Billiards Becomes a Fad in a University Town
By Park Min-woo
The Post Reporter
Today 'M' billiards room is crowded with many university students. Male students are playing billiards and having a conversation together at each table. At a pocketball table over there, some female students are playing. They are not good at it but they are enjoying their game. It was unusual to find girls at a billiard room in the past, but what is happening?
Most students began playing billiards after entering university, so there are a lot of billiard rooms around universities and they are usually crowded. Billiards was popular with only male students in the past, but now you can find a few girl students in the billiard rooms.
Billiard is a game and a sport.
In the past, movies and dramas associated billiards with gangsters and juvenile delinquents, giving billiards a bad image. However, billiards was selected as an official sport in the 2002 Busan Asian Game following 1998 Bangkok Asian Game. Some universities established it as one of their majors. Nowadays, if you turn on the sports channel on TV, you can see professional billiard players match with other players. TV changed the image of billiards and because of the new image many more people began to play, even women.
Now billiards is a leisure sport enjoyed all over the world.
The Post interviewed Kim Jong-wan, a university student who is enjoying playing billiards with friends. He first learned to play billiards when he was in the 2nd grade of high school but he was not interested in it at that the time. After he entered university, he happened to play with his friend and got interested. Now, he loves billiards and plays it almost every day. He says that billiards is a real sport and it is trying to change its image by becoming an official sport at the Asian Games.
Song Eun-joo, a female Donggukian who is majoring in English Lang. and Lit., really enjoys playing pocketball too. The first time when she played was just after Suneung, which is the last test as a high school student. She visited a billiard room with some friends who played pocketball. The first game was hard for her but she began to like it. "Before visiting a billiard room, I had a prejudice that the billiard room's image was not good because of some scenes from movies. I saw gang fights happening in the billiard room in the movie several times," she said. This was her first impression of billiards. She added, "Well, I really agree with the view that billiards' image has changed for the better but I think people who are playing billiards should be considerate about other people. They smoke so much. I cannot breathe there so I hate visiting that place even though I am crazy about playing pocketball."
Next, the Post met Ha Jong-bong, a student who has a part-time job at a billiard room. He commented about the increasing the number of girls who are enjoying billiards. "Recently, I can see a lot of girls coming here (a billiard room) with their male friends just to watch the games. This is different from the past, and I am sure that the number of female visitors is increasing." He thinks that most female customers are visiting billiard rooms to enjoy pocketball games so he concluded that pocketball is very popular. He also said that billiard rooms have to make non-smoking rooms in order to attract female customers. "I can tell the increase in female interest is due to the general popularity of billiards. In my opinion, billiards will continue to grow popular as a sport in the future," Mr. Ha added.
-Brief Information About Billiard- <Box>
Billiards is a leisure sports where each player competes to get higher scores by hitting a ball on the billiard table with a cue stick.
There are several kinds of games in billiards; pocketball, snooker, nine ball, three-cushion billiards, sagu, etc. Three-cushion, pocketball and sagu are popular in Korea. Sagu, a game using four balls, is popular only in Korea, whereas pocketball and snooker are popular in most countries. Snooker is uncommon in Korea but very popular in the U.S.A and England. We can easily tell snooker is popular in the world because the prize money usually given in snooker is much higher than the other form of billiards.
<The kind of Games played by University Students>
-sagu : This game is played with four balls. The player hits the cue ball and the cue ball must touch two object balls for the player to score.
-three-cushion : The rules are similar with sagu but in three-cushion billiards, it is played with three balls and the cue ball must touch cushion three times before hitting the second object ball.
-pocket billiard : It is played with 11balls on a pocket billiard table. The player hits the 10 colored balls into the 6 holes on the billiard table using the cue ball. The player who hits all the balls into the holes, wins.
Billiards is a very popular leisure sport for many students including women, but stills suffers from a poor reputation. Many believe that billiard rooms should have a non-smoking area to create a better environmental for women and non-smokers.
Billiards has become a culture and a sport for university students. It cultivates accuracy, composure and concentration of players. Billiards is a very civil sport that helps to cultivate good etiquette. Every person can enjoy playing billiards regardless of age or sex. Why don't you give it a try.
Park Min-woo reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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