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Informative

  • Top Women Pool Players Around the World

    top women pool players

    Graphic Created by Legacy Billiards

  • Why do billiard balls turn yellow?

    Most billiard balls are made of hard plastic materials that are resistant to cracking and chipping. As sometimes happens with plastics, over time exposure to UV light, combined with exposure to heat and oxygen, can cause a process called photodegradation through photooxidation. This breaks down the chemical structure of the plastic, creating disrupted plastic molecules that absorb UV light and re-emit it at a lower wavelength in the visible range, changing the perceived color of the plastic.

  • When Was Shuffleboard Invented?

    In the 1400s, in England, people there played a game called “shove-groat”, which involved sliding a large silver coin, called a ‘groat’, down a table.  As the game evolved, it took on other names such as "shoveboard", “shovelboard","slidegroat" “shovelpenny" or “shove ha’penny” (meaning shove half-penny).  The game also evolved as areas of the table began being marked for the coins to stop, allowing players to increase their score.  The game gained an unsavory reputation, being associated with excessive drinking and gambling on the winners.  As it was keeping men away from their jobs, King Henry VIII decreed that the game could only be legally played by aristrocrats.  The prohibition was not effective in the long-term, however, and by the 1600s, shuffleboard was again popular in the taverns.

    Classic-9-Foot-Shuffleboard-Prodview

     

    Shuffleboard was also enjoyed by the first colonists of America, as well as the English soldiers.  The first written documented history of shuffleboard in America comes from the play titled “The Crucible”, which notes "In 1692, there was a good supply of ne'er-do-wells who dallied at the shuffleboard in Bridget Bishop's Tavern.”

    As the popularity of the game spread, an innkeeper in New Hanover, Pennsylvania named John Bishop was accused of running a gambling game in his establishment, which resulted in an 1848 legal case that asked the question of whether shuffleboard was a game of chance or a game of skill.  The judge deemed that the game was indeed one of skill, and the now-legal game enjoyed newfound popularity.

    Approaching the 20th century, table shuffleboard was demanding as much ink in New York City newspapers as boxing and baseball.  Tournaments were popular, drawing a range of interesting competitors such as George Lavender, Ed Gardland, Alex Scott, Dave Wiley, and “Big Ed” Morris.  Not only were tournaments held in New York but also in surrounding areas such as Newark, Hoboken, Bloomfield, and New Jersey.  There were even tournaments as far away as Philadelphia.  Fans came from a variety of age groups as well as socioeconomic backgrounds.  The game spread around the country, and by 1904 it had made its way to California, courtesy of an avid player named Jim Corbett, who had a tavern owner install what was reputed to be the first table in state.

    During the war times of the 1940s, shuffleboard provided a sense of release, and its base of players grew.  Some played a highly competitive game, while others played it for fun.  It was also in the 1940s shuffleboard went Hollywood.  While initially used as a source of publicity, when Hollywood stars found themselves actually enjoying the game, and it wasn’t long before prominent celebrities such as Betty Grable and Merv Griffin had their own tables installed in their homes.

    By the 1950s, many manufacturers of shuffleboards were sponsoring their own nationwide tournaments.  As a league sport, the game suffered during the 60s and 70s, due to variety of reasons including intense competition by different manufacturers, a lack of standard rules, and a lack of sponsorship.  By the mid-80s, however, shuffleboard began to see a revival.  Currently, established shooters are working with the young shooters to develop their skills, as they are seen as the future of the sport. Shuffleboard is also popular in bars and in homes, as it is seen as a great and fun way to spend time with friends.

  • Why Are Pool Tables Made Of Slate?

    The first slate table was made in 1826. A man named John Thurston became frustrated with the tendency of wooden pool tables to warp, rendering them difficult to play on. He sought out a different type of material that could be used to make pool tables, one that offered a smooth playing surface, yet was inexpensive and easy to find, and one that would not warp due to moisture or absorption. Slate was the material that met all of these criteria, and is still used in superior tables today.

    Slate is a solid rock made of many minerals including quartz, clay and mica with a fine grain. It is ideal for pool tables because it naturally splits into wide, level pieces, and can be easily ground and polished into a perfectly flat surface. While heavier and more expensive than wood, slate ensures that the play surface remans smooth and level. Wood, as well as table tops made from synthetics, can warp quite easily. Because it is so durable and known to last, many manufacturers will provide a lifetime warranty for a slate pool table.

