What is the most throw I can get, and how can I achieve maximum throw?

Maximum throw, under typical conditions, is about 1 inch per foot of OB travel, or 1/2 a ball per diamond on a 9′ table, which is about 5°. Although, more throw can result with cling/skid/kick. Throw is maximum with a stun shot, where the sliding motion between the CB and OB (from cut angle or sidespin) is horizontal. With any top or bottom spin, the friction force will have an upward or downward component which reduces the sideways throwing component.

Maximum spin-induced throw (SIT) occurs with slow speed, stun, and about 50% sidespin (for a straight shot). Here’s a good demonstration of the effect:

For more information, see SIT speed effects, TP B.25 – Percentage Sidespin Required for Maximum SIT at Any Cut Angle, and HSV B.18 – spin-induced throw speed and english effects. Also see “Throw – Part V: SIT speed effects” (BD, December, 2006). Per Diagram 1 in the article, below about 25% english, speed has no effect on the amount of SIT.

Maximum cut-induced throw (CIT), with no english, occurs with a slow-speed stun shot at about a 1/2-ball hit. See “Throw – Part II: results” (BD, September, 2006) for more information. At larger cut angles, again the friction is less due to the faster relative sliding motion between the balls during contact. Per Diagram 1 in the CIT article, for cut angles below about 20°, speed has no effect on the amount of CIT! With slow-speed frozen or nearly-frozen combination shots, where the 1st ball will have stun into the 2nd ball, one must be very careful to adjust aim for throw (see frozen ball throw).

For examples and demonstrations, see the following video:

And for reasons why CIT and SIT vary with angle, speed, and spin in complicated ways, see throw speed effects, throw draw/follow effects, and squirt/swerve/throw effects.

The tip position required for maximum throw varies quite a bit with cut angle. Here’s an illustration from Patrick Johnson (from AZB post) showing tip positions required for maximum throw for stun shots are different cut angles:


– for a straight shot (on the left), maximum throw is produced with half of maximum “inside” spin
– for a halfball shot (in the middle), maximum throw is produced with no sidespin
– for a thin cut (on the right), maximum throw is produced with half of maximum outside spin

For cut angles between these examples tip placement should be adjusted proportionally with cut angle change – for instance, a 3/4 ball cut (~15°) should be hit with 1/4 maximum inside tip offset (midway between half of maximum inside and centerball), and a 1/4 ball cut (~45°) should be hit with 1/4 outside tip offset (midway between centerball and half maximum outside)*.

*Note: using outside spin (example on the right) to increase throw may be counterintuitive, but it’s actually necessary for cuts thinner than half ball (30°), because without it the “rubbing speed” between the balls is too fast for maximum throw (like car tires “spinning out” on the pavement with too much acceleration).

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