Controversy as ‘negative’ break-off shot catches on in World Championship

An unusual break-off shot has become one of the big talking points so far in this year’s Snooker World Championship.

On several occasions this year Mark Williams has played a different type of break off shot in a bid to stop players from potting a long red from the more ‘traditional’ style of break off shot.

Instead of playing the triangle of reds at pace to bring the cueball back to the baulk area, Williams has devised a plan to glance to the reds by rolling the white down the table and hitting the top cushion.

In theory, a soft glance at the reds will mean the opposing player is not ‘on’ a red when they play their first shot of the frame.

Williams was seen doing this in the Masters this year and the shot became a huge talking point this week when Williams tried it again in his World Championship opener against Sam Craigie.

In a TV interview after his 10-4 win, Williams even suggested that Word Snooker Tour bosses were considering banning the break after asking players about it previously.

“The only reason I’m doing it is because I’m sick and tired of leaving a red on and people potting it and making breaks,” Williams said on Eurosport.

“I just thought I had to find a way to stop them doing it, which I have.”

Now the break, which Judd Trump has branded “negative”, seems to have caught on.

Reigning world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan started his second session this morning against Anthony McGill by opting for the negative break off.

However, O’Sullivan hit it slightly too hard and left an opening red for McGill who went on to win the frame.

And John Higgins could not stop smiling after playing the break off shot against Williams himself in the opening session of their second round tie.

What do you think of the break off? Send us your thoughts below.

Featured Image: Sporting Life/YouTube

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