View Full Version : Adjusting to new cloth

08-05-2002, 07:24 AM
As you know, on the pro tour, we play on brand new Simonis 860. It's difficult to find tables to practice on that have one-day-old cloth, so I was wondering...for those of you who have played competitively on new cloth, what adjustments do you make and in what ways do you adapt your game? What shots will you and won't you shoot, and what changes do you make to adjust?



08-05-2002, 08:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi:</font><hr> As you know, on the pro tour, we play on brand new Simonis 860. It's difficult to find tables to practice on that have one-day-old cloth, so I was wondering...for those of you who have played competitively on new cloth, what adjustments do you make and in what ways do you adapt your game? What shots will you and won't you shoot, and what changes do you make to adjust?


Fran <hr></blockquote>
&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Only played on "brand new cloth" once, when the women came to Baltimore. Played "the Duchess", had what I thought was a fairly easy out that started with a stop shot on the 2. It skidded forward about 2 inches, and I had to try a safe, with my confidence shot. Left the 3 where she could see the "edge", she was out. I couldn't believe the difference in how it played. ***Lester***

08-05-2002, 09:14 AM
Actually, there was the time I went to a tavern/restaurant close to work for lunch. They just had a "bar-box" installed with 860 on it. The table guys had just left. One of the guys asked if I wanted to play some 8-ball. With that big cue ball and that new fast cloth, you had to "kill the cue" on every shot, or the cueball would "run away". Like playing on glass ---- not fun! ***Lester~after that, I let everybody else "break it in".

Chris Cass
08-05-2002, 10:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi:</font><hr> As you know, on the pro tour, we play on brand new Simonis 860. It's difficult to find tables to practice on that have one-day-old cloth, so I was wondering...for those of you who have played competitively on new cloth, what adjustments do you make and in what ways do you adapt your game? What shots will you and won't you shoot, and what changes do you make to adjust?
Fran <hr></blockquote>

Hi Fran,

I always have found 860 to be slow but here's what I do. When, I arrive at the table I do the basic 3 rail kick to see if the rails are running long, or short. Then, I do a lag stroke from the head rail to foot rail and back. To see how fast it really is. If it's off a foot I know that it's running fast. Then, I'll run my hand firmly on the cloth the width of the table and see how tight it is. If the cloth creates a ripple, I'll know it's not tight and will run slower. That's just checking the tourney table.

Now, back to your question on my preparation opinion. LOL I'll practice my lag stroke and speed from end to end again on the my pratice table, on to get a good idea to start from. I get as close as I can to the head rail on the return.

In playing on new cloth and that is running fast. I'll tighten my grip just a little to kill the cb quicker. I'll play more area position and if the cloth is running say, a foot longer than I'm used to. I'll play short. This puts me close to where I need to be.

I'll also used a firmer stroke to negate the skid if at all possible. The worse that can happen is being afraid of what the cb going to do. Instead, of concentrating on the task at hand. As I get used to the equipment. I'll lighten up my grip and shoot with confidence and have the table under control.

I suppose I could of said this in one sentence. HAHAHAHA


C.C.~~rambling man.....

08-05-2002, 10:36 AM

I agree that new 860 plays a lot different than it does when its broken in. Lots of skidding, sliding and speed control and tangent lines seem to get away from you quickly.

Not sure how qualified I am to respond since I don't take the opportunity to compete competitively very often; however, here is an idea.

I have 860 on my table at home. Once a week I clean it with a damp cloth. Then I take one of those lint remover tools (the kind with masking tape that roll) over the table to get rid of all the little lint spots etc on the table. I then WAX the billiard balls including several cue balls with armour all car wax by hand and polish by hand with a terry cloth towel.

The waxed object balls and cue ball play somewhat like fresh cloth at least for a while. By changing the cue ball say every half hour of play I keep that feeling.

For what its worth. If you try it let me know your results.

P.S. I love to practice my straight-pool right after the cleaning described above. The rack comes apart great and my runs tend to be higher despite the slippery conditions.

08-05-2002, 01:10 PM
That's a good question Fran, and one that many competitive players don't think about.

Here are some of the adjustments that I find I need to make:

1) squirt/swerve: While cloth ball friction does not have a noticeable effect on squirt, it has a profound effect on swerve. The new slippery cloth greatly reduces the swerve effect when compared to older well worn cloth. As a result, it makes it appear as if your cue has more squirt than normal. Actually, it just has less swerve than normal, but it can still affect your aim, so it might be called "apparent squirt" or something like that. So you need to aim a little thinner for outside english shots, and a little thicker for inside english shots.

