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View Full Version : Which side of the cue ball is the most important?



Chopstick
08-24-2007, 10:12 AM
The outside silly. Don't you know nuthin. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Sorry, couldn't resist.

Seriously though, for the last two years, I have been rebuilding my game from the ground up. I was thinking about general approaches to the game the other day and I had a thought that I would like to present for your review.

Take for example a simple cut shot to the left into the corner from somewhere around the spot, in towards the corner. Using the clock system I could apply outside english at noon, 1 oclock, 2 oclock and so on and I would be able to hit every diamond position on the rails to the right of the shot consistently.

Now, I can also hit every diamond position just using the vertical axis of the cue ball. So, outside english can be replaced by centerline ball shots with no sidespin. Looking at the cue ball as a clock face, the whole right side of the clock, 1 oclock to 5 oclock can be replaced by center ball and the appropriate stroke and speed. What it cannot do is 7 oclock to 11 oclock.

So my current line of thinking is this. A player can deliver a very respectable performance using only the center and the left/inside of the cue ball, rarely if ever spinning the cueball to the outside. Another thing about favoring the shot slightly to the inside is that neutralizes spin acquired from collisions. Shoot a spot shot with the right amount of inside english and it will leave the foot rail with no spin at all. This is a matter of personal preference but I have come to really like those shots.

Ben Hogan once said that in order the become an effective fader of the ball one must first become an effective drawer of the ball. For those of you who are not familiar with golf, a draw shot for a right handed golfer is a shot that starts off going right and curves (draws) back to the left. The fade is just the opposite. Maybe this isn't a proper analogy, but I am thinking that inside english is the "draw shot" of pool.

In the beginning, when we are first learning, we learn to draw the ball first and then go to the outside of the ball next. Then we learn to combine these, draw the ball with outside spin, wow look at it go. We make this our comfort zone. Our development with inside english is uncomfortable or completely neglected.

I am challenging this notion with my own game development. If a player has a comfort zone, a goto shot, it should always be from the center to the inside. Never spin the ball to the outside unless you absolutely have to. There is a lot of territory to explore on the in-side of the ball.

I am interested to hear what you guys have to say about this style of play. I have been working this for a few weeks now and I am starting to hit em pretty sporty.

A word about accidental contacts with other balls.

"When I stop hitting balls accidentally, racks disappear. When I stop hitting rails, my opponents disappear."

ChopStick~~~> The Shogun of Sorrow /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

nAz
08-24-2007, 11:31 AM
I favor about a tip above center, but i have notice at least in the last two days that i started playing pool again that i cut down on my side spin drastically. which i think is a good thing since i seem to control whitey much better. still on slight cut shots i apply a half tip of spin. I try to avoid inside spin but when your position play is lacking like mine i find myself using it a lot.
hey Chop remember if it works for you then it must be right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Jager85
08-24-2007, 12:19 PM
There is a difference between using outside english and draw to hit the diamonds. The difference is the cue balls reaction to the first rail, ie speed and angle.

I don't think that either side of the cueball is most important. Every shot is different and there are millions of possibilities of shots available as well as millions of different english combinations used. All sorts of english combinations are needed for different shots.

That is of course unless you can stop on a dime exactly where you want every time and use natural angles for setups and avoiding traffic, but if you had that kind of precision you would have no questions about the game at all, so I think it is safe to assume you, as well as I, are not that precise.

I do in fact prefer running english whenever possible as I can estimate the speed off of the rails better since I use it more.

Jager

Bob_Jewett
08-24-2007, 01:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> . ....
I am interested to hear what you guys have to say about this style of play. (not using outside english) ... <hr /></blockquote>
I think there are not just a few but rather lots of situations that require the use of outside english to get to where you need. You have to be prepared for those situations if you want to be a complete player. I think it is a mistake to limit your practice by excluding necessary shots.

Of course, in actual play, you usually want to keep things as simple as possible.

Mosconi didn't shoot masse shots in normal play, but if the situation had ever come up, he would have been prepared.

Fran Crimi
08-24-2007, 01:14 PM
It depends. If you play a lot of 9 Ball and you play multi-rail position a lot, and you're playing on a 9 ft table, running English shots become your bread and butter shots. In most cases that means outside spin.

If you're playin 14.1 and you set up for optimum break shots, outside spin is often the best bet for breaking into the pack --- works like a drill, spinning into the balls.

