Snooker: A game you will grow to love
History of snooker
A great man named Neville Chamberlain came up with the idea of snooker in the late 19th century. He was playing a game of billiards when his opponent could not hit the shot he wanted to and Neville Chamberlain suddenly shouted out “snooker”. Chamberlain also made a comment about another player who missed a shot calling him “a real snooker” which referred to his lack of experience. From there, the exquisite, logical and composed game of snooker we have today was born.
What is Snooker?
Snooker is a game played by two or more players against each other. The aim is to defeat the other player by potting more balls to earn more points and subsequently win the game. Snooker involves using a white coloured ball which is known as a cue ball; this is used to strike other coloured balls with a cue stick. In snooker, there are red coloured balls which are worth 1 point and one coloured ball of each; yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black. The coloured balls are worth different points, the red ball is worth 1 point, yellow is worth 2, green is worth 3, brown is worth 4, blue is worth 5, pink is worth 6 and the black is the worth the highest by a staggering 7 points. Quite simple to understand, no?
How the game is played
Each player has one turn unless they pot a ball in; then they continue until they miss a shot. The game starts off by a person opening a frame. The player does this by breaking. A break can mean two things; the first meaning of break is to start off the game at the first moment. The second meaning is when you score a break; this is when you continually start potting balls and scoring maximum breaks. The break when you start off the game is achieved by striking a cue ball to hit a red ball. If the red ball goes in, the player earns one point and does not lose his turn. If the ball does not go in, the other player is allowed to come to the table to have a go at earning some points. If the white ball goes in a pocket it is considered as a foul and the other person is awarded four points.
Terms in snooker
A ‘touching ball’ can only happen when the cue ball is touching a red ball. In this situation, you can hit any other coloured ball or you can hit another red ball without moving the ball the white ball is touching. If the ball moves, a foul is called and the other player is awarded four points. Then, it is up to the player who is awarded the points to choose whether they would like the player to retake the exact same shot or whether they would like to continue themselves. Some players purposefully make the white ball touch the red so the opponent has difficulty in hitting another red. Suppose you wouldn’t want to be in that situation, would you?
The term ‘a snooker’ is when the player cannot hit the ball they intend to hit because they cannot see it. This can happen when the white ball is behind the cushion or when the white ball is behind another ball. Again, if the player misses the ball they would like to hit, it is a foul and the other person is awarded four points or more depending on which ball he intends to strike. A snooker is considered as a really high standard shot, because it can decide whether a player wins or loses the game. Worry not, this is not as daunting as it sounds.
Old legends of snooker
Steve Davis, a renowned legend won 28 ranking titles, just about doubling the amount Joe Davis won. He was born in 1957 and turned professional in 1978. He had made a 147-maximum break in the Lada Classic 1982. In 1980, Steve Davis won the World Championship six times in a row and was ranked World Number one for seven seasons in a row; he was invincible.
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Another legend worth mentioning is Alex Higgins who was born in 1949 and turned professional in 1971. He had only won the World Championship twice but that was enough for the crowd to love and cheer him on. His nickname was “The Hurricane” because of the speed in which pot balls. Sadly, Alex Higgins, one of snooker’s all-time greatest died in July 2010 after a long battle against throat cancer. His fellow companions even raised £20,000 just so he could have a surgery to stay alive but unfortunately his time had passed. He will always be remembered as snooker’s greatest champion.
My Favourite legend in snooker
A legend I hold close to my heart has to be Alex Higgins through and through. If anyone was to ask me, who is the best player in snooker’s history, I will always say Alex “The Hurricane” Higgins. He had a real love and tangible passion for the game and he wanted to be the best and excel in every aspect. I aspire to have the same dedication and qualities of commitment that were depicted in his games. Even through the stages of fighting throat cancer, he would hold a snooker cue and would watch other children and adults playing the game he loved. This elucidates the love he had for the game. The Hurricane leaves us with great memories of his brilliance and charisma on the table and was a living embodiment of success.