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Yuanxia tian,Baiyun district,Guangzhou,China





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Home > History of Billiards

Billiards can be traced back to the time of kings, knights and peasants. Earliest records of the game or a game similar to it dated as far back as 15th century Northern Europe and France. History shows that billiards started of as a lawn sport but was later on moved indoors. The game was miniaturized and played on a table with green cloth to imitate lawn grass. And instead of using billiard cue sticks, the balls were pushed into the holes using wooden maces. Soon enough, the game gained some popularity in Europe. In France billiards became very popular in the 1630s. Although the word "billiards" has some conflicting etymology, it is a wide perception that the word has French origin, possibly coming from the French "billiard" which means mace and "bille" which refers to a ball.

The rapid development of billiard equipment began in England in the 1800s. It was during this time that billiards players have become accustomed in using cues instead of maces.

Also, in 1868 the first composite balls for billiards were invented. Prior to composite balls, ivory was used to make billiard balls. The composite balls were further developed and before the start of the 1900s it pretty much became the standard material for making billiard balls

Tables, also, evolved to its current form. The choice of billiard table body changed from polished wood, to cloth covered tables and finally to slate. For the cushions, it was the vulcanized rubber innovation of Goodyear that made the revolutionary changes in billiard cushions which eventually brought us the billiard table‘s present form.

In the United States, it was Michael Phelan who made the sport extremely popular to Americans. Considered as the father of American billiards, the Irishman was the first one ever to write an American book about billiards. Phelan‘s first book was published in the mid-1850s. He was instrumental in the development of the game‘s rules, standards as well as designs of various billiard equipments such as billiard tables and cushions.

But regardless of its history the game of billiards has become a great sport played by thousands and enjoyed by millions. This can be attested to by championship billiard tournaments that cater not only to U.S. players but also players around the globe.