Aim Points and compensating for English

Written by Mick Turner

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Aim Points and compensating for English (page 1)
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How do you need to aim to compensate for "throw" when you use english?

I will explain several methods of this technique, starting with a simple positioning and aim point determination for a shot. This is where being able to imagine a "ghost ball" (in this case the 1 ball behind the 9) is helpful.

If you place the "ghost ball" directly behind the object ball on the same line that the object ball needs to follow to go into the pocket, then all you have to do is aim for the center of the "ghost ball", the 1.

What happens is that the cue ball, if aimed this way, hits the 9 exactly in the right place to cause the 9 to go into the corner.

Basically, the aim point is the center of the ghost ball.


Diagram 1

The exception to this is when you use English on the cue ball, which will "throw" the object ball (cause the object ball to track opposite the applied English). How much it tracks off, depends on the amount of English and how hard you hit the cue ball. Throw is the process of "imparting spin" or "gear action" between balls when one (the cue ball) is spinning and the other (the object ball) is hit. This also works between 2,3 or 4 balls in succession, in reverse direction for each new ball hit. Of course the effect diminishes as more balls are hit in sequence, but the effect is there.

If you have an angle that is greater than 90 degrees on the shot, or you need to hit the object ball off angle (to get around another ball) you can use "Throw" to put the object ball back on track toward the pocket. This, of course, is a more advanced playing technique you will need to practice before becomming proficient. See the next diagram for this example.

In this example the 1 is the ghost ball, the 9 the object ball. This shot has the cue ball at 90 degrees or slightly greater to the 9. Your "aim point" is the center of the 1 or slightly (a hair) left of center).

If you hit the cue ball with no english the probable result will be the 9 tracking on the green line, missing slightly. If you put outside (right) english on the cue ball, it will impart or throw the 9 back to the left along the orange line.

Without English, you will probably scratch, with English you will end up hitting the cushion at "A"...Of course, as I mentioned this is not an easy shot.....I make it about 50%...


Diagram 2

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About The Author: Contents and images Copyright 2004, Mick Turner. This information may be shared freely but if used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained at: mick.turner<at sign>sbcglobal<dot>net

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