Canadian Snooker Gaining Momentum!
Written By: John Symon
Patrick Guigui dreams of reviving the sport of snooker and is seeing success. Guigui, 43, originally from Montreal before moving to California for 15 years, fondly remembers the glory days of snooker in Canada.
The game has since waned in popularity, but Guigui’s passion lives on and he has founded Snooker Canada to bring back the sport. “Snooker, should not be confused with pool,” notes Guigui. “Snooker is played on a much bigger table (i.e. 6 X 12 feet vs. 4 X 8’ for pool).
In snooker, the pockets are much smaller; considerably more precision needed. And the rules are different; snooker uses mostly red balls (15), together with six coloured balls. The winner is the one with most points.” “But the biggest difference is with the etiquette; there is no walking or talking with snooker. Pool is more of a bar room sport that people play while drinking or eating. None of that happens with snooker where players in tournaments wear vests and bow ties and the referees wear white gloves. Snooker has class; it’s the kind of game that James Bond would p l a y … ”
Today, snooker is on a rebound in Canada. Small pool tables are getting replaced with snooker tables again, a generational cycle; The game is also very popular in other parts of the world. “Snooker is the third most-watched sport on Eurosport after soccer and basketball,” maintains Guigui. “In Asia, there are now 24-hour TV channels dedicated to snooker; our goal is to have snooker on TV in Canada in the near future. We are also close to getting snooker into the Olympics. It’s a wonderful spectator sport; even people who have never watched it before can easily follow the rules.
Europeans, Asians and Middle Easterners are a natural clientele for snooker. So, too, are seniors who remember the billiard tables of the 1960s, 70s, & 80s. We are also looking to start up academies like soccer camps,” Guigui says of efforts to recruit youth into the sport. “A lot of my peers were also passionate about the game,” he explains. “But then they got jobs, became married and had kids. Now many in that group are retiring and want to get back into the game. Just about anybody of any age or weight can play snooker.”
Guigui is not only trying to recruit players, but also to interest business owners, clubs, and social organizations to buy into the sport. The installation cost is relatively modest and we are looking at many different possible venues. Snooker tables could be installed at golf clubs and seniors’ residences. In fact, snooker is an excellent winter activity for golfers.” Guigui suggests that individual players need only a cue to get into the game and these can usually be used for free wherever snooker tables are rented.
Other places to play snooker in Canada can be found at www.snookercanada.com