Billiards, in any of its disciplines and modalities, is not only classified as a sport, but since the end of the 1990s, it has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an Olympic sports discipline. Such recognition and subsequent attempts to be included for the first time in the program of the Summer Olympics that are held every four years, have been carried out by the WCBS. In this article we explain you more about billiards as an Olympic sport.
Billiards: Olympic sport
The WCBS (World Confederation of Billiards Sports) was founded to gain recognition from the IOC. Thus, for the first time in the history of billiards, an organization was constituted that brought together its three main disciplines:
- Carom Billiards
Until then, each of them had their respective world organization, WPA (World Pool-Billiard Association), IBSF (International Billiards and Snooker Federation) and the UMB (Union Mondiale de Billard) respectively. Nowadays, these three organizations continue to operate autonomously but under the auspices of the WCBS.
Its history dates back to the earlies 90s, where the idea of became billiards one day as Olympic sport began to take shape from the world of snooker. The first convention was held in the English city of Bristol in August 1990. But it would not be until January 1992 in the Swiss city of Yverdon-les-Bains that the WCBS would be officially founded.
In 1995, the previous step to the final objective in terms of recognition was achieved, with the WCBS being admitted as a provisional member of the GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations).
The achievements of the WCBS to include billiards as an Olympic sport
Years later, in 1998, the WCBS would complete the initial objective by being fully recognized by the IOC. The first big step was achieved. From then until today, the efforts of the WCBS have been aimed at including billiards in the Olympic program of the summer games, even if it is in the format of an exhibition sport, as other sports have achieved in the past.
Also in 1998, the WCBS achieved the full recognition of the GAISF after provisionally since 1995 as well as participation in the World Youth Games held in Moscow (Russia) and the Asian Games in Bangkok (Thailand).
Billiards and the Summer Olympics
Until the inclusion of billiards in the Olympic program of the summer games, the WCBS sends its world’s most outstanding athletes from the disciplines of pool, snooker and carom to the World Games, where all the sports federations that are in a status similar to that of the WCBS participate every four years.
In the case of billiards in our country, the three-cushion carom billiards super champion, Daniel Sánchez Gálvez, has won the Gold medal three times at the World Games. Two of them in the first two editions in which the WCBS participated, in Akita 2001 (Japan) and in Duisburg 2005 (Germany). The third gold would come in Wroclaw (Poland) in 2017.
The next edition is very close: it will be held next July 2022 in Birmingham (United States).
From Barcelona Pool Billiards Academy we wish the success of our most outstanding billiard players in the imminent edition of the World Games and that sooner rather than later they can participate in the Summer Olympics.
Do you want to learn and enjoy more of the secrets of this Olympic sport? At Barcelona Pool Billiards Academy we will discover the exciting world of American Billiards (Pool) with certified instructors and the best facilities on the market, always in optimal conditions.