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Integration of Billiards into Other Sports and Leisure Activities

A short primer on how billiards' popularity has seen it become integrated into other sports and leisure activities (as written by one of our advertising partners).


Integration of Billiards into Other Sports and Leisure Activities

Integration of Billiards into Other Sports and Leisure Activities

Billiards is a game loved by all ages so it isn't difficult to see just why the popularity is continuing to grow. However, over the years this simple game's popularity has not only improved upon the game play we already know and love, but it's also influenced some of our other much-loved alternatives. Whether you're a fan of the original billiards games, or you simply enjoy dabbling in an alternative from time to time, here's our take on how billiards' popularity has led the game to become integrated in other sports and leisure activities.

A Brief History

Like most sports, the true origin of billiards is a difficult one to pinpoint and can often be disputed. In general, however, sources can trace the game all the way back to the 15th century, specifically in Northern Europe. While it was initially a game associated with royals, billiards has been a game for people across all walks of life, whether poor, rich, ladies, gentleman and the game has even been an activity of choice in mental hospitals to keep patients amused. It was particularly well-recognized as a gentleman's game, though this was hardly set in stone. Over the years, more and more women are not only playing billiards and its variants, but competing in competitions too.

Today, billiards tables are more commonly found in various bars or pubs, though the game-play is likely different to its original rules. The commercialization of the game has certainly helped to spread it across the globe and open it up to its ongoing popularity, though the term 'billiards' isn't used nearly as commonly today as you might think. With so many different styles of play having branched off from the game we all know and love, is there any wonder it's so popular with players today?

Why Is It So Popular?

While fans won't even query the game's popularity, those who don't necessarily understand the appeal could still be wondering just how it came to be as popular of a pastime as it is today. From newbies trying their hands at facing off against the more dominant pool sharks, to the highly experienced players who can't go a week without a game or two at a billiards table, practically everyone has heard of this game in some way. The table alone has triggered a wealth of different games that people can get involved in, of course including snooker, so there truly is something to enjoy for everyone.

From full-sized, luxurious billiards tables, to downsized alternatives so kids can try their hand at the game, the accessibility of billiards has always been a core value. As we've mentioned before, even the origin of the game saw both peasantry and royalty dabbling in a round from time to time. The skill involved makes the game a competitive one, but you don't have to be a professional to get involved, providing a fun, competitive game for anyone to get involved in.

Is Pool Different from Billiards?

Nowadays, more players are likely to be familiar with pool than with billiards, though the former actually descended from traditional billiards game-play. In traditional billiards, the aim of the game was to hit your opponent's cue ball with your striker ball but the most notable difference, perhaps, was that a billiards table typically never had pockets. In fact, pockets were only eventually included to create obstacles for the game.

Pool, on the other hand, is a game in which a white cue ball was used to push the other balls into the pockets rather than avoiding them. To win a game of pool, players have to 'pot' the balls in order of the numbers printed on the balls and attempt to get a higher score than their opponent. Both pool and billiards hold their own as a fan favorite game, but pool in particular is more commonly played in a casual manner.

How About Snooker?

Snooker is a game most of us will know from televised tournaments, but it's also another alternative that can be found for casual play. In general, snooker features 15 red, six colored and one cue ball and, like pool, requires players to try and get the colored and red balls into the pockets on the table using the cue ball. In snooker, the order of the balls needs to be red, then a colored, all the way until all the red balls are potted and the final colored balls can be potted in the order of yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and then black.

While this game is different, the 'cue sports' style of play makes it clear just which game it descended from. Billiards' popularity across the globe has led to countless variations and other game-play styles and pool and snooker are just two of them - but what about the more obscure alternatives?

Other Forms

Billiards has undoubtedly influenced the creation of a whole host of different cue sports, some more popular than others. Carom games, for example, are influenced from the no-pockets original style of play and the most popular competitive sport currently available around the world in this style is Artistic Billiards. In this game, players will score points depending on their success across 76 preset shots that grow in difficulty throughout the game. It's one of the most widely competed billiards alternatives besides pool and snooker, and can make for a fascinating watch!

There are also a host of 'ground billiards' games, though some of these are thought to have been around long before billiards. Some of the most widely known include croquet, jeu de mail, pall-mall, and Trucco, though the latter three aren't often played anymore and certainly not at a competitive level! Gold and field hockey are thought to have some kind of link to cue sports and share some historical relation but this is, once again, a matter up for debate.

Billiards is still a popular game, though it's popularity is arguably driven through the descendant alternatives available in the sporting world today. While many people will turn to snooker or pool for a casual cue sport, billiards still proves time and time again to be a competitive game that's accessible to all.

  • Title: Integration of Billiards into Other Sports and Leisure Activities
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 6/11/2018 7:41:32 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/16/2018 2:01:11 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source: Sponsored Content Partner

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