Why do two identical tables play differently?

You’ve probably noticed that even in a snooker hall with several seemingly identical tables, they all tend to play slightly differently?

The answer is in the materials used to construct a snooker table. Almost every part is made from natural materials, the frame and side rails are wood, the bed is slate, cushions are rubber, cloth is wool, pocket nets are cotton, pocket plates are covered in leather. All these natural substances vary slightly.

The most significant factor is the cloth made from sheep’s wool. Now to you and I all sheep might look alike, but they are not. They are individuals just like us – hence the quality of the wool varies season by season, certain weather conditions make the wool much finer, which makes for a better quality cloth. We usually try to select a roll of cloth with a finer finish if possible but even then it can vary over the individual roll. Even the championship tables with their heaters, air conditioning etc. don’t provide the same conditions every time.

The cloths in major tournaments are often changed after every round or even every session, and players will take time to adjust to different speeds and rolls of the cloth.

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