BilliardsBilliards is a classic cue sport played by a wide variety of enthusiasts of all ages, in both recreational and professional competitions. It is a game of skill in which players use cue sticks to strike balls in an effort to pot them into pockets on a billiards table. The rules of the game and different game types vary depending on the region, but all involve pocketing balls in an effort to gain points or clear the table. Popular billiards games include 8-ball, 9-ball, snooker, and pyramid. The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the largest international governing body for the sport. The organization promotes billiards as a professional sport through the World Pool Masters, World Cup of Pool, and World Pool Championship, and provides a standard ruleset for all major billiards events. The WPA also serves to manage the rankings and ratings of players in both individual and team-based events. Since its formation, a number of professional associations and leagues have formed to promote billiards at the highest level. The most prominent of these is the U.S. Professional Poolplayers Association (UPA), which has been around since 2002 and sanctions a range of international events. The Union des Billards Européens (UBE), established in 2004, is another well-known international organization that sponsors events in Europe. Popular current players in the sport of billiards include names like Shane Van Boening, Niels Feijen, Darren Appleton, and Dennis Orcollo. These players have established themselves as some of the best in the sport as they compete for gold in international courses. Each professional pool association has its own unique league format. In general, the season runs over a period of one or two months, depending on the region, and culminates with playoffs and a championship game. Billiards has been a popular game since the 17th century, when it was first known as "English Billiards". It has since developed into the respected game we know today and continues to attract millions of amateur and professional players from around the world. With a long and distinguished history, billiards is sure to remain a favorite among players for years to come.