Will 2~3g determine the luck of the billiard table? It is undoubtedly a subtle element that arouses interest. New players are introduced from the federation, and eyes are also on the new ball adaptability.
In July of last year, the Professional Billiards Association (PBA, President Kim Young-soo) held an agreement ceremony to extend the sponsorship of the ‘Helix’ ball with Cosmos, a billiard equipment company. The contract period is three years, and the PBA will use the Helix ball as the official ball for the individual tour, dream tour (part 2), and challenge tour (part 3) until 2025.
On the other hand, the balls used in team leagues are of a different type. In Team League, the Belgian company Saluk uses ‘Aramis’ balls. Non-PBA federations (UMB, KBF) are known to use Aramis’ Prestige Ball and Dynasphere Ball.
The size is the same, with a diameter of 61.5 mm, maintaining the official standard of a 3-cushion ball. At first glance, it looks like the same billiard ball, but the two balls have a completely different weight. Aramis balls, which are most commonly seen in billiard halls, are manufactured with an average weight of 210g. There is an error range of 1~2g, but it is generally evaluated as light.
On the other hand, the domestically manufactured helix ball is used only in PBA matches. The average weight is 212-13g, making it 2-3g heavier than the Aramis ball. Cosmos, the manufacturer of the helix ball, explains the characteristics of “there is no blind spot on the aiming surface, the upgraded glass coating promotes the stability of the cloud, and there is a clear distinction between when the ball is hit and when it is not.”
The official ball Helix ball is placed on the PBA game table ⓒMHN Sports Reporter Park Tae-seong
At the request of PBA fans, a general billiard room has increased, but the evaluation is divided. “The ball is pretty, the clouds are heavy and soft,” while there are favorable reviews, and “the ball pattern is too heavy and the ball pattern is messy, so it’s hard to distinguish rotation.” Professional players are no exception. In particular, it can be a sensitive issue for players who react sensitively to 1g of pushing and pulling.
Player A, who conducted a face-to-face interview with this magazine, honestly confessed what he felt about the two balls, saying, “The Helix ball has a high level of roughness and low surface roughness.
In addition, “I heard that Pro Jaeho Cho took six months to get used to the Helix ball, and those who recently entered the PBA after playing in the existing league will be much more familiar with the Aramis ball. So, during the season, when the team league and individual tours are held on a weekly basis, there is quite a bit of confusion.” In the case of a player who is sluggish on the individual tour but plays well in the team league, this background is not irrelevant.
‘Four Kings’ Kudron also had difficulties adapting to the ball in the beginning. He suffered the humiliation of being eliminated in the survival game, and even in his first season, he struggled to adapt to the ball, and lifted the championship trophy after only 4 out of 3 matches. On the other hand, some players say, “There is a slight difference, but there is no big difference, and there is no problem in adapting. What I do poorly and do well is just a matter of effort and concentration.”
However, in terms of using the ball differently for the individual tour and the team league, some factors other than pure performance were reflected. A PBA official responded to this by saying, “As a professional association, we want to work with more sponsors and distinguish between individual tours and team leagues.”
Players coming over from the federation this time are usually new to the helix ball. League aces such as Daniel Sanchez 먹튀검증(Spain), Semi Seiginer, Murat Nasi Choklu (above Turkiye), Choi Seong-won, Lee Chung-bok, and Han Ji-eun are coming over this season. Among them, domestic players such as Choi Seong-won and Lee Choong-bok may have encountered the domestically produced helix ball, but Sanchez, Seiginer, and Choclue cannot avoid a period of adaptation.
There is a saying that ‘artisans do not blame tools’, but it is difficult to draw the same texture with crayons and pastels. 2-3g is usually about the amount of a teaspoon in a powder container.
In the 2023-24 season, the new aces will face a huge difference as much as the birds. Strong players such as Sanchez and Seiginer have to alternate between team league and individual tours. The one who adapts quickly becomes the champion first. What interesting surprises will be produced?