The billardgame was developed in the 14. century and the first half of the 15. century. In the 15. century also the first billards are documented by entries in account books.
So billard is principally a grass game, lifted to a table. The cushion, today the rubberfilled heightend frame, had originally the function to prevent falling down of the balls. The padding probaly was made to reduce the nasty sound of thudding balls on the wood. The side-effect, that with improvement of the cushions the "rebound" becomes stronger and space made for putting on the bat (Mace), also might be important.
The trying to associate the invention to a country or a person is impossible. At the time of renaissance there was a very intensive cultural interchange in the highest societies. With marriages of dynastic reasons also cultural peculiarities have been transported over great distances. But also other occasions effected transplantation of custom and tradition. A sample: Ferdinand I: transplantated the ballgames of his homeland spain to vienna and built the Ballhaus in 1525. You ca say it would played in two plains. One was the plain of games rooted by the crowd, the other had the improved games, which were cultivated by a circle which thought european and supranational.
Billards in the 15. century are documented predominantly in account books, in the following century they became important in history. Often displayed in word and icture is the scene as Karl IX. (1560-1574) during massacre of protestants in the Bartholomäusnight (23./24. august 1572) interrupted his billardgame to shoot out of the window of the Louvre with a crossbow or a gun against fleeing Hugenots. That anyway affirm Brantome and d'Aubigne, but they could not be eyewitnesses, becaus they were not in Paris at this time. Moreover the scene could not be so, because this part of the Louvre was built many years later under Heinrich IV. when Karl IX. and his two brothers, Franz II. and Heinrich III., long ago were dead. This a sample of history falsification. Nevertheless the Parisian convent resolved the construction of a shame pale on 20. october 1793 at the place, where Karl IX. should have shot to the people.
In the 16. century the billardgame was general introduced in suavity circles. The unlucky Maria Stuart informed the archbishop of Glasgow in a letter about her threatening execution short before the bloody drama, to which she was the immolation on 8. Februar 1587 in castle Fotheringhay, with the remark that her "table de billard" has been removed to have place for the eecution. Also Spenser, famous poet of the sheperedcalendar and the fairyqueen, who died 1599 in London was buried in Westminster as the last romanticist of the renaissance, wrote:
The billardgame (balyard)
and badminton dresses bad
the mans mind.
On an other he noted about "monkeys" in "Nother Hubbards Tale":
Thousend things you could teach him,
he could all difficult games,
he could all imitate,
cube- and cardgames,
but he was unable to play billard !
Some years later, 1605, King James I. of England ordered a billardtable from the carpenter Henry Waller, who so became the first known manufactorer of billardttables by name.
1634 the item "Akademmie" is used at the first time for a billardhall. It was in an edict of Ludwig XIII. of France for limitation of excessive luxury in the billardhalls.
The Frenchman Michel de Chamillard should assume highest offices through billardgame. He was financial controller and permanent partner of king Ludwig XIV. With deftness the wellknown as good and skillfull billardplayer Chamillard knew, not to play too good and not too bad to keep majesty in good humor. So he became minister of war. As the frech army lost her fortune Chamillard had to go out of office. An epigram of a sneerer is preserved:
Here lies the famous Chamillard,
his kings chiefnotary,
a hero on billard,
a nought in ministry was.
As it was impossible to levy taxes for board games and other small dimensioned games, it was different at billard. The heavy table had his fix place in the local. Everywhere taxes have been levied for billardtables; so in Hamburg it was regulated on 24. November 1710, that everyone, who had a public billardtable in his house, had to pay 20 Reichstaler.
A profound change was made in the middle of the 18. century. Instead of the Mace the cue, a conical stick, which is taken with the hand on his thick end and the thinner end is led over the hand lying on the billard and hit against the ball, won recognition. Because the sureness of hits was much higher then with the mace, the use became universal. This new cue also effectes, that women who played billard before, more and more retired from billard. The reason was the clothing. As the clothing af a man about 1770 was comfortable and allowed turning and lolling the body, women has noble robes with funicular skid, which only allwed a upright going. Also the high hair style inhibited a good head attitude for playing. So the ladies were inferior in play and more rare pictured on plates at that time. Some billard manufactors added also Maces beside the cues to their products until middle of 19. century to give the ladies the chance to play this game. But they might not come into operation. Hwo wants to play with, if he is inferior from beginning!
