A well done to Andy Murrey for a sterling game at Wimbledon 2012 but it was in 1873 that a patented game first appeared in Wales.
The new and improved game of lawn tennis captured the imagination of all, however rules as they say are rules…or not in this case, standardised rules had yet to appear and it wasn’t until the All England Croquet Club experimented with the first organized tournament, and new set of rules that lawn tennis really came into its own.
Wimbledon 1877 and the first opened the extravaganza we know today as the most prestigious tennis tournament and some 125 years later it continues to attract the elite of world-class players.
From its humble beginnings the tournament drew more players and interest. The industrial revolution gave some leisure time and sure enough the resorts of the Victorian era were a natural nesting place for the growth of the game.
And with its popularity came the few manufactured pieces of equipment. Nets, balls, shoes and of course racquets, these evolved like as did the rules which experienced a periodic of strengthening.
In the 1890’s international invitational tournaments were a step forward to today’s tournament and a gift a large silver bowl and set of rules really set the ball rolling.
The International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy was born but very quickly became known as the Davis Cup. Mr. Dwight Davis donated it in 1900 to the tennis community and the rest as they say is history.
Snooker that is!
Snooker derived from billiards and originated in India during the later half of the Victorian Era.
I have to say I am a keen snooker player and have been playing since I was old enough to reach the table.
Variations on the traditional billiard games were devised by Army officers stationed in India but in particular came about in the officers’ mess in Jabalpur (a city in the Mahakaushal region of state of Madhya Pradesh in central-east India). during the mid 1870’s when different coloured balls were added to the reds and black which were used for pyramid pool.
The term snooker appears to have been coined by Sir Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain himself joined the Central India Horse (The Central India Horse – 21st King George V’s Own Horse was a regular cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army. They were formed at the start of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857) in 1876, taking the game with him.
Tradition has it that when one of the players failed to hole a coloured ball, Chamberlain shouted to him: ‘Why, you’re a regular snooker.’ (a snooker being the term used for a first-year cadet at the Academy) He then pointed out the meaning and that they were all ‘snookers’ at the game. The name seemed to name itself!
After being wounded in the Afghan War, he moved to Ooatacamund and the game became the specialty of the ‘Ooty Club’ with rules being posted in the billiards room and still today any snooker club worth it’s salt will have the snooker rules adorning it’s wall.