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An image illustrating the evolution of the pool and billiards

Billiards and Snooker Historical Background

Billiards and Snooker Basics

Billiards and Snooker are the names of a couple of widely known games. People often assume that they’re identical. The truth, however, couldn’t be further from that. Billiards, first and foremost, involves balls that are red, yellow and white. Snooker is a whole other ballgame, pun intended. It involves 22 balls in total. One is a cue ball. The remaining 21 balls are coloured and red. Although billiards and snooker are different recreational activities, they both have equally fascinating histories and backgrounds on their sides.

Billiards Historical Background

An old retro sign for a billiards clubBilliards has a comprehensive historical background to its credit.   So many people have participated in the joys of the game throughout the centuries and years. Heads of state, royalty and average individuals have all devoted their time to billiards. Billiards’ roots can be traced back to an old lawn game that’s reminiscent of croquet. This game had many fans back in the 1400s. It was a force in Northern regions of Europe. It was most likely played in France as well.  Although the game’s origins were outdoors, people started playing it inside. They used tables made out of wood and topped with signature green cloths. The aim behind these cloths was simply to replicate the look of grass. Participants used maces made from wood to push their sticks forward. “Billiard” is thought to be a word that has French language origins.  It may be related to “bille.” That’s how the French say “ball.”

People frequently associate billiards of the past with stories that involve individuals who had high positions in society. They often link the game to royalty. People have referred to it as being “The Noble Game of Billiards” for centuries now.  Despite that, it’s been enjoyed by all kinds of individuals throughout the years and it has been enjoyed by people from all kinds of economic classifications. Most people were already extremely well-versed in the game by the time the seventeenth century rolled around. Legendary British playwright and poet William Shakespeare gave the game reference in his tragedy that was known as “Antony and Cleopatra”. 

Billiard cue sticks on a white back dropThe Billiards’ famed cue stick came around in the latter portion of the seventeenth century. The addition of the cue stick simplified the game for many participants. Males initially were given sole permission to use these sticks.  Billiard tables have been through various transitions throughout the years.  In the beginning, they had walls that were even and flat. These served as rails. These walls were in place in order to stop balls from falling. Since they looked like riverbanks, many people referred to them simply as “banks.” Billiard participants realised that balls had the ability to spring back upon contact with rails. This encouraged them to start zeroing in on them specifically. This explains the “bank shot.”

This game, interestingly enough, has been the subject of intense fascination at certain points in the past.  Billiards as the Civil War was going on actually got more press than war stories did. People who played billiards were so famed that they were actually in some cases the subjects of cigarette cards.

Billiard cloths are true signatures of the pastime. The primary element of these cloths has been pretty consistent since day one as well. Wool was the material that was employed for all cloth production purposes back in the sixteenth century. It’s still the material that billiard cloths manufacturers opt for time and time again, too. Wool has been an unwavering staple in the billiard universe for more than four centuries. The material has naturally experienced a bit of tweaking and adjustment. There have even been some mixes with both nylon and wool.

Snooker Historical Background

An image to couple with the history of snooker text.Around the 1800’s the concept of snooker was introduced.   A lieutenant by the name of Neville Chamberlain was toying around with the concept of ‘black pool.’ This activity revolved around a single black and 15 red balls. Chamberlain made the decision to include various coloured balls into the mix. He got wind of the fact that the Royal Military Academy newbies were referred to as ‘snookers’.  This information compelled him to name the brand new game after them.

Billiards as an activity underwent more changes after some time. The Ooty Club in India has a Colonial ambience and is frequently discussed in information that relates to the background of snooker. The Ooty Club is home to a snooker club that was there from the start.  Information about snooker and all that it entailed spread like wildfire beginning at the Ooty Club. It spread all throughout India and throughout the British Empire. The United Kingdom itself certainly wasn’t any kind of exception.

There was a tournament for snooker players who weren’t professionals back in times of world war one. Nothing of this sort had ever taken place before. The ins and outs of snooker as a game came to fruition around 1919 or so. The re-spotted black became part of the mix at that time. The aim behind this was to guarantee that all frames could reap the rewards of winners.

Joe Davis was without a doubt a pioneer in the world of snooker. He was part of the launching of the debut Professional World Championship for the game toward the end of the 1920’s. He took the top prize in the championship game in 1927.  It was among the most beloved cue sports around all throughout the 1930’s. Davis was still an indomitable force throughout that phase in the game. He managed to land all of the World Championship titles seemingly with ease. He decided to exit the game in the middle of the 1940’s. People appeared to lose a bit of interest in snooker for a span of time. The world championships ceased to take place from 1958 all the way into 1963. Snooker thankfully was back on the map at the end of the sixties, though.

Snooker was able to maintain many fans in the nineties. The decade delivered a crop of exciting new snooker talents as well. One remarkable snooker player of the time was known as Stephen Hendry. He was a native of Scotland living in the United Kingdom. He was a powerhouse in snooker for a significant portion of time in the nineties. Hendry was even able to beat many prominent snooker players’ older records. There are still many individuals all around the globe who revel in snooker to this day. This game has a background that’s highly impressive and varied. It doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in the near future, either. International snooker enthusiasts abound.

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A recent build and installation of the Aurora in a Perth home.

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