Fran

Deeman3
08-24-2007, 01:45 PM
I know you are right about running spin being "bread and butter" in most games. I have concentrated on a lot of inside for the last year as I saw that as a real weakness in my game. NOt the soft inside shots but the real screamers. I am talking about those shots as Chopstick described but where the angle gets too obtuse to use outside and the shot "slips" beyond the capability of outside to achieve position or avoid a scratch in the corner pocket. I call it, that limit angle, transitional availment just to feel technical once in a while. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Anyway, I do spend a lot of practice time hitting those cuts into the opposite corner with inside to catch the long rail and three rail it to the other end. One of the keys that is much more pronounced with inside than outside seems to be speed to compensate for the squirt as opposed to the reverse throw. It's one of those shots that seem, at least to me, to require a lot of usage to have to confidence to take it on, where I find outside so much easier to "maintain". I now love those shots rather than fear them and they still look so damn cool. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif It's just a variation of the same shot with less angle on the short rail to come back up table but the increased angle and more variable distances make it a much harded animal to tame. Some might be surprised how many other shot possibilities open up when you feel good about this shot.

Fran Crimi
08-24-2007, 02:10 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Anyway, I do spend a lot of practice time hitting those cuts into the opposite corner with inside to catch the long rail and three rail it to the other end. <hr /></blockquote>

Dee Man, you just gave me a flashback about Johnny Ervolino. That shot was one of his all time favorites. In fact, he felt that shot was so important that once when we were playing and I missed that shot badly, he stopped the game and refused to go any farther until I made it 10 times in a row. It feels awkward when you're first learning it, but now it's one of my favorites, thanks to Johnny. When you learn to trust it, it feels almost effortless, right?

Fran

Deeman3
08-24-2007, 02:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Anyway, I do spend a lot of practice time hitting those cuts into the opposite corner with inside to catch the long rail and three rail it to the other end. <hr /></blockquote>

Dee Man, you just gave me a flashback about Johnny Ervolino. That shot was one of his all time favorites. In fact, he felt that shot was so important that once when we were playing and I missed that shot badly, he stopped the game and refused to go any farther until I made it 10 times in a row. It feels awkward when you're first learning it, but now it's one of my favorites, thanks to Johnny. When you learn to trust it, it feels almost effortless, right?

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Right! And I've seen you make that shot, you own it. It is a wonderful shot that, when done properly, makes you feel great about your game. I often hear commentators say he/she hit that shot "perfect". In reality, I can only remember, perhaps, ten shots in my life, out of hundreds of thousands, that I consiered "perfect". Three of them are that shot.

That is incredible that he would stop and have you shoot it like that but shows how much he knew about the game and liked you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
</font color>

BigRigTom
08-25-2007, 11:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Anyway, I do spend a lot of practice time hitting those cuts into the opposite corner with inside to catch the long rail and three rail it to the other end. <hr /></blockquote>

Dee Man, you just gave me a flashback about Johnny Ervolino. That shot was one of his all time favorites. In fact, he felt that shot was so important that once when we were playing and I missed that shot badly, he stopped the game and refused to go any farther until I made it 10 times in a row. It feels awkward when you're first learning it, but now it's one of my favorites, thanks to Johnny. When you learn to trust it, it feels almost effortless, right?

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Right! And I've seen you make that shot, you own it. It is a wonderful shot that, when done properly, makes you feel great about your game. I often hear commentators say he/she hit that shot "perfect". In reality, I can only remember, perhaps, ten shots in my life, out of hundreds of thousands, that I consiered "perfect". Three of them are that shot.

That is incredible that he would stop and have you shoot it like that but shows how much he knew about the game and liked you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
</font color> <hr /></blockquote>

Deeman or Fran can one of you do a "cuetable" layout of the shot your are talking about in a situation that it would be a good shot choice. I am having trouble visualizing the circumstance that you both seem to know very well.

Fran Crimi
08-25-2007, 01:23 PM
Sure, Tom, here's a shot I played in Vegas. In fact this may be the one Deeman may have seen. My opponent left me where I could only see a small piece of the 6. I cut it in across the table with center inside English to come around three rails behind the 7 (just in case I missed the 6). It sure felt great.

cue table (http://CueTable.com/P/?@1FXVl4GXLe4HbPc2IBRq4PaYY4QXVN1aXVl2aade2adWq4ka YY4kaQV1kYso1kcOw1kGKy2kcTq4kXVM4kXeN@)

Fran

BigRigTom
08-25-2007, 09:04 PM
Thank you Fran, I see what you mean and now it is crystal clear.
I know that must have been a great feeling to execute that shot under pressure.

