Starting with the illustration below, we have a similar scenario as in the last lesson on the principles of position. We are shooting the 5 ball and we’ve determined the position area where we would like the cue ball to be for a perfect shot on the 6 ball. From the position of the cue ball, there are 2 ways to approach the position area; there is a wrong way and a right way.
IDEAL : LENGTH-WISE APPROACH
Below is the right way of approaching the position area. Notice how the cue ball bounces off the second rail and towards the position area. This is the best way to approach the position zone because it gives you the best chance of stopping the cue ball in the position area. Why? Because approaching the position area length-wise gives you the longest distance that your cue ball can stop thereby increasing your margin for error.
Study the diagram above carefully until you are able to understand the explanation I have in the previous paragraph.
Now, if the above example is still a little unclear and you are still unable to understand why going towards the position area length-wise is the ideal way to approach the shot, consider the wrong way below.
CROSSING THE POSITION ZONE : WHY THIS IS NOT IDEAL.
The diagram above shows another way to “arriving” at the position zone albeit this is the riskier way and therefore not ideal. The example above shows the cue ball going accross the position area. Why is this a mistake? Because as you can clearly see, the distance that the cue ball needs to stop is much shorter than when approaching the position area length-wise. The above approach requires better control of the cue ball and provides a much smaller margin for error.
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
With every rule, there is always an exception. When you have no other choice than to cross the position area, there is also a wrong way and a right way of approach. Again, this has something to do with what gives you the longest stopping area for your cue ball and therefore the largest margin for error. Not everybody have perfect control of the speed of the cue ball so the better choice for us is to pick the option that gives us the best chance of arriving at our intended location.
A position area has a narrow zone and a wide zone. The narrowest zone, which is the area within the position area that has the shortest stopping distance is the part of the position area that is closest to the object ball (the 9 ball in the above illustration). The widest zone is the exact opposite. It is the area within the position area that has the longest stopping distance and is the farthest from the object ball. So, in the above example, the correct way of approaching the position zone is to cross the wide area of the position zone.