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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Friday, June 10, 2005

On the edge of integrity...

During Wednesday's match
I watched my opponent line up on the 5 ball,
but the 4 ball was still on the table.

I was struck with the problem:
Do I tell him he should be shooting the 4 ball?
If I don't tell him, I will get ball-in-hand,
and will have a better chance to win the game.
I needed a win.
He won the last 3 games to tie the score.

It's not like it would be cheating.
After all, it is his mistake.

Do I have any obligation to tell him
that he is shooting the wrong ball?

Wouldn't it be dumb of me to tell him?
After all, it is a contest of skill as well as intellect.
And if he makes a mistake, he should pay the price.

But, wouldn't it be more sportsmanlike to tell him?
But there is no trophy for sportsmanlike behavior.

Nobody else was watching the game.
The were all watching Tony win 7-0 on the next table.
Even if they were watching,
they could never know what I am thinking.

I have heard it said that character is defined by
what we do when nobody is watching.

All of this is going through my head
as he is lining up on the 5 ball.
Then he stands up, looks around the table,
and then gets down for the 5 ball again.

I can't take it any more.
"Excuse me, 4 ball." I blurt.

I feel a lot better now,
knowing that there was no "asterisk" on my win.
I feel better that I took the high road.
And I also learned that it is possibly even
more to my advantage to advise the other player
that he is about to foul.

For starters, the opponent will be caught being inattentive,
and this will work on his mind,
and his game will be further deteriorated.
Being caught puts him in an inferior position
which can be overcome only by
me doing something equally inattentive.
Not likely.

What would you have done?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that happened to me for my college 8 ball tournament. all i needed was to win that last game to win. he was aiming at my ball. i knew he would scratch and so did everyone else. i kept quite as he scratched so i could win the game. i dont think it was taking the low road at all. in sport why should you give your opponent hints? if i saw somone choosing a hard shot over an easier shot i wont go out and coach him. maybe if it was informal but for a match for a trophy and money? absolutly not. the time for coaching is over at that point. if he is not aware enough to realize what he's shooting at then that is a skill flaw. that is the whole point of compatition. to see who has fewer flaws. so i dont think you should think of it as a charactor issue at all. If you want to help him let him shoot the shot and get burned. he'll never forget that lesson for the rest of his life. if you hold hteir hand and fix their mistakes in a tournament all the time how are you ever going to decide who is better or teach them to look before they shoot.

Friday, June 24, 2005 12:45:00 PM  

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