Playing Billiards With Kids: What Rules Should You Use?
From concentration to tactics, pool offers numerous benefits that apply to kids as well as adults.
By involving them in your game, you will help them learn geometry, patience, skill and concentration. But how can you adapt the rules of pool to suit kids?
We've got some tips.
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1. General Introduction to Billiards
Start at the beginning: kids often have trouble holding the billiards cue. A good exercise would therefore to be to practise hitting balls, without necessarily aiming at a pocket (billiards holes). In short: to determine who starts the game, the two opponents simultaneously play a ball at the starting line that will then bounce off the opposite rail. They must gauge how much power to use as the winner will be the one closest to the rail in front of the players (behind the starting line). This is also an opportunity to play like the pros! You can also play around the world, like in basketball. Once you have determined who starts the game, the cue ball takes the same starting position (the centre of the line) as players try to hit a coloured ball into each of the billiards pockets by going around the table. If a shot is missed, the cue is passed to the other player. The first to make it around the table wins. Obviously, the cue ball should not go into a pocket. This helps them work on their power
Allowing kids to have a ball in hand (the player's right to carry the ball and place it wherever they want on the table) can encourage them to begin learning the thought processes that go into correctly playing a billiards game. The child must therefore carefully consider the best spot to put the ball in order to link together multiple shots.
2. Introduction to Pool
For an introduction to pool, otherwise known as nine-ball: ask the child to hit the balls into the pockets in order, 1 to 9, with the white ball. If they successfully shoot several balls in a row, you can even give them a bonus.
3. Starting French Billiards
In this case, I recommend a simplified version of 5-pin billiards! After the second pin falls, they will knock over the pins with the cue ball while also hitting the red or yellow balls.
4. Going a Step Farther With Older Kids
Let's review a bit of geometry without getting frustrated, sounds good? You could explain the notion of “natural deviation”. Natural deviation is the trajectory that the ball will take after having been hit by a half-ball shot (that is to say, the centre of the cue ball hits. the outer edge of the targeted ball).
With this shot (and without any added effect), the hit ball will naturally deviate at a 45 degree angle. Very practical for executing numerous tricks! This could also be an opportunity to debate: billiards players themselves are still not in agreement… Is it really 45 degrees? Could it not be a little closer to 33? In any event, be careful, you may have just opened up the Pandora's box of discussions.
First shots for introducing kids to the pleasures of billiards and have a good time together.
This short list is not exhaustive: feel free to share your good ideas with us!
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