Throughout most of the world the dominant cue sport is three cushion billiards. In Europe, Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam the World Cup tournaments are televised and the names of the top players in the world are well known by all fans of the game.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game it is played on a 5x10 foot table with double thick slate that is heated for consistency. The table has no pockets and is played with only three balls, cue balls of white and yellow and a red object ball, all of which are larger than typical pool balls 61.5mm diameter vs 2-1/4 inches for pool. In todays game all three balls have been "measled" so that TV viewers can see the spin on the balls.
The object of the game is simple: strike both of the other balls on the table with your cue ball but before striking the second ball your cue ball must have impacted a rail or cushion at least three times. The striking of balls and rails may be in any order so long as the second ball is contacted after the cue ball impacts at least three rails. As you may be able to imagine the array of shots is mind bendingly complicated. (I had never considered a seven rail shot before I started playing this game but now I have made one that included 10 rails.)
The best players in the world are European masters from Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium, but players from Turkey, Korea, Viet Nam, and Japan are coming along rapidly.
The governing body for play in the USA is the USBA and they recently held their national championships. The first and second place finishers will represent the USA in Wrolack, Poland from July 20th to the 30th in the World Team Championships.
The US team consists of eight time National Champion Pedro Piedrabuena and three time National Champion Hugo Patino (both pictured) and we wish them well as they compete against the best players in the world.