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View Full Version : Half ball aim for 2nd ball break?



phil in sofla
04-11-2002, 09:59 PM
I've used the second ball break for 8-ball for quite a while now, stroking it from a couple inches off the side rail with low inside English to avoid the scratch and rebreak the rack from the side. I'd recently been having problems with scratching, either directly into the foot corner pocket on that side, or cross corner to the other side.

The past week I've been concentrating on aiming the center of the cue ball to the edge of the second ball, on a half ball aimline. I'm likely hitting a little wide of that line (a little thinner on the ball than the aimline) because of the deflection from the inside English on a power stroke.

Still, this has resulted in a major improvement in results, I've found. Very nice spread, usually pocket a couple, and now the cue ball doesn't dive below the rack area, but stays forward of it, for a better chance at more balls afterward (closer to center table position). Before, if I didn't have something in the foot corner pockets to shoot at, I was generally looking at only longer shots back up table.

I'm going to work on fine-tuning this a little further, aiming a little inside the edge of the 2nd ball, to maybe get closer to an actual hit on that line (compensating for the squirt).

Whenever where to hit the 2nd ball is discussed, I've always read 'hit it as full as possible,' but no one ever mentioned the half ball aimline. Anyone use this reference point for this shot, or if not, if you break this way, are you aiming thinner or thicker than this?

JohnnyP
04-11-2002, 10:29 PM
Phil: On bar tables, I used to break so that the cue ball hits the second ball pretty full, with inside, so that it comes two rails and smashes into the back of the rack.

I made the eight on the break three times in a row one night that way. Once the first three balls are out of the way, the eight has a chance to go in the side or up table, in the corner.
Don't know if it applies on a big table, and I don't shoot that well anymore, so I haven't come close.

Fred Agnir
04-12-2002, 07:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> Whenever where to hit the 2nd ball is discussed, I've always read 'hit it as full as possible,' but no one ever mentioned the half ball aimline. Anyone use this reference point for this shot, or if not, if you break this way, are you aiming thinner or thicker than this?
<hr></blockquote>

I'm sure people have said this before. Anyway, this is what I do (aim at half-ball), specifically because if you simply try to hit it as full as possible, you're bound to clip the head ball and it's off to the sewer.

I would suggest to bag the inside english on the break and see what kind of results you get. You may want to bag draw as well. I think center ball doubles the corner with no draw.

Fred &lt;~~~ aims for draw, but probably doesn't hit it low

phil in sofla
04-12-2002, 02:02 PM
What I was doing before discovering the specific half-ball aimline usually was good to move the 8 toward the side pocket, and frequently, to make it. About 3 weeks ago, using my previous technique, I made the 8 twice in a row on the break, unusually for me, coming back up table to go in the corner from where I was breaking.

phil in sofla
04-12-2002, 02:07 PM
Fred, thanks for those suggestions, I'll give them a try. I don't play 8-ball that much outside of league matches, but when I practice, I often play myself rotation, but practice my 8-ball break then on the full rack. So, in a given night of that, I may get a dozen or more breaks, plenty of opportunities to experiment various techniques.

Aiming too full was the cause of my more recent scratch problems, glancing off the head ball, just as you said. As to no draw, I've heard the 3rd ball break doesn't need any draw to be safe from scratching, but all the authorities I've read always call for draw when hitting the 2nd ball, with the variation in recommendations being between using inside, outside, or simply center ball draw. Mizerak recommends outside draw, for example. I've tried that, and liked how inside draw spread the rack better than outside draw.

04-12-2002, 03:16 PM

Tom_In_Cincy
04-12-2002, 04:08 PM
In addition to the excellent suggestions by Fred Agnir, you might want to try varing the speed of the hit..

With the inside (lower left) you might be deflecting the cue ball to hit the 2nd ball off center to the right and causing the scratches..

Just a thought..

phil in sofla
04-12-2002, 04:09 PM
As I mentioned to Fred on the thread, Mizerak's books suggest low outside for that break.