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Dr Ian Plummer

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Responses to the New Standard Leave

I am curious to know which is the (correct / safest / most attacking) ball to be played by the opposition, after I have made a perfect new standard leave? Is it the ball near hoop 2 or the ball at hoop 4? What is the reasoning, please?

David Kibble responds

The NSL leave
The NSL Leave

As always it depends on you and your opponent's playing abilities in the current conditions and which ball you want to play with (you may be for peg and rover making it silly to play with the peg ball).

The practiced continuation from a missed lift assumes that the hoop 2 ball misses into corner 4: roquet partner and take off to corner 4, send ball to 2 getting a rush to 1 on the ball at hoop 4 - all the balls are out ready for a standard TP.

If your opponent is capably of a standard TP but a bit shaky on a delayed TP then lifting the ball at 4 and shooting into corner 4 usually forces them to attempt a delayed TP (because the corner 4 ball is difficult to get before hoop 3) and if you hit (unless you hit full on) you have the best break opportunity since getting a rush to 1 should be easy and your partner is already at 2. If the hoop 2 ball (your partner) is free of the hoop then it is better to rush to it and use partner to make 1. It is this aspect that gives this leave a slight forcing quality - if your opponent is already for 4-back then leaving their hoop 1 ball at 2 "makes" them take the "wrong shot".

If your opponent's delayed TPs are reasonable then you need to think about the relative probabilities of shots and them finishing - often the NSL leaves a shorter shot from the end of A-baulk, but missing it hands over all the balls.

If your opponent is likely to finish whatever you do then you take the shot you are most likely to hit with the ball you want to play with.

If TPs don't feature in the equation then the hoop 2 ball taking the shortest shot available would get my vote, although I would usually prefer to shoot into corner 4. Use the hoop 2 ball because it removes the pioneer and forces reasonable play to get a break established.

Author: David Kibble
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Updated 28.i.16
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