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Toss Mechanics Detailed

This is a general discussion of the mechanics of executing a controlled toss.

Everyone has different physical attributes that may make some of these suggestions untenable.  Use this outline as a general guideline and make adjustments as necessary for your personal requirements.

The focus of this discussion is on the Mechanics associated with the shooters Stance and Toss.  Discussion of grips and dice sets is not included here.


Tossing Right-Handed, Over-Hand from SR (any position).
(For Tossing Left-Handed, Over-Hand from Stick-Left, reverse the left/right suggestions)

Stand facing the Stickman with right hip against the rail. Body does not have to be square (perpendicular) to the table rail, but hips should be in a range of about the 75-85 degree angle. The more the left hip is allowed to move in toward the table, the more the upper body will need to twist to compensate, which is a source of fatigue. 



Placement of the feet is critical for balance, comfort and stamina. Right foot should be placed forward, just slightly ahead of the body, with the majority of the body weight balanced on the right foot. Left foot is placed slightly behind the body and is used to support and press the hip into the table rail. Note that although you want to “anchor” your body to the table rail for stability, you want to keep your weight on you feet for balance control. Notice what happens if you place your left foot forward instead. The hips naturally rotate toward the table causing an adjustment to the upper body (detailed below). In addition, should we need to lean out over the table, the left foot will end up providing little balance support.



The left arm is placed across the body and the left hand grabs onto the chip rail, further anchoring the lower body against the table rail. Usually the hand goes far enough that the fingers hang over the chip rail where they can curl over and provide additional “clamping” power.


The upper torso and shoulders are presented flush (parallel) facing the shooting wall. It is important to “open” up the chest by pulling the left shoulder back. The more your left shoulder dips down towards the table surface, the more the chest will interfere with the toss because the right arm is forced to toss across the chest (which in turn causes the elbow to buckle, etc, etc.)



The right (shooting) arm and hand are dangling naturally down to the table surface. When the dice are presented, quickly set the dice, establish your grip and align the dice to be parallel with the shooting wall. (Hint: don’t forget to place your Pass Line or Don’t Pass bet (chips) slightly to your right so that they do not interfere with your dice positioning or shooting)


At this point, unless you are fairly tall, you are already leaning out over the table to get around the stickman and to get a straight shot to the flat portion of the shooting wall. Use all four anchor points to assist in getting you where you need to be. Most likely you will be up on the balls of your feet. Ensure to balance between both feet so as not to wear out one leg or the other. Use the left leg to press upwards and against the table rail. Use your left (non-shooting) arm to pull you out over the table.

And finally, use the hip against the table rail to take some of your body weight off your feet. (Hint: because you are leaning out over the table, your head and eyes are now at an angle for the viewing of the intended landing zone. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but lift your head toward your left shoulder to get your eyes parallel with the table surface. You will be amazed at what this does to your ability to hit your LZ.)


The shooting hand (and dice) should be the closest part of the body to the shooting wall. Lean forward slightly; right hand (shooting hand) is directly below the right shoulder or as much as six inches forward. Use the hand positioning of the dice to control speed (power) and spin (rotation) of the dice. In general (all aspects being equal), the farther forward you place the hand (away from the body and closer to the shooting wall) the less power and the less rotation (knuckle-ball type toss).


The farther back (closer to your body and away from the shooting wall) you position the throwing hand the more power and the greater the rotation. The shooting hand ought not ever be pulled back any father then the position of the hip against the rail. Any farther then that and the throwing arm is traveling to much distance before the release which provides far to much opportunity to get off of parallel by twisting the wrist, turning the elbow, or any other number of alignment issues.




Tossing Right-Handed, Over-Hand from SL (any position).(For Tossing Left-Handed, Over-Hand from Stick-Left, reverse the left/right suggestions)

Stand facing the dealer with pelvis or belly flat against the table rail. 


