object ball throw

dendweller

Active member
Hi
I've seen and read some different opinions on what type of shot throws the object ball more or less. I'm curious what people think and why.

So of the shots listed below, with no left or right spin, what do you think throws the most and which the least.

1) cb hit hard enough that it's sliding into the object ball
2) medium hit rolling cue ball
3) medium hit cue ball with high spin
4) medium hit cue ball with low spin
5) slow rolling cue ball
Thanks
Joe
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Hi
I've seen and read some different opinions on what type of shot throws the object ball more or less. I'm curious what people think and why.

So of the shots listed below, with no left or right spin, what do you think throws the most and which the least.

1) cb hit hard enough that it's sliding into the object ball
2) medium hit rolling cue ball
3) medium hit cue ball with high spin
4) medium hit cue ball with low spin
5) slow rolling cue ball
Thanks
Joe
Slow and sliding throws the most. Speed and/or top/bottom throw less.

Considering cut angle, a slow sliding half ball hit throws the most.

pj
chgo
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi
I've seen and read some different opinions on what type of shot throws the object ball more or less. I'm curious what people think and why.

So of the shots listed below, with no left or right spin, what do you think throws the most and which the least.

1) cb hit hard enough that it's sliding into the object ball
2) medium hit rolling cue ball
3) medium hit cue ball with high spin
4) medium hit cue ball with low spin
5) slow rolling cue ball
Thanks
Joe

The kind of friction that leads to throw is like the friction you would get if you're standing with ice skates on ice with a broom in your hand and you want to move a few inches forward with one swipe of the broom.

There is only so much umph from the swipe, so you had better make sure your swipe is front to back. Any sideways component is wasted umph.
Also, a super fast aggressive swipe is counterproductive. A nice controlled modest speed swipe gets the most.

This basically gets you to what Patrick Johnson said ;-). Stun (where the cueball has no wasted up or down part of the swipe) and slowish speed for maximum throw.

If you have a 6-foot shot straight shot on the winning ball with object ball just a foot from the cueball, use a little draw or follow so you get less unintended throw when you don't quite hit the vertical center of the cueball.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The kind of friction that leads to throw is like the friction you would get if you're standing with ice skates on ice with a broom in your hand and you want to move a few inches forward with one swipe of the broom.

There is only so much umph from the swipe, so you had better make sure your swipe is front to back. Any sideways component is wasted umph.
Also, a super fast aggressive swipe is counterproductive. A nice controlled modest speed swipe gets the most.

This basically gets you to what Patrick Johnson said ;-). Stun (where the cueball has no wasted up or down part of the swipe) and slowish speed for maximum throw.

If you have a 6-foot shot straight shot on the winning ball with object ball just a foot from the cueball, use a little draw or follow so you get less unintended throw when you don't quite hit the vertical center of the cueball.
Thank you Mike!

Question: Suppose you have the money ball in the rack area, you have to shoot it in an uptable corner pocket, and you have a slight cut. Do you prefer straight vertical with, say, a little draw like you described if you were straight in? Or do you like an equator line hit with a twist of gearing outside english? Or something else?

I missed one of those for a lot of money with your boy Rory backing me and haven't walked it off completely yet... :)
 

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
Thank you Mike!

Question: Suppose you have the money ball in the rack area, you have to shoot it in an uptable corner pocket, and you have a slight cut. Do you prefer straight vertical with, say, a little draw like you described if you were straight in? Or do you like an equator line hit with a twist of gearing outside english? Or something else?
Good question, one I was discussing recently with someone. By staying on the vertical axis, you don't have to worry about squirt and swerve, but now you do have to worry about cut induced throw. By using true gearing english, you don't have to worry about cut induced throw, but now you do have to worry about squirt and swerve. I think the obvious answer is to do whichever one you are best/highest percentage at for that particular shot.

As to what you are really getting after, which is which one is inherently better, as in which one should you try to get most proficient with regardless of which one you are currently most proficient with, I think the answer is a cross between "it depends on the shot" and "I don't think anyone knows for sure right now but one theory is more intuitive than others and/or my personal experience leads a little more this way than that." While not probable it could even be that experience aside one person is slightly inherently better at one and the next person is slightly inherently better at the other due to small differences in the way that the brain works between people.

