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A Simple But Effective Short Angle System

By Jim Shovak - Four Time USBA Tour "B" Champiom

Take a look at the simple shot below. This shot should never be missed. However, most billiard players will still miss this shot all too often.


      4 Tips             3 1/2 Tips          3 Tips                2 Tips                 1 Tip                 0 Tips

For now, ignore the numbers on the top rail. Just worry about the numbers on the bottom rail.

In order to make the point, your cue ball needs to hit the 3rd rail 2½ diamonds from the bottom-left corner. So if we invent some easy “system” numbers, let's say that the proper point to hit on the 3rd rail is 25 (1 diamond from corner is 10, 2nd diamond from corner is 20, 2½ diamonds from corner would be 25).

To make the shot, hit exactly one-half of the first object ball and use maximum left English (9 O'Clock on the cue ball - 4 tips). Here is the MOST IMPORTANT PART: THE STROKE. Don't HIT the cue ball: ROLL the cue ball softly into the hit and follow through on your stroke. Hit it just hard enough to score the point. If you are not making the point, then you are either not using the correct speed, your English is not right, you are not hitting ½ a ball or you are not following through on your stroke. I know that is profound, but it is accurate. Execute perfectly and you will make the shot look easy. If your table is slightly short or long and you are slightly missing you can move your English slightly lower to make your cue ball come longer or slightly higher to make it go shorter on the 3rd rail: as long as you are hitting very softly.

If the last ball is in a different position than shown, I hit the shot the same exact way every time except I adjust my English. There are times when another adjustment besides English is necessary, but that's another chapter.

Let's say in order to score a point, you need to bring your cue ball to 22½ (between 2 diamonds from the bottom-left corner and 2½ diamonds from the bottom-left corner). Hit the shot the exact same way, but this time use maximum high-left English (10:30 with the clock method). The point scores easily. If you want your cue ball to hit 20, use 3 tips of English (9:30 clock method). To hit 17½, use 2 tips; to hit 15, use 1 tip (11:00 clock method); to hit 12½, use no English high ball (12:00 clock method).

Practice it for a while and you'll be amazed at the accuracy. Just make sure you execute properly or else it will not work.

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