Down the Line Shape – Increase Your Percentages.
For instance if your position play takes the white ball “down the line” of the shot just like the diagram above even if you over run your shot by a couple of feet you will still be in line. This can usually be achieved by using a two rail route, usually this will send the cue ball down the line.
This route has a fairly large target area and a big margin of error because if you overrun or under run the target area you will still be on line. In practice start to look for alternative routes for position in particular try to avoid playing for pin point position unless it cannot be avoided.
Sending the cue ball off two rails might seem to be riskier, but you have to weigh the benefits of better shape against a slightly tougher shot.
Across the line Shape Reduces the Target Area For Shape.
Across the line shape, on the other hand, sends the cue ball across the positional target area which is quite small in comparison. The small margin of error is a low percentage positional choice.
It is harder to judge the power needed with this route and the ball is crossing the shape target area.
In contrast, with down the line shape, the ball enters the target zone and where ever it stops you will be in line. You may be closer to the ball than you wanted to be but you are still in line.
When playing 9 ball pool I prefer to leave myself further away from the object ball but on the correct line for the next ball. The right angle makes the shot easier and reduces the need to force the cue ball along unnatural routes.
Choose your routes wisely to make the game easier.