World Billiard Classic
Originally selected as hosts for the IBSF World Open Billiards
Championship in 2001, New Zealand have refused to embrace the 50-
up format which the IBSF are currently insisting will be applied to all
future competitions carrying this title.
As a compromise, it has been agreed that New Zealand will host a
parallel event, with IBSF backing, which will be run along the traditional
format of timed matches.
This will be called the World Billiard Classic and it will be staged in
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, with the Canterbury Billiards
and Snooker Association (CBSA) as the local hosts. A date of late
September, early October 2001 is currently being considered.
The format will be that previously used in World Amateur
Championships. There will be round-robin section play followed by a
knockout stage for the last 16 players. The matches will generally be 4
hours, with the later stages extended to 6 hours and 8 hours.
The intention is to give each competitor as much playing time as
possible, with the organisers avoiding small qualifying groups, and the
staging of a “Plate” event is also being considered.
The CBSA and the New Zealand Billiards and Snooker Association
(NZBSA) plan to have a suitable trophy for the tournament. One
possibility receiving attention is purchasing something similar to the
Arthur Walker trophy (the one used for the World Amateur
The City of Christchurch is fully behind the tournament. The Mayor
will hold a civic reception for the players, and the tourism board plans
to contact competitors individually. It is anticipated that there will be
plenty of opportunity for some local sightseeing in New Zealand. The
tournament has also been promised plenty of publicity from the local
As part of its efforts to make the event a success, the CBSA and
NZBSA will place special emphasis on attracting as many of the leading
Amateur players as possible. This could include sending information
to individual players as well as national associations, allowing plenty
of time for the planning of travel arrangements.
We will continue to provide news of this event as it is receivedEd.
New Zealand Billiards Championships
As part of the Millennium year for Gisborne, the 2000 New Zealand
Billiards Championship was held at the Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club
4th-8th July. The tables were in excellent condition, having been recovered
several weeks before the tournament, allowing some time for them to be
“played in” by local players.
Unlike the English Amateur Billiards Championships with its qualifying
rounds spread over a number of weekends, the New Zealand
Championships are just one week and are open to any registered New
Zealand player. This year there were twenty entrants, which was on a
par with previous years. These were divided into four sections who
played round robin matches of two hours each. The top two from each
section qualified for the knock-out stages which were seeded according
to their performance in the group stages
Wayne Carey won all of his four matches in Section 1, scoring a 120
break against Joe Ifa, who with three wins was runner-up. In Section 2,
Merv Stewart was a clear winner with four wins. Ray Habgood lost to
Rob Elvin by just one point which meant Habgood, Elvin and Bryan
Nelson each finished joint-second with two wins each. Points differential
was used to determine that Habgood qualified for post-section play.
Darcy Boyce played well in his first three matches of Section 3, twice
scoring over 700 in two hours and making breaks of 105 and 105
unfinished against Byron Brook. However, in the match to decide section
winner, Boyce struggled against Gary Oliver and was beaten 600-280,
leaving Boyce the runner-up. Section 4 was the toughest section with
1996 New Zealand Champion Paul Stocker and previous runner-ups
Peter de Groot and Tony Stephens all capable of taking the top spot.
There was some high scoring with de Groot making 824 in one match
and Stocker 881 in another. Ultimately, it was Peter de Groot who
prevailed, beating Stocker 481-406 and Stephens 603-325, with Stocker
qualifying as runner-up.
The quarter-final match between top qualifier Peter de Groot and bottom
seeded player Ray Habgood proved to be a lot closer than might have
been expected. Although de Groot led by 172 at the interval, much of
this lead was accounted for by a break of 137, the tournament’s highest.
Early in the second session, the end piece from the butt of de Groot’s
cue fell off. Habgood, aided by two 50 breaks, closed the gap, but de
Groot responded with an 87 to put the match beyond doubt, eventually
In a one-sided encounter, Gary Oliver led 529-248 at the interval of his
match against Malcolm Cooke and went on to record a comfortable
victory by 455 points. Oliver had sustained a cracked rib prior to the
start of the tournament, but did not appear to be unduly handicapped
by this injury, even though he was obviously in some discomfort.
Although there was only one 50 break, the match between Merv Stewart
and Darcy Boyce provided the highest aggregate total of the quarter-
finals. Boyce led 477-415 at the interval, but in the second session
Stewart scored 505 points to Boyce’s 339 and won by 104.
The last of the quarter-finals saw defending champion Wayne Carey
matched against the 1996 champion Paul Stocker. Stocker had beaten
Carey over two hours several times this year, and although troubled by
a sore tendon had played well during section play. However, in a low
scoring match, Carey came out on top 766-723.
