Billiards Essay Research Paper BilliardsTJ Brochu English

Billiards Essay, Research Paper


T.J. Brochu English period 3 2-16-97

The history of billiards begins in the fourteenth century. The game was

invented in Europe, but there was a conflict as to what country. The French

believed that the English invented the game, but at the same time, the English

thought the French did. In the end, a French billiards specialist found

evidence that the game originated in France about the fourteenth century. The

word “billiard” is derived from two French words, “billiart” and “bille”. These

two words mean “stick” and “ball”. Put them together, and you get stick-ball or

pool as it’s called these days. At first the game was played outside, but

during the winter it got too cold so the game was moved inside onto large tables.

After a couple of years, green cloth was installed on the bed of the table to

make an illusion of the grass outside. The sticks used at the time were large,

and men used slightlycurved sticks while the women used straight, narrow ones.

The sticks weren’t used as they are today to hit the ball but rather to push the

balls around the table, similar to the game of shuffle board. As the game got

more popular, as it is today, the sticks got narrower and easier to use

(Billiards, http).

A few games today are similar to billiards, such as shuffleboard, and

the same equipment – stick and balls. One of the most important tools to

playing any game of this type is the table. In the fourteenth century, the

length of the tables was much longer than today becuase they were used instead

of playing outside. Today the sized of the tables varies all over the worl.

The dimensions range anywhere from nine by four and a half feet to ten by five

feet (?Billiards,? Colliers).

Another tool used to play the game is the cue stick. The cue srick

weighs in a range of twelve to twenty-two ounces, and the straighter the cue,

the better. At the end of the cue is a leather tip, which is used to hit the

ball with great accuracy. If the stick were to hit the ball with the leather

tip chalked, then a better shot would be made rather than one without the

chalked end. As most people now know, the chalk is used to give a better shot.

The chalk is a blue color and comes in a little square inch type cube.

Another item needed to play a game of billiards is the balls, fifteen

object balls and one cue ball. The cue ball is the only ball that is to be hit

with the stick. To play a game of nine ball, only ten balls are needed to play:

nine object balls, numbered from one to nine, and then the cue ball.

When all the necessary equipment is gathered, the game can start but

what shots should be used in what situations? The first shot of the game is

called the break shot. After that, a variety of shots can be used. Some of

them might be the draw shot or the follow shot. These are the more common shots

that people use without knowing it. They are so easy to master that even the

beginner shoots them. The break shot should be shot from the opposite side of

the table that the racking, or positioning all the balls, except the cue ball,

in a triangle, is done on (Ireland, Denise).

After the break is done, it really doesn’t matter what shot is used next.

The object of pool or billiards is to make balls in the pockets so the shots

taken should be thought through well. After the break if a sollid ball is hit

in then those are the balls that need to be hit in the rest of the game. The

same if a stripped ball is knocked in, those are hit in instead of the sollids.

So if a ball just happens to go in on the break, the player keeps shooting until

he/she misses. In an eight ball game, hit all the balls that fall into the

color of the one hit in at the break, in the pockets, and then the eight ball.

The draw shot is used to reverse the direction of the cue ball. The way the cue

ball jumps is by having the top down of the stick hit it on an angle. This will

make the ball hit the table at such a rate that it will cause it to jump.

So in conclusion of my research, I found a lot of new information about

billiards that I didn’t know before. Most interesting of all is that I found

web pages, books, and magazines that I didn’t know were around before I did my

research paper. This has been an eye opening experience. I am very glad that I

chose ?billiards? as my topic and I look forward to the next time that I have to

write a research paper!


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