Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Billiard Players Mental Injuries

Though billiard is one of the safest sports, professional pool and snooker players are not 100% bullet proof. Not long ago I mentioned the Repetitive Strain Injury, known as RSI, the most common pool injury, which also attacks people with keyboard attached to their fingertips. And in an amazing coincidence I read about the mental injuries typical to snooker players.

The World Snooker Championship, which ended yesterday with the triumph of Ronnie "The Rocket" O'sullivan, drew millions of viewers mainly from the UK and China. So while the home viewers were fascinated to O'Sullivan, or whoever was playing at the moment clearing the table, his match opponent had to do the same thing. Or in the Telegraph's words: "…the mental strain of being forced to sit powerlessly through your opponent's century break can scarcely be underestimated. Protocol demands that you have to sit there and watch it… Plugging yourself into an iPod, or reading a newspaper, would probably be frowned upon…"

It is not surprising why top ranked snooker players (O'Sullivan among them) tend to suffer from clinical depression, while others develop drugs and alcohol dependency.

But that's nothing comparing to the comment committed by one Wilson, who witnessed, a rare but apparently true, snooker physical injury: "Playing a shot, on a rather old table, his hand ran along the side of the table and a large splinter of wood came off and was embeded between his thumb and forefinger. He did miss the pot."


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