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Let's COMPARE table sizes, shall we? AREA vs BALLS that fit on the table...
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K2Kraze
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Let's COMPARE table sizes, shall we? AREA vs BALLS that fit on the table... - 03-23-2016, 07:09 PM

There seems to be a lot of discussion (opinions/arguments/feelings) about the bar box being responsible for either the demise of pool as we have known it to be, or a savior of keeping the game alive - primarily, if not exclusively, for the league players and bar patrons. Depending on which side of the argument one is on.

Anyone can spin the arguments both for or against the 7' table in either direction depending on how they feel at the time, but I'd like to present a way for everyone to see just how the 7' tables COMPARE to the 8', 8' PRO and the beloved 9'ers - in a way that we as players actually and truly "should" compare them....(my opinion only of course).....by how much room we have to maneuver the cue ball around a given table with other balls still present upon it.

One of the typical arguments I hear (again, from a player's "playing" perspective and not a club owner and their revenue perspective) is on tables size or area vs another.

So, just for fun.....here is that chart.

SORRY - the chart is below

Looking at the chart (below that compares SIZES), one can surmise that an 8' table is 27% larger than a 7' table and similarly, a 9' table is a whopping 67% larger than a 7' table - based on surface area only of each table. Other comparisons from one table to another can be garnered from the chart in a similar fashion - just numbers of course.

I think one of the most realistic comparison criteria when discussing table size comparisons isn't so much the total area available like the chart above shows, but one that tells us how much ROOM we have to move the cue ball around on the table amongst the balls still setting on the play field. That's coming up...

What DOES NOT CHANGE is the fact we use 2.25" balls on each of the table sizes listed above, and when a table is crowded - caused by either a large number of total balls on a given table or a smaller space - it makes the game more challenging to master the 2nd most important physical skill in pocket billiard games: maneuving the cue ball where you want it for the next shot. After all, anyone can "pocket a ball" - but a good player can pocket a ball AND position the cue ball for their intended next shot - and it's much harder on a crowded, smaller table. Most will agree with that I'll assume.

But how much different are they really - other than size - and square inches?

The interesting chart below tells how many 2.25" balls can fit at any one time on a given playing surface, based on the general size. For example, 644 balls will fit on a 7' table if they are placed as if racked - called hexagonally - with no spaces between them. Tightly packed. Square spacing is how they would have to be placed as they come in a box of balls - side by side - with a lot of space around them. At the very least, it's eye opening. Somewhat surprising even to those that have not entertained the idea or question before. Like guessing how many jelly beans are in that jar over in the kitchen. A small wager to be won perhaps.

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This last chart below shows how much larger one table is compared to another based on how many balls will fit upon the playing surface at any time with minimal distance between them - again, hexagonally - giving (I believe) a little more accurate picture of how much difference there is between a 7' table and say the 8' table....again, based on potential room to maneuver a cue ball around those other 15 balls you have to play around in that 8 ball league match.

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You can see that when compared this way, an 8' table allows 33% MORE ROOM to maneuver your cue ball around when compared to the 7' bar box.

The point of all this (no, I didn't create these charts for this post - I had those printed up a long time ago out of curiosity when a discussion of table sizes came up and the range of guesses was 1000 apart) isn't to argue one size over the other. Each table size does have its merits and challenges.

Perhaps - just perhaps - IF the 7' bar box is where we are headed in this United States of America, should we consider the 2" balls on these 7' tables to make the table sizes comparable? And thus the game challenges comparable.

Or bring back the 8' table that Willie and Joe and Luther played so beautifully on?😁

2" balls on the 7 footers?

2 1/8" balls on the 8 footers?

2 1/4" balls on the 9 footers?

Just an idea.

I'll have to get to work on that chart now I suppose.
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Last edited by K2Kraze; 03-23-2016 at 07:28 PM.
  
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03-23-2016, 07:23 PM

It took a lot of balls to make a chart like that and post it here.
  
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03-23-2016, 07:25 PM

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Originally Posted by HawaiianEye View Post
It took a lot of balls to make a chart like that and post it here.
Thats ok, he plays at Roccos Pool Hall......



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03-23-2016, 07:29 PM

Seems a weird way to compare sizes. Best way seems to be taking the playing surface area minus the area occupied by 16 pool balls, yielding the free space area on a full table.
  
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03-23-2016, 07:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiianEye View Post
It took a lot of balls to make a chart like that and post it here.
I know. I know. I tried to delete the damn thing, but it wouldn't let me.
  