    Slate is available in areas all over the globe, however Brazil, China, India, and Italy have become known as major slate exporters. In particular, slate from the Liguarian region of Italy is traditionally considered the highest quality material for use in pool tables, and will typically be marked ‘OIS’, meaning Original Italian Slate. Italian slate is usually softer and therefore easier to work with. While much harder, Brazilian slate is also gaining a fan base, as it is more durable, will endure years of heavy use and is virtually impossible to bend or break. Also, due to its mineral makeup, it has an extremely flat surface. With proper maintenance, a pool table with an Italian or Brazilian slate playing surface can last for generations.

    A slate for a typical pool table weighs between 400 to 600 pounds, or roughly 180 to 270 kilograms, and is three-quarters of an once to one inch, or roughly two to two-and-a-half centimeters thick. Therefore, it is not an easy or inexpensive proposition to ship one. To make transportation easier, and to reduce the risk of fracture during transit, a slate is normally separated into three pieces. Of course, when the slate is reassembled, care must be taken to ensure that all three segments match up perfectly and the table is completely flat. While one-slate tables are available for purchase, most buyers prefer a three-segment table because it’s much easier to move it, and a professional installer can make the slate nearly as perfect as a one-segment slate table.

    In a quality table, the slate is larger than the actual playing surface, extending beneath the rails of the table and therefore providing them with added resilience. The slate should also be inside a wooden frame so that the felt cloth, once stretched over the slate, can be stapled or tacked to the frame, rather than adhered to the underside of the slate directly.

  • Everything you need to know about Shuffleboard Tables

     

    History - The Table - Shuffleboard Rules - Variations

    elite shuffleboard table image

    Table Shuffleboard is a game where players take turns sliding weighted pucks down a long, smooth table made of wood.  The end of the table is marked with specific areas for scoring.

    History

    Shuffleboard is believed to have its origins in England, around the 1400s.  At that time, players would play a game called “Shoffe-Groat”, sliding a large 4-pence coin (a “groat”) down a long table with points being scored for getting the coin as close to the edge of the table as possible, without falling off.

    King Henry the VIII was known to be a shuffleboard player, as he is on record as having lost nine pounds to Lord William playing the game.  He is also known for having outlawed the game with commoners, as he felt it distracted them from their daily duties.

    Shuffleboard is also reported to have been popular with early American colonists.  The play “The Crucible”, which chronicles the Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600s, mentions 1692 as a year where there were plenty of “ne’er do wells” (lazy, worthless individuals) gathered around the shuffleboard in the local tavern.

    Also of historical significance is an 1848 legal case, The State vs. John Bishop.  Bishop was a tavern owner accused of running a game of chance in the form of a shuffleboard without a license to do so.  The judge, however, ruled that shuffleboard was indeed not a game of chance, but a game of skill.

    Towards the end of the nineteenth century, shuffleboard was taking off as a competitive sport, particularly around New York City.  Newspapers reported the results with the same regularity as baseball, boxing and other sports.

    As shuffleboard was primarily played in taverns, prohibition had a very detrimental impact on the game.  In the 1920s many taverns closed, leaving their shuffleboard tables idle.  The Great Depression of the 30s was a source of trouble for many people however, so when prohibition was lifted, shuffleboard once again became popular as an outlet for stress.

    During the war, the 1940s were also troubled times, and once again shuffleboard provided a sense of release.  For some it was a source of intense competition, for others it was merely an enjoyable way to pass the time.  Its base of players grew, however, and even Hollywood celebrities were having tables installed in their homes.

    The 1950s saw shuffleboard reach its peak in popularity.  Tournaments were nationwide, often sponsored by shuffleboard manufacturers.  Although the sport declined over the next couple of decades, in the mid-80s it began to see a revival.

    The 1990s saw the formation of the TSA, or Table Shuffleboard Association, which established a hall of fame to immortalize the very best players of the sport.

