When you decide that the best shot for the circumstances is a safety, there are a wide variety of factors to be evaluated. These considerations are necessary to help fine tune your options and select the most effective shot within your skills.
Energy transfer calculations
When two balls collide, a certain amount of energy is removed from one and transferred to the other. The amount of the energy transfer depends on the angle that one ball comes into the other. (See Energy transfers on page 140.)
A half-ball hit transfers approximately half of the cue ball's energy. Barely scraping the cue ball against the object ball transfers a very small amount of energy. A full head-on contact sends almost all of the energy into the object ball.
These calculations must also consider the amount of side spin on the cue ball when it makes contact with the cushion. This further affects where the cue ball travels.
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