A billiard ball plays an important role on billiard games where hitting it is the main way of winning every billiard games. Billiard balls are commonly used in cue sports such as pool, snooker and carom billiards. The feature of every ball such as their numbers, type, diameter, pattern and color may vary depending upon the particular game being played. Its properties such as hardness, friction coefficient, and resilience are very important for every game played.
Billiard balls material are made of wood clay when it was made first. They also used ivory to make a ball and they’ve found its properties in elephants. They slaughtered a lot of elephants to make those balls that made it endangered. To stop this they’ve challenged the public to make an alternative material in making these balls. A prize will be given to the one who can invent a substitute for ivory.
John Wesley Hyatt invented a composition material called cellulose nitrate in 1869 as an ivory substitute. It was then commercialized and branded as Celluloid in 1870 as the first industrial plastic. Unfortunately, they’ve found out that it is impractical to use this industrial plastic on billiard games because of the tendency of the material to explode occasionally. It could harm anybody if this suddenly happens.
The billiard industry people experimented a variety of synthetic material for billiard balls and come up with balls made of phenolic resin. In this material a perfect billiard ball was made because of its strong capacity to resist every cues thump. From that day, it is the standard material used for billiard balls by public in every game and even by professionals on tournaments. But aside from the phenolic resin, the use of polyester, a plastic material, is another substitute for billiard ball material because of its less resistance to damage.
Billiard ball types are commonly used on Carom billiards, American-style pool, British-style pool, snooker and other games that use variant types of billiard balls. There are normally three unnumbered balls on playing carom or carambole billiards. But playing on an Asian game yotsudama, they are using four balls. Red and white are the color of these balls, which is larger than pool balls.
The common ball used in games such as eight ball, nine-ball and one pocket is the American-style ball. They are smaller than carom balls, a little larger than British balls and larger than those used on snooker. It is numbered from 1 to 15 with a variety of colors and white ball that serves as a cue ball.
In British style pool, they use 15 balls also but unnumbered and arranged in two groups, the reds (or sometimes blue), and the yellows with a white cue ball and a black 8 ball. Snooker, in the other hand, is a combination of American and British-style pool balls. There are a total of 22 balls in playing snooker and they are arranged in fifteen unmarked reds, six colored balls placed at predetermined spots in the table and also a white cue ball. The colored balls are sometimes numbered just like the American-style balls.
A billiard ball varies on the rules of every type of tournament especially on how their appearance looks like and there’s a lot of styles that exists in every country where playing billiard games are known. Every numbered or unnumbered, colored or uncolored ball plays a significant role on playing this kind of game.