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Blackball75
03-13-2010, 12:26 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

donny mills
03-13-2010, 12:35 PM
This makes my top 5 list for one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

Blackball75
03-13-2010, 12:38 PM
Hey, don't shoot the messenger!

Hustler85
03-13-2010, 12:44 PM
Why not shoot the messenger?? He is just as guilty as this crazy idea posted from " an industry insider."

I rack balls
03-13-2010, 12:48 PM
Must of been an aspiring pro.

Andrew Manning
03-13-2010, 12:51 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

Minimize yes, but eradicate? Not even close to a possibility.

I guess the idea, for games like straight pool, 8-ball, and 9-ball, (nobody would claim this about 1pocket, I don't think) is that if you plan your patterns well enough, and always leave exactly the perfect angle on every ball, you should never really need side to get perfect on the next ball.

But it's a load of BS. There are a lot of layouts where, while there may be a perfect position you could get on a ball which would leave no need for side, the vastly higher-percentage thing to do is go for the less demanding position, and use some spin on the next shot. Further, even if that weren't the case, nobody gets perfect on every ball. Nobody comes even close on that goal. Watch the best players in the world play 9-ball, and you'll see they continuously get a tiny bit (or sometimes quite a bit) out of line and take minor (or sometimes major) corrective action on the next shot to try to get back in line.

The grain of truth is that the better your speed control and pattern conceptualization get, the less side you have to use, because you play for the right angle where a "plain ball" will get you a good angle on your next shot. So working on controlling the ball and leaving those angles such that you don't need as much english is a good thing for your game; it simplifies things and promotes consistency. Also, anyone who knows pool will tell you that if you do have an angle such that you don't need side, don't use it.

But striving to actually eliminate the use of side spin? Futile and counter-productive.

-Andrew

jdxprs
03-13-2010, 12:52 PM
why would you ever use english if you didnt need it? i don't think this is really anything new. moving around the table with slight angles is always easier than using english.

Fatboy
03-13-2010, 12:54 PM
Bank players well one one Bank player I know who uses very little english banks the balls better than anyone I have ever seen period.


Other than him I'm with Donny Mills(hey I spelled his name right!!!:smile:)

DogsPlayingPool
03-13-2010, 12:55 PM
That would be like a pitcher not using his curve ball.

TATE
03-13-2010, 01:05 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

English is the "devil" you sell yourself to in order to do things simply not possible without it.

There have been players who have tried this. I remember reading something Shawn Putnam wrote when he was excited about finding a better way to play for himself by reducing english to minimal. He found a more reliable game.

If every rail, every table, every cushion, every cloth, every climate, every light, every cue, every tip, every ball, and every chalk were exactly the same, then yes - players could play position to such as level they might not need side spin very much. In fact, a lot of side spin we put on balls could be replaced just by stroking high or low, firmer or softer.

However, who can do that when every table and condition is different? Pool is not a game of perfect, even for players at the highest level. Every shot corrects the last positional mistake within tolerances until the game is finally over. English allows for corrections.

I will say that the players who can stick closer to the center of the ball will find themselves playing a much simpler game than those who go to the edges. Pool is infinitely more difficult when the tip reaches the outer limilts.

Chris

cswann1
03-13-2010, 01:10 PM
why would you ever use english if you didnt need it? i don't think this is really anything new. moving around the table with slight angles is always easier than using english.


This is absolutely the crux of the matter here.

The less side-spin you have to use the better off you are. If you can control your speed well you can work the angles you have and move the cue ball in to positions where the natural angle is what you want and can use. And on any cut shot, draw and follow will change the path the cue ball takes after contact with the ob, so a player can work the cb quite a bit without using english.

Sure, there will always be times when spinning to the right or left will be necessary but a player should strive to keep those to a minimum imo.

sixpack
03-13-2010, 01:16 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

It's not new. A top tour pro told me something similar in the early nineties. Basically he said that he uses top and bottom to get position over 95% of the time and avoids sidespin if at all possible.

I've found that if I get in a slump a lot of times it's because I have gotten too casual with using english and if I go back to forcing myself to only use top and bottom I work my way back out of the slump pretty quickly.

~rc

avmaster
03-13-2010, 01:22 PM
It's not new. A top tour pro told me something similar in the early nineties. Basically he said that he uses top and bottom to get position over 95% of the time and avoids sidespin if at all possible.

I've found that if I get in a slump a lot of times it's because I have gotten too casual with using english and if I go back to forcing myself to only use top and bottom I work my way back out of the slump pretty quickly.

~rc

Mosconi preached the same, use minimal english, stay close to the center of the ball.........

Celtic
03-13-2010, 01:26 PM
I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

Gotta comment on that statement there being absurd, snooker in no way requires more english play then rotation pool.

I have gotta to a point in my game where I notice a reduction in the amount of siding I use on alot of shots. It all comes from playing the proper angle on balls and better patterns that allow for a more simple shape play game.

Will you ever remove english completely? Of course not, there are countless times when you need to use the spin to get the desired result and the player is going to do what they need to do.

Taco
03-13-2010, 02:30 PM
One of the biggest differences I've noticed between highly skilled players, like pros, and schmucks like me is that pros tend to use more English, not less. They'll work the white ball around the rails using running spin where lesser players will use speed. In 9-ball especially, I think any pro who didn't use English would be toast. Mosconi mostly played 14.1, where the cue ball generally has to travel much shorter distances to get shape.

Andrew Manning
03-13-2010, 02:36 PM
It's not new. A top tour pro told me something similar in the early nineties. Basically he said that he uses top and bottom to get position over 95% of the time and avoids sidespin if at all possible.

I've found that if I get in a slump a lot of times it's because I have gotten too casual with using english and if I go back to forcing myself to only use top and bottom I work my way back out of the slump pretty quickly.

~rc

It's not new, but people should understand it's also not true. I don't know which top pro you're referring to, but simply watching video of the top pros reveals that while you do frequently hear someone making a claim like the one above (95% of shots without side-spin), those claims are always wildly off the mark.

Great players (world class) might only use side spin on 25% of their shots. For us mere mortals, I would bet it's usually over 50%. There's no human being on the planet who can play winning 9-ball with such extreme control that they can stick to the center axis on 95% of shots. That means while running a 5-pack, you'd only stray off the center axis on 2 shots. No matter who you're talking about, that's a wild exaggeration. I'd bet that regardless of what the player may claim, it's actually more than 10 shots, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it was more than 20.

-Andrew

Cornerman
03-13-2010, 02:48 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?Ridiculous.

Fred

sixpack
03-13-2010, 02:48 PM
It's not new, but people should understand it's also not true. I don't know which top pro you're referring to, but simply watching video of the top pros reveals that while you do frequently hear someone making a claim like the one above (95% of shots without side-spin), those claims are always wildly off the mark.

Great players (world class) might only use side spin on 25% of their shots. For us mere mortals, I would bet it's usually over 50%. There's no human being on the planet who can play winning 9-ball with such extreme control that they can stick to the center axis on 95% of shots. That means while running a 5-pack, you'd only stray off the center axis on 2 shots. No matter who you're talking about, that's a wild exaggeration. I'd bet that regardless of what the player may claim, it's actually more than 10 shots, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it was more than 20.

-Andrew

Andrew,

You're absolutely correct. I played against said player and during our match he used a lot more sidespin than 5% (probably your estimate of 25% is pretty close)

But thinking about it that way helps him be more careful about using sidespin I think. It's a mental model that works for him and other folks have picked it up.

~rc

Andrew Manning
03-13-2010, 02:55 PM
But thinking about it that way helps him be more careful about using sidespin I think. It's a mental model that works for him and other folks have picked it up.

~rc

Point taken.

-Andrew

Cornerman
03-13-2010, 02:55 PM
One of the biggest differences I've noticed between highly skilled players, like pros, and schmucks like me is that pros tend to use more English, not less.

Exactly 100000000% correctomundo. Pros use MORE english than lesser players. Because they're pros, they can use more english, still make the ball, and get easier position. That's why they're pros.

I can't believe anyone who has watched any decent pool would even think that top player actually use less.

