Spin and the Tangent Line

Written by David Baranski

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Diagram 5
Article Index
The Tangent Line (page 1)
Cue Ball Path (page 2)
Cue Ball Path - Continued (page 3)
Determining Correct Spin (page 4)

Line C represents the natural path of the CB (no draw, follow, or english is used). Line D represents the path of the CB if we use running english, in this case, right english (3 o'clock). Note that the angle created by BD is bigger than the angle created by BC. This is an example of opening the angle. Reverse english "closes" the rebound angle off the cushion (see Diagram 5).

Line C represents the natural path of the CB. Line D represents the path of the CB if we use reverse english, in this case, left english (9 o'clock). Note that the angle created by BD is smaller than the angle created by BC. This is an example of closing the angle. Reverse english tends to slow the CB down when it contacts the rail, which is why it is also known as “kill” english.

In the 2 previous examples, right english was running and left english was reverse. How did I determine this? Face the rail the CB is going to contact. If the CB is traveling to the right as you face the rail, right english is running and left english is reverse. If the CB is traveling to the left as you face the rail, left english is running and right english is reverse. It’s important to keep in mind that running and reverse english are determined relative to the rail the CB is going to contact. Look at this diagram.


Diagram 6

In this diagram, I’ve numbered the rails using balls. The left rail is 1, top is 2, right is 3, and bottom is 4. In this example, I’m using right english to alter the natural path of the CB. Facing rail 1, the CB moves right, therefore right english is running english. When the CB strikes rail 1, it is with running english, so the angle opens. Facing rail 2, the CB moves to the right, therefore right english is running english. When the CB strikes rail 2, it is with running english, so the angle opens. Facing rail 4, the CB moves to the LEFT, therefore right english is reverse english. When the CB strikes rail 4, it is with reverse english, so the angle closes. Remember that running and reverse are determined relative to the rail.

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About The Author: David Baranski is an instructor and pool player from Raleigh, North Carolina.

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