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jsp
02-04-2008, 11:56 AM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?

Jude Rosenstock
02-04-2008, 12:01 PM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?

This is interesting. I think in absolutely extreme situations where the cut is paper thin, most professionals will hit center-ball and chop it right in. This is what I typically see among the better players in my room. However, there is the fairly thin cut that many will spin in (including Efren Reyes) and the argument for that has in part, to do with throw but also, you diminish the skid-factor, as well.

Bob Jewett
02-04-2008, 12:09 PM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?
If you try to use perfect throw cancellation by using outside english, and you get the english slightly wrong, you will introduce a large error in the cut angle. This problem is worst if you have no draw or follow on the cue ball when it hits the object ball. If you want best repeatability, try rolling the cue ball without side spin.

Technically, the margin of error as far as the landing point of the cue ball on the object ball is not significantly increased by using outside spin, at least for normal cut shots. Shots near or beyond 90 degrees are an exception, obviously. If you do use outside english, you have squirt, swerve and the exact cancellation of throw to worry about.

Travis Bickle
02-04-2008, 12:40 PM
Part of what makes an action repeatable, well, is repetition, right? The more often you spin, the more they seem to go in ... and fewer problems with skid. But I'm no world-beater! When I stopped worrying about whether I might be spinning it too often, I felt like my game went up a ball. But as often as not I'll try to use only slight amounts of side ...

JoeyInCali
02-04-2008, 01:12 PM
This is interesting. I think in absolutely extreme situations where the cut is paper thin, most professionals will hit center-ball and chop it right in. This is what I typically see among the better players in my room. However, there is the fairly thin cut that many will spin in (including Efren Reyes) and the argument for that has in part, to do with throw but also, you diminish the skid-factor, as well.
Jude, I have honestly never seen a ball skid on thin cut shots.

What is odd is a lot of people, including me, shoot the 9-ball with a little inside b/c it is actually easier for me to aim the tip that way. Just aim the tip to the contact point and the 9-ball goes in (on slight angles only ).
Then a friend of mine, who is very close to Efren, shoots the 9 aiming dead center then pivots to the outside and shoots. Splits the pocket most of the time. Someone asked why he did that, he told the dude, " ok you can have the 7-ball". :D
For what it's worth Efren told me once, don't learn from me. I spin the ball too much. Go watch Parica.
All in all, if you hit off-center on the cb, s#!t happens a lot.
Parica, from what I've seen, almost always shoots the 9 with center soft punch stroke.

Hail Mary Shot
02-04-2008, 01:19 PM
it's the gear principle. it's kinda tricky becoz there is also a tendency that the OB will have a reverse bounce on the jaws (saw it a couple of times happened to me) and out or left hanging. if you will apply english, make sure that you pocket the OB straight in without hitting the jaws or simply perfect execution. the only logical reason for using english on a cut shot is for positional purpose done by experienced pool players who had mastered the principle of the throw.

02-04-2008, 01:20 PM
Jude, I have honestly never seen a ball skid on thin cut shots.

What is odd is a lot of people, including me, shoot the 9-ball with a little inside b/c it is actually easier for me to aim the tip that way. Just aim the tip to the contact point and the 9-ball goes in (on slight angles only ).
Then a friend of mine, who is very close to Efren, shoots the 9 aiming dead center then pivots to the outside and shoots. Splits the pocket most of the time. Someone asked why he did that, he told the dude, " ok you can have the 7-ball". :D
For what it's worth Efren told me once, don't learn from me. I spin the ball too much. Go watch Parica.
All in all, if you hit off-center on the cb, s#!t happens a lot.
Parica, from what I've seen, almost always shoots the 9 with center soft punch stroke.

Aiming dead straight and then pivoting for the English is back hand english and it was Efren who first taught me to do it. It is the best way to apply english IMO. The only problem with it is that it is sooo accurate that you end up using english on almost every shot and you will decrease consistency slightly over learning to use less english, even BHE being as accurate as it is.

jsp
02-04-2008, 01:35 PM
If you try to use perfect throw cancellation by using outside english, and you get the english slightly wrong, you will introduce a large error in the cut angle.
Yes, I understand this and it makes sense.

However, I'm talking about using english that is more than what is needed for perfect throw cancellation. For these cases, the landing point of the CB on the OB would be thicker than the perfect throw cancellation case, since the CB is actually throwing the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

So here is my first order argument.

You have a certain cut shot, say a 45-degree cut shot to the pocket. You shoot the CB at the OB at a slightly thicker angle (thicker compared to the ideal, zero friction case), say at 42-degrees, but you spin the CB with excess outside english such that the CB throws the OB at a greater angle, sending the OB to the dead center of the pocket.

It should be apparent that you're already increasing your margin of error to a degree just by the fact that you are shooting at a thicker angle than the zero-friction case, since the margin of error increases the less cut angle you have.

Next, you have the exact same shot and you shoot the CB with the same speed and the same amount of spin, but this time you hit the OB slightly fuller than the first case, say at 40-degrees instead of the previous 42 degrees. For the zero-friction case, this two degree difference would translate to a two degree delta in the CB departure angle. But for the real world case with excess outside spin, the CB departure angle would only be less than two degrees.

Why? Because you're hitting the OB more full, and CB/OB throw would have more of an impact than the previous case. Therefore, friction would only make the change in departure angle be less than the two degrees for the zero-friction case.

One can even argue that because you're hitting the OB more full, the surface speed of the CB at the CB/OB contact point is greater than the initial case, providing even more torque on the OB throwing it even further, compensating even more for the initial hit error.

So at least for the case where you err on a fuller hit, you have three ways that spinning the ball in increases your margin of error...

1) Spinning the ball naturally makes you hit the ball thicker to begin with, and a thicker hit intrinsically increases your margin of error since your error goes up as the cut angle goes down.
2) The fuller hit transfers more of the CB oustide spin throw to the OB.
3) The fuller hit means that the CB surface speeds at the contact point is greater, providing more throwing force to the OB.

Before anyone jumps on me for point #3, I understand that it can be argued that the coefficient of friction can go down with higher surface speeds (which is why you have less apparent throw at harder no-english shots than softer shots). So there is probably not as much increase in error margin the faster you spin the OB.

Jude Rosenstock
02-04-2008, 02:20 PM
Jude, I have honestly never seen a ball skid on thin cut shots.

What is odd is a lot of people, including me, shoot the 9-ball with a little inside b/c it is actually easier for me to aim the tip that way. Just aim the tip to the contact point and the 9-ball goes in (on slight angles only ).
Then a friend of mine, who is very close to Efren, shoots the 9 aiming dead center then pivots to the outside and shoots. Splits the pocket most of the time. Someone asked why he did that, he told the dude, " ok you can have the 7-ball". :D
For what it's worth Efren told me once, don't learn from me. I spin the ball too much. Go watch Parica.
All in all, if you hit off-center on the cb, s#!t happens a lot.
Parica, from what I've seen, almost always shoots the 9 with center soft punch stroke.

I wasn't talking about the thin cut where you're chopping the ball in. I don't use any english on those. I'm speaking primarily of a cut around 20-30 degrees. Not THIN but definitely cutting.

I mean, no matter what you use, you're going to have a set of problems to deal with. Often times, it's about picking whichever gives you the least set of problems. Do you hit hard, soft, spin, center, top, bottom (when position doesn't matter). I can't say I have a general rule for this nor do I think any player is going to say that. There are times I'll hit it a certain way because through my experience (mine, not yours), I find that I've avoided more problems going X route than I have going Y or Z. There are plenty of people that strongly recommend hitting the ball soft enough so that it rolls in. I usually punch my final shots in. I find I'm more accurate when I'm hitting firm.

If someone puts up a diagram of a shot, I can then say with certainty how I will hit it and we can all post our reasons for our own approach.

George Fels
02-04-2008, 03:40 PM
First, I'd say that there are two ways of transferring English to the object ball. The spin you provide yourself, with an off-center cue-ball hit, will not last much longer than the object ball's first revolution. But what the experts call "collision-induced throw" - meaning spin that gets transferred to the OB via the cue ball's line of direction - lasts longer and can help you pocket balls at sufficiently reduced speed. I would agree with Bob Jewett: don't make thin cut shots any harder than you need to. GF

enzo
02-04-2008, 03:56 PM
deleted post????? why no delete option?

Jal
02-04-2008, 04:14 PM
...
1) Spinning the ball naturally makes you hit the ball thicker to begin with, and a thicker hit intrinsically increases your margin of error since your error goes up as the cut angle goes down.
2) The fuller hit transfers more of the CB oustide spin throw to the OB.
3) The fuller hit means that the CB surface speeds at the contact point is greater, providing more throwing force to the OB.

Jsp, I don't think there is any real advantage when you factor in the added complications of squirt and swerve.

Hitting thicker does reduce the "geometric" margin of error, but not that much. Throw compensation is pretty small as well. The greatest "automatic" correction to a cut angle error that throw provides is when the balls end up rolling across each other on a stun shot. Here you get the most variation in throw with variations in surface speed. For some cut angle A and english spin Wz, where V is the cueball's speed and R its radius, the relative surface speed between the cueball and object ball on a stun shot is:

Vs = Vsin(A) - RWz

If this surface speed isn't too great, the balls end up rolling during impact. In this case, 1/7'th of this surface speed becomes the sideways throw velocity of the object ball. Since the object ball's forward speed is Vcos(A), the throw angle T is:

T = Atan[(1/7)(Vsin(A)-RWz)/Vcos(A)] = Atan[(1/7)(sin(A)-RWz/V)/cos(A)]

For simplicity, let's assume that RWz/V=sin(A), so that the surface speed and throw would be zero if we actually cut the ball at angle A. But instead, we cut it at angle A' (keeping RWz the same). Now we have a throw angle T', and the difference is:

T' - T = T' - 0 = Atan[(1/7)(sin(A')-sin(A))/cos(A')]

So if we overcut what should have been a 30 degree cut by 4 degrees, the throw compensation would be:

T' - T = T' - 0 = Atan[(1/7)(sin(34)-sin(30))/cos(34)] = 0.58 degree

The correction is about 1/7'th of the cut angle error. Well it is something, but is it worth the squirt and swerve stuff? And you get even less correction if the cueball has draw or follow on it or the spin/speed ratio RWz/V is not very close to sin(A). Since that cosine in the denominator gets very small as you approach 90 degree cuts, it may seem like there might be a real advantage there. But the unfortunate fact is that you have to get the spin/speed ratio RWz/V closer and closer to sin(A) to get the balls to roll across each other. (I know you're not actually prescribing getting the ratio very close, but it gives us an idea of what the maximum correction can be.)

Interesting idea though, and maybe it bears further thought.

Jim

Scaramouche
02-04-2008, 04:20 PM
Take a look at Clip 13 for an explanation of how spinning improves control of the cue ball

SNOOKER INSTRUCTION VIDEO
Understanding Modern Snooker ? Jack Karnehm
Part 1 ? Manufacturing and assembling a snooker table
Part 2 ? Marking, Installing Rails
Part 3 ? Straight Cueing
Part 4 ? Centre Ball Hit
Part 5 ? Alignment Feet Bridge Hand
Part 6 ? Cue Hand Bridge Hand
Part 7 - Bridge Hand Equipment
Part 8 - Equipment Stance Drill Choosing A Cue Retipping
Part 9 - Cues Retipping Draw Shot
Part 10 ? Draw Follow Drag Stun English
Part 11 - English
Part 12 ? Massee Break Shot
Part 13 ? Controlling The Cue Ball
Part 14 - Cue Ball Control
Part 15 ? Cue Ball Control Aiming
Part 16 ? Aiming Geography Etiquette
Part 17 ? Etiquette Billiards
Part 18 ? Billiards Trickshots

JimS
02-04-2008, 06:00 PM
I was of the opinion that cit could be overcome by using a little "helping english".... not trying to throw the ball but maybe a 1/2 tip outside english.

Maybe I'm not understanding the term margin of error here. It seems to me that on any given shot you have a pocket that will take the shot that is only a given amount from the center of the pocket and a player can over or undercut the shot with or without english. If the shot player is trying to "spin the ball in " then he may throw it too thin to make the shot.

For most shots, except for those that have to be thrown in, I try to shoot aiming at some point within the pocket and use a little helping english for shots thicker than about 60 degrees. I don't think the ob throws at cut angles greater than that.

Am I on the right track here?

Black-Balled
02-04-2008, 06:08 PM
Jude, I have honestly never seen a ball skid on thin cut shots...

Go wash your balls w/ dish soap and let them air-dry, if you want a show! It is crazy enough, without deez nutz jokes.

I think the prob w/ spinning the balls in all the time is that you do not get the same results when variables change.

I am a spinner trying to attain center ball. It is tough!

avmaster
02-04-2008, 06:27 PM
My mentor always told me to avoid "spinning" or applying english to the ball unless you were trying to avoid a scratch shot or looking to achive a difficult "position" shot after the cut shot. There are varibles, of course, but, as a rule, I don't spin those shots. I never lift the cue ball off the table, I don't do jump shots or masse'. Physics tells us there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action. It is true. he also told me "don't over think" your shots, so, i don't. It has stood me well for 40 years......:)

avmaster
02-04-2008, 06:33 PM
Oh, yeah, to answer the question:D ..... I think it does increase your margin of error..:)

okinawa77
02-04-2008, 07:20 PM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?

I have found that I do the same thing. I tend to use more outside CB english on almost all my shots, but I have found that my winning consistency increasing using only center english. Even with center english you experience the effects of CIE when the CB and OB are close and extreme english and/or hard stroke is applied.
To answer your questions, IMO...yes, using additional spin does increase your margin for error. But I have found some ways to tune it in.
When I first get on a table, for using additonal spin, I have to take into effect the cloth, pocket size, humidity, ball cleanliness, ball wear, etc...
So, I will warm up using only dead center CB contact. Once I am pocketing balls consistently, then I start using center top and center low english. I note the effects on the OBs track lines because with each table, it may be slightly different. Once, this is dialed in, then using side english is my final dialing knob. Using dead center CB is the base/fundamental for applying english with accuracy. In many cases, dead center CB will acheive great pool shooting accuracy. The application of english will enable you to manipulate the CB's track which enables you to get better/easier shape on you next shot.
I know it seems that applying additional english will decrease your margin of error on some shots, but like Bob mentioned...their are other factors at play...like the cue balls reaction to the table/cue before it contacts the OB. There are adjustments for that, and Bob can explain those adjustments. I just know them vaguely, and make those adjustments kind of instinctively.

