The Football Shot
This is another set-up shot. It doesn't actually have anything to do with football; the name is just an analogy to help you set it up. Even if you don't pay a lot of attention to the sport of football, you've probably seen the players lined up facing each other on the field before a play. That's pretty much how this shot looks once you have all the balls set up.
In this shot you will use all fourteen object balls and the cue ball. When setting up the shot, picture the lineup of the two teams on the football field but push the first five players of each team together so that they are touching. In other words, the first ten balls will be frozen. The 8 ball is your quarterback and the goal is to clear a path down the center of the balls and pocket the 8 ball.
The balls are lined up across the table between the two pockets, from long rail to long rail and parallel with the short rails. The balls will be slightly off the center of the table, leaving more room between the balls and the pocket on the opposite side of the table from where you are going to strike.
The first ten balls, although frozen, are not lined up exactly in front of each other. Again, looking at the balls from where you will strike, the line of balls on the left will be frozen slightly to the left of each ball on the right. You have four balls left including the 8 ball. Freeze two (let's call them 1 and 2) of the balls on the right row, but not touching the row, and shifted slightly to the right of the row. Place the 8 ball across from these balls on the left row, but not frozen to the ball across. Now you have one ball left. Freeze this ball to the left of the 8 ball. Now you're ready to strike.
Hut, Hut: Striking the Football Shot
The ball closest to the cue ball is the 1 ball and the one frozen to it is the 2 ball. With your cue stick in line with the center path between the balls, strike the cue ball into the 1 ball. The 1 ball should move off to your right while the 2 ball should strike the balls in front of it (the first ball of the right row) and then move off to the right. This will start a chain reaction. A path should be cleared down the center of the rows as the balls in the left row move off to the left and the balls in the right row move off to the right.
If all goes as planned, after the cue ball bounces off the 1 ball, it should strike the 8 ball. The ball frozen to the 8 ball helps the 8 ball move up the table at a 90-degree angle, sending it straight down the cleared path and hopefully into the side pocket on the other side of the table. That's your touchdown.
The football shot is a tough trick shot. Your success relies heavily on the setup.
When performing trick shots for friends, you should announce the result of the shot before you strike the balls, otherwise they won't know what you've accomplished. It's hard to believe on first glance that these balls will do what you say they will do, so you'll certainly impress your audience when you make the shot.