I have noticed more in the first week of this years world championship than any other tournament - I could be looking for them though!
There are many arguments as to what causes a kick, or bad contact between the cue ball and the object ball these are some of them:
- Chalk residue - when chalk deposits itself on the cue ball (or when balls pick up chalk from the cloth) it creates an area that when contact is made the ball will jump in the air or kick. Many tests have been carried out. Some prove the theory and some don't. Players such as Mike Massey believe it has something to do with the finer Green chalk used by snooker players, this may also account for the reason that there are less kicks in pool.
- Static - The fine napped cloths that are used in professional snooker events can create a static charge on the balls surface due to the friction and temperatures the balls reach on contact. A static charge as opposed to a clean surface would again cause a kick.
- Manufacturing Process - One of the newest theories out there is that of the oils used in the manufacturing process and that the balls used in professional tournaments actually lubricate themselves during play. If this lubrication has not happened then a poor contact will occur. For more on this argument visit Talk Snooker Forum.
I for one am not completely convinced by any of the arguments and feel that at the professional level it could be a combination of all of the factors, including the lighting conditions caused by TV.
The debate continues.