I indulge you to find a table with extremely slow cloth and/or dirty balls, and watch the CB/OB collisions and reactions. I have seen CIT on OBs using only dead center CB contact on small to large cut angles. I was, at one point, able to perform some seemingly impossible shots by manipulating the effects of such a table. For me, tuning in my application of english is an almost instinctual process that is used for each and every table I play on, but when it doubt of the playing conditions....I always rely on my fundamental of dead center english.

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 07:21 AM
Bob Jewett:
... the margin of error ... is not significantly increased by using outside spin.
... If you do use outside english, you have squirt, swerve and the exact cancellation of throw to worry about.

In other words, there's a net loss of accuracy.

Preventing throw is also a net loss because you're adding a complex variable (squirt/swerve) to prevent a simple one (throw).

Preventing skid is also a net loss because you're adding a complex variable (squirt/swerve) to every cut shot in order to prevent a relatively rare problem.

pj
chgo

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 07:28 AM
back hand english ... is the best way to apply english IMO

It may be for high squirt cues (where the cue's pivot point is near the bridge), but probably not for lower squirt cues.

Even for high squirt cues I think back hand english is an approximation in most cases (not the precise adjustment you think it is) that the player subconsciously adjusts for final accuracy - like lots of aiming systems. Personally, for such an important adjustment I prefer to consciously train my subconscious to do it rather than leaving the whole process "in the dark".

pj
chgo

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 07:33 AM
So here is my first order argument.

Without going to the trouble of parsing this, it sounds to me like, at best, a theoretical minor increase in contact point margin in exchange for a definite significant decrease in CB path accuracy.

pj
chgo

JoeyInCali
02-05-2008, 09:49 AM
It may be for high squirt cues (where the cue's pivot point is near the bridge), but probably not for lower squirt cues.

Even for high squirt cues I think back hand english is an approximation in most cases (not the precise adjustment you think it is) that the player subconsciously adjusts for final accuracy - like lots of aiming systems. Personally, for such an important adjustment I prefer to consciously train my subconscious to do it rather than leaving the whole process "in the dark".

pj
chgo
Since the main purpose of english ( unless you really have to throw the OB b/c of the angle available for the shot ) is for cueball positioning, I still think it is the best way to spin the cueball ( side of the tip hits the cb better imo ).

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 09:56 AM
JoeyInCali:
Since the main purpose of english ... is for cueball positioning, I still think [back hand english] is the best way to spin the cueball ( side of the tip hits the cb better imo ).

To make the shot and get the english you want the tip must hit the CB in exactly the same way no matter how you apply sidespin (back hand english, aim and pivot, some other way - doesn't matter). Maybe it's just a different way of thinking of the same thing so it makes most sense to us individually.

pj
chgo

JoeyInCali
02-05-2008, 10:06 AM
To make the shot and get the english you want the tip must hit the CB in exactly the same way no matter how you apply sidespin (back hand english, aim and pivot, some other way - doesn't matter). Maybe it's just a different way of thinking of the same thing so it makes most sense to us individually.

pj
chgo
If the shaft is dead parallel to the center of the ball as compared to off-angled to the side of the english, you get more spin with an off-angled shaft imo.

whitewolf
02-05-2008, 10:16 AM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?

This reminds me of the 1st post I ever made5 years ago: Throwing the Object Ball. :D

Now the best player I ever saw who excelled using center ball, top and bottom, was Kid Cole Dickson. Unless you have a perfect stroke like he did, I wouldn't recommend using no spinning for this reason:

On normal shots (not the length of the table and not too soft or too hard):

If you are cutting the ball to the right using center ball and you hit the cue ball slightly to the right, you impart 'inside english' and this can wreck havoc because of the induced throw!!!!

Whereas, if you use a little left english, and miss it just as much as you did above, then you will increase your margin of error because you are still throwing the ball towards the pocket.

Plus, anytime you are hitting the ball more 'solid', you are increasing/simplifying accuracy simply because the target is 'more in range'.

Why in the heck do you think more pros 'throw the object ball' towards the pocket -----> because there is more margin of error and it is therefore more accurate. Think about it.

JoeW
02-05-2008, 10:22 AM
I am out of my depth here but I have a few questions.

If outside english reduces throw then this type of english improves accuracy by removing (to some extent) a source of error -- right?

Is it easier or better to learn to estimate throw or to learn to use outside english?

Is it true that throw has more of a range of effect based on CB speed (power) and angle than side spin? If this is true then it is "better" to learn to use outside english -- right?

If the latter is true then learning to use english to compensate for throw is more (?) worthwhile.

Johnnyt
02-05-2008, 10:30 AM
Any spin/english you use makes the shot harder to some degree...depending how much you use and how hard you hit it. Any pro or real good player I've asked over the years has said to use as LITTLE spin/english as you have to to get position. Just running english is preferred. Of course you have to play perfect position for that. Johnnyt

JoeyInCali
02-05-2008, 11:41 AM
I am out of my depth here but I have a few questions.

If outside english reduces throw then this type of english improves accuracy by removing (to some extent) a source of error -- right?

.
I think you have throw and cling/skid mixed up.

JoeW
02-05-2008, 12:20 PM
Could be I have things mixed up. Thanks for the help. Seems that I know a few people who use inside english to kill the CB for position. Seems to work for them but I prefer center ball as much as possible.

I know that when I play on my 9' GC III with Simonis 860 the game is considerably different than a bar box with whatever they place on Valley tables.

Jal
02-05-2008, 12:25 PM
In other words, there's a net loss of accuracy.

Preventing throw is also a net loss because you're adding a complex variable (squirt/swerve) to prevent a simple one (throw).

Preventing skid is also a net loss because you're adding a complex variable (squirt/swerve) to every cut shot in order to prevent a relatively rare problem.

pj
chgoExactly. Anyone who thinks otherwise should spend some time studying these graphs of throw, especially pages 8 and onward:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf

Starting on page 8, they show the amount of throw versus cut angle for various spins on the cueball. He uses the notation PEr to designate the percentage roll, with 0% meaning none (stun), and 100% meaning full (natural) roll. PEe is the percentage english, with 0% meaning none, and 100% meaning maximum (a tip offset of 1/2R). Positive percentages mean outside english while negative percentages mean inside english.

You get a correction for overcutting or undercutting wherever a curve, or a portion of a curve, points up and to the right. In other words, overcutting gets you more positive throw (or less negative), while undercutting produces less positive throw (or more negative). The steeper the slope of the curve, the better.

As is immediately obvious on pages 8 and 9, you get the steepest slopes for stun shots (PEr=0). But even at that, you only get a few degrees difference in throw for every 15 degrees difference in cut angle. The ratio is generally around 1 to 7. So there's no denying it, there is some correction there. But how can this possibly be worth the added complications of squirt and swerve? Unless you have some sort of condition that allows you to deal with them almost flawlessly, it isn't.

Jim

JoeW
02-05-2008, 12:48 PM
Thank you. Apparently the conclusion is to learn to play with throw and use english as little as possible. Good to know.

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 12:59 PM
Me:
To make the shot and get the english you want the tip must hit the CB in exactly the same way no matter how you apply sidespin (back hand english, aim and pivot, some other way - doesn't matter). Maybe it's just a different way of thinking of the same thing so it makes most sense to us individually.

JoeyInCali:
If the shaft is dead parallel to the center of the ball as compared to off-angled to the side of the english, you get more spin with an off-angled shaft imo.

I agree, but that's two different shots - you can't make the OB and get the right amount of spin by hitting the CB two different ways. In other words, no matter how you get there (back hand english, etc.), you have to end up hitting the CB on the same spot and with your stick at the same angle or you won't get the same results.

By the way, I'm not sure what you mean by "dead parallel". If you mean parallel with the path the CB needs to take, you can't make the shot that way (squirt will make you miss). If you mean parallel with the angle you need to compensate for squirt, that's the only angle that works - you can't put more angle on the stick and still make the shot. If you put more angle on the stick you have to hit the CB farther from center to get the right amount of squirt correction, which means you're putting more spin on the CB than you want. If you put more angle on the stick and hit closer to center (to get the same amount of spin) you'll miss the shot because your squirt correction is off.

pj
chgo

Jal
02-05-2008, 01:10 PM
...If outside english reduces throw then this type of english improves accuracy by removing (to some extent) a source of error -- right?It depends on cut angle, the amount of draw/follow (ie, roll state), and the amount of english used. For cut angles greater than around 30 degrees, a moderate amount of outside actually increases throw a little. See the graphs on page 5 here:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf

Is it easier or better to learn to estimate throw or to learn to use outside english?Outside english is no panacea, as the graphs clearly show. In order to use it to reduce or eliminate throw, you have to understand some of its nuances. Why not then just adjust for it, rather than adding squirt and swerve to the mix? Granted, you need to learn to use english, but using it as an antidote for throw doesn't make much sense, imo.

Is it true that throw has more of a range of effect based on CB speed (power) and angle than side spin?Speed has a considerable effect. In the graphs linked to above, the red curves are for slow shots, blue a little faster, and green the fastest, (1.1, 3.4, and 10.1 mph, respectively).

Sidespin also has a considerable effect. Again see the graphs. Look at contact point on the object ball as the center of a compass. Out of the 360 degrees worth of directions the object ball can be thrown, it's the combination of cut angle, sidespin and draw/follow spin that determines which particular direction. The speed of the shot, along with the other things just mentioned, determine how fast it is propelled in this direction (which is perpendicular to its main forward direction). The horizontal component of this is its throw velocity - at least this is the portion of it that affects the outcome of shots. It, plus its forward speed, make up the throw angle.

People want some easy generalizations that apply to all or most shots. That's natural and would that it were so. But throw is not that simple and the language used to describe it lacks sufficient richness. Statements made about it generally are true only for some shots within a relatively limited range of spins on the cueball.

Jim

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 01:14 PM
Seems that I know a few people who use inside english to kill the CB for position.

I believe this can only work if you hit downward on the ball (in other words, using masse/swerve to brake the CB), which is another one of those net loss accuracy propositions. The amount of "braking" you get simply from the sideways rubbing between the CB and OB is counteracted by the additional angle you have to put on the cut to compensate for the added throw.

pj
chgo

Jal
02-05-2008, 01:34 PM
I believe this can only work if you hit downward on the ball (in other words, using masse/swerve to brake the CB), which is another one of those net loss accuracy propositions. The amount of "braking" you get simply from the sideways rubbing between the CB and OB is counteracted by the additional angle you have to put on the cut to compensate for the added throw.

pj
chgoI think you are one of maybe one or two people that appreciate this.

Jim

JoeW
02-05-2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks guys, you have simplified my practice routines. I realize there are no paneceas. But is good to have some guiding principles. I will definitely study those charts in depth.

Intuitively I did not think that inside english was worth the potential problems, now I know why.:)

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 01:57 PM
Me:
I believe ["braking" the CB with inside english] can only work if you hit downward on the ball (in other words, using masse/swerve to brake the CB), which is another one of those net loss accuracy propositions. The amount of "braking" you get simply from the sideways rubbing between the CB and OB is counteracted by the additional angle you have to put on the cut to compensate for the added throw.

Jal:
I think you are one of maybe one or two people that appreciate this.

This light bulb went on for me when Bob Jewett (or was it Ron Shepard?) explained that if you start with a straight in shot and add a little cut, if you also add just the right amount of inside spin so the OB is thrown straight forward (as if you had hit it with no cut), then the CB/OB friction will also stop the CB dead (as if you had hit it with no cut). In other words the two will exactly cancel each other out.

What I really appreciate is those guys (including you) who are willing to explain this stuff over and over in the hope that maybe one more insane person per year will benefit from it.

pj
chgo

Jude Rosenstock
02-05-2008, 02:13 PM

Travis Bickle
02-05-2008, 02:51 PM
Intuitively I did not think that inside english was worth the potential problems, now I know why.:)

You kidding here, Joe? Since I got HD a year ago, and especially on Matchroom broadcasts, you can really see how often the pros dab a little inside or outside on stun or short draw shots, just to give a couple of examples.

This wasn't really in my repertoire until the past few months, but I think those moves give you a lot of options in refining your position play. And if you're dialed into the effects from using it fairly often, I also think you're in better shape when you have to come with a juiced-up shot.

Travis Bickle
02-05-2008, 04:15 PM
Think my last post was off the point a little. I wasn't talking there about decreasing the margin for error, but just saying that I didn't think such small amounts of english increased it significantly.

A better example might be: let's say you're hill-hill, \$100 or some other meaningful amount of money on the line ... you're shooting a moderate cut on the 9 (less than half-table), it's by the short rail and 2 diamonds from the pocket. If it's a half-inch off the rail, how do you cinch it? And what if it's frozen? Do you still like center ball?

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 05:28 PM
Think my last post was off the point a little. I wasn't talking there about decreasing the margin for error, but just saying that I didn't think such small amounts of english increased it significantly.

A better example might be: let's say you're hill-hill, \$100 or some other meaningful amount of money on the line ... you're shooting a moderate cut on the 9 (less than half-table), it's by the short rail and 2 diamonds from the pocket. If it's a half-inch off the rail, how do you cinch it? And what if it's frozen? Do you still like center ball?

Even more. The reasons that center ball is more reliable don't change because you're on the 9 or you've got money on the game - center ball becomes more important because of those things.

You have to hit the right OB contact point with spin just like you have to without spin. That point doesn't get any bigger because you've added spin; it just gets a little harder to figure exactly where it is (its location moves with more or less spin) and a little harder to hit it (because of squirt/swerve). Why make the shot harder?

pj
chgo

JoeyInCali
02-05-2008, 05:31 PM
And what if it's frozen? Do you still like center ball?
I'd put a little inside english on it.

Patrick Johnson
02-05-2008, 05:39 PM
And what if it's frozen? Do you still like center ball?
I'd put a little inside english on it.

Depends on the angle. You can come up with a few specific situations where some spin might help, but that doesn't change the general principle.

pj
chgo

Travis Bickle
02-05-2008, 05:53 PM
I'm with Joey. I'll hit the frozen shot at about 1 o'clock. If off the rail, I'd like 11:30 to 11:45 ...

