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CTE Shot Circle

Posted 04-12-2009 at 08:46 PM by JB Cases

Originally Posted by SpiderWebComm View Post
First of all, let me begin by saying Happy Easter to everyone.

This thread isn't meant to stir controversy (I PROMISE), rather maybe fill in some knowledge gaps with CTE. While at the Super Billiard Expo as well as more recently at some local events, people have been coming up to me asking about how CTE works, etc. Many report that some shots they make, some shots they don't --- and others they miss completely.

In past threads, I've mentioned that the secret is in the pivot and that you can't make every shot with the exact same pivot. As a matter of fact, I think the word "pivot" is probably a misnomer when describing anything having to do with CTE since the cue never truly "pivots" from where the wood touches your skin (as if there were a pin driven through the shaft into the table). I knew this was a bad term the moment I met Mike Page in person in Towson, MD a while back.

Before I begin, a few disclaimers:

- You should never sight directly down the CTEL (center to edge line). Your head should always be on one side or the other. I like pretending the CTEL is a vertical plane - my body leans against it, one side or the other.

- The bridge position is not really correct in the diagram... it's never on the CTEL. I did it this way just for simplicity in making the diagram. My only intent is to show how the shot circle works - not the other details of CTE.

- I'm not going to argue CTE with aiming police, respectfully. This post is for those who are using this stuff successfully but can't explain why, or those who are not - but want to.

- I'll only contribute if the tone is friendly and non-condescending, and the topic deals with pivoting. My reason for this is maybe if one topic is discussed at a time, the information won't become diluted and lost in a feeding frenzy.

Consider the following:

What you see here applies to any shot until the distance between the OB and CB is less than the bridge length. I always shorten my bridge to a distance shorter than that between the CB and OB when this happens. Technically, a "pivot" isn't required at all - that's another story... you can step into the top of the shot circle from one side of the CTEL.

If you were to rotate the cue in the bridge as a true pivot (once again, pretend a nail is driven through the point where the cue touches the skin and into the slate), the cue would turn around the bridge circle radius. This is why people miss shots completely. You would technically only turn the cue like this on a short shot.

For the "mechanical pivoters" out there, you always place your bridge first. Once you're set in your bridge, the cue is turned along the shot circle arc, in relation to the OB - not "rotated/pivoted" from the bridge (bridge circle arc).

This is just a helpful way to describe what is really happening. This is not a functional way of playing....i.e. no one has to "see" a circle on the table in order to make any shot. This is really a "classroom" style of learning how to pivot (um, turn your cue).

OK - practical application when at the table: You should see the OB as a two-dimensional object on a vertical plane (think of the OB as a sticker on a window when down on your shot). Imagine your cue extending to the window and scrape your tip along it until you hit center ball. That's what I do. I only "see a shot circle" on very close shots - within, say, a foot or so.

Notice the longer the shot is, the bigger the circle--- the flatter the arc (think of the Earth - when you look at the horizon, it's nearly flat). The shorter the shot, the smaller the circle--- the curvier the arc (think of a basketball).

I think the reason why so many people say this is a visual system is because they "pivot to the OB" and make the shot and don't know why.

In conclusion, the "correct" center of the CB is determined by the position of the OB, always.... not by the bridge position/bridge length.


I know this is a controversial subject because of some heated threads in the past... some of which I was contributing to the heat. I honestly didn't feel it was my place to post details, so I didn't. As time goes on and I see more and more players using the info or trying to based on the little tidbits they get, I feel more open to sharing freely.

There are some foreign players who share information freely while Americans rice-bowl and in-fight. If things are friendly, open, inquisitive, and brotherly - I'd like to help. If not, I'll just quit posting because I don't want to fight on here anymore... because it's not worth it to me. This is really for cte people or those interested - not a pro/against cte thread.
Just wanted to save this post for future reference, thanks for posting it Dave.
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