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Dr Ian Plummer

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Running Angled Hoops

David Kibble makes some comments about the use and execution of the jump shot and other strokes for running angled hoops.

The basic jump shot causes the struck ball to rise in the air by about 10" - see Intermediate Coaching Notes section 8.17 and can be used to jump over another ball or get through a tightly angled hoop.

Stroking the ball through an angled hoop at ground level works well, but jumping is highly recommended if there is any suspicion that the ground in front of the hoop is not perfectly flat. It is generally easier to hit the ball along the ground in the right direction than to make it jump in the right direction - if you don't believe me try roqueting a ball 3 yards away by jumping over another ball and then without the third ball in the way.

Simple Newtonian mechanics tells us that by missing the near wire and hitting the far wire on the correct side of ball centre forces the ball to deviate through the hoop. I've had a lot of success coaching people who "can't run angled hoops" by getting them to move back 8-10 feet and move their body to the two extremes (skim nearside wire and full ball onto far side wire) and then to stand half way between, walk up to the ball and strike it firmly but gently without thinking about the hoop - it works every time and really builds their confidence.

On good ground, stroking the ball makes sure it is rolling (not skidding) when it hits the far wire and so is more likely to carry itself through. With rough uprights the ball probably needs to be struck hard ('hit as hard as possible!') so that it carries itself through with its momentum, but many people lose accuracy when striking the ball hard.

The major effects of jumping are:

  • The ball is spinning well, so if it hits the ground in the jaws it will roll on considerably
  • The hoop deforms in response to the impact by twisting, widening and bending, all motions being in directions that help the ball go through

The hoop deformation can be easily observed from the side with someone else jumping the hoop. I'm pretty sure (but not totally convinced) that hitting the near wire first is always fatal, whichever stroke you are making. Depending on the hoop construction and finish it would seem that you don't actually need ball centre inside the hoop but I can't quite figure out what's happening. The conclusion is that more than 45° is "impossible" whichever stroke you play. Obviously the 45° maximum increases with hoop-ball clearance.

Regards Dave

Author: David Kibble
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Updated 28.i.16
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