    The Table

    The official shuffleboard table length is twenty-two feet long by twenty inches wide, although unofficially sizes can be as short as nine feet, still preserving the width.

    shuffleboard table edgeAt each end of the table, roughly one third is covered by three scoring areas.  Each scoring area covers the width of table although they can vary in length.  The area closest to the edge of the table, marked with a “3” meaning three points, and is roughly four to five inches in length.  Equal in length is the adjacent scoring area, marked with a “2” for two points.  Next to this is the “1” section, for one point.  This section is roughly four times as long either of the other two sections.  The lines that separate the centre of the table from scoring areas is called the “foul line”.  A shot must pass the foul line closest to the player, or else it is removed from play.  Around the table is a gutter, called the “alley”.  Pucks that fall or are knocked into the alley are considered out of play for that round.

    Shuffleboard Powder

    To keep play smooth, large amounts of a product made called “shuffleboard powder” are sprinkled generously on the table.

    Shuffleboard powder enables the puck to slide smoothly across the board.  The silicone beads act like tiny ball bearings, enabling a puck to slide down the table with a minimal amount of effort.

    Although it is also known as shuffleboard wax, it is indeed a powder made from dried silicone beads and cornmeal (long ago it was made from sawdust), as opposed to a liquid.  It is sold in a container that looks similar to powdered bleach cleanser, complete with holes that allow for even distribution across the table. It is recommended to store the powder in a dark, dry place.

    Shuffleboard powder is available in a variety of types, for varying table sizes and speed preferences.  Some players prefer a game with faster action, whereas others prefer more control over the puck.

    Shuffleboard Rules

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    In the interest of good sportsmanship, it is recommended that all players shake hands before the game begins.  Deciding who goes first can be done a number of ways, however the simplest way is to flip a coin.  Remember that it is advantageous to go second.  After the first round is played, the winner plays first on the next round.

    shuffleboard pucks scoring image

    Players use red or blue-colored pucks to indicate which player (or team) they belong to.  Players take turns sliding their puck down the table.  The main goal is to get the pucks as close to the end of the board as possible without falling off the end.

    The center is separated from each end of the table by two lines called “foul” lines.  When the player takes a shot, the shot must pass the foul line closes to the player, otherwise it is removed from the table, as it is deemed being in the “illegal zone”.  Surrounding the table is a gutter called the “alley”.  Pucks that fall into the alley are out of play for the remainder of the round.

    When shooting, you can hit the pucks of your opponent.  The idea is to try and hit your opponent’s pucks out of play by pushing them into the alley, while moving your pucks into a higher-scoring location.  If your puck passes the foul line, then bounces off a puck and returns to the illegal zone, both your puck and your opponent’s are removed from play.

    After each player has shot four pucks, the round is finished.  When scoring at the end of the round, points are awarded only to the player whose puck is closest to the edge of the table.  Your puck can only score points if it is on the table, over the foul line, and closer to the end of the table than any of your opponent’s pucks.

    A puck that overhangs the edge of the table receives four points.  A puck that is in one of the scoring zones receives points according to its zone (one, two, or three points).  A puck that is touching the line between zones receives points only from the lowest zone.  For example a puck in zone two that is touching the line for zone one would only receive one point).

    If there are two players, the first one to reach fifteen points is the winner.  If there are four players in a ‘doubles’ match, the first team to reach twenty-one points wins.

    Certain violations that will result in a one-point penalty.  To avoid this, make sure that you do not rub your hands over the playing surface, and avoid extending the lower half of your body past the end of the board.  While your opponent is shooting, do not hold a playing puck in your hand.  Avoid touching the actual playing surface with either hand before, during or after making a shot (although it is permissible to touch the frame).

    In a doubles match, teammates stand on the opposite end of the table and play every other round, shooting from alternating ends of the table.  Essentially it is like playing two games of shuffleboard at the same time, and combining the scores of each team.  During a doubles match, player are not allowed to to go the other end of the board to see the position of the pucks.  If you want to know about a puck’s position, you must ask your partner and rely on their information.  Going beyond the foul line at any time during the round results in a penalty.

    Touching a puck that is in play is not permissible while anyone else is shooting, whether it’s your opponent or your partner.  The same is true for touching the playing surface or the table frame.  Also, any pucks in the gutter should not be touched until the round is finished.  Causing any table vibrations will result in a penalty, even if the vibration is accidental, such as hitting the floor.  As a rule of etiquette, it’s best to stand far back and give your opponents lots of room when they are shooting.
     

    Variations

    While shuffleboard organizations have agreed upon some official rules, the informal and spontaneous nature of shuffleboard lends itself to a wide variety of house rules, regional variations, and variations by country.

