Open- or closed-bridge hand and gloves?

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Silver Member
Clearly there's personal bias in your comments above. No different then the comments in my previous post that fails to find an advantage for the closed bridge.

That said, for there to be any advantage in the closed bridge based on your described circumstances above. Then it would have to be fully squeezing the cue through contact. My counter argument doesn't need to go beyond drag vs precision. However you suggest that the "V" bridge needs to be pointing in the correct direction. Well a part of the beauty of the open bridge. It's a clean pivot point and doesn't require you to have pointed in any specific direction for it to work equally as well. I could in practice spin my bridge hand back and forth and not alter my aim. The same can't be said for a squeezing close bridge. It should be said that a loose closed bridge is no different than an open one in function.

"Obvious" is a strong word. I'd go with "potentially". Speaking only for myself. I actually place downward force on my cue with both my chin and chest. The only way my cue is popping out of my open bridge is if I hit real bad and stand up at the same time, which isn't going to happen, or my cue malfunctions and folds itself in half.

We should also keep in mind the duration in time the cue tip is in contact with the CB. The CB is gone well before the cue could potentially be lifted out of the bridge.

With all due respect. You starting to grasp here. I know your history with shooting, so I can understand where the comparison is coming from, but to suggest an obstructed cueing view would be an advantage is a stretch.

Here's the thing with old people that have been doing something the same way for a long time. They think how they do it, is the best way, even when it's not necessarily. I'm really no different in this regard. Just saying....

Based only on this video. I'm not overly impressed with his CB control. The bulk of the shots naturally funneled into the legal caroms and several of the OBs were buried in corners that allowed for carom with additional rails after the initial miss. I'm sure this video is awe inspiring for those who don't have a grasp of the various situational elements.

Closed vs Open... Whatever suits your fancy. Anyone taking up the game with a goal of being a strong potter, should attempt to emulate the strongest potters on the planet. They don't use closed bridges.


Well, I'll have to say that you used some careful wording yourself! The strongest potters are not necessarily the strongest cueists. I will freely admit a couple things however. One, yes, my post is partially my opinions. I considered the usual disclaimer but figured it was obvious enough to not need a disclaimer.

The other thing, yes I noticed them setting up so the next shot is easy to score on. I didn't have to watch long before seeing that the three cushion people are big on tightly doubling a corner so the ball in action is going to pass very closely to the ball they are trying to strike going into and out of the corner, maybe doing that multiple times in one shot. However, that knowledge and skill displayed strengthens the claims of their skills, not weakens it. When I played pool thousands of hours a year it was pretty common for the significant other of the person I played to come to me protesting with tears in their eyes, "It wasn't fair, you got all the easy shots!" "Yes ma'am, I did." No reason to try to explain speed and angles to them or planning an entire inning before the first shot. Much of the action was on bar tables and people do like juicing the cue ball on them. I'm sure my own play was boring to watch.

While you speak of time of contact which is true enough, distance has to be considered also. General agreement seems to be that the stick goes forward an inch or more while the tip is in contact with the cue ball. If it can go forward an inch, it can surely go sideways a half tip or more(1/4" or more) when people are using heavy sidespin.

I'm a little confused what you are trying to say about twisting the "V" without changing other things. Having made my paycheck as a mechanical designer you will never convince me what is usually a shallow "V" on at least one side is better support than a near full circle, even 3/4 circle or more. I do fully agree that downforce with the grip hand or other contact points can be used to keep the shaft in the "V" bridge. Having to do that because a shaft is wanting to float up is a disadvantage in itself however and may create other issues such as unintentional steering of the stick.

I do agree things change over time, often coming full circle. I have been an advocate of minimal cueball movement for decades, all of a sudden some of the elite players are starting to see the value of that. Even the best in the world get in trouble running around in traffic. I noticed SVB lose two games in a single match a few years back because he tried to go around the table drawing into heavy traffic when follow and one rail would have got him exactly where he needed to be. None of us are so good that it doesn't sometimes cost us when we complicate shots without need.

The two areas of aim was something I discovered over fifty years ago, when my mentor first told me to use the closed bridge. Sometimes when I could only see an inch or two of tip and shaft on the other side of the bridge I needed more to aim with. I discovered then that I had a whole lot more stick on the near side of the bridge. My relationship with guns goes back to when I was just out of three cornered pants. When I was struggling with the cue and seeking an aimpoint front and rear aiming points were pretty natural to put together.

