Can spin transfer be used to “help” an object ball “get-in” to a corner pocket?

Theoretically, yes; however, practically, attempting to use spin transfer to make the pocket bigger is not very effective with typical conditions over a wide range of shots. For more information, see “Get-In English, At Last” (Bob Jewett, BD, June, 2013). Here’s a pertinent quote from the article:

English increased the size of the pocket by about 20% for both soft and hard shots, so the sizes listed above increased to 3.4 and 1.9 inches respectively. While this is a significant increase, it is not clear how often it can be brought into play. Usually you have to worry about where the cue ball will go and your options are restricted. Often you get the benefit without working for it. If you are cutting a ball down the rail with no English or some inside English, you will get some of the helpful spin on the object ball automatically.

For more information, see:

from Bob Jewett:

It’s easy to see how much side spin you can get on an object ball by banking a stripe and “twisting” (transferring side to) the object ball. It’s not much. Maybe that little bit of side spin is useful for getting balls to drop when they are barely at the edge of hanging up, but I think any advantage is negligible, especially compared to the aiming issues when using side spin.

I think the real advantage of this technique is that it gives you confidence.

from Patrick Johnson:

The amount of spin you can transfer to an OB is too small to make a difference unless the visible pocket opening is very small. Shooting at a small target is exactly when you don’t want to compromise your accuracy with sidespin, especially since it rarely is helpful.

Transferred spin wears off quickly, so it could only make a difference on short shots or on shots you hit harder. You probably don’t need it on short shots because you can hit the pocket opening pretty accurately already (unless you add sidespin to the equation), and hitting shots harder makes it much more likely the OB will jaw (in addition to also reducing accuracy even more).

In other words, it’s a bad idea and a myth. They’re common in pool (another related one is “rail hugging english”).

Accuracy is reduced not just because of squirt and swerve, but also because the amount of sidespin and the amount of throw increase together – so the more effective “helping english” might be the less accurate the shot is. It’s a losing proposition every way you look at it.

… if the shot really needs “helping english” you should choose another shot.

from Jal:

Some exceptions might be:

– The OB is frozen to another ball and the carom angle will force it uncomfortably close to the far point of a pocket. The fact that they’re frozen, however, allows you to take considerable liberties with the contact point, as long as you do carom it off the other ball.

– The OB is close to a pocket, but an interfering ball makes for a similar situation. Here, a relatively small error in the impact/throw direction can be more than compensated by imparted spin.

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