St. Laurent resident Patrick Guigui (left) is on a mission to raise the profile of professional snooker in Canada. With this in mind he successfully pursued the opportunity to host the International Billiards & Snooker Federation Under 21 World Championships. They will take place July 12 to 23 at The Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel in Dorval.
Players from over 40 different countries will be here, competing for the ultimate prize of getting a coveted spot on the professional snooker tour. On Monday the very careful process of setting up 10 snooker tables for competitive play began. It will last the rest of the week.
“The format begins with a round robin stage, and is followed by the nerve racking knock off stage until it eventually reaches the final two,” explains Guigui, noting that there is a nominal admission charge to watch the action and it will also be streamed live online at snookcanada.ca. “This promises to have a spectator base from all demographics to attend and enjoy watching the future generation of snooker.”
Former professional Kirk Stevens will be attending the opening ceremony of the event, which should prove to be a big treat for all the young international snooker players. Guigui has also communicated with boxing guru Russ Anber, himself a noted snooker player. Matthew Ross from THE TEAM 990 will emcee the opening ceremonies.
“I met the president of the International Federation about six months ago and asked about hosting the championships in Montreal.” Guigui said. “He is from France. So he came down to visit, I took him to the Habs game, showed him some of the potential venues and we had a deal. I am really hoping this event will jumpstart more youngsters taking up this game.”
For a look at past championships, click here .
Guigui notes that Montreal has a long history of snooker players and fans that date back over 50 years. “Mordecai Richler, an avid snooker fan, even wrote a book about it,” he said. “I am in talks with Richler's family right now about organizing a tournament with
his name attached to it.”
A new snooker academy has recently opened up here with the goal of teaching the younger generation new snooker skills.
According to wisegeek.com, Snooker is best described as a billiards game, or cue sport, that — like most forms of billiards — is of British origin. Snooker is a slightly more modern version of 16th century billiards and is played using 22 balls – one cue ball, 15 red balls, and six different coloured balls with different point valuations. A regulation snooker table measures 6 feet (1.86 meters) by 12 feet (3.66 meters) and has four corner and two side pockets. Points are scored by striking the cue ball with the result being a successful pocketing of the other balls into one of the six pockets according to game rules. The game is played in matches, which are comprised of a predetermined number of frames. The object is to score the most points per frame to win the majority of frames in the match.
Though snooker is played recreationally, it is also a professional sport with numerous tournaments held annually and the elite World Championship match held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. Professional snooker has a governing body that sets the rules and regulation for play. Following a brief hiatus in the popularity of the sport during the mid 1960s, The World Snooker Association was founded in 1968. Today, snooker is a popular and well-respected sport with professional standings kept and followed by many fans.
For a look at places to play snooker in Quebec click here.
Log on to www.snookercanada.ca for more details.