A shooting glove covers the bridge hand. It is used to ensure that the cue shaft will slide easily back and forth until the stroke is made. A glove helps reduce the effects of humidity, sweaty hands, and the build-up of dirt on the shaft. Any of these cause can cause skips and jerks on your stroke. And, anything that grabs your attention and takes your mind off the flow of the stroke will decrease the chances of success.
Using a glove also reduces or removes the need to use talc powder to have a smooth cue shaft. This also helps ensure you are constantly playing on a clean table, rather than a cloth covered with hand patterns and powder sprinkles.
Some individuals do not use the glove because they feel it interferes with the slick smoothness of the wood shaft. Their counter to the dirty shaft is more attention to keeping their hands clean and keeping the shaft smooth. Others will not use a glove because they think it is somewhat counter-gender. In some places, that might be the case, and the use of a glove would cause some commentary from the unwashed masses. Some who use the glove in the same circumstances care primarily for the comfort and couldn't care less about the opinions of others.
Occasionally, you will see someone wearing two gloves. Their reason usually is because they can be right and left handed and don't want the trouble of switching the glove from one hand to another hand.
There are a lot of choices in glove colors. Many people will use a glove that matches their favorite color. The more serious players will usually use black. It hides chalk color picked up from the table cloth, and has a low distraction affect.
Gloves will usually wear out on a finger or at the heel of the palm, just from the interaction with the table cloth. Chalk can also act as an abrasive to break down the threads. A well used glove has a life expectancy of a few weeks.
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