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The Soft Break Shot

The Soft Break Shot

My question is, is a "purposely soft break shot" a legal break?

I play on one 8 ball league and one 9 ball league, both are APA leagues. My rank jumps between a 4 and 5 throughout the season, and when I play players who are ranked between 6 and 9, I have been using a very soft break, just hard enough to push 3-4 balls to the rail in nine ball and 5-6 balls to the rail in 8 ball wile maintaining a large cluster of balls still together where the rack was.

In 9 ball when I do a soft break, 95 percent of the time I can break (soft) and keep a cluster and leave the cue ball on the head rail behind it and the one ball rolls down table leaving my opponent snookered/blind to it. The only downfall with this technique is that sometimes the second ball in the rack rolls slowly into the side pocket (hope your kick is good).

I think I have been trying to combine what works in my one pocket and straight pool game with my 9-ball and 8-ball ball games. It seems to really be working for me and it gets my opponent red hot mad which seems to help me win too. A flustered opponent never plays 100 percent.

My friend is rated a level 9 player in nine ball, he is sick good, and I find when I break as hard as I can and don't make a ball, he runs 9 balls just about 90 percent of the time. But if I do a soft break and leave him a mess, my chances of having a good safe always available makes my chances of winning go up greatly.

What do you guys think of using a soft break shot on purpose?

The Soft Break Shot

Replies & Comments

  1. goldstarMitch Alsup on 4/8/2009 12:46:59 PM

    A soft break is legal if 4 balls hit a rail or one ball goes in. If you contact the 1-ball at the right point you can make the wing ball in a corner pocket 80%-ish of the time.

    On the soft break and what it is/has been doing to pool, Bob Jewitt wrote a series of articles. One which might be of interest here is called "Killing Me Softly? The outbreak of the soft break threatens the game of 9-ball". It is a good read.

  2. goldstarJustanotherevolutionary on 4/9/2009 6:26:47 PM

    Soft breaks are effective. Lame, but effective. It's said you are to hit the break 60% or more power, how this is judged makes no sense to me and I have never seen a soft break foul called. I watched Karen Korr and Alison Fischer in a 9ball match and they were soft breaking every time, it was so boring I couldn't even watch the whole match. 1 in the side, wing in the corner, run out. Woo....hooo. So now, as I understand it, they are placing the 9 on the foot spot, and I don't know if this is true but are requiring 3 balls to pass the headstring, thus eliminating the "soft break." I could be mistaken about this, usually am. IMO soft breaks are un-sportsmanlike and boring. It's up to you of course. I swear in that match I saw, Karen Korr wasn't even giving it 40% and that made me lose a lot of respect for her, then again she won $50,000. Kinda like boxing I guess, you can be a crowd pleasing champ, or a money hungry loser. A De La Hoya or a Maywether.

  3. goldstarMitch Alsup on 4/9/2009 9:21:44 PM

    Placing the 9 on the foot spot has been found to "do nothing" to the ability to pot a ball on the break, pot the 1 in the side, and leave an easy run-out. The breaker only has to make a minor adjustment and it all goes back the way it was.

    What this inherently means is that 9-ball at this level is not a game of skill, but a game of luck. That is why the powers that be are diddling with the rules to return it to a pure game of skill.

    My opinion

  4. goldstarJustanotherevolutionary on 4/10/2009 4:39:23 PM

    Oh, didn't know that. I was tinkering with it and thought it was harder, but I probably just wasn't used to a new thing and not making the proper adjustments. However even with the perfect soft break, it still takes great skill to get proper position on every ball. It also requires good decision making to know the time for defense or offense. I'm by no means defending the soft break, but I am defending the game of 9ball. I think "luck" is more prevalent in 8 ball myself.

    My opinion.

    And what about the 3 balls passing the headstring? Is that in play? Seems if it were, that would certainly require a harder break. Maybe they should just use speed guns during tournament play, and develop a universal minimum ball speed requirement? I'm sure they could figure out a way to do it without it being too invasive to the breaking player. Just a thought.

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The Soft Break Shot

  • Title: The Soft Break Shot
  • Author: (Maxwell K.)
  • Published: 4/8/2009 9:53:06 AM
  • Last Updated: 3/11/2017 2:20:26 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)