Q & A: Answers

Snooker Cue


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Posted on 5th August 2000 by Mylefleur.

I am curious to know the different sizes and names for the different sizes of pool tables, i.e., regulation, snooker, etc.

Until recently table sizes were generally measured on the overall size, but in recent years it has become the playing area, inside the cushions, that is stated in the rules. This method of measurement is becoming increasingly common worldwide, and the length of the playing area is always double the width.

The English billiards/snooker tables previously described as 12ft by 6ft must now conform to an inside playing area of 11ft 8½ins by 5ft 10ins.

The American tables measured by the playing area are:-

Pool (with pockets) - 46" by 92" and 50" by 100"
Carom (no pockets) - 50" by 100" and 56" by 112"
American Snooker - 50" by 100" and 56" by 112"

The game of Five Pins is very popular in both Italy and Argentina and requires a standard pocketless table with a playing area of 56" by 112".

These measurements apply to all tables that are considered as "standard" by the governing body of each game, and so only really apply to professional matches. For any break or score to be officially recognized it must have been made on a "standard" table.

Posted on 3rd August 2000 by Capper.

When a player is more than 7 points behind and the seven ball is still left on the table does it mean he has lost and if so why? Can't you still try to corner hook him or if he fouls in any way you would be right back in the game?

In this situation the player who is more than seven points behind has already lost the game. The rules quite clearly state this. This may seem unfair but without this rule every game could go on indefinitely, and another would have to be introduced to decide the winner. Take a look at a similar question posted by Brian T. Buchan.

Posted on 29th July 2000 by David Davies.

In which year was the World Professional Snooker Championship held abroad for the first time in Australia?

You seem to have asked two questions in one!

The World Professional Snooker Championships were held abroad for the first time in 1965 - but in South Africa. The championship at that time was held on a challenge basis and during that year Rex Williams challenged John Pulman, the reigning champion. The contest took the form of 47 matches spread over a six week tour of South Africa. Pulman won by 25 matches to 22.

The first and only time the World Championships were held in Australia was in November 1970. John Spencer beat Warren Simpson by 37 frames to 29.

Posted on 25th July 2000 by Clifford Knapp.

I live in the states and have a 9ft snooker table with full size balls and pockets. The corner pockets are very tight and I would like to check them for size. Is there somewhere I can access a layout of the pockets with dimensions?

Pocket Measurements. You can check the width of the pocket opening yourself, the correct measurement between the two cushions is 3½ inches for the corner pockets, and 4 inches for the middle pockets. This can be measured by simply placing a ruler or tape measure flat on the top of the two cushions, and should be placed directly over the fall of the slate.


The official templates also measure the face of the cushion. This is cut away as the cushion curves around to enter the pocket, and is known as the 'undercut.' Too much, and the pocket is effectively widened, too little and the pocket will seem 'tight.'


Posted on 19th July 2000 by Keith Knapp.

My brother has a 3/4 size table in Detroit. When playing snooker he finds the angle of the holes too tight. Please could you supply the correct size and angles of the pockets.

There is no official size for the pockets as such for a 3/4 table. The templates used to ensure the pockets are correct in all professional matches only apply to a full-size table and the full-sized balls.

The pocket size actually depends on the size of the ball being used. For instance, a 6 by 3 table, with full-sized balls, would require the full-sized cushion with the normal pockets. Yet the same table with say, smaller balls of 1 7/8", would require a lower cushion and smaller pockets - otherwise the pots would be too easy.

It may be that the corners of the cushions are too square, thereby making the pocket opening smaller. If this is the case then they can be cut back - but this is a job for a skilled billiard table fitter as the cushions would need to be recovered, and if too much rubber was cut away then they too would have to be replaced.

It must also be said that a lot depends on a player's skill - poor players tend to blame the pockets. If your brother doesn't have problems potting on other tables then it may well be his table which is at fault. Ideally he should get a second opinion, first from the best player he knows and then from someone qualified in doing the work.

Any such work though is likely to be expensive, so he may be forced to keep them - at least for the time being. This may be useful though, as potting into tight pockets forces a player to concentrate on technique, so your brother's potting could improve making him a far better player.

Posted on 2nd July 2000 by Mark Lawson.

How do players prepare the week before a big match?

All players have their own routines, some like to practice until the last moment, while others recommend quiet relaxation.

The best laid plans however can go disastrously wrong, as Mike Russell found out on the eve of his 1999 World Professional Billiards Championship Final in India. An all-night party in an adjoining room allowed him only three hours sleep before the 10.00am match, so he was pleased to reach the interval - "I could go to sleep for a while, my knees were giving way and my eyelids were getting heavier by the minute." Despite winning the match by 2000 points to 832, and making high breaks of 341, 332, 294, and 245 unfinished; I doubt very much that he would recommend three hours sleep as ideal preparation!

William Cook, winner of the first match ever played for the Professional Billiards Championship in 1870 offered some good practical advice which still holds true today.

"One very important point before playing a match is to look ahead, and see that your cue tip is in good condition. To ensure this I generally have a new tip put on about a fortnight before the match, and I do not finish off the tip at the time, but I work it down by play." He also recommended:-

"...taking plenty of exercise while in training, and also in living plainly; in fact, to get into as good a state of health as is possible, and to especially avoid getting bilious, which interferes with the sight."


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Snooker Cue