Matchroom Suggestion Thread

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I wish they’d ditch the Aramith Black set and go back to standard colors. I’m sure they haven’t heard that one before…
I think this is another way to brand their production. For new viewers that are brought into the game, the five ball will be purple and an orange five will just be wrong.
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
Another who absolutely HATES the weird colored balls..(edit) the pink four and purple five make absolutely no sense. Perhaps the 9 ball does...making it easier to distinguish it from the one on a screen.
 
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boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
I don't mind the colors, but I do mind their order. I understand Aramith branding being a pink 4, but it's asinine. The colors themselves are fine, but whoever decided a pink 4 and a purple 5 is an idiot. It should have been purple 4 and pink 5. Colors are close enough to traditional to make sense this way and have the benefit of showing up well on the tv screens. If Aramith offered a set of black with purple 4 and pink 5, I would buy them in a heartbeat. Worse decision on ball colors ever IMO.
 

Astrolabus

New member
Firstly this is my first post on this forum, my biggest love (being British) is snooker, and I’ve more or less stumbled over this tournament and now this forum as I’m bored and recovering from a surgery for a stent. And I am that cross over watcher from Snooker who watched out of curiosity…

So this is my uniformed opinion.

I thought Matchroom put on a good show, what I’ve watched has been entertaining and enjoyable and no doubt the players are all highly skilled!! Love the jump shots which is not something I’ve seen before except in trick shot exhibitions. I found the final enjoyable and I thought the tournament had a worthy champion.

There is a lot of discussion over the pockets I didn’t notice this, my preconception (rightly or wrongly ) is that pool US style pool tables have big pockets. And from what I saw the “names” who got knocked out were beaten because they missed crucial pots and crucial moments and had some bad running. But regardless I would expect Matchroom just went with the table manufacturer who paid the most to sponsor the event. I see the question of pocket size as down to poor governance within the game and would have thought the sports governing body would stipulate the size of the pockets for tournament play.

Incidentally what I would question is why the style of racking the balls changed half way through the tournament? I also though the rest used just looked like cheap plastic, it needs to be brushed steel or something similar to add a bit of class.

If I was Matchroom I would be asking if the format of the event was right? (Not saying these actually need changing just something I would review if I was working for Matchroom)

Was having 128 players to start with too many? Would few players with a straight elimination be better?

Are the matches too short? The spirit of the game seems very fast and furious, but best of 17 for the early rounds is it too short for a world title? And a quick look at Wikipedia shows the final used to be best of 33. Would a first to 17 for the final add a little more prestige?

Also the shot clock, when a player is in the balls it hardly matters, but my impression was it makes players rush safety play, or snooker escapes and consequently we didn’t get to see the best quality shot. Maybe keep the shot clock but allow for more extensions?

I don’t see Matchroom taking on other forms of pool, If 9-ball is the championship game and they see a chance to grow it they will stick with it. I don’t see then taking on 8-ball at least within the UK the game is a too divided. If I was looking to try something I might try Russian Pyramid there must be a desire to play that in Eastern Europe, a current lack of tournaments, worth a punt to see if that could be expanded.

However it does beg the question of what the governing body should be. Pool to me covers a myriad of games. Surely a priority of the governing body is to support the games and push to have world titles wherever possible.

One off topic question…I am only used to seeing wooden cues, but I see plenty of black cues, what are these made from? And what’s the benefit vs. wood?

Anyway my hearts lies firmly with Snooker (that won’t change) but I would tune it to 9-ball again if I see it!
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
First and foremost, Astrolabus, if this is your first post, I really look forward to hearing more from you on the forum. Yours is not an uninformed opinion at all. It is the informed opinion of a snooker fan looking in on pool, which makes it a very important opinion. I'll respond to some of your post:

Firstly this is my first post on this forum, my biggest love (being British) is snooker, and I’ve more or less stumbled over this tournament and now this forum as I’m bored and recovering from a surgery for a stent. And I am that cross over watcher from Snooker who watched out of curiosity So this is my uniformed opinion....

Get well soon. I know what you are going through as I went through stent placement in 2007.

I see the question of pocket size as down to poor governance within the game and would have thought the sports governing body would stipulate the size of the pockets for tournament play.

Agreed 100%. Snooker has standardized specifications for championship play. The templates used in snooker to ensure that the pockets have been set up within mandated specifications are something badly needed in the biggest pool events. That said, the governing bodies of pool have failed to narrowly define what playing conditions must be, making specifications variable from event to event.

