Pool, or billiards, developed from a lawn game similar to croquet in France. When the game moved indoors, it was moved to a table with a green felt top, to mimic grass. Billiards was originally played with a mace, a long wooden stick that resembled a croquet mallet used to shove the balls. The cue was implemented in the late 1600s to adapt to the difficulty of striking balls lying against the wall with a mace.
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World Pool Billiard Association
The World Pool Billiard Association exists to offer a standard set of rules and regulations for tournament billiard playing. Its website offers the standard rules for playing a variety of pool games, such as Nine Ball, Black Ball and Eight Ball, as well as rules for wheelchair competition.
WPA Tournament Table and Equipment Specifications
Official World Pool Association (WPA) tournament rules specify that the table bed height shall be between 29 1/4 inches (74.295cm) and 31 inches (78.74cm). This specification applies to equipment used at all WPA World Championships, the WPA World Tour and any other WPA-sanctioned events.
Other WPA Table Specifications
The WPA specifies that the playing surface of a regulation table must be rectangular, and symmetrical. Tables must be either eight- or nine-feet long, depending on the tournament. The fabric of the table top must be non-directional, nap-free billiard fabric with no less than 85 per cent combed, worsted wool and no more than 15 per cent nylon, and may only be yellow-green, blue-green, or electric blue for competitions.
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