SnookerEd25 wrote:Quite a popular shot nowadays, when cue ball and object ball are close together, but are some of these really push-shots that are not being called?
One occurred just now in the Yan Bingtao - Martin Gould match, but when the slow motion replay was shown it looked as if Yan’s cue was still touching the cue ball as it moved - technically a push shot and a foul, surely?
Could have won him the match as well, as Gould failed to escape but thankfully Yan was unable to take full advantage and Gould did get over the line in the end...
I must defer to Andre to answer this authoritatively, as I must stand firmly in the "I don't know" camp, but I will take opportunity to climb on my soapbox in regards to the topic. I did not see the exact incident to which you refer and so I assume that it was a roll-up snooker type scenario, Red just potted, no good Colour to pot, so gently roll up and touch the Colour which is very near White. In fact, something I have always wondered about is how exactly does a professional referee determine whether a push occurred or not? Is it a matter of "you just know"? Or do you listen for an unusual sound or odd direction that the cue or object ball head off in? To my mind, calling a push must be the single most difficult foul call that a referee must have to make. Fortunately, our sport has a splendid reputation for player integrity (in this regard at least) and more often than not, it seems the fouling player will call himself or herself for the push before the referee even needs to. But what is it exactly that the referee sees/hears/notices? I humbly ask Andre to explain this if he can.
About executing the deliberate miscue, I have tried it myself in practice, never in a frame, and I find it more difficult than a standard tight roll up. Takes plenty of practice I suppose, but I don't find myself in such circumstance for simple casual snooker to bother with practicing it. I find it best to play extreme top on the White, the idea being that the cue tip will naturally deflect up and away to help avoid a push or double hit on White. I have known a lot people who prefer to play it as screw shot as if to "drag" the White across the tiny quarter inch or half inch distance is more accurate. I don't know; that sounds nuts to me.
About the DEFINITION of a push shot, in my experience, this seems to be players' single most misunderstood rule in the entire rule set, more so even than the Foul and a Miss. Almost no one in my club "gets it". Many years ago, when I first started my club, one of my goals was to spread and exchange knowledge and hopefully grow the sport in popularity around here. So when a push shot would occur (which was often, probably about as many frames as not), I would point out that it was a push shot and here is the reason why. I wouldn't actually call a foul or stop the striker (I wasn't interested in getting the points if I was the opponent); instead, after the turn at the table was complete, I would tell the player that I believed it had been a push and I would like to talk about what constitutes a push stroke. Without exception, I would be told, "It wasn't a push, if it was a push, I would have called it." So very quickly, I just learned to look the other way; players simply do not know and do not wish to know what exactly constitutes a push stroke as being a foul. I never call a push shot on my opponent. I mean I NEVER call a push stroke; if you ever play against me, push away like it is a shuffleboard puck, I won't call it.
So what is it that makes a stroke a foul, push stroke? I go to the definition, Section 2.:
"19. Push Stroke
A push stroke is made when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cue-ball:
(a) after the cue-ball has commenced its forward motion; or
(b) as the cue-ball makes contact with an object ball except, where the cue-ball and an object ball are almost touching, it shall not be deemed a push stroke if the cue-ball hits a very fine edge of the object ball."
So we have two definitions. (A) I think we can safely ignore. Nobody does that; it is kind of the shuffleboard analogy I mentioned......place your tip on White and shove the ball instead of stroking it. That is actually a good test to see how straight you cue. Line up two balls from near Yellow corner straight to opposite Black corner. Place your tip on cue ball, and shove. Can you pot one or both balls in the pocket they are pointed at? If you tend to cue across the ball, probably not.
It is definition (b) that concerns us and the most important word in the entire sentence is "except". It goes on to state it is no push if White hits "a very fine edge". In other words, this definition concedes that THERE ARE OCCASIONS when the cue tip will remain in contact with White even when White makes contact with the object ball, and when done properly, this will not be deemed a foul. Perhaps this is what occurred (in the Referee's opinion) in the Yan-Gould match so that Foul was not called. I don't know.
But still, what does this mean, "a very fine edge"? Following is my understanding of it. I like to go to the "old school" method of instruction about potting balls. Anyone who plays probably understands the terms Full Ball, Three-quarter Ball, Half Ball, etc. The last of these is Fine Cut. Well, "a very fine edge" simply means even thinner contact than Fine Cut. The thinner the contact between White and object ball, then the less power is transferred from White to object so the thinner the cut that is made, the shorter the distance the object will travel. Simply put these concepts together now.....if the White is, say, a half-inch away from the object and the striker hits "a very fine edge" of the object, the object ball should barely move at all and the White ball should run away a long distance because it will retain nearly all of its power.
Let's look at a practical example that occurs frequently in my club. Blue is on spot, Red has been potted and sadly, the White comes to rest just a half-inch from Blue and at about a 45 degree angle to it. The striker calls Blue and pots it (or more often, attempts to pot it,) into the middle pocket. Foul, Push Stroke. (Though, as stated, it will not be acknowledged in my club as being a foul stroke....it is just swept under the rug.) Why is this a push? If in fact a "very fine edge" of the Blue had been played, then the Blue would have barely rolled off its spot. If Blue traveled three feet to arrive at the pocket, or indeed if it had even traveled just a foot (or more than an inch or two), then quite clearly a "finer edge" COULD have been played. So it is painfully obvious that the striker DID NOT play at a very fine edge and the tip of the cue clearly remained in contact with the White at the time that the White contacted Blue. To me, this is a crystal clear definition, but unfortunately to most, the definition seems to be vague at best and most players seem instead to believe that it is all about how the stroke "feels".....if it didn't feel like a push, then it isn't a push.
So I have spewed far more nonsense than you ever asked for Ed, and I didn't even manage to answer the question, but I do hope that Andre can check in to elaborate on this.