Billiards also known as cue sports has always been very popular. The most popular cue sports in New Zealand are billiards snooker and pool.
History of Billiards
It is thought that the game of billiards originated from an outdoor game similar to the game of croquet. During the 16th century, it was often played in France and Northern Europe. Due to inclement weather conditions, the game was moved indoors. The platform for the game was a wooden table with its interior covered in green cloth to replicate grass. Wooden sticks called maces were used to shove the balls. Originally the game was played on a six-pocket table with a hoop and only two balls. Similar to a croquet wicket, a hoop was used as well as an upright stick. The hoop and stick are no longer used.
Evolution of Billiards
In the 1840s Pakeha settlers introduced a form of billiards to New Zealand as billiards was no longer a game exclusive to the wealthy. Auckland had at least one billiard room in 1842 and by the end of the decade, billiard rooms were located in hotels and available for public use. Customers could either pay per game or when offered could purchase a membership. In the 19th century, billiards became a gambling game for men in the working class. A number of organised billiards events were held in New Zealand.
Types of Billiard Games
Billiards involves three balls, two cue balls and a red ball. One cue ball is white and the other cue ball is yellow or white with a mark. Opponents are awarded points when fouls are committed. Snooker is played with 15 red balls and a cue ball and 6 coloured balls with individually valued points. Once all the red balls are pocketed then the coloured balls must be pocketed in numerical sequence. Pool includes 15 numbered balls and a cue ball. 7 solid colours, 7 striped and a black ball.