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  • Official Pocket Size

    Hi,
    I am now searching over the net to find what is the official snooker pocket size at it's narrowest point. Couldn't so far. I have the "147 Haven and Hell" video. On Stephen Hendry's break against Jimmy White at Crucible, 1995, there was for a moment an overhead view. Although, the quality of the video is poor, it seams the pocket is a little less than two balls wide. This was also confirmed by the World Snooker Championship 2005 computer game, where the pocket is a few millimetres tighter than two balls.
    Does anyone know what is the Official standard?

  • #2
    There is no stated official size, but pockets must conform to the WSA's official templates.

    These give widths, at the top of the cushion, of 3½ inches for corner pockets and 4 inches for middle pockets. Compared with a ball with of 23/16 inches and you are indeed correct in saying that it is just short of two ball's-widths.

    Remember that the cushion is slightly undercut so in effect there is slightly more than the 3½" available. (If you imagine in this diagram, that the 7 is the cushion and the O is the ball, the edge of the ball can slightly fall under the cushion face: 7O .)

    The templates measure (a) that the cushions at the jaws are the correct shape: the part between the curved surface and the pocket itself should be straight and parallel with the other so the 3½-inch measurement is consisten from the back of the pocket to the start of the curve; (b) the undercut: a second template checks that the undercut of the cushion is not too pronounced allowing a ball to reach futher 'under' the cushion than it should; and (c) the fall of the pocket: when the template is slotted into its position, the actual drop must be able to be seen beyond the template, and not be underneath it (which would have the effect of making the pockets much 'easier.

    You must remember when thinking of a comparison between club and professional tables, that the pocket measurements themselves may be the same, but it is not just the figures that affect the pocket's performance.

    The fall of the pocket is one of the important factors here. On a professional table the bed of the table meets the pocket at a virtually sheer drop; whereas on many club tables there is a very noticeable curved part. This means that a ball that could stop on the edge of a professional pocket and stay up might well drop in on a club table, purely because that bit of the table is already on the downward curve.

    The length of the curve of the jaw cushion also plays its part: On a professional table, I would imagine that the cushion curves at about the same as the diameter of a ball (that is to say, if a ball was placed on top of the cushion in the necessary place, the cushion curve below it would roughly match.) Whereas, on a club table, you will often see that the curve, if continued to make a full circle, would be more like the size of a cereal bowl. This of course means that the jaw starts to accept a ball much further from the pocket, and also affects the return angle of a ball which hits the jaw but does not drop.

    Also, the undercut can vary widely on club tables – even different pockets on the same table!

    There is a bit more on the subject here: http://www.thesnookerforum.com/board...light=template

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello there, I wanted to dig this thread up if you don't mind. I've been doing a lot of research on the net on this subject (as the templates are so jealously guarded). I have found a few instances which confirm the 3 1/2 and 4 inch measurements. However, interestingly I found this page

      http://www.johnvirgo.com/clinic.asp

      where people are able to ask John Virgo snooker questions. Below is an extract:

      Q. Hello John. What are the official snooker pocket opening sizes when playing with 2 1/16th inch snooker balls? Jim Vanos
      A. Dear Jim. The size of the pocket openings vary. Having made enquiries with Mr Jim Watt of Northern Snooker & Pool Services, Cumbria, the sizes are: On a match table 35/16 and on your normal club table 35/8. Happy potting JV.

      So is this an error on John's part or am I understanding wrong?

      35/16 (thirty five sixteenths of an inch)= 2 and 3 1/6's inches which is quite a bit less than the 3 1/2 inches mentioned.

      35/8 (thirty five eighths of an inch) = 4 and 3/8's inches which is a bit more but not by much.

      Has John made a mistake or have things changed? Many thanks for any light you can shed on this.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Driller View Post
        '''.

        So is this an error on John's part or am I understanding wrong?

        35/16 (thirty five sixteenths of an inch)= 2 and 3 1/6's inches which is quite a bit less than the 3 1/2 inches mentioned.

        35/8 (thirty five eighths of an inch) = 4 and 3/8's inches which is a bit more but not by much.
        I think it is a typographical issue and the 35/16 means 3 and 5/16 inches; the 35/8 means 3⅝.

        Comment


        • #5
          Of course! I can't believe I didn't see that Thank you very much indeed for the reply. I'm having a slate bed pool/snooker table made for me over here and I want to make sure they get the pocket sizes right. On the French Federation de Billard site they suggest that for an English pool table the pockets should be 76.2mm which is 3 inches exactly. Now since my table is going to be more like an 8 foot snooker table (and I intend to play snooker on it) this would definately seem on the tight side.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Statman, when you say the measurement at the slate drop do you mean, in plan, that this measurement is where the slate drop arc intersects the cushion arcs or the line drawn at 90º to the mid line and tangent to the the slate drop arc?

            Comment


            • #7
              If my understanding is correct, the "at the slate drop" dimension is the second in my previous post.

              To answer the original thread question, the narrowest dimension is about 3.15" and 3.25" near enough coincides with the slate drop/cushion intersections.

              John Virgo's answer is correct in that, at the drop or fall, the dimension is 3 5/16".

              There is no undercut of the cushion.
              Last edited by moglet; 27th May 2013, 10:45 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by moglet View Post
                The Statman, when you say the measurement at the slate drop do you mean, in plan, that this measurement is where the slate drop arc intersects the cushion arcs or the line drawn at 90º to the mid line and tangent to the the slate drop arc?
                Ooh, hang on, I've got to think about that one!

                Let me break your sentence down and work out what you are asking, and then work out my reply!

                But first I must check PaulTheSoave's score for the Malta first round predictions, or I'll never hear the end of it!

                Comment


                • #9
                  These might help:
                  Last edited by moglet; 11th August 2009, 10:03 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ah right.

                    The 3½" I was talking about is simply the width of the pocket, between the two parallel cushion faces. Although I must admit it was guesswork on my part as to which bit exactly the 3½ refers to.

                    As far as I am aware, the actual figures have never been quoted anywhere; merely the template provides the yes or no answer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, it is confusing, the middle pocket particularly, here we have to assume the "at the fall" measurement is taken differently from the corner, nevertheless small changes to these dimensions, wherever they are taken, make noticeable changes to the way the pocket behaves.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by moglet View Post
                        Yes, it is confusing, the middle pocket particularly, here we have to assume the "at the fall" measurement is taken differently from the corner, nevertheless small changes to these dimensions, wherever they are taken, make noticeable changes to the way the pocket behaves.
                        And the reason no actual measurement is quoted, is probably precisely because of the amount of wording required to specify exactly what is being measured!

                        But it is generally accepted that the measurements (with however many ifs and buts) is 3½" for corners and 4 for middles (at least since 1926 – see the other thread that I linked to on my first message).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Er, yes, but I assumed the OP was asking about current professional snooker match pockets as opposed to club or amateur standards. The original billiards template, with no undercut, has been altered so much over the years and the changes made controversial and difficult to research with any certainty though there is little doubt about the current pro snooker and pro billiards templates.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wasn't pockets in old times smaller???
                            2007 TSF Pot Black prediction contest winner
                            2010 TSF Welsh Open Predict the qualifiers winner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              over the years there does seem to be a heck of a lot of players, commentators and media people who talk about pocket size, and the differences in them over the years, without too many facts being quoted, at least on tv (not a lot of times anyway)

                              seems like a never ending debate

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