If you haven't visited the billiard newsgroup on the web at <news:rec.sport.billiard> you are cheating yourself. I can think of no better way to get a sound education, from some of the top players in the country.
Well known BCA master instructor, Bob Jewett is a staple in the group, offering his valuable advice to anyone with a question. Bob is also a featured writer and instructor in Billiard Digest Magazine.
Karin Kaltofen, Editor In Chief of Pool & Billiard Magazine is a frequent contributor, along with WPBT pro, Anne Mayes.
You will also enjoy lively debates between Ron Shepard, Tom Bellhouse, Leon Waki, Mark Kulaga, Jim Buss, Sherm Adamson, Pat Greenwald, Jim Barr (featured in this publication), John Walkup, Frank Glenn, and many others who love the sport, and share their excitement.
If you visit, say hello to Peggy Clark, one of Chalk Talk's first subscribers. Watch for Carl Pearson's postings. Carl keeps the entire RSB newsgroup in tears with a sense of humor that is uniquely his own. And from time to time we are visited by some of the most respected names in billiard equipment, such as Bill Stroud of Joss West Cues.
The best feature of RSB is the diversity of responses: from pros and beginners, pool and snooker players, men and women. Participants from around the globe discuss billiards, bumper pool, and a wide variety of games that many pool players have never experienced, but should know about. An example of one of my postings, and the response I received follows:
It blows my mind. The postings I read in this group that go into great detail regarding shaft vibrations, deflection, etc.- and how these things can affect a "hit". One of the benefits of a closed bridge is the reduction of the above to some degree or another. Yet, snooker players, who are faced with tight pockets and rounded rail corners that make aiming accuracy so critical, use an open bridge.
I believe the closed bridge is critical to advanced play. Can you tell me why snooker players have not discovered this, or do they know something we don't. Does the open bridge offer advantages in aiming that offset the disadvantages of deflection, etc.?
Beginners sometimes use a sloppy bridge with the cue stick running over the soft skin between the thumb and index finger. Not good. Most serious snooker players extend the index finger away from the hand and cock the thumb to make a solid vee of skin that is quite close to bone (please pardon these clinical details). If you do this correctly, the cue runs smoothly and securely over the bridge and you have an uninterrupted view of it. The cue runs straight even when you use heavy english.
It may be relevant that:
1) snooker balls are slightly lighter than cue balls.
2) most snooker shots on a good table are quite gentle; even a safety that goes up the table and back (22 feet or so) is a gentle shot on a good table. Strength is required for positioning the cue ball sometimes.
3) snooker cues are slightly thinner than pool cues, which may make them sit more easily in the groove.
Just MHO. Peter
Bob Jewett and others responded to the post as well, but Peter, who admits he is not an advanced player, gave an insightful response that I believe deserved mention.
Billiard World Home Page