The absolute standard 3 or 4 shots in rotation games like 9-ball or 10-ball are shots with english. They make the game so much easier than trying to force yourself to use vertical center.

. Mosconi mostly played 14.1, where the cue ball generally has to travel much shorter distances to get shape.And even Mosconi's standard break shot was the back cut with 3-rail shape off the pack. Guess what? He used inside english.

In other words, his words didn't apply to him or to good player. They applied to players who had problems making shots with english. At some point, good player have to get past that problem and add english to their game or else they will be forever stuck in Mediocreville.

Fred

ridewiththewind
03-13-2010, 03:01 PM
What gets me is seeing newer players using English, and they don't really know why...just that someone told them to do it. I try to explain to them that before they can play a solid game with English, they need to learn to shoot center ball first. You have to have a clear understanding of the angles from the center point of the CB before you can fully understand the nuances that English can bring in manipulating those angles slightly.

I know that when I was going through those dreaded 'plateau' periods, I would reduce or eliminate my use of English and play strictly center ball. Believe it or not, a complete game CAN be played without any English whatsoever. These days, because I have a better understanding of just when and exactly what the English can do for me in any given position, I don't experience these frustrating 'plateau' moments nearly as much as I used to...and the duration is much shorter.

I am of the mind that any new player to the game MUST learn ALL the basics to the game first, and that includes shooting center ball. Once a player has a solid center ball foundation, it makes learning and understanding the English much, much more beneficial.

Just my $.02 worth.

Lisa

Glendale
03-13-2010, 03:01 PM
This makes my top 5 list for one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

Hahahaha....I agree. WTH?

smoooothstroke
03-13-2010, 03:10 PM
I can believe it Blackball.I can see this happening as a trend.Not like a bunch of pros got together and had a round table discussion about it.There is so much info and video out there if a top player can see others having success with center ball they might work on it themselves.

A local player in my area pretty much convinced me of the merits of center ball play.I practice center ball but haven't incorporated it in my game yet.

I do think you have to use enough side spin to stay comfortable with it,the goal of course is not to eliminate english altogether.

Hidy Ho
03-13-2010, 03:13 PM
I will say that the players who can stick closer to the center of the ball will find themselves playing a much simpler game than those who go to the edges.

Ya but where's fun it that :D

Hidy Ho <-- reaching into his wallet to pay ... again!!!

Island Drive
03-13-2010, 03:29 PM
Ya but where's fun it that :D

Hidy Ho <-- reaching into his wallet to pay ... again!!!

Working the middle of the ball minimizes variables and increases ones percentages of making shots/shape more consistently. The more out of line you get the more you may need off center spin to get to where your going. Buddy Hall worked the vertical/middle axis of whitey better than anyone I've ever seen and his ability has never been in question.

avmaster
03-13-2010, 04:08 PM
Lot of valid points here. I stay close to the middle of the CB on almost all my shots, I use english oh, maybe 25-35% depending on the game, table and so on. I do agree with tate you can play a solid game with little english, I know it because I've been doing it for over 40 years...................

Scaramouche
03-13-2010, 04:11 PM
From the Snooker section:D

Anyone know what the highest recorded break is on a tournament table without the use of English (side)?

Would be fascinating to know.

TATE
03-13-2010, 04:14 PM
It's not new, but people should understand it's also not true. I don't know which top pro you're referring to, but simply watching video of the top pros reveals that while you do frequently hear someone making a claim like the one above (95% of shots without side-spin), those claims are always wildly off the mark.

Great players (world class) might only use side spin on 25% of their shots. For us mere mortals, I would bet it's usually over 50%. There's no human being on the planet who can play winning 9-ball with such extreme control that they can stick to the center axis on 95% of shots. That means while running a 5-pack, you'd only stray off the center axis on 2 shots. No matter who you're talking about, that's a wild exaggeration. I'd bet that regardless of what the player may claim, it's actually more than 10 shots, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it was more than 20.

-Andrew

I think it's even more extreme. My guess is only 25% of pro shots are on the dead center line. These would mostly be straight in shots or slow rolled shots. Pros like to keep throw to a minimum so they'll be slightly off center on most shots - even if they don't realize it.

Chris

Scaramouche
03-13-2010, 04:17 PM
To quote Willie Mosconi from his little red book:

...I cannot overemphasize the value of center-ball stroking. In pocket billiards, my experience has taught me that more than 85 percent of the shots can be accomplished by stroking the cue ball in the center of its vertical axis.

A good rule to remember in pocket billiards is use center-ball stroking on every shot unless English is absolutely required for position or to make a shot that is not "on" without English.

Complete mastery of the game depends to some extent on English, but unless the player understands its application, he can get into more trouble with it than he would without it.

My experience in 15 years of world's championship play has convinced me that the "cue-tip-width-from-the-center-of-the-ball" rule is right. If you go to the left or right beyond that point, the danger of miscue increase.

You cannot apply English to the ball in the proper manner unless your stroke is correct. The cue ball will not take English as you plan it if your stroke is a rigid poke. Rather, your stroke must be spring-like; it must be sharp and deliberate, and you must follow through it.

Pushout
03-13-2010, 04:22 PM
This entire thread is just too funny!!!

TATE
03-13-2010, 04:40 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.



Any comments?


Maybe he was talking about the language? I hear a lot of them using Tagalog instead these days.

Chris

Detlev Rackow
03-13-2010, 04:58 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

If this were true, no professional would feel the need to use low-deflection shafts which make it easier to play accurately with English.

Best regards,

Detlev

measureman
03-13-2010, 05:39 PM
I think in places like Russia,Mexico and other non English speaking countries they can play pool quite well with out English.:D

CreeDo
03-13-2010, 06:00 PM
"Minimize sidespin" is advice given to beginners because they tend to develop a bad habit of overusing it. So we tell them that you don't need it in most cases. And that may be true if a very skilled player goes out of his way to play shape without it.

You also hear guys like Mosconi saying it. The huge difference is he came up playing straight pool, a game where the cue ball moves very little and 2-3 rail position shots are rare.

The pro game these days is 9 (or 10) ball and it's not unusual to have to move the cue ball all around the table along strange lines. In straight pool you wouldn't voluntarily play shape from one short rail to the other when there are several other balls in between... but in 9b you're often required to. Sidespin is helpful for doing that. Certain routes are very predictable with a healthy dose of sidespin, while trying to duplicate the route with just the exact right amount of draw or follow is more difficult.

All top pool players figure out the ideal safest line to follow from their current position. If a touch of outside makes the shot a little less likely to get hooked or come up short... then they will add that extra outside every time. Even if it can be accomplished without it.

victorl
03-13-2010, 06:09 PM
It's true that less english is better, but it's impossible not to use it. What I was taught was to do "mini-spins" of 1/2 tip of english or less. Deflection is minimal and combined with a quality stroke that will get you position for nearly all of your shots (if you play your angles right).

grindz
03-13-2010, 06:17 PM
I'ld have to guess that in order of use of English from least to most it depends on the game.....

Snooker
Straight pool
Banks
Eight ball
Billiards
Nine ball
Ten ball
One pocket
Rotation

That's just my guess, having minimal experience in some of them..... and a personal lack of understanding of the non spinner world. ;) I kind of like to spin the ball..... and NO, I don't gamble :smile: I don't see how anyone could play rotation w/out it, and I don't see how anyone could use much of it in snooker.... but the newer tighter tables will change it's use over time to a minimum IMO.

td

Taco
03-13-2010, 06:50 PM
I've taken lessons from a pro. During one of them he said, "You have to learn how to use extreme side, I've been trying to teach my girlfriend this." During a playing lesson he opened by making (sorry, don't have the ability to make a wii diagram) a shot that was, if memory serves, basically the 1-ball on the head spot, cue ball 1 diamond right of the foot spot, 2 ball towards the left pocket on the foot rail, with lots of traffic in between. He walked up and shot it, hard, with more inside than I've ever put on a shot in my life. Made and ran out from there. A different species.

alstl
03-13-2010, 08:44 PM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

What qualifies as an industry insider? The janitor at the local pool hall?

