Sid Banner Kicking System

Written by Mark Finkelstein

This week I'd like to share with you a kicking system that really works. The only requirements are that you can do a little math in your head (you can even use your fingers!) and stroke a rolling ball with no english. Before I show you the system, here is what I know of Sid Banner.

This information comes from Amazon.com and gives an accurate portrait of Sid, the professional amateur.

“Sid attended East New York Vocational High School in Brooklyn, New York until his 15th birthday. After leaving school, he held various jobs in Manhattan and played billiards at McGirrs Billiards on 44th St. and 8th Ave., learning three-cushion billiards from Joe Procita, Joe Brown, Gene Levy, Abe Rosen and the like. Although hustled many times, he also won a few games, and he learned many secrets about three-cushion billiards from many great players. In May of 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and after serving a short term on the USS Tarawa aircraft carrier, CV-40 Essex Class, was honorably discharged. In 1946, he opened Rockaway Billiards in Far Rockaway, Queens County, a suburb of New York City. His fellow players nicknamed him System Sid, and until the book was released in 2005, he claimed to still be studying a variety of three-cushion systems. In 1988, he opened Boca Billiards in Boca Raton, Florida, where the very first professional three-cushion billiard tournament took place. Banner was elected Eastern Representative of the U.S. Billiard Association and, in 2006, after many years of service, he retired from that position. Banner is the premiere promoter of three-cushion billiards in the State of Florida and competes in state and national tournaments.Sid Banner has been married for over 56 years, has three children, eight grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Other hobbies include playing tennis and working out at a local gym.”

In case you might be wondering, I had the good fortune to study pool with Abe Rosen for about 5 years at Amsterdam Billiards in the early 90's!

Here is the Sid System. This system is used to kick at balls on the long rail when the cue ball is on the end rail. The first thing you need to do is number the long rail you are kicking toward. Next is numbering the short rail that you are kicking to. The long rail numbers start at the rail you are kicking to and go 1, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5. I've put balls on the whole number diamonds and left the half numbers blank. The nine ball is located on the 4.5 point.

Next is the short rail numbers. The first diamond closest to the rail you are kicking to is 10 and the next diamond is 20. I've used the 15 ball and the 12 ball to give you an idea of these numbers.

In the diagram, you can see the numbering system along the long rail and the short rail you are kicking to. The ball we are kicking at is the 9 ball.


Figure 1

In the next diagram, I have put on the cue ball numbers. These go from the rail the ball you are trying to hit is on, and the numbers are 1,2 and 3.


Figure 2

Now here is the magic. If you multiply the long rail number, in this case 4.5 (which is where the 9 is) times the cue ball number (3) you get 13.5. This is the number we aim at with a rolling ball! That's it.

In this third diagram, I've put in the end rail position of 13.5, and I have used the software to give you the equal angle line. Notice how they are the same!


Figure 3

The amazing thing about this system is that you don't just try to hit the object ball, but you actually try to make it. Try this system and I think you will really like it.

Remember, as in all things when you are playing pool, less is really more!!! You don't have to overhit this shot. Use pocket speed and you will be making more of these than not. One final note, you might have to adjust the speed a little for the table you play on, but once you have this down, I think you'll be pleased with the results.

Keep practicing and see you on the road.

About The Author: Mark Finkelstein is a professional pool player, a BCA Master instructor, an American Cue Sports (ACS) level 4 instructor, and house pro at Slate Plus in New York. Mark can be reached via phone at 347-545-1916, email at nycpool<at_char>gmail<dot_char>com or thru his website at www.mfpool.com.

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Author Info - Mark Finkelstein