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The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line

Often a player needs to make an accurate bank shot to get shape on other object balls. Everyone knows geometric principle of a bank shot. Equal angles into the rail and off the rail. But very few pool players realize that a ball behaves as if it were reflecting off the "wear line" in front of the cushion where multiple ball strikes have "snubbed" a ball into the felt table top leaving an indentation, and not off the cushion itself.

The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line

The key to making ACCURATE bank shots is to realize that a billiard ball behaves as if it is rebounding NOT from the cushion edge, but rather, as if it were rebounding off the WEAR LINE in front of a cushion.

This wear line is almost 1 ball radius out from cushion where multiple ball snubs have left trail of indentations.

Any geometric measure of dropping perpendiculars and crossing pool sticks must take this reality into account to achieve a high degree of accuracy on bank shots. It is why even professional pool players will often miss their object ball completely when left with a safety kick shot.

If the inbound and rebound angles are measured from banks edge (which is the wrong way to do it), an error of 1 ball radius is introduced. On the rebound, this error doubles where now its 2 ball radii, or, a complete ball diameter. No wonder they miss.

Once you think about how you align your aim for the cue ball onto an object ball in order to pocket a ball, you must realize the momentum transfer from cue ball to the object ball goes straight through centers.

The SPAD Group has an optical device called the BankStop which is based on this principle to train for kick shots How good is it? Well, with it, an average-Joe pool player can pocket 3 out of 4 kick shots.

The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line

  • Title: The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line
  • Author: (Roger Carmichael)
  • Published: 11/26/2010 10:17:59 PM
  • Last Updated: 3/11/2017 3:40:00 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)

The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line

The The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line article belongs to the Billiard Bank Shot and Kick Shot Techniques category. Pool playing tips for making bank shots and kick shots.

The Key to Accurate Bank Shots Using the Wear Line Comments

  1. RayMillsRayMills from Seattle, WA on 6/26/2021 5:15:59 AM

    This article on using the wear line is absolutely correct, and I see such a high percentage of players who use it use it incorrectly. Most measure to the cushion's edge, some measure to the line of diamonds on the rail, etc. These table lines may be used to set-up a sight line target only if the correct sight line was calculated first. This is just the starting point foundation to predict a bank/kick which can be later misaligned by the speed and/or the spin of the cue ball, or even a bad spot of cushion.

    Some videos tell players to add a certain amount of "cue tips' widths" to spin the cue ball to counteract speed on every such attempt, which degrades the value of making an accurate measurement as well as adding to deflection of the cue ball hit itself. Shoot too hard and the bounced ball is more likely to come off the rail closer to perpendicular; mis-hit the cue ball with too much sidespin and the bounce can be varied surprisingly! So, I endorse this article, but be aware that this proper method must be combined with other subtleties of the physics involved.

    To view the SPAD device, search for "BankShot Video Carmichael" on YouTube. It is basically a 3'x2' mirror mounted vertically so as to rest on the wear line of the pool table.

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