Pool players use English when it is neccessary to get position. That will not change.

You think snooker requires more English? I thought one reason they use ash shafts is because they don't use as much English.

Johnnyt
03-13-2010, 09:28 PM
If you can play PERFECT position every time you only need running english at the most. Johnnyt

Neil
03-13-2010, 09:55 PM
....................

backplaying
03-13-2010, 10:37 PM
The reason amateurs have trouble using english is because they miss balls because they haven't learned to ajust where to aim when using it. I know alot of decent players who miss many balls when using inside english. The best player I've ever seen who used less english than any player I had seen before was Jimmy Wales. He beat Earl Kellum for 2,500.00 giving up the 8 when he had just turned 15. He also beat Harold Dollar "on his table" and many other good players at 15 yrs old. I think he was sure the exception though,and yes he did have to use english as all good players do,but as I said less than anyone I had seen. Most top players will use english even when shooting the 9 more times than not, unless they are straight in.

JB Cases
03-13-2010, 10:52 PM
On the subject that the original poster asks, namely whether pros are turning their backs on "english" I'd have to say no. A pro knows what he or she needs to do and the most consistent of them do it the right way more often.

But on the subject of playing entirely without sidespin I want to relate some experiements I did in the mid 90s. My friend and I were having a debate about this very subject and I told him I'd play him some sets for $10 a set races to five using no side spin. I was only allowed to use follow and draw.

Long story short I won three sets before he gave up. The thing was that I had to give up perfect position on many shots when there just wasn't any way to get there without spin. But the flipside was that I was able to play some creative safeties where I otherwise would have pocketed the balls.

I find it's a GREAT way to practice.

JImmy Reid also taught me to throw out all the balls and run a rack with only center ball, a rack with only follow, a rack with only draw, and left, right, etc...

This little exercise gets your stroke loose pretty quick and allows you to figure out the table speed in no time.

Yesterday I was trying a shot that I saw on Billiard Digest's website where Efren plays position with a force follow right spin. It's still up http://www.billiardsdigest.com/

While playing with it I was way over juicing the ball with extreme english. Once I used ONE tip of right with follow I could do it every time.

pt109
03-13-2010, 11:19 PM
This makes my top 5 list for one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

What are the other 4?
If you didn't use english you wouldn't need a quality cue.
The biggest value of a cue is how it spins.Parking whitey
in a high % area usually requires english.Working the pack
at snooker and straight pool needs spin.I can't imagine playing
1-hole or banks without using a lot.Heavy cloth and cleaning spray
DOES make it more difficult to use though.

mullyman
03-13-2010, 11:50 PM
It's not new. A top tour pro told me something similar in the early nineties. Basically he said that he uses top and bottom to get position over 95% of the time and avoids sidespin if at all possible.

I've found that if I get in a slump a lot of times it's because I have gotten too casual with using english and if I go back to forcing myself to only use top and bottom I work my way back out of the slump pretty quickly.

~rc

The problem lies with Efren Reyes. He has such great command of the cue ball, regardless of what he puts on it, that every banger out there thinks it's the correct call to load it up with inside and go 4 rails for position. The plain truth of the matter is exactly like you said, man, top and bottom will do the majority of what you need to do. Save the side spin for when it's needed. And hey, I'm just as guilty as the next guy as far as over using english in my game. I tend to stay away from inside unless it's absolutely necessary though.
MULLY

stouter2386
03-14-2010, 12:32 AM
it doesnt sound completly crazy but a little bit i suppose, i was always tought that side english should only be used when you are out of line or its your 1st inning at the table, and was also tought when im shooting poorly start using more center ball and slow it all down.

donny mills
03-14-2010, 12:51 AM
Rule of thumb- If you are straight in then use straight top, center, or low english. If you have an angle most of the time you will use outside or inside english whether it be high, center, or low (most of the time outside)

12310bch
03-14-2010, 01:41 AM
Every player from a 5 on up knows that you use minimum english. But the key word is minimum. Learning what degree of english or,if possible, no english, is just part of learning the many subtleties of how to shoot. It is no great effing revelation or new discovery.:bash:
.

ShootingArts
03-14-2010, 06:11 AM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

Trends come and go. Most players today overuse english, they get further out on the cue ball than they need to and they do this even when it isn't necessary to do it at all. Interestingly when I watched a double handful of snooker perfect games shot fairly recently it appears that the snooker players are using much more side than they once did too. Perhaps changes in cloth or other equipment encourages more side than in years past.

When I played my best pool I played with house cues and rarely used over half a tip of side other than when shooting a semi-masse shot. Now I am as guilty as anybody of spinning the cue ball and trying to force things when playing rotation games. I notice my pocketing always falls off playing nine and ten ball and goes back up playing eight ball and one pocket. It's the same table and same balls so I have to conclude it is my change in playing style playing rotation.

Hu

CreeDo
03-14-2010, 07:27 AM
I think what a lot of players misunderstand is that sidespin is for controlling whitey AFTER it touches a rail. So many players develop a nasty habit of throwing a ball in with outside spin. And they have this messed up idea that if you hit the ball with left english, the cue ball immediately dives to the left more than usual. How many of you have seen that ugly shot where an apa 5 is too straight, so he smacks the CB with sidespin in the direction he wants it to go? The sidespin throws the OB way off and the cue ball still doesn't move much. He woulda been better just cheating the pocket and pounding it carefully with center.

I used to low-outside just about every ball on the table. Now I try hard not to unless I'm touching a rail and need to improve the angle. An exception would be using outside to hold a ball with a slight angle so that the CB almost stops dead.

I think if a player can break the habit of spinning everything in, he is on the way to jumping a skill level fast.

Island Drive
03-14-2010, 08:20 AM
[QUOTE=CreeDo;2320434]I think what a lot of players misunderstand is that sidespin is for controlling whitey AFTER it touches a rail.

Not Always:

I use side spin quite often at slow speeds to hit the contact point on the object ball thicker to steer the object ball left or right and in doing so 'walk' the cue ball left or right off the tangent line for shape.

thefonz
03-14-2010, 10:13 AM
Trends come and go. Most players today overuse english, they get further out on the cue ball than they need to and they do this even when it isn't necessary to do it at all. Interestingly when I watched a double handful of snooker perfect games shot fairly recently it appears that the snooker players are using much more side than they once did too. Perhaps changes in cloth or other equipment encourages more side than in years past.



Hu

i think with all the new shaft tech. that's out now, it lessens the emphasis on players building great fundamentals and stroke. i think it was lost somewhere that a great smooth, accelerating stroke decreases cueball deflection. and in pool, like golf, the majority of players out there have no idea what a great stroke or hit on the cueball feels like.

TATE
03-14-2010, 10:19 AM
Rule of thumb- If you are straight in then use straight top, center, or low english. If you have an angle most of the time you will use outside or inside english whether it be high, center, or low (most of the time outside)

This is interesting. You use english on most angled shots, probably to control the throw - like I mentioned in my previous post. A spinning cue ball is less likely to skid or cling to the object ball. Since you come from a humid place, the wet environment causes the balls to cling a lot.

I often find myself favoring one side using 1/4 to 1/2 tip of outisde or inside on most cut shots without even necessarily being aware of it. I see a lot of players doing that.

I myself have tried to get away from using english to aim the ball. I find this is a bad way to aim - especially under pressure. But small amounts have little effect on aim and help control the throw and eliminate cling and cue ball skidding.

Chris

Pushout
03-14-2010, 10:32 AM
Rule of thumb- If you are straight in then use straight top, center, or low english. If you have an angle most of the time you will use outside or inside english whether it be high, center, or low (most of the time outside)

I used to do this, until a good player showed me why it wasn't necessary. Now I shoot angle shots mostly with center ball, notice I said mostly, I think I still tend to put some english on these shots. Sometimes unconsciously because it's still in the back of my mind when I was first learning. On high, center, and low there is no english or side spin.

CreeDo
03-14-2010, 10:54 AM
Island: you're right, and that was what I was getting at with the exception I mentioned. You also will spin a ball in if it's close to another ball and you can't quite cut it enough, or the cut line you need is barely obscured by another ball.

