Summary: David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave") ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
"Just How Big are the Pockets, Anyway? Part I"
Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and
technical proofs (TP) can be accessed and viewed online at billiards.colostate.edu. The
reference numbers used in the article (e.g., NV 3.12) help you locate the resources on the
Did you know that
· the side pocket is typically larger than the corner pocket?
· at slow speeds and certain angles, the corner pocket effective target size is larger
than that for a side pocket?
· the part of the pocket you aim at can greatly improve your likelihood of pocketing a
shot, especially at high speed?
Also, did you ever wonder
· why the ball sometimes rattles out of the corner pocket when you think you hit the
· which pocket is better to target (side vs. corner pocket) when you have a option?
Like many good players, maybe you know about all of these issues already because you have
built solid intuition from many years of practice and experience (i.e., lots of mistakes). Well, for a
geeky engineer like myself, it wasn't good enough to just have an intuitive feel (which I never
totally trust). I wanted to know exactly how important these effects are. I also wanted to