> Ross, you have a good point. I felt like the tables were banking short.
Here's a hypothesis on the banking short phenomenon.
There's two things that change the ball path from the light-ray path.
First, friction with the rail from coming into the rail at an angle
wants to *shorten* the bank, i.e., the rail pushes the ball sideways.
Second, after coming off the rail, the object ball usually still has
some topspin that makes it curve in the *long* direction. Thus, there
is at least some cancellation of these effects.
If you go to slicker cloth, the rail collision can't shorten the bank as
much, and the topspin, which takes longer to grip on the cloth, can't
widen it as much. So there's even a tendency for even the *changes* to
cancel a bit.
Stickier cloth has the banks shortened more by the rail but also widened
more immediately coming off the rail.
This gives the normal expected variations in tables with speed, etc.
But what if... what if the friction with the rail cloth was *different*
from the friction with the bed cloth?
If the rail friction was larger than the bed friction, the shortening
from the rail would be more pronounced than the widening off the rail,
leading to unexpected behavior.
Perhaps the new cleaning procedure slickened the bed without slickening
the rails ???
just a thought.