A Table Fit For A King - by Larry Eforgan

I believe that all the members of V.M.S.C. have an obligation to take the best care possible of the new facilities available to us at ‘Kings Entertainment’ as much for ourselves as for Mal, Daniel (forever Schmick to his friends) and Val. The facilities include the balls, triangles, rests, goose necks etc. Of course the tables are also included and members will find that they can help take care of the tables more than all the other facilities by a few simple measures. These include not doing some things as much as positive action. To illustrate that point let me show you how doing some things that we already do, but differently, will prolong the life of the tables, particularly the cloth (approx. $1000 to replace).

Tossing a coin - Does it really matter where it is tossed, and, does it have to be tossed. If the coin is taken from your pocket in a closed fist and placed on the back of your other hand you won’t know which side is up never mind the players being asked to call. NEVER TOSS A COIN ON A TABLE. If the coin lands on its edge it can easily cut the cloth.

Brushing excess chalk from the cloth – It is acceptable for the players or the referee to remove excess chalk from the cloth during play by gently ‘brushing’ the table with an open hand towards the top cushion. My contention is that if it is not interfering with play then it should be left alone until the frame is finished and then to use a brush IN THE CORRECT MANNER to clean the whole cloth. NEVER BRUSH THE CLOTH IN THE DIRECTION OF THE BAULK END. Do not rub the chalk into the cloth with a back and forth or a side to side motion. It is also NOT part of a referee’s duties to clean the cloth and referees should never stop the play to do it, it will only break the player’s concentration and could also result in the balls being disturbed.

Place the balls on to the table and never drop or throw them - I am mainly concerned with the red balls and Eightball sets which are often upended onto the tables from the plastic trays, this practice is totally unacceptable anywhere and especially ‘our’ tables. Another way in which red balls are dropped onto the cloth is, I believe inadvertent, but can still be avoided. Most players will place the triangle on the table and then ‘drop’ the reds into it, if, instead the balls were placed on the table and formed into a triangle with the aid of the top cushion and your forearms the wooden triangle could then be placed over the reds to move them into position. I fully understand that this method of racking the balls is difficult to do for Eightball but the players can still take a little care when positioning the balls in the triangle.

Balls moving off their spots – When this happens, the common practice is to take the ball and then hit the spot with it or to hold the ball on the spot and use another ball to ‘tap’ the first ball or to rub the ball hard onto the spot. NOT ACCEPTABLE. The main reason that balls sometimes fall off their spots is because of an air bubble under the spot and the best way to remove it and flatten out the spot is to GENTLY describe a cross with a fingernail onto the centre of the spot. If a ‘spot’ is old and lifting do not try to press it back down or pull it off completely. Please ask the management to attend to it then you will not be blamed for tearing the cloth. Make sure your cue is not a danger to the cloth. (See Larry’s tips on the website for complete cue care)

Never fill out score sheets on the table - Unlike our previous venue “Kings” will always be maintained and filling out score sheets can be done with enough light away from the tables.
NEVER PLACE SHARP OBJECTS ON THE TABLES. (Keys, pens etc.) The only things that should ever be on a table are the balls and clean hands. Players should also be aware that things like your keys kept in your pocket could also damage the table (not to mention yourself) when stretching across the table to reach a shot.

Finally, DO NOT TRY TO FIX THINGS YOURSELF. If you have concerns about any of the equipment provided by “Kings” please inform the management.