# Is the Game of Pool Geometrically Correct and/or Complete?

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
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OK, maybe you can tell me what to do about late blight on my tomatoes and potatoes? ...
I don't know about potatoes, but a solution for tomatoes is to plant them earlier. Use a protected area or sun room to start them and put them out as early as possible. I've already got cherry tomatoes about grape-size. Another tip is to rotate plants so you never use the same soil for the same kind of plant two years in a row.

To keep this pool related: It snowed in Edison during the recent Make It Happen event (April 15th or so), and I hope people didn't already have their early tomatoes out.

#### LAMas

##### AzB Silver Member
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I used to think pool was math and geometry when I started.
But the more I play, the more it feels like pool is about physics.

All the geometric stuff that looks perfect "on paper" doesn't go as planned due to physics.
Balls undercut a hair due to throw. Kicks don't exit the rail at the same angle they entered.
All systems involving 2 and 3 rails need adjustment for the natural roll lengthening the angles.
Banks resist most systems because they're so speed dependant and the rails vary across tables.

And so much of pool is mushy intangible stuff like mood, confidence, etc.

It starts with geometry but needs physics to achieve the desired results.

#### jtaylor996

##### AzB Silver Member
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I've worked in science quite a bit. Most of the geometry I deal with is in orbital mechanics.

"Correct" doesn't describe some physical system, but would be used to describe some math/physics/geometric way of describing the physical system.

In that sense, the game has to be correct. It's whether we can explain what we see happening in the game that can be correct or not. For the most part, I think we can explain this enough to be able to pocket shots.

But going back to the original question, it seems to be really asking whether the fact that many aspects of the game are explainable by simple geometry that it evokes some sort of passion for the game.

I think so. Back before Newton came around with his concepts like conservation of momentum, etc, billiards was played. At that time, it was a more simple game, where spin wasn't used at all (hard to get english going when you're using a mace). The players at the time were leaning physics without really knowing how it worked. But it was still simple enough to be understood, and applying that understanding to intentionally towards a goal is a kind of satisfaction that I think is deep-rooted in the human psyche.

Now imagine a game where the physics were so complicated even experts would hem and haw over what would happen on any given shot. Like billiards played on a 200m long table on a 1/3 the way up a 1km long tree in orbit within a ring of gas around a pulsar (reference to Larry Niven's book The Smoke Ring). That would be no fun at all. So you don't see people playing a lot of games where the physics and geometry are such a pain to deal with.

#### Dunnn51

##### Wait for something good
Silver Member
Sandbagging, you think I would show my true speed in APA? It would kill all my action.

:lol::rotflmao::rotflmao1: A I T T :groucho:

#### Dunnn51

##### Wait for something good
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Oh, BTW,.....
the REAL answer is 23 ! why ?? Because its almost always 23 ....................

unless, (of course) it is 41

:grin-square:

#### jtaylor996

##### AzB Silver Member
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Oh, BTW,.....
the REAL answer is 23 ! why ?? Because its almost always 23 ....................

unless, (of course) it is 41

:grin-square:

So close, it would be 42.

Google used to answer "What is the meaning of life" with 42, in reference to the Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books/TV shows/movies.

#### Dunnn51

##### Wait for something good
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So close, it would be 42.

Google used to answer "What is the meaning of life" with 42, in reference to the Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books/TV shows/movies.

Well, GOOGLE is fibbin' a lil. its 41 trust me . (I know 42 sounds better, they thought so too)

its really 41 ,.... ( its the 13th prime) :smilewinkgrin:

##### ICNBB
Silver Member
Well, GOOGLE is fibbin' a lil. its 41 trust me . (I know 42 sounds better, they thought so too)

its really 41 ,.... ( its the 13th prime) :smilewinkgrin:

you know, i haven't done math since 198X .

but i do remember, 4yrs after graduation while on a table, stating that:

IF MY DAMN PHYSICS TEACHER HAD EXPLAINED IT TO ME VIA POOL - I MIGHT HAVE ACED THE COURSE!

it's not simple geometry, CJ. too many variables.

#### 336Robin

##### Multiverse Operative
Silver Member
Visual Game

My belief after years of playing competitively "in the zone, " teaching, conceptualizing advanced techniques/systems and studying the deep levels of the "mental game," is that the game of pool is geometrically correct and complete (both mentally and physically).

