Summary: David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave") ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
"Fundamentals - Part II: Aiming"
Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and
technical proofs (TP), and all of my past articles, can be accessed and viewed online at
billiards.colostate.edu. The reference numbers used in the article help you locate the
resources on the website. If you have a slow or inconvenient Internet connection, you
might want to view the resources from a CD-ROM or DVD. See the website for details.
This is the second article in a series on fundamentals. Last month, I presented some
background information and touched on the stroke and a useful stroke drill. This month, the
focus is on aiming. "Aiming systems" is probably one of the most controversial and emotional
topics in pool, so I will just stick to the basics. Recently, the Internet forums have been beehives
of activity (more like hornet nests) with various debates (more like "ruthless wars") concerning
various aiming "systems." If you are interested, a lot more information and discussion concerning
aiming system concepts can be found under "aiming" in the FAQ section of my website.
Diagram 1 illustrates basic terminology concerning aiming. To send the object ball (OB) in
the target direction, the cue ball (CB) must be delivered to the imaginary ghost ball (GB) target to
create the necessary contact point (CP) between the CB and OB. At contact, the line connecting
the CB and OB centers is called the impact line or "line of centers." Probably the most basic and
useful "aiming system," especially for a beginner, is the GB aiming system. To aim a shot, you
first align your sight with the OB and the desired target to determine the required CP and impact