What Are Snooker Balls Made Of?

Aramith Tournament Champion Full Size Snooker Ball Set

Dan Crombie

Ever wondered what makes the perfect break in a snooker game? Beyond skill and technique, the composition of snooker balls plays a crucial role in the game's precision and enjoyment. In this insightful guide, we'll explore the materials that make up snooker balls, providing you with an in-depth understanding that could even enhance your gameplay. Let's dive in!

The Evolution of Snooker Balls

Snooker balls have come a long way from their initial ivory construction. While historical variations have existed, the pursuit of the perfect snooker ball has led to some significant technological advancements.

From Ivory to Synthetic

Initially, snooker balls were crafted from ivory. However, the unethical nature of ivory harvesting and inconsistency in the material led to the creation of synthetic alternatives. Phenolic resin became the prominent choice due to its uniform density and durability.

Modern Snooker Balls: Phenolic Resin

Today's snooker balls are primarily made from a specially engineered phenolic resin. This material offers a variety of benefits that are vital to the game of snooker:

Phenolic resin provides a consistent playing experience. The material is designed to withstand intense impact, ensuring that snooker balls retain their shape and integrity over time.

Performance Impact

The particular composition of phenolic resin allows for a precise rebound and spin, influencing strategies and tactics employed by professional players. Knowing what snooker balls are made of can enhance your understanding of gameplay dynamics.

Environmental Considerations

The shift from ivory to synthetic materials not only improved the game but also showcased the sport's commitment to environmental sustainability. Research and innovation continue to drive the search for even more sustainable materials.


Understanding the materials that make up snooker balls provides fascinating insights into the game of snooker. The evolution from ivory to phenolic resin highlights technological advancements and ethical considerations that have shaped the sport.

If you're looking to elevate your game or just appreciate the science behind it, knowing what snooker balls are made of is invaluable. Consider exploring various brands and their unique compositions to find the perfect snooker ball set for your needs.