Sadly, a lot of the guys who are spinning balls in aren't doing it for specific reasons like these. They just do it.

Fonz: sounds like the old guard grousing about the new guard. Almost like you're saying there's no way today's players could be as skilled as the old guys, that's just impossible. They only can move the cue ball because of their fancy shafts and fast cloth. You figure they use all that sidespin as a crutch because they can't truly stroke a ball?

The thing is, how is my stroke with sidespin somehow not a great stroke but the other guy's with center ball is? We both got out of the rack =) I just don't get how you can say many players will never know what a great stroke is after seeing this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L85wpzf9F0

Andrew Manning
03-14-2010, 11:29 AM
"Minimize sidespin" is advice given to beginners because they tend to develop a bad habit of overusing it. So we tell them that you don't need it in most cases. And that may be true if a very skilled player goes out of his way to play shape without it.

You also hear guys like Mosconi saying it. The huge difference is he came up playing straight pool, a game where the cue ball moves very little and 2-3 rail position shots are rare.

The pro game these days is 9 (or 10) ball and it's not unusual to have to move the cue ball all around the table along strange lines. In straight pool you wouldn't voluntarily play shape from one short rail to the other when there are several other balls in between... but in 9b you're often required to. Sidespin is helpful for doing that. Certain routes are very predictable with a healthy dose of sidespin, while trying to duplicate the route with just the exact right amount of draw or follow is more difficult.

All top pool players figure out the ideal safest line to follow from their current position. If a touch of outside makes the shot a little less likely to get hooked or come up short... then they will add that extra outside every time. Even if it can be accomplished without it.

CreeDo tellin' it like it is again. Sometimes a positional shot is both easier and more consistent with spin. Maybe in straight pool you would just choose a different shot, but in rotational pool you can't, and you do it the easy way over the hard way every time if you know how to play the game right.

-Andrew

Blackball75
03-14-2010, 08:48 PM
How many of you have seen that ugly shot where an apa 5 is too straight, so he smacks the CB with sidespin in the direction he wants it to go?


Yeah, I've seen that. But what I see overwhelmingly often among players roughly equivalent to APA levels 2-5 I guess is using stun or even draw for almost every shot they play. Even when topspin is totally the way to hit the shot. In a way it makes sense - keeping the CB traveling as little as possible. But mostly I think they think it's advanced play to be making as much possible use of spin. Even a kind of posing you could say.

I'm only APA 3 but seek to avoid the above. Drives me nuts. I've seen it equally much among novice snooker players too.

Edit: I've just been "promoted" to APA 4 :)

CreeDo
03-14-2010, 09:48 PM
Blackball, you got it... scrubs LOVE to draw, just to show that they can. I used to be that guy... mixing the draw with outside spin for no reason. It got me pretty good early on with that critical rail cut where you spin the cue ball off the rail and across the table, or back to the middle, or wherever. But to see me shoot a straight in shot was horrifying, I'd hit it slowly with low left and let it swerve back in time to contact the ball straight on. Seriously.

While I wouldn't teach players not to use sidespin... if I had to force any player to unlearn one bad habit, it would be overuse of sidespin.

Siz
03-15-2010, 10:59 AM
...Interestingly when I watched a double handful of snooker perfect games shot fairly recently it appears that the snooker players are using much more side than they once did too. Perhaps changes in cloth or other equipment encourages more side than in years past...
Hu

You may be right. The tips used now are smaller than they used to be (9 or 9.5mm vs 10mm) so they might be getting less deflection.

I think what a lot of players misunderstand is that sidespin is for controlling whitey AFTER it touches a rail.

Fair point. But occasionally a technique used a fair amount in enlish billiards can be useful - if you have too much angle and want to stop the cb running away from you, playing it with 'check side' (inside english) can sometimes do the job better than low.

MOJOE
03-15-2010, 11:23 AM
Eric, Which bank player is this?? I'm just curious, I try to minimize english when I can too playing banks relying more on speed and cut angle when possible.

Bank players well one one Bank player I know who uses very little english banks the balls better than anyone I have ever seen period.


Other than him I'm with Donny Mills(hey I spelled his name right!!!:smile:)

GMAC
03-15-2010, 11:34 AM
Rule of thumb- If you are straight in then use straight top, center, or low english. If you have an angle most of the time you will use outside or inside english whether it be high, center, or low (most of the time outside)

I agree a hair of outside english is the nuts.

pt109
03-15-2010, 12:12 PM
It's tough to spin a snooker ball with a pool tip.I watched Bugs Rucker
play 1-hole on a 5x10 snooker table at the Rack in '78.He was missing
banks by a full diamond 'cause he works the ball with english like many
top bankers.If you don't put outside spin on a back-bank you have to cut it a lot more.Outside english makes it more natural.
At pool or snooker ,english negates the 'cling' factor,especially on back
cuts.
I don't think you can be a great player without spinning a lot.

CreeDo
03-16-2010, 11:02 AM
Fair point. But occasionally a technique used a fair amount in enlish billiards can be useful - if you have too much angle and want to stop the cb running away from you, playing it with 'check side' (inside english) can sometimes do the job better than low.

Not following this one siz, you're saying you wanted to be straighter on a shot, but there's just too much angle... so you want to hold it with a touch of inside english? Is this with or without touching a rail?

If you're not touching a rail, outside english (opposite the direction of the cut) is what you use to hold a ball. Like if the object ball must be cut to your left, you'd hit the right side of the CB.

Blackball75
03-16-2010, 11:08 AM
If you're not touching a rail, outside english (opposite the direction of the cut) is what you use to hold a ball. Like if the object ball must be cut to your left, you'd hit the right side of the CB.


Eh? Can you explain this? It's the opposite of what I'd expect.

Siz
03-16-2010, 03:01 PM
Not following this one siz, you're saying you wanted to be straighter on a shot, but there's just too much angle... so you want to hold it with a touch of inside english? Is this with or without touching a rail?

Without touching a rail.

I am talking about short range shots here. You can get more effect from c.b. deflection than the side-induced throw which is tending to have the opposite effect. So you can aim to hit the o.b. much thicker and effectively squirt the c.b round.

CreeDo
03-17-2010, 01:02 AM
Blackball: When you put left spin on the cue ball, it throws the object ball more to the right than usual, and vice versa.

For example in the diagram below, the shot is being cut towards the shooter's left. Right english in this case would be labelled as outside spin... it's opposite the direction that the ball is being cut.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@2CKtN2DKtN4FXSd1PBOD2WKtN2WcrL2XKtN2XanU1kBOD2kI QN2kIhT1uBnL@

Maybe the confusion is from when I say "the direction of the cut". I mean the direction that the object ball is travelling. So I'd say this ball is being cut to the left. Right spin makes it go even more left. If you didn't know, right spin would also make a ball go more left even if I'm cutting it to my right. It won't literally go left, but it will cut more to the left than it would if I had just hit centerball.
---
Anyway, this is a basic example of using outside to hold the ball. If I cut this ball only a tiny bit (along the pink line) I won't sink it. It needs to be cut just an extra degree or two more. The problem is... if I cut it more, the cue ball travels more. It would travel a bit uptable and away from my next shot. I don't want that.

Therefore, I throw the object ball in with outside english. My right spin makes the object ball cut more to the left than usual. So now I CAN cut the ball a tiny bit, and let the sidespin take care of that extra degree of cut that I needed. The cue ball travels the same way (sidespin doesn't really alter how far it travels here) but the object ball is now moving on the red line, and barely drops into the pocket.

The misconception a lot of players have is that by hitting the cue ball with right spin here, their cue ball would move further to the right (further uptable, the result we're trying to avoid). But it doesn't. The cue ball's travel is determined by how thick you cut the object ball and how hard you hit it. Sidespin doesn't really factor in. And if you hit a ball dead in the face with massive sidespin... it will just stop there and spin in place like a top.

In the example above, you can't hit the cue ball with left english to make it move more towards the shooter's left, and thereby "hold" it...