For turning the "V" to have no impact on cue alignment both sides of the "V" would have to be equal and turn on the axis of the "V". The "V"s we make with finger and thumb aren't equal. If in twisting we relocate the bridge on the table, we have indeed compensated for the "V" pointing in a different direction. Mostly the "V" works because of the grip keeping things in alignment and the minor demands for accuracy for many shots. Assuming I was having a decent night with speed and angles, my typical shots were twelve to thirty inches with most of them roughly centered between the two at around eighteen or twenty inches. Shots in that range can often be made with an open bridge.

We should be able to get past twisting the "V" easily enough. Take a couple pencils or something similar and use a rubber band or tape to create a "V". Can you stand your "V" up and twist it back and forth keeping the same aim point on the cue ball without moving either the center of your "V" or your grip hand?

Bias is a tricky word because we all have bias. Nothing wrong with bias if it is based on knowledge and experience. Bias without much of anything to back it up is when there is a problem. I am confident you are writing from your knowledge and experience just as I am. All I can say is that if I have to shoot one tough shot for all the marbles I am almost certain to be taking that shot from a closed bridge. There are a handful of "specialty" shots I have a bias towards too. Simple enough why, they pocket balls. They aren't unknown shots but many don't use them regularly.

Off to the salt mines awhile!

Hu
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
can you provide some examples?
Find some videos on YouTube of balkline players. They control all three balls nearly perfectly at times. One balkline bridge adjusts the height by sliding the middle finger under the thumb. In one carom book, the normal closed bridge is further divided into a bridge where middle, ring in pinkie are spread and where they are together. Those two closed bridges are said to be good for different types of shots.
 

jsp

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If you mean a bad stroke, then yes...?

Instead of wrapping band aides over top of problems so you don't deal with them, fix them.
I'm sure SVB, Ko Ping Chung, and the majority of the Filipino superstars would appreciate your feedback about how 'bad' their strokes are and how they should 'fix them' whenever they use the closed bridge on certain shots.

Sometimes the closed bridge is used mainly for comfort on a particular shot, and sometimes that extra comfort or feel when using a closed bridge is overall more beneficial than any minute sighting advantage one can have when using an open bridge (again, on certain shots).
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Well, I'll have to say that you used some careful wording yourself! The strongest potters are not necessarily the strongest cueists.
Well now we'd have to burn time discussing personal definitions for words. However for sake of clarity. IMO, the strongest cueist are those with the best mechanics that allow them to primarily pot difficult shots which would encompass necessary CB control. Once again, IMO, the strongest potters and/or cueists do not use closed bridges. No need to go further than elite snooker players.
I considered the usual disclaimer but figured it was obvious enough to not need a disclaimer.
No disclaimer needed. I added no such thing in my posts either. Just pointing out that it did read as heavily biased based on personal preference is all.
The other thing, yes I noticed them setting up so the next shot is easy to score on. I didn't have to watch long before seeing that the three cushion people are big on tightly doubling a corner so the ball in action is going to pass very closely to the ball they are trying to strike going into and out of the corner, maybe doing that multiple times in one shot. However, that knowledge and skill displayed strengthens the claims of their skills, not weakens it.
Table IQ, which is what you're discussing above, has no bearing no stroke mechanics and a player's ability to execute. Coaches become coaches for a reason.
While you speak of time of contact which is true enough, distance has to be considered also. General agreement seems to be that the stick goes forward an inch or more while the tip is in contact with the cue ball. If it can go forward an inch, it can surely go sideways a half tip or more(1/4" or more) when people are using heavy sidespin.
This^^^ does not align with the slow motion vids that Dr. Dave has been so kind as to produce for us over the years. Contact time measured in distance would be closer to small fractions of inch. At least from how it appears to me in those vids.
I'm a little confused what you are trying to say about twisting the "V" without changing other things. Having made my paycheck as a mechanical designer you will never convince me what is usually a shallow "V" on at least one side is better support than a near full circle, even 3/4 circle or more. I do fully agree that downforce with the grip hand or other contact points can be used to keep the shaft in the "V" bridge. Having to do that because a shaft is wanting to float up is a disadvantage in itself however and may create other issues such as unintentional steering of the stick.
Well in that case I won't try to convince you ;). Instead I'll just reply.

