Origins of ordinary things: Pool table

Pool, formally known as pocket billiards, is the umbrella term for a number of cue sports and games played on a six-pocket pool table, including eight-ball, nine-ball and straight pool.

According to Game Stable Online, a popular web game portal that specialised in online adaptations of board, card, and dice games,  the indoor game that originated in Europe and spread to England before moving on to the U.S. Billiards is believed to have developed as an indoor version of lawn games such as croquet.

Around 1500s French nobility and others began installing billiards tables in their homes. The green cover of the table was meant to imitate the green grass and the borders were simple wooden planks to keep the balls from rolling off.

According to Street Directory, an online web mapping service, it became quite popular and when the cold weather did not allow the game to be enjoyed outside, it moved indoors and was played on a table that was covered with green cloth to resemble grass on which it had been previously played. By the early 18th Century indoor billiards was a favoured past time of the French nobility and English gentry.

Once a game mostly for the rich, pool has become a mainstay feature in bars, resorts, playrooms, and homes for many individuals from all walks of life. Pool tables originally had flat walls for rails and their only function was to keep the balls from falling off. They used to be called “banks” because they slightly resembled the banks of a river. Billiard players discovered that the balls could bounce off the rails and began deliberately aiming at them, and therefore the “bank shot” was born. This is according to Pool Tables.

By the 19th Century, the cue had developed into the form of which it is known today aided by advances in technologies that came about during the Industrial Revolution.  There were many variations of the game by this time with some making use of obstructions and targets, whilst others relied on the table cushions alone, such as carom billiards. Another obstacle/target had also been added to the table in the form of pockets, giving rise to pocket billiards.

In the present day, the game of 8-ball billiard, which is widely used in Europe, was formed approximately in 1900, while the nine-ball billiard was invented in 1920. Billiards currently refers to virtually each table game that uses balls and cues, involving 9- balls and diverse varieties of the pool and traditional pool games, including three billiard balls.

The table and ball have been enhanced to make the game even more enjoyable. Since then pool competitions have been held in numerous parts of the world, and many professionals have been known. The billiard game is played by all types of individuals, from teens, old, males or females. Having a billiard table at home can be an incredible way to spend time.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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