I generally hit the shot you described with low outside gearing english because my brain seems to subconsciously calculate the variables for that slightly more naturally, but it depends on the exact shot. The shot you are describing has a slight angle but doesn't have much distance between the cue ball and object ball, and under the circumstances you are probably shooting it pocket speed rather than firing it in. The greater the distance gets between the cue ball and object ball, I think the more likely I am to start considering a more vertical axis hit as the squirt/swerve become more difficult to adjust for over distance. Also, for closer to full hits, or for closer to thin hits, I also start leaning more and more toward the vertical axis because cut induced throw is minimal. Same with speed, the harder I will be firing the ball, the more likely I will start leaning towards the vertical axis since cut induced throw is more minimized. But for a pocket speed long shot at a slight angle with the cue ball and object ball pretty close together, probably using some low gearing english more often than not.

I am also interested in hearing Mike's, Bob Jewett's, and Dr. Dave's thoughts to your question.
 
Last edited:

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good question, one I was discussing recently with someone. By staying on the vertical axis, you don't have to worry about squirt and swerve, but now you do have to worry about cut induced throw. By using true gearing english, you don't have to worry about cut induced throw, but now you do have to worry about squirt and swerve. I think the obvious answer is to do whichever one you are best/highest percentage at for that particular shot.

As to what you are really getting after, which is which one is inherently better, as in which one should you try to get most proficient with regardless of which one you are currently most proficient with, I think the answer is a cross between "it depends on the shot" and "I don't think anyone knows for sure right now, although most have guesses and/or some real small sample size anecdotal evidence about which would inherently be better." And it could even be that experience aside one person is slightly inherently better at one and the next is slightly inherently better at the other due to small differences in the way that the brain works between people.

I generally hit the shot you described with low outside gearing english because my brain seems to subconsciously calculate the variables for that slightly more naturally, but it depends on the exact shot. The shot you are describing has a slight angle but doesn't have much distance between the cue ball and object ball, and under the circumstances you are probably shooting it pocket speed rather than firing it in. The greater the distance gets between the cue ball and object ball, I think the more likely I am to start considering a more vertical axis hit as the squirt/swerve become more difficult to adjust for over distance. Also, for closer to full hits, or for closer to thin hits, I also start leaning more and more toward the vertical axis because cut induced throw is minimal. Same with speed, the harder I will be firing the ball, the more likely I will start leaning towards the vertical axis since cut induced throw is more minimized. But for a pocket speed long shot at a slight angle with the cue ball and object ball pretty close together, probably using some low gearing english more often than not.

I am also interested in hearing Mike's, Bob Jewett's, and Dr. Dave's thoughts to your question.
What happened to "a touch of inside"?

Isnt that also a way to reduce contact throw? And the slight squirt should compensate for any spin induced throw. But with speed, it should be minimal.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Good question, one I was discussing recently with someone. By staying on the vertical axis, you don't have to worry about squirt and swerve, but now you do have to worry about cut induced throw. By using true gearing english, you don't have to worry about cut induced throw, but now you do have to worry about squirt and swerve. I think the obvious answer is to do whichever one you are best/highest percentage at for that particular shot.

As to what you are really getting after, which is which one is inherently better, as in which one should you try to get most proficient with regardless of which one you are currently most proficient with, I think the answer is a cross between "it depends on the shot" and "I don't think anyone knows for sure right now but one theory is more intuitive than others and/or my personal experience leads a little more this way than that." While not probable it could even be that experience aside one person is slightly inherently better at one and the next person is slightly inherently better at the other due to small differences in the way that the brain works between people.

I generally hit the shot you described with low outside gearing english because my brain seems to subconsciously calculate the variables for that slightly more naturally, but it depends on the exact shot. The shot you are describing has a slight angle but doesn't have much distance between the cue ball and object ball, and under the circumstances you are probably shooting it pocket speed rather than firing it in. The greater the distance gets between the cue ball and object ball, I think the more likely I am to start considering a more vertical axis hit as the squirt/swerve become more difficult to adjust for over distance. Also, for closer to full hits, or for closer to thin hits, I also start leaning more and more toward the vertical axis because cut induced throw is minimal. Same with speed, the harder I will be firing the ball, the more likely I will start leaning towards the vertical axis since cut induced throw is more minimized. But for a pocket speed long shot at a slight angle with the cue ball and object ball pretty close together, probably using some low gearing english more often than not.