    In Canada, for example, shuffleboard is played according to rules that have been approved by the Canadian Shuffleboard Congress. In most tournaments, singles games are played to a score of fifteen. Doubles matches are played to twenty-one points. In both situations, a round consists of four pucks per player.

    Bumper Shuffleboard

    Sometimes known as backboard or cushion shuffleboard, bumper shuffleboard replaces the traditional gutters at the sides of the table with cushions, enabling players to bounce their pucks off the sides of the table, which can be useful for maneuvering around an obstructing puck.  Typically bumper shuffleboards are twelve to thirteen feet in length - shorter than a typical shuffleboard.

    Sjoelen

    Sjoelen, or Dutch Shuffleboard, is played mainly in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.  It uses a wooden board roughly 6.6 feet long by 1.3 feet wide.  Instead of pucks, it uses wooden disks.  About seventeen inches from the front of the board, a flat bar of wood is positioned above the table, and the disks pass under it.  This is called the “start bar”.  About fifteen inches from the back of the board is the “gate bar”, which is a piece of wood with four slot holes in it.  These slots are marked, from left to right, as two, three, four and one.  Behind this gate, the board is divided into four equal partitions.

    When playing the game, each player takes one turn, with the winning player being the one with the highest score.  Each turn is comprised of three chances to slide all the disks down the board, aiming for the numbered compartments.  Each chance is called a “sub-turn”.  Players will aim to get a disk into each of the four compartments, as doing so doubles the scoring value of all the disks.

    In first sub-turn, the player slides all thirty disks.  At the end of the turn, any disks that have made their way into compartments stay there, but are stacked in piles at the end of the container, to keep the compartment entrances clear. If all thirty disks have entered compartments, the turn ends. Otherwise, the player gets another chance to shoot the remaining disks.  At the end of the second sub-turn, once again disks that have entered compartments are stacked neatly, and remaining disks can be shot again by the player.  This third sub-turn is the player’s last chance to get the disks inside the compartments, after which the turn ends and the score is calculated.

    To be counted as being inside the compartment, the whole disk must pass across the front face of the gate bar.  If a dispute arises, a “gate stopper” can be pushed flat against the front gate bar.  If the disk moves when the gate stopper is pushed, then it was not fully in the compartment.

    Any disks that have completely passed under the start bar should be considered in play and must not be touched until the end of that sub-turn.  The only exceptions would be if a disk enters a compartment via some other method than through the slot of that compartment, falls off the board, exits a compartment other than through it’s slot, or returns under the start bar.  In any of these cases, the disk is removed from play, but may be used in the next sub-turn.

    Sjoelen Scoring

    In Sjoelen, scoring is determined first by counting the disks in each of the compartments.  Getting a disk in each compartment causes a double score for those disks, creating a total of twenty points ((1+2+3+4)x2=20).  After each set of four disks is counted, the remaining disks are awarded a score of the number shown in their compartment.

    To give an example a player has five disks in slot two, nine disks in slot three, five disks in slot four, and seven disks in slot one.  The player then has five complete sets of disks, scoring one hundred points.  There are four remaining disks in slot three, scoring twelve points (4x3=12). There are also two remaining disks in slot one, scoring two points (1x2=2).  Therefore, the player’s total score is one hundred and fourteen points (100+12+2=114).

    The maximum possible score should be one hundred and forty-eight (seven sets of twenty plus two discs in the four points slot).  However, a player managing to do this within two sub-turns with receive an extra disk, making the total possible score one hundred and fifty-two points.

    In competitions, matches typically consist of a set number of games such as five, ten or twenty, and the total score from all games will be used to determine the match winner.  As boards can vary widely, players are usually permitted to throw five practice disks before the game begins.

    Shove Hapenny

    Shove Ha’penny is popular in England.  Like Shuffleboard, it is a descendent of Shoffe-Groat, where alternating players push coins up a board featuring horizontal lines.  The space between each pair of lines is called a “bed”, and the goal is to push the coins os they land directly in the beds without touching the lines.  The winner must get a coin in each bed three times.  A player who can score three coins in one bed during a single turn scores a “sergeant” and a player scoring all five coins in a single turn earns a “sergeant major” or “gold watch”.