I want to practice that shot my self so I printed the Cuetable image and took it to the garage with me. Give me a couple hundred reps and I'll maybe be able to do it 30% of the time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Thanks again.

Qtec
08-25-2007, 10:16 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Seriously though, for the last two years, I have been rebuilding my game from the ground up. <hr /></blockquote>

Do you have an instructor? Sounds like you need some help.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Rule No1 is:
Don't use E if you don't have to.
Rule No2:
Play the shot that is required.


Thats about it really. LOL


BTW, you may be able to hit every diamond but then what? The angle the QB comes off the rail depends on the direction its coming from and the spin. On an empty table you don't have to use spin but when there are obstacles, other balls, you have to improvise. Margin of error also plays a great part on shot selection. At the top level, its all about NOT making avoidable mistakes.

Q...if you are ever in Holland..............

Deeman3
08-27-2007, 07:34 AM
Perzactly!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bob_Jewett
08-27-2007, 01:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Sure, Tom, here's a shot I played in Vegas. In fact this may be the one Deeman may have seen. My opponent left me where I could only see a small piece of the 6. I cut it in across the table with center inside English to come around three rails behind the 7 (just in case I missed the 6). It sure felt great.

cue table (http://CueTable.com/P/?@1FXVl4GXLe4HbPc2IBRq4PaYY4QXVN1aXVl2aade2adWq4ka YY4kaQV1kYso1kcOw1kGKy2kcTq4kXVM4kXeN@)

Fran <hr /></blockquote>
Maybe I'm seeing the Cuetable image wrong, but I think the 6 must have been elsewhere for the cue ball to some in that short with center left in that position.

BigRigTom
08-27-2007, 01:40 PM
Well Bob and Fran,
I have tried this shot a bunch of times and I make the 6 about 2 out of 10 times but the cue ball usually does go longer than you show on the cuetable diagram....I figured it was just me.

I have trouble shoot this shot with the correct speed, my tendency is to hit it too hard and then I wind up hitting the head rail and coming back close to the center of the table.

I must admit that I was more concerned with learning to making the 6 consistently while using the running english &amp; having that 7 ball in my line of site doesn't help. I was planning on then figuring out the speed correction necessary to get the proper position on the 7.

Question:
When you played this shot were you jacked up over the 8 or did you have room to cue level &amp; to the left of the 8?

Great practice shot though!
Thanks Fran for sharing that one.

Fran Crimi
08-27-2007, 06:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> Well Bob and Fran,
I have tried this shot a bunch of times and I make the 6 about 2 out of 10 times but the cue ball usually does go longer than you show on the cuetable diagram....I figured it was just me.

I have trouble shoot this shot with the correct speed, my tendency is to hit it too hard and then I wind up hitting the head rail and coming back close to the center of the table.

I must admit that I was more concerned with learning to making the 6 consistently while using the running english &amp; having that 7 ball in my line of site doesn't help. I was planning on then figuring out the speed correction necessary to get the proper position on the 7.

Question:
When you played this shot were you jacked up over the 8 or did you have room to cue level &amp; to the left of the 8?

Great practice shot though!
Thanks Fran for sharing that one. <hr /></blockquote>


Hey Tom,

Yes, it was just a really rough estimate of the shot. I didn't have a pool table nearby where I could set it up and try it before I posted. I did have room to stroke and I wasn't jacked up when I originally shot it. You can try different things, like setting up a bit of a fuller hit on the 6. You can also practice hitting the cb lower as well. The basic concept is there, though. As long as you got the basic idea, that's the most important thing.

Fran

BigRigTom
08-28-2007, 08:46 AM
Thanks again Fran.
That cuetable diagram was perfect in that it allowed me to quickly visualize the type of shot that you and Deeman were discussing.
It reminds me of a drill that Jimmy Reid talks about on his training tape when he is demonstrating how to get position on the 8 ball from anywhere on the table. That shot however allowed you to cut the object ball in the corner on the right with naturally running english and naturally taking the 3 rail position.

I really would like to master this shot technique (like you have described) because I can see where it will truly be a life saver in some 9 ball situations, including avoiding a scratch and get to a safe position with the cue ball when you have no makable shot.