I am also interested in hearing Mike's, Bob Jewett's, and Dr. Dave's thoughts to your question.
Thank you, great reply.

I'm very similar to you. I usually use a stun shot geared with a twist of outside. If I'm fuller I back that twist off to near nothing. If I'm half ball I'll gear it a hair more. I let my brain do all of that. So I guess I could say I use slight gearing spin and let my brain figure out how much based on the cut angle.

And you're right, if there is distance I back off the gearing spin as well, but I usually still have a slight twist. We're talking about a slightly turning ball, not a spinning ball. I know you're picking up what I'm laying down.

And I agree, this doesn't have to be best for everyone, but it is probably right for me. Even if it wasn't optimal in a vacuum, after doing it for 25 years it might be correct for me at this point!
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thank you Mike!

Question: Suppose you have the money ball in the rack area, you have to shoot it in an uptable corner pocket, and you have a slight cut. Do you prefer straight vertical with, say, a little draw like you described if you were straight in? Or do you like an equator line hit with a twist of gearing outside english? Or something else?
I too would like to hear Bob Jewett's and Dave A's take.

I'll explain what I don't like about the equator hit with a twist of outside.

The motivation, I think, is to get a more predictable and consistent result by trying to eliminate throw. That is, if that slight twist provides just enough outside spin to balance the cut-induced throw, the ball surfaces don't slide across one another at all and there is no throw. If successful, then it doesn't matter whether the balls are dirty/sticky or clean and waxed--- same aim, same result.

But there is a devil in the details, and sometimes it is better to embrace your familiar devil friend.

Let's say you are on a putt-putt course that has a straight slightly raised ridge down the center, and the goal is to predict as accurately as possible the final resting place of your ball.
If you putt right of center, the ball will curve a bit to the right, and if you putt left of center the ball will curve a bit to the left. The details of the curving depend on how hard you hit the ball, and that's annoying.

You reason that if you hit straight along the top of the ridge, your ball doesn't curve at all and you've removed the dependence on speed. That sounds great, but it comes at a cost. The cost is if you are NOT perfectly straight, the outcome by missing slightly to the left is way different from the outcome by missing slightly to the right. So while you have reduced the speed-dependence to zero with your plan, the cost is you have raised the SENSITIVITY of the final outcome to small errors. It is harder to get a decent prediction of the final resting place of the ball.

The equator hit of the cueball with the slight outside twist is putting along the ridge. While it's true the perfect twist is lovely, the outcome difference between slightly too much twist and slightly too little is big.

I'm a fan of purposefully putting to the right of the ridge. In this case that's hitting along the vertical center. This means you live with the cut-induced throw that makes the aim a little different for dirty and clean balls. When you add a touch of high or low, you are reducing the amount of cut-induced throw (because the broom swipe is largely up or down and less sideways) making the dirty ball and clean ball aim close to the same.
 

FeelDaShot

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thank you Mike!

Question: Suppose you have the money ball in the rack area, you have to shoot it in an uptable corner pocket, and you have a slight cut. Do you prefer straight vertical with, say, a little draw like you described if you were straight in? Or do you like an equator line hit with a twist of gearing outside english? Or something else?

I missed one of those for a lot of money with your boy Rory backing me and haven't walked it off completely yet... :)
If I'm going to miss one of these shots it's going to be from undercutting. I don't know why, that's just the way it is for me. Knowing that, I setup the shot by estimating how much the ball will throw from a full stun hit. Then I adjust my aim so I'm overcutting the ball and relying on the throw to pull it into the outside edge of the pocket.

My thought process is that, if I use the maximum amount of cut induced throw, it can't get any worse than that. So I plan for the worst case scenario and adjust my aim accordingly. If it throws a little less than expected it usually still goes in since I'm aiming toward the outside edge of the pocket.

I miss a lot of balls though, so this probably is not the best way to play lol
 

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
I'll explain what I don't like about the equator hit with a twist of outside.

The motivation, I think, is to get a more predictable and consistent result by trying to eliminate throw. That is, if that slight twist provides just enough outside spin to balance the cut-induced throw, the ball surfaces don't slide across one another at all and there is no throw. If successful, then it doesn't matter whether the balls are dirty/sticky or clean and waxed--- same aim, same result.

The equator hit of the cueball with the slight outside twist is putting along the ridge. While it's true the perfect twist is lovely, the outcome difference between slightly too much twist and slightly too little is big.

