clash royale hack pixel gun 3d hack mobile legends
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
From the Publisher
By Mike Panozzo
Mike became editor of Billiards Digest in 1980 and liked it so much that he bought the company. He has served on the Billiard Congress of America board of directors and as president of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America.

• September 2017
• August 2017
• July 2017
• June 2017
• May 2017
• April 2017
• March 2017
• February 2017
• January 2017
• December 2016
• November 2016
• October 2016
• September 2016
• August 2016
• July 2016
• June 2016
• May 2016
• Apr 2016
• Mar 2016
• Feb 2016
• Jan 2016
• Dec 2015
• Nov 2015
• Oct 2015
• Sept 2015
• August 2015
• July 2015
• June 2015
• May 2015
• April 2015
• March 2015
• February 2015
• January 2015
• October 2014
• August 2014
• May 2014
• March 2014
• February 2014
• September 2013
• June 2013
• May 2013
• April 2013
• March 2013
• February 2013
• January 2013
• December 2012
• November 2012
• October 2012
• September 2012
• August 2012
• July 2012
• June 2012
• May 2012
• April 2012
• March 2012
• February 2012
• January 2012
• December 2011
• November 2011
• October 2011
• September 2011
• August 2011
• July 2011
• June 2011
• May 2011
• April 2011
• March 2011
• February 2011
• January 2011
• December 2010
• November 2010
• October 2010
• September 2010
• August 2010
• July 2010
• June 2010
• May 2010
• April 2010
• March 2010
• February 2010
• January 2010
• December 2009
• November 2009
• October 2009
• September 2009
• August 2009
• July 2009
• June 2009
• May 2009
• April 2009
• March 2009
• February 2009
• January 2009
• September 2008
• August 2008
• July 2008
• June 2008
• May 2008
• April 2008
• March 2008
• February 2008
• January 2008
October: Do You Believe in Miracles?
October 2008
I have to admit, I like this marketing-driven change that has us watching the Olympic Games every two years. Winter Olympics in 2006, Summer Olympics in 2008, Winter Olympics in 2010, and so on. It affords me more frequent opportunities to poke fun at events deemed more "universal" and more "demanding" than cue sports.

The Summer Olympics, recently completed in Beijing, China, offered a bevy of borderline comical "disciplines." Among my personal favorites was Trampoline. Although I didn't catch much of the action (what with that big-eared swimmer dominating the 25 hours of daily coverage), I could almost hear the color commentator for the Trampoline event gushing about the gold-medal favorite.

"You know, Boris was a child prodigy. According to his parents, Boris was bouncing on his bed and touching the ceiling as early as 4! By the time he was 6, he was bounding from his bed to his brother Sergi's bed without incident. That's just astonishing!"

Yeah, great. I heard Boris is also a medal threat in the 3 meter wet-towel-snap competition. Even more ludicrous? Air rifles (cue concerned mom to Black Bart: "You'll shoot your eye out!") and synchronized diving. Where do you go to even practice synchronized diving?

Yet the cue sports, with organized competition in more than 90 nations and played by nearly 100 million people worldwide, languishes on the sidelines.

Part of me thinks, "So what?" Do the fringe sports really derive all that much benefit from their inclusion in the Olympics? Do they come home to sponsor-driven pro tours? Do sales in their respective industries spike? My television currently gets something in the vicinity of 10,000 channels, and I've yet to come across a single Professional Synchronized Diving Tour or Trampoline World Cup event. For that matter, what do swimmers do between Olympics? And what do gymnasts do after they turn 12?

But as much as I try to rationalize pool's non-inclusion on the sports world's biggest stage, there's one compelling reason to keep reaching for those five gold rings.


And what got me thinking more about the impact of youth on the entire industry was a comment attributed to International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge regarding the inclusion of BMX in Beijing. (Yes, even bicycle motocross was an Olympic sport this year.)

"The IOC must adapt to changing attitudes of young people if it wants to stay relevant," said Rogge. "With youngsters turning fast to other sports competitions like the X Games, the IOC has to change."

Added one BMX competitor, "This is our chance to bring our sport to the world and give kids another avenue to express themselves, because not everybody likes to play baseball and football."

A writer friend of mine commented that perhaps the growth of sports with today's youth stems from the simple fact that they can express themselves. That certainly seems to be the mantra that drives "extreme sports."

Can pool offer that vehicle for expression? Of course it can. And it has. When "The Color of Money" spurred meteoric growth in both poolrooms and participation in the late '80s, do you think it was Paul Newman's aging character or drab tournament scenes that piqued kids' interests? No, it was Tom Cruise strutting around the table, twirling his cue to the strains of "Werewolves of London." (A practice lamented by many a poolroom owner.)

We missed the opportunity to channel our efforts to the youth back then, but it's never too late to retool our efforts. Maybe pool should focus more on that "express yourself" theme. Think any of today's televised events drive kids to pool tables? Doubtful. And the IOC obviously doesn't view cue sports as relevant with today's youth.

Pool certainly has the potential to resonate with kids. From the limitless possibilities for creativity on the table, to equally limitless potential for creative expression at and around the table, there's no reason pool can't attract the attention and passion of America's youth.

As my friend wrote, "Bottle up and sell the chance for kids to express themselves, and they'll flock."

Pool has survived all these years without any concerted effort to attract young kids, and it will continue to survive.

But without today's youth driving interest in cue sports, the Olympics - and indeed industry growth - will continue to be unattainable goals.