The "arc of the light" aiming system

recoveryjones

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Has anyone ever used the reflection of the over head lights for a method of aiming.One local referred to it as "the arc of the light",however, I don't know if thats what it should be called.

On the object ball there will be a reflection of the lights above.If the pool halls has 3 lights you will see three, if it has four lights you will see four in an semi circuliar arc.
For a right hand cut:

Ignore those 3 or 4 light reflections and look for a very tiny light reflection to the right of those on the object ball.If the cut is a slight one (say 15 degrees) that tiny little light(but noticable) will appear somewhere halfway between center ball and right side edge like 3/4 ball hit.If it's a 30 degree cut , the little light reflection will appear right near the extreme right edge of the object ball.All you do is aim the center of your cue tip at that little tiny light reflection and in she goes.

I know an A+ local player who swears of the accuracy of this aiming system and uses it almost exclusivley. He says "The lights don't lie."I've only briefly experimented with this method of aiming and experienced some success.He claims it's great especially for long shots. It's supposed to be an old aiming system/secret used by many,particualirly snooker players.

Anyone know if I explained this properly or has/does anyone use it?
Comments?
RJ
 

X Breaker

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
recoveryjones said:
Has anyone ever used the reflection of the over head lights for a method of aiming.One local referred to it as "the arc of the light",however, I don't know if thats what it should be called.

On the object ball there will be a reflection of the lights above.If the pool halls has 3 lights you will see three, if it has four lights you will see four in an semi circuliar arc.
For a right hand cut:

Ignore those 3 or 4 light reflections and look for a very tiny light reflection to the right of those on the object ball.If the cut is a slight one (say 15 degrees) that tiny little light(but noticable) will appear somewhere halfway between center ball and right side edge like 3/4 ball hit.If it's a 30 degree cut , the little light reflection will appear right near the extreme right edge of the object ball.All you do is aim the center of your cue tip at that little tiny light reflection and in she goes.

I know an A+ local player who swears of the accuracy of this aiming system and uses it almost exclusivley. He says "The lights don't lie."I've only briefly experimented with this method of aiming and experienced some success.He claims it's great especially for long shots. It's supposed to be an old aiming system/secret used by many,particualirly snooker players.

Anyone know if I explained this properly or has/does anyone use it?
Comments?
RJ

I dont get it...so you mean the light reflection is located at the same spot on the balls no matter where the balls are. How could it be?

Since the light is located directly over the balls, the balls on the left hand side of the table will have light reflection on the right hand side of the balls, and vice versa, right? If the balls are directly under the light, then the reflection will be in the mid section.

What if someone comes over to ref a shot and cast a shadow on the balls, or what if the pool hall also has other light sourses such ceiling lights? Some pool hall now use no light but ceiling lights.

How about on a TV feature tables? There are a million lights out there, and then there is the camera man light. The player would go blind trying to focus on the light shadows and figure out which is which.

Even in snooker, some pool halls use a light box with light tubes, and some use lots of those super bright stage lights. Snooker tables have many different light settings.

I just don't get it...
 
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supergreenman

truly addicted
Silver Member
I've heard of this system, but it was told to me by a drunk that couldn't shoot worth a crap so I totally dismissed it. I guess there might be something to it.
 

9Ball_JJ

Newbie Fo' Life
Silver Member
I've heard of this system too. The guy that tried explaining it to me kept forgetting the concept of it and how to explain it to me. So by the end of the conversation, I was very confused.
 

bsmutz

Fearlessly Happy
Silver Member
I read about this a couple of years ago and have since used it sporadically. I sometimes see the object ball contact point and reflection of the overhead light line up on the same spot. Other times, the light is totally in the wrong place. It does work for some shots, but I think its usefulness is limited.
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
recoveryjones said:
.

Anyone know if I explained this properly or has/does anyone use it?
Comments?
RJ
Call Hal Houle, and he can enlighten you ;)

Basically, the last light, or the end of the light falls at the cueball point that is at the center of many of Hal's systems.

Aiming that point to the object ball's center or edge is a surprisingly good starting point.

Note: I'm not saying that Hal came up with the light theory. It's just that what he teaches is in step with the light theory.

