Friday, September 07, 2007

Bob May’s One-Rail Kicking System

Bob May's Kicking System

My friend, Bob May, worked out this system one day after becoming fed up with losing too many games because of missed kicks. Suffering from the same problem, I took immediate interest when one afternoon he offered to share his knowledge with me, free of charge. Since then, I’ve not only improved my kicking, but I’m pocketing more balls off the kick. Before, I go too far, I have to emphasize Bob’s view that to become an expert you have to put in the practice. In certain situations, you will have to apply a little natural or reverse English – the more you practice, the better your feel for these shots.

Here’s Bob’s formula:

(Cue Ball Track Origin) (Object Ball Baseline Location) = Long Rail Target Point

See the illustration. Note the method Bob uses to mark the rails. The long rail from which the kicking tracks originate is numbered one thru 8 with each number corresponding with a diamond. After number 8, which actually is the corner pocket, the tracks continue around the corner on the short rail with each diamond increasing in value by 2 (10, 12). The locations on the baseline (here represented by red numbers) are similarly divided. On the target rail, the diamonds are numbered 8, 16, 24, 32 (side pocket), 40, 48, etc.

Here’s the process for kicking in the 9-ball that sits nearest to the corner pocket in the upper left of the illustration:
1. Obtain a value for the OB. In this case, it is 3.
2. Obtain a value for the Cue Ball Track. Estimate the track, then move to the nearest diamond. In this case, the nearest point of origin would be the corner, for a value of 8.
3. Plug your numbers into the formula, then multiply. The product, 24, indicates your target on the kicking rail.
4. Because the CB seldom lies directly on the track, you must here employ the distance method of aiming. Here, you must sight along the track thru the target to a secondary target, a point 8-11 feet beyond the table.
5. Stroke the CB firmly, center ball, at the secondary target.

If this method was only applicable to balls frozen to the foot rail, it would still be valuable; however, the beauty of it is that it applies to all balls in all locations. The baseline, here the foot rail, moves freely to wherever the ball you want to kick at lies. Just remember, you have to adjust the numbering of the long rails accordingly, as the junctures of baselines and long rails are always numbered zero.

Work on this a while and soon you’ll be kicking like Bobby – he’s one kicking s.o.b.

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