On Sunday, April 5th, Dr. Dave Alciatore posted a note on the AZ Billiards Forums that he and Bob Jewett had put together a 100 question referee quiz on whether shots are “Fair” or “Foul”. Every shot is on video and any pertinent information is provided (balls frozen or not, etc.). They provided a scoring sheet that you can use to record your answers and an answer video to use to evaluate your answers after you’re done with the quiz.
Bob & Dr. Dave have done this so well, and it is such an important contribution to the pool community, that I wanted to do my small part in publicizing their great work. I can’t imagine how many hours of work this took to complete. To plan, shoot the shots, make sure the videos were of high quality and easy to understand, reshoot those that needed it, edit the videos into 3 easy to watch parts, prepare the score sheet and then prepare an answer video. I know I left off some of the things they had to do, and even so, it was a major effort.
But huge efforts are meaningless without results, and here the result is outstanding. Just think of all the time you’ve seen disagreements in the pool room about whether something is a foul or not. In my experience, it usually comes down to two guys arguing over the legality of a hit and neither has any reasoning for their answer other than it’s what they saw and only a #@$%^&* could have seen it differently.
You’ll learn how to judge different kinds of shots with intelligence, based on a basic understanding of how balls move. It doesn’t take eyes like a high-speed camera, it takes knowledge of what to look for. Resolve disputes much faster and more definitively by actually having an intelligent response to why the answer has to be xxx.
Both of these guys have given immeasurably to pool, over many years, and obviously, aren’t done with their giving. Take an hour or so and go through this quiz, and do it seriously. Keep track of your answers on the answer sheet to see how you did. More importantly, make sure you understand what they’re saying and why they’re saying it. You’ll be a smarter pool player because of it. If every pool player did so the sport would be substantially better off.
When you’re done and want to thank them for their generous gift to our community, pop on over to AZ Billiards and add your comment of thanks to Dr. Dave’s original thread. It’s the least we can do. You must register in order to post, but AZ Billiards is a great place; I encourage you to sign up.