Welcome to my Billiards Science (Billiardology) Page:
Billiardology to me is the study of Billiards at the scientific level!! Of Course!!
My Dad once accused me in my teens of "reducing the game to a Science"!
One must know these "things of science" to influence the
cue and object balls accurately!
The game has been written up as scientific by others. The game involves some physics science,
plus there are mathematical considerations involving trigonometry, and some geometry! Billiard
games involve determining and executing accurate shot angles and they involve controlling collisions
of spheres that interact! Except for breaking strategies in One Pocket and straight pool (14.1),
breaking a rack is difficult to execute consistently such that a ball is made AND you get an easy
first shot to start from. Not everybody has to be a physics and math expert to play good pool.
By following proper judgment in your game using positional style play, and executing the strokes
properly, you truly have the "science" part taken care of. Certain "Clock positions" on the cue ball
when struck by the cue stick have outcomes regarding where the cue ball will go, and where the object
ball will go. Spin imparted on the cue ball will cause an object ball to "Throw" to a different angle than
"geometrically seen", depending on degrees of speed, extent of english applied, AND the direction of
spin applied. I was also shown the effects of cue ball and object ball speed by applying low english (draw)
or high english (follow) at different speeds of stroke delivery.
The stroke is extremely important when you have play
A poorly delivered stroke on the cue ball causes the following varieties of errors, I have done them:
1. Cue stick deflection: produces error when the tip of the cue is not contacting the cue ball in
the true direction of the desired path. The number one cause of this is holding the bridge
hand too far away from the tip of the cue, causing an overhang or "cantilever effect".
2. Insufficient follow-thru and speed of cue tip impact when drawing or following with english.
Examples of incorrect application of cue tip impact velocity:
a. During execution of a draw shot, having the cue ball jump back right into your cue tip (this is a
foul, you cannot contact an object ball more than once during a shot.) One of the techniques I
use to apply draw to a cue ball close to an object ball is to use a short stab stroke ("nip" draw).
b. Continuous contact is also disallowed. This is the foul called a "push shot". To avoid push shots,
elevate the cue at least 30 degrees above normal, and hit down on the cue ball in situations when
the cue ball is touching or very close to the object ball.
3. Excessive distance between the center of the cue ball and where it is actually hit. This
is the number one reason for the tip slipping off the cue ball upon impact (miscue). This
kind of error happens in all "Clock Positions" outside the center zone of the impact area.
The reasonable distance between center of the cue ball and the impact point normally should
not exceed 1 cue tip in width. When the cue ball jumps off the playing surface unintentionally,
one probably hit the cue ball way too low!!
The best way to correct errors like those listed above is to
practice working on techniques, so that
you can execute them consistently. A competition game is no place to try out something you have
no idea how to execute, or haven't practiced. In cases where you are left with a difficult layout, look
for a simpler shot; or play safe. Later after the match or tournament, work on those shots you wanted
to try to master! Then when you are again in a competition, you'll have more in your playing skills
inventory because you took the time to work on techniques that "escaped" your mastery previously!
One cannot play offensively and run racks off without Position Play!! Same holds true for defensive
play! One MUST try to keep control of the cue ball on every shot!! Over the years, my game
required more finesse because my eyes were no longer like laser guidance systems! I once ran 86
in straight pool at my college. Since then, the "magic" of being able to cut a ball sharply and get major
spin on the cue ball has diminished to a point where I was forced to be more careful when planning strategy.
"Hard knocks schooling" has brought me a lot of knowledge in pool. For instance, I found out that if I am
not careful in my position play, I lose games I should have been able to win. (If you can run one rack off
you can run a lot of racks off if you are consistent!) The following observations and comments/advice
here is intended to benefit the player who wants to make his game easier and therefore "smarter".
Keep it simple is a good rule to go by! It makes up for some shot maker "talent losses" from eyesight
changes! More importantly, if one does this from the beginning, positional play may just make one
a professional one day when "dead stroke consistency" and confidence build to that level.
Strategies in positional play are vitally
significant! I have commentary on this topic as well:
The cue ball needs to be guided by speed and spin (english, stun, stop, or follow); such that
your next shot can be made plus your position must include the ability to position the cue ball
again for the planned shot following the ball you have positioned for! I look over the whole
table layout and "plan" the run. Part of initial positional planning when it is your turn is
recognizing difficult to open clusters of balls, ball pairs (touching) and balls contacting rails,
which are dangerous to be left until too late in the run! If your play can address these problems
early by being able (using positional skill) to open the clusters, open paired balls, and picking off
the "railed" balls while position for these is less difficult, your work to complete running off the
balls is much easier. My "first law of position play" is to get the hard shots off the table first,
before clearing the isolated balls. My "second law of position play" applies to defensive play.
An example situation is when opening clusters cannot be done without playing a very low
percentage shot. Such risky shots should not be attempted in competition, because they carry
potential consequences of Losing the Game by making the oncoming player's work easy! Why?
By breaking up a cluster and missing your hard shot that was attempted during the effort
to open the cluster; the open position that results is a very costly situation for the player that
misses the shot. The opponent will run out the game!! So: Play Smart, don't give Your Game away!!
If you can't make a shot with at least a medium or higher "ease" percentage, play safe! The rules
allow you to play safeties! Generally speaking in playing defense; positioning the cue ball and
sometimes the object ball(s) are mandatory to make the opponent's next shot as difficult as possible!
Now it's time to look at some pool websites! Some teach, some sell
things you might be interested in!
Links Dealing With The Fun Study of Billiards!
Billiard Congress of America
Pool & Billiard Magazine
Billiards Digest Interactive
Byrne's Books-From an authority on Pool Lore
Arnot Q Custom Made Cues
Mark Avlon's Links For Pool, Billiards, & Snooker
Billiard Atlas on Systems and Techniques
Billiard World Web Magazine
American Poolplayer Association (APA)
Internet Cue Store
Alco International: Predator Central
Cuemaster's Home on the Web
Making a Cue by Cuemaster
Billiard World Clip Art
Inside Pool Mag
- has streaming event videos, too!
The NightScribe Shooting Pool !
A Reward of Practice
I believe in starting a player early!
Moi in Action!
Pic2: Brother keeping score in 1967 as I run them all off!!
My Billiardology Field Research Team in the good old days!
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