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View Full Version : Skidding or rolling ball better off rail?



phil in sofla
10-28-2002, 11:41 AM
Under the influence of several Grady Matthews' tapes, I bank and kick using a technique that has the ball going to the rail naturally rolling. That is, for banks, I mainly use bottom outside English to induce a bit of running English on the object ball, to get a more true line off the rail. For kicks, I've learned various Matthews' systems which use either running English on the cue ball, or sometimes just left or right without any top. Working with the speed of the shots and the amount of English required, I've gotten pretty accurate with these shots, including banking or back cut banking balls on the rail (where things like the center ball-hit required x-system of banking fails).

A lot of players I see seem to use a center ball hit, fairly hard, which would make the ball skid as it is hitting the rail, shortening up the line off the rail and requiring a different aim line from the one I typically use (unless I'm using a hard stroke to shorten up a line that would otherwise be too long).

I'm debating whether to try to learn the no spin, skidding track lines, or whether that is unnecessary, and maybe counterproductive to what I'm using.

Which do you use yourself, especially on one rail kicks, which is the only case in which I use center ball, but at a speed at which the ball has acquired natural roll by the time it gets to the rail?

stickman
10-28-2002, 12:10 PM
Phil, if what you're doing works, don't try to fix it! Just continue to practice and perfect it. There is no system to my banking technique, just feel developed from lots of practice. It works for me. I shoot english on nearly all banks to a varying degree. I shoot draw or follow based on feel also, or depending on my desired shape. If the shot lines up dead on and in the perfect line, then I shoot no english, but this shot doesn't come up often. On kicks, I use the X system with no english mostly. I use english when the occassion calls for it. I prefer the ball rolling when it hits the rail.

10-28-2002, 12:17 PM
Phil, this is a great post, but may be far to pool-related for this forum. Since it has nothing to do with anonymous posters, bluewolf's latest problems, or rackmup's latest diatribe, you may not see much of a response.

As for me, I just use the Pool Player's Prayer:

God, grant me the Courage to shoot center-ball on most shots,
Confidence to use English when needed,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Good luck,
RHB

rackmup
10-28-2002, 12:27 PM
Post deleted by rackmup

10-28-2002, 12:33 PM
Point taken kind sir. I extend my humble and heartfelt apology to all tribe-minded persons everywhere.

Anonymous_1, a.k.a. Anon 541

Wally_in_Cincy
10-28-2002, 01:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> .....on one rail kicks, which is the only case in which I use center ball, but at a speed at which the ball has acquired natural roll by the time it gets to the rail...
<hr></blockquote>

I've always used a bit of follow on one rail kicks, especially when shooting on bar tables where you need some speed to keep the cb from rolling off-line. It seems to give the same effect as what you describe above. Any thoughts or suggestions?

10-28-2002, 01:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> Under the influence of several Grady Matthews' tapes, I bank and kick using a technique that has the ball going to the rail naturally rolling. That is, for banks, I mainly use bottom outside English to induce a bit of running English on the object ball, to get a more true line off the rail. For kicks, I've learned various Matthews' systems which use either running English on the cue ball, or sometimes just left or right without any top. Working with the speed of the shots and the amount of English required, I've gotten pretty accurate with these shots, including banking or back cut banking balls on the rail (where things like the center ball-hit required x-system of banking fails).

A lot of players I see seem to use a center ball hit, fairly hard, which would make the ball skid as it is hitting the rail, shortening up the line off the rail and requiring a different aim line from the one I typically use (unless I'm using a hard stroke to shorten up a line that would otherwise be too long).

I'm debating whether to try to learn the no spin, skidding track lines, or whether that is unnecessary, and maybe counterproductive to what I'm using.

Which do you use yourself, especially on one rail kicks, which is the only case in which I use center ball, but at a speed at which the ball has acquired natural roll by the time it gets to the rail?
<hr></blockquote>

I guess it depends on where you want the cueball after you bank. Usually you are looking for a stop shot or just to drift the cueball a little bit. If the bank is off-angle, obviously you hit it hard to shorten the angle, or softer to widen it, and use english to shorten or widen it even more.

I usually use the method you describe.. a little "running" english to make the ball go the way it naturally should go.. i.e. right english to bank towards the left and vice versa. People who slam balls in I think usually do it because A) It's what they've always done with bank shots, and don't know how to "finesse" them in, B) They need to get around the table for position, or C) they're trying to prevent a double-kiss.


Anyways, a skidding ball I think is harder to predict when it comes off the rail.