Again, placement of the feet is critical for balance, comfort and stamina. The feet should be slightly spread, just slightly less then shoulder width, apart with the body weight balanced between both feet. Feet should be placed back from the table rail, just barely enough to allow for a comfortably lean into the rail. The lean will not be such that it the table rail takes our body weight, just enough that the table rail will provide a bit of support. If you find your self “laying” on the rail, straighten up. The left foot is pointed straight at the dealer, perpendicular to the table rail. The right foot is pointed slightly towards the shooting wall, at perhaps a 45% angle. This slight angling of the right foot opens the right hip just enough for a more comfortable and natural toss position.



The left arm is placed in one of two positions; either place the left hand on the rail directly up from the left hip placing the hand on or over the chip rails, or across the body where the left hand grabs onto the table rail padding near the right hip. In either case the left hand is used to assist in the anchoring and supporting of the torso.


The upper torso and shoulders are presented flush (parallel) to the table rail. Care should be taken in keeping the right shoulder flat/flush with the table. The natural tendency is to open or lift the right shoulder which leads to an arm swing that rolls to the right (and a wrist that breaks to the right). Keeping the right shoulder “down” maintains proper positioning of the arm and hand. 


The right (shooting) arm and hand are dangling naturally down to the table surface. When the dice are presented, quickly set the dice, establish your grip and align the dice to be parallel with the shooting wall. (Hint: don’t forget to place your Pass Line or Don’t Pass bet (chips) slightly to your left so that they do not interfere with your dice positioning or shooting).


At this point, unless you are fairly tall, you will be leaning out over the table to get around the stickman and to get a straight shot to the flat portion of the shooting wall. In preparation for the toss, shift your weight just slightly to your right foot and use your left foot and leg as a support, applying pressure on your body against the table rail.



You will want to lean out over the table.  Standing too straight will lead to issues with your arm swing “arcing” around your body or drive wrist tipping to the right (thumb-side of hand lifts).  Both of these issues are more easily addressed by leaning out over the table.  The lean should be comfortable and just far enough to provide a clear range of motion for the arm swing, without causing any imbalance in the overall stance.


Use all four anchor points (feet, hips and non-shooting hand) to assist in getting you where you need to be. Most likely you will be up on the balls of your feet. Ensure to balance between both feet so as not to wear out one leg or the other. Use the left leg to press upwards and against the table rail. Use your left (non-shooting) arm to pull you out over the table. And finally use the hip against the table rail to take some of your body weight off your feet. (Hint: because you are leaning out over the table, your head and eyes are now at an angle for the viewing of the intended landing zone. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but lift your head toward your right shoulder to get your eyes parallel with the table surface. You will be amazed at what this does to your ability to hit your LZ.)



Lean forward slightly; right hand (shooting hand) is directly below the right shoulder or as much as six inches forward.


The shooting hand (and dice) should be the closest part of the body to the shooting wall.  This is a general statement as one might move the position of the shooting hand back closer toward the center mass (belly), or more forward toward the shooting wall.  Use the hand positioning of the dice to control speed (power) and spin (rotation) of the dice.


In general (all aspects being equal), the farther forward you place the hand (away from the body and closer to the shooting wall) the less power and the less rotation (knuckle-ball type toss). The farther back (closer to your body and away from the shooting wall) you position the throwing hand the more power and the greater the rotation. The shooting hand ought not ever be pulled back any father then the position of the hip against the rail.


The further the throwing arm is moved back toward the belly the greater the traveling distance of the hand-wrist before the release.  The greater this travel distance, the greater the opportunity to get off of parallel by twisting the wrist, turning the elbow, or any other number of alignment issues.


The three foundational components to a consistent controlled toss are the Stance, Grip and Toss.  Maintaining a consistent Stance and Toss motion are necessary to achieving reliability in your controlled throw performance.  These mechanics are as important as proper grip and correct dice set selection.  As with all things physical practice is the gateway to sustaining a time after time consistent delivery.



Best wishes, in keeping your toss straight and your rack full.


Maddog

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 8, 2008 6:19 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Investor-Backed Team Play Part - 6 .

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