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Billiards as an Olympic Sport

Billiards as an Olympic Sport

Billiards as an Olympic Sport

What is the status of Billiards as an Olympic Sport? This has been a question on everyone's mind this year, and in years past whenever the Olympic games are occurring.

Billiards as an Olympic Sport

Billiards as an Olympic sport is something that billiard enthusiasts have long wanted to see, and many are searching for it via the internet this year. Well, we hate to disappoint, but it isn't part of the 2008 Olympic Games, but we're a lot closer than we were before. In fact, Cue Sports are already included in the Asian Games, SEA Games, Mediterranean Games.

Ever since in the 1950's many attempts have been made in order for Billiards to possibly achieve the Olympic Recognition, but all of them to no avail. Two major obstacles were standing in the way; Billiards did not comply with the definition of Sports that was valid at this point in time, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) demanded for a possible recognition one organization in charge of all Billiards Sports. You can imagine how difficult this task would be, given that Billiards, Carom, Pool and Snooker did share the origin of Billiards, but have developed separate from each other ever since in the middle of the 19th century.

Today's reality, however, is that for Billiards at the Olympic level, the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS) now represent all games under the cue sports umbrella that are being pushed for inclusion in the Olympics. In 1998, billiards was recognized by the IOC as an "international sports federation". Experts say, and agree, that this is the first step to getting billiards in the Olympic games. This organization is now campaigning for inclusion in either the 2012 Olympics, having been unsuccessful with getting cue sports into the 2008 Olympic Games.

In July 1996 the IOC decided to grant the WCBS a provisional recognition for two years. That was a first step. Then, another glimmer of hope came in 1998 when in a press conference, the IOC President stated that "the IOC is anxious to include Billiards Sports in the Olympic Games as quickly as possible, but the WCBS will have to decide which discipline it would like to include."

The World Confederation of Billiards Sports actually has a page on the IOC website, as a registered International Sports Federation. The WCBS submitted an application for billiards participation in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in May of 2001, but were rejected in August 2002. The reason the IOC provided to the WCBS in 2002 to justify their denial of billiards into the 2008 Olympic games was that there had been a previous decision not to take on any additional sports for the Beijing Olympics.

At the previous summer games, the IOC advertised a new regulation, however, which says that the IOC will scrutinize all current and aspiring sports for inclusion using the same strict guidelines. This may just be the chance Billiards needs to get into the Olympics. Unfortunately, the IOC has a 28-sport, 300 event, 10,500 athlete limit.

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  • Title: Billiards as an Olympic Sport
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 8/14/2008 10:22:00 PM

Billiards as an Olympic Sport Comments

  1. lemonlemon from Sheffield, United Kingdom on 8/18/2008 1:54:46 PM

    How can I help campaign to make cue sports part of the 2012 summer Olympics?

    Surely England is the place to introduce snooker into the Olympics at long last!

  2. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 12/31/2008 3:45:47 PM

    The BCA and other national cue sport organizations have been campaigning to make billiards an Olympic sport for a long time. Unfortunately, however, that goal doesn't seem likely to be achieved in the near future, if ever.

    One major difficulty is that there is no strong governing organization for billiards international level.

    The BCA is a national sanctioning body, but it has no genuine control over such groups as the Pro Billiards Tour (PBT), which oversees most major men's pool tournaments, or the Women's Professional Billiards Association (WPBA), which conducts women's professional billiard tournaments.

    The World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) is a rather loose organization of various national billiards and pool associations, while the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPBA) is a similar amalgamation of national groups that conduct and/or sanction pocket billiards leagues and tournaments.

    There needs to be a single international governing body for cue sports before billiards or snooker or any other cue sport game makes it into the summer Olympics.

  3. SlickRick_PCSSlickRick_PCS from Dallas, TX on 2/21/2010 3:35:26 PM

    Here is my two cents on why billiards is not in the summer Olympics yet.

    1. Gambling and Hustling in Billiards: This nonsense of hustling and gambling in pool and billiards should be barred. AT EVERY COST! In order for billiards, especially pocket billiards (e.g. pool), to maintain a status as a sport, gambling and hustling must be eliminated. Gambling could perhaps occur at very minimum levels but hustling must be GONE completely.

    2. Too Many Variations: There is a problem with the sheer number of disciplines in all of cue sports. There are just too many versions of billiards.

      • Pocket billiards and all of the sub-games within that space
      • Carom billiards and their disciplines
      • Snooker (english billiards... to an extent)
      • Russian Billiards
      • Italian Billiards.

      It is very impossible and selfish to give a gold to every single discipline of each of those cue sports listed above. So there has to be a decision on which key disciplines of each billiard sport would be included.

    3. International Unity: If there were to be a worldwide petition or governing body contacting and keeping in touch with head IOC members with regards to recognizing billiards as an Olympic sport, then there could be that stronghold chance. But you have to realize that not ALL forms of billiards will be in the venue. As I saw on a YouTube clip, the Russians are interested into getting Russian Billiards into the Olympics. Nevertheless, it has been said that pool will start first.

    With all of that said, I do believe that billiards will be a sport in the summer Olympics in the next four summer Olympics (e.g. the next 16 years). It is just a matter of figuring out which.

  4. Alejandro José BonaviaAlejandro José Bonavia from Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7/5/2011 10:13:04 AM

    I think that the pocket-less billiard games e.g. carom table games are more accurate and require more skill. For this reason, I think that carom billiards is a better candidate to be an Olympic sport. American billiards e.g. pocket billiards is very "trivial".

  5. toadtoad from Brantford, ON on 3/14/2012 6:39:22 AM

    I believe that all billiard games have benefits. I have been playing pool for over 20 years and have won numerous pool tournaments. My opinion is that they should allow billiards in the Olympics because it is a mental game that challenges the body and the mind.

  6. Bobby DBobby D from Minneapolis, MN on 7/28/2012 11:50:20 AM

    In my opinion, all cue sports players at the professional level need to band together and form an official billiard federation. Then they need to decide which cue sport disciplines are the most accessible to the public in order to generate interest. Then of those disciplines on the short list, they need to choose the top two games and use those. For pocket billiards, I would recommend 8 ball for the Olympics, as 8 ball is the most widely known cue sport game today. I think once one billiard discipline is established in the Olympics it will be easier to establish another.

  7. QStixQStix from Anaheim, CA on 4/22/2013 11:17:16 PM

    Interesting post. To many people it was unknown about the history of billiards in Olympic Games. Thanks for sharing the information, it was an interesting read.

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