clash royale hack gunpixel.com mobilelegendstool.us robloxtool.com clashroyaletool.info mrcoinsfifa.com besthomescapes.com
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.


Archives
• May 2021
• April 2021
• March 2021
• January 2021
• December 2020
• November 2020
• October 2020
• September 2020
• August 2020
• July 2020
• June 2020
• May 2020
• April 2020
• March 2020
• February 2020
• January 2020
• December 2019
• November 2019
• October 2019
• September 2019
• August 2019
• July 2019
• June 2019
• May 2019
• April 2019
• March 2019
• February 2019
• January 2019
• December 2018
• November 2018
• October 2018
• September 2018
• August 2018
• July 2018
• June 2018
• May 2018
• April 2018
• March 2018
• February 2018
• January 2018
• November 2017
• October 2017
• 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
• October 2008
• September 2008
• August 2008
• July 2008
• June 2008
• May 2008
• April 2008
• March 2008
• February 2008
• January 2008
 
February: Mr. Sandman
February 2021

There have been several occasions over the past few years when I’ve thought, “I really should write something about Jorgen Sandman’s contributions to the sport.” Of course, something really important (like Jeanette Lee’s addition to Cameo!) would pop up and I’d be forced to push that idea to the backburner.

Then, like a microcosm of the reality-check we’ve endured in the past year, I received a cold slap with regards to the Swedish-born Sandman. A massive landslide in his adopted Norwegian village of Ask swept away Sandman’s home in the middle of the night — with him and his wife Anna in it! (See Wing Shots, page 12.)

Despite the fact the three-story building in which the Sandmans lived slid some 500 feet and collapsed around them, miraculously, the couple escaped unharmed save for a broken collarbone and some bruises that Jorgen sustained. Photos from the landslide, which demolished nine buildings and took 10 lives, leave little doubt that the Sandmans cheated death.

“We’re happy to be alive,” Sandman said in a recent call.

I am certainly happy that Jorgen Sandman is still with us because it affords me another opportunity to pay him tribute while he’s still around to read it. (Mostly, I’m glad that Jorgen is still around because he happens to be one of the most congenial, ethical men I’ve ever had the honor to know.)

At least part of the reason I feel compelled to state Jorgen’s case as one of the sport’s true heroes is because he would never bother to do it himself. He is a man with little or no ego. He spent the better part of 15 years tirelessly working (in a volunteer capacity) to help establish a global association for the pool community and a global association for all cue sports with the hope of getting Olympic recognition for the sport, yet he’d never boast of his achievements, nor would he ever promote himself based on them.

Now, I would argue that nowhere in the pool community has the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS) been taken to task more frequently or more vehemently than in these pages, but I will never discount or dismiss the importance of what Sandman helped establish.

In the late 1980s, before the internet exploded and the world shrank, the idea of creating an organization of pool federations from around the globe seemed a gargantuan and daunting task. It was. And, like most ideas so grand, it would require a few incredibly selfless people to devote hours and weeks and years, with virtually no financial reward, to lay the groundwork and get the organization up and running.

An instructor in Sweden in the mid-’80s, Sandman was a member of the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) when the carom game’s worldwide chief Andre Gagnaux attempted to rally the other cue disciplines (pool and snooker) to take a run at International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership. Pool had no world body at the time. Sandman was enough of a visionary to recognize the importance and value of establishing such an organization, so he volunteered to drive the effort. He did the heavy lifting in the formation of the WPA in 1987. He led the way to establishing the WPA World 9-Ball Championships in 1990, giving the sport a much-needed legitimate format for world titles. Still, it took seven years of letters, trips, handholding and persistence to get all six inhabited continents to form their own federations and officially make the WPA a true world organization.

Along the way, Sandman was also one of the anchors in the formation of the WCBS, whose primary aim would be to establish cue sports as medal events in multi-sport competitions (Pan-Am Games, Southeast Asian Games, World Games, etc., and eventually the Olympics) around the world.

Years of patiently filling out forms, setting up organizations, filing requests and taking a knee at the feet of international sports wonks (again, all with no salary), yielded results when the WCBS was granted membership in the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) in 1995, provisional membership in the IOC in ’96 and, finally, full recognition by the IOC in ’98. Sandman was the president and chief architect for the WPA from ’92-’99 and was president of the WCBS from ’96-’99, and again from 2004-’08.

While the WPA has fallen out of favor over the past decade-plus, due largely to a flawed business model and apathy at the board level (a column for another day), the organization remains vitally important to the sport. The formation of a world body and subsequent recognition by the IOC paved the way for member federations to petition their national Olympic committees for membership, which, in turn, has allowed many to get association and athlete funding from their government.

That the international pool scene began to boom following the formation of the WPA and WCBS is no coincidence, either.

Again, the WPA and WCBS have long ways to go to reassert their value and restructure their business model to move the sport forward. But the foundation is there, thanks in large part to the selflessness and commitment of Jorgen Sandman.

In fact, I believe it’s high time the industry reward him with the green jacket, ring and plaque that would formally validate its appreciation for his contributions.

MORE VIDEO...