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OTHER ITA SITES:
Athletes in every sport seem to have their little quirks.
Basketball players massage the basketball before a game. Batters on deck at a baseball game wait patiently, swinging the bat over and over. While these may look like nervous habits, attention grabbing tactics or ways to entertain the fans, the athletes are really getting in tune with their equipment. By knowing the equipment they use, the athletes are able to play the game to their full potential.
It is no different in the game of billiards. Whether you are a seasoned expert in the game, or a first-time billiards player, you need to know the equipment in order to play the game.
True regulation-size billiard tables are about 4 1/2 feet off the ground, and the length of the table is approximately double that distance. The playing surface of regulation tables measure about 50 by 100 inches. Billiards tables do not share the same dimensions as regular pool tables, so billiards players who like to practice their technique at home or at a pub or community center need to remember these numbers. Some stores that offer billiards tables to rent or purchase might let you come in and pay to play billiards, but even those tables may not be regulation size.
Billiards is a very technical game involving many angles and a great deal of discipline. It's important to know the dimensions of the pockets you're aiming for. The angles of the corner pockets are roughly 142 degrees, give or take a few, and the side pocket angles sit at about 103 degrees. These numbers may seem completely meaningless, but in the game of billiards, understanding the geometry is as important as having the proper cue.
When it comes to the cue, the use of regulation billiards equipment is in the hands of the user. Billiards cues should have a 14mm wide tip, 40 inches long and weigh 25 ounces. The billiards ball should be around 5.5 to 6 ounces in weight and be 2 1/4" in diameter. The playing surface of the billiards table must flat, slightly raised (between .20 and .40 inches), and lightly cushioned to give the ball a little "English" when it's hit just right.
Like any game, billiards can be quite enjoyable when played by the casual observer, but it is serious business to the professional player. Billiards players who know and understand their equipment will surpass all others who play the game. Great billiards players are not created of raw talent, but developed from a true knowledge of regulation equipment.
While you may not see championship players swinging their cues, you can bet that they are perfectly in tune with their billiards equipment.
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Travel Part B