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Leisure

Teach Your Child How to Shoot Pool

Like many sports, shooting pool takes practice, perseverance and patience to learn the skills of the game. But when you teach your child how to shoot pool you’re not only teaching them to shoot the balls in the pool table holes, you are teaching them how to aim and to concentrate – two abilities that will not only help them in shooting pool but will also help them while learning a number of other relevant games and study subjects in the future, and it’s a lot of fun to play.

If this is the first time you are teaching your child to shoot pool, read each age group first, as the basic skills and a variety of grouped techniques are explained per age group, but not duplicated.

Understanding the basic concept and set-up of pool:

The basic concept of shooting pool begins with a set of balls, consisting of striped colors and solid colors placed in a triangular rack. The balls are all numbered from 1-15. Place the number one ball, a “solid” ball, at the top of the rack and continue to place the balls in the rack with solid and striped balls filling the edges of the rack, as shown with the arrows in the picture below. The 8 ball, sits directly in the center of the rack, while a striped and a solid ball sit directly underneath the 8 ball. Once all the balls are placed in the wooden rack, the rack is gently taken out leaving only the balls still in a triangular formation.

The triangle

The white ball, known as the cue ball, breaks the balls apart. With a pool stick the first player hits the cue ball towards the top ball of the triangle, the solid yellow one ball. After the first player breaks the balls apart, he becomes the type (solid or strips) of ball he made in (if the first player does not make a type of ball in any of the six pockets on the pool table the play goes to the second player, the second player has an “open table Eif the first player did not make the balls in, meaning they can shoot any type of ball into any of the pockets they choose. The second player then makes an attempt to get the first ball in a pocket. If the second player does not make a ball in, the first player takes another turn, this continues until someone gets the first ball in. Whoever gets a ball first becomes that type of ball, therefore if the first player pockets a solid they will continue to shoot in solids the entire game. The object of the game is to pocket all your balls and the 8 ball. whoever gets the 8 ball in successfully wins the game. The 8 ball is open to both players, but you must pot all your balls successfully before shooting in the 8 ball, no matter if you are stripes or solids, to win the game.

Throughout the duration of the game you must call one of the six pockets on the table you plan your ball to go into.

Call your shots

Preschool
With this age group it is suggested to allow these children to play with the very basics of understanding, allow them to be a solid and you to be stripes and see who shoots their balls in first. There’s no need to have them call pockets or worry about the other rules, these they will learn slowly while learning to have fun with the game.

Have them play online pool to get a basic understanding of the game, with such online sites as CandyStand.com or FunkyPool.com. You can introduce them to a real table, but pool tables are slightly tall and the sticks are hard for children to handle you might want to wait until they get into elementary school to officially introduce them to a physical pool table.

Main points to address:

  • Teach them the very simple basics of the game
  • Just let them play to have fun
  • Introduce them to online games that offer pool.

Grades K-3rd
Once children get to this age group you can introduce them to the rules of straight 8-ball pool, including the set-up of the balls, the breaking rules, and the rules for shooting balls in. Other rules to keep in mind;

  • You must hit your ball first (if you are stripes you have to hit a stripe).
  • Even if you make the ball in another pocket, a different pocket than the one you called, that does not mean your turn continues.
  • Your turn does continue if you call the shot and make it, your turn goes until you miss your shot.
  • If you hit a rail you must call your ball hitting the rail.

The importance of making a shot is taking your time and slowly following through with each shot you make. When you are about to make your shot, aim from the top of your stick to see the white ball and the ball you are shooting. It takes time to get your stroke down for the various shots on the table. Practice makes perfect.

Your bridge, how you hold your hand to rest your stick, is an important part of making good shots, as well as your stick and how you hold your stick. Your stick should lay gently against your right side as you are shooting. You should be forward and leaned into your shot.

Main points to address:
Introduce the rules of playing pool.

  • Practice regularly with your children.
  • Aim carefully when making your shot.
  • Play to have fun.

Grades 4th-6th
Once your child has the rules, set-up and concept of the straight 8-ball game down you can introduce your child to a few other pool table games.

Cut Throat  EA game played with three players. This game is played with the same rules of the straight 8, but instead of players having stripes and solids the balls are split between the players: 1st player is 1-5, 2nd player is 6-10 and 3rd player is 11-15. The difference between this game and straight 8 is you don’t try to pocket your own balls, but try to pot everyone else’s balls and the one with the last ball standing on the table is the winner.

9-Ball  ENine ball is played with the same rules of straight 8, but the play is made from shooting the balls in, in numerical order. You shoot the one first, then the second, and so on. Your turn continues as long as you can pocket the balls in in order and make the one you call. However, a game can be won early if you hit your target ball onto the 9-ball and pocket it with a combination shot.

Main points to address:

  • Learn the rules 
  • Teach them new games to play
  • Practice with your child
  • Have fun

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

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