At the begin of 18. centura the number of coffeehouses in europe grew up. To hold the guests various games were offered. Mostely it was played with cubes, Tric Trac (todays Back Gammon) and check. Also billards augmented turned up. Their placement mostly have been bound to a magisterial licence. In Vienna the billards generally have benn allowed unter the title "part-time of cafetiers". As long as the cafes in Vienna have been mainly within the city wall - 1779 it have been 21 undertakings - problems of place prevented addion of billards. The cafes outside the city center sometimes had billard halls. The most famous were in suburb Leopoldstadt at the Schlagbrücke (today Schwedenbrücke) and one of them, the Hugelmann, was deemed to be then "university of billardplayer". Also here ladies were excluded. The public of classic cafe was a society of men. Additional there was the smog of pipes which reduced the sight to a few meters. Specific in winter it was unbearable as reported because to air has been prohibited by the owners because of thermal deficit. Also unappetizingly traditions, one of the most harmless was to hand around of a pipe by the guest servant, was nothing for the tender nerves of the ladies.
Some years women are pictured more often, but in private circles. It was the time of Empire with his hellenophil attitude. Women were freed of their closely wear had had long f÷owing clothes, often gleaming. Only handicap: the fashion demanded the proportions of a greek goddess.
A revolutionizing invention has been made 1807. The frenchman Francois Mingaud taped a little part of leather on the top of his cue. In concern with chalk the ball could be hit out of center and give him angular momentum, in special language effet. So the game spread out colossal. A ball played with effet had an other angle at the cushion, a ball hit under the center returned after colission with an other ball!
The game as sport was nearly unknown at this time. At best it was usual for conversation. Billard was played for money. The minimum was the billard fee or a sum fixed before. In 18. century there were so named billard champions. They lived professionally from the game and searched their victims under the players whitch overestimated their ability. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (look at Homo Luden V) was the most prominent of them.
The in England developed sportsidea also influenced the billard game. With realisation of tournaments with exact rules billard went to sport. The intention was the victory and the felling to be the best. It was played for medals, cups and honorary gifts. The top player also played for money. But it was not the money of the opponent but rather a sum raised different. The first tournaments have been realised in England. Edwin Kentfield, who wrote the book "Kentfield on Billards with Illustrations" 1839, characterized himself as champion of England and won this title 1825.
Also the science called attention to the billardgame. The famous french mathematician Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis wrote the book "Theorie Mathematique des Effets du Jeu de Billard" 1835 and counts among the preciousnesses of the billardmuseum.
At the middle of 19. century technical innovations of the billard tables generally won recognition. The wooden plates were replaced by marmor or schist. The stone plates could be polished nearly plane. This enabled thinner and slicker cloths, because unevenesses needed not to be concealed. So the running way of the balls coud be elongated and the possibilities of combinations increased. Also the cushion got a substantial correction. The stuffed cushion - a padding of the billardborder filled with elastic material like cotton or horsehair, came out of use. Instead of this the rubber cushion came in use, whose precise, mostly triangle profile made a manageable rebound of the balls possible.
After that national billard federations originated. The first of them, the Billard Federation of USA, in 1873. Her established rules and laws of the game about game and materials where generally took over. The now beginning international sports operation, first France against USA, resulted in a further promulgation of the billard game. The differenciation of pros and amateurs was strictly observed and all national federations represented predominantly amateurs while the pros either worked free or where under contract of billard manufactorers. The first world championship of pros was 1873 in New York, amateurs founded their event 30 years later.
If we spoke about billard, so if has not to oversee, that there are many variants whose promulgation related to colonialisation. The carumgame is played with three balls on billard tables without pockets. It originated in the mind of the french enlightenment. All handicaps, pockets, doors, gates etc were removed. Only the game area at the rate of 1:2 and the problem to hit the both other balls with the playing ball remained. In countries with colonial british history it not or nearly not present. Pool is played with 15 numbered balls and a white playing ball on billards with 6 pockets. It was developed in USA from older games and is spread all over the world. 22 balls are used at Snooker. The table is largest common billard with 3,5 x 1,75m. Snooker was invanted by british military officers in India at the end of 19. century. It repressed the classic english variant English Billiards. This is played on the same table but with 3 balls.
The 4. big variant of billard is the skittles game. Because it invanted by old, national limited variants in different regions and hardly no international contacts have been, it is the most non-uniform group. Primary regions are Italy and regions with a great quota of italic population like Uruguay or Argentina. Also the region of Sachsen. Skittles, billard table and rules are very different to italic skittles game. The third region is Denmark, Skandinavia up to the western parts of Russia.
in summary you could say billard is spread worldwide. You can fin bilard tables in the highlands of Tibet as well as in jungle villages of Amazonas. The material is already very different to the high precision materials used in sports, but it are billards.top of side
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Rules and history
Billardgame is not only known at active athletes or viewers of sports transmissions. Billard is the art to hit colored balls with the assistance of the white playing ball and bring them to a collision or to sink them in one of the 6 pockets of the billard table with a playing stick, the cue. But who would guess, that this game, for which a big quantum of concentration and condition is necessary, has a tradtion of more than 2000 years ?