If I was Matchroom I would be asking if the format of the event was right? (Not saying these actually need changing just something I would review if I was working for Matchroom). Was having 128 players to start with too many? Would few players with a straight elimination be better?

I like the format, and it has been in use for many years. The watered down field might have made it look a bit silly. Many of the world's most elite players were grounded this year due to the pandemic, and there really are many, many players capable of contending for a world championship in pool. I think the big field befits the occasion and, most years, the level of play is uniformly high.

Are the matches too short? The spirit of the game seems very fast and furious, but best of 17 for the early rounds is it too short for a world title? And a quick look at Wikipedia shows the final used to be best of 33. Would a first to 17 for the final add a little more prestige?

With the ridiculously easy conditions, it is easily argued that the matches were too short, but I'd say best of seventeen racks is perfect for the qualifying stage if the equipment is set up tough enough. Best of 21 racks is also just fine in the knockout stage up to the final on tougher equipment, and race to 13 is good enough for the final, on tougher equipment. In the past the final has sometimes been best of 25 racks and sometimes been best of 33 racks.

Also the shot clock, when a player is in the balls it hardly matters, but my impression was it makes players rush safety play, or snooker escapes and consequently we didn’t get to see the best quality shot. Maybe keep the shot clock but allow for more extensions?

Here's where practice trumps theory. One would think that on shots that require little thought that, even without a shot clock, the players would play at a reasonable pace, but one would be mistaken. At the 2019 World Championships, played without a shot clock, several matches involving the most elite players went over 4 hours. There are not many tricky positions in pool that would require an extension, but you make a reasonable point that allowing an extra extension is at least tempting --- that said it still slows down the game in a fan-unfriendly manner, and in practice, it would often be used on a shot that ought to be played with promptness. Actually, there are two extensions in pool, as the player shooting the shot immediately after the break is always given 60 rather than 30 seconds to shoot. After that, each player gets one extension per rack.

Take a deep bow for a great first post on the AZB forum.
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
So this is my uniformed opinion.
Actually I think your opinion is the most valuable thus far. You present exactly the demographic that Matchroom is trying to tap into.
I thought Matchroom put on a good show, what I’ve watched has been entertaining and enjoyable and no doubt the players are all highly skilled!! Love the jump shots which is not something I’ve seen before except in trick shot exhibitions. I found the final enjoyable and I thought the tournament had a worthy champion.
Yes, despite what the naysayers have been saying. Albin is a very worthy champion and I don't believe these championships warrant an asterix. If SVB had won I highly doubt the masses here on AZB would discredit the win. It would be more like, "He's the best player anyway, so the weak field hardly matters".

...Also your thoughts validate the jump shot and it's entertainment value. This is another hotly debated topic on the forum. Most would approve if pro pool reached the notoriety of pro snooker. However imo it needs to something to separate it, and the jump shot is a great aspect to do so. This is especially entertaining for those not commonly exposed to the tactic.
There is a lot of discussion over the pockets I didn’t notice this, my preconception (rightly or wrongly ) is that pool US style pool tables have big pockets. And from what I saw the “names” who got knocked out were beaten because they missed crucial pots and crucial moments and had some bad running. But regardless I would expect Matchroom just went with the table manufacturer who paid the most to sponsor the event. I see the question of pocket size as down to poor governance within the game and would have thought the sports governing body would stipulate the size of the pockets for tournament play.
Exactly... The AZB house favourite (SVB) didn't win, and the apologists are pointing to the ease other players enjoyed with looser (than the last major tournament) pockets.

That said, you are completely correct that pocket specs should have a professional standard just like snooker. Although enforcing that standard across all "major" tournaments will be an impossibility. I'm sure Matchroom will adopt one at some point. Currently the product is under development, so I can understand they are most likely doing some real time trial and error R&D.
Incidentally what I would question is why the style of racking the balls changed half way through the tournament? I also though the rest used just looked like cheap plastic, it needs to be brushed steel or something similar to add a bit of class.
Template racking in the early stages just speeds these up and is most likely required to manage the event's duration. Triangle racking adds a variable to match play that can provide some drama and ramps up difficulty.

