English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : January, 1912

The Billiard Monthly : January, 1912

Questions and Answers

Pace of Cushions

100.—”By hitting a ball as hard as I can on our table it will
only travel just over three lengths. What is the best way to
remedy this?”

The table is exceptionally slow. Perhaps the
cushions are made of moulded, instead of strip, rubber. Or the
rubber may be in a perished condition. Possibly, also, the ironing
and brushing are neglected. It is practically useless endeavouring
to play billiards on a table on which you cannot get at
least four lengths. In stringing for baulk on a good table the
necessary two lengths should be covered by merely dropping the
weight of the cue upon the ball.

Miss Ruby Roberts

101.—”Having seen Miss R. Roberts’s photo in The Billiard
Monthly, could you let me know her record break, also her

Miss Ruby Roberts is in her 21st year. Her highest
break, made in Australia, is 168, all off the red ball
The Bibliography of Billiards.

102.—”Is there a bibliography of billiards published? That
appearing in the Encyclopaedia Britannica is a good deal out of
date, and to the student of billiards a complete list of works and
periodicals published from, say, the days of Kentfield would be
useful. May I suggest your publishing one in your valuable

A bibliography running to several pages and dating
back to 1642 was published in John Roberts’ Billiards Annual,
1909 (Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co.), but it does
not appear to have been included in the 1911 Annual.

Billiard Expressions

103.—”Is there any book published explaining such expressions
as ‘scratch,’ ‘off the balls,’ etc.? If so, will you please let me
know where I can obtain it?”

We do not know of such a
book. “Scratch” means starting to score from zero without
either receiving or giving points. “Off the balls” is really
another expression for “break.” We think we will give in
The Billiard Monthly a list of the less usual expressions in billiards,
and which are not to be found in ordinary billiard
glossaries. Such expressions or descriptions usually have their
origin in the billiard reports appearing in the sporting press.

Sizes and Weights of Balls

104.—”Can you inform me what are the standard sizes and
weights for ivory, crystalate and bonzoline balls severally?
Also what is the permissible margin of error in weight and how
the weight is taken?”

The different makes are not supposed
to vary in weight or size, but it is, of course, more difficult to
obtain a universal standard weight for ivory than it should be for
composition, as ivory is a substance of varying density. The
really essential thing, however, is that the three balls comprising
a set of whatever make or substance should be of absolutely the
same weight and size. The standard size is 2 1/16 in. in diameter
and the usual weight is between 4½ oz. and 5 oz. The balls
intended to comprise a set are weighed one against the other.

Some Pool Questions

105.—”Being a constant reader (Canadian) of The Billiard
Monthly, allow me to put a few enquiries regarding life pool;
(1) Why should cannons not count? (2) Is the push stroke barred?
If so, why is it not so stated in the rules of the B.C. Club? (3)
After the game commences when should anyone else be allowed
to enter, and under what condition? This question comes up
every day here, and after the first round I place the ball of the
new arrival on the billiard spot when the white makes his stroke
on the last ball, and give the lowest number denoted on the
marking board. Am I right? (4) How should a marker call a
game in billiards?”

(1) The only pool games in which cannons
count are Russian or Indian pool. (2) The push stroke is
barred in all games played on the billiard table. The B.C.C.
rules refer to billiards only. (3) If late arrivals must be included,
and the other players agree, your system seems to be as
good as any. (4) Both scores are called at every stroke, that of
the striker first, the hundreds being omitted except when reached.

Positions of Spots on Small Tables

106.—”What distance should the baulk line be from the face
of bottom cushion; what size should the D be; and what are the
places for the billiard spot, pyramid spot, and centre spot, on a
table measuring 6ft. 4in. by 3ft. 4in.?”

The pyramid spot on
all tables should be at the point of bisection of two lines drawn
from the centres of the middle pockets to the centres of the top
pockets. The centre spot should be at an equal distance from
the two end cushions and at an equal distance from the two
side cushions—in other words, in the exact centre of the table.

On a full-size table the baulk line is drawn 29 inches from the
face of the bottom cushion and the half-circle has a radius of
11½ inches from the centre of the baulk line. The billiard spot
is 12¾ inches from the face of the top cushion. The size of the
bed of a full-size table is 12ft. by 6ft, 1½ in., and the dimensions
between faces of cushions, allowing two inches overhang to each,
are 11ft. 8in. and 5ft. 9½ in. If the dimensions given by you
also relate to distances between cushions the proportional result
as to the billiard spot, baulk-line, and baulk half-circle, would be:
Billiard spot, 6 7/8 in.; baulk-line, 15in.; radius of baulk half-circle,
6 5/8 in. The relative sizes of the balls and pockets, however, may
still affect the game.

Dyeing Billiard Cloth

107.—”Can billiard cloth be cleaned and dyed?”

It can,
of course; but it would shrink and there would be considerable
doubt about getting it on again satisfactorily.

Limiting Special Strokes

108.—”Some time ago there was a suggestion in The Billiard
Monthly that not more than 25 consecutive cannons or winning or
losing hazards should be the limit and that the spot stroke should
be re-instated to this extent. Would not a still better and simpler
rule be that not more than fifty points may be scored consecutively
from one class of stroke, otherwise a premium would
still be unfairly placed on red ball play?”

Your suggestion is
a good one, but billiard rules—and all rules for the matter of
that—would seem to be nothing if not complicated and there
would be little chance of one comprehensive and common-sense
rule such as you suggest being adopted.

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