What is your favorite sport? If you answer "billiards," some people may look at you badly. Billiards? "Come now, if that's just a game to have fun with colleagues on Friday night." And then the eternal debate begins: what is billiards, a sport or just a hobby? In this week's article we give you some arguments to convince that person who pouted when you answered "billiards."
According to the definiton, "sport" can mean two things:
1- Physical activity, exercised as a game or competition, whose practice involves training and compliance with standards.
2- Recreation, hobby, pleasure, fun or physical exercise, usually in the open air.
Billiards fits quite well in both meanings: it is a game or competition that involves training and is subject to rules, and it is also a hobby, fun, a pleasure.
In fact, "sport" comes from "deportare", which in turn means "distracted", that is "entertaining", having fun. Therefore, sport and hobby may actually be the same thing.
Doubt always comes whether it is a physical activity or not. Obviously, billiard players do not burn as many calories as a footballer or a tennis player, but we also burn them clearly. It is physical because the championships can last 8, 10 hours or even several days, and one must be physically fit to endure such a marathon.
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What billiards is with no doubt is a mental sport. The vast majority of players agree that 70, 80 or even 90% of success in this discipline, is due to the "head". It requires strategy, calculation, concentration, self-control, enduring pressure and a long list of mental qualities.
Billiards follows the same pattern as other "games" more recognized as sports, such as chess, darts or archery. In all of them, mental activity predominates over physics, but they do not stop being sports.
As a billiard player, I (and all those who compete) feel athletes. Although it is clear that it may also be that you only take it as a hobby, entertainment to disconnect.
Obviously, it depends on the motivation, the objectives, the goals that you put when playing. It is so respectable that you play once a month with friends to distract yourself, that you train once a week thinking about the next tournament, or that you play every day because it is your job, you compete all over Europe and you are a super pro.
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I hope that with these arguments it will be easier to convince anyone that billiards is a sport. Another day we will talk about whether or not it should be Olympic.
What do you think?