Why is snooker player’s stance different from a pool player’s stance?
A classical snooker stance is described and demonstrated in this video and another. A pool stance is described and demonstrated here: pool stance (see more info on the stance “best practices” resource page). The following video contrasts pool and snooker stances:
A snooker stance is more “open” than a pool stance, with the front leg (only a little in front, if any) bent more at the knee. An open stance can allow your head to be more square to the shot with less neck twisting. This can make it easier to get the head lower with the chin directly over the cue, which can make aiming and sighting more consistent and accurate (for more info, see the low stance resource page). This is especially important on a snooker table, which is large with small pockets, where aiming and alignment accuracy is critically important. The open stance also allows you to use your standard stance when your body is up against the table to reach a shot, which can happen a lot on large snooker tables. The open stance also allows one to use the chest and chin to help constrain and guide the cue. This is helpful to make sure the alignment and stroke are true during warm-up strokes and during the final forward stroke. Any swoop in the stroke would be immediately noticeable, and the chin guide can also prevent the swoop from happening in the first place (assuming the head is still).
The more-closed stance of pool can create more clearance between the stroking arm and the hip and chest. This allows more stroke freedom, especially with power shots where the elbow might drop during the follow through (for more info, see the pendulum stroke vs. piston stroke resource page). A closed stance also allows a more-even weight distribution between the two feet. A closed bridge can also be more natural and comfortable for some people.
Snooker players also prefer an open bridge. For more info, see the open vs. close bridge resource page.
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