October is Billiard Awareness Month. The word "billiard" may have evolved from the French word billart or billette, meaning "stick", in reference to the mace, an implement similar to a golf club, which was the forerunner to the modern cue; the term's origin may have also been from French bille, meaning "ball". The modern term "cue sports" can be used to encompass the ancestral mace games, and even the modern cueless variants, such as finger billiards, for historical reasons. Here are a few fun facts about billiards.
Many cues are made in two pieces that are screwed together before using for play. The top of the cue is called the stroke and the bottom is called the butt.
Carom is a pool game using only one white ball, one yellow ball, and one red ball. There are no holes in a Carom table.
The average cue stick weighs 19.5 ounces.
The first coin-operated billiard table was patented in 1903. It cost one penny to play.
Billiard balls used to be made out of ivory. The average tusk only yielded three to four balls, as they had to be cut from the center of a tusk. Today, billiard balls are made of celluloid and other plastics.
The term "scratch," as applied to a pocketing of the cue ball, was derived from the penalty assessed for such a foul. In pool's early days, the score was often kept on a chalkboard. When a player pocketed the cue ball, his opponent "scratched" a point off the shooter's score.
Throughout most of the 1800's, the chalk used on the leather cue tips was carbonate of lime, the same as blackboard chalk. Today, most chalk is comprised of fine abrasives and does not contain any chalk at all.
The ferrule is a small sleeve at the end of a pool cue that the tip is adhered to. It is used to prevent the end of your cue from splitting and also provides a solid, stable point to which the tip can be fastened.
It’s always fun to learn something new! At the Savannah West Apartments in Kansas City, Missouri, we love to provide you with fun, thought-provoking facts that will make you reflect on different aspects of life.