First, the "V" only needs to be at most as deep as the half thickness of your shaft. It's actually less than 50% thickness, but I'm not going to chase that math. Anything beyond that is simply moot. As it would not contact the shaft. So with even a shaft thickness of 20mm, you only need a "V" <1cm deep. That's not very much at all.

Second, just before I started typing this I quickly formed my bridge on my desk and then held it up for inspection. The "V" I form has equal sides. My inside tip of thumb is as high as my index finger's first knuckle. Totally based on visual appearance, it definitely deeper than 1cm. Now that doesn't mean the average across all open bridge players is the same. I know I placed focus on "bridge formation" when I started taking snooker more seriously.

Now to the "twisting the V"... We should keep in mind that were using fingers covered in skin with pliable flesh underneath that. So while we are discussing a "V" shape, it's not a rigid structure. In reality it's a "V" with concave valley equal to the arc of the shaft. Keeping all that in mind. If we were discussing a rigid "V" form and we pivoted that form at the central point of the valley. The horizontal aim of you shaft will not shift. The vertical could shift because the "V" angle tightens relative to you cue angle. Which would force it up, (down if you twisted the other way). To validate this you need nothing more than a pencil and two hands. Make the V bridge, aim the pencil, twist your hand with the V valley as the pivot point. It's straight up geometry at work.

With all that said... Once you factor in skin/flesh, yada yada yada. The "V" form in of itself, has no bearing on aim. Where you place the "V" certainly does, but that's no different with a closed bridge.

I don't place downward force on the cue with my chin or chest to purposely keep the cue in the bridge. It's just the nature of my stance/mechanics and happens to produce fortunate byproduct of active embedding of the shaft within my bridge. Over years of developing my stroke. I found the additional contact points greatly aided in keeping my stroke straight and my aim true.

For turning the "V" to have no impact on cue alignment both sides of the "V" would have to be equal and turn on the axis of the "V". The "V"s we make with finger and thumb aren't equal.
Agreed and I addressed this earlier. The "V"s you develop may not be equal. The severely practiced "V"s I make may be more so. The likely minuscule variations between the sides of the "V" is likely moot in the grander scheme. I struggle to understand how any of these variables aren't also a factor with a closed bridge, (with the added squeeze drag).
If in twisting we relocate the bridge on the table, we have indeed compensated for the "V" pointing in a different direction.
Relocation of the bridge is not a argument. Goes without saying that no matter what bridging method you use. If you move it to a different location you must re-address your aim.
Mostly the "V" works because of the grip keeping things in alignment and the minor demands for accuracy for many shots.
The "V" works because it's the most simplistic method for support the cue with your bridge hand. It also works because the tip is in contact for a minuscule amount of time and holding stroke alignment beyond millimeters beyond contact is unnecessary. You can teach a new player to form a viable "V" in moments. Whereas a closed bridge that does not complicate their hand placement and stroke can take hours. Think using using a fork vs chops sticks for the first time....lol.
Bias is a tricky word because we all have bias. Nothing wrong with bias if it is based on knowledge and experience.
I'm completely bias on this topic. The only time obvious bias is annoying is when those with it are blind to it. However I do speak from extensive experience using both methods and fully grasp the dynamics they have in getting the stupid little balls in the right holes. Based on that I'll repeat what I started with at the beginning. I fail to see what advantage a closed bridge provides.
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I'm sure SVB, Ko Ping Chung, and the majority of the Filipino superstars would appreciate your feedback about how 'bad' their strokes are and how they should 'fix them' whenever they use the closed bridge on certain shots.
I love it when people stretch words to suit their narrative. I didn't say those with closed bridges have bad strokes. I said a closed bridge can compensate for a bad stroke. Rather than adopt a closed bridge for sake of correcting bad technique. Maybe place more effort into correcting the problems.

