English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : April, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : April, 1911

Questions and Answers

Baulk Line and Cannon Play

31.—”I am looking out eagerly for some notes on the correct
placing of the cue ball in baulk for losers and winners in the
top pockets, cannons for position, etc.”

No set instructions
can be given. With losers, you must first decide where you
want the object ball to go and place cue ball in baulk accordingly.

You may have to place for half-ball, quarter-ball, or three-quarter
ball, with or without side, and at slow or free pace. With
cannons you must take your angle from the part of the cannon
(or second) ball that you want to strike back to the edge of the
object ball, and the required stroke may be either of those already
mentioned and with the use of a cushion or cushions in addition.

But you must decide first of all where you want to leave
the other ball or balls and provide, when cannoning, a commanding
leave for your own ball. It sounds difficult, but comes all
right in time.

Potting With Side

32.—”I notice your answers to amateurs’ questions with rejoicing.
In your February number you have dealt with my
difficulty, i.e., of aiming with side, but I find that, when potting
with side to leave the cue ball in a good scoring position, I
fail to get the pot itself through having to shift the aim from
the centre to the side.”

We can only advise you to re-read
Answer No. 18, as we do not find ourselves able to give a better
one. When you can drive the ball along the baulk line without
divergence you will have practically conquered your difficulty.

Look in each case at a chalk mark above the baulk line and keep
the cue parallel with the line. Strike the ball centrally and on
either side at varying distances from the centre.

When Spots are Covered

33.—”When the red is potted, opponent’s ball being on the
spot, and cue ball coming to rest on the centre spot, is the red
placed on the pyramid spot?”

Yes. The rule (No. 5, B.C.C),
runs:—”If spot is occupied by another ball the red shall be
placed on the pyramid spot, and if that also is occupied it shall
be placed on the centre spot,” which, of course, covers also the
circumstances mentioned by you.

A Peculiar Kiss Effect

34.—”The red and white are touching at the commencement
of a line that points to the top right-hand pocket or anywhere
up to five inches or so below that pocket, the red being the nearer
to the pocket and the two balls about three-fourths of the distance
from the middle pocket to the middle spot. The white
being struck by the cue ball from halfway between the white
and the baulk line from the right of the D the red is sent on a
slight curve to the left, and this can be judged with practice
so that a slow stroke will give a considerable curve to the red
ball and a sharp stroke very little curve. What happens to the
red ball? Surely it gets a spin from friction; or is it a double

We do not, as we have before stated, believe that
side can be imparted to an object ball except by squeezing in a
cushion or between the other two balls. We have put up the
interesting position that you name a great many times, and have
come to the conclusion—as we think you have yourself—that the
divergence is—as you suggest—caused by a double kiss, the
second kiss taking the red ball a shade off centre. That there
is no side is proved by the fact that when the stroke is played
down the table the divergence is in the same direction as when
played up the table, which would not, of course, be the case if
side were operating, and this point is further established by
playing the stroke from both sides of the balls with differing
results. The slower the play the greater is the scope allowed
for the kiss to take place.

Definition of Terms

35.—”What is the difference, if any, between a long-range
loser and a long-loser?”

The long losing hazard is the stroke
played from off an object ball lying some five to six feet away
from a pocket, whereas a long-range hazard implies either the
object ball lying close by a pocket and the cue ball a long distance
off, or vice-versa.

Three Questions

36.—”Please say: (1) what is a pique stroke; (2) what is a
‘kicking ball,’ and (3) what is a drop cannon?”

(1) When the
cue is raised half-way between horizontal and perpendicular.

(2) when a ball, either through unequal density or foulness of
ball or table, jumps slightly on being struck by a cue or

(3) when the cue ball is played with such well-judged
strength that it just drops on to, and only slightly disturbs, the
cannon ball (or third ball). The stroke is usually employed to
collect the three balls in the top-of-table scoring area.

Standard Conditions

37.—”Would you kindly say what is to be understood by the
term, ‘standard conditions,’ which is frequently to be met with in
The Billiard Monthly?”

“Standard conditions” is applied to
the existing rules of the game as well as to the size of the
pockets, size of the D, and the position of the spots. The diameter
of the D semi-circle is 23 inches, the baulk line should be
29 inches from the face of the bottom cushion, and the billiard
spot 12¾ inches from the face of the top cushion. The pockets
should be 3 5/8 inches wide at the fall of the slate. The balls should
not be less than 2 1/16 nor more than 2 3/32 inches in diameter. The
present conditions regulating play are that two consecutive red
winners may not be made off the billiard spot unless the red ball
be thereafter removed to the centre spot, and that more than 25
consecutive ball-to-ball cannons may not be made. The B.C.C.
rules also forbid two consecutive misses. If this reply does not
quite cover the points that you have in your mind will you please
write us again?

Cushion Cannons in Position Play

38.—”Is it preferable to make single or double cushion cannons
when the object ball is near a cushion?”

The only guide
is the desired position. Where equally good position can be
obtained by either stroke, and both are fairly difficult, the two-cushion
shot is sometimes preferable, because it gives a sort of
second chance. A kiss may also sometimes be avoided by its

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