In this video we’re going to be looking at the drag shot. If like me you play pool in a local pool league, then you’ll know that not all the tables we have to play on are perfectly straight. Tables in pubs are often moved around or not looked after very well but it’s something we often don’t have any control over or can do anything about. There are often occasions, like in this example here, where we need to play a shot fairly softly over a long distance to enable us to drop nicely onto our next ball. However if we’re faced with a table that’s not entirely straight this causes us a problem. I’ve jacked up one of the corners of my table to demonstrate this and as you can see, if we play the same shot gently, the ball rolls off line, and we miss the red all together. One point I’d like to make here before we go any further is that it is really important to try and identify any imperfections in a table before it comes to your game. We all know how incredibly fraustrating it can be when we play a shot and the ball rolls off. However if we have just watched our team mate experience the ball rolling off in the previous frame and we then still play a soft shot that rolls away, then we’ve really only got ourselves to blame. So what do we do if we’re faced with this shot knowing that the table rolls off a little? The slower we play a shot, the more the ball will roll off course, so to over come the roll we can hit the ball harder. However if we want the ball to stay fairly close to the ball we have just potted then that’s not an option unless it’s dead straight If we stun the ball, we can stay on the shot line and make the pot, but the cue ball travels along the tangent line and way past our desired end position. The option we have here is to play the drag shot. The drag shot is like a sort of screw back shot that runs out of steam. We play the shot with enough pace to overcome the roll of the table, but soft enough that the back spin runs out before the cue ball reaches the object ball. The effect of this is that as the spin runs out the ball slows down just before it reaches the object ball and it’s like playing a soft plain ball shot from much closer to the object ball. If you watch this shot played in slow motion, you can clearly see the spots on the white spinning backwards as the ball slide across the table. The spin then runs out and the cue ball slows and contacts gently with object ball. It takes a little practice to get a feel for how much spin to impart, and the pace of the shot, but once you can execute this correctly it can be a really useful tool when faced with those wonky pub tables!