Q & A: Answers

Snooker Cue

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Posted on 27th July 2002 by Andrew Cummins of Cambridge.

I would like to know if there has ever been a snooker match that has been played over 140 frames or more in competition?

There have been several, all finals of the World Professional Snooker Championships.

1946: Joe Davis beat Horace Lindrum 78 - 67
1947: Walter Donaldson beat Fred Davis 82 - 63
1948: Fred Davis beat Walter Donaldson 84 - 61
1949: Fred Davis beat Walter Donaldson 80 - 65
1952: Horace Lindrum beat Clark McConachy 94 - 49

The 1952 final is no longer considered "official" as all the other professional players of the time boycotted the event.

Posted on 20th July 2002 by Peter Western of Norwich.

What is the best way to clean snooker balls?

Use "Flash" (the same stuff you use for floors) disolved in warm water, and dry them with a soft cloth. "Flash" will disolve any grease and not leave a film on them as washing up liquid would.

Posted on 20th July 2002 by Mick McGough of Greenford, Middlesex.

A player is granted a free ball with only the blue, pink and black left. He nominates the pink which he plays onto the blue potting the blue and the pink. Is this a foul?

No, it would be a perfectly legal shot. The player would score five points only, and the pink would then be replaced on its own spot.

The reason only five points would be scored although in effect two "blues" were potted, is because there is deemed to be only one blue ball in the game, and it can only be potted once in any one stroke.

Posted on 22nd June 2002 by Gavin Wright of Enfield, North London.

How do I remove and re-tip a cue?

The old tip can be removed quite easily with a pen knife or the side of a file. Once it's off remove all traces of the old tip and any glue to leave a clean surface.  You should then roughen this slightly either with sandpaper or the edge of a metal file and do the same to the base of the new tip.

The glue you use is a personal choice. You may prefer to use a contact adhesive like Evo-stick, or super glue. Whichever you use simply follow the instructions.

Filing the edge of the tip to create a rounded dome. Once the glue has set you may need to trim the tip. If it is wider than the ferrule hold the cue vertically upside down so the tip is resting on a solid surface. Then cut away the excess with a very sharp knife. This will create a flat square tip that needs to be rounded off. (The benefits of using a rounded tip are explained here)

Hold the cue upright and use a metal file to round off the edge of the tip. Hold the file at an angle of approximately 45° to begin with and turn the cue as you file so you take the edge off evenly. This will give you sharpish edges so simply file those away until you have a nicely rounded dome.

Before carrying out any of this you should always protect the ferrule and the last two or three inches of the cue with masking tape.

Posted on 8th June 2002 by Robert McLean of Chadds Ford, USA.

What are the minimum recommended room dimensions to accommodate a full size snooker table?

The minimum dimensions have always been recommended as being 24ft by 18ft. You need a clear space 6ft around each side of the table to play but this is hardly realistic as it allows no room for tables or chairs. If you had an extra three or four feet on one side or more you would have a much more comfortable room - and space for a bar!

Posted on 1st June 2002 by Gary Lawrence of Clacton, Essex.

The maximum break in snooker is 147 (15 reds, 15 blacks and then the colours).

In theory if your opponent fouls (before any balls are potted) resulting in a free ball, you could take the free ball, then a black then proceed with a 147 break and you could make a 155 break.

Do you know of any professional games where a break of over 147 has been recorded? Was this televised?   Who made it?

There has never been a break of more than 147 in a professional match, though Kirk Stevens made a 16 red total clearance in a break of 135 against Alex Higgins during the 1990 World Professional Snooker Championships. It may have been recorded, but I'm unable confirm this at present.

The highest known break is one of 151 made by Wally West in a club final at Hounslow Lucania in 1976.

Since the original reply was posted above, the following entry has been added to the Calendar section.

October 16th 2004.
Jamie Burnett made the highest ever break in the history of professional snooker. In the second qualifying round of the Travis Perkins UK Championship at Prestatyn, his opponent, Leo Fernandez, fouled before any reds had been potted and gave away a "free" ball. Burnett then potted the brown as the "extra" red, brown again, then the 15 reds, 12 blacks, two pinks, a blue and all the colours to clear the table with a break of 148.

Sadly this took place before the televised rounds so was not recorded for posterity.

Posted on 25th May 2002 by Janine Samler of Dorking.

Please can you tell me where/if you can buy chalk spindles like people use in America... these are great! No sweaty/sticky hands and the cue glides easily. Loads of bars and pool halls in America have them...for description, they are cones of chalk that revolve on a spindle that you brush your hands on before & during play. They are usually about 6/7" tall... wide at the bottom and thin at the top... and should be used EVERYWHERE! It really helps your game!

These are very easy to find on Amazon.com and can sometimes be found on ebay but usually have to be sent over from America.

Posted on 11th May 2002 by John Wilson of Chorley.

1: If all the spots are occupied, and the brown has to be respotted, where does it go? 2: If the black has to be respotted, and from its spot to the back cushion are a line of balls, where does it go?

Spotting the colours. The brown would be placed as close as possible to its own spot (without touching any ball) in a direct line between the brown spot and the blue spot. The black would be placed as close as possible to its own spot (without touching any ball) in a direct line towards the pink spot. If there was no space between the centre of the top cushion and the pink spot then the black would be placed on the far side of the pink.

This earlier reply might also be of interest.

Posted on 4th May 2002 by Graham Hardman of Chatham.

I remember reading somewhere that Eddie Charlton once managed to escape from a snooker off 7 cushions. Can you confirm this, and can you demonstrate how he did it?

A seven cushion escape from a snooker. I can find nothing in print to confirm this but he did include a seven cushion cannon in the book of trick shots he published in 1977.

It is not a natural angle so the shot must be played with strong right-hand side.

If you practice this place a piece of chalk on the side cushion to act as a marker, and move this up and down until you find the correct line of aim.

Posted on 27th April 2002 by Graham Cresswell of Chatham.

A player starts to take a shot on the blue, not realising that the next ball should be the yellow - one of his suporters utters "no the yellow". What should the referee do in this instance?

There is absolutely nothing a referee can do - except, if the 'offence' is repeated, he can have the spectator removed. Although the chance of this happening more than once in a game is extremely unlikely.

This set of circumstances has happened on more than one occasion but usually in the lower echelons of the game where the 'crowd' see nothing wrong in telling their mate that he's going for the wrong ball. (Answer verified by the Sussex Referees' Association)

Posted on 7th April 2002 by Derek Middleton of Sussex Inlet, Australia.

After a foul the opponent is granted a free ball. There are three reds left on the table, black is nominated as the free ball and after the shot is taken the situation is:-

Two of the reds are snookered behind the black and the other red is snookered behind the pink (the black playing no part in this snooker). Is this a foul or is it fair because the free ball plays no part of the snooker on the red behind the pink?

This would be a fair stroke. For it to be foul all three reds would need to be snookered by the black.

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Snooker Cue