fcsnooker - Top Quality Snooker Coaching and Instruction in association with Mr Frank Callan - The Mind Game -
"The Kick Riddle"

In the link "Lady Luck" I write about the part that luck plays in the game of snooker.

Luck for many years was not publicly associated with the game, with television commentators confining their comments only to those players that were playing well. They suggested that if you were playing well then you usually get the lucky breaks.

Clearly, this means that the good play came first and the luck came second.

I have always contended that luck in snooker is always something to be taken into consideration and, although it may well be that the luck can come second, clearly the reverse can also be true.

The best example I can refer to, which older visitors to the site will remember is the 147 break made by Canadian Cliff Thorburn in the 1983 Embassy World Championship.

The game was evenly poised at the time when Cliff went for a long red, which he missed, but then fluked. No one can deny that Cliff played brilliantly to clear the table after the fluke, but clearly in this instance the luck came first, enabling the break to begin.At the time both John Virgo and John Spencer who were commentating, remarked on how luck was influencing the run of the balls. This assisted in educating non-playing viewers, of which there were many in the early 80's, of the vagaries of the game.

As people began to realise the part luck could play, they also began to understand how cruel the game could be at the very top levels and the fine margins involved between success and failure.

Increasingly nowadays the luck aspect of the game is becoming more and more of a factor in the outcome of a match because of the dreaded 'kick'. Older players still cannot come to terms with this phenomenon which these days has crept more and more in to the game.

Not all that long ago the word 'kick' was never associated with snooker, but this all changed during the 1990's.

Enhanced television coverage, more in-depth knowledge and increased awareness resulted in the number of recorded kicks increasing exponentially. Commentators were constantly remarking on the number of kicks taking place, with millions of televised viewers witnessing kicks at tournaments where frames were affected and even resolved, because of the unwelcome intrusion.

Clearly it must be shattering to a players confidence when having done all the hard work by getting into a winning position, the frame is handed to the opponent because of circumstances which are totally outside his control. There is enough pressure on the players without this happening.

So what causes the problem? What can be done about it? Do we accept the 'Kick' as part and parcel of the game?.

Up to now, all that seems to be offered as an explanation for the possible cause of kicks are;

1) Static Electricity.

2) Chalk.

3) Humidity in the atmosphere.

4) Dust or foreign particles on the balls.

5) Changes in room temperature.

The problem is not a new one. In the modern age however, with so much at stake it is imperative that something is done to address this issue. It is hard to believe that we can build stations in space but cannot resolve the 'kick' issue in snooker.

Have you lost a game because of a kick?.

Has your favourite player lost an important game due a to a kick?.

If you have any thoughts / solutions relating to this issues or feel that you can add anything to the general debate then please email me with your views at; info@fcsnooker.co.uk

Frank Callan Suite - 282 Ribbleton Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, Lancashire, England - PR1 5EB - tel. + 44 (0) 1772 702211 - info@fcsnooker.co.uk

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