The Green Baize of Glory

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.

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