If you scroll in the annals of sports, you can find names like Mozart, who was a great fan of billard, the philosopher Immanuel Kant, to whom it is alleged, that he sometimes lived from the billard game, the scottish queen Maria Stuart or the french sunking.
If you go back to the beginnings of descritions of billard, you will see in pictures, that also the egytps knew about billard. And already 2.000 b. Chr. the greek philosophy Anarchis reorts about a game with balls, wich was similar to todays billard. Since 13. century you will find in sports history of the middle ages indications about ball- and skittle games. King Louis XI had to built a billard table in 1469, overdrawn with a cloth, and it is known, that billard was not only a game for men, also prominent women were enjoyed of this ballgame. The best example is the scottish queen Maria Stuart, who regretted at her cature, that her billard table was removed, but her was allowed a last billard game before her execution.
Billard became populary during the french revolution 1789, as the game, which was played before only by kings and soveraigns, than also was played by the populace. At the end of 19. century the game changed from amusement game to tournament sport.
1878 in America the first american pool-tournaments took place and 1884 the french champion Maurice Vignoux founded the first billard-academy of the world in parisien "Café Mangin".
Today billard is not only played in spare time but also international in tournaments. There are world- and euroean tournaments. Billard was accepted as olympic discipline at the 105. meeting of IOC in Atlanta. So Billard can go out of the shady side of side sport, because it is sport also achievement-orianted as well as wide sport. In 2004 it could be played for olympic medals at the first time.
Tournaments are made in three varieties (carum, pool and snooker). They are tiled in the following disciplines:
Free game (all billardsizes)
Cadre 35/2 (small billard)
Cadre 47/2 (large billard)
Cadre 47/1 (large billard)
Cadre 52/2 (small billard)
Cadre 71/2 (large billard)
One cushin (all billardsizes)
Three cushion (all billardsizes)
Artistique (large billard)
Skittle-billard (small billard) and
5-Skittle-billard (all billardsizes).
The small billard has a game area of 2,10 x 1,05 meters and the large (international) billard a game area of 2,84 x 1,42 meters.
Pool is played as
Snooker is tiled in
All billard-variants and disciplines have common, that the white ball (since a few years also yellow in carum) is the playing ball. That is the ball, which is moved by the sportsman with the cue to resolve the problem. Also common is for all disciplines, that the opponent comes to play, if the active player makes a fault.
This discipline is played to a given distance (depending on the position-table). Base is to hit the two other balls with the playing ball as often as possible and to bring them in good positions.
For complicating the billard is tiled in fields. Depending on the discipline the player may make only one/two collision/s in one field. After considering execution minimum one of the balls to hit has to leave the field, but he can return into the field. Also at this variant the positioning of the balls to hit is the problem for making following collisions. Cadre also is a series-game played to given distances depending on the position-table.
Also a series-game to given distances with complication. Before the playing ball hits the second to hit ball, he has to touch minimum one cushion. Also allowed are pre-cushions.
The same principle as one cushion, but much more difficult, because it is necessary, that the ball touches three cushions. Series of 10 are worldclass. In one-cushion series of more than 100 are common at international tournaments.
Here the sportsman has to resolve predefined figures based on the base rules of billard. He has three tryings for each figure: depending on the difficulty of the figures they are classified by different coefficients.
Here 5 skittles are placed in the middle of the bilard. Beside normal collisions also the skittles have to fall by different rules. Depending on the number they are classified specially.
Here the base discipline is pool. It is played to predefined distances depending on the position-table. The sportsman has to sink the 14 of 15 balls into the pockets. As long as there is one colored ball on the table the other are replaced and the game continues "endless" up the end of the distance.
Beside the playing-ball (white) all 15 colored balls are on the table. Number 1 - 7 fullcolored, number 9 - 15 halfcolored. The game is won if the black 8 is regular played in a pocket after sinking the other balls (full- or halfcolored) regular.
Beside the playing-ball there are only the halfcolored balls 1-9 placed on the billard. The game is won if the 9 is sinked regular in a pocket. Normally the balls are to sink in ascending order (1 - 9). An exception is the untimely indirect sinking of the 9.
Snooker is a variant of serial games played to a given distance depending on the position table. There are the playing ball (white), 15 red balls and 6 different colored balls. Alternately a red bal and a colored ball have to be sinked in the pockets. The red balls have a count of one and leave in the pockets. The colored balls have different valances and are positioned again after sinking. After the last red ball is sinked all balls are positioned as in base and the sportsman continues the game (series).
A specific showprogram with according valances according to various criterias.