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The Brief History of the BCA By John Lewis

The Brief History of the BCA By John Lewis

The Brief History of the BCA By John Lewis

The Billiard Congress of America was first formed in 1948. Players such as Willie Mosconi and Willie Hoppe were involved in early meetings.

The idea was to organize the players and promote the sport through a number of qualifying tournaments at the local, regional and national levels in Straight Pool and 3-Cushion billiards (the popular competitive disciplines of the era) to determine recognized champions; to produce an official rulebook to standardize the sport and help fund the effort; and to involve billiard rooms, retailers and manufacturers in meeting these promotional goals.

With a great number of soldiers playing the sport at military camps during World War II, the industry had expected a tremendous surge in popularity after the war. This did not occur, as the soldiers generally returned home, got married, started families and created suburbia. Despite the involvement of the many integers of the BCA, the sport fell into a depression in the late 1940s and the entire 1950s. Throughout this period, the official rulebook proved to be the anchor of the association, and World and National Championships were not recognized unless they were sanctioned by the BCA.

In 1961 the movie "The Hustler" was released and single-handedly revived the sport for a few years.

BCA History

The BCA began promoting the US Open 14.1 Championships in 1966, the most prestigious professional event of its time. From 1948 to 1980, the BCA had officers and a board of directors, but no physical permanent office.

The National Sporting Goods Association kept the files of the BCA, and handled day-to-day administration. In 1980 Mr. Robert Froeschle, who had directed the US Open for years, volunteered to set up a permanent BCA office in Iowa City, Iowa, his hometown. Since that decision, the BCA has called Iowa City its home, moving on numerous occasions to bigger office space as expanded needs required. In just the next two months the BCA is moving to its own free-standing two-story office building. In 1982 the BCA board of directors decided to promote an industry trade show, where all integers of the sport could meet. Today the BCA International Trade Expo is the largest billiard trade show in the world. Profits from the show, along with retail sales of "The Official Rules & Records Book" generated substantial operating costs to the organization so that it could promote the sport at many different levels.

  • Title: The Brief History of the BCA By John Lewis
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 12/15/2008 3:19:00 AM

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