I'm a fan of purposefully putting to the right of the ridge. In this case that's hitting along the vertical center. This means you live with the cut-induced throw that makes the aim a little different for dirty and clean balls. When you add a touch of high or low, you are reducing the amount of cut-induced throw (because the broom swipe is largely up or down and less sideways) making the dirty ball and clean ball aim close to the same.
I had considered this argument, but when sticking to the vertical axis it's not just the speed of the shot and the dirtiness of the balls that you have to take into consideration as you mentioned, but you also have to judge for the amount of cut induced throw and adjust your aim accurately and accordingly to compensate (same as you would have to be accurate when judging the amount of gearing english needed to compensate). You seem to essentially be insinuating that you believe the outcome differences are larger by slightly misjudging your gearing english when accounting for cut induced throw than they are by slightly misjudging your aim line when accounting for cut induced throw. I was thinking sometimes yes, sometimes no, just depends on all the particulars of the shot.

For clarification, are you saying you believe the touchiness of the shot (lower margin for error) is always greater with gearing english than staying on the vertical axis regardless of the shot, for every shot? Or is it a case where you do you believe that it does depend on the shot, skipped that for brevity, and essentially believe that even though it varies by shot that a larger percentage of the shots would have more margin for error using the vertical axis so you should just always use the vertical axis in order to essentially play the odds and ensure that your choice (vertical axis) will end up being the better one (greatest margin for error) more often than not by doing that? Or is it something else entirely? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
 

VVP

Registered
Great discussion going on here and I hate to interject as an amature, but couple questions:
1. Does outside english ALWAYS act in the opposite direction to cut induced throw?
2. When the term "gearing english" is used in the discussion above is that outside english?
Thanks.
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had considered this argument, but when sticking to the vertical axis it's not just the speed of the shot and the dirtiness of the balls that you have to take into consideration as you mentioned, but you also have to judge for the amount of cut induced throw and adjust your aim accurately and accordingly to compensate (same as you would have to be accurate when judging the amount of gearing english needed to compensate). You seem to essentially be insinuating that you believe the outcome differences are larger by slightly misjudging your gearing english when accounting for cut induced throw than they are by slightly misjudging your aim line when accounting for cut induced throw. I was thinking sometimes yes, sometimes no, just depends on all the particulars of the shot.

For clarification, are you saying you believe the touchiness of the shot (lower margin for error) is always greater with gearing english than staying on the vertical axis regardless of the shot, for every shot? Or is it a case where you do you believe that it does depend on the shot, skipped that for brevity, and essentially believe that even though it varies by shot that a larger percentage of the shots would have more margin for error using the vertical axis so you should just always use the vertical axis in order to essentially play the odds and ensure that your choice (vertical axis) will end up being the better one (greatest margin for error) more often than not by doing that? Or is it something else entirely? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Every shot. I believe throw-canceling gearing english is never the right answer for cinching a shot.
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great discussion going on here and I hate to interject as an amature, but couple questions:
1. Does outside english ALWAYS act in the opposite direction to cut induced throw?
2. When the term "gearing english" is used in the discussion above is that outside english?
Thanks.

Yes, it always acts in the opposite direction of the cut-induced throw. The "cut" effect is about the cueball sliding off to the outside when it contacts the object ball. That is, the surface of the cueball swipes across the object ball giving it a little sideways push in the same direction. It swipes faster if it is moving faster, and it swipes faster if it is a thinner cut.

But like the broom I talked about in another post, faster doesn't mean more push. The key, though is the direction of the push is the direction of the rubbing.

Outside spin considered alone makes the surface of the cueball rub in the other direction.

So let's say your cut makes the cueball swipe left at 3 miles per hour. Some left spin that has the cueball surface spinning at 2 miles per hour can make the net surface speed 3-2=1 mph. A little more spin can make the surface speed 0 (the gearing condition mentioned here like a football player spinning out of a tackle). Still more spin can make the net rub go in the other direction.
 
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mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
[...] Still more spin can make the net rub go in the other direction.

Here is a grainy video of Bob Jewett making a seemingly impossible cut shot


His description is this: A cut shot at pool that seems to be impossible. Object ball is on the spot, and the cue ball is by the corner pocket. Lots of left side spin and a little draw.

Exercise: I suspect it is clear why lots of sidespin. Why a little draw?
 
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