Definition of call (your) shot

Certain rules say you must designate your shot before taking it. Generally this is just calling the ball to be sunk in which pocket, and is not dependent on touching rails or other balls, but very well can be.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The tip of your cue is the smallest but most important piece on all of the stick. Ranging between 12 mm and 14 mm depending on the taper of you shaft, the average and most common tip size is 13 mm. The tip is usually made from treated and compressed leather and is attached at the top of your cue by screw or glue to the ferrule. There are variances in cue tip resistance from soft to hard. The softer offering more chalk retention, and the harder offering more longevity and power transferred through your shot (the hardest, phenolic tips are often used on the break). Because the surface of the tip is beveled it offers you control on the spin and direction of the cue ball in your shot. To keep this control, it is important to scuff up the surface of your cue a little so as to enhance the chalk retention potential. In addition to keeping you tip chalked, you want avoid it mushrooming over the ends of the ferrule after too many impacts without refinement. To much use, and not enough care with proper tools can hinder your ability to master the control from your cue tip to your shot.
In the carom games, any shot where the end result is all the balls near each other; ideally, in position for the start of a nurse on the next stroke.
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.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) with rather than against the ball's natural momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a rail that is on the right, then running english would be left english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be wider than if no english were applied to the cue ball. But more importantly, because the ball is rolling instead of sliding against the rail, the angle will be more consistent. For this reason, running English is routinely used. Also called running side in British terminology. Contrast reverse english.
A description of play in carom billiards games in which the balls remain widely separated rather than gathered, requiring much more skill to score points and making nurse shots effectively impossible, and making for a more interesting game for onlookers. Most skilled players try to gather the balls as quickly as possible to increase their chances of continuing to score in a long run.
A British term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.
This describes a shot in carom games where the cue ball is driven all the way across the long rail, crossing the table, to score a point.
The ACS Canadian affiliate organization, the Canadian Cue Sport Association.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
This is a shot that attempts to move a number of balls onto your side of the table in a kind of herding attempt.
Also called a rake. A special stick with a grooved, slotted or otherwise supportive end attachment that helps guide the cue stick - a stand-in for the bridge hand. It is usually used only when the shot cannot be comfortably reached with a hand bridge. Often shortened to bridge or called a bridge stick. An entire class of different mechanical bridges exist for snooker, called rests (see that entry for details), also commonly used in blackball and English billiards.
Also money-added. Said of a tournament in which the pot of money to pay out to the winner(s) contains sponsor monies in addition to competitor entry fees. Often used as an adjective: "a money-added event".
This is a kind of cue made of four pieces of wood, the butt sleeve, the points, the handle, and the forearm, with each piece pinned, doweled, and glued together.
Chiefly American, and largely obsolete: Same as referee.
In pool, the degree to which racked balls move apart upon impact by the cue ball as a result of a break shot.
In snooker, a shot sending the cue ball into the pack of red balls and separating them (after potting the ball-on). At least one split is usually necessary in each frame, since the original triangle of reds does not allow any balls to be potted reliably.
See two-shot carry.
This is a type of shot where the cue ball goes off the rail before it heads to contact the object ball, thus giving the cue better position in some shots.
A player who was not shooting well during a match but suddenly turns it around and starts playing better and more accurately. e.g. "He was misisng everything for the first part of the match, then found a stroke to come back and win."
Slang term for the cue ball.
These are fouls made in one turn and then on the next by the same player each time. Some games have a rule that a player will lose the rack or match with three succesive fouls.
A bye is a missing team or player on a league schedule or tournament bracket. In other words, a person or team does not have an opponent that date (schedule) or round (tournament bracket). If a team or player has a bye on a scheduled date, they will not be playing that day. If a team or player has a bye on a tournament bracket, they automaticly advance to the next round without having to play another team or person.
An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects the head string, center string and foot string at the head spot, center spot and foot spot, respectively.
A directional pile created by the short fuzzy ends of fibers on the surface of cloth projecting upward from the lie and which create a favorable and unfavorable direction for rolling balls. The convention in most billiards games in which directional nap cloth is used is to brush the cloth along the table in the same direction of the nap, usually from the end that a player breaks. In snooker and UK eight-ball especially, this creates the effect of creep in the direction of the nap, the most-affected shot being a slow roll into a center pocket against the nap. It is commonly referred to in the fuller term "nap of the cloth." When nap is used in relation to woven cloths that have no directional pile, such as those typically used in the U.S. for pool tables, the term simply refers to the fuzziness of the cloth.
The surface of the table used for play (often made with slate).