Running In The 100-Ball Dash ~ by Roger Long

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It’s interesting that there are a few people who still can’t believe that Willie Mosconi’s high-run record has been broken.Somehow, a small band of die-hard Mosconi fans refuse to accept the reality of John Schmidt’s feat. They have even been on social media claiming that Schmidt’s 626-ball run cannot possibly be the “official” record since it was not done exactly the same as Mosconi’s 526, i.e. John’s run was done in a “practice” session, while Willie’s was done during match-play.

There have also been a few other observations made concerning differences in table sizes, pocket sizes, cloth, etc., etc. with the pro-Mosconi group trying to somehow promote the idea that those differences add support to their claim that Mosconi’s high-run record was not legitimately broken.

Their main sticking point in the “practice-vs-competitive match” argument is that John, since he was shooting alone, was able to set up an opening break shot to start his run, whereas Willie had to start from a rack that had been altered by a defensive opening break, with perhaps a few subsequent defensive shots being traded with his opponent before he was ever able to have an opportunity to start a run. They also authenticate Willie’s run because it was personally witnessed and attested to by many people, while John’s was performed in front of only a handful of people (disregarding the fact that John’s was live streamed and recorded for many to see).

Do you see their point? No? Neither do I.

So let us just dismiss right here and now any ideas that contend one person’s high run is not as legitimate as another person’s high run just because the second wasn’t performed in an identical manner as the first. A high run is a high run so long as, once it starts, it is continuous from one rack to the next. Keeping that principle in mind, we can then establish a high run attempt as being a game of its own, rather than the game having to be two people playing a match to a certain number of points. And this – making a high run become a game of its own – is exactly what Bull Shooters Billiards in Phoenix will attempt to do.

After John Schmidt’s lengthy stay at Bull Shooters in April, it occurred to some of the staff there that there might be other players interested in seeing how many balls they can run, and if so, could that lead to greater overall interest in the game of 14.1 Continuous?

The Bull Shooter Challenge

So what Bull Shooters’ management has decided to do is to offer a challenge. That challenge goes like this: Any player can come in at any time, rent a table, start from a set-up break shot, and then shoot until they miss. They can do this over and over, attempting to reach a 100-ball run. If they do run 100 balls, Bull Shooters will reward them with a $200 cash prize, PLUS give them $2.00 per ball that they pocket over the 100.Bull Shooters will call this challenge “The 100-Ball Dash.”

How Bull Shooters Plans to Deal with Variable Skilled Players

Now Bull Shooters is aware that there are very, very few players in their area at this time who are capable of running 100 balls, so to generate interest, they are going to offer cash prizes for runs that meet a minimum requirement pertaining to each player’s rated skill level – plus $2.00 per ball over those minimums. For example, a Level 4 will have to run a minimum of 20 balls to collect $40+, and a Level 5 will have to run a minimum of 30 balls to collect $60+, and so on and so forth, right up to Level 12, which is the 100 balls-minimum to collect $200+. The skill levels will be assigned using the players’ Fargo ratings, or by any other information that provides a good estimate of their true speed. In cases where the skill level of a player is totally unknown, that player will be required to compete at the highest level (12).

The only stipulation in The 100-Ball Dash is this:

In order to collect a cash prize, the player will be required to offer proof of their successful run by way of a video recording. That’s the way John Schmidt had to do it, and it’s only fair that everyone else should have to do the same. Once a submitted video has been reviewed and verified, Bull Shooters will gladly pay the cash prize.

Good luck, and good shooting!

Author: Roger Long
Editor: Chris Freeman

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