The plastic rest is a product readily available for purchase, so you can write that one of to product placement. I have had such a rest head in my cue case for as long as I can remember. I agree the typical snooker rest made of brass (or at least plated to look as such) at an element of class. That said, the rest was tossed on the floor after use, so if they couldn't be bothered to provide a couple of hooks under the table then asking for quality rest materials is moot. I actually found the use of the floor to house the rest the worst element of the main table. Absolute back woods..
Was having 128 players to start with too many? Would few players with a straight elimination be better?
I honestly don't know the design intent, but I like to think that every major nation would have the opprotunity for representation regardless of their players world rankings. I'm under this delusion that majors with anything with "world" in the title should have world representation. If that means every major nation gets 1 or 2 spots, and the top 20 in world rankings are automatically invited then so be it. Now if that means you end up with 128 or 130 then so be it.
Also the shot clock, when a player is in the balls it hardly matters, but my impression was it makes players rush safety play, or snooker escapes and consequently we didn’t get to see the best quality shot. Maybe keep the shot clock but allow for more extensions?
Unfortunately, if you allow pool players an unlimited amount of time to ponder over even the most inconsequential shot, they'll take it. A shot clock is a must.
One off topic question…I am only used to seeing wooden cues, but I see plenty of black cues, what are these made from? And what’s the benefit vs. wood?
There's a movement in the pool world toward carbon fiber shafts. Some will argue that they will replace wood entirely. I'll argue that 99% of the owners of such equipment can do nothing more then they could with wood. Player sponsors want to sell what they can make the most profit from, so you see professionals using CF. Note Josh Filler, (arguably the best potter in the world) uses wood.
Anyway my hearts lies firmly with Snooker (that won’t change) but I would tune it to 9-ball again if I see it!
Then I consider Matchroom's efforts a success.

Welcome to the forum.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... That said, you are completely correct that pocket specs should have a professional standard just like snooker. ...
There is a spec for pool pockets. Whether the spec is tight enough -- both in size and tolerance -- is up for debate, but it does exist. Here it is, directly from the WPA website.

The pocket openings for pool tables are measured between opposing cushion noses where the direction changes into the pocket (from pointed lip to pointed lip). This is called mouth.
Corner Pocket Mouth: between 4.5 [11.43 cm] and 4.625 inches [11.75 cm]
Side Pocket Mouth: between 5 [12.7 cm] and 5.125 inches [13.0175 cm]
*The mouth of the side pocket is traditionally ½ inch [1.27 cm] wider than
the mouth of the corner pocket.
Vertical Pocket Angle (Back Draft): 12 degrees minimum to 15 degrees maximum.
Horizontal Pocket Cut Angle: The angle must be the same on both sides of a pocket entrance. The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the corner pocket entrance must be 142 degrees (+1). The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the side pocket entrance must be 104 degrees (+1).
Shelf: The shelf is measured from the center of the imaginary line that goes from one side of the mouth to the other – where the nose of the cushion changes direction – to the vertical cut of the slate pocket cut. Shelf includes bevel.
Corner Pocket Shelf: between 1 [2.54 cm] and 2 ¼ inches [5.715 cm]
Side Pocket Shelf: between 0 and .375 inches [.9525 cm]
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Corner Pocket Mouth: between 4.5 [11.43 cm] and 4.625 inches [11.75 cm]
Side Pocket Mouth: between 5 [12.7 cm] and 5.125 inches [13.0175 cm]
*The mouth of the side pocket is traditionally ½ inch [1.27 cm] wider than
the mouth of the corner pocket.
wowizers
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Best would be if they used a rack of un-numbered balls in which seven balls were one color, seven were another color, and the eight is black.
You surprise me here, Stu . . . this would be a commentating (and viewer/audience) nightmare. How do you reference layout problems and possible navigation solutions when describing table situations "he can possibly bank that blue ball near the side pocket -- no not that one, the other blue ball to the left of it -- but maybe that third or fourth blue one near the opposite rail may be in the way" . . . "that cluster of three blues in the kitchen needs to be separated soon, maybe clipping the nearest blue one on its left side to nudge them apart . . .

Works for snooker commentating/spectating (with the existence of plenty of reds) but wouldn't for 8-ball IMO.

Arnaldo
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
You surprise me here, Stu . . . this would be a commentating (and viewer/audience) nightmare. How do you reference layout problems and possible navigation solutions when describing table situations "he can possibly bank that blue ball near the side pocket -- no not that one, the other blue ball to the left of it -- but maybe that third or fourth blue one near the opposite rail may be in the way" . . . "that cluster of three blues in the kitchen needs to be separated soon, maybe clipping the nearest blue one on its left side to nudge them apart . . .

