BSFI gears up to cue billiards forward

With the newly formed World Billiards Championship receiving positive reviews from participating cueists, Billiards and Snooker Federation of India president Capt Mohan felt time is ripe to popularise the game that has lost out to snooker and the hugely popular pool in the last decade.

The inaugural World Billiards Championship which was hosted by the World Billiards Limited -- a unified body comprising the amateur body the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) and the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association (WPBSA) -- proved to be an instant hit due to various new measures that were set in motion.

For the first time both ladies and junior cueists were allowed to compete alongside men that resulted in a little over 60 participants from 15 countries -- a huge climb compared to previous years.

“With World Billiards Limited combining both the professional and amateur bodies, more billiards tournaments will be held,” said Mohan. “There definitely will be an Asian leg.

Although it might not be upto the level of snooker where almost every month you have a tournament in some part of the world, there will be some action that should encourage cueists.”

“Globally, the acceptance for billiards is not so much except for some countries in Europe and some in Asia. By developing WBL and getting ranking tournaments, interest will increase and not only that, as you have more tournaments, countries like China, who are now only watching from the sidelines, will start participating and then of course the traditional countries will increase their participation. Once the participation goes up, that will automatically percolate down to the National level.”

The event turned out to be great for India. Pankaj Advani and Rupesh Shah won the time and points format titles respectively while the Indians also took part in the time format --  a connoisseurs delight -- after a one-year absence. In fact, the time format was also scrapped from the National Championships in 2008 but Mohan suggested it might make a comeback if things go well.

“We are waiting for the reports from the WBL, once we get that we will start exploring possibilities of having both formats. If they feel the time format has a future and they continue to stage the event, then we might be forced to include it in our programme as well,” said Mohan.

Mohan said plans are afoot to at least host 2-3 legs of professional snooker ranking events in India.

“One date given to us is in February which is only three months away. There is a huge requirement of funds for that. Depending on how we raise funds we will either take it up in February or in August.”

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