Fans are only just realising why snooker is called snooker | The Sun

Fans are only just realising why snooker is called snooker | The Sun

THE name behind snooker is stooped in history.

And fans are only just realising why the sport has that name.

Snooker is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world – both in terms of participation and viewing figures.

As Mark Selby and Luca Brecel battle it out for glory in the 2023 World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible, the origins of the game go way back to the 19th century.

Pool – officially pocket billiards – came first and was originally played outdoors in a game similar to croquet.

But when it was transformed indoors, a green cloth was placed over a table to resemble grass.


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Young British soldiers in the 11th Devonshire Regiment first watched, played and developed the game while stationed in India.

Lieutenant Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain actually created the game in 1875 while experimenting with a version of billiards with 15 red balls and a black – as he added some extra coloured balls and snooker was born.

The troops from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich had a go and were particularly strong at the new game and were nicknamed 'snookers'.

And suddenly the name stuck and a visitor of Chamberlain's took the game back to England.

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Snooker is also a term within the game when the cue ball cannot directly hit a legal ball – and is even used in everyday language now for being stuck in a tricky situation.

There are plenty of jargon terms within the game.

One of the most famous is a 'cannon' – where a player hits the white cue ball to pot one ball and then into another to set up the next shot.

And a 'kiss' refers to a legal shot that only just touches a coloured ball.

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