Billiards, known also as pool, has been known as a bar or pub game for years alongside darts, foosball, table tennis bowling... Pretty much any game where you're encouraged to grab a cheap beer and hit things. To be fair, it's earned the right to be considered a bar game; after a quick "pool hall" Google search, eight of the ten results were bars—and one of the two that weren't bars belonged to the local college's games center. Because of this, people have begun viewing billiards a game to play only when at the bar.
But the truth is a bit different; just like darts and bowling, playing a game of pool can be as challenging (and rewarding) as you make it. Ranging from health benefits to daily pleasure, billiards is far more than just a bar game.
1. Stretching: vital to both the game and your daily life
Stretching is vital for flexibility, injury prevention, and mental health, but people nowadays rarely stretch enough. By stretching over the table and changing positions for different shots, an hour of pool can increase your flexibility and overall health.
2. Focusing on that one shot can help you focus on the bigger things as well
Ask anyone who's tried to win a game of nine ball: trying to focus solely on one ball is a challenge, especially if you're in a loud room or you don't have a straight shot. Distractions in pool often turn into botched shots, just like distractions in life can turn into big mistakes. By learning how to focus solely on your goal in pool, you can apply that knowledge to your daily life and learn how to reach your goals quickly and effectively.
3. Who doesn't want to improve their test scores?
While pool isn't as simple as people may think, it's not a mystical thing, either. In all reality, pool is just a game of physics and geometry. If you can successfully master one, the other will be much easier.
4. Stress becomes a thing of the past
5. Lonely? Not anymore
Pool isn't a one- or two-person activity as a general rule. Some people use billiards and billiards competitions to help alleviate and combat their social anxiety, while others use them as a way to meet new people.
6. Disrespect is a thing that's quickly taken care of
Contrary to popular belief, most people are very polite when playing. Players will often be called out if they don't follow the PBIA's etiquette code, so both professionals and new players can feel calm and respected during a game.
7. Unlike your standard sport, people of all ages can participate
Unfortunately, most people can't participate in professional sports into their forties and fifties because their bodies can't keep up. After all, when do you ever see a 99 year-old football player? Meanwhile, 99 year-old Wesley Walker was still competing (and winning) back in 2001!
8. For the elderly, billiards may be an excellent low-intensity exercise
9. Whether you're a new player or a pro, billiards isn't hard to get into
Despite all the trick shots and illegal jump shots on television, you don't need a master's degree to get started. With a quick YouTube tutorial, friend, or even kind stranger's help, you can be playing in no time.
10. Whether you're nursing a whiskey or chugging a Juicy Juice, it's always enjoyable
Take it from the girl whose purse can easily be identified as the one next to the juice box: you don't need to be drunk to have fun playing pool.