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Cue Ball Position Control

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Once you know how to aim and execute basic shots, the next step is learning and controlling where the CB will go for the next shot. The most important goal in pool is to pocket the OB, but the 2nd most important goal is to leave the CB in a good spot to allow you to pocket the next and remaining OBs. It is also important to predict CB motion when needing to detect and avoid a scratch, plan position routes, avoid "traffic" (obstacle balls), and to aim carom (kiss) shots and break-out (cluster separation) shots.

Below is an illustration of reference directions useful for predicting the path of the CB. For more information, examples, and video demonstration links, see: Fundamentals - Part V: CB position control (Billiards Digest, January, 2009).

cue ball reference directions

Here's a good video demonstration of the reference directions predicted by the 90-degree rule (for a stun shot), the 30-degree rule (for a follow shot), and the trisect system (for a draw shot):


Shot speed has a significant affect on the path of the CB. For more information and demonstrations see: speed effects.

The CB reference directions are also very useful for aiming carom shots, as demonstrated in this video:


and for aiming break-out shots:


A big part of controlling the position of the CB is developing a good feel for shot speed. Here's a drill that can help you develop good speed control.

Here's a good drill, from Disc II of the Billiard University (BU) Instructional DVD series, for practicing cue ball control:

More drills and advice can be found here: cue ball control resource page.

Disc I (Basic Shot Making and Position) of The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS) also covers CB control in detail.

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