Works for snooker commentating/spectating (with the existence of plenty of reds) but wouldn't for 8-ball IMO.

Arnaldo
Understood, Arnaldo, but it is a smaller problem than the challenge faced by snooker commentators when a red is being shot at. A snooker commentator sometimes has to judge which of the fifteen reds is being attempted, while an eight ball commentator, after a wet break or after any ball is potted, can limit his analysis to at most seven balls. I'd be Ok with numbered balls, mind you, as long as they don't play call shot.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
There is a spec for pool pockets. Whether the spec is tight enough -- both in size and tolerance -- is up for debate, but it does exist. Here it is, directly from the WPA website.

The pocket openings for pool tables are measured between opposing cushion noses where the direction changes into the pocket (from pointed lip to pointed lip). This is called mouth.
Corner Pocket Mouth: between 4.5 [11.43 cm] and 4.625 inches [11.75 cm]
Side Pocket Mouth: between 5 [12.7 cm] and 5.125 inches [13.0175 cm]
*The mouth of the side pocket is traditionally ½ inch [1.27 cm] wider than
the mouth of the corner pocket.
Vertical Pocket Angle (Back Draft): 12 degrees minimum to 15 degrees maximum.
Horizontal Pocket Cut Angle: The angle must be the same on both sides of a pocket entrance. The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the corner pocket entrance must be 142 degrees (+1). The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the side pocket entrance must be 104 degrees (+1).
Shelf: The shelf is measured from the center of the imaginary line that goes from one side of the mouth to the other – where the nose of the cushion changes direction – to the vertical cut of the slate pocket cut. Shelf includes bevel.
Corner Pocket Shelf: between 1 [2.54 cm] and 2 ¼ inches [5.715 cm]
Side Pocket Shelf: between 0 and .375 inches [.9525 cm]
Thanks, Bob. Unfortunately, these specifications, which are not tight enough in my opinion, are often ignored and there is no penalty to an event producer when it happens. In the best of worlds, WPA would remove sanctioning if equipment guidelines are not followed, which would enforce compliance. Greg Sullivan dedicated some of his BCA Hall of Fame speech to complaining about the ridiculous equipment guidelines in pool, expressing his prayer that it will be addressed sooner rather than later.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
More wowizers... Here are the relaxed BCA specs said to be suitable for "recreational, non-professional" tables:
...
Corner Pocket: Mouth 4 7/8” minimum to 5 1/8” maximum
Side Pocket: Mouth 5 3/8” minimum to 5 5/8” maximum

The BCA site points to the WPA specs for pro equipment.
 

tableroll

Rolling Thunder
Silver Member
Just in case there is someone from MR that browses the forums, I thought it might be useful to have a thread where we can voice our critiques and suggestions. So feel free to post any you might have here, and we'll see if any of them happen.

I would like to see them branch out into other disciplines. I think 8-ball would be the first obvious choice just based on it's global popularity. Then I would love to see them do a one pocket event. I believe it could work with a 45-60 second shot clock or maybe a chess clock, and a knowledgeable commentator in the booth (Jeremy Jones).
No offense but one pocket is not the answer. 10 ball or 14:1 rotation would be the ticket.
 

BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You surprise me here, Stu . . . this would be a commentating (and viewer/audience) nightmare. How do you reference layout problems and possible navigation solutions when describing table situations "he can possibly bank that blue ball near the side pocket -- no not that one, the other blue ball to the left of it -- but maybe that third or fourth blue one near the opposite rail may be in the way" . . . "that cluster of three blues in the kitchen needs to be separated soon, maybe clipping the nearest blue one on its left side to nudge them apart . . .

Works for snooker commentating/spectating (with the existence of plenty of reds) but wouldn't for 8-ball IMO.

Arnaldo

Works just fine for English 8-ball

 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
Understood, Arnaldo, but it is a smaller problem than the challenge faced by snooker commentators when a red is being shot at. A snooker commentator sometimes has to judge which of the fifteen reds is being attempted, while an eight ball commentator, after a wet break or after any ball is potted, can limit his analysis to at most seven balls. I'd be Ok with numbered balls, mind you, as long as they don't play call shot.
The problem is they keep changing the colours every year...Some Accu-Stats commentators (who will remain unnamed) took 10 years to learn the TV colours. With a new colour scheme every year, things look bleek.
 