    Pushing is usually done with the heel of the hand, although other techniques are used including the palm, side of the thumb or fingers.  To keep the board slippery, a variety of substances can be used including beer, paraffin, black lead, and beer, although traditionally French chalk is used, with talcum powder being a modern choice.  Each coin has been smoothed down on one side.  Although legally speaking, the tails side of the coin should be smoothed so as to avoid defacing an image of the monarch, there are many who smooth the heads side anyway.  This has the added advantage of leaving the date of the coin visible, as ideally the coins should all be from the same year.

    Shove Ha’penny is believed to have started around 1840.  Originally, the game would have been played on any flat surface, and the lines would just be drawn not he surface.  In modern times, however, official boards are made from slate or hardwood and the lines are indented on the surface.  Premium boards have rails inside the dents.  The purpose of these rails is to settle disputes about whether or not a coin is touching a line.  Upon raising the rails, if the coin moves, it is touching the line and therefore does not receive any points.

    Rules

    Boards can vary in size, but a typical board roughly twenty inches by fourteen inches.  Each horizontal line is roughly one thirty-second of an inch.  The first horizontal line is four inches from the front of the board and the last horizontal line is roughly five inches from the board’s end.  The nine beds between the lines are one and a quarter inches wide.  A piece of wood may be added to the end of the board to keep ha’pennies from sliding off.

    A line runs vertically, roughly one and a quarter inches from either side, so that the end of the board is comprised of a square scoring area.  An inch and a quarter in from either side, a vertical line runs the length of the board.  As each bed lies horizontally, this creates a square spot at the end of each bed, which is used to mark the score.

    Players take turns shoving five coins up the board.  The ha’penny is positioned at the front of the board, with the end of the coin just coming over the front edge of the board.  From this position, any part of the player’s hand can then be used to shove the coin.  If the coin does not make it to at least the first line on the board, it can be shoved again.

    After each turn is complete, each coin that is completely within a bed and not touching any lines scores a point for that player in that bed.  Chalk is used to mark the score on the end of the square of each bed, with each side of the board belonging to a different player.  For example, if the right side of the board marks one player, the other player is marked on the left side.  The goal is to get three chalk marks in each square, with three coins in each of the nine beds.  Once three scores have been made in a bed, however, any additional scores will be awarded to the opponent, unless the opponent already has three scores in that bed.  The exception to this rule is that the winning point must be scored by the winning player, not given away as a penalty.

    Experienced players will try to cause a coin to knock onto previously pushed ha’pennies to get them in a better position, at the same time scoring with the ha’penny they are playing.  Strategy and skill is required to truly become proficient at the game.

    Outdoor Shuffleboard

    Outdoor shuffleboard should not be confused with Deck Shuffleboard, which will be discussed later. An outdoor shuffleboard court is long and rectangular, having both ends marked with scoring areas.  The full court is fifty-two feet long, and the six and a half feet from the end is a line called the "baseline".  The area from the baseline to the end of the court is called the shooting area. One and a half feet past the baseline is the "10 Off" area, with 10 Off meaning minus ten points. The 10 Off area is divided in the middle by a thin triangle, as well as on either edge by two angled lines.

    The next line is the start of a triangle known as the scoring area, which is nine feet to the tip.  The triangle consists of five areas.  The small area closest to the tip is marked 10 for ten points, and adjacent to this are two equal-sized areas marked 8 for eight points.  Finally, between these areas and the afore-mentioned 10 Off area are two equal-sized areas marked 7 for seven points.  The middle of the court is divided by two lines called the “dead lines”.  Disks that are shot must pass the dead line furthest from the shooter to be in play.

    Disks have a diameter of six inches, and are between nine-sixteens of a inch and one inch thick.  A typical disk weight is fifteen ounces.  Traditionally the disks are black and yellow, with four of each color used to play the game.  The cues are poles, no more than six and a half feet long with two short prongs on the end, and they are used to slide the disks.

    The player with the yellow disks starts, and players take turns sliding disks down the court.  Initially, the four disks are placed in the left half of the 10 Off area and the black disks in the right half.  The small thin triangle acts as a divider between each side.  A cue must be used to slide each disk, and the slide needs to start within the 10-off area and finish within the scoring triangle closest to the player.  If the disk doesn’t slide far enough to pass the dead line furthest from the player, it is immediately removed from play as is any disk that slides off the edge of the court.

    Players will try to slide their own disk into the scoring areas while attempting to knock the disks of their opponents into out-of-play positions or the 10 Off area.

