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Hal Houle "Point and Pivot" tutorial


Hal Houle "Point and Pivot" tutorial

The synopsis of Houle's system posted here discusses pointing, but not pivoting. Where can I learn more Houle-ism about the latter?

Hal Houle "Point and Pivot" tutorial

Replies & Comments

  1. guestbilliardsforum on 1/7/2007 1:40:43 PM

    From what I know of the Hal Houle point and pivot system, it has to do with actually pivoting the cue itself slightly. See this image:

    The pivot point is the pink dot on the cue. The blue line is the initial line up method that you would manually have come to with just eying the shot.

    Align the the cue about 1/2 tip off center from the cue ball so that it points directly at the center of the object ball. NOTE: If the object ball is closer to the cue ball, the offset increases, and if the object ball is farther away, it should decrease.

    Ignore the cue ball at this point, other than to ensure that the cue tip offset is the required 1/2 tip distance from center (Approximately 6mm).

    The white ghost ball track in the image represents the ghost ball track if one used the blue aiming line.

    The majority of players unskilled at this system would automaticlly play imagining the blue line or pointing a the blue spot which is the core center of the OB.

    Once aligned, pivot the cue at the pink pivot point to the center of the cue ball. It will align properly to the green line and should ensure a successful pocketing of the object ball.

    Hope this helps clarify the pivoting aspect of the Hal Houle Point and Pivot System article

  2. guestbilliardsforum on 1/7/2007 1:41:51 PM

    To clarify, I believe that the pink point would be the exact area on the cue where the bridge hand would contact it.

  3. guestunited on 1/7/2007 1:52:34 PM

    I've got another take on this whole pivoting system thing.

    I've read about, and tried a couple of different systems where you have to pivot and swerve your cue constantly. These systems can indeed be useful for certain shots that might give some players trouble with.

    The problem is that I haven't found any of these systems to be consistent, and I think that having a straight stroke that excludes the need to pivot makes pocketing any and all kinds of shots much more simple and easy.

    When it comes to pivoting the cue, I think most players do it unintentionally to compensate for improper alignment. Swerving your cue on the execution stroke is all about timing, and it causes you to lose power in the stroke.

  4. guestquickshot on 9/3/2008 9:55:49 AM

    Having never heard ot the Hal Houle Point and Pivot system I was curious and read about it. In the very first sentence the word "assumption" was used. To me that was a red flag right there. But, never the less, I read on to find out just what the assumptions were. It made some sense until I got to the paragraph that said "read 10 times." I think it was 10. That was the second flag. Why would anyone want to go to all that trouble based on an assumption?

    Most players have enough trouble trying to maintain a level, consistent stroke. And this is after many months or years developing it. It would seem that doing all the calulations alone would have an adverse affect on the stroke, which, as we all know, is a very fragile motion.

    Has anyone perfected this pivot?

  5. guestbilliardsforum on 9/3/2008 6:04:43 PM

    Yeah, it is a system that has it's share of critics.

    It was developed by an infamous player named...you guessed it, Hal Houle. Hal Houle, of California, ran on the road for 6 years with Ralph Greenleaf as the end of his career. He is now 85 years of age and is rumored to be in poor health. Also, we've tried to get him to write more about this for us, but rumor has it that he, and his point and pivot aiming system were ridiculed so badly on another internet billiard forum that he has sworn off all participation in online chat. (I'm dead serious about this)

    It has also been rumored on other forums that Reyes and Bustamante use his aiming system. I've never been able to get my head around it personally, so there is no way I can begin to use it.

    Frankly I think it is over complicated, but I've heard from, and of, a lot of folks who swear by it, and say its the most accurate method they know. I guess to each their own!

  6. guestFenwick on 9/3/2008 7:45:11 PM

    I seem to recall three methods to pivot; front, rear and the whole cue. I do aim my cut shots as mentioned below using the side of the cue ball to the side of the object ball. I always have; self taught. It's the way I learned to aim round objects at each other? BTW looking at the illustration I would have to add right english to pocket the 9 ball as shown. Also isn't that a awful long bridge / pivot length in the illustration? Last I think if there was a overhead illustration showing the cuts it would be easier to understand this mind set. I visualize gears meshing when connecting the sides of the balls together.

    From your link, Hal Houle Point and Pivot System. "When cutting to the left for 15 degrees, aim the cue ball's left edge at the object ball's left quarter. When cutting to the left for 30 degrees, aim the cue ball's left edge at the object ball's center. When you cut to the left for 45 degrees, aim the cue ball's left edge at the object ball's right quarter. When you cut to the right for 15 degrees, you aim the cue ball right edge at the object ball's right quarter. When you cut to the right for 30 degrees, you aim the cue ball's right edge at the object ball's center spot. When you cut to the right for 45 degrees, you aim the cue ball's right edge to the object ball's left quarter. Alright, now read this paragraph again."

  7. guestquickshot on 9/3/2008 7:45:59 PM

    It has also been rumored on other forums that Reyes and Bustamante use his aiming system. I've never been able to get my head around it personally, so there is no way I can begin to use it.

    Frankly I think it is over complicated, but I've heard from, and of, a lot of folks who swear by it, and say its the most accurate method they know. I guess to each their own!

    Over complicated is an understatement. Any time I have to read something 10 times to understand it is a waste of my valueable time that I could be using to perfect my regular stroke, which, in itself becomes a little shaky on its own without pivoting. But I agree.... to each his own. Although, it would be interesting to see someone who has perfected it using it.

  8. guestquickshot on 9/5/2008 8:19:23 AM

    In all fairness, I put my prejudice aside and decided to check out Hal's system. I took the instructions to the table and spent about an hour trying them out. I found them to be a little confusing and had problems making what I though was the right shot. I decided to give it up before the instructions began to clash with my own tried and true (for me) approach to shooting. I can readily understand why there are so many critics, but it would be of interest to hear from some that use the system.

    "When cutting to the left for 15 degrees, aim the cue ball's left edge at the object ball's left quarter" This is an example of what I could not get a clear picture of nor make the shot..

  9. guestdkrager on 9/9/2008 8:11:16 AM

    I could be wrong but it seems to me that "systems" are nothing more than aids to help one visualize the shot. I am guessing that for someone that is more left brain oriented they could be of use but for the right brain types it would be analysis paralysis and a total disaster, which could possibly explain why some folks swear by these systems and others find them to be of no use. I suppose its just up to the individual what works for them.

    Cheers, Dave

  10. guestquickshot on 9/18/2008 9:24:39 AM

    There is a hotly contested debate going on in the Billiards Digest forum. It runs about 12 pages and is more referred to as C.T.E. (Center to Edge) method. I tried the method a few times in practice, and I still cannot get a handle on it. It's like trying to learn a new golf swing. It will set one back four steps before taking one forward, and if it does not work, the old tried and true swing is now in a state of discombobulation. And that, my friend, is not a good place to be in both golf and pool.

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Hal Houle "Point and Pivot" tutorial

  • Title: Hal Houle "Point and Pivot" tutorial
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  • Published: 1/6/2007 11:49:34 PM