(S&D) Safety & Defense - The "Over-a-ball" Safety

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Safety Toolbox (Advanced)

This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.

To qualify as an over-a-ball safety type, the cue ball must be snuggled up to another object ball. It must force the shooter to bridge over the object ball in order to shoot the cue ball. It is another nasty shot that burns off brain energy.

Even if the mechanical bridge is used, the cue ends up being angled (often an uncomfortable 30-50 degrees). It is effective because the player has to shoot in a body position that is awkward (and this also means, rarely practiced).

The bridge hand is stretched out in an unnatural position, usually resting on only two or three fingers. This unstable bridge with its awkward stance and weirdly angled stick makes aiming very difficult.

Note: Be careful with an opponent who has been mastering masse shots. He won't have any problems playing this kind of shot.

This usually comes up as the consequence of a bad luck table roll. When it occurs to your opponent, watch closely to see how effectively he handles the problem. If he is comfortable stretching out, avoid offering these types of shots.

To produce this type of safety on purpose, the cue ball should only roll a short distance. You should also have mastered the ability to precisely place the cue ball within those short distances.

If you have an opponent who swears mightily when forced to shoot such a shot, he generally bangs away at it with impatient frustration. Anytime he displays such an intense dislike for this or any other shooting situation, be supportive and help him get more.

When you are forced to shoot over another ball, take a lot of time to set up this shot before you stroke it. To make sure you are not intimidated with this shot, practice it until the ball can be accurately stroked.

There is an easy way to play the shot and be successful. Set up for the stroke as normal. Use a raised bridge (on three fingers) to pass above the two balls. Aim the shot. Raise your stick elbow higher to clear the object ball. (Keep the same lineup.) Stroke the shot with a slow speed. If it is still too difficult to shoot, play another safety.

Over-a-ball, example 1

This is very simple. The cue ball rolls gently off the object ball and snuggles into a perfect “over-a-ball” position.

Over-a-ball Safety, Example 1

Over-a-ball Safety, Example 1

Over-a-ball, example 2

Probably the easiest of all – shoot straight at the object ball with a simple stun shot. This problem becomes even tougher when you set this up out in the middle of the table.

Over-a-ball Safety, Example 2

Over-a-ball Safety, Example 2

How to Win by Helping Your Opponent Lose

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