Which brings me to Siz's post:
Siz, sorry, but I'm 99% sure you're dead wrong. Inside english won't hold a ball (still talking about no rail). Inside forces you to cut the ball thinner, and thinner = more cue ball travel. If you can, post a specific example where you can hold a ball better with inside than outside... I will try to keep an open mind and try it. Try cuetable.com to diagram it. But my understanding of english says you have things backwards.

Luxury
03-17-2010, 01:36 AM
I personally believe I can beat 99% of the guys that don't believe in using English especially if we are talking 9 ball. Or the guys that don't thing the pros are using it much.

I remember being at the same rating as so many guys in a TAP league 5 years ago and so many people would make comments about how english just makes you miss your shot.

I decided to learn to shoot with it and I did miss shots for a while but I eventually skyrocketed past them and am rated as high as anyone in my BCA league now.

English makes the game SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier. You will never get very good if you don't make a commitment to it.

That's my 2 cents.

Siz
03-17-2010, 04:53 AM
Siz, sorry, but I'm 99% sure you're dead wrong.

Don't be sorry - I am more than happy to be proved wrong! :smile:

If you can, post a specific example where you can hold a ball better with inside than outside... I will try to keep an open mind and try it.

I will try to remember to try this out the next time I play and note what happes. I will report back ...

avmaster
03-17-2010, 05:22 AM
I personally believe I can beat 99% of the guys that don't believe in using English especially if we are talking 9 ball. Or the guys that don't thing the pros are using it much.

I remember being at the same rating as so many guys in a TAP league 5 years ago and so many people would make comments about how english just makes you miss your shot.

I decided to learn to shoot with it and I did miss shots for a while but I eventually skyrocketed past them and am rated as high as anyone in my BCA league now.

English makes the game SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier. You will never get very good if you don't make a commitment to it.

That's my 2 cents.

A mastery of english is required to be at the top of your game, the key is knowing when and when not to apply it. I said a minimum of english, not no english at all. I know people that use it every shot. I'm just not one of them.

ShootingArts
03-17-2010, 05:28 AM
I personally believe I can beat 99% of the guys that don't believe in using English especially if we are talking 9 ball. Or the guys that don't thing the pros are using it much.

I remember being at the same rating as so many guys in a TAP league 5 years ago and so many people would make comments about how english just makes you miss your shot.

I decided to learn to shoot with it and I did miss shots for a while but I eventually skyrocketed past them and am rated as high as anyone in my BCA league now.

English makes the game SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier. You will never get very good if you don't make a commitment to it.

That's my 2 cents.


Using a lot of english is a step in the progression for some people. Then one day they realize that they simply don't need to use much if they see the simplest pattern and use angles and speed to move things around. It isn't because they can't use a lot of english if they need to, they just rarely need to.

There is a link to Corey Dueul really juicing a ball in this thread so obviously he can make the cue ball curve around the table like a trick shot artist if he needs to. How often do you see him actually do that? He very rarely uses the maximum spin he can apply simply because he doesn't get himself into the position of needing to most of the time. Some people carry this to the extreme and rarely use much side or extreme draw. Why use it if you don't need it?

Hu

greyghost
03-17-2010, 06:32 AM
Blackball: When you put left spin on the cue ball, it throws the object ball more to the right than usual, and vice versa.

For example in the diagram below, the shot is being cut towards the shooter's left. Right english in this case would be labelled as outside spin... it's opposite the direction that the ball is being cut.

Maybe the confusion is from when I say "the direction of the cut". I mean the direction that the object ball is travelling. So I'd say this ball is being cut to the left. Right spin makes it go even more left. If you didn't know, right spin would also make a ball go more left even if I'm cutting it to my right. It won't literally go left, but it will cut more to the left than it would if I had just hit centerball.
---
Anyway, this is a basic example of using outside to hold the ball. If I cut this ball only a tiny bit (along the pink line) I won't sink it. It needs to be cut just an extra degree or two more. The problem is... if I cut it more, the cue ball travels more. It would travel a bit uptable and away from my next shot. I don't want that.

Therefore, I throw the object ball in with outside english. My right spin makes the object ball cut more to the left than usual. So now I CAN cut the ball a tiny bit, and let the sidespin take care of that extra degree of cut that I needed. The cue ball travels the same way (sidespin doesn't really alter how far it travels here) but the object ball is now moving on the red line, and barely drops into the pocket.

The misconception a lot of players have is that by hitting the cue ball with right spin here, their cue ball would move further to the right (further uptable, the result we're trying to avoid). But it doesn't. The cue ball's travel is determined by how thick you cut the object ball and how hard you hit it. Sidespin doesn't really factor in. And if you hit a ball dead in the face with massive sidespin... it will just stop there and spin in place like a top.

In the example above, you can't hit the cue ball with left english to make it move more towards the shooter's left, and thereby "hold" it...

Which brings me to Siz's post:
Siz, sorry, but I'm 99% sure you're dead wrong. Inside english won't hold a ball (still talking about no rail). Inside forces you to cut the ball thinner, and thinner = more cue ball travel. If you can, post a specific example where you can hold a ball better with inside than outside... I will try to keep an open mind and try it. Try cuetable.com to diagram it. But my understanding of english says you have things backwards.


Inside kill on the CB DOES work, your leaving out one major component as to why it does. The inside english on the CB will bring the vector off the rebound with the OB back more to "0". Outside is running english it adds to the CB vector created at impact with the OB. Now of course the angles do have limits as to how effective or ineffective that is and is more of a low angle of incidence style shot.

greyghost
03-17-2010, 06:38 AM
One of the biggest differences I've noticed between highly skilled players, like pros, and schmucks like me is that pros tend to use more English, not less. They'll work the white ball around the rails using running spin where lesser players will use speed. In 9-ball especially, I think any pro who didn't use English would be toast. Mosconi mostly played 14.1, where the cue ball generally has to travel much shorter distances to get shape.


The biggest diff b/t the pro's use of english and the schmucks use of it is exactly as you said. Pro's use more Natural "running" spin where as the banger will force it. Like shooting the draw when the follow shot was the proper choice.

radge69
03-17-2010, 07:01 AM
Rule of thumb- If you are straight in then use straight top, center, or low english. If you have an angle most of the time you will use outside or inside english whether it be high, center, or low (most of the time outside)

I agree Donny. And I'm willing to bet that if a pro is left with a slight cut shot on the money ball, that 95% will shoot that shot with outside english. It may be just a 1/4 to 1/2 a tip, but they will shoot it with outside to cancel the throw on the object ball.

Now your middle of the road shooter may not know why he uses a little outside english on that cut shot, if he even does, he just knows that he makes it more often shooting it that way. Where the higher level shooter knows that it will cancel out the throw.

dr_dave
03-17-2010, 07:12 AM
I agree Donny. And I'm willing to bet that if a pro is left with a slight cut shot on the money ball, that 95% will shoot that shot with outside english. It may be just a 1/4 to 1/2 a tip, but they will shoot it with outside to cancel the throw on the object ball.An advantage of this method is that there can be no cling/skid/kick either. A disadvantage is that if the amount of English isn't judged just right, the throw amount (and direction) can vary quite a bit. For more info on this topic, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/English.html#outside

An argument can actually be made for using inside English instead. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/English.html#inside

Regards,
Dave

cleary
03-17-2010, 07:42 AM
This makes my top 5 list for one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

I would like to hear the other 4

DogsPlayingPool
03-17-2010, 07:46 AM
Inside kill on the CB DOES work, your leaving out one major component as to why it does. The inside english on the CB will bring the vector off the rebound with the OB back more to "0". Outside is running english it adds to the CB vector created at impact with the OB. Now of course the angles do have limits as to how effective or ineffective that is and is more of a low angle of incidence style shot.

As you said, the effect has its limits. The effect, if any, is very small. I think the effect that english has on cue ball direction off an object ball is minor compared to the that which having to cut it more has. So you are still better off cutting it fuller if your trying to limit cue ball movement.

