The Mosconi Cup is an annual nine-ball pool tournament contested between teams representing Europe and the USA since 1994. The trophy is named after American player Willie Mosconi, and has been compared to the Ryder Cup in golf. As of 2016, USA and Europe have each won the tournament 11 times and tied once. The reigning champion is Team Europe.
In its earliest days, the Mosconi Cup was created by Sky Sports and Matchroom Sport as an exhibition event to increase public awareness of pool in the United Kingdom. In the first year of competition some of the WPBA's top players played alongside the men in their respective teams. These included Franziska Stark from Germany, Allison Fisher from England, Jeanette Lee and Vivian Villarreal from the United States.
As time progressed, the event evolved from its exhibition nature into a much more serious and professional tournament, and earning a place in the event has acquired a great deal of prestige. Early on many snooker players participated, but of these only Steve Davis remained into the event's more serious era, bowing out when the event began to clash with snooker's UK Championship (for which he appeared as both a player and a BBC commentator).
After Davis' withdrawal, all players had to earn an invitation through their performances at other events, meaning that no more snooker players appeared until 2007, when Tony Drago earned a place by virtue of his performance on the European Pool Tour, and won the tournament's Most Valuable Player award for his unbeaten run in the singles matches.
There have been rule changes and format changes throughout the tournament's brief history. These include, but are not limited to: "Non-playing captain" roles were introduced in the 2003 event; however these were removed in the 2004 tournament. In 2004 the doubles matches were re-formatted to be scotch doubles. In 2005, a 30-second shot clock was introduced, and caused controversy due to timing malfunctions. The 2006 tournament started with a team-versus-team match followed by two trebles matches. That year also saw the reintroduction of the non-playing captain role.
The 2009 tournament included several new features:
-No pairing in the doubles matches could be repeated.
-The event included four blocks of consecutive matches, organized so that five slots were available for each side, in which every player was required to play exactly once.
-In two singles matches, each player was selected by the opposing team captain.
We should know...
Darren Appleton is a must for Europe. In 6 of his 7 appearances, the European team has ended up being champion. No wonder that Captain Marcus Chamat has given him, once again, one of the 2 wildcards.
Another essential billiard player in the European ranks is Niels Feijen. 11 appearances, 7 wins. The Dutchman has been MVP of the last three editions. Everything points to that it will return to be key piece.
The United States has not won since 2009, but if we look at the global sum a victory more than Europe (11-10). In matches won, the Americans also beat: 225 to 218.
Has there ever been a thorn? The answer is no, but there were good beatings. In 2001 the USA endorsed a 12-1 to the Europeans. In 2013, these avenged: 11-2. Here the definitive party:
Last Mosconi Cup Player Roster:
Europe (Captain Marcus Chamat):
2. Jayson Shaw
3. Mark Gray
4. Albin Ouschan
5. Darren Appleton
USA (Captain Mark Wilson):
1. Shane Van Boening
2. Skyler Woodward
3. Mike Dechaine
4. Justin Bergman
5. Rodney Morris
Next Mosconi Cup will take place in Las Vegas, December 4th - 7th 2017.
¿Are you ready for this amazing event?