    There are a variety of situations where penalties are awarded.  If a disk touches the 10 Off area line before being played, the player loses five points.  If a disk touches the side line or the side of the dividing triangle when being played, the player loses ten points.  If any part of the player’s body touches or goes beyond the base line when playing a disk, there is a ten point penalty.  Also, shooting a disk belonging to an opponent costs a player ten points.  Finally, illegal shots are immediately removed from play, as well as any disks that were moved from their position by an illegal disk.  Any disks belonging to the opponent of the offender are returned to said opponent to be played again.  If the offender displaced any disks in the 10 Off area, causing them to be removed, the offender is awarded a penalty of ten points per disk.

    After all eight disks have been played, the score can be counted.  For a disk to count for points, it must be completely within a scoring area and not touching any lines that border the area.  Disks in the 10 Off area are counted as minus ten points.  Disks beyond the 10 Off area are not counted in the scoring.  Disks on top of other disks still store.  To judge if a disk is touching a line, a person should stand so their eyes are directly above any disks.

    Rounds continue in this fashion, the first player to reach seventy five points is declared the winner, although play will not stop in the middle of a round.  Each round must be played in full and scores properly calculated before victory can be declared.

    Deck Shuffleboard

    Deck Shuffleboard is played on a court with two oval-shaped scoring areas, separated by a thirty-foot distance.  Each oval contains nine square-shaped scoring areas, each marked with a different number to reflect the number of points it awards.  A thin, wide area caps the top of the oval marked +10 meaning plus ten points, and an equal-sized area at the bottom is marked -10 meaning minus ten points.  The entire oval is six feet from front to back, and a foot from the oval, towards the edge of the court, is the gentlemen’s line.  The ladies’ line is two feet from the oval’s other side.

    The game is played by using cues, which are long sticks with “shoes” on the end.  These shoes are wooden rectangles with a half-circle cut into them, so they can accommodate a disk.  The players shoot wooden disks.  Each disk has a diameter of roughly six inches.  There are eight disks in all, four disks for each player or team.  Different colors are used to distinguish between players or teams.

    A coin toss decides which player goes first.  Players take turns sliding disks from behind the Gentleman’s line.  One key goal when playing is to try and hit disks that are currently in play.  A player will try to knock her discs into a more favorable position, and try to knock her opponents’ discs into the -10 spot or into a position where they are no longer in play.  A disk that does not reach the ladies’ line is immediately removed from play.

    Once all disks have been shot, disks that are completely within a scoring area, not touching any lines, score the value indicated in the area.  Players may then start a new turn from the opposite end of the court, shooting at the alternate scoring area.

    Rounds continue until one player reaches a pre-determined score, usually fifty or one hundred points.  If doubles are played, all players shoot from the same end of the court.
    Thank you for reading our article about shuffleboards. If you are interested in purchasing a shuffleboard table, see our catalog.