Astrolabus

New member
@sjm
@The_JV

Many thanks for your warm welcome!

My alternative structure would be to have say 64 players over the main event, and use the time saved for longer matches, personally I would have preferred to see longer semi’s and final, but it’s not something I would feel passionate about.

As it definitely looks like having 128 players and keeping the matches length unchanged is favourite. Certainly if that’s the expectation of the fans then keep the format. That said it would be interesting to know what sets the world championships apart from other big tournament? I suppose what I’m getting at, is what is it that elevates the WC above the other major pool events?

And I don’t think 4 hours for a match suits the spirit of the game at least not if it’s over 17 racks. I for one would loose interest so keep the shot clock as it is.

It seems there is a consensus that table conditions need to be standardise, but having read some of the above comments it actually was in spec, if I remember well the pockets used were 4.5”. So according to the WPA rules they were at there tightest limit? If that is right there is a debate to be had but that’s not Matchroom worry.

Would be interesting to know the players views on what a championship table should be.


Also your thoughts validate the jump shot and it's entertainment value. This is another hotly debated topic on the forum. Most would approve if pro pool reached the notoriety of pro snooker. However imo it needs to something to separate it, and the jump shot is a great aspect to do so. This is especially entertaining for those not commonly exposed to the tactic.

Stopping the jump shots would be a huge mistake, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the actual game that needs tweaking. The jump shot is one of the best things about it, I often found myself hoping to see it played.

I guess given the money difference many Pool players would want pool to gain the same financial backing as Snooker, I don’t see prize money parity any time soon but if anyone can help bridge this gap it is Matchroom. Barry Hearn saved Snooker and Darts from the the brink of collapse and completely turned their fortunes around. Given time and backing the same could be done for 9-ball.

If there is anything to be learnt, it’s that before Barry came on board Snooker was managed by people with zero business sense and no idea how to put on events. The set up is very much now the WPBSA runs the rules, and the WST runs the business. I maybe be wrong reading comments about world tournaments held in empty halls in the Middle East, makes me think there is a problem with the running of the game. And this is maybe the real problem for Pool in general and not just 9-ball.

The other thing that really helped Snooker was having a spiritual home, which of course is the Crucible. I don’t know if such a place or places exists for 9-ball, but would be worth thinking about.
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Works just fine for English 8-ball
Yes, there's never a problem for commentators with English pool - although I can understand entirely why those used to solids and stripes only might think so. Correct me if I'm wrong but the US 8 Ball Open (or 8 Ball Championship, or something?) was played way back at least once with "Casino balls" (2 1/4 inch red and yellow balls). English pool was played at first with solids and stripes, the main reason it went to reds and yellows (or sometimes blues and yellows) is because it's not played call shot so no numbering is needed, although some "house" rules do include call pocket on the black.

I'm in favour of call shot for 8 Ball as it makes it a better game in my opinion. However, if Matchroom were ever to run an 8 Ball tournament, some compromise would be fine if it promotes the game. 8 Ball is the only other game I see as viable in the foreseeable future, but I think Matchroom's focus now is, and should be, to strengthen its portfolio of 9 Ball tournaments.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I'm in favour of call shot for 8 Ball as it makes it a better game in my opinion. However, if Matchroom were ever to run an 8 Ball tournament, some compromise would be fine if it promotes the game.
Better in what sense...? We all know that eliminating the element of 'luck' in theory makes a game more difficult. At what cost though...? Take the recent WPC for example. How many flukes occured...? ...and it's a game where hard hitting fliers are swung at from time to time for sake of generating position.

The odds of fluking a ball in professional 8-ball are slim, of course not impossible but I'd go as far as to say greatly deminished from 9-ball. The game simply isn't played with the velocity required.

Now think of the potential production nightmares televising a 'called shot' tournament. I certainly wouldn't want to take that on, especially for the near zero gain.
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Better in what sense...? We all know that eliminating the element of 'luck' in theory makes a game more difficult. At what cost though...? Take the recent WPC for example. How many flukes occured...? ...and it's a game where hard hitting fliers are swung at from time to time for sake of generating position.

The odds of fluking a ball in professional 8-ball are slim, of course not impossible but I'd go as far as to say greatly deminished from 9-ball. The game simply isn't played with the velocity required.

Now think of the potential production nightmares televising a 'called shot' tournament. I certainly wouldn't want to take that on, especially for the near zero gain.
Yeh I agree. As I said, some compromise would be fine.
 
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