English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : February, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1911

Women as Billiardists

Their Qualities for the Game.—How to Encourage Their
Zest for it.

Women, when properly taught and sufficiently in earnest,
learn billiards more quickly than men as a rule, writes a
correspondent of The Times in a recent article. They do
not hit too hard, which is the besetting sin of the male
tyro; they have a keener sense of the importance of form,
cherishing it until the verge of formality is reached; and,
much more often than not, the failures of apprenticeship
do not cause them to lose their temper or their temperament.

The discipline of ages (which is by some thought to have
been a salutary thing) has given them the cheerful self control
which is the basis of the billiard player’s temperament.

They do not want to drop a mild expletive in the
nearest pocket when a stroke has been bungled; it is seldom
that they talk to the balls. And this equanimity
(worth 15 in the 100) is not the result of indifference or
diffidence; it is the outcome of that power of keeping the
nerves in hand which is the first step towards obtaining the
faculty of concentrating all one’s attention on the next move
in the building up of a break.

After all, there is no game which exhibits a good figure,
both statically and dynamically, so well as billiards. For
that and all other reasons suggested above the less nervous
sex or the sex with more nerve (these terms are not idle
compliments) should certainly return to the billiard room
and resume the study of a healthy, fascinating game which
was interrupted by the creation of bridge out of whist, as
a butterfly is evolved from a caterpillar.

That billiards can be made attractive to ladies and compete
with the allurements of bridge is the gist of an article
by H. W. Stevenson in the current number of Fry’s Magazine,
in the course of which the champion—dealing with
the necessary handicapping of the male contestants—says:
“The better player engages not to count any scores
below a minimum, but to score whatever there is in excess
of them. The opponent gets along with no restrictions
beyond those imposed by the rules. In this manner a
champion and a tyro can be handicapped to provide a close
finish.

For all-round amusement such as a house-party gathering
requires—a tournament of 10 points up, all the competitors
starting level and meeting one another in turn, with the
player scoring the most games declared the winner—is
difficult to better. The ordinary “50 up” is rightly considered
to be anybody’s game among fairly smart players,
and a “10 up” is just five times more uncertain in its
issues.

“At any length of points, though, the stronger players
will have the pull in the long run. Their superiority may
be checked, however, by their being debarred the use of
the losing hazard. This means that nothing else but
“pots” and cannons can count to their score, and that
any losing hazard, voluntary or involuntary, is placed to
the opposition account.”


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