got to hit a fair number of them, and not expect any great precision, considering all the variables of spin, speed, etc. I'm no world-beater, but I usually think of bending it before going for a jump or multi-rail kick.
08-11-2005, 09:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> When you want to go around a ball to stike another ball (and make it into a pocket), how do you determine the amount of spin, the amount of elevation of the cue and the strength of the stoke?
Is there a practice routine the will help one develop the feel for this shot?
I usually just avoid the shot because I have no idea what will happen when I attempt it. I will attempt a 3 rail kick before I will try the masse.<hr /></blockquote>
My July, 2005 instructional article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/bd_articles/july05.pdf) describes an aiming method developed by Coriolis in 1835. The method doesn't help with speed effects, but it does predict the final direction of the cue ball fairly well. FYI, my next article (November, 2005) will look at this technique and speed effects in more detail. It will be posted in the instructional articles section of my website (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/bd_articles/index.html) early next month. Keep an eye out for it.
08-11-2005, 12:06 PM
Well first of all, I have a Schuler Masse' cue, 24.6 oz., 48", 13mm Triangle medium nickel shaped tip. (Link below.)
This helps a lot. Make your own by sawing part of the butt off an old cue and attaching some sort of weight.
Then I have my own table on which I can practice endless masse' shots. Big help!
For curve shots, you just need to keep doing it until it happens. You have... The spot here you hit the CB (left, center, right), the angle you hold the cue (almost straight up to slightly elevated), the direction the stick is pointing, and how hard you hit the ball.
In theory... With a *lot* of force, you are making the ball slide to a point past the blocking ball, then the sideways spin takes over at this point and makes the ball change direction. You need to be able to make it slide the proper distance. And have it slide the proper direction. And have the proper direction of spin on the ball so when spin takes over, it will go the correct way. And hit with the correct speed so all this works out just right.
I am told it can take 4 years to learn the various masse' shots. Of course I have a smart a$$ friend who can just walk up to my table and effortlessly shoot around 5 balls on the short rail with my masse' cue (and almost no practice). Last time he did this, I picked up my phone and told him I was calling ESPN /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Practice with the following. First curve around one ball as shown at bottom of diagram. Then add more balls to make the shots more difficult (as shown at top). Hit CB on left side as shown with butt of cue near your shoulder and aim to right of blocking ball (If you were to lay cue straight down, it would be pointing to right of blocking ball)...
Schuler masse' cue...
08-11-2005, 12:21 PM
The WEI table shows exactly what I was looking for.
I knew someone had to dope...I should have thought of this myself but it was easier to ask stupid questions.
Appreciate the advise.
08-11-2005, 01:07 PM
A variation of the above drill is to move up a diamond every time....
So first shot, bloking ball at center pocket and cueball at corner pocket.
Second shot: Blocking ball on 3rd diamond and cueball on 5th diamond (kitchen line).
Third shot: Block ball at 2nd diamond, cue ball at center pocket...
and so forth...
Then you start over with 2 balls.
If you manage 5 balls on first diamond and cueball on second diamond... you're doing very good.
08-11-2005, 01:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> ...I knew someone had to dope...I should have thought of this myself but it was easier to ask... <hr /></blockquote>
The only reason I know this practice drill is because I once asked and someone told me. Actually I have not seen too much in books, etc. on masse' stuff. (Was the reason I was asking too...)
Masse' would take pages to describe the effects. It changes drastically depending on cue elevation and aim line. Of course cue speed and table conditions all determine if a shot will be successful.
To be able to play masse shots well you need two things. A good straight stroke. The second but just as important is a good stable bridge. Masse' shots demand you hit the c/b exactly where intended. At extreme elevation brace your bridge on your hip bone if possible or on your thigh, depends on how tall you are. This is the most solid and stable part of your body.
When I say masse', any masse, but even more critical is a full masse at appx 80 degrees or more of elevation. Your bridge hand needs stable support. No debate here, (well you could) but use a closed bridge at extreme elevation. Open bridges work well when the c/b has more forward momentum because you bridge on the table not on your body. At some point in elevation it is a trade off.
Confused yet? Start off with the shots BB and RH shows or be creative and invent you own. However in RH's diagram, at a point, the strike point on the c/b is not as shown. I'll let the engineers plot this out! LOL Besides it's beyond what you should be practicing at this point. Short version, if you know the effects of Masse', it is cue angle dependent. Of course aim line and speed is just as important.
08-12-2005, 09:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> ... The only reason I know this practice drill is because I once asked and someone told me. Actually I have not seen too much in books, etc. on masse' stuff. (Was the reason I was asking too...)
