What Is the Center Spot on a Pool Table Used For?

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    Invisible Center

    • Pool tables range in sizes; they are usually between 7 and 9 feet in length with widths running a little more than half the length. The literal center point of the table exists at the point where a string running from the center of the head and foot rail meets the string running from the center of the side rails. Although no visible marking exists at this point, when breaking, the ball will travel directly over this point.

    Head Spot

    • An often visible marking, running along the center of the length axis, is the head spot. The head spot is located in the center of the side rails, bisecting the width on the head side of the table. It is also often represented by a line that travels across the width of the table directly over this point. The area sectioned off behind this line is known as the kitchen area. When breaking, the dot, or head spot, is where you will line up the cue ball. When a player scratches, the opposing player can place the ball anywhere in the kitchen area for her next shot.

    Foot Spot

    • All pool tables feature a mirror image to the head spot, known as the foot spot. Like the head spot, the foot spot runs along the center axis between the side rails and bisects the width; however, it does this across the opposite end, which is called the foot end. In most games of pool, including standard games of 8-Ball, the head of the rack, or the first ball, will line up directly over the foot spot.

    Side Rail Spots

    • All pool tables contain elevated side rails, off of which shots will bounce. In the corners of the rails and in the centers of the side rails are the pockets. Rails also contain several spots that mark the center points along the rail, serving to divide the pool table into sections. These dots will also line up with the spots on the pool table. The side rail's second spots from both ends will mark the head and foot spots. The fourth spot, which is actually a pocket, will mark the centermost point of the pool table.

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