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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
Popping - Peels on the Opponent

Dave Kibble writes about the tactic of peeling the opponent through some of their hoops as a tactic in Advanced play.

Someone asked off the Nottingham newsgroup about 'popping' so I guess there's plenty of people who don't know what it is but are avidly reading the excellent reports from this year's Macrobertson Shield:

A POP is a Peel on the Opponent - originally a useful tactic if you hit the lift when 1 & 1 against 1 & 4-back. The TPO [i.e. a winning triple peel on opponent, when you peel one of their balls out and go on to win the game] option is reasonable but can lead to a losing OTP [i.e. a losing triple peel on opponent] without much interaction (finishing from the contact is not uncommon at the top level).

If instead you peel opponent to 3 (and 4-back) and make a defensive leave, even if they hit the lift their chance of completing a triple when starting from 3 instead of 1 is reduced significantly. So, even if they hit their lift, you should have another lift to hit when you will be 1 & 4-back with all the balls and therefore a good chance of finishing with a standard triple peel.

When making a 1-back leave (laying for a sextuple), the opponent is cross-wired at 1 and has a very long shot into corner III.

Firstly, it is easier to get a cross-wire if you don't have to worry about the southerly ball being able to run the hoop, so popping it to 2 makes some sense.

It is not as unusual as you may think for the shot to be hit and so an easy break pick-up is there since there is a pioneer at 1 already. Instead, if you can peel opponent to 2 & 2 and leave them vertically about hoop 1, and the 1-back ball in the jaws of 3, there is one ball to hit and neither of the others will rush to 2. It's quite an expert leave and difficult to achieve though! I think only Robert Fulford attempts it.

Author: Dave Kibble
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Updated 8.iv.16
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