Sunday, 15 July 2012

The drag shot.

There is a fifth basic weapon in your arsenal of positional shots. It is called the drag shot. This shot is most perfectly executed when there is just forward roll in the cue ball at the time of contact with the object ball. Well, of course it also depends on where you want your CB to come to rest. This drag shot will cause the CB to contact the OB and roll forward at an angle of 0 degrees for a full ball hit to around 30 degrees for a half ball hit.
Just simply rolling the CB in a 4 feet pot cannot be called a drag shot. You have to hit it with screw back to nullify the roll-off factor of the table. An easy drag shot would be to pot an almost straight in medium distance red and make good call for a color ball after rolling few inches, but the most difficult drag shot is when you are stuck behind the baulk, with just one loose red, on a table with bad roll-off and in no way to get in position for any colour by screwing back, follow (maybe when at an angle where in applying even a little bit of follow would cause the cue ball to travel a lot), or even applying stun.

If looking lengthwise, you are on the same side of the object red ball, then you would generally want to play this shot. Though, there are some situations when you would best play this shot even when the CB (white) is near the opposite side as the OB (red) You can also play a stun shot, and not contact any cushion, but that would just be for extremely straight pots or only slightly angled pots. Also, if there are no clustered reds behind the black, and when you want to switch the side to where the black pots, then you can come two rails for the black in the same pocket as the red. Black would always pot in the pocket opposite to the red, unless you travel to the other side, either by going behind the black (best choice), or between the black and the triangle of reds (use this only when there is no clear path behind the black. Also don't do this for angles more than half-ball. I may be exaggerating as even such 3-quarter shots are sometimes difficult to land perfectly for the black.

..Coming back to the drag shot..
It's simple, from a long distance, a drag shot can be properly played by putting backspin in the cue-ball, only to let it roll just before contact. From a medium distance, apply a little less backspin, and/or a little less speed, such that again, at the time of contact, there is just a little forward roll in the cue ball. So, you see, you avoid any roll factor in the table!! This shot becomes more difficult when the initial position of the CB is nearer to the cushions.

Learning to play this shot is simple. but to master this is quite difficult. It might come in match situations only a few times, but those situations can be match winning ones, so I would advise you to practice this technique well.

Note that you would not have to change any angles while aiming, like you would do if accounting for table roll.

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