Jal
02-05-2008, 06:11 PM
Yes. The reasons that center ball is more reliable don't change because you're on the 9.

You have to hit the right OB contact point with spin just like you have to without spin. That point doesn't get any bigger because you've added spin; it just gets a little harder to figure exactly where it is (its location moves with more or less spin) and a little harder to hit it (because of squirt/swerve). Why make the shot harder?

pj
chgoAgreed again. Look at the first plot on page 17 of Dr. Dave's article here:

http://billiards.colostate.edu/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf

This is for a fully rolling cueball (PEr=100%) with zero sidespin (PEe=0%). (The subcripts r and e are covered a bit by those green squiggles.)

The blue curve represents a very moderate cueball speed of 3.4 mph. It shows very little throw, only up to about 1 degree through cut angles ranging from 0 to 45 degrees. Faster speeds produce even less throw (green line for instance)

More important are the plots which show how much the throw varies if you change the amount of english, intentionally or unintentionally. The last one on page 6 and first one on page 7 show this for a fully rolling cueball at cut angles of 30 and 60 degrees, respectively. With zero english, the curves are relatively flat, meaning the amount of throw is not very sensitive to tip placement.

At the same time, these same plots show that the slopes of the curves begin to increase as you employ outside english (move to the right in the diagrams). While you are reducing throw to be sure, you're paying a dear price: you're getting a considerably increased sensitivity of throw to the amount of english used, thereby making the throw angle and the overall cut angle harder to predict. And for this you're adding the complications of squirt and swerve?

They also show that inside english (on the left half of the diagrams) is even better than no english at flattening out the curves. But as with outside, you now have to deal with the two S's.

Just rolling the cueball seems to be the pretty clear winner if your goal is to cinch a shot, position be damned.

Jim

jsp
02-05-2008, 07:16 PM
Jsp, I don't think there is any real advantage when you factor in the added complications of squirt and swerve.

Hitting thicker does reduce the "geometric" margin of error, but not that much. Throw compensation is pretty small as well. The greatest "automatic" correction to a cut angle error that throw provides is when the balls end up rolling across each other on a stun shot. Here you get the most variation in throw with variations in surface speed. For some cut angle A and english spin Wz, where V is the cueball's speed and R its radius, the relative surface speed between the cueball and object ball on a stun shot is:

Vs = Vsin(A) - RWz

If this surface speed isn't too great, the balls end up rolling during impact. In this case, 1/7'th of this surface speed becomes the sideways throw velocity of the object ball. Since the object ball's forward speed is Vcos(A), the throw angle T is:

T = Atan[(1/7)(Vsin(A)-RWz)/Vcos(A)] = Atan[(1/7)(sin(A)-RWz/V)/cos(A)]

For simplicity, let's assume that RWz/V=sin(A), so that the surface speed and throw would be zero if we actually cut the ball at angle A. But instead, we cut it at angle A' (keeping RWz the same). Now we have a throw angle T', and the difference is:

T' - T = T' - 0 = Atan[(1/7)(sin(A')-sin(A))/cos(A')]

So if we overcut what should have been a 30 degree cut by 4 degrees, the throw compensation would be:

T' - T = T' - 0 = Atan[(1/7)(sin(34)-sin(30))/cos(34)] = 0.58 degree

The correction is about 1/7'th of the cut angle error. Well it is something, but is it worth the squirt and swerve stuff? And you get even less correction if the cueball has draw or follow on it or the spin/speed ratio RWz/V is not very close to sin(A). Since that cosine in the denominator gets very small as you approach 90 degree cuts, it may seem like there might be a real advantage there. But the unfortunate fact is that you have to get the spin/speed ratio RWz/V closer and closer to sin(A) to get the balls to roll across each other. (I know you're not actually prescribing getting the ratio very close, but it gives us an idea of what the maximum correction can be.)

Interesting idea though, and maybe it bears further thought.

Jim
Jal, once again, you're the man when it comes to such discussions. But you did just show that there is a degree of correction that takes place when you spin balls in, which is what I was looking for. :)

But of course, the practical question is if that slight increase in margin of error is worth it you introduce all that squirt and swerve? Most likely not, but I still find myself subconsciously doing it on certain shots. Maybe it's just wrong, but I also notice many professionals do it on some shots as well.

But as I think about it more, the shots where I do spin balls in are shots where I fear that naturally roll the CB would put a scratch into play. If there is no way I would scratch, I would almost always use natural roll on cut shots (to cinch shots, neglecting position play) to minimize throw. But there are certain shots where scratching is a concern using natural roll, so I hit the CB with stun. But I know that stunning the CB without english maximizes throw, so I believe I subconsciously overcompensate by applying outside english, more than enough to compensate for throw.

jsp
02-05-2008, 08:05 PM
You have to hit the right OB contact point with spin just like you have to without spin. That point doesn't get any bigger because you've added spin...
But it can get bigger, provided you add the right amount of outside spin for a particular cut shot angle.

Take a look at the graph below from Dr. Dave's article (http://billiards.colostate.edu/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf) that Jal has linked. The plot shows the amount of throw (y-axis, measured in degrees) versus cut angle (x-axis, measured in degrees) for a stun hit (PEr=0%) and a fair amount of outside english (PEe=75%). The red, blue, and green lines represent soft, medium, and firm shots, respectively.

The thing to note is where these lines cross the zero point on the y axis, which seems to be about 70 degrees. This indicates that for a 70-degree cut shot and for that particular amount of outside english (75% of "maximum"), then you would perfectly compensate for any CIT, and that the balls would roll across each other at the contact point, giving you absolutely zero throw. To the left of this point, the curve is negative, which indicates you're actually throwing the ball due to the overspin. To the right of this point, the curve is positive, which is the "bad" type of throw.

The thing to notice is the slope of the lines to the left of the zero crossing point. Just looking at the medium-hit shot (blue line), between approximately a 32-degree cut and a 65-degree cut, the slope of the line is positive. This indicates the amount of "automatic correction" (Jal, I like that term) for that particular amount of outside english. The slope is about 1/7, which lines up with Jal's calculation...meaning that for every degree of cut angle error, the outside english compensates 1/7th of that amount.

In the ideal, zero-friction case, then the slope of the lines would all be zero, meaning no automatic correction. Any positive slope on the graph is "good", meaning there is auto correction (positive slope and negative throw would be the best combination). Any negative slope would be "bad", which means the more cut angle error you have, the throw error (or lack of throw) will add to the error, making the contact point even smaller than the zero-friction case (negative slope and positive throw would be the worst combination).

So it is true that the OB contact point in which you can pocket a shot can get bigger depending on the amount of english and the cut angle.

...it just gets a little harder to figure exactly where it is (its location moves with more or less spin) and a little harder to hit it (because of squirt/swerve). Why make the shot harder?
But of course, this is true as well. Not only do you introduce squirt and swerve into the picture, but the precise amount of outside spin is also another variable to control. From the first set of graphs on Dr. Dave's link, it shows how much the throw can change for a small amount change in english. The amount of throw can change a whole 2 degrees for only a 10% change in outside english. With all those variables coming into the picture, it surely does not seem it is all worth the small increase in contact point.

BUT...if you can control the amount of serve, and the amount of squirt, and the amount of english, and you know exactly where to contact the OB given those variables, then your margin of error does get bigger for a certain amount of outside english. :p

EDIT: Just wanted to add that those graphs from Dr. Dave's article (http://billiards.colostate.edu/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf) kick some serious butt! Thanks Dr. Dave!...and Jal for linking them. Such interesting information encoded in those few graphs, if you take the few minutes to actually decode what they mean.

EDIT2: Modified something above that was completely incorrect. I wrote it late yesterday night, so I must have been sleepy. Also, wanted to add that Jal had already described pretty much what I explained regarding the slope of the curves, but somehow yesterday I just glossed over those explanations. Should have just quoted what he wrote first, but I guess I was too excited looking at the graphs myself instead of reading what he posted regarding the graphs.

Travis Bickle
02-05-2008, 08:08 PM
It's interesting to me the different ways people think of spinning vs. not spinning. These equations are kind of mind-bending to me. But that's just me, since my personal preference is to spin. I don't know if it's valid to say one way is higher-percentage than the other ... it may come down to how a given player sees a shot and how he feels it, too. And what kind of strokes he has developed.

Reminds me of when I was a kid taking tennis lessons. For a little while I went to a fairly respected junior academy where they had their own gold standard. And that was, since it was the mid-70s, probably the Stan Smith/Dick Stockton/Brian Gottfried way of hitting it with, you guessed it, an absence of "excess" spin. When Borg came along with his looping topspin, they told me he was a "freak" and that "he'd never win another tournament" once everybody adjusted to his style. Well, Borg did OK, and look around ... how do people play tennis now?

poolstar31
02-05-2008, 08:36 PM
You need to perfect cutting the ball with spin and with out. Both shots have a time and place. ME? After years of leaving myself the wrong angle, I can spin pretty good. LOL:D

Travis Bickle
02-05-2008, 08:44 PM
After years of leaving myself the wrong angle, I can spin pretty good. LOL:D

Hah, you know how I got there, too! Guess necessity might be the mother of dissension.

jsp
02-05-2008, 10:51 PM
Maybe it's just wrong, but I also notice many professionals do it on some shots as well.
What better example of a professional than Efren? Check out the 9 balls Efren makes in the following videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBkuyXgjHiE (forward to 3:34)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgK5WEZDPsU (forward to 6:35)

It is clear that Efren stunned the CB with outside english, as if evident by the way the CB came off the rail after contacting the 9 ball. Efren could have easily rolled the CB in each case, but he didn't. He chose to spin the ball in.

There's gotta be some substance as to why some of the best players in the world tend to do this.

JoeyInCali
02-05-2008, 11:30 PM
What better example of a professional than Efren? Check out the 9 balls Efren makes in the following videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBkuyXgjHiE (forward to 3:34)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgK5WEZDPsU (forward to 6:35)

It is clear that Efren stunned the CB with outside english, as if evident by the way the CB came off the rail after contacting the 9 ball. Efren could have easily rolled the CB in each case, but he didn't. He chose to spin the ball in.

There's gotta be some substance as to why some of the best players in the world tend to do this.
Pros never roll the 9 ball in.:)

predator
02-06-2008, 02:14 AM
What better example of a professional than Efren? Check out the 9 balls Efren makes in the following videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBkuyXgjHiE (forward to 3:34)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgK5WEZDPsU (forward to 6:35)

It is clear that Efren stunned the CB with outside english, as if evident by the way the CB came off the rail after contacting the 9 ball. Efren could have easily rolled the CB in each case, but he didn't. He chose to spin the ball in.

There's gotta be some substance as to why some of the best players in the world tend to do this.

I think he does this to make the cueball go two rails after contact. That way he is absolutely assured against scratching and he's able to execute a little quicker, more positive stroke. Contacting two cushions after potting the final nine serves it's purpose. Maybe he didn't need it on this particular angle, but two cushion shape even after potting the final ball is a habit for most pro 9ballers. Without using two cushion shape, just rolling it and bouncing off of bottom cushion can quite often get the cueball dangerously close to the side pocket, especially if the table is very quick. I have never seen any pro lose the cueball into the pocket after potting the 9ball.

hemicudas
02-06-2008, 03:37 AM
I think he does this to make the cueball go two rails after contact. That way he is absolutely assured against scratching and he's able to execute a little quicker, more positive stroke. Contacting two cushions after potting the final nine serves it's purpose. Maybe he didn't need it on this particular angle, but two cushion shape even after potting the final ball is a habit for most pro 9ballers. Without using two cushion shape, just rolling it and bouncing off of bottom cushion can quite often get the cueball dangerously close to the side pocket, especially if the table is very quick. I have never seen any pro lose the cueball into the pocket after potting the 9ball.

You are exactly right, Predator.

hemicudas
02-06-2008, 03:45 AM
Pros never roll the 9 ball in.:)

Men, pros don't and a few women don't. Women don't draw the ball out two rails as often as they should. They just roll back one rail too frequently. POWER the ball out. Less room for error two rails.

LAlouie
02-06-2008, 04:21 AM
Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error

If you don't apply english on whitey, you have to hit the ob at a certain spot to pocket it. If you DO put english on whitey, you STILL have to hit the ob in a certain spot to pocket it. Mike Segal advocates a touch of outside to compensate for throw, but even that is assuming you hit the ob in a certain spot.

I have found that I, and I notice this in many amateurs, will apply outside if I "don't trust" my aim. I think you are seeing the ball better lately, and it may or may not last because it is not the best habit to get into.

Patrick Johnson
02-06-2008, 07:31 AM
jsp:
What better example of a professional than Efren? Check out the 9 balls Efren makes in the following videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBkuyXgjHiE (forward to 3:34)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgK5WEZDPsU (forward to 6:35)

It is clear that Efren stunned the CB with outside english, as if evident by the way the CB came off the rail after contacting the 9 ball. Efren could have easily rolled the CB in each case, but he didn't. He chose to spin the ball in.

I don't think that's clear in either case. It looks to me like Efren chose not to spin the CB either time. But I wouldn't say that means it's a bad idea - I don't think what one pro does on two shots is much evidence of anything.

There's gotta be some substance as to why some of the best players in the world tend to do this.

Even if it's true that some pros tend to do this (I agree with that, even if Efren didn't do it in these videos), why does that make it a good idea? Other pros don't do it. Doesn't that make it a bad idea? These "appeals to authority" are meaningless.

pj
chgo

jsp
02-06-2008, 08:04 AM
I don't think that's clear in either case. It looks to me like Efren chose not to spin the CB either time.
How can you say this? Efren surely didn't roll the CB, as is evident from the direction the CB came off the 9 ball. So he at least hit the CB with stun. From the way the CB came off the rail, it seems as if he did apply some amount of outside.

But I wouldn't say that means it's a bad idea - I don't think what one pro does on two shots is much evidence of anything.
You're right, but I can find many other videos of professionals "cinching" the 9 by spinning it in, where they could have easily just rolled them in. But I didn't want to spend my whole night parsing youtube videos.

