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Pattern Breakdown
Run-out like a pro!

“Pattern Breakdown” is an exciting new feature for the ICA Training System (ICATS), providing an incredible tool for demonstrating and executing run-outs.  Run-outs require the player to shoot several sequential shots, with excellent cue ball control, to land in a relatively small landing zone for best position on the next shot, thus allowing the run to continue.  Successful run-outs demand planning and skill, with the ICATS Pattern Breakdown feature leading you shot-by-shot through the run-out. 

The full features of Pattern Breakdown are available to all users as part of your base ICA Training System (ICATS), allowing creation of your own run-out drills!  Alternatively, ICA offers professionally designed Pattern Breakdown Modules, created by Master Instructor Robin Dreyer.  The ICA Pattern Breakdown modules provide challenging layouts, demonstrating the necessary cueing and leaves for successful multi-ball run-outs.

How Does Pattern Breakdown Work?

Pattern Breakdown uses the new ICATS “Pattern Ball” (PBall), which is a hybrid of a Cue ball (CBall) and an Aiming ball (ABall).  The PBall shows how to strike the cue ball (tip position and stroke speed) and is 4 balls in size, providing a convenient and challenging target for each shots’ leave.  Any drill containing numbered PBalls can be processed as a Pattern Breakdown drill.

Pattern Ball Description

Pattern Breakdown is driven primarily by use of the arrow keys, with Right Arrow moving to next shot and Left Arrow moving to the previous shot.  Using the normal ICATS menu (Drill / Load) or shortcut key (l) methods, load a Pattern Breakdown capable drill from ICA, or from your own creation, and proceed as follows:

Full Pattern Displayed - The initial display is the full pattern as illustrated in diagram 1, showing all Object balls (OBalls), PBalls and track lines.  This gives an overview of the full runout.  The initial display of a large multi-ball runout can be a bit “busy”, but operation of Pattern Breakdown takes care of this.

Full Pattern Layout

Object Balls Only – Pressing Right Arrow shows the bare layout (OBalls only).  This allows players who want to first analyze the table by themselves to do so without the drill authors’ guidance.

Pattern Drill displaying only object balls

Shot 1 – Pressing Right Arrow moves to “Shot 1”.   Displayed on the table are: a) the PBall and tracklines to the 1st OBall to be sunk; b) the 2nd PBall, providing a target for your cue ball leave; c) All other “unsunk” OBalls.  As you can see in Diagram 2, only the critical information to sink Shot 1 and get position for Shot 2 is displayed.

Pattern Drill - Shot 1

Shot 2 – Pressing Right Arrow moves to “Shot 2”.  Similar to Shot 1, displayed now are: a) the PBall and tracklines to the 2nd OBall to be sunk; b) the 3rd PBall, providing a target for your cue ball leave; c) all other “unsunk” OBalls (OBall(s) sunk on shot 1 are removed).

Pattern Drill - Shot 2

Shot 3+ - Additional Right Arrows move to the next shot, showing the current PBall/OBall, the next PBall/OBall (using next PBall as a “leave” target) and any other unsunk OBalls.

Pattern Drill - Shot 3 et cetera

Final Shot – Eventually the last shot is reached through multiple Right Arrows.  Only the final PBall and OBall are shown.  Make the shot (don’t scratch!) and you’ve successfully completed the run-out!  A final Right Arrow brings you back to Step 1 with the full pattern displayed.

Pattern Drill - Last Shot

As you can see, Pattern Breakdown has carefully walked you through the run-out each step of the way!  Not every run-out proceeds without problems, and not every leave lands exactly where it needs to.  However, ICA Pattern Breakdown drills are designed with some margin of error built in!  If you land on the PBall (4 times a regular ball size) you can still reach the next PBall landing zone, though you might have to adjust the indicated cueing slightly. 

The ease-of-use and clear shot instruction provided by the ICA Pattern Breakdown feature and modules provide hours of fun challenges, and an incredible tool to improve your run-out skills!

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