A Stop Shot or Stop Ball as Filipinos normally call it, is when the cue ball stops dead in its tracks upon contact with the object ball. It is normally done by hitting the cue ball at the center (see illustrations below). If the object ball and the cue ball is only a short distance away, a center ball hit on the cue ball with medium stroke will generally stop the cue ball after making contact with the object ball. There are however, a few exceptions.
The farther away the object ball is from the cue ball, the lower you need to hit your cue ball. Keep in mind that if you hit the cue ball too low, you will end up with a “draw” shot or a miscue. The Draw shot will be discussed in another article. So simply lower the aim on the cue ball (as needed) no more than one cue tip below the center of the cue ball as indicated by the red circle in the first illustration above. Note: Make sure that your cue stick remains relatively level… do not lower the tip of your cue stick by raising the butt end of your cue stick.
In order for the cue ball to stop at the point of contact with the object ball, the cue ball cannot have spin on it. This means that the cue ball has to slide smoothly on the table cloth without creating a back spin or a forward spin before it hits the object ball. Upon contact with the object ball, the cue ball would then stop immediately. If the cue ball has a slight forward spin when it hits the object ball then it will move forward after hitting the object ball. If the cue ball has a back spin, then it will move back after hitting the object ball.
- At short distances, a stop shot is done with a centerball hit on the cue ball at medium stroke. The cue ball simply slides across the table without any spin on it and it stops dead in its tracks the moment it makes contact with the object ball.
- At longer distances, a below center hit is needed coupled with a slightly stronger stroke. Hitting the cue ball below center will create back spin on the cue ball which will gradually diminish (due to friction caused by the table cloth) as it comes closer to the object ball. By the time the cue ball comes into contact with the object ball, the cue ball will have lost all of its back spin and stop immediately.
Only with enough practice will you be able to learn at what distances to use center ball hit or a below center hit on the cue ball. All I have given you above is a guideline. Keep on practicing this shot and you should be able to instinctively learn when to hit center or below center.