Andrew Manning
03-17-2010, 08:34 AM
Inside kill on the CB DOES work, your leaving out one major component as to why it does. The inside english on the CB will bring the vector off the rebound with the OB back more to "0". Outside is running english it adds to the CB vector created at impact with the OB. Now of course the angles do have limits as to how effective or ineffective that is and is more of a low angle of incidence style shot.

Can you explain this in different terms? "Bring the vector off the rebound back to 0" does not compute.

The idea here is that outside or inside english don't affect where the CB goes if you don't touch a rail, whereas how full you hit the OB affects CB travel very much. So a little outside english allows you to hit the OB fuller while still pocketing the ball, and hitting it fuller is what kills the CB.

I'm 100% sure that the above paragraph (and thus what CreeDo posted, since he said basically the same thing) is correct.

But I'm not sure what this "vector" effect you refer to actually means, so I can't really refute your post.

-Andrew

Bambu
03-17-2010, 09:12 AM
I personally believe I can beat 99% of the guys that don't believe in using English especially if we are talking 9 ball. Or the guys that don't thing the pros are using it much.

I remember being at the same rating as so many guys in a TAP league 5 years ago and so many people would make comments about how english just makes you miss your shot.

I decided to learn to shoot with it and I did miss shots for a while but I eventually skyrocketed past them and am rated as high as anyone in my BCA league now.

English makes the game SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier. You will never get very good if you don't make a commitment to it.

That's my 2 cents.


This is a great thread, certainly not nonsense. Lots of good players here, all with different styles of play. I happen to play with 2 guys that describe this thread to a tee. One guy is a center ball fanatic, the other is a spin and draw freak(and I was too). I rate them both even, around the A level. But, they each have a different way of getting the job done, way different.

For about 2 years I worked on incorporating alot more center ball into my game, basically trying to learn a new style. And I have to say, it helped alot. Not because that style is better, but because now I have more options. (There are so many center ball routes a spin player might not see or feel comfortable trying.) I admit....I still find myself bouncing back and forth, not really knowing which is style is better. I end up falling back on center ball if I am struggling, and find myself spinning more when I feel good at the table.

The 2 schools of thought here are, which is harder to judge? Deflection, and maybe some swerve....or throw? The center baller would say spin is harder to judge, but I dont think there is a "correct" answer. If you think you can stroke straight, have good speed control, dont mind hitting harder, and are good at judging throw....center ball is for you.

If anyone is looking to start using more center ball, just remember to pay attention to the contact induced throw, and also realize that the ball to ball contact points change. In the beginning you will probably hit shots too thick, and too soft because you don't get any spin off the rails.

There are usually options for an average shot, more than one way to skin a cat. Like most things on a pool table, it's up to you to decide what works best for you. When all the smoke clears....the more tricks in your bag, the better.

jsp
03-17-2010, 09:34 AM
Fair point. But occasionally a technique used a fair amount in enlish billiards can be useful - if you have too much angle and want to stop the cb running away from you, playing it with 'check side' (inside english) can sometimes do the job better than low.
Not following this one siz, you're saying you wanted to be straighter on a shot, but there's just too much angle... so you want to hold it with a touch of inside english? Is this with or without touching a rail?

If you're not touching a rail, outside english (opposite the direction of the cut) is what you use to hold a ball. Like if the object ball must be cut to your left, you'd hit the right side of the CB.
Actually, you both are right. My experience has shown me that inside english works better to "hold" the CB on some shots, while outside works better on other shots.

For smaller angled shots (less than 15 degrees or so), I've found that outside english generally works better to hold the CB. As others have stated, you'd have to aim fuller and throw the OB. But for shots with a greater cut angles (> 20 degrees), then inside english generally works better to hold the CB.

CreeDo
03-17-2010, 09:40 AM
Andrew: I think what he's saying is the 'common misconception' listed in my post :/

I think he's saying if you hit the cue ball with left spin... the cueball rebounds more to the left than it otherwise would.

-------

...don't wanna sound like I'm talking down at you ghost, but again I'm pretty sure this is dead wrong. Hitting with left spin on the cue ball (while cutting the object ball to the left) will make the cue ball travel the same distance and direction as it would with no english at all. And in fact may make things worse since you now must hit the object ball thinner to avoid missing the shot.

There was a thread recently about how you can elevate the cue a bit and use soft draw with sidespin to make a straight in draw shot rebound more to the left or right. Maybe that's the effect you're talking about?
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=2311614&postcount=20
But basically that's a way to make more angle when you fell too straight. It's not a way to make less angle when you have too much cut. Any advantage you can get from that jacked up sidespin shot is ruined by the fact that you must cut the ball thinner to avoid having your inside spin throw it out of the pocket. You'd be better off throwing it with outside or even just center.

Dr. Dave has something that may or may not be considered proof.

You all know the shot where if you cut a ball into the corner, the cue ball is gonna scratch in the side. Sometimes it can be beat with follow and sometimes with draw. Sometimes it's a bit hairy and you must hit with good quick draw. Players have argued whether the best way to "hold" this shot and avoid the scratch is to use center draw, outside draw, or inside draw. So dave has filmed all three.

http://billiards.colostate.edu/normal_videos/new/NVB-25.htm

His findings in a nutshell: Low center works okay.
Low outside works too, and you can hit the ball a little fuller and throw it in, "making it easy to avoid the pocket".
The value of low inside is "questionable".

Andrew Manning
03-17-2010, 09:43 AM
Actually, you both are right. My experience has shown me that inside english works better to "hold" the CB on some shots, while outside works better on other shots.

For smaller angled shots (less than 15 degrees or so), I've found that outside english generally works better to hold the CB. As others have stated, you'd have to aim fuller and throw the OB. But for shots with a greater cut angles (> 20 degrees), then inside english generally works better to hold the CB.

Engineer that you are, jsp, I wonder if you've introduced an experimental control on "pocket-cheat" into your observations? There is definitely a potential for correlation without causation (or even correlation despite negative causation), if you tend to hit the pocket on the full side when you use inside english on thinner cuts.

-Andrew

jsp
03-17-2010, 10:52 AM
Engineer that you are, jsp, I wonder if you've introduced an experimental control on "pocket-cheat" into your observations? There is definitely a potential for correlation without causation (or even correlation despite negative causation), if you tend to hit the pocket on the full side when you use inside english on thinner cuts.
Good point on the pocket-cheat variable. But even if this variable gets controlled out (the OB always hits the same part of the pocket), my gut feeling is that for non small-angled shots (cut angle > 20 degrees) ,the CB would generally travel a lesser distance with inside english compared to center ball or outside.

I haven't spent too much time thinking about it, but I think much of it has to do with the greater spin component associated with inside that counteracts the linear momentum of the CB post-impact (similar to how draw spin counteracts the forward momentum of the CB after CB-tip impact).

Maybe I'll try out some experiments tonight. I might change my opinions when I'm actually standing over a shot.

CreeDo
03-17-2010, 12:29 PM
JSP, I think I know what your gut is telling you. Tell me if I'm off base.

You're imagining the cue ball hitting the object ball, more or less stopping (let's say sliding to the right just a bit), and for a split second it's spinning in place. That left spin (as it's spinning in place) is grabbing the cloth a little, and carrying it a tiny bit sideways with each revolution, right? Or, the cue ball is moving to the right, but each revolution grabs into the cloth and acts as a brake, carrying it a hair left even as it's sliding to the right.

Is that sort of what you're mentally picturing?

If so, the reason that doesn't work is... the ball isn't truly spinning "left", it's spinning clockwise. A dot on the face of the cue ball would appear to be travelling from right to left from the shooter's perspective... but if you could see THROUGH the ball, the same dot would then swing from left to right on the backside of the cue ball. For every millimeter the spin is carrying the ball to your left... it is equally carrying the ball to the right on the other side. The two cancel each other out and the ball ends up travelling the same amount as if you'd just cut it with centerball (assuming you cut it exactly as thick in both cases).

So why would an outside english shot travel less than an inside shot, if the above is true? Well, it doesn't... if you're cutting exactly as thick in both cases. What makes the outside useful is that you don't have to cut as thin as before. You can hit a little fatter. But that fat spinning hit will travel the cue ball the same amount as an equally fat center ball hit.

