English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : July, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : July, 1911

Our Readers in Council

The All-Red and its Effect on Billiards

To the Editor.

Has it not struck you that although billiards has received
a great stimulus owing to Gray’s wonderful scoring, there
is likely to set in a relapse later owing to the monotony.

Most of your “Cue Tips,” which are now so useful, will
not be wanted. A good all-round player at billiards will
stand no chance against one of these specialists. The getting
of the red ball in position for this stroke is not a difficult
matter for any professional.

As an enthusiastic amateur I spent some very enjoyable
times watching the tournament at Burroughes and Watts’s.

Now, supposing the players there had been specialists at
the Gray stroke, do you think the interest would have been
maintained? I have seen Gray and, of course, marvel at
his performance, but I don’t want to go again. I would
rather see any of our first class men make a break of 200
than Gray one of his 1,000 off the red.

My impression when watching Gray make one of his 500
off the red, was that the interest of the audience is lost
after the first 100, whereas, when other players are scoring
big breaks different kinds of difficulties keep cropping
up which an enthusiast is eager to understand how to overcome.

This maintains interest and creates a little of the
excitement which is necessary to hold audiences.

Suppose another Gray crops up, which seems likely?

What a game it would be between two such players. I, for
one, should not wish to witness it. I admire Gray for his perseverance
in getting to such a standard of perfection in this
stroke, but if others follow his example I am afraid in the
long run it will be bad for the game.

[We quite agree with most of what you say, but are
sure that any fears for the future of billiards as affected by
the red ball stroke series are groundless. The red ball
vogue will have to run its course, including the inevitable
meeting in this country of Gray and Lindrum, after which
it will give way to the all-round game. Professionals will
not employ the method beyond the point at which it ceases
to become necessary or interesting and amateurs (except
with a vast amount of practice and specialization) cannot
do so. Meanwhile Gray has, in our opinion, done immense
good by showing amateurs how, with a little extra care
and exactness in their ball placings and contacts, when
playing from baulk, they may more successfully “keep their
ends up” and perhaps attain the hundred break.]

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