Challenge Level

Why do this problem?

The problem develops visualisation. Students may be interested because snooker is a popular game and they may be impressed that expert players can judge the angle of the shot accurately to bounce of two, three or even 4 walls and hit the target. One way to solve the problem is to use coordinates, similar triangles and gradients.

Possible approach

Work through one of the cases as a class together and then suggest that students draw a diagram. Then discuss the diagram as a class before the students calculate the various paths.

Key question

How can we turn into a straight line the path and the reflected path after the ball bounces off a cushion?

Possible support

Initially ignore the pink and blueballs which might be in the way of the shot.

See also Cushion Ball which has an interactivity.

Possible extension

See the article In Space Do All The Roads Lead Home?