English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : October, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : October, 1911

Questions and Answers

“Billiards” or “Reddiards?”

73.—”Could not some word be invented to describe the class
of billiards that is played when only the red ball is used? It has
been called the Gray stroke, the all-red route, the losing hazard
game, and many Other things, but there seems to be a need for
one good descriptive word. Meanwhile, there are those who say
that red ball play is only a part of billiards.” Then why not

Utilizing the Rail for an In-off

74.—”In an exhibition match with Mr. A. Wood, at the
Burley Conservative Club, George Nelson, to finish the game,
played rather a funny shot. He wanted one for game, and the
white ball was hanging over the very brink of the pocket with
the red ‘dead safe.’ As they had not played ‘the strict game’
he did not like to pot the white. They were playing on a table
with the old-fashioned big brass pocket plates, so he decided that
if he could jump the cue ball on to the woodwork of the cushion
it would run on towards the pocket plate, which should then
cause it to drop on the far side of the object white and complete
an in-off. This came off, but his opponent then claimed a foul
because the cue ball ran on to the woodwork of the cushion. Was
he entitled to do so?”

There was no foul. A ball is only off
the table when it “comes to rest otherwise than on the bed of
the table or in a pocket.” See B.C.C. rules, page 17.

Confusing Spot Ball with White

75 —”I used to enjoy a game of billiards, but my sight is
not so good as it was, and I often mistake plain for spot. I
notice others do the same, and I have known of games sometimes
lost by accidentally using the wrong ball. How often do
we hear expressions such as these: ‘This is your ball;’ ‘This is
spot;’ or ‘This is plain?’ For a very long time the thought
has occurred to me how nice and much more interesting this
would be if this could be avoided, and so, in this Coronation
year of King George V., I would suggest to you that we use the
three British colours, red, white and blue, by changing the spot
ball blue.”

We do not like the idea of such a pronounced
colour as blue, but think that one ball might, perhaps, be white
and the other cream. This idea was taken up some years ago by
a follower of the game (Mr. Brand) but nothing appears to have
come of it. We have sometimes known a red ball with nearly
all the colour worn off to be used for spot.

Position of Spots

76.—”Will you please say exactly where the spots on the billiard
table should be placed?”

The positions are as follow:—
Billiard spot, 12¾ inches from face of top cushion to centre of
spot; pyramid spot, where two lines cross from centre of middle
pockets to centre of corner pockets; centre spot, half-way between
top and bottom cushions and exactly between middle pockets.

The baulk line is a line 29 inches from, and parallel with, bottom
cushion, and the half circle, with a radius of 23 inches, is
exactly centred between the side cushions.

Ball Rebounding Out of Pocket

77.—”Sometimes a ball appears to go right into a pocket—
usually a middle one—and jumps out again. What is the reason
of this?”

Hard play, as a rule, and especially when unaccompanied
by top or the correct side. “Top” highly develops
rotation on the horizontal axis and side on the vertical axis. A
top-laden ball repelled from a pocket will even return to it, and
a side-laden ball will cling to, and drop into, the pocket.

Run-Through Aims and Contacts

78.—”A shot that usually floors me is the straight run-through
cannon when the three balls are only a diameter out of the
straight line. I find that I invariably get too great a throw-off.
What is the remedy?”

Dead central aiming with top and side
has sometimes the desired effect, the side diverting the cue ball
after the object ball has been struck. A good plan for obtaining
certainty with the run-through stroke is to practise with two
balls only, as follows: Place cue ball on corner spot of baulk
and object ball mid-way between it and centre pocket on the same
side of the table at such angles as represent 7/8, ¾, and 5/8 run-throughs.

The ¾ run-through aim is half an inch inside the edge
of the object ball and the other two are respectively ¼ inch fuller
and finer than this. Shift the object ball until you find that with
one of these aims and contacts you run through into the pocket.

Then chalk the positions and practise until you are certain.

When you succeed in making the 7/8 run-through you will know
why you miss the nearly straight ones, as the 7/8 plain aim is not
full enough for this.

Throw off of the Near Half-Ball Screw

79.—” Can a ball be screwed more than a right angle when the
contact is not thicker than half-ball? I was contending that this
was impossible with a friend the other evening, as I had never
been able to do it, but when he tried he seemed to make it.”

We should doubt it, always provided that the two balls were not
less than a foot apart. Perhaps your friend made a slightly
fuller contact than half-ball. Suppose you apply the following
test: Put the red ball on the centre baulk spot and the cue ball
at the back of the D, so that a line drawn through its centre
parallel with the side of the table would be in alignment with
the right side of the object ball. Standing in position for screwing
along the baulk line (which is the half-ball screw throw-off),
let the eye travel from a point mid-way between the right edge
and the centre of the red ball towards the top left corner pocket
and mark the cushion at that point. Now see whether you can
screw to below the baulk line without driving the red ball to the
right of your chalk mark.

Strength for Long Jennies

80.—”In playing the long jenny into a top corner pocket would
you recommend very slow strength only bringing the object ball
to the centre of the table or a rather smarter stroke to bring it
there from off the opposite cushion?”

This depends upon where
the cannon ball is, but if you have only one ball to consider the
very slow stroke is both the better and the safer one. It is
more difficult at first, but not appreciably so after practice.

Lovejoy does the very gentle long jenny as attractively as anyone
that we have seen and is well worth noting in regard to
that essential. A point to commend the very gentle play is the
greater certainty of making the pocket as well as the retention
of middle-table position. The slower a side-laden ball travels the
more closely it hugs the cushion should that be encountered before
the pocket it reached.

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