2) spin off the rail: The slppery cloth doesn't cause the same reaction off the rail as older cloth. The ball slides on the cloth a bit more than normal, so the effect of english off the rail is reduced. This really shows up on safety kick shots, as well as positional shots that require reverse english to kill the ball. You have to be aware that the ball will not respond the same way and adjust accordingly. Don't expect the ball to leave the rail at the angle that you might think.

3) pots down the rail: since the rails are more slippery than normal, an interesting side effect is that it becomes easier to pocket balls sent down the rail. The reason is that the rebound engle off the rail is widened due to the slipping. So you can strike the rail well up from the pocket and still make the ball, even though the same shot might be impossible on older cloth (with the same pockets!). Thus it makes sense to slightly overcut shots down the rail, or bank shots into the corner pockets.

4) draw and follow: the reduced friction of new cloth changes the way the cueball reacts when draw or follow is applied. The most obvious effect is the appearance of increased draw. Since the cloth friction is reduced, less spin is scrubbed off the ball while on its way to the object ball. As a result, the amount of spin present on the cueball when it arrives at the object ball is greater than normal. It is as though you used more speed than intended, and the ball will come back farther, for less effort (speed). You need to adjust accordingly.

Also, a ball will tend to travel farther down the tangent line before curving back towards the direction of spin. Again, this is a cloth friction effect. This effect can be exploited to your advantage to send the cueball around an intervening ball and so on.

5) banking: balls will bank at a different angle with new cloth, than they will with old cloth. I believe that they should bank wider (longer). You should try a few set banks and note where the object ball goes and make the neccessary adjustments. This also affects the angle of rebound for kick shots as well. It will be harder to hold-up a ball with check side to narrow the angle.

That's about all that I can think of for now.

One way to adjust to the speed change for follow and draw shots is to use a slightly lighter cue. This has the same effect as reducing your speed slightly (but you can maintain your normal arm speed).


08-05-2002, 01:14 PM
If it's new fast cloth; I'll try to "stun" more for position rather than roll the ball ( I believe stunning the ball provides greater consistency and control of the cue ball path off the object ball under these conditions by minimizing the role of friction). I'll also try to avoid slow rolling any balls at all if possible.If it's really slick; I'll adjust my tip placement a half a tip down on the vertical axis from where I would normally choose. I try to avoid changing the speed of my stroke in favor of the above because I think it's a bad idea to back off normal your stroke. I think THAT promotes being tentative in your execution which can undermine your confidence. But what do I know!?

08-05-2002, 01:37 PM
I think a couple of people mentioned this already, but anyway:

I always start with the 3 rail kick from corner pocket to diamond 2 1/4 to check if it's playing long or short.
Next, I'll play 2 rail position to center table-start w/ Q ball at center table and OB near corner pocket, 1 diamond out, 1 diamond over. Shoot it in with low left(or right depending on side of table) and play q ball to center table.

Last, I'll use a simple draw drill, increasing Q ball to OB distance until I feel comfortable.

That seems to work for an unknown table. For a used table, waxing the balls seems to work, to similate a new cloth.

Eric &gt;works for me

08-05-2002, 02:28 PM
Fran, that is a good question. I'll give you my mental notes. Overall the c/b reacts slower after contact on new slick cloth. That delayed reaction can be a major problem. Due to this slower reaction I have to be aware of the angle I leave myself compared to worn cloth. It may be a fairly simple shot on worn cloth and very difficult on new cloth. Such examples are two or three rail follow shots where the angle is a little to narrow. Also when the angle gets over say 45 degrees comming off a rail with any english it will not react as well on new cloth. In general I try to be softer through the c/b. My reason is it gets the c/b rolling and penetrates the o/b much better. I tend to play with a little less bridge length. On cut shots when possible I use a touch of outside english to help prevent the cling effect or skid. Reverse english or hold the line shots don't work well. I break at a slower speed.

08-05-2002, 03:04 PM
On my web site www.geocities.com/cincytom314 (http://www.geocities.com/cincytom314)
There are a series of drills that I use to get my stroke and speed working on any particular table. The drills include inside on a lot of the shots. Please stop at my site and check them out. I have been using these drills to guage stroke and speed of tables for years and they work very good for me.

