More on Throw (A lesson in English)

In the lesson about Understanding English, I have discussed briefly about throw. In this lesson, I will discuss this aspect in a little more detail.

As you have previously learned, throw is caused by friction between colliding balls. When the cue ball contacts the object ball, there is a brief moment where both balls contact and therefore causes friction between them. In the lesson on “Understanding English”, we have discussed a type of throw called english or spin throw, which is of course, the throw produced on the object ball by a side spinning cue ball. In this lesson, we will be discussing what I would call contact throw, which differs from english throw in a sense that the cue ball is not spinning sideways upon contacting the object ball (ie. the cue ball is hit with a center ball and no english is applied).


Contact Throw occurs when the cue ball is hit with a center ball hit (no spin) and contacts the object ball. Upon contact, the object ball will move very slightly forward before bouncing off towards the planned direction. In a sense, the object ball will be sent slightly off-track. Let’s look at the illustrations below for a clearer understanding of the subject:

Notice that in Figure 1, when using the ghost ball aiming method, throw can cause a player to miss. In Figure 2, you can see that throw has pushed the object ball forward after contact with the cue ball and therefore sent it off track and a miss occurs. So whenever you encounter a miss that you think you should have made, then throw might be the reason why it happened the way it did.

So in review from what we have learned previously about throw, cue ball speed plays a big role in the amount of throw that is generated. Generally, a softer speed will produce more throw. Therefore, when cutting balls at soft speeds, adjust for a thinner hit on the object ball but keep in mind that these adjustments are very, very minor and with enough practice, should become automatic.

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