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An Overview Of Snooker

Snooker is one of the most popular games in the world. It's a derivative of billiards and is enjoyed by millions of fans and players in every country. Though the equipment used and the style of play look similar to billiards, snooker is actually played using an entirely different set of rules.

Since the time it was created in the latter part of the 19th century, snooker has grown to capture celebrity standing with high-profile players as well as sponsorship from a list of well-regarded companies. Today, the game's tournaments and rules are governed by an organization that promotes the sport and oversees worldwide rankings. Below, we'll provide an overview of snooker that includes a brief history of the game, basics of playing and popular tournaments that are held each year.

A Brief History

Snooker's actual date of origin is unknown. However, most enthusiasts claim it was invented in the late 1800's when Sir Neville Chamberlain coined its name by derisively calling a fellow player "a snooker." The game spread quickly throughout Britain. But, it wasn't until 1927 that a governing body was created to oversee official tournaments. The sport was largely dominated by a few players for the next several decades. However, in 1969, the BBC created a televised tournament which attracted a new generation of players. Since then, snooker has gained popularity each year as an ever-increasing number of contenders vie for the top international ranks.

Basics Of Playing Snooker

The game consists of a cue ball, 15 red balls and 6 colored balls. Players take turn potting shots. The goal is to score more points than your opponent. Each player's turn starts by potting a red ball. If they can do so successfully, they can then aim for a colored ball. Points are awarded to the player based upon the balls that are successfully potted (red balls are worth 1 point while each colored ball is worth a different number of points). Matches are comprised of a number of frames (or games). The player who wins the most frames wins the match.

Snooker Tournaments And Events

Joe Davis (widely-regarded as the father of snooker) created the first Professional World Championship in 1926. Though it was held every year, participation was small and Davis dominated the sport for nearly 20 years (after which, he retired from the tour). Today, the World Championships is still held each year and attracts thousands of the best players from around the globe. The official snooker world ranking were released in 1976, sparking renewed interest, sponsorship money and larger winning purses. Over the past few decades, a few players have risen to the top ranks and have been all but unbeatable. Notable tournament players include Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor and more recently, Stephen Hendry.

Getting Involved

It's easy to begin playing snooker. There are hundreds of clubs and associations where you can meet other enthusiasts and enjoy the friendly competition amongst players of all skill levels. Snooker is a game that requires patience and practice. Skill is gained over time and most players become more passionate about the game with each year they participate. The game is fun, easy to learn and offers a great opportunity to enjoy the company of other players while honing your own snooker skills.