fcsnooker - Top Quality Snooker Coaching and Instruction in association with Mr Frank Callan - Advanced Level -
"Open The Balls

When building a break it will often become necessary to disturb balls that are tightly clustered together, for the break to continue. This happens predominantly around the pink and black.

Disturbing balls can be achieved whilst potting a red but often makes position on the next colour hard to guarantee, so is usually undertaken whilst potting a colour.

Four of the more common approaches to disturbing the reds are detailed in this page.

In Fig 1, we see a situation that is synonymous with seven times world champion Stephen Hendry. A red has been potted and position obtained 'high' on the blue. A nice angle exists to pot the blue and cannon into the pink, thus disturbing the cluster of reds. Play the shot with varying degrees of pace and below centre striking to experience the ball reactions.

If played correctly and with sufficient pace the white remains in the centre of the table and the reds are promoted around the pink and black spot. If luck is on your side a red will be become available providing an opportunity for the break to continue.

The trick is to hit the pink ball absolutely full in the face, maximising the movement of the reds and subsequently avoiding the cue ball sliding off the pack towards the corner pockets.

In Figure 2, a red has been potted and position obtained on the yellow. The reds however, are tightly bunched together below the pink and will need to be opened up if the break is to continue.

The yellow ball provides the natural angle to disturb the reds. The shot can be played in varying ways, but try deep screw and left hand side, with considerable pace, cannoning off the side cushion into the pack of reds.

Even if played to perfection this shot may only disturb a few reds, so fingers crossed that your luck is in and you end up on a colour. Disturbing the cluster in this way would give a top professional player enjoyment, that is how hard it is to play well.

In Figures 3 and 4, a red has been potted and position obtained on the black.

Again the reds are tightly bunched and will need disturbing for the break to continue. In the first example the white has finished below the black providing a natural angle to attack the pack. For this shot the white should be struck with below centre striking and with sufficient pace to dislodge the reds.

In Figure 4, the white is above the black.

For this shot the black will need to be potted with above centre striking. Forward momentum will take the cue ball onto the cushion and up into the pack of reds.

With a little luck this will disturb the balls in such a way for the break to continue.

Practice all these shots and incorporate them into your general play. Identify other 'set' shots and routines that are regularly required to disturb the balls clustered together or situated close to cushions.

The ability to promote balls that are otherwise unavailable will increase your break building potential.


Frank Callan Suite - 282 Ribbleton Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, Lancashire, England - PR1 5EB - tel. + 44 (0) 1772 702211 - info@fcsnooker.co.uk

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