Even if it's true that some pros tend to do this (I agree with that, even if Efren didn't do it in these videos), why does that make it a good idea? Other pros don't do it. Doesn't that make it a bad idea? These "appeals to authority" are meaningless.
I don't think they're meaningless at all. You're right, it could be a good idea, and it also could be a bad idea. But if a couple world champions do it regularly, you really have to wonder why they do it. Theory and mathematical models/equations can only get you so far, sometimes you just have to listen to what decades worth of practical experience at the world-class level shows us. If Efren does it, and Strickland does it, and Sigel does it, and Schmidt does it, do they have any less authority on making a shot than what a physics professor at MIT says?

jsp
02-06-2008, 08:19 AM
I think he does this to make the cueball go two rails after contact. That way he is absolutely assured against scratching and he's able to execute a little quicker, more positive stroke.
You bring up a good point. Maybe the reason he went two rails is so that he could let his stroke out, which for him would increase his overall margin of error. But he surely could have rolled the CB with a soft to medium stroke, and not be in any fear of scratching, unless he executes the shot very firmly.

Because of the fairly close proximity of the CB to the 9 ball, to achieve full roll at contact, Efren would have to hit high enough on the CB. The fact that he would have to hit the CB fairly high probably made him not want to do that, since it would have reduced his overall shooting accuracy (similar to bridging off the rail) comparing to cueing at center ball or a bit below center. Maybe that's the real reason why certain pros don't roll the 9 ball more often.

Patrick Johnson
02-06-2008, 03:33 PM
Me:
It looks to me like Efren chose not to spin the CB either time.

jsp:
How can you say this? Efren surely didn't roll the CB, as is evident from the direction the CB came off the 9 ball. So he at least hit the CB with stun.

Yes, but that's not the kind of spin we're talking about.

From the way the CB came off the rail, it seems as if he did apply some amount of outside.

This is where I differ - it didn't look to me like any more spin than the CB would pick up from hitting the OB with stun. In other words, it looks like Efren hit the CB low/center, not low/left.

If Efren does it, and Strickland does it, and Sigel does it, and Schmidt does it, do they have any less authority on making a shot than what a physics professor at MIT says?

This is the kind of appeal to authority I'm dismissing: the kind where you name one or a few great players who may do it (how do you even know?) and ignore all the rest who may or may not. It's a logical fallacy. That doesn't prove you're wrong, but you haven't really demonstrated anything either.

pj
chgo

Travis Bickle
02-06-2008, 04:19 PM
I don't think it's a couple of guys. I think the vast majority of male pros hit game-ball cuts (particularly with the ball near the spot) with a touch of outside, around center ball.

Another trend I'd argue for is using a little outside to cinch back-cuts. I recall seeing both Archer and Deuel do that in a Mosconi Cup match (I believe that's where I saw it). Didn't seem to be necessary for position ... in both cases they were fairly close to the object ball, maybe 3 inches, on half-table or longer shots. I've also found myself to be more consistent on such shots since I've taken up that practice.

enzo
02-06-2008, 04:22 PM
I don't think that's clear in either case. It looks to me like Efren chose not to spin the CB either time. But I wouldn't say that means it's a bad idea - I don't think what one pro does on two shots is much evidence of anything.

Even if it's true that some pros tend to do this (I agree with that, even if Efren didn't do it in these videos), why does that make it a good idea? Other pros don't do it. Doesn't that make it a bad idea? These "appeals to authority" are meaningless.

pj
chgo

anybody can say whatever they want, but i've seen almost every pro use outside english when "cinching" 9balls, and definitely in cases where they are not using to try and avoid a scratch. it obviously helps in some way.

maybe people should backtrack, assuming there is some flawed logic, and try to think of reasons why outside would help. i can think of a few, but i've selfishly decided to keep them to myself. haha, sorry, i crack myself up sometimes.

Patrick Johnson
02-06-2008, 07:00 PM
I think the vast majority of male pros hit game-ball cuts (particularly with the ball near the spot) with a touch of outside, around center ball.

i've seen almost every pro use outside english when "cinching" 9balls

You guys crack me up. What are the vast majority of pros (or almost every one, if you prefer) thinking when they do this? Don't tell me you don't know that.

pj
chgo

enzo
02-07-2008, 02:09 AM
You guys crack me up. What are the vast majority of pros (or almost every one, if you prefer) thinking when they do this? Don't tell me you don't know that.

pj
chgo

Not sure if i follow your question perfectly, but I'll tell you what they are thinking, or what their instincts are telling them. what is the highest percentage possible way i can get this ball in the hole. THEN, that leads to outside english cinch strokes on 9balls. that is just a fact and i have watched enough pros play high pressure 9ball to feel very comfortable with this assessment.

my style is to just use what works, getting into these discussions i guess is slightly helpful, but only if you give good, sound information. telling people that natural english doesn't help their percentage in cinching balls is counterproductive in my mind (ie, it will screw people up). don't get me wrong, people have some good thoughts here, i just think a philosophy of "use center ball if you aren't playing position" is flawed, it's a bit more complicated than that as the methods of the best players in the world clearly show you.

jsp
02-07-2008, 06:56 AM
This is where I differ - it didn't look to me like any more spin than the CB would pick up from hitting the OB with stun. In other words, it looks like Efren hit the CB low/center, not low/left.
If you think so.

But why do you think he didn't just roll the CB?

This is the kind of appeal to authority I'm dismissing: the kind where you name one or a few great players who may do it (how do you even know?) and ignore all the rest who may or may not. It's a logical fallacy. That doesn't prove you're wrong, but you haven't really demonstrated anything either.
I'm not trying to prove anything by "appealing to authority". I'm just pointing out that many top professionals indeed spin balls in to cinch shots. They must have a reason for doing it, and the logical reason to me is that they do so because years of experience tells them that doing so gives them the highest percentage to pocket the ball.

And if you don't think that many professionals use outside to cinch shots, then I say that you haven't been paying very much attention when you watch the pros play.

Here are more examples from the Yang vs. Orcullo match. Look at the 9 balls pocketed in these racks, especially racks 11 and 23.

Yang vs. Orcullo - Rack 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_pM2Xi2muQ)
Yang vs. Orcullo - Rack 4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nvIJ4VhRKc)
Yang vs. Orcullo - Rack 6 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g70mVQURA0w)
Yang vs. Orcullo - Rack 11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xFqkNFqERI)
Yang vs. Orcullo - Rack 21 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx35lxqPAKQ)
Yang vs. Orcullo - Rack 23 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j4piHYf9iE)

I stepped through all 23 racks of the that first day. If Yang/Orcullo weren't straight in on the 9, or if there was no combination, or if they weren't bridging off the rail, then it can be observed that they use outside english to cinch almost every cut shot on the 9 ball.

Again, I'm not proving anything, just giving some data. It is evident that for many pros, using outside english to cinch shots works for them.

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 07:28 AM
why do you think he didn't just roll the CB?

I think Efren made a (gasp!) mistake. Whether or not you use outside english to prevent throw, the worst thing to do is to use stun when you don't have to. That makes the shot the most sensitive to throw and sidespin errors.

pj
chgo

jsp
02-07-2008, 08:26 AM
I think Efren made a (gasp!) mistake. Whether or not you use outside english to prevent throw, the worst thing to do is to use stun when you don't have to. That makes the shot the most sensitive to throw and sidespin errors.
I think it's kinda silly to think you know more about how Efren should pocket balls than he does. I think Efren knows what's best for Efren.

...and I still think he used outside.

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 10:26 AM
I think it's kinda silly to think you know more about how Efren should pocket balls than he does. I think Efren knows what's best for Efren.

I think it's very silly that you assume nobody can know more about the physics of pool than a pro. It wasn't too long ago that most of them denied the existence of throw. How well they play is no indication of what they know.

...and I still think he used outside.

That's nice.

pj
chgo

JoeW
02-07-2008, 11:08 AM
Here is a thought for you.

Most baseball players exhibit some sort of superstitious behavior as they step up to bat. Many (not all) wind up the bat either forward or backward. If you ask them if this is necessary, they will tell you that it is and they can give many instances in which they did or did not get a home run because they wound up the bat as it should be wound up.

One of the interesting things about superstitious behavior is that we always have a good reason for it, that is, -- a plausible reason. This acceptable reason is needed to explain our success and to justify the continued use of the behavior. Belief in superstitious behavior leads to a self fulfilling prophecy.

I conclude that just because pros include some form of superstitious behavior in their shot making it does not follow that it leads to "better" play. Reyes tends to lift his stick on the follow through of many shots. This does not mean that you should do it.

"Every time we throw a virgin in the volcano we do not have an earthquake so somebody go get another of those irritating virgins that my wife hates because they are always tempting me," said the chief.

Jude Rosenstock
02-07-2008, 11:23 AM
Okay, I hope this puts the argument to rest.

First, it's very simple. Professional players are not going to know more about the physics of pool than anyone else. There is a whole science behind pool that they don't understand nor do they need to. It's the same as asking the centerfielder of the New York Yankees to explain the rate of gravity. He doesn't need to know about that stuff. He just needs to catch fly balls. If you want a physics professor in Yankee Stadium's centerfield this Spring, you might want to consider finding a very fast left fielder.

Second, Efren Reyes is going to shoot a 9-ball shot a certain way not because of superstition but because he knows it works. I do the same thing. Most players once they reach a certain level (B speed to A speed, I'd say) do this. They recognize routes that are safe where they can hit the game-winning shot firm and allow the cue-ball to safely race around a bit and come to rest. One particular route is allowing the cue-ball to cross the center of the table and that's kinda what Reyes is doing. That doesn't mean the actual english is more consistent for pocketing. It means the english is more consistent for cue-ball travel.

Reyes is a pro. He became a pro by becoming incredibly proficient at using all types of english. A center-ball shot he makes 99.9% of the time is probably going to be 99.7% when he's using a little outside english. Is it less than his centerball percentage? Yes but not enough to worry about and he gets the added benefit of a predictable cueball path.

I am sure there is a physics professor out there that will give you the answer you want to hear but the truth is, that doesn't matter. You just have to pocket balls and you're going to have to become proficient at using english.

jsp
02-07-2008, 11:39 AM
I think it's very silly that you assume nobody can know more about the physics of pool than a pro.
And I think it's silly that you assume that I made that assumption.

I never implied that professional pool players know more about the physics of the game than anyone else. What I have implied is that these pool pros know the best way to execute the shot for them.

But let's give a little credit to intelligence of these pros. You don't think that Efren knows that stunning the CB without english maximes throw? He probably can't derive all the equations, but I think 40+ years playing world-class pool would eventually present him with this knowledge.

So why would Efren shoot those two shots the way he did if he already knew that it would reduce his chances to pocket the balls? Or do you not think he knew that?

BTW, have you looked at the Yang/Orcullo videos? Did Yang and Orcullo both make multiple mistakes by choosing not to roll in those 9 balls? They need to take a few high school level physics classes as well to bump up their games a ball or two.

jsp
02-07-2008, 11:41 AM
Okay, I hope this puts the argument to rest.

First, it's very simple. Professional players are not going to know more about the physics of pool than anyone else. There is a whole science behind pool that they don't understand nor do they need to. It's the same as asking the centerfielder of the New York Yankees to explain the rate of gravity. He doesn't need to know about that stuff. He just needs to catch fly balls. If you want a physics professor in Yankee Stadium's centerfield this Spring, you might want to consider finding a very fast left fielder.

Second, Efren Reyes is going to shoot a 9-ball shot a certain way not because of superstition but because he knows it works. I do the same thing. Most players once they reach a certain level (B speed to A speed, I'd say) do this. They recognize routes that are safe where they can hit the game-winning shot firm and allow the cue-ball to safely race around a bit and come to rest. One particular route is allowing the cue-ball to cross the center of the table and that's kinda what Reyes is doing. That doesn't mean the actual english is more consistent for pocketing. It means the english is more consistent for cue-ball travel.

Reyes is a pro. He became a pro by becoming incredibly proficient at using all types of english. A center-ball shot he makes 99.9% of the time is probably going to be 99.7% when he's using a little outside english. Is it less than his centerball percentage? Yes but not enough to worry about and he gets the added benefit of a predictable cueball path.

I am sure there is a physics professor out there that will give you the answer you want to hear but the truth is, that doesn't matter. You just have to pocket balls and you're going to have to become proficient at using english.
Good post Jude.

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 11:41 AM
... They recognize routes that are safe where they can hit the game-winning shot firm and allow the cue-ball to safely race around a bit and come to rest. One particular route is allowing the cue-ball to cross the center of the table and that's kinda what Reyes is doing. That doesn't mean the actual english is more consistent for pocketing. It means the english is more consistent for cue-ball travel.

I think you're probably right that this is why Reyes stuns the shot rather than rolls it. So I was wrong to say he "made a mistake" - I should have said he chose a less-than-optimal shot in exchange for a significantly safer CB path.

pj
chgo

Randy9Ball
02-07-2008, 11:47 AM
And what if it's frozen? Do you still like center ball?
I'd put a little inside english on it.

Good Lord Joey, that avatar!! ;-)

Jal
02-07-2008, 11:52 AM
...I'm not trying to prove anything by "appealing to authority". I'm just pointing out that many top professionals indeed spin balls in to cinch shots. They must have a reason for doing it, and the logical reason to me is that they do so because years of experience tells them that doing so gives them the highest percentage to pocket the ball...Jsp, why do you think they do so, ie, what is the physical or psycho/motor reason?

You mentioned scratching earlier. That's certainly one good reason since rolling the cueball with firm speed does raise that possibility on a lot of shots. But as far as actually making the OB head for center pocket, having looked at the graphs and knowing the additional problems that squirt and swerve present (not big ones to a pro or reasonably experienced player of course, but they're still there), do you see any other advantage? Cut angle correction by throw is one, but very minor, and almost certainly outweighed by the attendant problem of throw variation with tip offset, in addition to "squerve".

Jim

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 12:04 PM
jsp:
And I think it's silly that you assume that I made that assumption. I never implied that professional pool players know more about the physics of the game than anyone else. What I have implied is that these pool pros know the best way to execute the shot for them.

Not exactly. Your claim was that Efren's way of shooting that shot supports the idea that it's the optimal way for shotmaking.

But let's give a little credit to intelligence of these pros. You don't think that Efren knows that stunning the CB without english maximes throw?

I don't know whether or not he knows that consciously. I know that he can shoot it as if he knows it without actually knowing it.

