View Full Version : Sigel defends his position on throw
09-23-2002, 05:04 PM
In this month's BD, Mike Sigel defends his earlier position that english on the cueball will not change the path of an object ball. Hmmm, It makes me wonder, but I'm still not quite sure. Oh well, as long as I know what to expect when I shoot, who cares? I'm better off spending more time shooting and less time analizing. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
I can believe that if the balls are freshly cleaned and slick. I still think "gummy" balls on a humid day/night the english is going to throw the ball off the non-english tangent line.
09-23-2002, 07:14 PM
The shots that come to mind for me are the ones where the cueball and the object ball are nearly touching. (not quite) You can't get enough angle on the ball to pocket it where you want, so you put it in with side english. Now just how much masse can I get in an eigth inch? Like I said though, knowing why is not as important as knowing what to expect. I can't argue the fact, because I can't say with complete certainty what goes on, but in the larger scope of things, I guess it's not really important that I do know what's happening.
09-23-2002, 11:39 PM
This should be a warning to all players. Just because a guy has been world champion, doesn't mean he "knows it all"!
09-24-2002, 09:04 AM
I haven't seen the article, but if his position is as pure and simple as you have stated, he is wrong. If the cueball has sidespin, and the contact is not frictionless, then the object ball must be thrown slightly off the perpendicular line to the contact point.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> In this month's BD, Mike Sigel defends his earlier position that english on the cueball will not change the path of an object ball. Hmmm, It makes me wonder, but I'm still not quite sure. Oh well, as long as I know what to expect when I shoot, who cares? I'm better off spending more time shooting and less time analizing. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif <hr></blockquote>
This is just a thought, since I haven't read the article, but... maybe, he means that once the CB and the OB collide and the initial path is achieved that the OB will not bend but stay on that original path. Or then again, maybe he just doesn't know what he's talking about.
09-24-2002, 10:36 AM
The way I read the article, he is saying that throw doesn't exist. The altered path of the object ball from where it was aimed is due only to masse. I'm not real sure that I buy that, but I could be wrong. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
09-24-2002, 11:26 AM
I don't play that well and I don't use english much, but I know that sometimes when the cue ball can't hit the normal contact point on the OB because another ball is blocking it, but there is room to hit close, I have been able to make the shot using english to throw it in. I surprise myself with how much the OB moves off the line I would expect it to take if there was no english. I am mystified as to how Sigel could dispute this.
This throw effect is precisely why I don't like to shoot with english. I don't want to get into having to make corrections to allow for it. When I am become more proficient and consistant with my stroke and pocketing ability without english, I plan on bringing english into my game. I'm afraid if I use it now on any shot that I'm not dead certain of making without english and miss, I won't be sure if it was because my aim was off or the ball got thrown.
Mike had already stated the two exceptions to his 'no throw' position, in the original BD article first discussed a month or so when it came out.
Those two exceptions, he claims: when the cue ball is touching, or almost touching, the object ball. So the instance you cite, he'd agree that throw is possible.
Now, maybe Mike is used to playing under excellent conditions, with very clean balls. As the distance of the cue ball increases from the object ball, obviously the spin you put on the cue ball comes off over distance by friction with the cloth. So, at distance, with the spin you induce on the cue ball lessening, and a very low frictional coefficient between very clean balls, maybe the throw effect is so minimal as to be negligible for practical purposes.
Playing under the conditions I play under, balls are not so clean, will grab more to induce the gear effect of throw, and I consider that effect signficant enough to play it as necessary.
09-24-2002, 03:33 PM
Thanks for pointing out my oversight. As you say, if it has effect while touching and very short distances, it seems logical to believe the effect still exists, even if to a lesser degree, at longer distances.
I wanted to tell you how much I like your animated figure. Very creative. I always look forward to seeing him.
Though I'm replying directly to you, this is for everyone who responded. It's long, but I feel it's worthwhile. I guess that goes without saying or I wouldn't post it.
