Before I joined college, I had always seen on TV courtesy ESPN & STAR SPORTS, a game where there would be 2/4 people with long sticks trying to hit the balls on into a pocket. They used to play teh game on a board. With time I had come to realise that it was a game called Pool. Its variations had the US 8-ball, Euro 8-ball, 9-ball and its cousins were Snooker and Billiards. After gathering the information about these games, I was more than just keen to try my hands on them. But the question was where?? Back in those days (99-00), the cue games were pretty costly with and hour costing something like 120/- INR, be it snooker or pool. The rates have gone down marginally though over the years!! (Only for pool! Billiards is still a game to played at clubs!!). So imagine my joy, when after I joined college I found that the very same semester a snooker board has been bought for the students.
Thus started my sojourn into the world of cue sports. The lack of oopurtunities after passing out has cut down on my escapades with this sweetheart of mine, but then I never give up a chance to play, snooker being my favourite.
Snooker - The Game
Snooker is a game played on a rectangular, cushioned table. The table has four pockets in four corners and two along the middle of the long side cushions. There 7 different colours used for the balls, apart from the white coloured cue ball. Each of the ball has a point value associated with it.
Red (18 nos) - 1
Yellow(1) - 2
Green(1) - 3
Brown(1) - 4
Blue(1) - 5
Pink(1) - 6
Black(1) - 7
A team wins by accumulating the maximum number of points by potting the balls with the help of the cue ball in a specified manner.
The frame set up is shown in the picture on the right. The rule is to pot a red ball, then make a call on any of the other coloured ball, pot it and the cycle repeats, till the player fails to pot a the desired ball. The other team then gets a chance. Here one should remember apart from teh red ball the other coloured balls after being potted are replaced on the table. They won't get replaced if and only if they are being potted after al the 18 red balls have been cleared. The trick here is if one is supposed to go for a red ball or a coloured ball (as declared by him), he has to first hit the very same and pot the same ball too. No other colour can be hit first or potted. This calls for a foul with the minimum penalty being of 4 points and maximum being of 7 (should the ball in question be blue, pink or black!!). It is after this that the concept of "Play Again" comes into picture. After committing the foul if the cue ball ends up in an unplayable position or if the opponent chooses, then another shot is awarded to the fellow who committed the foul.
After all the red balls have been potted, the coloured balls are, in the order of the point value, potted. After the last ball is potted the scores are checked and the winner announced.
This beautiful game has captivated me for the past 6 years. Played it a lot during my college days back in Sikkim, India. Since then it has remained one of my secret passions. Though playing snooker is more of a luxury these days, I never give up a chance at trying my hands on Pool, which is more accessible. At least, I got a cue stick to hit the balls with :)
You might want to check out the following links for some more information: