Equal Offense Practice


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After watching Jerry Briesath’s latest instructional videos I learned more about ‘Equal Offense’ and the practice version to help improve your game.

I’ve taken a lot of Jerry’s tips in his videos seriously to help improve my game, and I have noticed a difference.

In practice Equal Offense the goal is to score 120 points over 10 innings to promote yourself to the next level of difficulty.

To check my skill level, I started out with 5 balls in hand per inning as recommended for the absolute novice player. To my relief I quickly found this level too easy by scoring 145.

Moving up to 4 balls in hand, in two games I averaged 123 which moved me up to the next level.

At 3 balls in hand I found my median difficulty level by averaging (so far) 112 over 7 games. In most publications this puts me in the beginner level which is a little discouraging as graduating to the 2 ball in hand level may be a challenge.

I will say that this game has improved my pattern recognition, though I’ve got a way to go. Breaking out clustered balls early seems to be the main object, as well as not making the errant miss on easy shots. I have found myself stringing some good innings of 12+ together along with clearing the table, but the occasional poor inning scoring less than 10 seems to be what’s keeping me from that elusive 120 average.

For information and record keeping I’m keeping a spreadsheet of my results (attached).


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Equal offense is my primary way of practicing too. I try to do 3-4 sessions a week to see how I am progressing. We are of similar skill levels. Some thoughts:
  • I never tried it with more than 3 BIHs (i.e., BIH after break, and then you get two free misses with BIH after each miss. Game ends on third miss). However when I started, it was too hard for me to graduate to Intermediate so I used training wheel rules that I made up (count what you make on the break, slop counts, etc.). Using these beginner friendly rules for a while I struggled and shot around 70-90.
  • Eventually I started getting to 100, then 110, then 120. A few months ago I was able to surpass 120 using my cheat rules. At that point I graduated and stopped counting slop and balls that went in on the break. Now I play with the real rules with 3 BIHs. I beat 120 about 40% of the time.
  • What I do is also track my score with 1 miss. In other words every game I will get a score like 125 (94). The 125 is my score with 3 BIHs (2 misses, aka Beginner) and the 94 is my score with 2 BIHs (1 miss, aka Intermediate). I just remember how many balls are on the table when my second miss occurs. Now, it is fair to say that I would take fewer risks if I was truly playing Intermediate because I know the inning would end on my next miss, but this is a decent proxy for being able to track progress against both Beginner and Intermediate at the same time.
  • My biggest quibble with the game is the break. If you break well and get a good spread, the entire game is way way easier. If you don't, the game becomes a nightmare with clusters. My other quibble with the break is that a mediocre break where no balls go in is preferable to me than a great break where I sink 3 balls. Because then I need to spot those 3 balls which creates more congestion/clustering near the footspot. But I guess it forces you to work on breakouts which is good.
  • Totally agree that it is a great game for pattern recognition and cue ball control. You just can't afford to bang them in and hope for the best. Need to get shape on the next shot.
  • I really like the game because it is so easy to measure progress over time. Too bad it doesn't really help with safety practice, but no drill is perfect. Sometimes I take a few weeks off and switch to Dr. Dave's runout drill system as a similar alternative but just to change things up.
Link to the Equal Offense drills/ratings system for anyone who is curious.