10-28-2002, 01:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: phil in sofla:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; .....on one rail kicks, which is the only case in which I use center ball, but at a speed at which the ball has acquired natural roll by the time it gets to the rail...
&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

I've always used a bit of follow on one rail kicks, especially when shooting on bar tables where you need some speed to keep the cb from rolling off-line. It seems to give the same effect as what you describe above. Any thoughts or suggestions? <hr></blockquote>

Using follow will make the ball skid, since it puts a little backspin on the object ball from the cueball. I think it's harder to predict using follow on a bank shot, but it's a good thing to learn to play position with. Draw on a bank shot isn't that much fun either.. but with follow, the object ball will sometimes spread out too much.

Wally_in_Cincy
10-28-2002, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Seattle-kid:</font><hr> Using follow will make the ball skid, since it puts a little backspin on the object ball from the cueball. I think it's harder to predict using follow on a bank shot, but it's a good thing to learn to play position with. Draw on a bank shot isn't that much fun either.. but with follow, the object ball will sometimes spread out too much. <hr></blockquote>

I was talkin' 'bout kicks not banks /ccboard/images/icons/tongue.gif

phil in sofla
10-28-2002, 02:05 PM
A 'little top' may not leave any overspin on the ball, just instead get it naturally rolling when it hits the rail, which is about the way I'm trying to get balls off the rail with the methods I've described.

If it really had top spin/overspin as of when it hit the rail, then the angle off the rail would run long off that line.

I'm assuming the first case is what you're describing.

Besides the question in general, I'm specifically trying to figure out the best way to hit one-rail kicks, because although the rest of my kicking game is working well, that gives me more problems. I know the line, but too often end up coming in short or long of the ball I'm kicking to, and I should be able to at least hit it almost all of the time. (Of course, I could try to come in short so as to get two whacks at it, either incoming or coming off the rail, but often I AM trying to hit the outside (long side) of the ball so as to separate the cb/ob with distance.)

The weird thing is that I'm better at lengthwise one rail kicks than cross table one rail kicks. Well, having identified an area I need work on, perhaps it's time to spend the practice sessions getting this down better. You think, LOL?!??!

Fred Agnir
10-28-2002, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr>

Which do you use yourself, especially on one rail kicks, <hr></blockquote>
I stun the cueball with a hint of natural.

Fred

stickman
10-28-2002, 02:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> Working with the speed of the shots and the amount of English required, I've gotten pretty accurate with these shots, including banking or back cut banking balls on the rail (where things like the center ball-hit required x-system of banking fails). <hr></blockquote>



<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> The weird thing is that I'm better at lengthwise one rail kicks than cross table one rail kicks. Well, having identified an area I need work on, perhaps it's time to spend the practice sessions getting this down better. You think, LOL?!??! <hr></blockquote>

Sorry phil, I first thought you were saying that you weren't having problems, just thinking of trying something else. Making the long kicks and not the short ones is strange. I used to spend a great part of my practice time shooting two shots. (long rails &amp; crossbanks) I was deadly when I practiced them regularly. I need to get back to practicing them. I still shoot them reasonably well, but could use a recharge. I'm sure it will do the same for your kicks.

Wally_in_Cincy
10-28-2002, 02:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> A 'little top' may not leave any overspin on the ball, just instead get it naturally rolling when it hits the rail, which is about the way I'm trying to get balls off the rail with the methods I've described.

If it really had top spin/overspin as of when it hit the rail, then the angle off the rail would run long off that line.

I'm assuming the first case is what you're describing.

<hr></blockquote>

Your assumption is correct. Thanks for the response.

10-28-2002, 03:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Seattle-kid:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; Using follow will make the ball skid, since it puts a little backspin on the object ball from the cueball. I think it's harder to predict using follow on a bank shot, but it's a good thing to learn to play position with. Draw on a bank shot isn't that much fun either.. but with follow, the object ball will sometimes spread out too much. &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

I was talkin' 'bout kicks not banks /ccboard/images/icons/tongue.gif <hr></blockquote>

Oh yea, crap.. sorry. Long night last night.. /ccboard/images/icons/blush.gif

Ross
10-28-2002, 04:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> A 'little top' may not leave any overspin on the ball, just instead get it naturally rolling when it hits the rail, which is about the way I'm trying to get balls off the rail with the methods I've described.

If it really had top spin/overspin as of when it hit the rail, then the angle off the rail would run long off that line.

I'm assuming the first case is what you're describing.

Besides the question in general, I'm specifically trying to figure out the best way to hit one-rail kicks, because although the rest of my kicking game is working well, that gives me more problems. I know the line, but too often end up coming in short or long of the ball I'm kicking to, and I should be able to at least hit it almost all of the time. (Of course, I could try to come in short so as to get two whacks at it, either incoming or coming off the rail, but often I AM trying to hit the outside (long side) of the ball so as to separate the cb/ob with distance.)