[/B]Not only because of the two squares creating a rectangle, which in turn allow many triangles to form (when you take into account banks, ball pocketing, jump shots, combinations, caroms, masse's and position play, etc.) - also because of the straight line of the cue AND the perfect spherical shape of the balls. If any of these factors were missing from the game I don't think it would be complete and correct - that's pretty darn impressive!

What do you think, is this why the game of pool aligns to the human subconscious so perfectly, enabling {seemingly} miraculous feats to be accomplished on the pool table? Is this why advanced techniques and systems seem to work at almost a supernatural level? (supernatural meaning "natural" in a super way)

My opinion is that its a visual game and all that matters is how you visually connect to it whether that be by a system of thought a system of visual perception etc. As far as the game being played on a table made of squares that end up forming a 2 to1 ratio and where or not it is geometrically correct, Im not sure that it matters. If it were on another table where a ball could not be banked in an endless succession or rails would it matter as long as balls should be pocketed.

I am sure that there are a lot of people who have trouble connecting to the game because they cant find their place in it. They have trouble seeing the natural shot line and know what to do with it. Ive seen people come to pool room and finally give up because they just cant figure out what it is they need to concentrate on, then they take up another game.

I believe that an apt description of what they need to do in order to succeed has been long overdue and overcomplication is as much a problem as anything.

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#### Matt

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Although I disagree with the notion that pool is somehow correct, perfect, or complete, there are a few properties of pool equipment that may make it seem that way at times because they allow us to easily model an approximation of their behavior. The spherical shape of the balls, flat and level slate surface, right angles of the rails, approximately 2:1 ratio of playing surface length to width, etc. all "simplify" the game enough that we can come up with geometrical models that are close enough to get the job done some of the time. Throw in some knowledge of the physics of motion, friction, and elastic collisions, and you can create models that very accurately describe the way the equipment reacts that are actually useful if you take an analytic approach to the game. While that may seem cool to some students of the game, I think that the true allure of the game lies elsewhere...

What I believe makes pool such a pleasure is that for every shot, the player's interaction with the equipment is limited to the tip of the cue touching the cue ball for a split second to set things into motion. After that, we get to observe the effects of that interaction and wait for the dust to settle before we step back in and give the cue ball another poke. The complexity and precision of motion that we achieve with that brief touch of the cue is, I believe, the primary source of fascination with pool. The feeling of control as the cue ball rolls around doing your bidding and comes to rest in perfect position to perform the next task is unlike anything I've known in any other game.

##### "no buds chill"
Silver Member
People put WAAYYY too much emphasis on the variables.

The variables involved, CIT, squirt/swerve, etc... are either easily adjusted for or are negligible in the vast majority of shots.

Even on tight tables a few adjustments for specific situations is all that is needed. For CIT, it's avoid softer shots with lots of spin or use outside to help cancel out the CIT.

For squirt, use BHE with a standard shaft and parallel shifting with slight adjustments for longer shots with LD tech.

It IS geometrically correct once you know these little things to adjust for the idiosyncrasies. There are many more variables, that on occasion will affect outcomes, but we emphasize them more than we should because it can lead to a loss in a game that requires perfection at the highest levels.

#### CJ Wiley

##### ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
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Einstein reportedly (hearsay) said there was over 6,000,000 shots on a pool table

Once I "real eyesed" it matches up perfectly to the subconscious mind it opened up a much higher level of learning.

Einstein reportedly (hearsay) said there was over 6,000,000 shots on a pool table.....luckily, like music there's "themes and variations" to make it much less complex. And it even gets simpler if we apply just a "touch of inside" on every shot. 'The Game is the Teacher'

C'mon, CJ! There's nothing to argue about in this thread! It'll die with less than 50 posts! :grin-square:

If I start thinking about things that're geometrically correct, I won't be able to make a ball. I'll just say that the game looks like it's correct.

Best,
Mike

#### CJ Wiley

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Is there anything the game can't teach us?

