English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : August 1999

The Amateur Billiard Player : August 1999

JUNIOR BILLIARDS

Phillip Welham

The English Junior ranking series is now in its third season of
operation. In that time it has developed into a well supported, well
administered and self financing body. The first season of events 1996-
97 saw 63 entrants an average of 16 per event. 1997-98 saw 97 entrants;
19 per event. 1998-99 saw 84 entrants with 28 per event.

This season we have attracted entries from Merseyside for the first
time and I am in contact with Worthing and Gloucester (where junior
coaching is occurring). I am thus hoping for entrants from those areas
in both the Junior rankings and the Boys and Junior Championships
for 1999-2000.

Apart from the obvious area (Teesside), Junior development is at its
strongest in Norfolk (60 to 70 Juniors), Lincoln (10 Juniors). Gloucester
and Worthing are coaching, however, what numbers are involved I
don’t know. Thus, the overall national junior scene is looking very
healthy. However these coaching initiatives need to be increased and

extended throughout England especially to those areas whose Leagues
are struggling i.e. down to 6, 7, 8, 9, teams.

The extent to which Billiards is played competitively is greater than
many expect, and my research shows that there are 150 leagues in the
UK (that I definitely know of). Of course these Leagues vary in numbers,
some, like Stafford and Portsmouth have over 200 players. Other
sizeable leagues exist at Henley, Oxford. Spalding, Lincoln, Cambridge,
Hartlepool and Worthing, who all have over 100 players. Most however,
fall into the over 50 players category. Thus my research shows that
there are 10,000 competitive players in the UK. To discover the full
extent of Billiards Leagues and the game in general the Eastern Counties
Billiards Association proposes that the E.A.B.A. offers all Leagues
affiliation to itself. This could be free of charge or just cost a minimal
fee. However, the advantages to the E.A.B.A. would be immense with
the probable increase in the English Championship entries the most
obvious.


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