It was a sad affair for Snooker and other cue sports after failing to secure a bid to participate in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. They put out their bid three years ago but together with eighteen other sports, they failed to make it through.
Some sports which have missed out on the bid include American football, flying disc, polo, netball, sumo, tug of war, and so many others.
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association are optimistic that they can make it to Paris in 2024. This comes at a time when the International Olympics Committee(IOC) introduced new rules to allow host cities to bring in new sports.
The last sports to be admitted to the Olympics were rugby and golf. This was during the Rio Olympic games.
Baseball seems to be among the favourites which might secure a place in 2020 since it is a popular sport in Japan.
There is a need for Snooker and other cue games to make it to the Olympics. However, it has proved to be a challenging affair. There has always been a tough debate about distinguishing between a sport and a game.
Organisers of cue sports have been trying since 1958 to participate in the Olympics. However, they have been facing some major obstacles:
- Snooker and other cue games have always been considered games rather than sports. The IOC has for a long time termed cue sports as ‘games.
- On 12 June 2015, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association(WPBSA) were tasked to prepare standards and coherence for cue sports. They were then included in the bid for Tokyo Olympics, although they were not included in the last eight.
Snooker’s growth in popularity
Jason Ferguson, the President of WPBSA Snooker, has become a worldwide sport. More audiences are acquainted with the game since the International World Games in Akita, Japan. Snooker was watched by more than half a billion people from all over the world.
Each year there are more than 200 competitions which are held globally. This does not include only Snooker but other sports such as Billiard, Pool and Carom.
WBSA believes that the Olympics is their grand stage. The Olympics brings together the most talented athletes from all around the world. Snooker has good athletes, and just like other sports in the Olympics, it requires skill.
Although Snooker lost the 2020 Tokyo bid, it is determined to push to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Some of the lucky sports that have made it to the Tokyo Olympics include baseball and softball, bowling, karate, roller sports, climbing, squash, surfing and Wushu.
If you are a fan of Snooker, you should be part of the campaign pushing the game to the Olympics.