Cue Sports - History Print
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Tuesday, 02 January 2007 06:13

Cue Sports - History

Typical pool room  Cue Sports - History
The word "billiard" may have evolved from the French word "billart"

Although there are many theories about the origin of billiards, the earliest detailed account can be found in The Compleat Gamester by Charles Cotton, published in 1674.

It states that billiards was popular throughout Europe, especially in England. A diagram shows an oblong table with six pockets, similar to tables used today, although probably smaller in size.

The word "billiard" may have evolved from the French word "billart", meaning "mace", an implement, similar to a golf club, which was the forerunner to the modern cue.

In historic versions of the game, two balls were pushed along the table by a "mace" (also known as a "mast"). The main purpose of the game was to pocket the opponent's ball and keep your own out of the pockets, which became a "hazard".

In 1775, a game using the red ball, called "carambole", with the red being the "carom" surfaced. This was later changed to the modern term "cannon".

After World War II, snooker became more popular than billiards. Today, the the world championships, played at the Crucible in Sheffield, England every April, remains the unofficial world professional snooker championships.

The word "pool" comes from "poolrooms", where people gambled off-track on horse races. They were called poolrooms because money was "pooled" to determine the odds.