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How to Perform a Legal Jump Shot - Jumping the Cue Ball Without Scooping

Updated on November 30, 2017
rclinton5280 profile image

Father of an angel, house painter, and billiards enthusiast.


Jumping in pool is a matter of controversy

For years and years, many of the bar table and bar room players across America have jumped the cue ball by striking the bottom of the ball. Most of them believe this to be perfectly legal. It is not. That technique is called a "scoop", and it is a foul in organized pool and billiards. Much like ball in hand, there are new standards to what is legal in a pool game and what is not. I have encountered the habit in many places, and would like to go on record in public so that I may help to cure this ail. There is only one way to perform a legal jump shot in pool and billiards, and I will discuss how to do just that in this article.

Bunjee Jump Sticks Work Well
Bunjee Jump Sticks Work Well

Jumping a cue ball

is something that you do regularly if you play pool much, and you probably don't even realize it. Every time you strike the cue ball firmly, it has a tendency to leave the felt on the table for a short period of time as it moves toward the object ball.

Due to the fact that your stick is at a very low incline during a normal shot, the jumping effect is spread across a long distance and it is not noticeable. If you elevate the rear of your cue stick and perform the same motion, you will notice a lot more air in between your cue ball and the cloth. Voila, you just jumped the cue ball. The key is to strike the ball above the center plane, with a DOWNWARD motion. Your swing should feel a lot like attempting to put draw on the ball. You should feel as if you are "spearing" the cue ball. The ball is trapped between the stick and the slate, which releases it's energy in the opposite direction, which is upward. The more force that is applied, the further/higher the ball will travel.

They make a custom pool cue for this task. It is called, not so ironically, a jump cue. You can pick one up at just about any place that sells billiards equipment these days, or you can visit my article on the best jump cues and pick one up from Amazon.

The billiards and pool principals involved

are important if you are to actually be able to use this technique. Any one can hit the ball hard, and anyone can jack the but end of a stick up. The question now becomes, how far am I trying to jump? Or, how quickly does the cue ball have to elevate to clear the ball in front of it? Or is there enough space to land the cue ball on the table if I do get over the ball in front of me? These don't normally have to be considered when shooting a run of the mill shot, but really have to be examined when attempting a jump shot. Let's take a look at some of the pro's and con's that need to be considered in order to maximize your success.

The benefits of jumping over balls are numerous.

There are times in a game of pool that a jump shot can propel you toward success that would otherwise be unattainable. Jumping the cue ball is also much more consistent than kicking or masse shots, if you can become proficient with the technique. The possibilities that are opened up to you by this are almost endless, and for a good jumper, almost no ball is out of reach.

The down side is the possible outcomes of not having success at your attempt. Hit the ball too hard, and one of the balls goes off the table, giving your opponent ball in hand. Hit it too soft or without enough incline, and you don't clear the original impediment. You must measure the distance you need, then apply the exact amount of force related to the ball traveling that far. I know that sounds complicated, and it is, to the mind. However, "your hands are smarter than your head will ever be." Quote form the Legend of Bagger Vance.

Yous should go out and practice the motion before trying to use it in competition. Once you have a feel for it, your buddies will be amazed by this technique. If you are looking for added ease, check out one of the jump sticks in the side bar. You will be amazed at how easily the ball will jump through the air and over the object ball of choice if you invest in one of them.

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    • rclinton5280 profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Clinton 

      6 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Thank you Akaash. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You can find more articles on billiards @

    • AkaashPrasad profile image

      Aakash Prasad 

      6 years ago from Anaheim

      Loved watching the video. Its fantastic. The tips to jump a ball using the pool cue are fantastic.

      Thanks for the tips and specially the video.


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