One of the games where men are obsessed playing nowadays is playing pool or known as billiards. Invading people’s mind from youngest to oldest people made this game more popular. Even women are able to play it too unlike in the past that the game is only limited to men. Billiards has really conquered the heart of every person because it can be played by both sexes.
The basic equipment on playing this game nowadays is using a billiard table, a ball, cue stick and a chalk and all of these has it’s own history. Billiards has a very long and rich history since it evolved in 15th century in Northern Europe and possibly in France. The term “billiard” which we commonly known were derived on French word, either from “billart” that means one of the wooden sticks or from “billie” which means a ball. It is a lawn game but moved indoors and played using wooden table with green cloth with a wooden stick called “maces”. This game is commonly played by most noble men during this era and even soldiers who came to war as an amusement.
There’s not much difference when it comes to rectangular tables used since it evolved but table’s appearance may vary according to its size and pockets. Table dimensions depend on tournament rules but its playing surface is approximately 9 feet by 4.5 feet. Every edge of the table as we can see on table billiards these days is vertical flat walls. These are used to keep the balls from falling off the table. The table surface must be clean and fine without lumps in order for the ball to move smoothly in every game. Green is commonly the table’s surface color to imitate grass. Another thing that is important are billiard balls. Billiard balls specific properties are hardness, friction coefficient and resilience. These are very important for every games success. Its characteristics such as number, color, type, diameter and pattern may depend on the specific game being played. The earliest balls were made of wood clay and ivory. They’ve used ivory taken from elephants that made them endangered that’s why they invented a composition material called cellulose nitrate for billiard balls. By 1870, Celluloid is the best ivory substitute for billiard balls. But unfortunately, the nature of celluloid industrial plastic material has a tendency to explode and may harm anyone so they’ve experimented substitutes again. And just nowadays that the exact requirements for billiard balls material are met which is cast from phenolic resin, which is powerfully resistant to cracking and chipping.
In history they used wooden stick called “mace” to hit the ball but due to it’s large head it is difficult to hit the ball when it lay near a rail in one of their outdoor games. Because of this they’ve turn the mace around and use the handle to whack the ball. The handle is called “queue” which means tail and where we get the term “cue” in billiard games. Chalk is used on cue stick tip even before it has a leather cue tip to increase friction between the ball and the cue stick. They started using it after 1800 on England where equipment evolved rapidly.
After that, billiard equipments improved more as we can see nowadays. Sometimes their appearance varies on how expensive or cheap they are now. Tables had improved a lot because of the designs applied by the manufacturer but cues and balls remained the same. The quality of the materials used may vary to the price paid by the owner sometimes.