  • Interesting Facts and Statistics About The Game of Pool

    Pool & Billiards Facts

    See PDF Version

    Stats and Facts

    • Pool evolved from a lawn game that is similar to croquet, which is likely why the pool table is green (to represent the grass).
    • The word ‘cue’ comes from the French word ‘queue’. Billiards was originally played with a mace, which made shots difficult if they were close to the guard rail, so players would turn the mace around and use the narrow ‘queue’ (which means ‘tail’) end.
      Pool is considered one of the safest sports in the world.
    • “Pool” is originally a gambling term, one that is still used today — for example, the office ‘football pool’. In the 1800s, a ‘pool room’ was a place for betting on horse racing, and billiard tables were used so patrons could entertain themselves by playing games between races.
    • Wool has been the primary fabric used in making billiard cloth for over four centuries.
    • Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home in Virginia contained a hidden billiard room, as they were illegal in the state at that time. Monticello however, refutes this claim, stating that Jefferson frowned upon activities such as billiards and that they were never outlawed in Virginia while Jefferson was alive.
    • The term “scratch”, when a player accidentally pockets the cue ball, comes from the early days of pool, where the penalty for such an action resulted in a point being ‘scratched’ off the players’ score.
    • In the movie The Color of Money, from 1986, Tom Cruise performed nearly all of his trick shots.
    • At 35.6 years, billiard champions have the highest average age of any sport.
    • In 1873, Billiards became the first sport to have a world championship.
    • The patent for the first coin-operated table was awarded in 1903, which enabled players to play a game for one penny.
    • Before modern plastics such as celluloid were invented, billiard balls were made out of ivory, and needed to be cut from the exact center of a tusk. Only three or four balls could be made from a single elephant tusk.
    • The leather cue tip was invented by Captain Mingaud, who was a political prisoner during the French Revolution. He was able to have a billiard table installed in his cell, and fell in love with the game. When it came time for his release, he asked to remain in prison for a longer duration, so he could continue to play.
    • When Mary Queen of Scots was killed in 1586, the cloth from her billiard table was used to cover her body.
    • The first billiard room was built in England in 1765.
    • The largest billiard hall in the world was built in Detroit in the 1920s. Called The Recreation it sported 103 billiard tables, 88 lanes of bowling, twenty barber chairs, three stands for manicuring, fourteen cigar stands, a 300 seat restaurant, an exhibition room with theater-style seats for 250 guests, and a lunch counter on every floor.
    • The beauty of pool tables and cues owe a big debt to marquetry, which is the centuries-old art and craft of applying thin slices of wood to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures.
    • Since close to its inception, the Church has been harshly critical of pool, denouncing it as an activity for the sinful and morally bankrupt. In 15th century France, the King and the Church prohibited billiards play. Likewise, in the early days of American history, laws reflected the views of the Church and consequently billiards play was illegal in many areas.
    • The first known billiard table in recorded history comes from a personal inventory of the French King Louis the XI. The inventory describes a bed of stone, a cloth covering, and a hole in the middle of the playing field, into which balls could be driven.
    • The term “behind the eight-ball” is derived from pool. In many pool games, the player will lose if her cue ball hits the eight-ball first. If the cue ball is right behind the eight-ball, this makes for a difficult shot and the player could easily lose the game.
    • When a player makes a shot that bounces the ball off the side rail, this is called a “bank shot”. The reason for this is because in the early days of billiards, the tables featured rails that were flat walls and looked like riverbanks. They were therefore called “banks”.
    • A “masse” shot is a shot made by hitting the cue ball with the cue held nearly vertically, so the cue ball spins around another ball before hitting its intended target ball. Many pool halls have banned this shot because it’s possible to rip the cloth covering the table.
    • An “English” shot is the term used for putting spin on the ball, whereas in Britain this is called a “side” shot. While visiting USA, English players showed the spin shot to American players, hence the term’s use in America.
    • It is said that during the American civil war, billiard results were given more coverage than war news, and that players were so famous, cigarette cards were made featuring them.
    • Made By Legacy Billiards
  • Replacing the Cloth on a Billiard Table

    Transcription:
    If you find that your cloth is wearing out or has worn out some would consider trying to do a recovery on the cloth and taking it on themselves to attempt that. We recommend that you seek a professional's help to do a recovery. It's a very difficult job. And when done correctly will promote and improve the playability of your table.

  • Extend Life of Billiard Table Covers

    Transcription:
    Another feature that will extend the life of your billiard cloth is using the proper fitted cover and always keeping your table covered when not in use. Not using a cover will allow light from the sun through a window or a bright room to tear down the fiber of the cloth over time. Keeping a fitted cover on the cloth will certainly help prolong the life of your Billiard Cloth.

  • Carpet and Pool Tables

    Carpet Image

    Is your game room carpeted?  While carpet softens and warms a room, especially in colder climates or finished basements, carpeting presents challenges for your pool table.  A stable, level floor is essential to proper positioning of your table.  While carpet is not the best option, with understanding you can have carpet and your pool table at the same time.

    Carpeting Challenges

    Most carpet rests on a cushion of foam padding.  This padding provides the cushy feeling of carpet on your feet and protects the carpet from moisture or damage from the subfloor itself.  Finished basements, especially, require thick padding under carpet to soften the typically concrete subfloor under foot and prevent moisture from damaging carpet fibers.  Padding is great for carpet, but not so good for pool tables.

    Padding Is made of foam and is crushed by the weight of your pool table.  It takes a few weeks for the padding to crush down to its final thickness under your table, making leveling a challenge.  When you place a pool table on carpet you should expect to adjust the level as the carpet changes shape and settles.