The difference is... one sends the object ball into the pocket and the other sends the OB into the rail.

dr_dave
03-17-2010, 06:17 PM
Any advantage you can get from that jacked up sidespin shot is ruined by the fact that you must cut the ball thinner to avoid having your inside spin throw it out of the pocket. You'd be better off throwing it with outside or even just center.

Dr. Dave has something that may or may not be considered proof.

You all know the shot where if you cut a ball into the corner, the cue ball is gonna scratch in the side. Sometimes it can be beat with follow and sometimes with draw. Sometimes it's a bit hairy and you must hit with good quick draw. Players have argued whether the best way to "hold" this shot and avoid the scratch is to use center draw, outside draw, or inside draw. So dave has filmed all three.

http://billiards.colostate.edu/normal_videos/new/NVB-25.htm

His findings in a nutshell: Low center works okay.
Low outside works too, and you can hit the ball a little fuller and throw it in, "making it easy to avoid the pocket".
The value of low inside is "questionable".Good summary. However, when the CB is close to the OB, English can be used to hold the CB. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/throw.html#hold

Also, with cue elevation, after-collision masse can be used to accomplish all sorts of things. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/masse.html#after

Regards,
Dave

DogsPlayingPool
03-17-2010, 08:14 PM
Good summary. However, when the CB is close to the OB, English can be used to hold the CB. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/throw.html#hold

Also, with cue elevation, after-collision masse can be used to accomplish all sorts of things. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/masse.html#after

Regards,
Dave

Seriously Dave, shouldn't you win a Nobel prize for your work in the field of billiards? :thumbup:

CreeDo
03-17-2010, 10:15 PM
So dave, to settle the debate... is there any situation where you can hold a ball with inside english? Where it might be preferable to throwing with outside?

I've heard people claim they can hold a ball that has a little too much angle using inside but I can't get my head around it. I'm not sure there's even some weird obscure rare situation where it's possible (much less preferable to holding with outside spin).

Siz
03-18-2010, 06:04 AM
So dave, to settle the debate... is there any situation where you can hold a ball with inside english? Where it might be preferable to throwing with outside?

I've heard people claim they can hold a ball that has a little too much angle using inside but I can't get my head around it. I'm not sure there's even some weird obscure rare situation where it's possible (much less preferable to holding with outside spin).

Looking at the typically excellent material Dr D has provided, I don't think that it supports my 'holding with inside english' claim (although I have not looked through everything on Dave's site - that is a treat that will probably have to wait until I retire!).

However - and subject to correction by the Dr - it might not refute it absolutely. The issue, as you have pointed out, CreeDo, is that spin induced throw tends to give the opposite effect to the one that I habitually miss balls with. But as Dave's articles point out, spin induced throw has its maximum effect with stun shots and medium (50%) side spin. The shot that I think I play - I haven't yet got to a table to check - is to aim thick and use drag/draw with MAXIMUM side spin.

It may be that a shot played in this way, the spin induced throw effect is negligable, and that it is swamped by an effect acting in the opposite direction. The latter effect is presumably caused by the cb describing a curved path before hitting the ob (so the ob sees it arriving from a narrower angle).

Alternatively it may be that I am imagining it! :p

Siz

dr_dave
03-18-2010, 06:19 AM
Good summary. However, when the CB is close to the OB, English can be used to hold the CB. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/throw.html#hold

Also, with cue elevation, after-collision masse can be used to accomplish all sorts of things. For more info, see:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/threads/masse.html#after

Regards,
Dave
Seriously Dave, shouldn't you win a Nobel prize for your work in the field of billiards? :thumbup:I think you need to be nominated for this. Why don't you suggest it to the Nobel Prize committee. If I'm selected, I'll split the money with you ... but I get to keep that cool medal. :grin-square:

Thanks,
Dave

Andrew Manning
03-18-2010, 07:02 AM
I haven't spent too much time thinking about it, but I think much of it has to do with the greater spin component associated with inside that counteracts the linear momentum of the CB post-impact (similar to how draw spin counteracts the forward momentum of the CB after CB-tip impact).

The trouble is that to affect linear momentum, there has to be a non-zero component to the spin vector orthogonal to the plane of the cloth. The independent variable in this discussion is a component to the spin vector parallel to the cloth. Thus there should be no direct effect on the "english" (defined for my purposes as the component of spin parallel to the cloth) on linear momentum of the ball. The only effects should be indirect, such as the idea that the english affects the fullness of the CB-OB collision, which has obvious effect on the CB momentum.

-Andrew

CreeDo
03-18-2010, 07:33 AM
Siz: ah, I get it now. You're doing a mini masse to 'hold' the ball.

This shot is in Grady's Break shots and key balls. On the key ball, he falls with too much angle for an under the rack break shot. So he jacks up, masses, and and sends the CB straighter into the key ball shot. The CB dies and he gets his break angle.

If that's what you're talking about, I don't think of that as holding the ball so much as an actual masse trick shot. You did say something about aiming for a fuller hit... honestly I think all the times you're using 'inside' hold, I think you're just hitting the ball with maximum fullness. Try setting up a few and see how much you can hold with soft quick draw and a very fat (almost missing the shot) hit.

jsp
03-18-2010, 07:38 AM
The trouble is that to affect linear momentum, there has to be a non-zero component to the spin vector orthogonal to the plane of the cloth. The independent variable in this discussion is a component to the spin vector parallel to the cloth. Thus there should be no direct effect on the "english" (defined for my purposes as the component of spin parallel to the cloth) on linear momentum of the ball. The only effects should be indirect, such as the idea that the english affects the fullness of the CB-OB collision, which has obvious effect on the CB momentum.
You're right (same with Creedo). I'm not satisfied at all with the off-the-cuff explanation I gave yesterday. I don't know what I was drinking yesterday.

Siz
03-18-2010, 09:33 AM
... honestly I think all the times you're using 'inside' hold, I think you're just hitting the ball with maximum fullness.

You might well be right. After you started putting doubt in my mind, it occured to me as well. It was something that I was going to check.

While I was trying to remember how the balls are set up when I play this kind of shot (as has been said earlier, it is difficult when the balls are not in front of you) I remembered another cut shot using inside english:

Ball on / very close to a rail; cue ball at an angle of greater than 90 degrees. You can still cut it in, if you use strong inside english. Nice when it works, but not a shot I would rush to play in a competition.

However bringing this shot into it would probably just confuse the issue - I have not seen a high speed video proving it, but the consensus seems to be that the cb hits the rail first.

Ratta
03-18-2010, 10:15 AM
I recommend what i learned-and even so think also still a good choice:
Keep the game as simple as possible. If no english needed, i ll shoot without english- if english is needed.........i ll use english...

lg
Ingo

TheBook
03-18-2010, 10:42 AM
An industry insider I spoke to recently told me that some of the top billiards pros are seeking to minimize the use of English in their game, perhaps eradicating it completely. He said such a goal was possible if they were able to play position with a very high degree of accuracy.

I believe he was talking about pool, rather than snooker, the latter which I believe tends to require greater use of English (side) to play at the high level?

Any comments?

Since most of the players are foreign to the US I am sure that they would prefer to speak their native language. :shrug: :killingme: Even it the US now Spanish seems to be taking over.:rotflmao:

TSW
03-18-2010, 12:25 PM
I'm nowhere close to a pro, but I want to thank this thread for making me realize that I'm over-using English.

Last night I ran a few drills that involve going to the rails for position play, and then I tried them without any English. I was amazed at how accurate my position play was without English, and also amazed to realize how often I rely on some degree of sidespin (even only a little bit) to change the angle off the rail.

No English also made me focus on stroking the ball better. I had to keep the right amount of follow or draw when the cue ball hit the rail, so I found myself delivering a crisper and more deliberate stroke. Sometimes I have a habit of rolling the cue ball with sidespin and letting the spin do the work.

I know this stuff seems obvious. I'm kicking myself for developing bad habits. But I think it's not uncommon among intermediate players...