He probably can't derive all the equations

Neither can I, but I don't think it makes anybody a worse player to be able to.

... So why would Efren shoot those two shots the way he did if he already knew that it would reduce his chances to pocket the balls? Or do you not think he knew that?

I thought you were arguing that Efren's choice of how to shoot that shot must mean it increases the shotmaking percentage. Now you're saying that Efren knows it doesn't. I guess that means you've changed your own mind about it? That's progress.

pj
chgo

jsp
02-07-2008, 12:45 PM
Jsp, why do you think they do so, ie, what is the physical or psycho/motor reason?

You mentioned scratching earlier. That's certainly one good reason since rolling the cueball with firm speed does raise that possibility on a lot of shots. But as far as actually making the OB head for center pocket, having looked at the graphs and knowing the additional problems that squirt and swerve present (not big ones to a pro or reasonably experienced player of course, but they're still there), do you see any other advantage? Cut angle correction by throw is one, but very minor, and almost certainly outweighed by the attendant problem of throw variation with tip offset, in addition to "squerve".

Jim
The pros shoot the way they do because experience has dictated to them that is the way to maximize their chances of potting the ball. We have to look at the entire picture, not just the disadvantages of applying english.

I think the thing we're overlooking, which I posted previously, is the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of your stroke when hitting the top side of the ball to execute natural roll. Theory says that for best accuracy you should hit the dead center of the CB (on both axes). But for many shots, the balls are two close together to achieve natural roll if you strike the dead center of the CB. So for a firm stroke, you would have to hit higher up on the CB to achieve natural roll on CB/OB contact. If the balls are close enough together, then you pretty much have to hit 0.4R above the equator to achieve natural roll right away. That's 100% english, in the vertical dimension.

Of course, every time you hit the CB off-center, your shooting accuracy goes down. Again, think of striking the CB when it's close to the rail. So for some pros, shooting every cut shot with natural roll probably doesn't maximize their overall shooting accuracy. They'd rather take their chances with the variables of squerve, which are relatively smaller to them, than the stroke inaccuracies of rolling the CB.

For the Efrens of this world who have already mastered the intricacies of english, squirt, and swerve, the inaccuracies of rolling the CB outweigh the risks of applying side english, which subconsciously makes choose not to roll the CB. But for the ones who haven't mastered english/squerve to the degree of the Efrens, they'd probably best take their chances rolling the CB.

jsp
02-07-2008, 12:59 PM
... So why would Efren shoot those two shots the way he did if he already knew that it would reduce his chances to pocket the balls? Or do you not think he knew that?
I thought you were arguing that Efren's choice of how to shoot that shot must mean it increases the shotmaking percentage...
I did, at least Efren's overall shotmaking percentage.

...Now you're saying that Efren knows it doesn't.
We're talking about stunning the CB without outside english. I'm pretty confident Efren knows that stun without english increases throw. But I'm not the one who thinks Efren shot stun without english in the video. You do. So you still haven't answered my question.

JoeyInCali
02-07-2008, 01:09 PM
I think Efren shot those shots with outside draw b/c; that almost eliminates the skid, a scratch would be almost impossible to the other end rail pockets ( too far and side pockets are eliminated ) , with the tip already on the cloth ( he does that on almost all shots ) he wouldn't have to raise the tip much and that with the tip very low it's easie for him to see the "patama" or hit and his draw stroke is more consistent with his lag stroke.

JoeW
02-07-2008, 01:27 PM
JSP said, "... For the Efrens of this world who have already mastered the intricacies of English, squirt, and swerve, the inaccuracies of rolling the CB outweigh the risks of applying side english, which subconsciously makes choose not to roll the CB. But for the ones who haven't mastered English / squerve to the degree of the Efrens, they'd probably best take their chances rolling the CB."

And that is probably the best answer, IMO.

BTW another thought occurred to me while driving my car and thinking about this thread. I have not heard it stated before but it is congruent with JSP?s type of thinking and a prior comment I made.

Efren at times (often?) raises the tip of his stick on the follow through. Assuming the pros have good reason for what they do, I wonder why he would do this.

Well, I said to my self, one reason would be that in order to lift the stick straight up in the air (have to check that) one would need a locked (or semi-locked) wrist. I wonder if over time he has learned to lock his wrist on follow through and stick in the air is a consequence of this type of shot.

I know most people wind up with the cue tip on the cloth but I wonder if (superstitious behavior aside) he has a good reason for his style of play? --- Hmm have to give this a try.

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 02:03 PM
Me:
...I thought you were arguing that Efren's choice of how to shoot that shot must mean it increases the shotmaking percentage...

jsp:
I did, at least Efren's overall shotmaking percentage.

Me:
...Now you're saying that Efren knows it doesn't.

jsp:
We're talking about stunning the CB without outside english. I'm pretty confident Efren knows that stun without english increases throw.

My point was that stun, with or without english, makes the shot more sensitive to errors of all kinds, including putting too much or too little english on. So stun, with or without english, is worse than roll for cinching the shot.

But I'm not the one who thinks Efren shot stun without english in the video. You do. So you still haven't answered my question.

You mean about watching the other videos? I've already said I don't think what a handful of pros do is meaningful to this question, but I'll watch them if it matters to you.

pj
chgo

JoeyInCali
02-07-2008, 02:53 PM
My point was that stun, with or without english, makes the shot more sensitive to errors of all kinds, including putting too much or too little english on. So stun, with or without english, is worse than roll for cinching the shot.

Ever gamble late in the morning where humidity went up and that the table is now full of chalk dust from hours of action?
Stun? Meaning the cueball is skidding/sliding instead of rolling?
Even Bill Incardona on video said, " thereby by drawing the cueball, he increased the level of accuracy on that shot."
I've seen one pro roll the cueball to pocket the 9-ball. Rodulfo Luat against Archer on the finals of World 9-Ball eons ago ( 1995 iirc ). 9-ball was inches from the side pocket. Yup, he missed and the announcer said he couldn't believe Luat rolled the cueball.
Parica almost always punches the 9-ball in with no english for what it's worth.

enzo
02-07-2008, 03:01 PM
people are trying to argue that efren (or whoever) used english to aviod a skid, or to avoid a scratch. these are rationalizations made by people who have unknowingly convinced themselves of unsound principles, namely that center ball will be the most accurate stroke to cinch most (if not all) shots. really folks, have you watched top pros play?? they do in fact utilize natural outside english as a shotmaking tool (buddy hall even has gone as far as to call it "helping english"). is there any "real" argument here??

this "center ball is most accurate theory" has been passed on by instructors for years, and to be quite honest i think it would be like trying to argue that you can be a better bowler by throwing the ball strait at the pins. it's far oversimplified and if you'd like to actually play very good you need to ignore it. people probably argued that throwing a bowling ball strait is best for years, but the results proved otherwise, and now it is the accepted highest percentage path.

that is also the case in pool, the highest percentage path can be seen any time you watch a quality pro play. as i've said, i can actually think of a few reasons why english would help accuracy too, but i choose not to divulge great information that will fall on deaf ears. the earth isn't flat, bowlers shouldn't throw strait and pool players shouldn't cinch (certain) cut shots with center ball. i guess you have to decide for yourself who is right.

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 03:06 PM
jsp (re Yang and Orcullo):
...it can be observed that they use outside english to cinch almost every cut shot on the 9 ball.

Maybe they did, but I couldn't observe it on any of the videos you posted. I can't see where they hit the CB or how it's spinning (if at all) going into the OB. Maybe with slomo...

pj
chgo

Patrick Johnson
02-07-2008, 03:10 PM
... i choose not to divulge great information that will fall on deaf ears

Damn, there go my hopes for a pro career...

pj
chgo

enzo
02-07-2008, 03:56 PM
Damn, there go my hopes for a pro career...

pj
chgo

you know, you're right. telling you why natural english is better at cinching balls wouldn't help you, BUT if you actually just started using it, then that would in fact help you. to each their own however.

don't these threads have weird underlying tones. if you think about it, somebody is actually (probably anyway) correct and they are actually attempting to help the person who may or may not be responding in such an arrogant and rude manner. a fascinating dynamic.

Jal
02-07-2008, 05:51 PM
you know, you're right. telling you why natural english is better at cinching balls wouldn't help you, BUT if you actually just started using it, then that would in fact help you. to each their own however.

don't these threads have weird underlying tones. if you think about it, somebody is actually (probably anyway) correct and they are actually attempting to help the person who may or may not be responding in such an arrogant and rude manner. a fascinating dynamic.What's arrogant about giving your reasons for why you think such and such is true and exposing them to rebuttal? I think there is more arrogance, at least the appearance of it, when you say it's this way or that way without any underlying rational, and that anybody who disagrees with it is wrong. Moreover, you're suggesting that those of us who disagree are incapable of even understanding your arguments, should you deign to lay them on us! And we're the ones who are arrogant?

Jsp and others have offered some reasons why outside might be preferable, some of which I agree with for certain situations. Where's yours?

Jim

Cuebacca
02-07-2008, 06:11 PM
I have a question on this topic that may warrant a new thread, so I'm cross-referencing it here...

My apologies if this was the wrong way to do it, but it seemed good to me.

Travis Bickle
02-07-2008, 08:56 PM
Hey, can't we all get along?:)

Spin or don't spin ... whatever works for you! But I wonder if it comes down to what you know and use most often. I would think most 9 ballers are constantly hitting stun or draw shots with outside english, spinning out of corners or up the rails -- possibly more often than stunning without any juice. So it's a shot you know ... you know the stroke and the aiming path that'll work, so maybe you're inclined to stay with that.

bagofpaper
02-07-2008, 10:39 PM
I'm getting tired and don't have the stamina to read the rest of this thread before asking..

What about skids? Inside english I find gives rise to skidders more (I could be wrong.. I'm no expert on skidders just my experience). Outside english I never have a problem with the skid unless I slow roll.

I'm not talking about juicing the cb with outside.. just a hair.

Speaking of skidders time to throw these damn tighty whiteys out!
;)

EDIT: Whoops..just read this page and I see "skid" referenced above. I apologize.

bagofpaper
02-07-2008, 10:56 PM
Okay, I hope this puts the argument to rest.
If you want a physics professor in Yankee Stadium's centerfield this Spring, you might want to consider finding a very fast left fielder.

Hey Jude! I take offense to that statement! I'll be a physics professor relatively soon and I played center field (in high school). I can run 40 m in less that 5 sec (when I was 20 possibly):D .

Anyhow, the original point to this thread: is using english in a situation where you don't need to play position (i.e. cinching the ball) more "accurate"?

I put accurate in quotations because that is the essential point that everyone seems to be skirting around. What I feel is more accurate might not feel more accurate to someone else.. your sense of accuracy when trying to pocket the 9 ball is totally subjective and depends on your entire pool playing history. You "learned" what was accurate by trial and error and feedback from the feeling you get when you stroke the shot and whether or not it goes in consistently.

What is most definitely objective in all of this discussion is that fact that a vast majority of pool players, pros and amateurs alike, feel that a little outside english is the more accurate way to cinch the 9 ball. The empirical data is there in hundreds of accustats tapes and every poolroom in the world.

Try using inside english.. I guarantee you'll hate it! :p

enzo
02-08-2008, 01:13 AM
What's arrogant about giving your reasons for why you think such and such is true and exposing them to rebuttal? I think there is more arrogance, at least the appearance of it, when you say it's this way or that way without any underlying rational, and that anybody who disagrees with it is wrong. Moreover, you're suggesting that those of us who disagree are incapable of even understanding your arguments, should you deign to lay them on us! And we're the ones who are arrogant?

Jsp and others have offered some reasons why outside might be preferable, some of which I agree with for certain situations. Where's yours?

Jim

i actually wasn't calling any particular person arrogant here, it is worded bad, but i just said in these threads people argue but the person who is right is really trying to help the other, i just think that is interesting in itself. kinda like "biting the hand that feeds you" concept. and just like the dog that bites, the people have no idea what they are doing. again i'm not referring to anybody, just the dynamic.... as i named no names and pointed no fingers. wasn't even necessarily talking about this thread.

the fact is i'm interested in things that are practical and useful. mulling over equations and disussing theory i dont think is useful. seeing how almost every top professional in the world shoots: very useful. that is my rational for recommending natural spin on many cut shots and not providing the theory behind my reasons.

where i get heated is when somebody suggests that a player isn't using natural spin to pocket balls when they MOST OBVIOUSLY are in any person's mind who watches with an objective eye. that irritates me and i think it's rationalizing ones own preset beliefs.

jsp
02-08-2008, 08:24 AM
Hey, can't we all get along?:)

Spin or don't spin ... whatever works for you! But I wonder if it comes down to what you know and use most often. I would think most 9 ballers are constantly hitting stun or draw shots with outside english, spinning out of corners or up the rails -- possibly more often than stunning without any juice. So it's a shot you know ... you know the stroke and the aiming path that'll work, so maybe you're inclined to stay with that.
That's actually a great point. If you shoot a shot often enough, then even if it's theoretically prone to more errors than an alternative shot, the fact that you shoot that (theoretically) inferior shot much more often than the superior alternative still makes it the best overall solution...for you.

For example, I can tell Jordan that he was shooting his jump shot with too little of an arc...that the theoretical optimum arc on a jump shot to maximize shooting error should be 55.8 degrees instead of the 48.5 degrees he normally shot. So was he wrong or did he make "mistakes" shooting 7 degrees lower than the theoretical optimum, even if that's what years playing world-class basketball molded him to do? I know it's not a perfect analogy, but you get my point. ;)

jsp
02-08-2008, 08:28 AM
My point was that stun, with or without english, makes the shot more sensitive to errors of all kinds, including putting too much or too little english on. So stun, with or without english, is worse than roll for cinching the shot.
You know, we're really not in disagreement with the theory at all. You, Jal, and I are on the same page regarding the physics.

We just differ on our thoughts regarding if professionals are "wrong" shooting certain shots the way they do. More than the average pool player, I keep the theory and physics of pool in mind. But there comes a point where you just have to look at the data of years of experience rather than the theory in determining what should be considered the "correct" way to shoot. Ultimately, most of it is up to the individual player.

JoeyInCali
02-08-2008, 08:30 AM
Speaking of skidders time to throw these damn tighty whiteys out!
James Rempe says that all the time when he's commentating.