One of the most important factors that these drills help me to decide.. is the amount of distance from center for all hits. The amount of english I need for the cue ball to react as expected from the new rail cover always is in question, in my mind, on newly re-covered tables.

08-05-2002, 05:58 PM
Tony, thanks for taking the time to explain it with such detail and clarity, and thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

I think one of the most difficult things about playing on a new cloth is that you have to give up some of the things you know how to do so well. I watched Nick Varner standing there scratching his head as he watched the cue ball that he tried to spin three rails out of the corner, make a b-line straight for the pocket. You could tell that he put a ton of running english on it and it reacted as if he put reverse on the shot.


08-05-2002, 07:57 PM

That was the best in-depth post I've read and it explains a lot of problems I've had!!

Thanks a lot! I'm copying it into a Word file to keep.


Jay M
08-05-2002, 08:14 PM

I find myself in the same position as you and I've begun doing the same thing someone else mentioned.

First I take paste type car wax and apply an even coat over the balls. The brand I've found works best is the one that comes in a yellow can with a black and yellow checkered flag as the logo, I forget the name, but you can't miss it in an auto parts store.

Next, I take a damp cloth (just damp enough that you can feel it) and wipe the table down. The cloth will usually come out a pale shade of blue from the chalk dust stuck between the fibres. Don't forget the rails!

By the time the table has dried (usually just a minute or so) so has the wax. Take a different cloth, preferably new or only used for this purpose and wipe the wax off the balls, make sure that you get all of the wax so it doesn't get in the carpet.

Now you have the closest thing to tournament conditions that you can get. After about every 3-5 racks, you'll want to stop and wipe the balls clean again and about every 15 racks, or it's equivalent in drills, you'll want to do the whole process over. Be SURE not to mix up the two cloths, the wax will NOT come out of the table if you do. I put the waxing cloth under the lid of the wax, where they usually put a sponge.

The balls act exactly the same on 6 month old simonis as they do on 1 day old simonis when you do this. BTW, the more times you do this, the closer the conditions get. Usually after about the third time cleaning the table, the cloth that you are using to wipe the table comes out nearly white and you'll see a VERY noticable difference in the play, particularly on power english shots where the cue will snake (curve) just like it does on new cloth.

Jay M

08-05-2002, 08:37 PM
I saw Nick do the same thing at the US Open last year. In a practice session.. he was shooting the 4 rail position shot that I have on my website... that's where I got it from.. seeing Nick shoot it.. on new cloth.. its takes a medium stroke and less english than on old cloth.. I found that out practicing.. good shot to figure your speed, stroke, and rail reactions.

08-05-2002, 10:29 PM
Fran, first let me say that I'm sure I'm not the only one here who is really glad to see you posting regularly here again - and coming up with some REALLY valuable and thought provoking threads!

IMO, the experience of having played alot on brand new installed Simonis 860 cloth is one often overlooked huge reason why it is so hard for the up and coming younger players to break through and defeat the top veteran pros in the early rounds of a WPBA event. The young players simply don't have much opportunity to practice on newly installed cloth - to know how it reacts and even how it changes in the way it plays from day 1 to day 2 to day 3, etc. Although some are, most qualifiers and regional tour stops aren't played on new cloth.

As for your question, the consistency, responsiveness and predictability of the balls coming off the rails is one huge difference on newly installed cloth. Banks shots should be a last resort, and even kick shots require an adjustment.

When using running english on the cue-ball off a rail for position one must be really careful - as the cue-ball will absolutely take off on you if you're not very careful. This makes those 2, 3 and 4 rail position shots in which you have to let whitey go a real adventure - and positioning routes should be simplified whenever possible. Even off the 2nd rail the balls will be susceptible to skid, slide and change their angle of rebound - and it's very hard to predict how much.

You can almost forget playing inside english on the cue-ball off the rail to change the rebound angle or to the kill the cue-ball - it just simply won't work!

Lastly, the one (usually fairly simple) shot that is extremely hard to control on new cloth even for good players is a stop shot from any distance, or those shots where you wish to either draw or follow just a little bit. These are very hard to execute with any real accuracy, particuarly the further the cue-ball is away from the object ball. Generally the cue-ball will draw and follow much easier. It's the same concept of why it is so hard to get a putt from 40 feet close to the hole on super-fast greens versus on slow greens. A very tiny difference in pace results in a huge difference in where the ball ends up.

