Snooker and billiards

Authored by: Luke J. Harris

Routledge Handbook of Global Sport

Print publication date:  January  2020
Online publication date:  January  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138887237
eBook ISBN: 9781315714264
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter focuses upon the development and professionalisation of snooker and billiards in the twentieth century. Both are games played on rectangular tables with ‘pockets’ in the corners and along the longest sides, and are British in origin. Billiards is the oldest of these two sports, and snooker has had codified rules since 1919 and began to establish itself as a serious sport in the late 1930s. The development of snooker in the years following this ensured that billiards began to take a backward step, and in the twenty-first century it is snooker that attracts the more significant worldwide coverage. Consequently, much of this chapter focuses on the expansion of snooker, which owes to its coverage on colour television in the 1970s, allowing it to become one of the most watched sports on British television. In the twenty-first century snooker enjoys a popularity far beyond the British Isles, with China becoming a new hotbed of the game. In this chapter there will be examination of both the key moments and personalities that helped to shape the sport of snooker, along with investigation into the heydays of billiards in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in industrial Britain.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.