In recent years both snooker and billiards have become more globalized sports. Traditionally these sports have been the most dominant in the UK, but with television broadcasts of tournaments, and the use of social media to stream more events and behind the scenes content, they have exploded in popularity.
With this new-found global popularity comes some interesting snooker and billiards trends to follow.
Table of ContentsGlobal market value of snooker and billiardsSnooker vs billiardsTop 5 snooker and billiards trendsThe future of snooker and billiards
Global market value of snooker and billiards
As well as being popular to watch on the television, snooker and billiards are growing in popularity across the globe, and are soon expected to reach the same heights as pool in the USA.
Both sports are predominantly played by males, but snooker halls and pool clubs are beginning to actively encourage women to participate as well. As the sports become more accessible to everyone, there is now plenty of demand for snooker and billiards equipment and accessories.
Online sales have significantly increased with both sports, as it’s more convenient for the consumer to purchase goods online, especially if they’re bulky or not easy to transport themselves. Cost-effective promotions are another huge factor in the rise of online sales for snooker and billiards.
In 2020, the global market value for snooker and billiards equipment reached US $149.92 million. Between 2020 and 2027 it’s expected that there will be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.09% as a direct result of the global interest in the sports.
Snooker vs billiards
Snooker, billiards, and pool are often mixed together and the names used interchangeably, but they are all very different sports. Snooker is played with 22 balls and uses a table with six pockets. The table used is larger than a pool table but has smaller pockets. Billiards, on the other hand, is played on a table without pockets and uses just three balls.
Top 5 snooker and billiards trends
Whether the consumer is starting out on their snooker or billiards journey, or they’re a long time player who wants to have the best equipment possible, there are a lot of great options to choose from. The top snooker and billiards trends today include the unilock cue stick, white training balls, a tournament table, fashionable cue sticks, and portable cases.
1. Unilock maple cue stick
Having a cue stick that’s suitable for the individual player is very important in order to control the game. One of the most popular options on the market today is the unilock maple cue stick, which conveniently comes with a canvas bag for easy transportation.
The main feature of this cue stick is that it screws apart and can be separated into two pieces, meaning the consumer doesn’t need to carry a long cue stick around with them.
Maple is one of the top options when it comes to selecting the type of wood for a cue stick. Each type of wood will have a different feel to it, but maple is the most durable and provides the cleanest hit. The tip size of the cue is the big difference for billiards and snooker, so the cue sticks differ slightly depending on which sport is being played.
2. White training balls
Practice makes perfect, so it should come as no surprise that white training balls are a big snooker and billiards trend right now. These white training balls are used to practice billiards, and the red dot on the balls helps the player to visualize the spin of the ball.
It can also be used to practice hitting the ball in the same spot every time. They’re considered to be the best type of ball to train with by both amateurs and professionals.
3. Professional tournament table
The continued popularity of both billiards and snooker has created a high demand for professional tournament tables. While some consumers will want to purchase this for their own home, most sales come from clubs or bars where the sports are the most popular. Having a tournament table is perfect for consumers who want to practice in a leisurely way, so that when they go to play a more serious game they’re fully prepared.
But it’s not all about practicing for a match or tournament. Playing billiards and snooker is about socializing as well, which is why so many social clubs, bars, and even hotels own a tournament table.
It’s a way for different generations to bond, and is a nice change for children who are constantly on their screens. Snooker and billiards are competitive sports, but they’re also popular for recreational use too.
4. Fashionable cue stick
Not all cue sticks are designed the same, and the latest snooker and billiards trends are seeing a large increase in more fashionable cue sticks being researched and purchased. These cue sticks go beyond the standard wooden look and often have a unique pattern on the joint, shaft, or the leather wrap. For professionals this is a great way to create a personal image and peak interest in the specific cue that they’re using.
Not everyone can afford to fully customize their cue though, which is why many modern cues are being manufactured with different colors and patterns on them. This also helps them to appeal to a wider audience such as females or younger children.
Many sports are seeing a similar trend where fashion is now being incorporated into it, and it looks like snooker and billiards are too.
5. Leather cue and ball case
The majority of cues are now built with a unilock system that allows them to be transported easily and safely. The fabric case that is included with the cue is often very basic, which is why consumers often look to upgrade their case to something more sturdy. One of the biggest snooker and billiards trends to look out for is the leather cue and ball case.
This combination case is often made of leather, but can be other materials, and can hold a few different cues at once. This is important for players so they have a backup on hand. The zipper pockets allow for other small accessories to be transported as well, and the addition of a section for a practice ball or two is a very popular feature.
Combined with a comfortable handle, these cue and ball combination cases are a big hit with all types of players.
The future of snooker and billiards
Snooker and billiards, together with pool, are starting to gain more popularity among different generations of consumers. Making these sports more accessible has helped them to build a global platform which wasn’t there previously.
The unilock maple cue stick, white training balls, the professional tournament table, fashionable cue sticks, and the leather cue and ball case are the latest snooker and billiards trends that are certainly ones to watch out for as the sports start to gain more momentum.
Snooker and billiards are no longer elitist sports that are predominantly played in the UK. Their global popularity has created a growing trend in the market that was anticipated a few decades ago.
Snooker and billiards equipment will continue to make new modern advancements as technology becomes more ingrained in both sports that have a long rooted history.