Are you saying you needed "the game to by your teacher"? :groucho:

you know, i haven't done math since 198X .

but i do remember, 4yrs after graduation while on a table, stating that:

IF MY DAMN PHYSICS TEACHER HAD EXPLAINED IT TO ME VIA POOL - I MIGHT HAVE ACED THE COURSE!

it's not simple geometry, CJ. too many variables.

#### Sloppy Pockets

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't know about potatoes, but a solution for tomatoes is to plant them earlier. Use a protected area or sun room to start them and put them out as early as possible. I've already got cherry tomatoes about grape-size. Another tip is to rotate plants so you never use the same soil for the same kind of plant two years in a row.

To keep this pool related: It snowed in Edison during the recent Make It Happen event (April 15th or so), and I hope people didn't already have their early tomatoes out.

Thanks for that. I appreciate all the knowledge you share about pool, but this little tidbit just made my day.

I've got 4 acres, so we have no problem rotating planting locations, but always put them in Memorial Day weekend. Frost can really surprise you here in the foothills of the Adirondacks. Still, seeing 18 beautiful, robust tomato plants wither and turn brown on you while hundreds of still green tomatoes are on the vine is the most heartbreaking sight a home gardener can witness, so I'll risk the cold this year and get them in earlier. Maybe it will help if I keep the garden plot to a perfect 2:1 length-to-width ratio. May make for perfectly spherical tomatoes.

Regarding Edison, I passed by twice on my way to NC on the 12th and again on the 19th on the way back again (I actually raced up here so we could catch the last match on Saturday night, but it was almost midnight by the time we got near Edison). There were few signs of spring until we hit Virginia. While in NC my daughter told me we had almost 6" of heavy snow fall here. Nobody around here plants anything but broccoli and peas in April. Enjoy those cherry tomatoes, I won't see anything ripe until the middle of July.

#### CJ Wiley

##### ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
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How the cue ball connects to all the diamonds - it's the TIP of the day

That's right, if the ball weren't round none of my TIP systems would be effective.

I like the part about the perfect sphericity of the balls. I hate playing with square balls, you can't draw your rock worth shit with them.

Personally, I don't think the angles are what make the game. Angles are easy. Any six year-old can see the angles. Mastering friction is what makes the game so damn difficult, and so rewarding as you learn to control it.

Frictional forces are everywhere in pool, from the chalk on the tip to the throw on a cut shot to the drag of the cloth on the ball to the interaction with the rails. Without friction the game wouldn't even be recognizable. And the worst part is, you can't see it directly like you can an angle. All you can do is to try and understand it by the way the balls react, then learn to use it to get them to behave the way you want them to.

##### ICNBB
Silver Member
Are you saying you needed "the game to by your teacher"? :groucho:

the irony is - half the time, i was skipping class to shoot pool! while postulating:
if Car A (red) was running @ 35mph
and Car B (white) was running @ 70mph
but Car A had 190HP & windshear
and Car B had 474HP & flailing spoiler
assuming they drove in straight lines towards each other
(there are straight lines in Detroit)
at what point would they intersect?
and at what torque?
and how long would it take?

my answer, was always: PINK.
i didn't ACE it, but i passed....

"the Game, bought my Teacher"

#### CJ Wiley

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.the game really is the teacher

And we have a winner!

You have what CJ has been preaching about all this time—a "Touch of Insight."

Ken

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, indeed!!!...the game really is the teacher. and, yes, it teachers much more than just math.....it's a microcosm for life.

##### ICNBB
Silver Member
Yes, indeed!!!...the game really is the teacher. and, yes, it teachers much more than just math.....it's a microcosm for life.

\$@#\$^% ! are you telling me, that because i figured out @ age 18, ON MY OWN, that inside English could help me @ X, that you & i are TIED exponentially????

.

#### CJ Wiley

##### ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
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Even Einstein and Earl disagree on a few things

\$@#\$^% ! are you telling me, that because i figured out @ age 18, ON MY OWN, that inside English could help me @ X, that you & i are TIED exponentially????

.

yes, we are tied by our expert understanding of physics.....except you say "english" and I say "TOI".....but, hey, even Einstein and Earl disagree on a few things.

#### BeiberLvr

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
yes, we are tied by our expert understanding of physics.....except you say "english" and I say "TOI".....but, hey, even Einstein and Earl disagree on a few things.

I thought it was because TOI sounds better than TOE