Artistic Billiards is a sport where players perform a range of 76 preset shots, each one with a varying range of difficulty. Each shot will be allocated maximum points assuming the execution has been done to perfection. The points range from four to the highest of eleven for the most difficult shot. During a competition, a total of 500 points are available to a player, although there is not a requirement that all 76 shots must be performed during a match. In an artistic-billiards match, each shot must unfold in a specific manner, with some venues the requirement being within a two millimetre tolerance level. A player has three attempts to perform a shot with the goal to achieve the maximum allocated points for each one. Each player is also permitted to use up to twenty different cues, with each cue providing a different performance based on the required shot to successfully complete. Some of the cues may have a larger tip, or require the ball to jump, or have various lengths.
What is certainly the conclusion is that players require a high level of skill and specialized knowledge of the execution of each shot. Another example is where a pin is placed on the table that involves the completion of the shot around the pin. This requires a discipline of practice. World title competitions started in 1986 and the initial requirement was for ivory balls to be used, but this was eventually changed in 1990. Jean Reverchon of France has so far achieved the highest score in a world competition, while Walter Bax of Belgium has achieved the highest score in a competition of 427 points. Artistic Billiards is sometimes referred to as fantasy billiards or fantaisie classique and is a carom billiards discipline.
The Confédération International de Billard Artistique (CIBA) is the world governing body for the sport of artistic billiards. A typical season runs from August until June of the following year. The game is mostly played in Western Europe where it is very popular in countries like Belgium, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Currently a season mostly involves national championships and international invitational events. The last World Championship was held in 2012, but CIBA are responsible for overseeing the annual European Championships normally scheduled within the early months of the year. Apart from establishing the game in Europe, the further aim for CIBA is to grow the sport much more on an international level to encourage further membership and to resume with a world championship soon.