The El Maestro, Juan Manuel Fangio, who dominated Formula 1 racing in its formative years famously said “I learned to approach racing like a game of billiards. If you bash the ball too hard, you get nowhere. As you handle the cue properly, you drive with more finesse.”
Just as Fangio, negotiated many different and rough circuits with various types of vehicles, so too are we faced with various offerings on the Billiards/Pool table.
While the different terrain applies to the various types of table cloth, there is also a difference in what we are driving, the white ball.
The size of the balls applies to not only the size of the table but also the type of game.
A 1 7/8 inch ball is for the smaller tables such as a five or six footer. Often this size also applies to the white bills in pool tables in hotels. As they are a bit smaller, when heaven forbid is pocketed it falls through a gap to be returned. The other slightly bigger balls don’t fall through this gap as you pay for those.
The 2 inch balls are generally used on the seven, eight, nine and ten foot tables.
These are the common balls that will suit your home table in Australia.
The next size is what the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and the rest of the professional snooker players are competing with. These are the 2 1/16 inch sized balls which are used on a full sized table where you are playing with 15 red balls as opposed to ten red balls on a smaller table.
The next size up is the 2 ¼ inch ball and it is just so happens they are picking a fight with their smaller cousins.
The 2 ¼ inch balls in typical US style are big. They not only look big but feel big and play big on the America style tables with the straight cut pockets which we refer to as 9-ball.
The Billiard Shop outlets in Aspley and Slacks Creek in Brisbane, Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Boonah on the Gold Coast and Toowoomba, Mackay and Townsville stocks all these size tables and naturally the appropriate.
“If you’re coming to buy a new set of balls for your table make sure you bring in one of your old balls so we can supply you with the correct set” Billiard Shop’s Luke Johnson said.
With the different sized balls there are also recommendations for different sized cues and cue tips.
“The 13mm tips is best for the bigger ball while the nine or ten inch tip should be used for the smaller balls,” Mr Johnson said.
While quintessentially the cue sport game hasn’t changed much through the ages, the different sized balls have been a part of the games evolution with the slight differences making each size a facet of play that requires some adjustment.
So in a game of millimetres, knowing the playing surface and the vehicle (ball) you are driving will enable you to hit your target with more finesse.
Let the good times roll!