Archive for March 1st, 2010

In recreational pool or billiards there is always a few select individuals who need to come up to me and tell me what I am doing wrong on my pool shot or my shot selection, this is ridiculous. There is a personal bubble space that I need to complete what I am doing whether it is just playing a game of pool for fun or practicing. I call these guys the “Yoda Effect” because most people who need to share their pool information to you, usually think in their head they are better than you right off the bat. If you are a female someone coming up and giving information you don’t need freely is more likely using this as a ploy to get your attention and the possibly sleazy “hit on” process.

The proper etiquette for helping someone in pool and billiards is first the contact of name, and then ask if they want help before spewing information. And if someone does need help unless you are a paid professional player or pool coach is to use words such as “it’s my opinion” and “I believe that” or “it may help if” because when it comes to pool not everyone is that same and not everyone is comfortable with your opinion on shot selection or how to stroke a cue. And to be as self-centered so much that you think you way is the only way is ignorance in itself. Here is an example of bad pool speaking etiquette:

“You should have taken the 2 ball instead of the 7 ball because now you have blocked yourself.”

Here is the same sentence using etiquette:

“Would you like some help? In my opinion if you would have taken the 2 ball instead of the 7 you might have lined up your next shot better.”

The first sentence was a blanketed I know what I am doing, and what you did was wrong. Versus the second sentence which was really trying to give an honest help tip, after asking if that pool player wanted help if they agreed then you could have honestly helped them, instead of a harsh fact statement that could possibly hurt another players feeling, or put them defensive. Me personally I play completely different in a recreational game of pool where I am only shooting for fun or practice versus a tournament or league play so to assume I would have made the same shot during league is pretty ignorant.

If you receive such advice from someone who give it in a brutal manner the best way to reply is “Thank you for your help, but I really don’t need it right now.” and go on your way, some people can not be changed and it’s best not to get defensive and to start friction. Just shake it off, and allow them to be douche bags some where away from you.

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One of the most moronic things people have done to me intentionally and unintentionally is walk right next to the table in front of me while I am in mid stroke of a shot. A lot of pool players do that when they feel vulnerable during a game and they want to mess you up on purpose. They believe if they do this you will track them and not the ball you are shooting at. In some cases this may work on amateur player but an above average player will usually ignore it but this still does not make the situation any more fair or proper.

The correct pool etiquette is to be aware of your surroundings if you are in a pool hall, bar, or place that even has pool tables the best way to walk towards your objective but make sure the tables you walk past no one is shooting. If there is someone shooting and you need to walk in front of them pause and allow them to shoot, once they are done shooting quickly walk past and on the way back from your destination do the same tactic. If you need to walk behind someone shooting make sure you allow them enough room to pull back on their stroke. If there is not enough room please wait until they are done. If it is a player standing and looking at a table and blocking your path just use proper regular etiquette and use words such as “excuse me” and “pardon me” to get past, some people take non-manners to heart and it’s the basic thing most people should be doing anyways.

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When shooting pool and especially against a player you do not know, it is proper to be quiet during your opponents shots. Many bad players use noise to their advantage to rattle your game so its best not to do the same to your opponent. In many cases people do not know they are being rude during a shot, obviously if the pool game is going on at a loud bar with music or some type of sports game is being played this can not be helped but it still does not give anyone an excuse to be loud during pool opponents shots.

The best pool etiquette when it comes to noise is not to speak to the player when they have bent over for their shot, keep quiet and still, and if you need to speak during your opponents shot then whisper to the person you wish to speak too.

The worst things to do is to talk to a player when they are bent over on the pool table about to shoot which may cause a break in concentration. Or in mid pool stroke to yell or make a loud noise before pool cue impact. Or the obviously talking loud while someone is shooting because again this may break the players concentration. All of these things usually are a sign of a player who is ignorant or purposely trying to rattle the opponent from shooting well either way its just dirty pool play.

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