The only positive thing about new cloth that can be of an advantage (if you know it) is that it makes the pockets play very forgiving and suck up many shots that will be routinely rejected in a month or so. Knowing this can be very valuable in allowing you to cheat the pockets (on shots going down the rail) more than you would normally feel comfortable doing for position purposes - or for when you have another ball obstructing part of a pocket. - Chris in NC

08-06-2002, 12:22 AM
I almost never hit the cue ball all the way at the bottom to draw the ball. The spin takes too much on new simonis. The key is really to play as close to the center of the ball as you can and not to try to get too close to the next ball. Concentrate instead on getting the right angle and you will have a much easier time.
Stay away from inside english. It just doesn't take the same (or at all sometimes) on the brand new cloth.
Good luck, Fran.

08-06-2002, 01:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi:</font><hr> As you know, on the pro tour, we play on brand new Simonis 860. It's difficult to find tables to practice on that have one-day-old cloth, so I was wondering...for those of you who have played competitively on new cloth, what adjustments do you make and in what ways do you adapt your game? What shots will you and won't you shoot, and what changes do you make to adjust?


Fran <hr></blockquote>

A good player will simply adjust accordingly.

The table will be faster while playing easier.The balls will slide more.Banks and kicks will usually come up long especially at pocket speed.

Analysis can breed paralysis especially when your opponent is turning on the heat,imo.Keep it simple.

Just deal with the existing conditions,trust your skills,and go to war.BS

08-06-2002, 03:55 AM
center ball hit is the prefered method on the first day in a field of 64 players.
Fogett about inside english on the first and second days (there are exceptions to players like Johny Archer.I saw him doing all kinds of stuff without any problems)
If u have survived till the third day u can do anything u want( because u are the master on new cloth and a champion.
on bank shots I hit little harder to reduce the rebound angle.
My experieces and opinions are more similar to Chris`s and are different from Tony M.
Since I do not use center ball hit I coud never beat any one on new cloth.I look like some one who never played pool. cheers

08-06-2002, 05:44 AM
Hi Fran,
Do I take it then that Simonis 860 is the preferred cloth for the pros? And do they use the new 860HR that I heard about? A year ago we covered two of out tables with Simonis 760 and most people are not all that happy with it. Especially how easy it leaves white dots due to the increase of nylon in the cloth. When the Spititour played in Ocala back in April the tables were all recovered with Simonis 860 and I played on them. I found it a real pleasure to play on them. Much beter than our 760. Jake~~~not good enough to really appreciate the finer details.

08-06-2002, 02:08 PM

When dealing with new cloth, I usually will hit with just medium strokes, and will only use the vertical axis of the cueball. I have a bad skid stroke to begin with, so this will become even worse on new cloth, so I'll use softer speed and avoid sidespin whenever possible. Mabye it's just me, but I see the same conditions in pool halls where the cloth has not been replaced for years, and has no nap or grip whatsoever. On these types of tables, I pretty much have to apply the same principles as listed above.

08-06-2002, 08:40 PM
Howdy Darshan,
vocabulary in your post makes me suspect that u are a Snooker Player.Are you? cheers

08-07-2002, 01:48 AM
Actually, bank pool is my main game. (funny though, here is Seattle, there's not that many bankers...wah). Playing both full and 9 ball racks, I always use english on my banks. However, when playing on the conditions that I mentioned in the previous post, I'll just stick little if no english. Many people have trouble dealing with new cloth. The difficulty factor goes up a notch when banking a ball using english and having it skid during contact, and sometimes off the rail as well. This has been my experience. I'd like to try snooker someday.....but 6' X 12' tables scare me. LOL.

Voodoo Daddy
08-07-2002, 06:48 PM
Jay stole that stuff from the 3-C player and all-around good guy Charlie Delorme of Florida. I have never seen a man posessed like him, cleaning, wiping and waxing...geez. I often wondered if he did windows too?

08-07-2002, 07:16 PM
State of Kentucky especially in Louiville u have lot of bank pool is played.Ofcourse u do have good bank pool players spread all around USA.Derby city open will have bank pool tounament and the best in the world will be there.
By the way playing banks in south is different from North.South u have lots of humidity and one has to learn to adjust the force used on the shot.Cheers