News from the Editor’s Chair
This year’s Triangular International Billiards Tournament will shortly
take place at Carlow in the Republic of Ireland. It doesn’t seem
long since the Ivy Rooms at Carlow staged one of the most successful
ever World Championships in recent history. In 1999 forty eight
competitors from eleven countries assembled to compete for the Arthur
Walker Trophy in perfect conditions. The Republic had excelled in the
facilities provided for a veritable cosmopolitan galaxy of players. Perhaps
one of the proudest moments of my life was when Joe Millen and
myself hoisted Praput on to our shoulders at the ‘Dinn Ri’ night club in
Carlow and paraded the young Thai aloft with his wonderful trophy to
the strains of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’. A thousand young
voices proclaiming the World Amateur Billiards Champion. Pure magic.
Sadly the 2002 Championship has attracted players from only five or
even less countries. This situation leaves a huge question mark over the
future of the Championship in its present state of affairs. The
management of the game at higher levels is besotted with the idea of
popularising the game from a spectators point of view without looking
at the intrinsic sporting needs of those who play the game. Billiards is
a game to be played and enjoyed. Nobody is going to make a vast
amount of money out of billiards, either playing it or promoting it , and
the sooner this is well and truly understood the sooner billiards can
recover its position, and be recognised for what it is: a skilful, artistic
and pleasurable pastime. Honour, self improvement and character
building are the tenets of billiards, and while these principles endure the
game will survive.
Our very sincere thanks must be extended to Roger Morgan. Roger
is an IT wizard and the architect of the English Association’s new
Website (www.eaba.co.uk) The E.A.B.A. committee see the Internet
as a necessary aid to the organisation and promotion of English billiards
world wide. Already we have had very favourable responses from
Canada and America, which is both interesting and exiting. We hope to
extend the already comprehensive information with more pages on
billiards related matters. Well done Roger, and thank you.
This season sees the reinstatement of the National Billiards High
Break Award. This award was discontinued after the closure of the
B.&.S.C.C. and has been largely forgotten. Eligibility for this award is
through all the E.A.B.A. National Tournaments and will be recorded
for posterity in the E.A.B.A. archives.
Certificates will also be awarded for personal best breaks of 50 points
or above. A presentation certificate will be awarded for which a small
charge will be made. It’s worth reminding ourselves that the B.&.S.C.C.
may have had housekeeping and management problems during the
latter days of its existence, but much of its traditional knowledge of
billiards and snooker was most valuable. Don’t let’s throw out the
baby with the bath water. The confusion and insecurity which has
followed has not convinced anyone that there has been any
improvements. More details of the High Break Scheme will appear in
the next issue.
The format suggested for a short game which I have described on the
back page of this issue is not intended to provide the answer to
popularising the game of billiards. It has proved an interesting and
perplexing game for the experienced player. The absence of the red
from its spot certainly changes the whole strategy of play and makes
for more power shots than are used traditionally. A likely test of
memory for players and referees, but a game that’s guaranteed to raise
a few laughs.