Is the Game of Billiards a Sport?

What activities or games do you consider a “sport”? Can it be an activity that constantly Billiards as a Sportinvolves running and jumping where you’re almost always guaranteed to break a sweat? Or, can it be something less strenuous that doesn’t involve getting too physical, like video games, shooting marbles or playing a game of Texas Hold ’em poker?

When you hear the game of billiards what comes to mind? Do you think it’s a sort of recreation? Is it just an activity to pass the time? Or, do you think that the game of billiards is a sport? Well, it does involve some competition, however not stiff and not too physical. So, with that said, some of you may think that billiards is not a sport. In my opinion, billiards is a sport.


One reason why I believe that the game of billiards is a sport is that it involves competition. I feel that any activity that involves a person or persons competing against one another person or group of people is a sport. Whether you are playing a game for a prize or a financial gain, competition can be considered “intense” which can lead to the game having a suspenseful aspect to it as well.

The competition factor in billiards might not be as intense or suspenseful as compared to a sport like basketball. But, I think that there is an element of competition as it involves two or more people playing against one another. Unless a player is playing solo to maybe practice making trick shots, then I would say that billiards is not a sport but just a session to just practice. It’s when two or more people are involved that are trying to win is when I consider billiards a sport.


This ties in with competition above. Along with competition, there’s a form of hustling involved too. When we see players pocketing one ball after another, they are considered to be “on a hot streak” or simply, hustling. And this is another reason why I believe that billiards is a sport. Not only is hustling involved in billiards, but it’s involved in other sports as well.

Players do what it takes to win the game even when it comes to bending the rules. How many of you watch WWE Wrestling? For those of you that are familiar with that “sport” (even though it’s not real), the wrestling actors are known to use objects such as chairs and tables to beat their opponents behind the referee’s back to gain an upper hand. This results in the opponent being “knocked-out” that leads to winning the match. This, by the way, is also a form of hustling.

It’s not that players cheat in billiards to win (well some do when money is involved, but it’s quite rare). It’s that hustling in billiards, when performed by professional players, is not only an art, but a sport.

It requires coordination

Just like in the four main sports in the United States (basketball, baseball, football, and hockey), the game of billiards also involves coordination. A basketball player needs to be able to shoot the ball in the basket, a baseball player needs to know how to hit the ball with a bat, a football offensive lineman needs to know how to know how to score a touchdown. And, a hockey player needs to know how to be able to put the puck in the net to score.

Well, the game of billiards is no exception. In the game of stripes vs. solids, a player needs to be able to pocket all his dedicated balls to win the game. Thus, he would also use a strategy to find ways where he would try to make the game as difficult as he can for his opponent. One way of doing this is by placing an obstacle (i. e. using his ball) to block and prevent his opponent from pocketing any balls as much as possible.


I know that there are many professional players that have the look of being focused like Jeanette Lee (pictured below) when trying to pocket a dedicated ball to fall in the hole. This is another reason why I believe that the game of billiards is a sport. This ties in with coordination. The only difference between coordination and focusing is that focusing doesn’t involve too much moving, but more concentration.

Focused Jeanette Lee

In conclusion…

So, there’s my reasoning and why I believe that billiards is a sport. Did I convince you that billiards is a sport? If so, please sound off in the comments section. If not, and still believe that it’s not a sport, sound off anyways as I would probably like to have an open discussion about this.

To your billiards enjoyment as a sport or otherwise,



  1. // Reply

    Never really thought about pool being a sport before. I suppose it makes sense though. It has all the elements of a sporting event. It just lacks the common physical intensity of say football. I think people will start viewing it as a sport if it ever hits the Olympics.

    1. // Reply

      Hi, Hunter

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I was having this question pop in my mind several times in the past and thought about posting if billiards is a sport or not. When we think of sports, usually basketball, football, baseball, and tennis comes to mind as it requires getting physical and sweating. Billiards, on the other hand, is considered a “relaxing” sport where it’s not as physical. So, people consider a sport to involve a lot of intense physicality. In my mind, I feel that billiards is still a sport regardless if it involves getting physical or not.

  2. // Reply

    Hi there,

    After reading your article I realised that I actually never classed billiard or snooker as a sport. I guess that’s because I have only been exposed to it in recreational scenarios. I have always felt that it was definately a great way to compete in different environments. I ahve seen local community play in social competition at the bars. And I do believe it is quite a strategic game!!

    so after reading this yes,definately a sport. dependant on the readers definition of sport.

    thanks for the info 🙂

    1. // Reply

      Hi LSeulu24. I was hoping you’d say that. I am assuming that some people see billiards as a sport while some people think it may not. I’ll just have to leave it at that as I don’t want to get into arguments with people may think otherwise if billiards is a sport. To me billiards is and will always be a sport since it first came out.

  3. // Reply

    For a lay man like me I would consider billiard, snooker or pool as a recreational sport. It’s a game I play to relax and unwind with friends.
    I enjoy having discussions on general topics while playing billiard because during these sessions of billiards not to much focus or energy is involved. It beats just sitting around and having discussions a few rounds of beers. Heck, you can even consume beer, talk and still play billiards.
    Technically billiard is a sports. To many it will always be a get together with friends and just pocket some balls.

    1. // Reply

      Hi Nasrat and thanks for the comment. I guess I needed a second opinion about whether the game of billiards is a sport or not. You pointed out that it’s a recreational sport, and I didn’t think of it that way where you put the 2 and 2 together (being both sport and recreation). I’ve always thought that it was one or the other. Anyhow, maybe we can play a game one sometime and have a few discussions over a few rounds of beers.

      To your billiards enjoyment…


  4. // Reply

    Do you know what I think of when I see Billiards? I see older generation people (maybe rich and wealthy) smoking a cigar and discussing politics in a smoky room.

    I have no idea why.. maybe from movies i have seen in the past.

    Although i consider myself quite okay around a snooker and pool table, billiards has always been a game i struggled with so never bothered with it too much.

    Is there a place maybe where i can find a Book to buy offering some history and a clear set of rules?



    1. // Reply

      Hi Chris. Thanks for the reply to my site. I guess I’m one of the few billiards players where I don’t recall anyone smoking cigars over politics in a smoky room. Whenever I see scenes of billiards players shooting pool in movies or television shows, it’s mostly about someone trying to hit a trick shot (i. e. striking the cue ball to curve) and a serious conversation of two friends where one of them is a womanizer who has no respect for women’s feelings like in the movie, Boomerang.

      I reviewed a book on my site that can be helpful to you that caters to beginners and professionals alike. You can find something new and find the book helpful. Once you do, please add a comment to this as I look forward to hearing from you.

      To your billiards enjoyment


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