Different sized cue-balls

Banker Burt

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It is becoming common knowledge that the many manufacturers of cue-balls apparently have no restriction of specifications about what size they should be made.

Recently at a tournament we measured an aramith measle ball being used with Centenial object-balls. With the new set of balls the measle was noticably larger. With an older set it was it was visably larger.

The person that measured the balls used a micrometer is a world champion, so I asked him, what would be an acceptable size difference. He said 0 but added that regardless of what size the cue-ball was it should simply match the size and weigth of the object-balls... period.

So who exactly is responsible for our equipment, or are we suppose to spend a week before each tournament, adjusting to the different ball for the next room we are playing at.

Doesn't make sense to me. Any thoughts?
 

tjlmbklr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Banker Burt said:
It is becoming common knowledge that the many manufacturers of cue-balls apparently have no restriction of specifications about what size they should be made.

Recently at a tournament we measured an aramith measle ball being used with Centenial object-balls. With the new set of balls the measle was noticably larger. With an older set it was it was visably larger.

The person that measured the balls used a micrometer is a world champion, so I asked him, what would be an acceptable size difference. He said 0 but added that regardless of what size the cue-ball was it should simply match the size and weigth of the object-balls... period.

So who exactly is responsible for our equipment, or are we suppose to spend a week before each tournament, adjusting to the different ball for the next room we are playing at.

Doesn't make sense to me. Any thoughts?


I have a machinist background, curious to what difference in size was.
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Silver Member
Banker Burt said:
With the new set of balls the measle was noticably larger. With an older set it was it was visably larger.

The person that measured the balls used a micrometer is a world champion, so I asked him, what would be an acceptable size difference. He said 0 but added that regardless of what size the cue-ball was it should simply match the size and weigth of the object-balls... period.

He believes that an acceptable variance should be zero? That's sort of like an oxymoron. There isn't a thing made in the world that has zero tolerance. Period.

That being said:

The tolerance range for a ball diameter as specified in the BCA Rulebook and presumably the World Standardized Rules is .250" +/- .005. The tolerance is about the thickness of a sheet of standard copy paper. The last time I communicated with the manufacturer (Saluc of Belgium) on this, they indicated that they do not use CPK studies (the process control method using measurements and statistics to indicate the stability of their process).

Saluc: "As far as the CPK is concerned, we are using other internal parameters to qualify our process, which are more suitable."

As a manufacturing engineer, I find this very odd, but I'm not in their field. Maybe bounce, color and sound parameters are more suitable? There are a few people out there with go/no go gages (e.g., Mr. Jewett). I believe the report back was that some balls out of every new set are out of spec.

I have a measles ball. It's not bigger than the rest of my set. Beware of fakes.

Fred
 

BooBoo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Premium Centenials

If I understand correctly the premium Centenials are classified premium because they are a matched set tolerance wise. I guess they measure each one to make sure they are all close to each other. That is why the cost of a premium set is more than the standard set. This is all well and good as long as all balls are used at once. What happens over the years after the 1-9 are pounded every day and then you want to play straight pool or 8 ball. Are they no longer "premium", does it matter, do you care?
 

Snapshot9

son of 3 leg 1 eye dog ..
Silver Member
Frustrating ....

Usually I can adapt to cueballs pretty well. I would say when erratic
variances are showing up from the same model of cueball quite a few times, it is not a model you would want to use, or cheap versions
of cueballs.

The problem lies with the fact when a Room owner is not an advanced
player or above, they, sometimes, do not give proper consideration to
cueballs or ball sets. Or, if a room is cutting back on expenses, ball
sets can be an area affected by cost cutting measures.

I do not like the Measles ball, never have, never will, it is sluggish.
I end up playing with the Aramith Pro logo ball, which I like fine.

Played in a tournament recently (40 miles away in a smaller city) that
advertised and used 'red circle' cueballs. I was over shooting shape
all day long (it is a little smaller and lighter). The variance between
a stun shot and a draw shot was amazing.

In fact, I am embarrased to say this, I was in a hill-to-hill match, shooting
the 7 downtable, almost straight, with only the 9 uptable centered above the headspot in the middle, and I just had to draw the cue back, and
the cueball came ALL the way back (and to the right some) and scratched in the corner pocket, so I went from a sure win to a loss that put me out of the tournament. So, I am not too hep on red circle cueballs at the moment ... lol
 

TheBook

Ret Professional Goof Off
Silver Member
On a science show they were talking about how perfectly round the earth is considering it's size even thought it is a little lopsided and has mountains and canyons. It was compared to a cueball. They said that if you take a cue ball and could enlarge it proportionally to the size of the earth the mountains, and craters would be unbelievably deep and high plus it would look more oblong like a egg.
 

Banker Burt

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Cornerman said:
He believes that an acceptable variance should be zero? That's sort of like an oxymoron. There isn't a thing made in the world that has zero tolerance. Period.

That being said:

The tolerance range for a ball diameter as specified in the BCA Rulebook and presumably the World Standardized Rules is .250" +/- .005. The tolerance is about the thickness of a sheet of standard copy paper. The last time I communicated with the manufacturer (Saluc of Belgium) on this, they indicated that they do not use CPK studies (the process control method using measurements and statistics to indicate the stability of their process).

Saluc: "As far as the CPK is concerned, we are using other internal parameters to qualify our process, which are more suitable."

As a manufacturing engineer, I find this very odd, but I'm not in their field. Maybe bounce, color and sound parameters are more suitable? There are a few people out there with go/no go gages (e.g., Mr. Jewett). I believe the report back was that some balls out of every new set are out of spec.

I have a measles ball. It's not bigger than the rest of my set. Beware of fakes.

Fred

I am no match for a manufacturing engineer, or any engineer fr that matter but I will try and answer your question. I also agree that there is no such thing as perfect tolerance of any two objects, but as champions go they understand a more perfect world than the rest of us. His point was simply that the balls should at least be close in the manufacturing process as to the ones we were examining.

The Measle ball in question was right out of the box of Super Aramith. I am a builder so I work with tape measures, squares, levels and my eye for plum, level and approximate differences in thickness of materials.

Here is what I observed -

Measle/aramith OB in box - 1/32 larger

Measle/Centenial Tourney - 1/16 larger

Measle/std. room balls - 1/8 larger

The point of the matter is that the companies providing us equipment do not seem to be interested in the sport or its top player enough to know what we depend on to play at a high level. Yes we can adjust but my question is why?

I don't buy the buyer beware scenerio because it is the 21st Century and we should be taking steps to advance our sport, not just go play and stop the whining. I am not alone on this issue. Talk to the top players about it.

Weight factors, contact points, rail reaction, etc. all change. I actually like the way the measle ball feels coming off the cue, but that is it.
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Silver Member
Banker Burt said:
Here is what I observed -

Measle/aramith OB in box - 1/32 larger

Measle/Centenial Tourney - 1/16 larger

Measle/std. room balls - 1/8 larger

The point of the matter is that the companies providing us equipment do not seem to be interested in the sport or its top player enough to know what we depend on to play at a high level. Yes we can adjust but my question is why?.
I hope you're not misunderstanding my post. I am completely sympathetic. That bein said, it's tough to address this issue (companies providing equipment do not seem interested) since your measurements seem impossible. If you are truly getting these values, no wonder you're upset.

1/8" larger for the Measle ball? That would make it a billiard ball, which is where the original measle balls were used. I hope you don't really have one of those!!!!.


Even the 1/32" is a huge tolerance error that I've never seen in even the cheapest sets.

Fred
 
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