Pool snookers market

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Q. Why is there a tendency to play pool rather than snooker in the United States?

A. Snooker and pool were pre-dated by a game called pyramids, which was played with a cue-ball and 15 reds, which were initially placed in a triangular shape. When pyramids was exported to the United States it developed differently through the introduction of several games based on one cue-ball and 15 object-balls. Through evolution, pool tables were also significantly smaller than billiard tables, a commercial advantage in terms of utilising room space

Snooker first flowered in Britain and until about 15 years ago was played virtually exclusively in past or present Commonwealth countries, although it is now extensively played in Europe and Asia as well.

The USA does send competitors to world amateur snooker championships but snooker remains very small there, not least because the long- established pool interests do not seem particularly keen to assist it to gain a significant foothold. - Clive Everton, Editor, Snooker Scene, Edgbaston

Q. Preston North End won the 1995-96 Third Division Championship - scoring the most goals, achieving the Fair Play award by a wide margin and only losing 6 of the 46 League games played. However, Gary Peters, the club manager, did not achieve one manager of the month award and did not come in the first three for the manager of the year in his Division. Is this a record?

A. I do not know whether this constitutes a record or not, but perhaps I can shed some light on why it happened. Preston had a great deal more money to spend on their squad than almost any other team in the Division with the possible exception of Plymouth Argyle. Far higher crowds than anyone else in the Division, again apart from Plymouth, have helped to perpetuate this difference throughout the season.

Despite these advantages, they still lost home and away to a team barely surviving on attendances of fewer than 3,000, a team who had to sell their prize asset and had virtually no money to replace him. Despite Barnet failing to clinch a play-off place, Ray Clemence was awarded the manager of the month for April. Perhaps doing well against the odds is more deserving of such an award than solely winning with the odds stacked so heavily on one's favour. - D Cavalier, London NW7


Q. Apart from Roy McFarland, the same managers were in charge of Premiership teams in the 1995-96 season. Was this a record low? Was the previous season, with 10 changes, the record high? - Paul Miles, London E17

Q. Llantsantffraid-ym-Mechain, the League of Wales football team from the Powys village, with a population of 954, will be playing in next season's European Cup-Winners' Cup. Has any team from a town or village with a smaller population ever played in a European competition? - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

Q. Could you please tell me who were the last English team to win at the San Siro stadium in Italy? And what was the score and which year? - Mark Chapman, London N1

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

Fax: 0171-293 2894