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Dr Ian Plummer

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Intermediate Coaching Notes

Section 13. Pegging Out

It is always a difficult decision to peg out yourself or an opponent during a game. Whilst it is not easy to give hard and fast rules, it is possible to indicate the factors which may be involved.

13.1. When pegging out any ball avoid shots which involve pull. Thus when possible use a stop shot and avoid wide split shots. You must always bear in mind the fate of the back ball in the pegging out - you may not want it to roll on to the peg and peg itself out.

13.1a. When pegging out a method of aligning the balls is to peer first down the left and then the right sides of the balls and with the two balls' edges are coinicident note where the arc of the balls cuts the peg.  If the balls are properly aligned then the arc of the balls will cut the peg at the same height when looking down either side.  See the figure below.

aligning a pegout
Figure 13.1a. Aligning a peg out. When using a straight drive, the arc of the balls should cut the peg at the same height (magenta arrows) when squinting down the right (R) and left (L) sides with the edges of the balls coincident.

13.2. In pegging out to finish a game and the likelihood of the forward ball striking the peg is in doubt, you should consider the position of the opponents. If they stand little chance of getting the innings then you would intend that the forward ball would end up close to the peg - to be pegged out in the following turn and to put pressure on the opponents. Otherwise you might consider leaving a rush or sending the forward ball to close to the East or West boundary and pegging out the striker's ball.

13.3. If you are left with a single ball for the peg the normal tactic is to position yourself on the East or West boundary. From this position you can shoot at the peg from the closest boundary without any hoops obstructing the shoot. You should shoot hard enough to reach the far boundary should you miss, so that you do not leave an easy ball for your opponent to use.

13.4. If your opponent is in the position outlined in the previous paragraph then your answer is to place their ball near a corner with the nearest hoop obstructing them from the peg. Alternatively you place them on the centre line of the North or South boundary again wiring them from the peg. In the mean time you disappear to the most remote part of the lawn, leaving yourself a useful rush - but not wiring them or leaving a double target.

13.5. If your opponent has only one ball on the lawn and you are not responsible for its position, e.g. they have shot at you and missed, then you can wire yourself solidly from them. As they are responsible for the position of their own ball they are not eligible for a wiring lift. This leaves them very few options other than taking position.

13.6. Note that in a handicap game you cannot peg out your forward ball unless you have pegged out an opponent or your backward ball is also a rover. In a level game you can peg out as soon as you become a rover. If neglected this factor can cause the unexpected departure of one of your balls from the game if it accidentally hits the peg.

13.7. In addition in an Advanced game once you have pegged out any ball you do not receive lifts or contacts under the Advanced Rules. You do however still get wiring lifts.

13.8. The obvious penalty in pegging out one of your balls is that you no longer can lay up and retain the innings. This however would not be a problem if you are playing a very weak player who has used up their bisques and is in no position to finish.

13.9. You would not normally peg out your forward ball if your backward ball is more than one break away from finishing. Hence if a four hoop three-ball is your norm, you would be incautious to peg out your forward ball before your backward ball had reached at least 3-back.

13.10. Additionally you would rarely peg out your forward ball if your opponent was one break (using the remaining balls) away from finishing - they will peg out anyway if they get the innings.

13.11. If you peg out one of your opponent's balls you stand a much greater chance of wiring them. They will then be eligible to a lift under the wiring Law (Law 13). Be vigilant.

13.12. In pegging out an opponent again you must consider whether they will be able to finish in one break if they hit in. If not then pegging them out may be favourable. A weak player however should not necessarily adopt this tactic. The ability of the stronger opponent to play three-ball breaks will give them an advantage if they hit in - they have little to lose and will play with much determination. You however are left with only three-ball breaks which will consume any remaining bisques.

13.13. Pegging out one of your opponent's balls is no guarantee of winning the game. Their whole psychology will change and their game may reach new heights (or depths!)

13.14. Depending on the state of play and your opponent's ability it can be advantageous to peg out both their and your ball. This leaves two balls on the lawn. You would normally adopt this strategy when you are ahead or otherwise against a weaker player without any bisques. The game now degenerates into cat and mouse. You should always bear in mind that if you have roqueted the opposition you must be careful about wiring them, and conceding a lift.

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Updated 28.i.16
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