Avoiding the Nine-Ball Hype in Billiards

Topics: Pool, Glossary of cue sports terms, Rack Pages: 4 (1416 words) Published: February 10, 2013
Although it has been referred to as the “Noble Game of Billiards,” the game of pocket billiards has long held a reputation as a game played by, shady individuals, in smoke filled parlors only accessible through dark alleyways and basement stairwells, who have only one goal in mind, and that is to part the poor unsuspecting individual who happened to stumble in off the street, from his money. While this may be true in some cases, the reality is that over 36 million people in the United States play billiards (2012 USA Sports Participation Survey – Billiards). There are many different games in billiards, but eight-ball and nine-ball are the two most popular games played in the United States today. In billiards, the games of eight-ball and nine-ball both require certain skills and strategies however; eight-ball requires a more advanced player in order to excel. Even though nine-ball has not been around as long as eight-ball, its popularity has soured over the past few years because of, media coverage, the fact that the game does not typically take as long to play as eight-ball, and a minimal amount of thought or planning is required. The most commonly recognized governing body for pocket billiards in the United States today is the Billiards Congress of America (BCA). The rules and standards established by the BCA are the basis for all billiards games played in this country today. Equipment standards are adhered to by amateurs and professionals alike although, professional standards are slightly more limiting. Pocket billiards is played on a table that is half as wide as it is long and has 6 pockets. The balls used in the game consist of one white ball “the cue ball,” and 15 colored balls numbered 1 thru 15, the 1 thru 8 are a solid colored and referred to as “solids” or “little ones” the 9 thru 15 are white with a solid colored stripe around the ball and are referred to as “stripes” or “big ones.” The cue stick usually referred to as simply a “cue” or “stick,” used...
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