The Jump Shot

Written by Easy Pool Tutor

A jump shot is a shot in which the cue ball is made to leave the surface of the table after being hit by the cue stickript>. The cue ball must also end up landing and stopping on the table surface for a legal jump shot. If the cue ball goes off the table, then the shot is a foul.

Legal and Illegal Jump Shot

As stated above, the cue ball must land on the table and eventually stop on the surface of the table for it to be a legal shot. However, there is a legal way to make a cue ball jump off the table and there is another way that is not considered a legal shot. It is a foul when the cue ball is made to jump by "scooping" the cue ball - "scooping" is accomplished by hitting the cue ball too low.

To execute a legal jump shot, the cue ball must be struck above the cue ball center line with the cue stick at an angle between 30 - 60 degrees. The angle determines the tragectory of the cue ball flight as summarized by the illustration below.

Figure 1: Jump Shot
Figure 1

The height in which the cue ball needs to take depends on how much of the blocking object ball is in the way and its proximity to the cue ball. Obviously, the closer the blocking ball is to the cue ball, the higher the cue ball needs to jump to avoid hitting the obstructing ball. Also, if the blocking ball is only partially blocking the cue ball then the lower the cue ball needs to jump as opposed to when the blocking ball is fully obstructing the cue ball's path.

Partially blocked cue ball jump shot

When the cue ball is only partially blocked by an object ball, the cue ball naturally does not have to elevate very high to avoid hitting the obstructing ball. In the example below, the 8-ball is only partially blocking the cue ball from hitting the 1-ball. Only half of the 8-ball is blocking the way.

Figure 2: Jump Shot Partial obstruction
Figure 2: Partial obstruction

To jump the cue ball successfully here, elevate your cue stick at an angle between 30-45 degrees and strike the cue ball above its center line as illustrated below.

Figure 3: Jump Shot
Figure 3

Fully blocked cue ball jump shot

When the cue ball is fully blocked by an object ball, the cue ball will need maximum elevation to avoid hitting the obstructing ball. In the example below, the 8-ball is fully blocking the cue ball from hitting the 1-ball.

Figure 4: Jump Shot
Figure 3

In the above scenario, you can jump the cue ball with maximum elevation by elevating your cue stick at an angle above 5 degrees (up to 60 degrees).

Figure 5: Jump Shot
Figure 5

Jump Shot Video

Video courtesy of Dr. Dave and The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards at www.engr.colostate.edu/pool/

Copyright Notice: Contents, materials and images © Copyright www.easypooltutor.com. This information may be shared freely so long as the Copyright notice is included. If any contents or images are used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained by contacting the owner of this website.

Related Articles