View Full Version : Moving the 1 Around on the Spot
No matter who I am playing, I am an honest player and I never try to cheat, much less get an unfair advantage in any sense. Today something interesting came up that I've never really looked into. I was playing in the semifinals of a small local tournament against my friend who plays at the pro level. I was leading 6-4 in a race to 7 and breaking. I scratched on the break and he ran a 3-pack for the win. The entire match, every time he broke the wingball was dead, and the 1 went in the side about half the time. All of my breaks except one were dry, no matter where I broke from. Alot of people in the poolhall were watching. Every time I racked the balls, I racked them in the same spot or else the balls wouldn't freeze. I focused on giving him a perfect rack every time. After the match my friend asked me why I kept racking the balls the same way every time for him. I told him that I didn't want to cheat (I thought he was asking me why I didn't mud-rack him), and he said that he meant why wasn't I racking the balls on different areas of the spot. You are still supposed to try to give them a good rack, but the 1-ball doesn't have to lie on the center of the spot every time. I've heard of this before but I've never thought about trying it. My question is, as long as the 1-ball is touching the spot, be it on the left side, right side, top bottom or whatever, it's perfectly legal and fair, right? Or are you supposed to try to rack the balls so the 1 is resting right in the middle of the spot?
12-13-2005, 06:50 AM
Any place on the spot.
12-13-2005, 08:49 AM
The only problem you're going to have with this is finding another place on the spot that you're going to be able to get a tight rack because of the divets on the spot where the balls are racked most often.
12-13-2005, 10:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>.. areas of the spot. You are still supposed to try to give them a good rack, but the 1-ball doesn't have to lie on the center of the spot every time. I've heard of this before but I've never thought about trying it. My question is, as long as the 1-ball is touching the spot, be it on the left side, right side, top bottom or whatever, it's perfectly legal and fair, right? ... <hr /></blockquote>
No. There is nothing in the rules about the round sticker that is placed on some tables that covers the foot spot. By the rules, the foot spot is a single point, not an area. Intentionally moving the one ball to some other location on the sticker is unsportsmanlike conduct. I think you have to make an exception if the crater at the foot spot is misplaced, and then a reasonable solution is to rack where the balls have to be to make the one ball tight.
If the wing ball doesn't go in the rack was probably loose. Your friend was probably giving you intentionally loose racks. If that bothers you, rack your own next time.
The game nine ball is fundamentally broken. If the rack is tight, a ball is nearly guaranteed to go in. If the rack is loose, it's either unfair or due to cheating. Racking technique is not supposed to be an important part of the game.
12-13-2005, 12:16 PM
I always give the best rack I can for my opponent. I think this is best for the long run. Being a good sport can open doors for you.
12-20-2005, 12:16 PM
The center of the "sticker" doesn't necessarily coincide with the "spot" that represents the intersections of lines down the center of the table and across the second diamonds. The "sticker" is seldom that precisely placed.
Having said that, I personally consider anywhere on the sticker to be fair. I don't vary this to gain a competitive advantage, but rather to find a location where the head ball won't try to roll off. This often means parking the head ball on the front slope of the "crater" worn into the sticker, so that it pins itself to the second and third balls after the rack is removed.
As an aside, the "wing" balls will generally tend to hit above the corner pockets if the rack is tight and straight. Think about it - how often do the wing balls hit the foot rail first? Very seldom - they usually miss to the high side. So if you rack low on the spot you may be helping the breaker, and if you rack high you may be working against him. And if the rack is tilted you make one wing ball easier and the other harder.
According to Joe Tucker's "Racking Secrets" book, if the head ball is not frozen, the wing balls become easier for a knowlegable breaker. Sid V and I did a series of experiments and Joe's technique does seem to up the percentages for the wing balls.
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