Definition of balk

An area defined on a billiard table, in games such as pool, snooker, English billiards and bagatelle, by a single balkline (drawn or imaginary) that runs across the table near the head (bottom) end; exactly where depends upon table type and size. This balk is where the cue ball is placed in lagging for lead, for making the opening break shot, and sometimes for other purposes, depending upon the game.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Modification of the rules and/or scoring of a game to enable players of variable abilities to compete on a more even playing field. Examples of handicapping include spotting balls and giving games on the wire to an opponent. In league play, other forms of handicapping include awarding compensating points to a lesser-skilled team, or using numerical player ranking systems to adjust final scores between opponents of different skill levels.
A shot in which the cue ball is driven to one or more rails (cushions in British English) before reaching its intended target-usually an object ball. Sometimes also known as "Kick Out" or "Skid" (British)
When the object ball lies behind another ball which makes it impossible to be struck by the cue with a direct hit.
In the game 9 Ball, making the nine ball early with a legal shot, but not on the break.
The collar is the portion of the joint that is attached to the top of the forearm. This is often stainless steel, wood, ivory, or molded phenolic resin, but in any case, made out of a solid material. This portion of the cue is glued on and threaded to reinforce the pin at the end of the shaft, and to offer a stabilized shot out of its solid construction.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the foot of the table. Frequently used imprecisely, to mean foot cushion. Compare top rail; contrast head rail.
This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Cheese the Nine and Rolling the Cheese).
A shot where the cue ball has no top spin or back spin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
Describes a ball rolling along a rail in contact or near contact with it, or which makes multiple successive contacts with the rail.
National Amateur Pool League.
The United States Snooker Association (USSA) is the internationally recognized governing body of the sport of snooker in the United States. Founded in 1991 by the British-born Michael Collins, the USSA is a member of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF), the world governing body of non-professional English billiards and snooker, and is affiliated with the American CueSports Alliance (ACS).
This is a toned down masse shot. The cue is elevated a little and will curve a little in the direction the spin is applied. This is used to sneak around difficult shots.
This refers to a shot that travels on a shallower path due to the english placed on it. This is to come up on the near side of a pocket on a bank shot.
Also shortstop, short-stop. This is a player that is excellent at pool, but tends to fall short of number one. A shortstop is the best player relative to a particular scene. A second-tier professional who is not (yet) ready for World Championship competition. It can also be applied by extension to a player who is one of the best in a region but not quite good enough to consistently beat serious road players and tournament pros. The term was borrowed from baseball.
Same as gutter table. A table with a ball return system, as opposed to a drop pocket table.
An organization that promotes competitive, usually team, amateur cue sports, most commonly pool, especially eight-ball and nine-ball, although there are also well-established snooker leagues. Some leagues, many of which are decades old, are entirely local and either informal or incorporated, and may use their own local rules or may have adopted more widely published rulesets, such as those of the WPA. Other leagues are organized on a multi-regional or even international level, and may be non-profit or for-profit enterprises, usually with their own fine-tuned rule books. Despite differences, the largest leagues are increasingly converging toward the WPA rules, with the exception of the APA/CPA, which retains rules much closer to US-style bar pool. At least four major pool leagues hold international championships in Las Vegas, Nevada annually (APA/CPA, BCAPL, VNEA and ACS/CCS). Some leagues also offer one-on-one tournaments, scotch doubles events, artistic pool competition, and other non-team activities.
A type of rest, with a straight shaft and "x"-shaped head for resting the cue upon.
A British term for someone with little experience or understanding of the game, who may be skilled at potting individual balls but does not consider tactics such as position or safety; "he's a potter not a player." See also banger.
A stroking technique in which a player releases his gripping hand briefly and re-grasps the cue farther back on the butt just before hitting the cue ball.
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool (pocket billiards) to the level of other modern sports.
This is to use running english or soft speed in order to open up the angle on a particular bank shot.
The table reserved for games played for money or the best table in the house. This table is always of better quality and regularly maintained. Money tables are most commonly reserved for big action.
Hitting the object ball with not enough of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too full or "fat". It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting. See also professional side of the pocket.
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards (and also sactions rules and events for carom billiards games as well, in cooperation with other bodies). The group was formed in 1987, and was initially headed by a provisional board of directors consisting of representatives from the United States, Japan, Sweden, and Germany.