Bob Jewett
02-08-2008, 01:01 PM
... I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots ... Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. ... Any thoughts?
When I was playing a lot of nine ball, I also tended to play the nine with outside on a lot of shots. It felt more comfortable. Also, since I was playing for specific position on the cue ball -- often frozen to the middle of the end rail -- the spin would often help me get there if I had a half-ball or a 45-degree cut on the nine. (Yes, this is anecdotal but it is first hand.)

I am also aware of the theory about why you are better off keeping the shot as simple as possible. Is it possible that for some players and in some situations, it is better to make the shot a little more complicated? I think it might be.

How can a player like Mike Sigel -- to take an example of a fairly good player who has advocated outside english -- reduce his number of misses? Once he gets his percentage of missed shots down into the 1% region, progress is hard. If he miscues twice a week, it is far too often and he has to fix his chalking or his tip. For typical league players, miscuing twice a week would be a big improvement, and they probably have bigger things to work on like not being able to get position. My point is that the top players need to work on defects that are relatively rare for others but that start to dominate the reasons for missed shots.

One of those defects is skid (also called "cling," or "kick" in the UK, or the more descriptive term I prefer, "bad contact"). In previous discussions of skid, it has come out that some players who play fairly frequently are completely unaware of the problem. I assume that their games have not progressed to the point that they know pretty well how they hit the shot when the ball leaves the tip. Consequently, when the object ball skids wide of the pocket by a couple of balls, they just figure their aim or delivery must have been off.

How often does kick occur? It depends a lot on the conditions. I was a referee at one tournament where it seemed to happen about once every couple of hours of play. Sometimes it will happen two or three times in a match.

In a tournament match in Sacramento, Louie Roberts and Mike Sigel missed one shot between them in 21 racks. (Roberts won on the hill by breaking in the nine ball.) If you add two skids to that match, it could have made all the difference.

So, suppose Mike Sigel can apply outside english accurately enough to do "contact induced throw" cancellation without the known problem of having too much/too little outside. He probably cannot prevent skid by controlling whether the chalk spots on the cue ball land on the object ball. What is the best way for him to play? It may be for him to use "helping english" on at least some cut shots.

Patrick Johnson
02-08-2008, 02:18 PM
We just differ on our thoughts regarding if professionals are "wrong" shooting certain shots the way they do. ... Ultimately, most of it is up to the individual player.

But the question wasn't "is the way Efren shoots the best way for Efren?" The question was "Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)?" Efren came up as somebody whose shooting habits we should take into account when answering this physics question generally.

I agree that Efren probably plays the best way for Efren, but that isn't what the OP asked about or what I was talking about.

pj
chgo

Jude Rosenstock
02-08-2008, 03:04 PM
Hey Jude! I take offense to that statement! I'll be a physics professor relatively soon and I played center field (in high school). I can run 40 m in less that 5 sec (when I was 20 possibly):D .

Maybe you can play for the Mets then?

enzo
02-08-2008, 03:14 PM
That's actually a great point. If you shoot a shot often enough, then even if it's theoretically prone to more errors than an alternative shot, the fact that you shoot that (theoretically) inferior shot much more often than the superior alternative still makes it the best overall solution...for you.

For example, I can tell Jordan that he was shooting his jump shot with too little of an arc...that the theoretical optimum arc on a jump shot to maximize shooting error should be 55.8 degrees instead of the 48.5 degrees he normally shot. So was he wrong or did he make "mistakes" shooting 7 degrees lower than the theoretical optimum, even if that's what years playing world-class basketball molded him to do? I know it's not a perfect analogy, but you get my point. ;)

spin or don't spin, whatever works for you. yes, BUT, like in bowling.... throw it strait or use spin to curve it, whatever works of you, well, that may not be all that great if you are trying to improve..... point is to play your best in bowling you will need to curve the bowling ball, what works for you (at some particular time) isn't necessarily too important when you utilize information properly. you should definitely start at least trying to curve your bowling ball if you want to become better at some point cus every top player does it. every top pool player uses natural on certain cuts.

bagofpaper
02-08-2008, 03:39 PM
Maybe you can play for the Mets then?

I'd never play for the mets lol I'm from massachusetts.

alstl
02-08-2008, 03:42 PM
When I was playing a lot of nine ball, I also tended to play the nine with outside on a lot of shots. It felt more comfortable. Also, since I was playing for specific position on the cue ball -- often frozen to the middle of the end rail -- the spin would often help me get there if I had a half-ball or a 45-degree cut on the nine. (Yes, this is anecdotal but it is first hand.)

I am also aware of the theory about why you are better off keeping the shot as simple as possible. Is it possible that for some players and in some situations, it is better to make the shot a little more complicated? I think it might be.

How can a player like Mike Sigel -- to take an example of a fairly good player who has advocated outside english -- reduce his number of misses? Once he gets his percentage of missed shots down into the 1% region, progress is hard. If he miscues twice a week, it is far too often and he has to fix his chalking or his tip. For typical league players, miscuing twice a week would be a big improvement, and they probably have bigger things to work on like not being able to get position. My point is that the top players need to work on defects that are relatively rare for others but that start to dominate the reasons for missed shots.

One of those defects is skid (also called "cling," or "kick" in the UK, or the more descriptive term I prefer, "bad contact"). In previous discussions of skid, it has come out that some players who play fairly frequently are completely unaware of the problem. I assume that their games have not progressed to the point that they know pretty well how they hit the shot when the ball leaves the tip. Consequently, when the object ball skids wide of the pocket by a couple of balls, they just figure their aim or delivery must have been off.

How often does kick occur? It depends a lot on the conditions. I was a referee at one tournament where it seemed to happen about once every couple of hours of play. Sometimes it will happen two or three times in a match.

In a tournament match in Sacramento, Louie Roberts and Mike Sigel missed one shot between them in 21 racks. (Roberts won on the hill by breaking in the nine ball.) If you add two skids to that match, it could have made all the difference.

So, suppose Mike Sigel can apply outside english accurately enough to do "contact induced throw" cancellation without the known problem of having too much/too little outside. He probably cannot prevent skid by controlling whether the chalk spots on the cue ball land on the object ball. What is the best way for him to play? It may be for him to use "helping english" on at least some cut shots.

Is there a video of that match?

jsp
02-08-2008, 04:11 PM
So, suppose Mike Sigel can apply outside english accurately enough to do "contact induced throw" cancellation without the known problem of having too much/too little outside. He probably cannot prevent skid by controlling whether the chalk spots on the cue ball land on the object ball. What is the best way for him to play? It may be for him to use "helping english" on at least some cut shots.
I agree. Thanks for the post Bob.

jsp
02-08-2008, 04:13 PM
I agree that Efren probably plays the best way for Efren...
I guess now we're on the same page regarding everything. Thanks for the interesting discussion.

Bob Jewett
02-08-2008, 05:20 PM
Is there a video of that match (between Sigel and Roberts)?
As I recall, it was in the early 1980's, which was before Accu-stats started taping, and it was at Terry Stonier's Jointed Cue in Sacramento which never had
Accu-stats taping so far as I know. So, I would guess no.

jsp
02-13-2008, 02:01 PM
More important are the plots which show how much the throw varies if you change the amount of english, intentionally or unintentionally. The last one on page 6 and first one on page 7 show this for a fully rolling cueball at cut angles of 30 and 60 degrees, respectively. With zero english, the curves are relatively flat, meaning the amount of throw is not very sensitive to tip placement.

At the same time, these same plots show that the slopes of the curves begin to increase as you employ outside english (move to the right in the diagrams). While you are reducing throw to be sure, you're paying a dear price: you're getting a considerably increased sensitivity of throw to the amount of english used, thereby making the throw angle and the overall cut angle harder to predict. And for this you're adding the complications of squirt and swerve?
I was thinking about this the other day while cinching balls with outside on my home table. The sensitivity of throw to the amount of english can be used as an argument against using outside english to cinch cut shots...BUT...it can also be used as an argument for using outside english. Why? Because there is another degree of "automatic correction" when combined with the affects of squirt.

If you're playing a shot with english and you intend to hit the CB at a particular offset, any error in placement of the tip on the CB (unintentionally hitting the CB with too much or too little offset) would not only impart different amounts of spin on the CB (which could cause greater throw), but it would also cause different magnitudes of squirt. For a wide variety of cut shot angles and tip offsets, the affects of squirt and spin oppose each other, and to a degree they cancel each other out. The more offset you hit the CB, the more the CB would squirt, but a greater offset would also impart more spin on the CB that would counteract/compensate the affects of squirt. The increased squirt would make the CB contact the OB more full, but the greater spin would throw the OB more in the intended direction.

So theoretically, for a given cut shot angle and nominal amount of english applied, there is an optimal CB-to-OB distance where the affects of the changes in squirt and spin would completely cancel each other out. Beyond this optimal distance, the affects of squirt (neglecting swerve, which also can be argued as another degree of auto-correction) would dominate. Below the optimum, the affects of throw due to spin would dominate. But for shots hovering around this optimal distance, there would still be a significant degree of automatic correction, and hence a greater margin of error compared to the case of just rolling the CB. So what would be this theoretically optimal CB-OB distance? I took some time to figure it out based on the data provided by some of Dr. Dave's technical proofs (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/index.html).

Let's say I have a 30-degree cut shot. From experience, say I subconciously know that if I hit the CB at 0.2R of offset (40% english) at a certain cueing angle from parallel (to compensate for squirt), this precise combination would pot the OB straight into the heart of the pocket.

Now, let's say I keep the same cueing angle but unintentionally hit the CB with more offset, say imparting 60% english instead of 40%. So instead of hitting the CB at 0.2R offset, I hit it at 0.3R (Dr. Dave defines a 0.5R offset as 100% english). Looking at the first graph of the squirt article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-31.pdf) and assuming I'm using a low deflection shaft (green line), the change in the amount of squirt from 0.2R to 0.3R is roughly 0.3 degrees. Now, looking at the second graph of page 3 on the throw article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf), going from 40% english to 60% english would give approximately 2.5 degrees change in throw (in the negative direction, which is in the same direction as the spin). So if the OB is to be sent at exactly on the same path toward the center of the pocket, the CB would have to contact the OB more full. With help from the equations of this article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-23.pdf), the CB should contact the OB about 38/1000 ball-widths, or approximately 0.086 inches, more full.

So now the optimal CB-OB distance can be estimated by simple trigonmetry. If the CB squirts 0.3 degrees more, how far does the CB have to be from the OB for it to contact the OB 0.086 more full? tan(0.3) = (0.086"/x), x = 16.4 inches.

So at least for a 30-degree cut shot using between 20-60% outside english with a low deflection shaft, a shot where the CB is approximately 16 inches away from the OB would theoretically be immune to any small variances in CB-tip offset. Squirt and throw would essentially cancel each other out. I just thought this was an interesting conclusion, based on the graphs. Try it out for yourself and see if the real world matches the theory.

pdcue
02-14-2008, 07:46 AM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?

In a word, yes. The shot you describe is made by hitting the OB
slightly fuller than a center ball hit.

This results in a slightly larger 'target area' so, a slightly larger
margin of error.

Dale

pdcue
02-14-2008, 07:57 AM
Yes, I understand this and it makes sense.

However, I'm talking about using english that is more than what is needed for perfect throw cancellation. For these cases, the landing point of the CB on the OB would be thicker than the perfect throw cancellation case, since the CB is actually throwing the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

So here is my first order argument.

You have a certain cut shot, say a 45-degree cut shot to the pocket. You shoot the CB at the OB at a slightly thicker angle (thicker compared to the ideal, zero friction case), say at 42-degrees, but you spin the CB with excess outside english such that the CB throws the OB at a greater angle, sending the OB to the dead center of the pocket.

It should be apparent that you're already increasing your margin of error to a degree just by the fact that you are shooting at a thicker angle than the zero-friction case, since the margin of error increases the less cut angle you have.

Next, you have the exact same shot and you shoot the CB with the same speed and the same amount of spin, but this time you hit the OB slightly fuller than the first case, say at 40-degrees instead of the previous 42 degrees. For the zero-friction case, this two degree difference would translate to a two degree delta in the CB departure angle. But for the real world case with excess outside spin, the CB departure angle would only be less than two degrees.

Why? Because you're hitting the OB more full, and CB/OB throw would have more of an impact than the previous case. Therefore, friction would only make the change in departure angle be less than the two degrees for the zero-friction case.

One can even argue that because you're hitting the OB more full, the surface speed of the CB at the CB/OB contact point is greater than the initial case, providing even more torque on the OB throwing it even further, compensating even more for the initial hit error.

So at least for the case where you err on a fuller hit, you have three ways that spinning the ball in increases your margin of error...

1) Spinning the ball naturally makes you hit the ball thicker to begin with, and a thicker hit intrinsically increases your margin of error since your error goes up as the cut angle goes down.
2) The fuller hit transfers more of the CB oustide spin throw to the OB.
3) The fuller hit means that the CB surface speeds at the contact point is greater, providing more throwing force to the OB.

Before anyone jumps on me for point #3, I understand that it can be argued that the coefficient of friction can go down with higher surface speeds (which is why you have less apparent throw at harder no-english shots than softer shots). So there is probably not as much increase in error margin the faster you spin the OB.

I think point 1 is all there is - 2 and 3 might be 1b and 1c.

Even if 2 and 3 are correct, it still comes down to
fuller hit => increased margin of error.

Is your position now that the more you spin the CB, the more
the margin of error increases? That would be two related, but
distinct points.

Dale

Jal
02-14-2008, 03:42 PM
I was thinking about this the other day while cinching balls with outside on my home table. The sensitivity of throw to the amount of english can be used as an argument against using outside english to cinch cut shots...BUT...it can also be used as an argument for using outside english. Why? Because there is another degree of "automatic correction" when combined with the affects of squirt.

If you're playing a shot with english and you intend to hit the CB at a particular offset, any error in placement of the tip on the CB (unintentionally hitting the CB with too much or too little offset) would not only impart different amounts of spin on the CB (which could cause greater throw), but it would also cause different magnitudes of squirt. For a wide variety of cut shot angles and tip offsets, the affects of squirt and spin oppose each other, and to a degree they cancel each other out. The more offset you hit the CB, the more the CB would squirt, but a greater offset would also impart more spin on the CB that would counteract/compensate the affects of squirt. The increased squirt would make the CB contact the OB more full, but the greater spin would throw the OB more in the intended direction.