The weird thing is that I'm better at lengthwise one rail kicks than cross table one rail kicks. Well, having identified an area I need work on, perhaps it's time to spend the practice sessions getting this down better. You think, LOL?!??! <hr></blockquote>

I was having the same problem you describe: good at most kicks including one rail length-wise and multiple rail but missing some one rail cross table kicks (or ORCTK's, as I like to call them) that I thought I should be hitting. For me, switching to a stun shot on these kicks has improved my hit percentages significantly. I also am pocketing the ball much more often.

The problem with having a rolling ball for this type of kick, especially if the angle is between 30 and 60 degrees or so, is that the follow causes the cb to curve away from a straight line rebound. Even worse, the amount of curve that must be factored in is dependent on the angle of incidence, the shot speed, and the distance of the ob from the rail. These are a lot of variables that can affect consistency.

On the other hand, a stun kick (cb hits rail with no forward or back spin) the cb will rebound off the rail in a straight line thus eliminating the need to adjust for amount of curve. In other words it simplifies things and with simplicity comes consistency.

By the way this is also true of banks. With hard hit banks the ob slides and therefore rebounds in a straight line. If you watch bank players, they hit most of their banks 100 mph to take advantage of this fact. For side pocket banks you also get the advantage that when you power bank you effectively widen the pocket. The angle of approach is greater (sharper angle) giving you a wider pocket mouth. Also the power will make the ball go in even when it catches some of the "point." And of course it give the chance for those lucky two, three, and four rail side pocket banks that get your opponents whine so much about!

phil in sofla
10-28-2002, 04:10 PM
Banking and multiple rail kicks, I'm happy with my results as they stand without any need to consider a 'flat ball' hit. Although I am thinking of figuring those out that way, if I can conceive some benefit. It's trying to figure out what the problem with my one rail kicks is that's bugging me. And, oddly, not the lengthwise kicks one rail, but the widthwise kicks. They seem like no-brainers, but they are the most trouble for me.

phil in sofla
10-28-2002, 04:22 PM
When using the diamonds, I normally aim through them. That works great for the paralleling tracklines I use for banking, and most of the kicking systems I use. (Exception: Fast Eddie's two-rail system calls for aiming to the nose of the short rail diamonds, to go a little longer).

Now, 'The Preacher' Don Feeney says, talking about one rail kicks, that with the ball perfectly rolling, the aimline is to the nose of the diamond (assuming that diamond is halfway). While I've tried this and it seems to work, at a medium speed, but it seems that it should go long by a 1/2 ball or more

TonyM
10-28-2002, 04:25 PM
"I stun the cueball with a hint of natural. "

I use a hint of rosemary myself.

Seriously, Fred, what if the ball must strike the cushion dead on? Wouldn't you want no spin on the cueball (for a kick) and object ball (for a bank)?

Or, are you talking about bank shots only?

Therefore, does the hint of natural (whatever that means!) refer to a tough of outside english on the cueball to eliminate throw on the object ball?

Aren't you the guy who insists that throw is overstated and largely irelevant?

Tony
-just stirring things up...

TonyM
10-28-2002, 04:34 PM
"Which do you use yourself, especially on one rail kicks, which is the only case in which I use center ball, but at a speed at which the ball has acquired natural roll by the time it gets to the rail? "

For kicks (do you get your kicks from kicks?), I like to have the cueball arrive at the rail sliding. So I hit it with the appropriate tip height and speed to achieve this. It's a skill that we all have for estimating a stop shot.

Natural roll can be used as well, but it does change the angle off the rail. Specifically, a cue ball with natural roll when it strike the cushion will leave the cushion with a wider angle than it arrived at.

I used to not pay that much attention to exactly where I was striking the cueball (that is, exactly how high or low) and this led to inconsistency.

As long as you attempt to do the same thing each time, it shouldn't matter how you do it. You will just have to learn to adjust your aim accordingly.

An argument could be made for always using natural roll, since there are situations (cueball frozen to the rail for example) when you cannot avoid having natural roll on the cueball at the moment it strikes the cushion.

But I prefer to use stun whenever possible, because it eliminates the curve off the rail from natural roll.

Tony
-no relation to Grady, but I do like his systems....

TonyM
10-28-2002, 04:37 PM
"If it really had top spin/overspin as of when it hit the rail, then the angle off the rail would run long off that line."

Actually, even natural roll will widen the angle off the rail.
To avoid any widening off the rail, the ball could be stunned (sliding at impact).

Even natural roll is "topspin" when compared to a no-spin situation.

Tony

10-28-2002, 10:09 PM
The harder you hit a bank, the less margin of error you have in the pocket. It has to go dead center into the middle of the pocket or it will jam. I know a lot of players who will hit more "iffy" or difficult banks softer to maximize their margin of error. That's not to say they don't occasionally bank firm, but I've noticed that's done more when they feel confident with the bank.

TonyM
10-29-2002, 12:44 AM
I aim through to the diamonds. But, this is for a stun shot.

