Pool-billiards or pool is a cue sport played on a table with six pockets into which balls are deposited. It is known by a variety of different names, each with slightly different rules. These variations include eight-ball, eightball pool, blackball, nine-ball, ten-ball, seven-ball, straight pool, one-pocket and bank pool. The generic term of pocket billiards is also often used. Today the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket- billiards, with the group establishing in Germany in 1987. WPA falls under the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), which is an umbrella organization that represents Pool, Carom, and Snooker. Currently the sport is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.  

During the 1980s, majority of the competitions featured in the USA, while the highest level of competition was the European Championships. Several European players wanted to play at a higher level and the idea of a global competition resurfaced in 1987 at the formation of WPA. This resulted in several regional heads working together to bring about the WPA World Nine-Ball Championship in February 1990 hosted by Bergheim in Germany. Thirty-two men and sixteen women in separate divisions featured at the competition. This event has grown so considerably that it is now played annually with Qatar currently as the host nation. The Nine-Ball Championship is also not the only competition on show by WPA. There is an annual World 8-Ball Championship for men, a World 10-Ball Championships for both men and women, and several ranking tournaments played in various locations around the world. Millions of dollars are now offered as prize money making it a truly appealing and marketable sport to any age group.  

Modern Pool is played on a six-pocket table. The size of the table ranges between 3.5 feet by 7 feet to 4.5 feet by 9 feet. The balls are 2.25 inches to 2.375 inches in diameter, weighing up to 6 oz. The cue stick is generally 58.5 inches in length differing from a carom cue that is shorter with a larger tip, while a snooker cue is longer and has a smaller tip.

World Pool-Billiard Association

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