I couldn't believe Mike Sigel would say something like this, so I found the August issue and read it. Sure enough, this is what he said all right. I've learned a great many things from Mike's column over the years, but this isn't one of them. I thought he had contradicted himself in an October 1989 article on banks, an article that improved my banking 1000 percent; I kid you not. I could have sworn he used the expression "throwing the ball toward the pocket," but I went back and re-read it; he didn't. I must have read that somewhere else. Well, at least Mike is consistent. Ironically, in the same issue is an article by Robert Byrne titled "When to Cut and When to Throw." You can't say BD doesn't publish differing opinions. The problem is that physics is not a matter of opinion, not at this level.
Common sense, let alone physics, tells you that friction is going to affect cueball / object ball collisions. Just look what collision induced english does to a bank shot, whether the angle is outside the ball or crossing it. If you have any friction at all, you are going to have what is referred to as throw; it's just a question of how much and what type of friction.
In physics there are two types of friction: static and dynamic or moving, with the former being greater than the latter. If you ever had to do one of those experiments in high school with blocks and inclined planes you'll know what I mean. To get the block started down the plane you had to apply more force than when it was already in motion. The same goes for billiard balls.
Obviously, if the cueball and object ball are frozen you are dealing with static friction, so the throw is greater. Though I like Bob Byrne's videos very much and greatly respect the man, his demonstration of throw for two balls frozen together on the rail is a wee bit misleading because static friction is involved. Remove one object ball, hitting the remaining ball and cushion simultaneously with the cue ball, and the object ball won't be thrown off nearly as much because this is moving friction. Moving friction is negligible for polished balls unless you're driving the shot down the length of the long rail, a very difficult and unlikely shot. Jack Koehler's book, "The Science of Pocket Billiards," dedicates an entire chapter to rail shots; it is certainly worth a look.
I can tell you from my own experience shooting spot shots, one of my favorite practice routines, is that different points on the object ball are hit depending on the english I use. It's not a great difference, but it is a difference. Outside english, as it roles across the face of the object ball, throws less and makes the shot easier, at least for me. Inside english, sliding across the object ball's face, makes the shot more difficult because of the increased throw. I think it's one of the reasons inside english is harder to master.
I want to leave you with an old hustler's trick I read about somewhere. It involves polishing the solids and only the solids in a game of 8-Ball. If you're the only one who knows they're polished, you have a definite advantage. Now, if throw doesn't exist, why bother?
it is a non-issue issue. what works,,,,works for whomever.
and it can easily be demonstrated to be true or false.
09-27-2002, 08:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> In this month's BD, Mike Sigel defends his earlier position that english on the cueball will not change the path of an object ball. Hmmm, It makes me wonder, but I'm still not quite sure. <hr></blockquote>
I'll go with Sigel. Not from a Physics point of view (because he's wrong) but from an application point of view. My biggest gripe about "throw" is that most people, even a lot of advanced instructors, don't realize how unimportant throw is when compared to squirt and swerve.
I also agree with Sigel that what the majority of people think they see as "throw" is actually a result of swerve and not throw. I think this is important from a position and an excuse point of view.
09-27-2002, 09:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: fightingbob:</font><hr> Outside english, as it roles across the face of the object ball, throws less and makes the shot easier, at least for me. Inside english, sliding across the object ball's face, makes the shot more difficult because of the increased throw. I think it's one of the reasons inside english is harder to master.<hr></blockquote>
There are a lot of reasons that make inside english tougher. IMO, throw due to spin is one of the least likely candidates. Humor me and try straight in shots with a lot of english. Neither english should be inside or outside. When you miss (or make) the shot, report where the cueball goes. Can you reconcile the motion of the cueball with your view on throw? When I shoot them, if the OB ball goes in, the CB is sitting and spinning. If the OB ball misses, the CB bounds away. That tells me that making or missing didn't have much to do with throw, but more to do with altered contact point.