You can have a great stroke and use a close bridge. Odds are if you have a really bad stroke, an open bridge isn't for you.
Sometimes the closed bridge is used mainly for comfort on a particular shot, and sometimes that extra comfort or feel when using a closed bridge is overall more beneficial than any minute sighting advantage one can have when using an open bridge (again, on certain shots).
It is all about comfort at the end of the day. However that doesn't chance the dynamics either method brings to the table. The sighting advantage you deem as "minute" is relative to the player. For those much like myself that nearly lay down on their cues. The wrapped finger is big obstruction. For the more upright player, most likely it's inconsequencial.
 

8cree

Reverse Engineer
Silver Member
From what i have learned about 3C is it's more of how full or thin you are cutting the ball and not precision of pocketing a ball.
Yea, it probably doesn't take much precision to knock a ball a few rails and make it contact another ball (smaller than even a tight pocket) on a billiards table.... lol .... got it!
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Yea, it probably doesn't take much precision to knock a ball a few rails and make it contact another ball (smaller than even a tight pocket) on a billiards table.... lol .... got it!
Well a standard pool ball is what...?..., 2.25" in diameter. So if we consider full contact point zero, then between the OB and striking ball you have combined +/- of 2.25" to the center. Which translates into a 4.5" target. Not sure what you consider "tight" but that's the norm to me.

Then if you refer to the technique used by Mr Hope in the video earlier. Specific funneling angles provides additional rails after initial direct miss which increase your target zone considerably.

So ya, it's actually takes more precision to directly pot a ball. Smart carom players wouldn't shoot for a the minimum 4.5 target if they had an option.
 

ceebee

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been playing for 60 years. I most always use an Open bridge for General shots. I always use a Closed bridge for the Break ( 9 Ball, 8 Ball open break) & the Draw Shot . That has served me well...

About the glove. For ten plus years after they surfaced, I poo-poed the Glove, but one day, I had the chance to use one, on a very hot day. The humidity was stifling. All went well. Haven't played without one since...
 
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skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Go back years ago when he used the wood shaft, he used open bridge 98% of the shots Joshua that is.

actually it was when he was using a wooden shaft i noticed it, because i have a z-shaft too. it's more like 50%:


the z-shaft is 11.8 mm (mine is 11.4 mm) and also conical which makes it more difficult to use a closed bridge for me. but he has more nimble hands i guess.

can't comment on the others you mention, but jayson will have begun his career with an english pool cue which are between 7 mm and 9 mm so that makes sense. darren and melling play almost exclusively with open bridge
 

8cree

Reverse Engineer
Silver Member
Well a standard pool ball is what...?..., 2.25" in diameter. So if we consider full contact point zero, then between the OB and striking ball you have combined +/- of 2.25" to the center. Which translates into a 4.5" target. Not sure what you consider "tight" but that's the norm to me.

Then if you refer to the technique used by Mr Hope in the video earlier. Specific funneling angles provides additional rails after initial direct miss which increase your target zone considerably.

So ya, it's actually takes more precision to directly pot a ball. Smart carom players wouldn't shoot for a the minimum 4.5 target if they had an option.
Lol you're a hoot
 

KissedOut

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think stroke mechanics for potting balls is far more critical then it is in 3C. Introducing needless drag on your shaft with a closed bridge is foolish when precision cueing is required.

You also don't see much "power draw" that pool players claim a closed bridge is good for in 3C.
Have you ever played much 3C? Yes, their stroke mechanics are not optimized for potting balls, because that's not the game. Both their stroke mechanics and bridge are, however, optimized for what the game requires, IMO. The margin for error on the hit may be a little bigger than for potting balls, but there is less margin for error in applying English and in making the ball curve. To think otherwise would mean that the best 3C players in the world don't know what they are doing. There is more than one kind of precision cueing.
 

WardS

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Have you ever played much 3C? Yes, their stroke mechanics are not optimized for potting balls, because that's not the game. Both their stroke mechanics and bridge are, however, optimized for what the game requires, IMO. The margin for error on the hit may be a little bigger than for potting balls, but there is less margin for error in applying English and in making the ball curve. To think otherwise would mean that the best 3C players in the world don't know what they are doing. There is more than one kind of precision cueing.
Arthritis in my fingers says open bridge is the only way. I can use a closed loop but the pain makes me forget the shot. I learned using the closed loop bridge but open is more comfortable for me. I am doing 9 ball and straight pool exercises using only high center ball and open bridge makes it easy to apply high english. The exercises are from Tor Lowry they are fun and they are different way to play I am hoping for quality practice and maybe some improvement
 

Buddy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Clearly there's personal bias in your comments above. No different then the comments in my previous post that fails to find an advantage for the closed bridge.

