A legend says that it was Strickland who invented jump shots in one of his best days. Out of jokes, no one knows for sure who or when the art of tipping the cue 45 degrees to make the white ball jump was discovered . But the fact is that this shooting technique has been perfected a lot in recent decades, has served to win world championships and has caused the industry to manufacture all kinds of specific cues.
It is clear that jumps are a very useful and very attractive resource, but they also have their negative points: they reduce the creativity of the billiard player (because they no longer use the bands or use them less), they remove emotion from the game (certain players have a high percentage of success in jump shots) and damage the cloth. That's why I ask myself a question: Should jumps be banned in the American pool?
In some countries they have already answered yes to that question. In the Philippines, for example, jump shots are not usual. Before jumping they prefer to look for the shot with the cushion either with a bank shot or a kick shot. And in fact when Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamente or other top Filipino billiard players are interviewed, they always answer the same thing: we do not like jump shots. Because they learned to play billiards with Rotation and because since very young they have mastered the shots per cushion. However, when they started competing outside (Taiwan, the United States ...), they had to adapt to the rules of the WPA, which does allow jumps.
Filipinos are not the only ones who would rather play without jumps. There are other world elite players who are also against jump shots, such as Darren Appleton. In this article the four times champion of the world says it very clearly: "The jumps should not be allowed". Jumping is an easy resource for professional pool players like him. The ball may fail, but whenever the jump is minimally affordable, the white will fly smoothly. And when the level is so high, that is an advantage. Controlling the rebounds and predicting the course of the white after hitting the cushion is no longer so easy.
It is a matter of difficulty and merit. Do we want to make the game easier and more boring? Or do we want the player to have to make up his mind to calculate a shot per cushion? Do we want to favor practical and undeserving styles of play? Or do we want to reward the creativity of the billiard player and make him do something different every time? I am more supportive of the second, so I would limit the jumps. In any case, it is not an easy decision, because we would miss delights like these:
Perhaps an intermediate solution would be the right thing to do. Neither use them nor prohibit them altogether, like in Snooker. We could limit the use of jumps to x shots per game. In this way, in an encounter you could only skip 1, 2 or the times we decided.
What do you think? Would you forbid jumps?