What activities or games do you consider a “sport”? Can it be an activity that constantly involves 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.
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,