So theoretically, for a given cut shot angle and nominal amount of english applied, there is an optimal CB-to-OB distance where the affects of the changes in squirt and spin would completely cancel each other out. Beyond this optimal distance, the affects of squirt (neglecting swerve, which also can be argued as another degree of auto-correction) would dominate. Below the optimum, the affects of throw due to spin would dominate. But for shots hovering around this optimal distance, there would still be a significant degree of automatic correction, and hence a greater margin of error compared to the case of just rolling the CB. So what would be this theoretically optimal CB-OB distance? I took some time to figure it out based on the data provided by some of Dr. Dave's technical proofs (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/index.html).

Let's say I have a 30-degree cut shot. From experience, say I subconciously know that if I hit the CB at 0.2R of offset (40% english) at a certain cueing angle from parallel (to compensate for squirt), this precise combination would pot the OB straight into the heart of the pocket.

Now, let's say I keep the same cueing angle but unintentionally hit the CB with more offset, say imparting 60% english instead of 40%. So instead of hitting the CB at 0.2R offset, I hit it at 0.3R (Dr. Dave defines a 0.5R offset as 100% english). Looking at the first graph of the squirt article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-31.pdf) and assuming I'm using a low deflection shaft (green line), the change in the amount of squirt from 0.2R to 0.3R is roughly 0.3 degrees. Now, looking at the second graph of page 3 on the throw article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-28.pdf), going from 40% english to 60% english would give approximately 2.5 degrees change in throw (in the negative direction, which is in the same direction as the spin). So if the OB is to be sent at exactly on the same path toward the center of the pocket, the CB would have to contact the OB more full. With help from the equations of this article (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/technical_proofs/new/TP_A-23.pdf), the CB should contact the OB about 38/1000 ball-widths, or approximately 0.086 inches, more full.

So now the optimal CB-OB distance can be estimated by simple trigonmetry. If the CB squirts 0.3 degrees more, how far does the CB have to be from the OB for it to contact the OB 0.086 more full? tan(0.3) = (0.086"/x), x = 16.4 inches.

So at least for a 30-degree cut shot using between 20-60% outside english with a low deflection shaft, a shot where the CB is approximately 16 inches away from the OB would theoretically be immune to any small variances in CB-tip offset. Squirt and throw would essentially cancel each other out. I just thought this was an interesting conclusion, based on the graphs. Try it out for yourself and see if the real world matches the theory.Jsp, you've been doing some work! Another poster made this same point (privately) and I've been mulling it over lazily ever since. Thanks for doing the calculations.

It still seems to me though that outside requires a more skillful blending of offset, speed and cut angle estimation than just rolling the cueball. What if the offset deviation is due to a swoop, for instance, where cueball direction would be different, ie, you should see less squirt rather than more in your example? (maybe even negative squirt?...not sure about the physics) And what about other cut angles, ball separations, and different cues with different squirt characteristics?

Of course when we're talking about pros and players of their ilk, variations in throw because of varying surface conditions might be more of a consideration than any of the above. Stunning with "gearing" outside english does make you immune to that.

Just some lazy thoughts.

Jim

Snookerd
02-14-2008, 03:52 PM
There is an easy reply to this question.... It can be either or... depending on the angle your shooting at the ball your spinning in.... if your aiming to hit a little more of the ball it can be beneficial.... if your aiming to cut very thin.. it can throw your ball to far...

jsp
02-22-2008, 02:14 PM
Of course when we're talking about pros and players of their ilk, variations in throw because of varying surface conditions might be more of a consideration than any of the above. Stunning with "gearing" outside english does make you immune to that.
You know, I gave my balls a very good cleaning and wipe down the other day (first time I've done so since I got my pool table several months ago).

By the end of the session with slicker balls, I noticed that I wasn't spinning balls in nearly as much as I had been doing with stickier balls.

It seems to me that the increase in shooting margin of error is definitely more noticeable the stickier the balls. The theory seems to support that as well.

jsp
02-03-2011, 07:24 AM
This thread deserves a bump after three years.

SpiderWebComm
02-03-2011, 07:46 AM
When I played with Mike Sigel a few weeks ago, he said he uses outside engish on every shot unless inside english is required to dictate his position route. Even if it's the smallest cut angle, he still uses a hair of outside.

Of course, I had to ask why (since I'm a center ball guy) and he said it's because it gives you a truer cut, avoids skids and increases the margin of error for the shot.

Wha? Margin of error? I was like, "How so???"

He then setup a medium-difficulty shot and placed his tip at the center of the CB. He said from here I'm making it (moved his tip a hair to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip more to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip to about just over a tip to the outside) and from here I'm making it.

He then moved his tip back to the center of the CB and then moved it a hair to the inside. From here I'm missing it by like a diamond. Moved his tip more to the inside....from here I'm nearly banking it cross corner....see what I mean, Dave?

The above is almost an exact quote on the identical topic from a few weeks ago. Because of skid/cling, I would say it does increase the margin of error -- makes sense to me.

Dave

dr_dave
02-03-2011, 10:13 AM
My thoughts concerning using outside English to "spin balls in," backed up by lots of resources, can be found here:

Outside English (OE) can be used to reduce (and even eliminate) throw and cling, but it can be difficult to judge the amount of English required for a particular cut angle (although, people can get good at this). Also, with English comes squirt and swerve, compensation for which can be challenging (although, people can get good at this). You need to have feel and understanding for many effects when using English. Many (if not all) of them are summarized and demonstrated here:

A case can actually be made that inside English might be a better approach for dealing with throw than outside English. For more info, see:

Outside English can certainly be a good choice when trying to hold the cue ball (sometimes). For more info, see:

Also, if cling is a concern (e.g., with old, worn, dirty balls; or if you are pro, where cling on one shot can mean the difference in a match), then "spinning the ball in" might be a good approach.

Regards,
Dave

Island Drive
02-03-2011, 11:18 AM
The more unnecessary variables imposed upon the shot than what's required, the less chance you have of making the shot and getting shape. KISS works very effectively in pool. To put in another frame of mind, why play shape when you already have it?

hangemhigh
02-03-2011, 11:29 AM
Spin the ball baby, spin the ball.

TATE
02-03-2011, 11:38 AM
When I played with Mike Sigel a few weeks ago, he said he uses outside engish on every shot unless inside english is required to dictate his position route. Even if it's the smallest cut angle, he still uses a hair of outside.

Of course, I had to ask why (since I'm a center ball guy) and he said it's because it gives you a truer cut, avoids skids and increases the margin of error for the shot.

Wha? Margin of error? I was like, "How so???"

He then setup a medium-difficulty shot and placed his tip at the center of the CB. He said from here I'm making it (moved his tip a hair to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip more to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip to about just over a tip to the outside) and from here I'm making it.

He then moved his tip back to the center of the CB and then moved it a hair to the inside. From here I'm missing it by like a diamond. Moved his tip more to the inside....from here I'm nearly banking it cross corner....see what I mean, Dave?

The above is almost an exact quote on the identical topic from a few weeks ago. Because of skid/cling, I would say it does increase the margin of error -- makes sense to me.

Dave

Dave,

I agree on typical small angle cut shots. A small amount of outside, like a half tip, is easy to control and helps pocket these shots - especially down the rail shots.

The key is to consistently generate a small amount of predictable spin on these strokes.

Chris

sfleinen
02-03-2011, 11:48 AM
Dave,

I agree on typical small angle cut shots. A small amount of outside, like a half tip, is easy to control and helps pocket these shots - especially down the rail shots.

The key is to consistently generate a small amount of predictable spin on these strokes.

Chris

Chris/Dave:

That is so true! I've often seen when a player asks, "how do I get the cue ball to come around two cushions after pocketing this ball?" And when I answer "use a little outside english," I see them cue up to the cue ball at almost the miscue range (i.e. almost two full tips!). It's almost like some folks don't know the meaning to the word, "moderation." It's all, or nothing.

The key is knowing where dead-center on the cue ball is, and only going a little outside. And, not to argue with the likes of the legendary Mike Sigel, I believe in not making this a habit, either! Relying on this "helper" english on "all cut shots" is sure to mess up your notion of where the proper contact point on the object ball is. You'll forget how to hit the shot with center ball, or even inside english if you're trying to hold cue ball position. Instead, you're trying to spin the ball in every time. And when you introduce cue ball spin, you're also introducing cue ball squirt as well.

JMHO,
-Sean

cleary
02-03-2011, 12:12 PM
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 from a thread a while back but I've found most top players do this.

The Renfro
02-03-2011, 01:36 PM
When I played with Mike Sigel a few weeks ago, he said he uses outside engish on every shot unless inside english is required to dictate his position route. Even if it's the smallest cut angle, he still uses a hair of outside.

Of course, I had to ask why (since I'm a center ball guy) and he said it's because it gives you a truer cut, avoids skids and increases the margin of error for the shot.

Wha? Margin of error? I was like, "How so???"

He then setup a medium-difficulty shot and placed his tip at the center of the CB. He said from here I'm making it (moved his tip a hair to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip more to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip to about just over a tip to the outside) and from here I'm making it.

He then moved his tip back to the center of the CB and then moved it a hair to the inside. From here I'm missing it by like a diamond. Moved his tip more to the inside....from here I'm nearly banking it cross corner....see what I mean, Dave?

The above is almost an exact quote on the identical topic from a few weeks ago. Because of skid/cling, I would say it does increase the margin of error -- makes sense to me.

Dave

You're breaking the rules MISTER! No more secrets for you EVAH..... No worries tho, Cleary is in the same boat even if he only reposted an actual Mills Post :grin:

enzo
06-19-2011, 10:35 PM
When I played with Mike Sigel a few weeks ago, he said he uses outside engish on every shot unless inside english is required to dictate his position route. Even if it's the smallest cut angle, he still uses a hair of outside.

Of course, I had to ask why (since I'm a center ball guy) and he said it's because it gives you a truer cut, avoids skids and increases the margin of error for the shot.

Wha? Margin of error? I was like, "How so???"

He then setup a medium-difficulty shot and placed his tip at the center of the CB. He said from here I'm making it (moved his tip a hair to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip more to the outside)....from here I'm making it (moved his tip to about just over a tip to the outside) and from here I'm making it.

He then moved his tip back to the center of the CB and then moved it a hair to the inside. From here I'm missing it by like a diamond. Moved his tip more to the inside....from here I'm nearly banking it cross corner....see what I mean, Dave?

The above is almost an exact quote on the identical topic from a few weeks ago. Because of skid/cling, I would say it does increase the margin of error -- makes sense to me.

Dave

this is a great post. i myself am in the camp that outside does increase your margin of error. i mean think about it.... even if i'm wrong!!! well, i truly believe it, so isn't my confidence increased even if im wrong, probably resulting in better play? but i know im not wrong, so how powerful is that then??

i think the new question becomes.... approximately how much outside is required on various cut shots to get the maximum margin of error. i guess this is why we practice and play under pressure.... to figure this stuff out-- we just dont know it.

LAlouie
06-20-2011, 12:07 AM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? ...... Any thoughts?

It's probably because you don't trust your aim, so you're applying spin because you think it'll help you pocket. It may have become a habit now, to the point where you'll do it subconsciously. I don't think it increases your margin of error because you have only so much pocket space available to the OB, and whether you spin or not, either way you have only x amount of contact on the OB. All that happens is the variables of the contact points have shifted when you spin. Also, using an unusual amount of spin means you have to deal with deflection which makes matters worse.

dr_dave
06-20-2011, 06:02 AM
i think the new question becomes.... approximately how much outside is required on various cut shots to get the maximum margin of error.The "exact" answer to that question can be found in Diagram 2 of my January '07 BD article (http://billiards.colostate.edu/bd_articles/2007/jan07.pdf). A good point of reference is a 1/2-ball hit ... it requires 40% English. For illustrations of percentage English, see Diagram 3 of my January '08 BD article (http://billiards.colostate.edu/bd_articles/2008/jan08.pdf).

i guess this is why we practice and play under pressure.... to figure this stuff out-- we just dont know it.Agreed ... you still need to practice even if you "know" the information.

Regards,
Dave

genomachino
06-20-2011, 01:11 PM
Absolutely, it helps especially if you are playing on a table with alot of humidity increasing the amount of skid.

But if a player doesn't know how to adjust with the english on the ball there would be no advantage. In fact they might miss some shots that they normally would make using the spin.

Many tournament I've been in, if I didn't force the balls in a little with the english I wouldn't have done very well, in fact that is the reason most of the players lost in these tournaments. One skid can lose you the game and the match.

And you never know when it could happen.

I was playing Tim from Faribault, Mn in the Seco Varoni tournament. They only let 32 Players in this thing every year and it is always filled up months ahead of time.

Tim has me beaten in my second match. All he has to do is cut the ball to the left into the side pocket hitting half a ball to make it. Cue ball is about 1 foot from the object ball and the object ball is about 6 inches from the side pocket. Not a tough shot at all.

He used a little bit of left english to keep the cue ball from going further to the right to get a better shot at his next ball. The object ball skidded right into the rail. it was horrible.

Had he put right english on the cue ball he could have went 2 rails and still had a great shot at the next ball. This would have avoided the skid altogether.

If Tim wins this match I'm done.

I won the tournament.

Bottom line. Learn how to help these balls in the holes and it will increase your chances of avoiding these tournament ending skids.

You never know when it will happen so prevention is the best remedy. Forcing the ball in the hole is the only known cure that I know and it works................

Have a great day geno.........

Mitchxout
06-21-2011, 08:31 AM
My name is Mitch and I'm a lifelong spinner. However, my consistency has gone up since I started playing more centerball, especially when on foreign equipment or playing off the wall.

Also, in the good-ole-days, tables were slower and harder to move whitey around. On today's fast cloth centerball or minimal english works fine.

Dr Dave's articles on CIT have been most helpful. :thumbup:

ShootingRazbone
06-21-2011, 08:45 AM
Jsp, I don't think there is any real advantage when you factor in the added complications of squirt and swerve.

