English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : March, 1912

The Billiard Monthly : March, 1912

Questions and Answers

Playing Safety Into Baulk From Hand

118.—”Can a player having his ball in hand (both other balls
being out of baulk) give a safety miss by playing against a
baulk cushion, leaving his ball in baulk? If the two other balls,
or one of them, are in baulk, can he give a safety miss by playing
in same way?”

The only way in which such a safety
miss could be legally made into baulk from hand would be the
quixotic method of playing against the bottom cushion with
sufficient force to bring the ball back into baulk after it had
traversed two lengths of the table.

Ball Returning To Table From Rail

119.—”If the striker hits the ball and it leaves the bed of
the table and runs along the cushion top and then falls into a
pocket does that count a score for him?”

The rule is as follows:—

“If a ball be forced from the table, but is prevented by
any object, except the table, or any of its fixed appurtenances,
from falling to the floor, or if it lodge on the cushion, the woodwork,
or any of the fixed appurtenances of the table, and remain
there, it shall be treated as a ball forced from the table.” From
this rule it is clear that if a ball either returns to the table or
enters a pocket it is treated as though it had not left the table
at all.

Payment For Table By Friends

120.—”I have a billiard room in my private house with a
three-quarter table, and invite friends to play. They have asked
if they might contribute towards the gas and general expenses,
as they would feel more free to come in if they could do so.
They suggested having a box so that they could put in what they
liked or so much a game. Could I legally allow same, or must
I make a proprietary club of it? If the latter how should I
set about it?”

If they (the guests) contribute to the expenses
or pay so much a game it becomes a proprietary club and a
license must be sought from the local justices. See proposition
2, The Billiard Monthly, November, 1910, page 1. The payment
of so much for gas and general expenses, even by way of a
box, after the order of charitable institutions, would be held by
the justices to be a mere evasion of the law, a subject regarding
which they are jealous.

Cloths As Affecting Speed

121.—”How is it that a new billiard cloth on a match table
is so fast, although naturally possessing more nap than a worn
one?”

It is the extra quality and the thinness of the cloths
that count in this connection. Other things being equal, the
thinner a billiard cloth is, i.e., the nearer its surface gets to the
slates, the faster will it be.

Attitude at Billiards

122.—”Do you advise an amateur to imitate Gray’s stooping
method and attitude generally at the table?”

No. It suits
Gray’s height and chief stroke, but for all-round billiards the
square stance is, in our opinion, a mistake. The more the left
foot is brought round, consistently with the face and arm being
kept straight, the freer is the swing of the cue. As to the stooping
low, the idea of this is to see as far back along the cue as
possible, but if the cue is working on or parallel with the intended
run of the cue ball this does not matter, and the points to look at,
once the cue has been adjusted, are the sighting point of the
centre of the cue ball and the objective point—which is always
(except in full ball strokes) just twice as far from the centre of
the object ball as the desired point of contact.

Judging Angles

123.—”In judging an angle is the line taken all the way to
the final objective or only a short distance beyond the object
ball?”

At the outset it may be as well to judge all angles
at, say, a foot beyond the object ball. At varying distances
angles look different, but when taken over a short distance they
look alike. Later you will get the angle, whatever the distance,
“in the eye.”

Snooker—Running in Off Red and Black

124.—”If a player, after striking a red which he aimed for,
should run in off the black, am I right in marking one away?
They maintain it is seven away here, but if I get your word I
shall know what to do”

Of course you are right. To carry
the seven penalty the black must be wrongly struck first. If it
is struck subsequently that is merely an incident and has no
effect except in helping the red shot.

The Grip in Screw Strokes

125.—”I have often seen it stated that in making screw strokes
the cue should be gripped or pinched at the moment of contact,
but the other evening I happened to send my cue easily through
the ball with a perfectly loose hold and, to my astonishment, the
ball rippled back half the length of the table?”

You have
made one of the most illuminating discoveries that billiards affords
and we should strongly advise you to stick to it.

What is a “Push”?

126.—”Can a ball be said to be ‘pushed’ if the cue has been
removed from it before it reaches another ball?”

The barred
push with the cue is quite a different thing from the old push
with the flat mace, and its illegality consists in the absence of
recoil between ball and ball which would make close strokes,
now impossible except by aid of the masse, easy and simple.

When is Side Necessary?

127.—” Under what circumstances is it necessary to use side
in billiards. I think this would be a good thing for many
beginners like myself to know?”

You are in a happy state of
mind on this subject and also of billiard experience. One of the
greatest obstacles in the way of the ordinary amateur’s progress
is the unnecessary use of side. The plain ball—other things
being equal—has everything in its favour, including strength,
which can be much more sensitively regulated in this way. The
chief uses of side are:—(1) Widening or sharpening the angle,
after contact, of a slow ball; (2) bringing the cue ball freely of
slowly off a cushion; (3) enlarging an otherwise blind pocket;
and (4) avoiding a kiss by making a slightly different contact
for which the side afterwards compensates. For fast strokes,
either forcing or screw, side is useless, unless so much pace is
taken out of the cue ball by a thick contact that the nap of
the cloth is able to influence its course, or unless a blind pocket
has to be taken at high speed.


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