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Snooker's 'dump shot' is a type of safety that leaves the object ball tight against the cushion, while the white ball travels back up to the other end of the table.
It's perfectly simple to play if the shot isn't straight-on - but if it is, then it's actually impossible. Because the white ball and object ball will ALWAYS collide after coming off the cushion. No matter what you do.
"Not a lot of snooker players know about this!" @AndyGoldstein05 and @jimmywhite147 reveal a little-known secret about a straight dump shot
:tv: Eurosport 1
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- Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) December 11, 2020
"This is incredible," says presenter Andy Goldstein as White demonstrates. "Apparently, if the shot is completely straight and you try and play a dump shot, in the time it takes for the red ball to his the top cushion and the white ball to hit the side cushion, no matter how you play this, they will collide."
The pace you play the shot - rapid or slow - won't make any difference. A second collision will always happen.
"That can sometimes cost players the frame when they do it," says a baffled Goldstein, while White attempts the shot several times - always with the same outcome.
How many years I've watched snooker and didn't know that!- MrAstonVilla (@villa1st) December 11, 2020
While 'The Whirlwind' White - a six-time World Championship runner-up - confirms that he's always been aware that this shot is basically impossible, plenty of top players do not.
Goldstein reveals that one of the world's best players, 38-year-old Neil Robertson, didn't actually know this fact until earlier this year.
"How many years I've watched snooker and didn't know that!" replied one snooker fan on Twitter. "How many times do we do this?" commented another amateur player.
I knew this because I've had it happen 1234350709709093740597 times.- FkinAda /// (@Roi7Le) December 12, 2020
Still the same. As long as the balls are in a line with the pocket and you play the shot this way, they will collide.- Dom Cullen (@DomCullenFFC) December 11, 2020
How have I known about this for years but someone like Robbo didn't? Coach at local club told me about it.- Dom Cullen (@DomCullenFFC) December 11, 2020
Someone has even kindly explained the phenomenon with a diagram. But says that working out why it occurs "requires understanding of conservation of momentum, modulus, vectors, and trigonometry."
Well, that rules us out altogether then. Still, a crucial piece of info for the next time you're unleashing your inner Mark Selby and playing safe at your local snooker hall.
It's a nice puzzle for A-level maths students. I've used it in tutorials a few times - it requires understanding of conservation of momentum, modulus, vectors, and trigonometry. pic.twitter.com/xnM2LhoxfW
- Rob Laker (@rob_laker) December 12, 2020
Featured image credit: Twitter/Eurosport
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