That said, for there to be any advantage in the closed bridge based on your described circumstances above. Then it would have to be fully squeezing the cue through contact. My counter argument doesn't need to go beyond drag vs precision. However you suggest that the "V" bridge needs to be pointing in the correct direction. Well a part of the beauty of the open bridge. It's a clean pivot point and doesn't require you to have pointed in any specific direction for it to work equally as well. I could in practice spin my bridge hand back and forth and not alter my aim. The same can't be said for a squeezing close bridge. It should be said that a loose closed bridge is no different than an open one in function.

"Obvious" is a strong word. I'd go with "potentially". Speaking only for myself. I actually place downward force on my cue with both my chin and chest. The only way my cue is popping out of my open bridge is if I hit real bad and stand up at the same time, which isn't going to happen, or my cue malfunctions and folds itself in half.

We should also keep in mind the duration in time the cue tip is in contact with the CB. The CB is gone well before the cue could potentially be lifted out of the bridge.

With all due respect. You starting to grasp here. I know your history with shooting, so I can understand where the comparison is coming from, but to suggest an obstructed cueing view would be an advantage is a stretch.

Here's the thing with old people that have been doing something the same way for a long time. They think how they do it, is the best way, even when it's not necessarily. I'm really no different in this regard. Just saying....

Based only on this video. I'm not overly impressed with his CB control. The bulk of the shots naturally funneled into the legal caroms and several of the OBs were buried in corners that allowed for carom with additional rails after the initial miss. I'm sure this video is awe inspiring for those who don't have a grasp of the various situational elements.

Closed vs Open... Whatever suits your fancy. Anyone taking up the game with a goal of being a strong potter, should attempt to emulate the strongest potters on the planet. They don't use closed bridges.
They also don't always use open bridges either
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Arthritis in my fingers says open bridge is the only way. I can use a closed loop but the pain makes me forget the shot. I learned using the closed loop bridge but open is more comfortable for me. I am doing 9 ball and straight pool exercises using only high center ball and open bridge makes it easy to apply high english. The exercises are from Tor Lowry they are fun and they are different way to play I am hoping for quality practice and maybe some improvement
I have a secret tool that allows me to pinch the fabric tongue created when I stitched the silk tie fabric to give a snug fit at the joint.
Pinch on the tongue gives a secure yet technically open bridge.
20230817_171515.jpg
20230817_172055.jpg
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Play mostly open. Echoing JV; why add drag? Also, I want my stroke flaws exposed, glaringly, so I’m forced to address them. I have gotten away from slotting my cue on my chest, in my case groove between shoulder and chest, for those reasons.

We always hear about the draw stroke and the closed bridge. I guess this thread made me a little more self-conscious about bridge type as I ran through my current routine. I realized that I do use a closed bridge when I draw.

So, say you’re shooting (long rail x,short rail y) with O.B. at 2,3 and C.B. at 4,2 looking to draw right back to 4,2. You’re not trying to crush the thing just be smooth, so bridge length is pretty short. Now that I think about it, I believe I can keep the butt of my cue more level with a closed bridge.

If I tuck my ring finger under my palm, I can flatten my middle finger and the ring finger is completely out of the way. In order to get the same look with an open bridge, I need to lengthen it; as I flatten my hand that muscle between the thumb and forefinger gets more humped up and makes things awkward.

Grain of salt gang. Just a hack here and this thread got me thinking.
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
They also don't always use open bridges either
example..?

Not a challenge to your opinion. Just ran through what memories of Ronnie I have. Figured he'd be the most likely candidate for haphazard play. Couldn't picture him with a closed bridge. If anyone, it would most likely be him.
 

galipeau

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Watching Rafael Martinez made me favor the open bridge again. I used to play it all the time. Below is Oliver Ortman playing weenie beanie on accistats. I feel the open bridge allows the stroke to be free and gives a better sight line.
9a5c21335f70dbbb60573e177e71418a.jpg
 
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