The_Abbott wrote:Probably because you can (sadly) win more money sitting on a bench watching football.
More seriously it seems more players peak later (also maybe contact lenses for fading eye sights has helped!) but there are some youngsters making the break but when there is only 128 places for a global competition seems to be the problem.
I'd introduce a "championship" ie second tier tour with promotion/relegation that way players have to perform well over a year rather than a week to get onto the tour and therefore the better players should progress.
I think Badsnookerplayer is probably more referring to simple, social, local club level gameplay rather than those who might aspire to the professional game. My introduction to Snooker thirty years ago in North Yorks opened up a world to me that heretofore I had never even known existed as I am a Yankee and before and after those several years in the mid-80's, I have lived in the US. In those days, I learned the game through interaction at several local clubs as well as watching the pros on telly. Obviously, I cannot speak for anyplace else in the world, but it seems to me that "proper" social snooker has never existed here in the US. Speaking to really old timers in American pool halls, it would seem that snooker tables (though usually the 5 x 10 variety) were actually quite common in the US, but there was generally no more than one or two in any given venue. It appears then that here in the US, snooker was always looked at as an aside, never given due respect in its own right, just something else to do once in a while besides the other games. So it seems to me that no one here ever really "specialized" in the Snooker.
And it seems that through the middle of the last century, billiards as a pastime declined in general and as the snooker tables took up the most real estate and generated the least revenue, they were the first piece of hardware to go. So as a child of the 60's, it only makes sense that I had never even heard of the game of Snooker in my youth.
As for the current decline presumably in the UK and elsewhere, I can only speculate. But I can say that I have had dozens of people visit my club in the several years that I have made my table publicly available. Most of them have been foreign born (though just a handful of UK ex-pats, mostly Asians and Europeans) and they have all professed their love of the game, how frequently they used to play back home, and how high they used to score. Now let me say that my table does play tough. Pockets are templated and cloth is thick club cloth with heavy nap. You have to work for each and every pot and assembling a decent break will take blood, sweat, and tears.
Of the 50 or 60 that have come through my door to play the game they "love", if I had a couple extra fingers, I could count on one hand the number who returned more than two or three times. When people can't pot a ball on a proper table, they don't enjoy the game much. At the risk of sounding like the old codger (Yup, back in MY day.....), the very relevant adage is "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." But the problem is that to do anything well requires an investment of time and the acquisition of talent. It is not something just there for the taking. Even an "easy" snooker table requires fair talent to run a few balls in succession. So the game of Snooker is difficult and generally it seems that most people would choose to allocate their time to other things. It is time strapped modern society. Back in the old days, time really did move at a slower pace and people really did stop and smell the roses more, as opposed to the modern thirty second commercial spot attention span expectancy. Even on this forum for example, there are probably four or five "watchers" for every "player". And a snooker parlour or club cannot keep its doors open if there aren't cues swinging over the baize.
By the way, an example of how much difference the equipment can make to how well the game is played...the most extreme example I can give is one club member I had for a while, only came in on occasion, maybe every couple months or so. Well, "back home" he told me he had "a few" centuries to his name. Over 5 years, the best I saw out of him was a sloppy 36 and it was quite rare for him to pass four or five balls to make a twenty. Did he really ever run actual centuries? Perhaps, perhaps not. But venue operators want to make the tables accept balls so as to make the players happy to keep them returning (and shillings in the till), and so "proper" Snooker suffers. These people may as well play American style 9-ball. And so the pool of "grass-roots" snooker becomes ever more shallow.