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I recently discovered a new game that is great for 9-Ball and 10-Ball training or just for fun. Actually, it’s just a reinterpretation of an old game. I’m talking about American Rotation.

Coach Joe Tucker from the USA invented the game. His goal: to take luck out of the game, reward every ball and teach people good positional play. Kick shots are also to be trained, so only jumping with the playing cue is allowed.

There is a website with game rules and a game score sheet, an app for iOS and Android as well as some videos from professionals. You will find the links to it below.

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The basis: Classic Rotation

But let’s start with the basic rules. It is based on the well-known game “Rotation”, also known as “61”in the Philippines. It is actually the most played game there. You play rotation with 15 balls. First of all, as in 9 and 10 ball, the lowest numbered ball on the table must always be hit first. Each ball earns as many points as the number written on it. Whoever gets 61 points first wins the game.

American Rotation

American Rotation is a variation that has a slightly different scoring system and some interesting additional rules. Here is an overview:

  • It is played with alternating break and everyone racks his own. The player who broke the balls always has ball in hand after his break shot, even if no ball was made or even if the player scratched on the break. In case of a break foul, the player with the ball in hand is still playing, but any balls that have been made during the break count for the opponent.
  • Always hit the lowest numbered ball first. If that doesn’t work, it is a foul and the opponent has ball in hand. Combination shots etc. are allowed, as with 9-Ball and 10-Ball.
  • The balls from 1-10 count one point, the balls from 11-15 count 2 points. So each game has 20 points. The game is played at any distance, for example 50 or 100 points.
  • Every shot has to be called, making balls and safety shots. If a ball is called and does not go down, the opponent can always reject the shot. When a player announces a safety and makes a ball, the opponent can also refuse to continue. The ball pocketed counts for the player who takes the next shot.
  • In case of a foul, the opponent receives ball in hand. Balls pocketed with a foul shot remain in the pocket and count for the opponent.

Racking in American Rotation

The rules sound complicated at first, but they are very logical and fair. After a few games you get the hang of it and the game is really fun. With American Rotation you can practice very precise positional play, kick and bank shots as well as difficult shots.

Just give it a try!

Here are the additional links again:

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