Fred
 

Flex

Banger
Silver Member
Cornerman said:
Call Hal Houle, and he can enlighten you ;)

Basically, the last light, or the end of the light falls at the cueball point that is at the center of many of Hal's systems.

Aiming that point to the object ball's center or edge is a surprisingly good starting point.

Note: I'm not saying that Hal came up with the light theory. It's just that what he teaches is in step with the light theory.

Fred

I think your comment on it being "a surprisingly good starting point" is a good one. However, the operative word in the phrase is "starting". One afternoon I set up some shots and marked the cloth so the object ball and cue ball were always in exactly the same place and tried to make the light reflections useful for some kind of system. I suppose it could be made to work, especially if shooting always on the same table. However, I found it to be inconsistent, at least for me. Optical illusions abound on the pool table. Switch tables and the apparently same set of overhead lamps will render different results.

FL supposedly has some system for aiming by the lights, but IMHO it's a free pass to the loony tune farm.

Flex
 

poolcuemaster

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have used this system for years,it was taught to me by my dad and uncle,both were real good players. The biggest problem is where the light fixture is hung over the table,it needs to be centered almost perfectly over table to work semi-perfectly and needs to be bright regular bulbs as flourescent is harder to see.Also makes a difference if balls are clean and shiney as reflection is easier to see. I think it helps to train your aim and you get away from using it most of the time after your mind starts aiming for you.
 

Nick B

This is gonna hurt
Silver Member
Quackery

Quackery...I would imagine you would need to be quite upright to make this work. Kevin go kick him in the shins.:rolleyes:

Nick
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
recoveryjones said:
Has anyone ever used the reflection of the over head lights for a method of aiming.One local referred to it as "the arc of the light",however, I don't know if thats what it should be called.
...
There are many ways to use the refections of the lights. Some of the systems are described in one of my articles on aiming. The best explanation in print is by Ron Vitello who teaches pool in the NYC area and sometimes elsewhere. He has a class handout on aiming methods, many of which use lights, that is over 100 pages, I think.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Bob Jewett said:
There are many ways to use the refections of the lights. ...
And I should also have pointed out that the majority of people I've met who claim to use the lights have no understanding of the pitfalls. If they can play a lick, it's because they do the last part of the aim by feel rather than system.
 

TheConArtist

Daddy's A Butcher
Silver Member
i ran across this system on the net i think it was explained by Hal Houle too, just have to give a search.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
TheConArtist said:
i ran across this system on the net i think it was explained by Hal Houle too, just have to give a search.
I think that while Hal might have explained a "lights on the balls" system to someone who reported it on the net, Hal seems to have a very strict rule about never, ever explaining any of his systems on the net.
 

Koop

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bob Jewett said:
I think that while Hal might have explained a "lights on the balls" system to someone who reported it on the net, Hal seems to have a very strict rule about never, ever explaining any of his systems on the net.

True to a point but mainly because it's tough too teach in writing and in 2 dimensional drawings.

Hal has mentioned the lighting system of aiming to me but also said, emphatically, it is not a method he created nor one he uses.

FWIW,
Koop
 

stunner316

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i have heard of the light system but i was taught to use it for bank shots. the man who taught me had the system taught to him by tony fargo. the system does work for banks real good if light is centered and you use no english on bank shots. if u use english u have to adjust the light system. seems weird but it does work for banks.. but i agree with earlier post. most good players (which im not) end up playing by feel and instinc.
 

recoveryjones

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
LOL, I knew this post would have some controversy with close minded feel players who think all aiming systems are quackery,to the moderates who see some merits, to the hard core Hal Houle freaks who have faith and strong belief by seeing some of the results of this stuff in action.

I consider myself a moderate with an open-mind.I play the vast majority of my shots by feel,however, my potting of fine cuts has improved dramatically with an aiming system.

I'll try to answer Richards(nipponbilliards) questions below,however, that can be difficult(as explaining this post was) with typed words on the internet. Showing one at the pool table is much better and I'll do that for Richard because he's alocal who I know personally.




nipponbilliards said:
I dont get it...so you mean the light reflection is located at the same spot on the balls no matter where the balls are. How could it be?

Didn't mean that at, all as you've misunderstood my post.The tiny light you aim at moves(on the object ball) depending where the object ball is in relation to the center(the lights above) of the table.Also you must be centered behind the cue ball or the light spot will show up differntly(on the object ball) if you are off to one side or the other.