Island Drive
03-18-2010, 02:11 PM
[QUOTE=tsw_521;2327617]I'm nowhere close to a pro, but I want to thank this thread for making me realize that I'm over-using English.


No English also made me focus on stroking the ball better.

This statement above is key. Your actually swinging the cue straighter by staying in the middle more, key element for improvement. Swinging the cue straight is the holy grail/Rempe was a master at that movement.

CreeDo
03-18-2010, 11:25 PM
Siz - yeah that's a cute trick shot, the railfirst spin-'er-in. Can be done at 90 degrees (though more than 90 degrees? Ooof. I'd have to see it. I know it works in theory).

Ever use some of these other holding tricks? Your mention of railfirst reminded me of them.
I'm feeling pedantic, brace yourself.

This one I first learned in the 99 critical shots but I thought it was a mistake in the diagram. Ray showed how center left, high left, and finally low left would cause the cue ball to increasingly spin further sideways off the short rail. I was like "why would low left spin further than high left? The draw is bringing it backwards. There's no reason drawing the ball would make it travel more forward."

What I realized years later is he's doing a soft low left shot. It's a draw-drag shot, so the draw totally dies before it even touches the ball. But the left spin you put on it stays. So the cue ball arrives with no topspin, just pure sidespin, which gets bigtime action off the rail. A little known aspect of inside english shots like this is that often pure center sidespin will get better action than high+sidespin. You'd think that if high makes it travel more 'forward' after contact, and if left does too, then high+left would have a really strong effect. But the effect, while good, is not as good as pure heavy left.

In the diagram, "A" is where you go with the draw-drag left, and "B" is where you go with with plain high left, or a center left shot that has been allowed to pick up forward roll since it was hit softly. Holding to "A" makes the 2 a lot easier.

Man that was really windy.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@2APYg2BEnc2PBrY2QUFm2RSxS2UPYg2UXAk2Uchg2Ucpt2kB rY2kMfi2kMfj2kUNm4uCEL@

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.

The railfirst shot I was reminded of is sort of like the one below. It's hard to diagram the exact situation but I know it when I see it. Basically if you hit the ball first, you're ending up at B or worse. Holding with outside, which I usually want to do here, may not be good because you can bump the 3 or get stuck behind it or jacked up over it. But if you load up with tons of soft inside, you can hit the rail way before the ball and then spin sharply into it. If you hit the 1 fat enough after the rebound, the cue ball won't travel much... or at least not as much as it would hitting directly.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@2ALph1BFtL2CFkQ1PImG2QOBX2RMUi2ULph2UXAk2Uchg2Uc pt1kImG2kInl2kJUi2kOBX4uAxR@

pt109
03-19-2010, 09:11 AM
For those who are spin addicts.....
Occam's Razor...
It is vain to do with more what you can do with less.
For those who insist on center ball......
Nothing in excess...including moderation.

Siz
03-19-2010, 12:06 PM
...A little known aspect of inside english shots like this is that often pure center sidespin will get better action than high+sidespin. You'd think that if high makes it travel more 'forward' after contact, and if left does too, then high+left would have a really strong effect. But the effect, while good, is not as good as pure heavy left...

Yup. That was me! :rolleyes: I don't think that there was a conscious thought process along the lines you suggested; but subconsciously this is probably what was happening. For years I would put top and bottom to 'help' the side, when it was unnecessary (and as you say, even counter productive).

There are probably two effects that can be relevant here. One is that the side 'takes' better off the rail if the ball contacts it with stun (ie is sliding). But the other BIG effect, which many players do not seem to factor in, is that the side takes much better when the cb hits the rail SLOWLY.

You often see people over-hit the shot when they are having difficulty getting the cb moving where they want, not realising that as a result the ball is coming onto the first rail too fast for the spin to be really effective. (That was me as well by the way! :p)

thefonz
03-24-2010, 04:33 PM
Fonz: sounds like the old guard grousing about the new guard. Almost like you're saying there's no way today's players could be as skilled as the old guys, that's just impossible. They only can move the cue ball because of their fancy shafts and fast cloth. You figure they use all that sidespin as a crutch because they can't truly stroke a ball?

i'm not talking about old greats vs the new ones. great players from any era have great ability. i'm talking about the majority of people who play pool (90%+? i don't know what the percentage actually is) who buy into all this equipment, but can't bring their game to the next level. it's like all the advances in golf (lawnmower, ball, clubs, teaching aids, etc) but the same percentage of players can't break 100. it comes down to the mechanics, take a particular shot, and have it played the same way by a mediocre player and a pro, i can almost guarantee that the pro will play the shot with a lot less effort. the same reason why great players can pick up any old cue and still play, as opposed to joe schmuck who falls to pieces if his shoes aren't tied right. i like a saying that was used in this forum, and I hope i don't offend anyone but "it's not the arrow, it's the indian". One measure of mechanics would be to play snooker, and try to run a century. it's not something that you can fluke off, and you will never do it without solid mechanics.

CreeDo
03-24-2010, 11:23 PM
I gotcha fonz, and for the record I have been a big fan of indian-not-the-arrow. For a long time I refused to buy my own stick because I was beating everyone with a house cue. Eventually someone had to give me one just because it was so pathetic to play like a B using a D- cue.

So I do agree on that part of it.

I guess the argument is that the 99% of us who aren't pro don't need to learn a really solid stroke to get action out of the cue ball, since the old nappy cloth really required a firm hit right at the cue ball's sweet spot.

But, to reach a higher level you still need to learn that stroke, and those who fail to learn it... well they're not really trying for that higher level. If they're having fun getting 2 feet of draw with a crappy stroke on 860 cloth, good for them. Maybe it helps get them deeper into pool when they can immediately get easy results and start using english early.

poolplayer2093
03-25-2010, 12:33 AM
i've only read the first page of this thread. has it gotten worth reading yet?

poolplayer2093
03-25-2010, 12:36 AM
Siz - yeah that's a cute trick shot, the railfirst spin-'er-in. Can be done at 90 degrees (though more than 90 degrees? Ooof. I'd have to see it. I know it works in theory).

Ever use some of these other holding tricks? Your mention of railfirst reminded me of them.
I'm feeling pedantic, brace yourself.

This one I first learned in the 99 critical shots but I thought it was a mistake in the diagram. Ray showed how center left, high left, and finally low left would cause the cue ball to increasingly spin further sideways off the short rail. I was like "why would low left spin further than high left? The draw is bringing it backwards. There's no reason drawing the ball would make it travel more forward."

What I realized years later is he's doing a soft low left shot. It's a draw-drag shot, so the draw totally dies before it even touches the ball. But the left spin you put on it stays. So the cue ball arrives with no topspin, just pure sidespin, which gets bigtime action off the rail. A little known aspect of inside english shots like this is that often pure center sidespin will get better action than high+sidespin. You'd think that if high makes it travel more 'forward' after contact, and if left does too, then high+left would have a really strong effect. But the effect, while good, is not as good as pure heavy left.

In the diagram, "A" is where you go with the draw-drag left, and "B" is where you go with with plain high left, or a center left shot that has been allowed to pick up forward roll since it was hit softly. Holding to "A" makes the 2 a lot easier.

Man that was really windy.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@2APYg2BEnc2PBrY2QUFm2RSxS2UPYg2UXAk2Uchg2Ucpt2kB rY2kMfi2kMfj2kUNm4uCEL@

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.

The railfirst shot I was reminded of is sort of like the one below. It's hard to diagram the exact situation but I know it when I see it. Basically if you hit the ball first, you're ending up at B or worse. Holding with outside, which I usually want to do here, may not be good because you can bump the 3 or get stuck behind it or jacked up over it. But if you load up with tons of soft inside, you can hit the rail way before the ball and then spin sharply into it. If you hit the 1 fat enough after the rebound, the cue ball won't travel much... or at least not as much as it would hitting directly.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@2ALph1BFtL2CFkQ1PImG2QOBX2RMUi2ULph2UXAk2Uchg2Uc pt1kImG2kInl2kJUi2kOBX4uAxR@


i don't think i'd try this shot if i "needed" to make the ball. i'd rather take my chances going up and down table or ducking