    Unfortunately, the crushed padding will not assume its original shape when the pool table is removed.  Not an issue if you plan to live in your home indefinitely and have no plans to remove the pool table.  If, however, you repurpose your game room or wish to move your table the carpet will show noticeable dents where the pool table was positioned.   If you try to sell your home you will need to either replace the carpet or explain the dents to potential buyers.

    Replacing carpet beneath your pool table is complicated.  Carpet is stretched during installation to remove wrinkles and bumps.  There is no way to stretch the carpet under a sitting pool table.  Instead, your installers will lift the table one end at a time and roll the carpet beneath it.  They will then stretch the carpet in all four directions away from your table.  Not the best possible solution.

    Positioning Your Pool Table on Carpet

    Installing a pool table on carpet is tricky business.  Moving the table into the room can damage the delicate fibers of your carpet, leaving tracks from the door to the table’s ultimate home.  To avoid this lay a tarp or heavy cloth over the carpet and slide the table dolly across along it.  When the table is in position, remove the tarp.

    Leveling on Carpet

    Although you will have to make adjustments, a good step towards getting your table's level correct is waiting two or three days after the weight of the slate has been on your carpet before beginning the leveling process. Level the table in its current position using wooden shims.  This is a trial and error process sometimes involving multiple adjustments until the table is level.  You can gauge the level of the table by using a marble placed at the center of the playing surface.  It should not move or roll in any way on a level table.

    As the carpet settles, your table will lose its level status.  You will begin to notice changes in the quality of play.  The marble test will show you the amount of change in your table’s position.  At this point you will need to adjust the shims and level the table again.

  • Billiard Table Lighting Options

    Proper lighting is essential to a good pool game.  The light should be focused and bright enough to allow players to comfortably see the entire table without glare or distraction.  The light source should provide clear lighting without casting shadows on the playing surface.  That being said, there are a number of options for top quality lighting that enhances the overall theme and style of your game room.

    Lighting Requirements for Optimal Play

    A billiard table is the centerpiece of any game room.  Adding an overhead hanging light adds to the beauty of your table while also providing a well-lit playing surface.  The best position for a hanging fixture is 33” – 36” above the slate playing surface.

    Consider adjusting the size and length of the lighting fixture to match the size and length of your table.  Be careful not to overwhelm a smaller table with too much lighting but be sure to provide enough lighting to cover the entire surface area of a larger table.  As a frame of reference, an 8’ table typically is best served by a fixture at least 42” long with three bulbs.

    Since glare can be a distraction during play, consider using frosted incandescent bulbs of about 60 watts.  They provide a soft, warm light that is comfortable for players but still brightly illuminates the entire playing surface.

    Match Lighting Style to the Theme of Your Game Room

    Pool is more than a game.  It’s an enjoyable experience for you, your family and your guests.  A large part of that experience is found in the atmosphere of your game room.  The lighting you choose for your billiard table can and should be a part of the theme of your room.

    • Traditional – Is your table traditionally styled with ornate turned legs and beautiful woodwork?  Does your game room have the appearance of an exclusive gentleman’s club?  If so, consider traditional lighting.  Beautiful hanging billiard lights with a bar and three to four lamp shades are available in many styles including etched or frosted glass, tiffany style stained glass, or crystal.
    •  Modern – Perhaps your game room is modern, full of contemporary furniture and a sleek lined billiard table.  Consider lighting that uses either a bar and three to four polished metal shades or a single long shade with the same sleek lines as the rest of your room.  If your room is ultra-modern you may even consider track lighting mounted on the ceiling with targeted lighting directed on the playing surface.
    •  Sports or Hobby Themed – Tiffany style lighting is easily customizable to reflect your favorite team, sport or hobby.  If your game room is a reflection of your favorite football, baseball or basketball team you can find a stained glass billiard light that carries on the theme.  In fact, a customizable shade is available for branches of the military, hobbies, or any other theme you choose.  You can even have one specially made to display your name if you choose.
    •  Rustic – Some game rooms are rustic, giving the appearance of a hunting lodge or old western pool hall.  Billiard lighting is available in this theme as well.  Stagecoach lanterns, billiard lights made from antlers, and wagon wheels are just some of the options available.

     

    The lighting over your billiard table is a wonderful way to tie your game room theme together and create a total atmosphere of fun and relaxation.  No matter which theme you choose, coordinating your lighting to the billiard table itself and the other features and furniture in the room gives your game room a decorator’s touch.

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