Since the light is located directly over the balls, the balls on the left hand side of the table will have light reflection on the right hand side of the balls, and vice versa, right? If the balls are directly under the light, then the reflection will be in the mid section.

I've never tried lining up the object ball dead center under the lights to be able to give you an answer. It would seem to me though that if your cue ball would be off to one side(or the other) and you were aiming directly through the cue ball at the object ball that the tiny light would move its location on that object ball.



What if someone comes over to ref a shot and cast a shadow on the balls, or what if the pool hall also has other light sourses such ceiling lights? Some pool hall now use no light but ceiling lights.

It is physically impossible for the ref to shade out the light unless he got his head between the overhead light and your object ball.Refs don't do that because it would be very distracting for the player shooting the shot.In general they stay outside of the parameters of the rails and don't lean over onto the playing surface, allthough this may happen at times.Remember the light is not coming from the sides,but directly overhead so it's not easily shaded.As far as light sources go all I know is that it works locally here at the Commodore on their(one) table with flouresent lights as it does at Guys and Dolls.


How about on a TV feature tables? There are a million lights out there, and then there is the camera man light. The player would go blind trying to focus on the light shadows and figure out which is which.

I've never been good enough to play on TV tables so I can't answer this question.

Even in snooker, some pool halls use a light box with light tubes, and some use lots of those super bright stage lights. Snooker tables have many different light settings.

Never tried all those scenarios, so I don't know.I did mention the flouresent set up at the Commodore and that lighting was left from an old snooker table and worked.

I just don't get it...
LOL, neither do I Richard, I'm still searching with an open-mind.

In Summary:
I would venture to say that the vast majority of pro players shoot most of their shots by feel,however, I know some who do admit to aiming systems,at least partially.Others use them,however, won't give up their closely guarded secrets to the competition.

My theory is if it works for you use it.As mentioned aiming systems help me immensley for those tougher cuts.Some guys go all the way with aiming systems for everyshot.As an open-minded moderate,I'm not there yet,nor probably never will be.Every aim no matter the method must be proceded with a good accurate stroke/cue ball hit.I don't know if I'll ever be there.:D
RJ

ps.Next time you line up a cut(no english) by feel check out the object ball for a (very)tiny little light reflection right where you are aiming the center of your cue tip.Don't be surprised it that tiny little light was exactly located where you were aiming.For simplicity in this experiment try 30 degree shots and less, as I'm not quite sure how to use this method for the finer cuts.As far as this system goes I'm not an (yet anyways)advocate of it, I'm just mearly checking it out with an open mind.
 

TheConArtist

Daddy's A Butcher
Silver Member
Bob Jewett said:
I think that while Hal might have explained a "lights on the balls" system to someone who reported it on the net, Hal seems to have a very strict rule about never, ever explaining any of his systems on the net.

yeah i thought that, i found it on the Serious-fun.net I actually found most of his systems there. It was explained how the Three angles method was on the CCB though.
 

Flex

Banger
Silver Member
recoveryjones said:
ps.Next time you line up a cut(no english) by feel check out the object ball for a (very)tiny little light reflection right where you are aiming the center of your cue tip.Don't be surprised it that tiny little light was exactly located where you were aiming.For simplicity in this experiment try 30 degree shots and less, as I'm not quite sure how to use this method for the finer cuts.As far as this system goes I'm not an (yet anyways)advocate of it, I'm just mearly checking it out with an open mind.

Very interesting post. Thank you for it.

A few things come to mind. If aiming for the shot is limited to 30 degree shots, which it probably isn't, the system is seriously deficient, IMHO. I imagine there are adjustments for sharper angles that can be made. What I've found is that almost never do I shoot with true centerball. I may try, but I've found with my eyes/stroke etc., that greater consistency is achieved by shooting with very small doses of english. Specifically, a very small touch of reverse english tends to make a shot shoot straighter and with less apparent throw than many shots with center ball.

Just wondering: How do you adjust the point of lights aiming system for english/throw/power shots with english?

Flex
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
Flex said:
Just wondering: How do you adjust the point of lights aiming system for english/throw/power shots with english?

Flex

For firm english shots, backhand english IMO, is the best approach for the "end light" system.

Fred
 
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