Definition of position play

Skilled playing in which knowledge of ball speed, angles, post-impact trajectory, and other factors are used to gain position (i.e. a good leave) after the target ball is struck. The goals of position play are generally to ensure that the next shot is easy or at least makeable, and/or to play a safety in the advent of a miss (intentional or otherwise).

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A tight, Spandex glove covering usually most or all of the thumb, index finger and middle finger, worn on the bridge hand as a more convenient and less messy alternative to using hand talc, and for the same purpose: a smooth-gliding stroke.
This is another name for One Pocket pool.
A ball that is easily made from many positions on the table but which is left untouched while the rack is played, so that in the event the player gets out of position, the shooter has an insurance shot. Typically an insurance ball will be in or near the jaws of a pocket.
Used with an amount to signify money added to a tournament prize fund in addition to the amount accumulated from entry fees (e.g. "$500 added").
Any shot in which the cue ball or an object ball has to squeeze by (just miss with almost no margin for error) another ball or balls in order to reach its intended target.
On a shot, the extension of the cue stick through the cue ball position during the end of a player's stroke in the direction originally aimed.
One of the two pockets one either side of a pool table halfway up the long rails. They are cut shallower than corner pockets because they have a 180 degree aperture, instead of 90 degrees. In the UK the term centre pocket or middle pocket are preferred.
This is a certain type of system used to determine who plays first in the next game. These methods are not synonymous with pool skills, and are more along the lines of flipping a coin, paper-rock-scissors, or drawing straws.
This is a table that offers poor conditions for play; it is either dirty, wet, or overall poor quality.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
This is the portion of the cue you would be holding if there was no wrap or grip present. This is the position where the best gripping power can be generated, and is situated below the forearm and above the butt. This portion is often covered with a wrap, but other times left bare to create a simple seamless style.
Chiefly British: bank shot played up and down the longer length of the table off a short rail and into a corner pocket, as opposed to the more common bank across the short length into a center pocket or corner.
In blackball, a penalty conceded by a player after a fault. The incoming opponent is then allowed to miss twice before the faulting player is allowed another visit. Many local rules state the in-hand from the "D" or baulk (or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere) nature of the second shot is lost if a ball is potted on the first shot, that it is lost if the ball potted in the first shot was that player's last coloured ball (object ball in their group), and/or that there is only ever one shot on the black after a fault.
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.
This refers to a ball that is positioned close to a rail, offering a shot where the cue must hit the rail and the ball almost simultaneously, this position can also offer a defensive shot where the cue ball can be hidden between that object ball and the rail.
When complete focus allows you to execute quality billiards play with simplicity and seeming ease.
Same as suit, predominantly in British terminology, i.e., in eight-ball either of the set of seven balls (reds or yellows) that must be cleared before potting the black. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players.
A sleeve, fitted onto the lathed-down tip end of the cue, made from fiberglass, phenolic resin, brass, ivory, horn or antler, melamine, plastic, or other rigid material, upon which the cue tip is mounted and which protects the shaft wood from splitting from impact with the cue ball.
A requirement under some pocket billiards rulesets that either an object ball be pocketed, or at least four object balls be driven to contact the cushions, on the opening break shot.
A phrase used in snooker to describe the scenario whereby there are not enough available points on the table to level the scores for the frame, therefore the trailing player needs his/her opponent to foul in order to be able to make up the deficit. The name comes from the fact that this would normally have to be achieved by placing the leading player in foul-prone situations such as difficult snookers.
Also Gentleman's call. An informal approach to the "call-everything" variation of call-shot, common in bar pool. Obvious shots, such as a straight-on or near-straight shot for which the shooter is clearly aiming and which could not be mistaken for another shot, need not be called. Bank shots, kicks, caroms and combinations are usually less obvious and generally must be called, though this may depend upon the mutual skill level and shot selection perception of the players. An opponent has the right to ask what the shooter's intention is, if this is unclear.
This is a ball that is resting on the edge of a pocket, and would be a very easy shot to pocket.
This is also used to describe the ball when it rests on the edge of the pocket, almost begging to drop.
Means either push out or push shot, depending on the context.
This is an object ball that essentially covers up a path necessary for sinking the desired object ball.