If you're interested in masse, besides Dr. Dave's recent article, there are
the chapter in Byrne's "Advanced" book (and the article in BD it was based on)
Coriolis in the English translation from David Nadler, which should be available any month now, on which Byrne's chapter was based
"Welcome to Masse 101: Basic masse aiming", BD, December 1997
"Masse 102", more aiming, equipment notes, BD Feb 1998
"The Right Time to Masse" when to use masse in games, BD, Mar 1998
Progressive masse drills, BD, May 2003
the shots of artistic pool and artistic billiards, available from many sources
Jean Reverchon's DVD of all the shots of the artistic billiards championship, including the many astounding masses
Frederic Caudron's 2-DVD set on carom billiards which includes many small masse shots with better control than you can imagine
several Accu-stats tapes of fancy shot exhibitions
attending any fancy shot exhibition or championship
As for the idea of cutting the butt end of the cue off, that's slightly backwards. Masse cues typically have large ferrules -- 14mm or 15mm -- so it makes a lot more sense to cut off the shaft. The resulting cue should be about 45 inches long. You can also get special short shafts made for a regular cue. I have two or three masse shafts for my Balabushka.
08-12-2005, 09:37 AM
Where do you get the masse' shafts? Custom only? Or a link on the internet?
FYI - I forgot to mention that some masse' shots are *very* hard on a shaft and can break a regular shaft. My masse' cue has a *very* sturdy shaft with a euro taper.
08-12-2005, 09:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> ... Where do you get the masse' shafts? ... <hr /></blockquote>
Bill Stroud and Jim Buss.
08-14-2005, 04:51 PM
bob byrne's book describes how to aim a masse shot better than any other book/video out there.
08-15-2005, 04:15 PM
You know, I've seen this discussion in about a thousand different forms, both online and in person. Do you know how many times the masse was the CORRECT shot to shoot in all the tournaments, money games and practice games I've played over the last 20 years? Maybe 2 or 3 times. I may pull it out every now and again and play a masse for the heck of it, but a masse is NEVER the shot with the highest percentage of a hit/pocket. Spend your time working on kicks and banks, it's a MUCH better use of the time.
[ QUOTE ]
"The Right Time to Masse" when to use masse in games, BD, Mar 1998<hr /></blockquote>
Small swerves around the edge of a ball, maybe, but a masse, NEVER. (BTW, it was Ray Martin that beat this into me)
08-15-2005, 05:14 PM
If he says it's a shot it's a shot that should never be used, why is it shot number 40 in his book, The 99 Critical Shots in Pool? I'm not being a smart ass, just asking a question.
08-15-2005, 05:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jay M:</font><hr> ... but a masse is NEVER the shot with the highest percentage of a hit/pocket. ... <hr /></blockquote>
Efren doesn't agree with you, but then Efren knows masse.
I don't disagree with you on the point that kicks are more useful, but there are lots of situations in which a masse is the best choice if you know how. If you don't know how, it is a mistake to try.
08-15-2005, 06:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> . . .In theory... With a *lot* of force, you are making the ball slide to a point past the blocking ball, then the sideways spin takes over at this point and makes the ball change direction. You need to be able to make it slide the proper distance. And have it slide the proper direction. And have the proper direction of spin on the ball so when spin takes over, it will go the correct way. And hit with the correct speed so all this works out just right.<hr /></blockquote>This is similar to throwing a curve ball in bowling. It's a feel thing.
It's pretty much all practice to get the feel, but you can see a correlation between elevation of the cue and how much curve results. There is also the additional complication of where to strike the ball, given a certan elevation: for low elevations, you strike lower on the ball. This is not as redundant as it seems, as you can use a low-elevation of the cue, but still hit the cueball with high, side english. A long-distance, wide curve can be made by simply striking with low-side, but a tight arc requires striking with closer to a jump-shot elevation, but the stike is off-center, and much higher on the ball. (I believe a major difference between the jump and the masse is due to where the axis of the cue is aimed--more toward the center of the ball for a jump, and more off-center for a masse.)
Also, Jay is probably right about the masse being a last (or never) resort, but I think it's fun to do, and it **does** come up occasionally. I shot one about three weeks ago, and one this past Thursday. Both object balls were in the corner pocket jaws, and both were long-distance, so they were somewhat "forgiving". One was an 8-ball, and I didn't even have a multi-kick at it (6 opposing balls on the table), and I don't jump very well. The other might have been kickable, as I recall, but it was also the last ball before the eight, which didn't require much of a leave. Besides, the ball was "big" enough, that I could pull the curve too tightly, and I should have still been able to hit the ball after the rail.
These are basic diagrams---I don't remember where all the blocking balls were:
Not hail-marys, but certainly not "gimmes".
08-16-2005, 08:28 AM
Well I like to have fun when playing. Sometimes I might not care if I win or lose. Eventually I would like to have the right equipment in my bag to shoot masse' shots when playing away from home. Then it might just be fun to shoot one every now and then.
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