Hitting thicker does reduce the "geometric" margin of error, but not that much. Throw compensation is pretty small as well. The greatest "automatic" correction to a cut angle error that throw provides is when the balls end up rolling across each other on a stun shot. Here you get the most variation in throw with variations in surface speed. For some cut angle A and english spin Wz, where V is the cueball's speed and R its radius, the relative surface speed between the cueball and object ball on a stun shot is:

Vs = Vsin(A) - RWz

If this surface speed isn't too great, the balls end up rolling during impact. In this case, 1/7'th of this surface speed becomes the sideways throw velocity of the object ball. Since the object ball's forward speed is Vcos(A), the throw angle T is:

T = Atan[(1/7)(Vsin(A)-RWz)/Vcos(A)] = Atan[(1/7)(sin(A)-RWz/V)/cos(A)]

For simplicity, let's assume that RWz/V=sin(A), so that the surface speed and throw would be zero if we actually cut the ball at angle A. But instead, we cut it at angle A' (keeping RWz the same). Now we have a throw angle T', and the difference is:

T' - T = T' - 0 = Atan[(1/7)(sin(A')-sin(A))/cos(A')]

So if we overcut what should have been a 30 degree cut by 4 degrees, the throw compensation would be:

T' - T = T' - 0 = Atan[(1/7)(sin(34)-sin(30))/cos(34)] = 0.58 degree

The correction is about 1/7'th of the cut angle error. Well it is something, but is it worth the squirt and swerve stuff? And you get even less correction if the cueball has draw or follow on it or the spin/speed ratio RWz/V is not very close to sin(A). Since that cosine in the denominator gets very small as you approach 90 degree cuts, it may seem like there might be a real advantage there. But the unfortunate fact is that you have to get the spin/speed ratio RWz/V closer and closer to sin(A) to get the balls to roll across each other. (I know you're not actually prescribing getting the ratio very close, but it gives us an idea of what the maximum correction can be.)

Interesting idea though, and maybe it bears further thought.

Jim

This game is a lil' less fun for me now....thanks! :confused:

C.Milian
06-21-2011, 09:45 AM
My name is Mitch and I'm a lifelong spinner. However, my consistency has gone up since I started playing more centerball, especially when on foreign equipment or playing off the wall.

Also, in the good-ole-days, tables were slower and harder to move whitey around. On today's fast cloth centerball or minimal english works fine.

Dr Dave's articles on CIT have been most helpful. :thumbup:

dr_dave
06-21-2011, 10:03 AM
Dr Dave's articles on CIT have been most helpful. :thumbup:

CIT? Link?Here's a good place to start:
And a list of articles and videos for all throw effects can be found here (see items 15-35 on the list):

Enjoy,
Dave

scottjen26
06-21-2011, 02:44 PM
Thanks for revitalizing this thread, I think I joined the forum not long after this post and therefore missed it. It's actually been a question I've wondered about and asked about for years and years…

Since I'm primarily self taught, I had to learn from some of the classic books out there, watching matches, asking a few questions here and there and tons of practice. I've always spun the ball a lot, sometimes too much, but felt comfortable that way. Maybe hedging a little one way or the other felt better than trying to hit center ball but accidentally putting some english on the ball, where if I used a 1/2 tip of outside on cuts if I missed a little I still had outside on the ball. Maybe I liked thinking of aiming at the ball a little fuller than necessary. Also several times I heard or read about collision induced throw, or cling, and was so worried about it I was determined to negate it. This was of course before some of the excellent technical information we have now.

I've asked many good players about this, and have never gotten a straight answer. A few months ago, I started playing with more center ball at the advice of Fujiwhopper in an effort to get my game back after a layoff. Soon after I started playing with CTE which really focuses more on a pure center ball hit, so the two complemented each other. I noticed something - whether it was subconscious or not, all of these 15 - 30 degree cuts that I had always spun in by hitting slightly fuller and using english, I was able to aim in just about the same spot with no english and still make the ball. It still feels weird, but it works. For me at least, I found that the difference in aiming was very slight and I easily adjusted to trying to force myself to hit more of these shots with a pure center ball stroke unless english was necessary for position. I feel my game is getting better the more comfortable I get with the center ball approach because I am able to eliminate some variables that come along with the english approach, especially since occasionally my little bit of helping english would turn into a full tip or more…

I have also gone through a period where I went too far - not using enough english when needed for position, or to get the cue ball into a good angle going in or coming out of a rail, or to offset the cling effect on a medium cut shot when hitting it softly. On these I've learned to use a bit of english or just hit a little thinner than I think. But now that I'm very comfortable with CTE and adjusting for english etc., I find myself going back to using a bit of outside on certain types of cut shots. Weird.

I still think that especially with distance, using center ball is probably the cleanest and most repeatable way of making normal cut shots, especially when using any sort of english or power diminishes the accuracy of the shot. But on the typical 2 or 3 foot shots, especially like you hope to have on the game ball, it seems that if you are comfortable shooting the shot with a bit of outside english to eliminate skids or help the CB into the 2 rail and out pattern or just because you like to do it that way, it's probably not going to lower your pocketing percentage enough to warrant having to focus on not doing it any more.

Scott

duckie
06-21-2011, 03:30 PM
As I've been playing more regularly the past few weeks, I've noticed that I've been subconsciously spinning more balls in for certain cut shots, where position isn't a big concern. When I say "spinning a ball in", I'm talking about applying outside english that not only compensates for any CIT (contact induced throw), but even additional outside english such that the extra spin actually throws the OB at a greater angle toward the pocket.

Why would I tend to do this? Here's an interesting thought. Does spinning a ball in actually increase your shooting margin of error on a cut shot (error in terms of where the CB can contact the OB to pocket the shot)? Compare this to the ideal case with zero friction. I haven't thought this through tremendously, but it seems to make sense that for certain conditions and cut shot angles, spinning a ball in might actually increase your margin of error. Any thoughts?

By margin of error, you mean the area on the object ball that the cb can impact and the obect ball will still go in the pocket, then no. This area is only affected by the distance,angle the obect ball is from the pocket also the pocket size.

I posted a drawing that shows this. I refer to this area as the impact zone.

On really thin cut shots, the transfer of energy from the cb to ob is not as great as a head on shot. The outside spin on real thin cut shots adds to the engery transferred to get the ob into the pocket.

enzo
06-21-2011, 07:16 PM
By margin of error, you mean the area on the object ball that the cb can impact and the obect ball will still go in the pocket, then no. This area is only affected by the distance,angle the obect ball is from the pocket also the pocket size.

I posted a drawing that shows this. I refer to this area as the impact zone.

On really thin cut shots, the transfer of energy from the cb to ob is not as great as a head on shot. The outside spin on real thin cut shots adds to the engery transferred to get the ob into the pocket.

the problem with this thinking is..... effective margin of error has to do with "buffers" i guess id call them. i dont know, i consider this info priceless, i dont like to go on and on, but a buffer just isnt there with centerball. if u catch a tad of inside on a cut with center ball, depending on your cue and the distance from the ob, you can aim perfect and miss by a diamond. with outside spin (or "natural" as many players have aptly phrased it) if you catch it with a little more spin.... can u see how that may counteract? more spin=more deflection=spins the ball in a bit more (in the direction u need). the opposite would be true as well, a little less natural than u wanted, a little less deflection, and a little less "spin in". i dont know, to be honest this is one of those things ill be kinda glad if people dont understand it..... but the proof is in the pudding.... i see every great player shoots the vast majority of 9 balls with natural, outside spin.

ok, here i go.... the truth is, also.... outside CAN (not does) increase your margin of error on many cut shots (i woulndt say all). so, in unison with the above mentioned priciples, the following applies ALSO (=double advantage). with natural, if you hit the "correct" spot, the ball will be pocketed. if you overcut it a tad it will be pocketed (this is because the ob is NOT "spun in" as much with thinner hits. and with a thick hit, u have a much greater opportunity to pocket the ball. so if u can understand all this (i dont claim to be the don juan of explaining pool), then id think youd be convinced about it all. but if youre not thats ok too... keep hitting center ball. i said double advantage, perhaps it goes to triple or thereabouts cus once you see how well this works youre so much more confident in knowing this info.

duckie
06-22-2011, 11:48 AM
the problem with this thinking is..... effective margin of error has to do with "buffers" i guess id call them. i dont know, i consider this info priceless, i dont like to go on and on, but a buffer just isnt there with centerball. if u catch a tad of inside on a cut with center ball, depending on your cue and the distance from the ob, you can aim perfect and miss by a diamond. with outside spin (or "natural" as many players have aptly phrased it) if you catch it with a little more spin.... can u see how that may counteract? more spin=more deflection=spins the ball in a bit more (in the direction u need). the opposite would be true as well, a little less natural than u wanted, a little less deflection, and a little less "spin in". i dont know, to be honest this is one of those things ill be kinda glad if people dont understand it..... but the proof is in the pudding.... i see every great player shoots the vast majority of 9 balls with natural, outside spin.

ok, here i go.... the truth is, also.... outside CAN (not does) increase your margin of error on many cut shots (i woulndt say all). so, in unison with the above mentioned priciples, the following applies ALSO (=double advantage). with natural, if you hit the "correct" spot, the ball will be pocketed. if you overcut it a tad it will be pocketed (this is because the ob is NOT "spun in" as much with thinner hits. and with a thick hit, u have a much greater opportunity to pocket the ball. so if u can understand all this (i dont claim to be the don juan of explaining pool), then id think youd be convinced about it all. but if youre not thats ok too... keep hitting center ball. i said double advantage, perhaps it goes to triple or thereabouts cus once you see how well this works youre so much more confident in knowing this info.

Did you search for my impact zone drawing. I'm betting you didn't.

There is no connection bewteen what spin is used and the size of the impact zone. Its the same size for centerball or extreme side spin.

The size is determined by distance from the pocket and the angle to the pocket the ob is. What determines how much of the zone can be hit is determined by the cb angle to the ob. Spin has nothing to do with the size.

You really should have checked the drawing out before you replied.

OnTheMF
11-24-2011, 11:11 PM
My thoughts concerning using outside English to "spin balls in," backed up by lots of resources, can be found here:

Outside English (OE) can be used to reduce (and even eliminate) throw and cling, but it can be difficult to judge the amount of English required for a particular cut angle (although, people can get good at this). Also, with English comes squirt and swerve, compensation for which can be challenging (although, people can get good at this). You need to have feel and understanding for many effects when using English. Many (if not all) of them are summarized and demonstrated here:

A case can actually be made that inside English might be a better approach for dealing with throw than outside English. For more info, see:

Outside English can certainly be a good choice when trying to hold the cue ball (sometimes). For more info, see:

Also, if cling is a concern (e.g., with old, worn, dirty balls; or if you are pro, where cling on one shot can mean the difference in a match), then "spinning the ball in" might be a good approach.

Regards,
Dave

Dave, your conclusions seem to perfectly match my recent experiences switching between many different venues with a wide range of dirty/clean balls. However, I wonder if there is one more factor nobody has considered yet... How significantly does OB spin affect the range of angles a pocket will accept a ball at? On a cut shot, where dead center ball is used, the OB obviously acquires CIE. More importantly, this CIE is outside english which in theory could cause balls to "jar" if hit into the pocket facing/horn, where as with no english the pocket might accept the same ball at the same angle. Obviously this effect would only matter for a limited number of situations, particularly in situations where any OB english would not have worn off before reaching the pocket.

This is not directed at Dr. Dave, but to the thread in general: On the debate about spinning the ball in, I also wanted to respond to the argument that squirt/swerve are bigger factors than throw. We know that swerve will probably not be a factor, on a firm hit, so lets eliminate that from the argument for now. This is really about squirt vs throw, and what leads to pocketing balls more consistently. I do agree that squirt CAN have more of an impact on the final trajectory of the OB. However, it's logically unsound (even though it may be true) to conclude that this means squirt is more inconsistent. If we consider what factors determine the amount of squirt (cue stick, amount of english), and what causes throw (friction coefficient of balls), it might make more sense to say throw is more inconsistent. After all, players usually shoot with the same cue regardless of where they are, but rarely do players bring their own balls. A player can learn the squirt characteristics of their cue, but it would be impossible to learn the throw characteristics of all balls everywhere. To add to that, squirt is a factor of the game that players are forced to learn. They may be much better at adjusting for squirt than they are at guessing how sticky a given set of balls is and how much a shot will throw.

Given what I just said, it makes perfect sense to substitute an unknown and unpredictable factor (throw) for a known and predictable one (squirt).

I did say lets ignore swerve for the sake of argument, now I want to discuss that a bit. I think the true answer to the whole spin vs over-cut debate is somewhere in the middle. Some shots should be spun, some should be over-cut. The answer to which is right probably depends on the controlling factors of the shot, such as cut angle, speed and CB to OB distance. On a shot where swerve is going to come into play, I think spinning a ball in is more perilous. I think the same thing on very hard (fast) shots, where squirt is extremely large. There is probably a middle ground somewhere, and it is most likely dependent on how well a player compensates for squirt. So this answer may be different for every player.

One final thought on my theory of how OB english affects the angle the pockets will accept balls at. If we assume the theory is correct, then most likely the english will favour one side of the pocket more, and the other side less than when the OB has no english. For example, in Diag 1 below, if this shot is hit with center cue ball, the long rail side of the pocket should be more favorable (than with no OB english) since the CIE will spin the OB into the pocket. Where as the short rail side of the pocket will spin the OB out of the pocket. Now consider the shot in Diag 2, where hitting the short rail side of the pocket will cause the OB to spin in, and the long rail side will cause it to spin out. In both scenarios, the pocket has effectively "shifted" ever so slightly. Interestingly, depending on the geometry (such as OB approach angle, how the pockets are cut, etc.), the additional range of angles that accept/reject a ball on one side of the pocket due to OB english, does not have to equal the range of angles on the other side. This means that depending on the exact shot, the pocket can be effectively smaller or larger (in addition to shifting as described above).

If you truly wanted to be as consistent as possible using the cut/throw method, then you would want to aim at the center of the effective pocket (after compensating for throw) to give yourself the largest margin of error. I think in a lot of cases it might be easier to simply gear the OB when practical, than to consider how the CIE will affect the angles the pocket accepts balls at. Of course, it's obviously best to know the in's and out's of both methods.

Diagram 1:

http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae262/GooblyGob/CIE1.jpg

Diagram 2:

http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae262/GooblyGob/CIE3.jpg