Tournament billiards, also known as competitive or professional pool, is a popular cue sport played in the United States. The sport encompasses several game variations, including eight-ball, nine-ball, straight pool, and ten-ball, among others.
These games are played on a billiards table with pockets and balls, using a cue stick to strike the balls and score points according to specific rules.
Tournament billiards in the United States is currently in a vibrant and dynamic state, with a dedicated community of professional players, leagues, and organizations. Several professional tours and organizations, such as the Billiard Congress of America (BCA), the United States Professional Pool Players Association (UPA), and the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), oversee and organize events in the sport. These tournaments and championships provide players with opportunities to showcase their skills and compete for significant prize money.
Some of the most prestigious events in the United States include the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, the Derby City Classic, the Mosconi Cup, and the WPBA Masters. Professional players are ranked based on their performance in these sanctioned events, with rankings maintained by the respective governing bodies.
Prominent players in tournament billiards often secure sponsorships and endorsements, helping to cover travel expenses and contribute to the growth of the sport. Streaming platforms and online channels dedicated to billiards, such as Accu-Stats, AZBTV, and CSI, have gained popularity in recent years, allowing fans to watch tournaments live or on-demand. Traditional media outlets also provide coverage of major events, and some tournaments are televised.
Beyond the professional circuit, tournament billiards attracts a significant number of amateur players who participate in local and regional leagues such as the American Poolplayers Association (APA) and the Billiards Congress of America Pool League (BCAPL). These leagues provide opportunities for amateurs to compete, improve their skills, and progress to higher levels of play.
In addition to physical tournaments, online billiards platforms have emerged, hosting virtual tournaments that allow players to compete remotely. This expansion into the online realm enhances accessibility and contributes to the growth of the sport.