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A cue-and-ball game played recreationally in clubs and public venues, such as bars and poolrooms in the USA and, in England, the public house; and with a long tradition of wagering, betting, and hustling in the USA. ‘Toward the middle of the nineteenth century, hard upon the great waves of Irish and German immigration, the American poolroom began to emerge as the major physical locus of the rising bachelor sub-culture’ (Ned Polsky, Hustlers, Beats and Others, 1967). There are variants of the game (English pool has smaller pockets than American pool, for instance), and the American version has gained most popularity among young players. A World Confederation of Billiards Sports, formed in 1992 and based in Belgium, reports 148 nationally affiliated associations and has lobbied, with negligible impact, for the inclusion of billiard sports as a discipline in the Olympic programme (though the International Olympic Committee has included the generic category on its lists of recognized sports). In North America, the United States Professional Poolplayers Association promotes championships and touring events, and there is also a women's professional tour.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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