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Home > Tech > Players > Tactics > Popping
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by Dave Kibble, November 2003

A POP is a Peel on the Opponent - originally a useful tactic if you hit the lift when 1 & 1 against 1 & 4-back. The TPO option is reasonable but can lead to a losing OTP without much interaction (finishing from the contact is not uncommon at the top level).

If instead you peel opponent to 3 (and 4-back) and make a defensive leave, even if they hit the lift their chance of completing a triple when starting from 3 instead of 1 is reduced significantly. So, even if they hit their lift, you should have another lift to hit when you will be 1 & 4-back with all the balls and therefore a good chance of finishing with a standard TP.

When making a 1-back leave (laying for a sextuple), opponent is cross-wired at 1 and has a very long shot into corner III.

Firstly, it is easier to get a cross-wire if you don't have to worry about the southerly ball being able to run the hoop, so popping it to 2 makes some sense.

It is not as unusual as you may think for the shot to be hit and so an easy break pick-up is there since there is a pioneer at 1 already. Instead, if you can peel opponent to 2 & 2 and leave them vertically about hoop 1, and the 1-back ball in the jaws of 3, there is one ball to hit and neither of the others will rush to 2. It's quite an expert leave and difficult to achieve though! I think only Robert Fulford attempts it.


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