Interesting Facts About Billiards

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    May 15, 2013
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Interesting Facts About Billiards Photo by Ram Kausik

India’s knowledge of billiards as an international sport might be limited to the knowledge that Pankaj Advani won 8 World Titles in billiards and snooker, but there is more to the games of billiards and snooker than meets the eye. Following are some interesting facts about Billiards.

• The game of Billiards or pool evolved from a lawn game in the basic discipline of croquet, during the 15th century in France.

• The genial vibe of the game has helped build the gap between social strata. It is played by aristocrats and common folks alike.

• The first billiard room was prepared in England sometime in 1765 AD. It was a table with one pocket and four balls.

• Before the cue sticks came into being, the people played billiards with mace, which is a curved wooden or metal head attached to a narrow handle.

• In 1903, the first coin-operated billiard table was patented with a cost of one penny for a game on the table.

• Billiards was illegal in Virginia, United States during Thomas Jefferson’s time. That didn’t stop him from building a billiards room in his home- the dome on Monticello.

• Billiards was the first sport to have a world championship. It was held in 1873.

• In the olden days, before the use of plastics and celluloid, the pool table was made out of ivory (elephant tusks).

• The world's largest billiard hall was built during billiards' Golden Age in the 1920s. It was a seven storey health spa named ‘the Recreation’. It had 103 tables, 88 bowling lanes, 20 barber chairs, three manicuring stands, 14 cigar stands, a lunch counter on each floor, a restaurant that could seat 300 and a theatre that could very well accommodate 250 spectators.

• The billiard cloth, since its conception in 1500 to date, has always been made of wool.

• Charles Goodyear’s invention- the vulcanized rubber, revolutionized billiard cushions. But unfortunately, he never got to enjoy the spoils as his company suffered huge loss and he was imprisoned for running a high debt.

• India’s own Pankaj Advani profile is well known for setting the world record of becoming the first player to complete a grand double by winning both the point and time formats in the IBSF World Billiards Championship.

• Pankaj Advani won 8 World Titles in billiards and snooker.

• There are fifteen colored ball in billiards. There are seven solid, seven striped and a black eight ball.

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