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03-23-2016, 07:33 PM

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Originally Posted by slide13 View Post
Seems a weird way to compare sizes. Best way seems to be taking the playing surface area minus the area occupied by 16 pool balls, yielding the free space area on a full table.
I absolutely agree --- but the numbers are still less than 1/2 of 1% and I didn't want to get too scientific. Again, this all started over a wager of how many balls would fit on a table and then worked its way up to how much more difficult is a crowded table than another... Just for fun reading.
  
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03-24-2016, 06:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by slide13 View Post
Seems a weird way to compare sizes. Best way seems to be taking the playing surface area minus the area occupied by 16 pool balls, yielding the free space area on a full table.
I disagree. Free space on the table isn't the important thing. Free LINES are. That is, what is the likelihood that any given ball has a open path to a pocket. A path is essentially a one-dimensional thing, while area is two-dimensional. To even get the units correct, we need to be talking about one-dimension at some point.

Thank you kindly.
  
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03-24-2016, 06:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by K2Kraze View Post
The interesting chart below tells how many 2.25" balls can fit at any one time on a given playing surface,
The number of balls that can fit on a table (either maximally packed or square packed) is directly related to the area of a table. So you aren't measuring anything new, just using a different unit. We wouldn't expect to get a different understanding about table size if we measured them in centimeters, would we?

Thank you kindly.

Last edited by Corwyn_8; 03-24-2016 at 06:39 AM.
  
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03-24-2016, 07:56 AM

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Originally Posted by Corwyn_8 View Post
The number of balls that can fit on a table (either maximally packed or square packed) is directly related to the area of a table. So you aren't measuring anything new, just using a different unit. We wouldn't expect to get a different understanding about table size if we measured them in centimeters, would we?

Thank you kindly.

Hello sir --

I'm not sure I understand your point - if there is one - perhaps it's just a comment.

My point was putting perspective on table sizes in a different way that we as players can easily relate to - balls vs area vs games played and balls on the table.


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03-24-2016, 08:06 AM

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Originally Posted by K2Kraze View Post
I'm not sure I understand your point
My point is, for all your words and charts, you haven't added a single new piece of information to the discussion. You have taken the area of the table multiplied it by balls/area, and then computed percentages. Essentially you multiplied by a factor and then divided it out. So the numbers didn't change (all the change is in rounding errors).

No one packs balls on a table, most people couldn't guess how many balls fit on various size tables. You haven't even added an intuitive analogy.

Check out DrDave's sticky post on Table Difficulty Factor. Do you agree or disagree with his assessment of the table size factor? Why?

Your point about using smaller balls for smaller tables is well taken.

Thank you kindly.

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03-24-2016, 08:55 AM

If I recall correctly one of the books I read said it would take around 25 balls on a 9' table to match the clutter of a 7' table.

Not sure if I could use your chart above to figure that, but having almost an additional rack of balls on the table will certainly muck things up and change path balls have to pockets.
  
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03-24-2016, 09:40 AM

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Originally Posted by Skippy27 View Post
If I recall correctly one of the books I read said it would take around 25 balls on a 9' table to match the clutter of a 7' table.

Not sure if I could use your chart above to figure that, but having almost an additional rack of balls on the table will certainly muck things up and change path balls have to pockets.
Yes, there is less clutter on a 9 foot table, but the distance to pocket balls is generally greater which exposes and amplifies a flawed stroke delivery. Not to mention deviations of track lines during kicks and banks as the distance increases.

I still believe the greatest difficulty is a full sized table. I find clusters easier to attack on seven foot tables because of the shorter distances involved as well.

These charts are great, but just because a table has less surface area= more cluttered play, I can't say it's more difficult. Just my two cents.
  
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03-24-2016, 09:47 AM

While that is a totally logical idea.

Think small children's tables. They do NOT have 2 1/4" balls.

I think it might be cost prohibitive for the ball manufacturers.

AND think of it from a player's point of view constantly playing with different sized balls.

The Brits use to have a smaller golf ball & those non Brits that were serious about trying to win the British Open would play for time before with the smaller ball because going to it cold turkey did not yield very good results for most.

The Brits ultimately switched to allow the larger more common golf ball.
  
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03-24-2016, 09:47 AM

What I'll reference is that most of the time 7' champions don't do so well playing 9' champions on a 9' table. Where as 9' champions tend to adjust to a 7' easier than a 7' champion does on a 9' table. It is what it is. All I know is the thought of 1 pocket being played on a bar box makes me throw up in my mouth a little. YMMV


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03-24-2016, 10:33 AM

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What I'll reference is that most of the time 7' champions don't do so well playing 9' champions on a 9' table. Where as 9' champions tend to adjust to a 7' easier than a 7' champion does on a 9' table. It is what it is. All I know is the thought of 1 pocket being played on a bar box makes me throw up in my mouth a little. YMMV
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