View Full Version : Break question

11-05-2003, 06:35 PM
I've seen quite a few still photo's of break shots and saw it at the US Open where the the first aprox. 12" of the cue is flat on the table after cue ball impact. How is it the cloth doesn't get damaged? Also, does this occur from extreme follow through? What's the scoop here. My break is "OK" but I must be missing something because I'm pretty sure my cue stroke doesn't end in that manner. Or is this something I should worry about after I learn to string together a 3 ball run? Thanks for any assistance.

11-06-2003, 07:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hhsaloon:</font><hr> I've seen quite a few still photo's of break shots and saw it at the US Open where the the first aprox. 12" of the cue is flat on the table after cue ball impact. How is it the cloth doesn't get damaged? .....
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It just doesn't.

My tip ends up on the cloth frequently on even on normal shots. If you are stroking properly this is not unusual. It doesn't harm the cloth.

But then what the heck do I know. I can't run 3 friggin' balls.

11-06-2003, 09:52 AM
several GREAT Players end their Break Shot process that way. But, lots of GREAT Players end up with their Cue, off the Table. All Players try to maintain some ANCHOR POINT, in their delivery, some keep it on the Pool Table throughout the process &amp; some release their ANCHOR Point after contact with the Cue Ball has been made.

Bustamante has a devastating Break Shot, like you've described, but he also has a semi-soft break that was displayed in his latest John Horsfall match on ESPN. Control is the "key issue" here.

The key to the Break Shot is two-fold. #1 is to hit the Lead Ball, as Square as possible, to disperse the rack of balls &amp; pocket one. #2 is to control that Cue Ball.

Several Champions are great at doing both, Allison Fisher, Mika Immonen, Jeanette Lee, Ralf Souquet &amp; on &amp; on &amp; on...

There are others that "DO NOT control" their cue ball on the snap &amp; it's their shooting skills that allow them to compete.

Control of the Cue Ball, on any shot, is "the preference".

Icon of Sin
11-06-2003, 10:53 AM
When I play draw, I use closed bridge and the stick also flexs arcoss the table when shooting.

11-06-2003, 11:40 AM
Hitting (a little) down and through the cue ball puts the cue ball up in the air - it's literally launched into the one ball. It's kind of like a jump shot, but, at a slight angle.

What you're seeing is highly exaggerated because this slightly downward angle is amplified by extreme follow through. The players momentum is carrying their whole body through the shot. The pros are really good at this - they can land the cue ball right in the front of the one ball most of the time. This gives them better cue ball control.

The tip doesn't rip the cloth because it's skimming over the cloth a very slight angle.

I've found what rips the cloth is hitting masse shots with follow through.


11-06-2003, 11:49 AM
I would like to add that for sure it's for advanced players who practice the break for hours on end, otherwise you might take out one of your neighbors.


11-06-2003, 12:24 PM

A masse' shot can get the job done if the angle is too shallow. I put a small 1" rip in new cloth when I was about 16, the only time in my life. That was a good lesson, dumb ass kid! LOL The owner kicked me out! I said I was sorry and come back after a day or two and said it 20 more times. No more screwing around from then on. A couple of years later another room owner let me practice them on any table that was going to be recovered. It pays to know what your doing and you won't tear the cloth. However it is definately is not something to promote.


Scott Lee
11-07-2003, 09:41 AM
I agree with Rod and Chris about masse shots. In my shows, I show very little masse, and NO extreme masse shots. My reasoning, is that if my audience sees me do it, they will be trying it themselves soon after...with the high potential for damage to both cues and cloth! I do teach a partial, or what I call a 'practical, or half-masse, because I believe it to be a very functional shot, and easy to perform (under the right conditions, and for the right reasons), with NO detrimental effect on the cloth, or to your cue.

BTW, in 30+ years of playing, I have NEVER ripped or torn a cloth bed on a pool table. However, if you practice masse shots, you will notice significant permanent indentations in the cloth. This happens to even the most highly skilled masse shooters.

As far as the break goes, everyone who knows me, knows that I recommend backing off on break speed, in favor of better accuracy in contacting both the CB and head ball of the rack, better action, and better CB control. I don't personally believe that the "flexed cue" is necessary to produce a superior, consistent break shot...and I certainly don't believe that extra body movement (i.e.: throwing your body into the break ala Bustamante, Sigel, etc.) is either necessary, or particularly advantageous for the average skilled player (and a distinct disadvantage to the learning player)! Yes, as was mentioned, some of the pros are very adept at this type of break. But for the masses, this is just a receipe for less accuracy, less control, and more emotional frustration. I use a radar gun to help students better understand the mechanics of the break. Power without accuracy is less effective, imo. I liked the way ceebee described it...very concise and accurate!

Scott Lee