Why does the cue ball stay close to the rail with some follow shots?

With almost all follow shots (regardless of speed), the CB is “rolling” at object ball impact. With more speed, there is correspondingly more topspin, but the CB is still rolling (provided you are hitting the CB high enough). The amount of follow action depends on how little CB speed remains in relation to the amount of topspin retained. With a fast follow shot, the CB has lots of topspin (as the ball rolls at a higher speed). With a smaller cut angle, most of the CB’s speed is lost, but almost all of the topspin is retained after OB impact. That’s what produces the follow “action” … lot’s of spin, not much speed. If the cue ball has lots of topspin and very little speed when it hits a rail, “rail dribble” occurs. This is also called “return to the rail” or “follow the rail” or “follow drag” or “follow back to the rail.” Here are some good examples:

With a nearly straight force-follow shot at a shallow angle to a rail, you need to be careful to not scratch, as demonstrated here:

For more information and examples, see:

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