The first semi-final saw Peter de Groot make a slow start, enabling
Wayne Carey to build a reasonable lead, the opening session ending
with de Groot trailing 372-302. Carey came out for the second session
in top gear, scoring 466 points in last two hours, and was the only
player to top 400 in any session of the semi-finals. This was sufficient
to create a winning margin to 205 points.
In contrast, the Oliver vs. Stewart semi-final was always a close match.
Oliver, aided by breaks of 71 and 65, led 390-354 at the interval, with
Stewart on 31 unfinished. Stewart continued by taking this break to 90,
giving him a lead of 23. Half-way through the second session Oliver
was leading again (591-559) and in the next 15 minutes extended this to
a lead of 100. A fighting come-back by Stewart managed to reduce this
to 12 points, and with 15 minutes to go Oliver’s advantage was down to
just 4. Then, with 5 minutes remaining, Oliver looked as though he
would settle the match, but a run of 36 finished when he missed a
cannon while still in reasonable position at the top-of-the-table. Stewart
raced to take advantage of his unexpected chance, but missed the
opportunity and Oliver won 744-708.
The final was a low scoring, match similar to the two previous finals in
1998 and 1999. Carey made the better start, producing a break of 55 in
the first 15 minutes, but Oliver countered with a run of 51 and after 30
minutes was just one point behind at 97-96. After an hour Carey was
still one point ahead at 170-169, but shortly after this Oliver made a 91,
the biggest break of the match. The advantage was partly undone when
Carey followed with a 41 on the next visit, nevertheless Oliver still held
the lead after 90 minutes, the score being 269-253. Just before the end
of the first session, Oliver was distracted by a photographer when
playing a stroke. He missed the intended shot but made a fluke and took
the break to 46 before missing a top pocket cross-loser. This gave
Oliver a 370-332 lead at the interval with Carey on 17 unfinished.
Carey took this break to 47 on resumption and had edged in front 409-
387 after 15 minutes of the second session and after one hour he had
extended this lead to 42. Oliver, however, went past Carey to make the
score 588-570 with 30 minutes to go. At this stage, Carey made what
was probably the most important break of the match, a 61, and with 15
minutes remaining he led 644-595. Oliver could make little impression
after this and came to the table for his final visit trailing 668-624. He ran
out of time after scoring 28 unfinished giving Wayne Carey this second
consecutive New Zealand title, the final score being 670-652.
Oliver was disappointed to miss out on the title, but for someone
playing all week with a rib injury, he had done remarkably well.
Hawkes Bay Open
Bay Open in New Zealand.
Paul Stocker (Hawkes Bay) won the 2000 Hawkes Bay Open Billiards,
beating another local Tony Stephens, 513-454 in the two-hour final.
Stocker also had the highest break of the tournamenta 116.
The tournament, held June 17 at the Napier Cosmopolitan Club and
June 18 and the Heretaunga Club, Hastings, attracted 14 players who
were seeded into two sections of five and one section of four. Matches
in these groups were 90 minutes, those in the later stages, two hours.
Merv Stewart (Auckland) won section 1 but had to work hard against
Joe Ifa (Waikato), coming from behind with a 43 unfinished to win by
15 points. Stocker easily won section 2, scoring a 116 and six breaks
over 50. Stephens won section 3 and Gerry Wake (Bay of Plenty) was,
much to his delight, section runner-up.
In the quarter-finals, Ray Habgood
who had qualified as one of the two
best third placed players from the
groups, caused an upset by beating
Stewart. Stocker scored a 103 in his
match against Wake, this break
accounting for much of the difference
in the final scores. Stocker and
Stephens then won their semi-final
Stocker made a good start to the final,
making a break of 79 early on and
leading 224 – 93 after 30 minutes. He
extended this lead slightly in the next
30 minutes. Stephens came back to
trail 353 – 420 after 1½ hours, but this
was to no avail and Stocker won 513 –
New Zealand Results
New Zealand National Championship (all matches 4 hrs.)
58, 53, 50) 1069, Malcolm Cooke 615; Merv Stewart 920, Darcy Boyce (52) 816; Wayne Carey (75,
67) 766, Paul Stocker (93, 51) 723.
Merv Stewart (90) 708.
Hawkes Bay Open (all matches 2 hrs.)
361, Merv Stewart 325; Tony Stephens 654, Bryan Nelson 268.
Colin Taylor 366.
New Zealand Women´s Championship
Bay) 163 Annette Moeahu (Hawkes Bay) 111.
Zealand Womens title.