Speedball also called speed pool is a solitary pool game. As its name suggests, one pockets all the pool balls on the table as quickly as possible. It can be played competitively with the aid of a stopwatch.
- The cue ball must not be in motion when shooting
- Object balls can still be in motion when shooting
- Ball and pocket must be called, (No fluking the balls in)
- Legal shots must be made — a 10-second penalty will be incurred for each foul.
- A legal shot involves the cue ball contacting an object ball, and driving it to a cushion, or the cue ball hitting a cushion after contact, or pocketing an object ball
- Any ball may be pocketed, except that the 8 ball must be last.
Observing professionals, one can see them running madly around the table to place their next shot. Unlike most billiard games, the cue ball is mostly used with a stop shot to minimize the waiting time. Bank shots are legal, but time-consuming, and thus rare. A legal shot to just nudge the object ball for shape on a subsequent easy shot is preferred.
Because speedball is a relatively recent development in pool, there are few tournaments devoted to it. One notable event was the International Speed Pool Challenge which was broadcast on ESPN.[clarification needed] The games played in this event included one based on straight pool as well as the more common version described above, which is derived from eight-ball. The object in each match was to play all games with a shorter total time than other players. Luc Salvas was the first to win this event, which had a US$50,000 winner-take-all purse that year.[clarification needed]
Notable professional players
- Dave Pearson ("the Ginger Wizard")
- Luc Salvas
- Jeanette Lee ("the Black Widow")
- Bobby McGrath ("the Kid")
- One set of rules, from the Valley National Eight-ball Association