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Thread: Bridge Lenght

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Allentown, PA

    Bridge Lenght

    In a recent match on a 7' table my opponent was using a very short bridge - 3"-4". He seemed to have some success with it. I know a longer bridge, 12"-14" provides more power but is harder to keep your stroke straight vs. the more standard 8-10" bridge.

    Is this 3-4" bridge something to consider when playing on a 7' table?
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  2. #2
    Billiard Instructor Tom Simpson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Eastern USA
    Many players go to a short bridge when they are really concerned about accuracy or when they plan to hit softly. You might notice that good straight pool players tend to have short bridges and shoot softly.

    Bridge length is a trade-off between stroke accuracy, sighting, and speed control. Stroke accuracy has to do with how much wobble the back of your stick does as you stroke. The longer the bridge, the bigger a problem wobble becomes. Sighting refers to how far your eyes are from the cueball. The longer the bridge, the farther back your eyes are and thus the more straight line (stick) you have to help you aim. As for speed control, a longer bridge gives you more time and more distance over which to get your stick speed right when you get to the cueball. And sometimes, players shorten their bridge because they are not feeling confident - they don't trust their stroke.

    So, like most aspects of pool, there are trade-offs. Learn to stroke straight and you can use any bridge length you like.

    To respond to your question, my opinion is that table size is not as important as the shot requirements and your confidence level.
    Tom Simpson
    Master Instructor PBIA & ACS
    Instructional Columnist Inside Pool, Professor Q-Ball, Inside English

    National Billiard Academy
    614 975 8337
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  3. #3
    Billiard Instructor Dave Manasseri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Queens, New York City
    For many players, the particular shot will determine bridge length. As you said, longer bridge means more power. On a 7 footer you see less power shots required, so less need for the long-ish bridge. Stay in line and a 3-4 inch bridge can work. Bridge length is a very personal choice, lots of styles can be effective. But with a 3 inch bridge..... power shots may pose a problem.

    On a small table I would recommend shortening the bridge in general, but only because small table shots require less power than a 9 footer would. Consider the table, but don't let that or another player dictate the way you shoot. Look at the shot itself, and let that adjust your bridge length.
    Dave Manasseri

    BCA Instructor
    42-29 77th Street
    Elmhurst NY, 11373
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Allentown, PA
    "THANKS" for your replies and valuable input!
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