When you ask the man on the street what their favourite spectator sport is, you are likely to hear the same few responses; namely football, rugby and maybe tennis. Although cue sports are a stable part of our culture and now almost a standard part of public houses, they are not viewed by the majority as an exciting sport that they would plan their leisure time around. However, with snooker’s popularity seemingly on the rise once again, this may all be about to change.
The Characters Return
Back in the eighties, an era that is seen by many as snooker’s heyday, the sport’s popularity was arguably down not to the high quality of the matches televised, but more due to the characters who were playing the game at the time. Back then, there was nowhere near as much money in the game, meaning the players felt the need to act up to the crowds and the cameras in an attempt to see themselves booked into exhibition matches, which was where the majority of their income came from. Without the masses of financial backing in the sport, it can be said the players were also under less pressure to perform during the major tournaments also, meaning they were able to be much more relaxed in the arena when compared to the players of today.
With every shot of every match now scrutinised from numerous different angles, today’s players are under so much more pressure – especially as they fight to win what for many has to be viewed as life changing amounts of money for winning tournaments. It is unsurprising that a fair amount of the professionals in today’s game do not live up to the comical presence many of those who played during the 1980s did. However, it is unfair to say there are no characters in the current crop of talent.
With the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan rarely out of the newspapers and the current spate of youth coming through the ranks offering some of the most entertaining snooker we have seen in years, it is clear that this is a great time to be a cue sport fan.
The Next Generation
With the ‘old guard’ slowly bowing out of the game, and Ronnie O’Sullivan possibly retiring from major competitions after his recent World Championship win, fans are starting to look towards the next generation of players coming up the rankings. The likes of Judd Trump and Mark Selby seem likely to fill the void left by big name players calling it a day, but there is always another star waiting in the wings to challenge for championships.
It may seem like a big leap, but all of the best players started off playing cue sports at clubs or even at home. If you fancy yourself as a dab hand at snooker or pool then it is vital you keep training as often as possible to make sure you are able to improve consistently.
With snooker tables usually being far too big to have in your home, the best bet is often on investing in American pool tables from pool tables online. These styles are smaller in size and have a sightly different design, but are still quite similar. Searching for a smaller table which will be much easier to fit in your house, will allow you to hone your skills before you move up to the full size tables. Who knows? If you keep training at home on a daily basis you may one day find yourself playing in front of the packed-out Crucible Theatre in Sheffield alongside your current heroes vying for a spot in the Snooker World Championship Final.
Lucas Conner is a freelance writer who believes American pool tables from pool tables online are the best investment a young cue sport fanatic can make.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia