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Bambu
07-06-2010, 03:16 PM
To spin, or not to spin?


To spin or not to spin? That is the question I find impossible to answer. You would think that if you went and asked all the top players in your area the same question, you would get the same answers. I think that more often than not, answers will vary. And, this is a fairly simple question. The question is this: On a game winning open cut shot, with no threat to scratch, do you use English? My answer would be “it depends on the shot and how I feel.” Bad answer perhaps, but I tend to go with my gut.

Pro #1 would say no, there is no reason to use English….so why complicate the shot any further? Even if there was a scratch threat, a center ball purist would use follow or draw to avoid the scratch pocket whenever possible. English would only be used when absolutely necessary.

Pro # 2 would say yes, outside English helps you pocket balls because it allows you to hit an object ball fatter. Outside English also cancels much of the contact throw. Some of these guys would go as far as to say outside English is “helping English.”

I have played both ways for a long time, and I still don’t know what the right answer is. Maybe because there is no correct answer, no rule to refer to. Both of these guys make valid points, yet each school of thought conflicts the other. So what does one do? We wallow in the muck of experimentation, and draw our own conclusions. Miss a shot, scratch your head, and press on. Become efficient at both methods of approach, while figuring out what works best for you.

Fran Crimi
07-06-2010, 04:09 PM
Bambu, I think that there is no such thing as a cut shot with no threat to scratch. There is always the possibility of scratching if you don't control the cue ball. So, the real question is what is the best way to pocket the ball and place the cue ball where you want it to be placed? The answer is that it depends on what the shot is, how you would normally shoot it and how the equipment is playing. Strong players will immediately assess the situation and make a decision based on all their years of experience. Yes, often times it involves the application of sidespin. Sometimes it doesn't.

Newer players will make a decision based on a more limited set of references and there may be even partial guessing, but that's how people learn and develop experience to make more informed decisions in the future.

BCA Master Instr
07-06-2010, 04:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bambu, I think that there is no such thing as a cut shot with no threat to scratch. There is always the possibility of scratching if you don't control the cue ball. So, the real question is what is the best way to pocket the ball and place the cue ball where you want it to be placed? The answer is that it depends on what the shot is, how you would normally shoot it and how the equipment is playing. Strong players will immediately assess the situation and make a decision based on all their years of experience. Yes, often times it involves the application of sidespin. Sometimes it doesn't.

Newer players will make a decision based on a more limited set of references and there may be even partial guessing, but that's how people learn and develop experience to make more informed decisions in the future.
</div></div>


Great answer Fran!...randyg

bataisbest
07-06-2010, 05:32 PM
No scratch threat- NO ENGLISH.

If I think there is a good chance of a scratch, then I would go with the least amount of English needed to pocket the ball. Otherwise, no English

mstng81
07-06-2010, 08:46 PM
Personally, I don't use English unless I'm trying to get to a place on the table that the cue ball won't go to naturally. I'll 'throw' a ball if I have to but if it was a game-winning shot without a chance to scratch based on angles and speed, I would just cut it in.

pooltchr
07-06-2010, 09:31 PM
Fran really nailed it. The only thing I can add is my personal preference. I don't use any kind of spin to make a shot. I use spin to direct the cue ball to the spot on the table where I want it to be. Top and bottom, to work off the object ball, and side spin to work off the cushions.

Very good question!

Steve

cushioncrawler
07-06-2010, 10:30 PM
I reckon outside english eliminates the danger of a bad kick of some kind throwing the objekt'ball off.
I uze a bit of outside english on most of my pots -- especially for thick kontakts.
In English Billiards u hav the added danger of the dreaded spot'kick. This iz where the red iz sitting on The Spot at the head of the table, a very frequent shot. Uzually u are playing to pot the red in a corner pocket. Sometimes u are playing an in'off the red, into a corner pocket. Sometimes u are playing a cannon. Spot kix kan affekt eech type of shot. Uzually u only get a spot'kick if'when the spot iz sunken. Lots of good players rip the spot off and just make an ink'mark for the spot, but this duznt allways help if the bed'cloth iz sunken anyhow.
But i reckon that bad kix affekt (kan effekt) even very fine kuts.
Yeah, for my life, i would uze natural outside english. Too much english aint good neither.
For a bit of outside english i uzually uze front'hand'pivot.
madMac.

