Sometimes leaning on the pool table can get you that extra inch you need in order to make that perfect shot, but is it legal? Can you lean on a pool table?
Etiquette states clearly that yes, you can, but only in certain situations. And don’t overdo it. Also, at least one foot must be on the ground when the cue ball is hit or it will be considered a foul.
So why should leaning on a table be used sparingly? One thing that many people don’t realize is that the pool table is perfectly level. This can really hurt the dynamics of the pool table which can greatly affect the current game and future games thereafter.
The Dynamics of the Actual Pool Table
While you may think that a chunk of rock is pretty stable, it has been carefully made to be exactly level and sudden movements can shift it. That can change how the ball rolls and how the game is played on that table.
Some tables, especially older ones, are made with a single sheet of slate. However, some models have patched-together surfaces where you can feel the seams under the felt. Leaning on the table can crack those seams, which could interfere with your carefully planned shots.
While it can slow down your ball, it will also affect the wear of the cloth surface.
Stay on Both Feet for Balance
People who have mastered the game count on that level playing surface to deliver their shot to exactly the right point on the table. After all, billiards is based on precise angles and rebounds to land ricocheted shots into the pockets.
If you have ever sunk a double rebound shot, you know what I mean.
However, if you lean or sit on a table, you pull one side down slightly. Doing that once isn’t the end of the world but repeating it can take a toll. You can even inadvertently separate the rail (the wood along the edges) from the slate and that will require expensive repairs.
Keep at Least One Foot on the Ground
The other consideration is the rules of the game. They state clearly that one foot must always remain on the floor when making a shot. Most of the time, you’re going to want to balance on both feet. That gives you stability as you concentrate on your breathing and aim.
Of course, you also need to get just the right force behind your shot. If you are balancing on one foot and leaning awkwardly against the table, the odds of getting all these factors right is truly tricky.
If your shot is off-target by a fraction of an inch, it makes a big difference where your ball will land – either in a pocket or not. If you are doing multiple rebounds or combination shots, you don’t want to add the unknown element of poor balance to the mix.
How to Make a Tough Shot Without Leaning
If you are tempted to lean in or act casual to nail your shot, you are taking your chances. Instead, you can use a bridge tool and lean it on the table. Never mind that people will tease you for using a so-called Lady’s Aid. Your goal is to win, right?
Pool tables are expensive acquisitions and once you move one in – whether it’s at home or a business – you want it to last for a long time. If you have to repair or level the slate, you are looking at a major expense and the hassle of finding a professional to do it. Replacing the felt, if that becomes necessary, is also a giant, and costly headache.
How Much Weight Can a Pool Table Support?
If you are worried about damaging your pool table by leaning on it, then you may be surprised. A pool table should be well capable of supporting several hundred pounds without taking any damage.
The bottom line is clear. You can lean on the pool table to get that perfect shot, but be sure to use it sparingly. Also, make sure that at least one foot is on the ground at all times. If both feet come off the ground when the cue ball is hit, it will be considered a foul shot.
Any sudden movements or bumps on the table that are hard enough to shift it, can cause it to become off-balance. An off-balance pool table will affect how the balls roll across the table causing them to either move slower or faster depending on the tilt of the table.
Of course, a table with a quirk like a certain tilt could play to your advantage. But it’s hardly worth the bragging rights. All jokes aside, and take care of your pool table, and keep your feet on the ground.