English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : June, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : June, 1911
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A Journal of Interest and Value to Amateur Billiard Players
No. 8, June, 1911Price 1/6 per annum to any part of the world. Single Copies 1d

BILLIARD MONTHLY PORTRAIT GALLERY

VIII.—EDWARD DIGGLE

Photo of Edward Diggle (17k)

Edward Diggle: A great scoring force.

The publication of a portrait and a sketch of Edward
Diggle, one of the greatest billiard players that the world
has known, is appropriately timed, inasmuch as the 27th
of last month brought to a close what will probably go
down to billiard history as the crowning achievement of his
career.

Exactly what he has done in 96 hours’ play, spread over
four weeks, with Stevenson (who conceded him 5,000
points) is this: He has beaten Stevenson level by 7,388
points; he has compiled an aggregate of 38,123 points; and
by scoring these points in 96 hours he has averaged 397
points per hour. He has made, during the contest, a break
of 686, a break of 529, 3 of over 400, 6 of over 300, 19 of
over 200, and 86 of over 100.

In his particular style of easy, effortless, and effective
play, Edward Diggle stands at the head of the professional
billiard world to-day. To watch him at the table is an
education, as to encounter him in good health must be
regarded as almost a despair by anybody.

He is by no means the possessor of robust health, but
latterly he has been much better than usual. And one of
the results is his total against Stevenson.

Whilst Diggle is playing one dominant question arises
in the mind of the onlookers. And that is: Why should he
break down? Whilst avoiding all problematical niceties
and rarely resorting to masse or other spectacular shots—
although he knows all that there is to be known about any
of them—he calculates the run of the balls by inches, and
sends them where he will to do his bidding or abide his
time.

The beauty of Diggle’s play is that you can see it all
done. Each cue movement speaks and each break is a
lecturette. To know how Diggle will play the next stroke
one has merely to ask one’s-self the question: Which ball
does he want to tackle after this stroke? And if there is a
shade of scoring advantage or extra ease to be obtained
by” laying up “the one shot instead of the other the
answer is supplied and the shot can be foretold.

In his preface to a book on billiards recently published
(Billiards Simplified, by Wallace Ritchie), Diggle says that
he does not believe in theory in billiard playing. Yet
every shot that this great player makes at the billiard table
is theory demonstrated. Let us watch him, and take a
lesson as we look; and we shall soon know whether there
is, or is not, theory in his play.

The stroke is a simple one—a quarter-ball or three-quarter
ball in-off. He elects to play the half run-through,
and We notice, as he places his tip on the cloth, that if a
line were drawn down the centre of his cue and through
the centre of the cue ball and prolonged it would terminate
half-an-inch inside the edge of the object ball on the pocket
side. Diggle would not call this theory; he would call it
practice. Yet what is it, and what is all practice, except
applied theory.

Again watch him, this time making a gentle half-ball
stroke. With this stroke he wants to pot the red and leave
his own ball to an inch or thereabouts in a desired position.

We notice that the red just reaches the pocket and
what interests us still more is that the length of travel of
the cue ball after contact with the red has been practically
the same as that of the red ball—as Diggle knew it
would be, and as the laws of motion and percussion make
it is impossible, under the conditions of contact, for it to
be otherwise. But Diggle would call this practice and not
theory. It is really applied dynamics.


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