Bambu
07-07-2010, 07:22 AM
Thanks for all of your answers, I expected them to be mixed. Btw, the last pro I asked this question to was Mika. His answer was similar to Mac's.....a little bit of outside.

JJFSTAR
07-07-2010, 07:53 AM
In George Fels book Pool advanced techniques in mastering the game he speculates that there are a few mutants out there but there are 2 basic types of players “tipsters” and “speedsters”. This is true of pro’s and armatures alike.

“Tipsters” (for the most part) would rather control the CB with spin predominately where as “speedsters” stay away from deviating from the vertical line (for the most part) unless it yields them big rewards. From my personal observation over the years 8 & 9ball players are mostly “tipsters” and 14.1 & one-pocket players are mostly “speedsters”.

This is why you get the 2 different answers to the same question among people who are A, AA and pro players. The answer to your question is just as you have speculated; that there is no “right” answer.

Fran Crimi
07-07-2010, 08:25 AM
I like that a lot. Great answer! I'm definitely a tipster. I'd even go so far to say that I think tipsters may be more feel-type players and would gravitiate to games like 9-ball. I was raised on 14.1, but as soon as I became exposed to 9-ball, I knew it was the game for me.

dr_dave
07-10-2010, 07:53 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't use any kind of spin to make a shot. I use spin to direct the cue ball to the spot on the table where I want it to be. Top and bottom, to work off the object ball, and side spin to work off the cushions.</div></div>I agree ... in general. The physics of squirt/swerve/throw certainly frowns upon using English just to "make a shot."

However some shots can't be made without throw or spin transfer. Here are some examples:
http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/throw.html#examples
http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/throw.html#spin
With these shots, you do need spin "to make the shot."

Spin can also be used effectively with some hold/kill shots (http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/throw.html#hold).

Also, with very clingy conditions (i.e., old, beat up, dirty balls), outside English can reduce your chances for cling/skid/kick, and a strong case can be made for using spin.

Regards,
Dave

pooltchr
07-10-2010, 08:27 AM
Agreed. But these are probably the exceptions. For the most part, using english to throw the ball, makes the shot more difficult, not easier.

Using english to transfer spin can come in handy for banks, but again, I would probably use it only as a last resort. More often than not, there will be an easier way.

Good videos, by the way.

Steve

dr_dave
07-10-2010, 08:33 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Agreed. But these are probably the exceptions. For the most part, using english to throw the ball, makes the shot more difficult, not easier.</div></div>I agree (as does "physics" ... although the mind can be a powerful and sometimes dangerous thing).

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Using english to transfer spin can come in handy for banks, but again, I would probably use it only as a last resort. More often than not, there will be an easier way.</div></div>Agreed.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Good videos, by the way.</div></div>Thanks.

BTW, here are some other examples where spin is required to make the shot, although, these are not very useful except as proposition shots:
NV B.92 - "Impossible" cut shots, from VEPS V (http://billiards.colostate.edu/normal_videos/new/NVB-92.htm)

Regards,
Dave

yaz
07-10-2010, 01:56 PM
Buddy Hall uses what he calls "helping English". It's like that old "brill cream" jingle:
"Brill Cream, a little dab will do you...."

bradb
07-11-2010, 05:32 PM
To add to Fran's reply, I would say use spin only when needed. No sense making a shot harder than it has to be. I have learned that if you can run the table using mostly plain ball you will feel like you have more control. When a situation arises needing spin l try to use just enough to get to the next shot. I have a tendency to over run with top spin so I work on staying near the center.

Whenever my game starts to get hinky I like to watch a good video pro match... their easy cue control always reminds me how to get back on track.
Brad