The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) is the international governing body for the popular cue sport snooker. The origins of the game can be traced back to India where British Army officers were based during the latter part of the 1800s. Rules were derived from two other games popular during this period. These were Pyramid and Black Pool. The game is played on a rectangular table with six pockets: one on each corner and one in middle of each long side. The table is covered with green baize, a course woolen cloth more durable than felt. There are 21 coloured balls and a white cue ball. The cue stick is used to strike the white cue ball to pocket the coloured balls in a sequence. Matches are divided into frames and each frame is won by the player who scores the most points. The match is won by the player who wins the most frames.
The first amateur snooker championship was held during the Great War. The main issue at the time was the inconsistency with the rules, which was resolved by 1919. This was also the time snooker began to overtake billiards in popularity. The first professional World Championship was in 1927. The popularity of snooker continued to grow at a steady rate and in the 1980s it was Steve Davis who contributed further to the boom. Since then, names like Dennis Taylor, Stephen Hendry, Jimmy White, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams, and Mark Selby have all contributed to the worldwide following snooker enjoys today.
Apart from the prestigious World Championship, there is also a professional World Snooker Tour. WPBSA is based in Bristol, England, and in addition also launched the World Snooker Federation with the specific purpose of taking the sport to the Olympics. Snooker is further covered with organisations like World Women’s Snooker (WWS), the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), and the World Seniors Tour (WPBSA).