What Is English or Sidespin?
English or Sidespin is an advanced technique in pool and refers to spin that is put on the cue ball. You can apply English or sidespin in a number of ways. It all comes down to aiming at the cue ball in different spots other than the straight center shot. You can hit the cue ball on the left side which is normally called LEFT English or you can hit the cue ball on the right side normally called RIGHT English. You can also apply the stop (center ball hit), draw (below center hit) or follow (above center hit) with English. English applied with draw is normally called low English while English applied with follow is called high English. The left and right English shots will cause the ball to spin to either side.
This is commonly refered to as inside or outside English. This technique is used primarily to alter the natural roll of the cue ball, thus causing it to curve to the desired side. This can be of use if you have ball interfering with a straight on shot, or if you are looking to deflect the cue ball in a different direction.
Another effect of english is what is known as “Curve” or “Swerve”. When a cue ball is hit low with a downward stroke using english, the cue ball tends to curve instead of moving in a straight line. This is a similar effect, though to a much lesser degree, to the masse shot. The direction of the curve will be the same as the direction of the spin. That means that if you have a low right english on the cue ball, it will curve to the left and back to the right. If you have a low left english on the cue ball, it will curve to the right and then back to the left.
There is also another effect of english that is known as “throw”. When a cue ball with sidespin hits the object ball, the spin is transferred to the object ball but in the opposite direction. For example, a cue ball is hit with right english so it spins to the right or counter-clockwise… upon hitting the object ball, an opposite spin (clockwise) is transferred to the object ball. The spin generated by the object ball causes it to be “thrown” to the direction opposite the spin on the cue ball.
One thing that makes english difficult is that it is hard to estimate the amount of deflection that you will get on the cue ball. Only with enough experience will you be able to make a good estimate. Players should concentrate on the centered shot and have it mastered before attempting to integrate English shots into their repertoire. Like all shots and techniques, you will need time and patience to develop your style and become successful at completing these shots.