From the horse's mouth;
I agree with everything written below. I also admit, I couldn't have done a better job than Tony did writting this position paper
Position Paper â€“ Jump Cues. By Tony Annigoni
In light of our recent change in policy discontinuing use of Jump Cues, I would like to elaborate on some of the reasons behind this decision:
First and foremost, despite assurances to the contrary by manufacturers, the proliferation of jump cues not only alters the tradition behind the game, but also without question affects the cloth and the overall playing condition of the table.
Despite numerous attempts by self-proclaimed billiard experts to use golf as a comparison, golf is simply not an appropriate analogy. The playing surface in golf is not one that consists of a flat or regular substance throughout.
Having lived part time for 5 years in Monterey one of the most spectacular and historic golf Meccaâ€™s of our time, I have had the opportunity to discuss this with numerous golf industry experts. It is a matter of fact that golf courses that have spectacular changes in elevation, surface, length of rough etc. are well prized for their difficulty as well as their drama and beauty. Currently the golf industry in general is struggling with improvements in technology that allow the average player to hit balls as straight and distant as Tiger Woods who regularly spends numerous hours correcting and perfecting mechanics tendencies in order to preserve the history and integrity of the golf record books as well as the mystery and right of passage required to attain his skill level.
I find it surprising that prominent members of the billiard inteligencia, might not consider snooker as a corroborating reference. They certainly have simplified the matter by outlawing jump shots and masse's. While swerve is allowed, any shot that could possibly result in a foul stroke is regulated against, including being allowed a free shot away from a frozen ball. It is not surprising to me that snooker is frequently played in front of large crowds for 1st place money as large as 300,000 pounds, while billiards and pool languish in obscurity. The great games as we knew them are currently reduced to sideshows such as trick shot competitions and glorified titâ€™s and ass reviews. The perhaps unintended result is the great players of our age being forced to travel the countryside, like aging gunslingers or displaced samurai known in feudal Japan as Ronin
I will certainly give the industry credit for lack of business sense in this case for supporting continued rules aberrations that relieve players from the need to develop skills one might acquire playing three cushion, carom, and snooker thus further reducing the need to continue to support these games financially. Fortunately, the rise of the playing contingents from billiard playing countries emerging on the pocket billiard scene may stem the tide as their skill in safety and escape from same, given todayâ€™s rules, increase their opportunity to dominate most fields.
Personally, I suppose it might have been the path of least resistance to simply have pursued snooker some 35 years ago. But that was then and this is now. Fortunately, the USPPA and Tony Annigoni are not beholden to any billiard industry entity other than our own, and will not be influenced by patrimony now or in the future.
My challenge to debate all sanctimonious self proclaimed billiard experts remains open. Perhaps the BCA Trade Show would be the proper forum. Heaven forbid anyone would have to justify their position in public rather than hidden behind the cloak of a computer screen a la The Wizard of Oz........Of course we could always have the manufacturers start making a table that isn't a 2 to 1 playing surface ratio, or one with sand as part of the composition so we could employ real pitching wedges as opposed to the surrogates in use now. I am sure that would go along well with the recent trend toward selling tables in home sauna outlets.
Thank the universe that Billiard Digest is not the only " journalistic outlet" and I use the term loosely, not as loosely as the BCA specs for tables however............
When conditions exist that would have Ewa Mataya enter the Hall of Fame prior to Jose Parica, perhaps the greatest cueist of this or any age, the voice of reason must be heard. While no one would doubt the numerous contributions Ewa has made to the Industry, the differential in playing skill must be taken into account. If any thing, the Hall of Fame should not in my opinion be a popularity contest.
But don't fret, I won't pick on the current billiard fraternity anymore, I am too busy making sure that everyone has a good reason to play billiards instead of just talking about it.
In Closing, I would like to hazard that I highly doubt we would be enjoying the artistry of Efren Reyes kicking a ball three rails, clipping the edge of the object ball and re-snookering his opponent, had some patrimonious billiard manufacturer handed him a novelty cue at age 11, instead of walking him to a carom table to hone his skills
Managing Partner USPPA
Principal Two Cushion Club
Principal Couture Events / Couture Marketing