What I suspect is happening with the "aim at the nose" approach, is that it is a way to compensate for the ball rebounding wider when it is rolling. So aiming at the nose of the cushion causes the ball to hit the cushion earlier then if it was aimed through to the diamond.

So it's a way to account for the curve caused by the rolling cue ball.

Or at least, this seems like a reasonable answer!

Tony
-what the hell do I know?.....

phil in sofla
10-29-2002, 01:35 AM
Maybe we're talking about different things, because for what I'm talking about, you've got it backwards.

By nose, I mean take the diamond point, project it straight out to the rail, and aim there. That would be aiming a little further down the rail than if you went straight through to the diamond as an aim point, and if anything, making the kick run long, as it would anyway, you'd think, just because it had natural forward roll off the rail (compared to a stun hit).

Thinking about it a little more, it IS all about where the cue ball actually hits the rail. The contact point isn't going to be at center ball down the aimline, but on the shoulder of the ball, which gets to the rail first, slightly short of that aimline. So, adjusting the aim point to the nose, a little longer, means that the cue ball is more nearly contacting the center point of the geometric line required to make the kick.

Now that I'm ok with why that could work, it only leaves your method to explain, LOL!!!. The firmer hit, the no roll would make your line come shorter, AND you're aiming shorter. Therefore, you cannot make that shot!

Ok, that won't work, since we know you do make the shot that way. (Unless you have an unconscious adjustment that puts a little running English on the ball you aren't aware of?) Well, no need to impugn your stroke that way, because hitting the kick has a margin of almost 4- 1/2 inches at the target. That's probably enough margin to let either method work.



.

Ross
10-29-2002, 12:03 PM
&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Anonymous:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; The harder you hit a bank, the less margin of error you have in the pocket. It has to go dead center into the middle of the pocket or it will jam. ... &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;
This is only true under certain circumstances. It depends on the angle of approach of the ball. If the ball is approaching the pocket at a marked angle (in relation to a line coming straight out from the back of the pocket and through the center of the pocket opening) then greater ball speed does decrease the effective pocket size. For example, when shooting into a corner pocket down the long rail, you have a greater margin of error if you use pocket speed.

But if the ball is approaching the pocket at a shallow angle then greater speed actually increases the effective pocket size, because the force of the ball will deform the pocket point out of the way if it is clipped a bit.

START(
%A\2Y5%B_0L7%QH7T7%RZ5H5%WE1Z9%X[2Y5%YL0R8%ZA3]6%[[5K1%\[2A5
%][3B8%^^9L1
)END

In this Wei diagram, lines A and B show the direction the pocket is facing. The 1-ball is approaching the corner pocket at a marked angle to the pocket opening and will more likely fall if shot at pocket speed. The 2-ball on the other hand is approaching at a shallow angle to the pocket opening. The margin of error for this shot will be greater if the ball is hit with a lot of power.

Most cross side banks are of this shallow angle variety and therefore benefit from a harder hit. In addition, the rail point that you need to hit for such banks is closer to the side pockets when you hit the ball hard. This makes the approach angle even shallower and further increases the effective pocket size.

I'm not sure what the angle-of-approach dividing line is for this switch to occur. I think Koehler may discuss it in one of his books. I would guess it would be around 25 degrees. If the angle of approach is less than this (typical of cross side banks), power that sucker. If the angle is larger, speed kills.

10-29-2002, 12:26 PM
I agree with your statement in theory and years ago that's how players would bank shots. However, today the conditions have changed. I think it's just shoddy work but the pocket facings aren't always flush. There are protruding ridges, and many table mechanics don't even care what hardness the facings are. These variables do make a big difference and as a result, top players today are banking softer than they did years ago. Just my observations.

Ross
10-29-2002, 03:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> I agree with your statement in theory and years ago that's how players would bank shots. However, today the conditions have changed. I think it's just shoddy work but the pocket facings aren't always flush. There are protruding ridges, and many table mechanics don't even care what hardness the facings are. These variables do make a big difference and as a result, top players today are banking softer than they did years ago. Just my observations. <hr></blockquote>

In terms of 9' tables, I believe that the average table construction has actually improved over the years. The GCIV is better than the III which is better than the II, ... And the number of high quality Diamond tables in pool halls continues to grow. But I don't think this is relevant to this issue. For any table, if the approach angle is shallow, the effective pocket size (or margin of error) will increase with ball speed. In fact there are some shots where the ob is at a angle to the side pocket and close to the side rail and you have to drive the ob through the point (I hate calling them that - what do the women think about this issue?) to make the shot. A soft shot cannot be made from this angle.

If you want to look at the actual practice of top bankers, don't look to 9-ballers. Bank pool players make their living making banks, and they shoot these shots much harder than you would expect. There is an amazing tape of "Piggy Banks" at the Derby City Classic put out by Accustats where he makes every bank he looks at. Most were shot at warp speed.