Pool: Sport or Game?
Photo Credit: davehuehn
This article was produced on behalf of Home Leisure Direct – Whether you’re a serious gamer or a true sportsman, Home Leisure Direct has a huge array of pool tables to suit your needs.
Similar to darts; whether pool can be considered a sport or a game in todays world has been a topic of much debate for many years. When having a drink with your friends and playing a bit of pool, it could be considered more of a game – something of a laugh whilst you have a few drinks and participate in a bit of banter. However, to some pool is a serious sport, governed internationally by the World Pool-Billiard Association and played around the world with differing forms of the game – 8 ball and 9 ball been the most popular methods of play.
Although pool has developed into a sport, its history arguably points towards being more of a game. The term ‘pool’ came from its association with the poolrooms in England where gamblers used to pool their money to bet off-track on horse races and because the venues provided billiard tables. Thus, the term pool became a coined term within billiards. With a history of gambling, it’s hard to deny that pool did in fact originate as a game, but it has since ultimately developed into something of a sport.
Today, pool is part of a family of cue sports, such as snooker and billiards, and is recognised as a competitive sport. Pool even has its own international stars including players like Earl Strickland and Efren Reyes. If you look at a serious pool player like Efren Reyes, it’s clear to see why Pool should now be considered an international sport and not a game. Originating from the Philippines, Reyes has dominated the sport, as well as heralded the two time world champion. He is also acknowledged by the media, experts in the field, and his peers as one of the greatest all round pool players of all time. Furthermore, he is also one of the highest earners in the sport, topping the list of high earners within Billiards in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
But what makes Efren Reyes an official sportsman is the fact he was named a Philippine Sports Ambassador in 2005 to promote the South East Asian Games. This is a clear recognition of his achievements within the sport of Billiards.
In the 21st century pool should be considered a sport, not just because the top players seem to be branded as sportsmen amongst their respected countries, but because of the competitive nature of the sport. Professional pool players compete for the world title in 8 ball, 9 ball, 10 ball, Artistic Pool, Pyramid, Straight Pool and Blackball. With such a varied field of competition with a variety of different players and personalities it looks at every angle a sport and if you ask any professional pool player they would call their passion a sport and let’s face it if you can call Darts a sports then Pool should certainly be held in the same breath.