THE ORIGINS OF THE GAME: There are many theories as to the origins of billiards. Much of what is known about the evolution of the sport has been limited by the absence of "real" information, concerning the cultures of ancient times. What we've relied upon are the verifiable historical records, which has sadly limited our search considerably. Consequently, most historians trace the origins of billiards to the lawn games played in the royal courts of Europe, in the mid to late 1300's.

But what led to the origin of these lawn games? Uncovered ruins and hieroglyphics offer a possible answer, setting back the timeline thousands of years. "Bat-and-ball" games, from which these lawn games may well have evolved, have been depicted on tombs, artifacts and in drawings, dating back more than 3000 years. Whether these images depict "sport" has been widely debated. Many rightfully claim that not enough is known, that the activities portrayed could very well have been social or religious in nature. Whatever the case, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians clearly utilized the tools—the bats, the balls and other curious devices—in some sort of integral activity. Tools strikingly similar to those wielded by kings, in 14th century lawn games ... yet dated nearly 3000 years earlier, to at least as far back as 1500 BC.

An even earlier discovery—and one seemingly more compelling in proving the role of sport among the ancient cultures—was made during the excavation of a child's grave in Egypt (c. 3300 BC). A complete "Skittles" set was discovered, after more than 5000 years. ("Skittles" is the English game of ninepins, played with a disk or a ball.) The set was as exquisite in its beauty as in its significance. Each gaming piece—9 skittles, 4 balls, and 3 bars to form an arch—was expertly sculpted and polished, comprised of fine marble or stone. Still, the role of sport was debated. Doubters continued to downplay the find, dismissing it as a mere child's toy. As before, they claimed that not enough was known, that without a written record to shed light on its significance, no absolutes could be drawn.

Which inevitably brought us back to where we began: the written historical record. To the undeniable link in the evolution of billiards (and thankfully, the most important). To the traceable truth, which to some degree, most scholars and historians agree on: "... that regardless of the 'finds' locked away in ancient ruins, it's safe to say billiards ultimately evolved from the lawn games of 14th century Europe.




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 Eight-ball (often spelled 8-ball or eightball, and sometimes called solids and stripes (American English), spots and stripes or, more rarely, bigs and littles/smalls, and highs and lows) is a pool (pocket billiards) game popular in much of the world, and the subject of international professional and amateur competition. Played on a pool table with six pockets, the game is so universally known in some countries that beginners are often unaware of other pool games and believe the word "pool" itself refers to eight-ball. The game has numerous variations, mostly regional. Standard eight-ball is the second most competitive professional pool game, after nine-ball, and for the last several decades ahead of straight pool. Eight-ball is played with cue sticks and 16 balls: a cue ball, and 15 object balls consisting of seven striped balls, seven solid-colored balls and the black 8 ball. After the balls are scattered with a break shot, the players are assigned either the group of solid balls or the stripes once a ball from a particular group is legally pocketed. The ultimate object of the game is to legally pocket the eight ball in a called pocket, which can only be done after all of the balls from a player's assigned group have been cleared from the table.




Three-cushion billiards (sometimes called three-cushion carom, three-cushion, three-cushions, three-rail, rails, and the angle game, and often spelled with the numeral "3" instead of "three") is a popular form of carom billiards.

The object of the game is to carom the cue ball off both object balls and contact the rail cushions at least three times before the last object ball. A point is scored for each successful carom. In most shots the cue ball hits the object balls one time each, although hitting them any number of times is allowed as long as both are hit. The contacts between the cue ball and the cushions may happen before and/or after hitting the first object ball. The cue ball does not have to contact three different cushions as long as they have been in contact at least three times in total. Each player has his own cue ball. In modern three-cushion, the neutral ball is red, and the cue balls are white and yellow. The introduction of the yellow ball (instead of two white balls) has not changed any rules, each player has always used a cue ball of his/her own, with small markings on the white balls in order to discriminate them from each other. The yellow ball makes it easier for spectators to follow the game.

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