This topic is also under discussion in the TD club. I have been asked to post the following in this forum as well, to give another perspective on the "red ball break" issue.
(reposted from TD Club)
In real world pool tournaments, there are rules governing the break. Most notably, the first or second ball in the rack must be contacted and four balls must be driven to the rail or a ball pocketed for the break to be legal. Safe breaks are not allowed. It is required that a break be "forceful".
In yahoo, skilled players have discovered the "red ball break", which very nearly guarantees a pocketed ball and an open table, conditions that are conducive to running the table for a skilled player.
To more accurately mimic real-world conditions and to level the playing field, the red ball break has been forbidden. Unfortunately, it is not possible to judge with certainty that one of the top balls has been struck first in yahoo, so the "move the cue ball" rule is being tried, since it is at least verifiable by the opponents.
The key here is that "real" pool DEMANDS a random break, and Elite would like to have a random break in its tournaments as well.
I don't understand why a skilled player would complain about this. Any complaint, when you peel away the verbiage in which it is cast, boils down to this:
"I am a skilled player, and when I get the break I want to guarantee that I can take my opponent down effortlessly, no matter how good he is."
After all, even if a less-skilled player has mastered the red ball break, s/he is still unlikely to be able to run the table, and s/he will have left a wide open table to the opponent when s/he first misses.
I weigh in on the side of forbidding the red ball break, it is grotesquely unsportsmanlike in thehands of a skilled player.