Fred <~~~ throw = red herring
Well, if you accept that there IS an effect, and the hypothesis is that it's caused by a masse effect where the CB path curves, then you can compare your observations about throw with what you know about curving the CB path.
The masse effect is small when you hit with max english but no draw. On the other hand, it's pretty easy to show that the throw effect is more or less at its maximum.
The masse effect and throw effect just don't correlate.
But more than that, you can use throw to narrow the angle of departure of the CB. If the throw effect was due to the CB path curving before impact, the CB angle would widen.
09-27-2002, 06:02 PM
"My biggest gripe about "throw" is that most people, even a lot of advanced instructors, don't realize how unimportant throw is when compared to squirt and swerve."
True, and I've said the same in the past (and was thought to be a bit nuts - hmmm, well maybe I am!).
However, there is a caveat that should be mentioned. As far as I'm concerned, throw is of minor consequence as long as the balls are CLEAN and NEW. (highly polished and without dirt).
Recently I have had my eyes opened on my local Snooker table by the amount of throw that the old pitted balls produce. I'd estimate that they can throw over 5 degrees on many shots! Over 10 feet this is huge!
Switching to a brand new shiny cueball, and a new red-ball showed the dramatic difference. The throw angle was reduced to about 1 degree.
Now some might sugest that this backs up Sigel's other position that one should strive to use a small amount of outside english to eliminate throw. But a few longish shots on a snooker table would soon put the brakes on that idea!
-going to start to account for throw in my initial aim with the old balls....
09-27-2002, 06:05 PM
"There are a lot of reasons that make inside english tougher. IMO, throw due to spin is one of the least likely candidates."
I'd agree. In fact, the use of inside english rarely adds additional throw to that that would be expected anyway from a centerball hit.
I think the main reason that inside english is more difficult to use for many players is that they use it far less frequently. So it is unfamiliar.
I now find enside english to be essentially the same for me as outside.
But at one time it was certainly more difficult.
Familiarity makes all the difference.
09-27-2002, 09:53 PM
If throw doesn't exist then I guess the one can't be made in this little set-up........can it? The balls are set just enough to allow the cueball to pass with no curve.
I understand your logic, but I tried the shot and got different results. If the cue ball spun in place for me, it's because the object ball was cut one way or the other ever so slightly. When hit directly on, the object ball was thrown and the cue ball moved off slightly in the opposite direction according to Newton's second law of motion that says for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.
An extreme example of this is to shoot the same shot you suggest but apply low right or left to the cueball with a cue elevated 15 degrees. You'll throw the object ball slightly, but the cueball will come back at a far wider angle than you expected due to a very actively spinning cueball and the "kick" it gets off the object ball due to friction. Again, Newton's second law. Don't believe me? See it in action on Grady Mathews' Accu-stats straight pool instructional, "Break Shots and Key Balls" at around the 22 minute mark.
Now, as far as English-induced throw is concerned, I don't think Jack Koehler would have dedicated six pages to it in "The Science of Pocket Billiards" if it were a red herring. His tests under controlled conditions show that "inside english has no effect on cut shots over 45 degrees." However, on shots under 45 degrees with "average clean balls," not polished ones, an inverse relation exists between inside english-induced throw and collision-induced throw (page 75, fig. 6-15, top). In other words, as the former decreases with angle, the latter increases. In my opinion, it's this inverse relationship that makes inside english more difficult than the straightforward, linear relationship of outside english to cut angle (page 75, fig. 6-15, bottom).
09-28-2002, 07:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Dafatman:</font><hr> If throw doesn't exist then I guess the one can't be made in this little set-up........can it? The balls are set just enough to allow the cueball to pass with no curve.
Very good! Although you display it in a way that I wouldn't have thought of, it is consistant with my own experience. I know that I have shot throw shots where the cueball didn't swerve. I aim to just miss the interferring ball, and shoot firm enough to insure that the cueball will not swerve. I've pocketed many balls that I couldn't otherwise make. If the cueball swerves, then I'll hit the interferring ball. That's proof enough for me.
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