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Bounce back from centre pockets

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  • Bounce back from centre pockets

    A couple of issues that have come my way this past week ...Bounce back from Centre pocket plate of ball Back onto table

    Issue one
    A 1920s Orme table fitted with 1980s BCE steel block cushions , the fault here is that the table is now known as a hybrid table , where the owners think they can make a Match table that will play to a modern upto date TV tournement spec table .
    Pocket falls on this table is one of the reasons the ball bounced back onto the table the other is the plate cannot be taken any further back on the capping as it is thin BCE cushion Capping or Frieze as some call them .
    I did ease the problem by HAND rasping the falls more vertical on the centre slate falls .
    After I had done this , I still get the impression from the owners that it is still not right for them .
    My answer to that would be if you want a Table to play like a TV tournement table Buy a TV tournement table .

    Issue two
    Sepperate club 2 days later but the same problem bounce back off centre pocket plate , semi pro player uses the table which is a genuine BCE steel block table from the 1980s .
    Problem with this table is just the pocket plate cannot be taken further back , Cappings not wide enough .
    Same again if you want a TV tournement spec table buy one .

    Problem with both clubs is one table is a rented table the other is owned ... both tables not worth much more than £2000 , a TV tournement table will cost around £8000

    now I hope some you high end players take note and stop pestering the Billiard fitter to make a Rolls royce out of a FIAT ... but it has realy been getting at me these last few years , and you just have to bite back sometimes .

    There are many Table designs out there , and you just have to go with what you have got , and accept that thats the feature of the table , many tables suffer from bounce back or Pocket rattle , sometimes a bit of tweaking can help it . but sometimes nothing can be done .
    As one wise old fitter once told me and many a good player ...Its the same for both players youre not at a disadvantage , just adjust youre game to suit the table .


  • #2
    Interestingh as our club table does this . i initially thought it was down to wear n tear and the leathers had just become hard but speaking to the sec who plays in the team he tells me that the table was quite generous so the home team were a little fed up of away players playing well on it .

    They decided to have the pockets tightened as they thought this would give them some home advantage .

    Geoff will any of these theories have any bearing on this problem .


    • #3
      Great article Geoff . It brings back memories of a couple of tables that i played on where the cushions were changed to steel block and we had the same issues .
      Still trying to pot as many balls as i can !


      • #4
        The problem is old steel blocks like burroughs and watts have flat back pocket plates , the ball hits the plate and bounces back towards the table , if the fall is sloping the ball will come out nearly all the time on a shot with pace , if shot is adjusted and hit slower the ball will go down .

        BCE steel blocks are a little differant , the pocket plates are more scalloped in that the ball should deflect downwards , but the centre pocket plate is not located far enough back to make much differance .
        Making the centre slate pocket falls vertical Helps , but you cannot move the pocket plate back as there is not enough wood cushion capping to allow you to do this , both these pocket plates are bolt up type and the bolt has to stay within the body of the cushion , trying to move the plate back and you are in fresh air with the bolt , so it cannot be done .

        There are many hybrid tables around where someone has taken a second hand set of steel blocks and put them on another table which had stanadard cushions on , people then expect the table to play like the tournement TV tables , How wrong and disapointed they are .
        when they find an issue like the ball bouncing back onto the table , and they take their frustrations out on the billiard fitter thinking it is something he has done and not fitted them correct .
        Last edited by Geoff Large; 28th June 2011, 09:20 PM.


        • #5
          Great article Geoff, and one that I was at one time thinking of submitting, but I would not have got it as good as you just have.
          Hundreds of tables here in Ireland suffering from bounce back from the middles, 90% of them made by Tara Dublin.
          I certainly agree with your comments regarding table owners expecting the fitter to be able to work miracles. One can only work if the conditions and materials are correct to the job they are doing. I have seen work undertaken by so called fitters who have botched up beautiful tables , resulting in `a pigs ear made out of a silk purse`
          When you but cheap... You buy twice !


          • #6
            In addition to the above... While most tables in clubs conform to the old 1980s template, and the Tournament tables are cut to the wpsa template, there is no governing body or measurement available to determine the correct distance between the fall of the slate and the back of the pocket plates in either the corner or middle pockets. It is up to the Billiard Table makers to make that choice.
            Most manufacturers during the boom had their own type of pocket plate, and Im sure that at some time or other they would have received complaints from clients on bounce back from the middle pockets, surely it would have been in their own interest to rectify this by either widening the cushion cappings or making the necessary changes to the design of the pocket plate to make the speeding ball deflect downwards. But then I ask myself the question, why is it that I have never seen any `bounce back`from the middle pockets in the WSC or any of the other major televised tournaments. Im probably referring to the BCE Westbury table which had balls slammed in by both Jimmy White and Alex Higgins, and of course Cliff Wilson who wasnt afraid to give it a bit of `wellie`.
            When you but cheap... You buy twice !


            • #7
              Jimmy white played on the orme table which had the bounce back fault around 3 years ago ...but on that exhibition it never once bounced out and he had 8 frames on the table that night and around 8 vodka and red bulls too , and he played some very hard shots into the middle pockets .
              other's who have played on that table are Ronnie O'sullivan and Tony Drago ... again no bounce back off centre pockets , it is only the semi pro or better end players in the club that complain ...unfortunatly two of them are the owners of the club .
              so I have to listen to the complaints of the middle pocket saga everytime I go in there .
              All i can do is use my experience of what can improve the falls without ruining the table , moving the plates back is a no go so thats all there is and all I can do ....I have told them that thats it ...if you want a Pro table then buy one . I think they are currentley selling for around £8000 .