Snooker fans in the US are not so much looking for a way to watch events without cable as they are a way to watch snooker at all. And this is one place where cord-cutters are at a distinct advantage. Read on to learn more!
In a hurry? Viewers in the US and Canada have a very good option to live stream snooker: DAZN. It’s a great all-around sports streaming service that offers more than it costs — especially if you sign up for a year at just $8.33/mo ($19.99/mo if you pay as you go).
As with pool, the object of snooker is to hit a series of balls into one of six pockets on the board using a cue stick. However, unlike pool, you don’t necessarily win the game by being the first to remove the balls from the table.
Sound interesting? Lots of people think so! Let’s take a closer look at the history of snooker, how it is played, and how you can follow your favorite players on various television and other media outlets.
The goal of a snooker match is to win the most frames from a set number — always odd (11 is a common number). Whoever has the most points at the end of a frame wins the frame.
To score, you must first sink one of the red balls into any of the six pockets on the board. You get one point for this. But it also allows you to pocket one of the colored balls that are worth between two and seven points.
When a red ball is pocketed, it stays out of play. When a colored ball is pocked, it is returned to the table. When all the red balls are gone, the colored balls must be pocked in order. (During this phase the game, the colored balls stay out of play after they are pocketed.)
Whichever player has the most points wins the frame. Then the next frame is played. The following video explains the rules of snooker fairly well.
Snooker was originally played by British officers in the 19th century. After 1875, it began to spread rapidly to other parts of the world. However, it wasn’t until the first part of the 20th century that the game became accessible to the general public. In 1919, the Billiards Association and Control Club (BA&CC) was formed to be the sport’s governing body.
This marked the first time that the sport had a standard set of rules that would be followed during professional and amateur competitions. Between 1927 and 1957, the popularity of the sport rose and fell. But it became part of the global sports consciousness for good in the 1960s thanks to the rise of television.
The game was also stabilized by the presence of successful and popular players based in China and its neighboring countries. Since 2010, the game has undergone a period of growth thanks to increased investment from World Snooker Tour owners.
The World Championship, the UK Championship, and the Masters are considered the three most prestigious events in the sport. Those who win all three events are considered to be Triple Crown champions and are allowed to wear a crown on their uniforms to denote their status during matches.
The World Snooker Championship has been contested since 1969, and this is the year that most consider to be the start of the sport’s modern era. The Masters has been contested since 1975 while the UK Championship has been contested since 1977.
However, only those who were British citizens or passport holders were allowed to compete in the UK Championship until 1984. Eleven players have won the Triple Crown:
- Steve Davis (1982)
- Terry Griffiths (1982)
- Alex Higgins (1983)
- Stephen Hendry (1990)
- John Higgins (1999)
- Mark Williams (2000)
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (2001)
- Neil Robertson (2013)
- Mark Selby (2014)
- Shaun Murphy (2015)
- Judd Trump (2019)
Steve Davis (1988), Stephen Hendry (1990), and Mark Williams (2003) are the only players who have accomplished the Triple Crown in the same season.
Another prestigious event is the Champions League. Although it has the word league in it, this is actually a single event. It is a non-ranked invitational event as well as a ranked event that is open to almost anyone who plays professional snooker. Between 1987 and 2012, the Premier League featured 10 of the top players in the game vying to be known as the best in the game.
World Women’s Snooker (WWS) is the governing body for female players and hosts a variety of events.
Current State of Snooker
Mark Selby of England is currently recognized as the best snooker player in the world. The top-ranked player residing outside of Europe is Neil Robertson of Australia, and he is currently ranked fourth overall. Judd Trump is third in the world as of February 2022, but he has long been considered to be one of the best to ever play the game.
On the women’s side, the top-ranked players include Nutcharut Wongharuthai, On Yee Ng, and Reanne Evans. Kelly Fisher and Allison Fisher are considered to be among the best to have ever played the game. They routinely won championships during the height of their playing careers that lasted from 2005 to 2014.
How to Watch Snooker
Although snooker has become much more popular in the United States, it still isn’t commonly shown on television here. In other countries, it is better represented.
United States and Canada
If you are attempting to watch professional snooker in these countries, you’ll likely do so through the streaming platform DAZN. It’s a great overall sports streaming service costing $19.99/mo. But it is a deal at $99.99/yr, which is just $8.33/mo.
DAZN supports most devices including Amazon Fire TV, Android mobile, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Cox boxes, iOS devices, LG TVs, PlayStation united, Roku, Samsung TVs, VIZIO TVs, Xbox units, and Xfinity boxes.
Another option is matchroom.live. It also allows you to watch darts, pool, and other sports live. It is a low-cost service. Unfortunately, you are limited to watching on a web browser. But you could always watch on a laptop computer connected to a TV with an HDMI cable.
In the United Kingdom, you’ll likely find snooker on ITV, BBC, and Eurosport. Different TV providers will broadcast the different snooker tournaments. This may also apply to those who live in Ireland or other European nations.
If you are watching in Australia or New Zealand, you’ll likely need to subscribe to matchroom.live to view most snooker events.
If you like pool, there is a strong chance that you will enjoy snooker as well. You can watch most events online or through streaming services such as DAZN in the United States or Canada.
Major events will air on networks such as BBC and ITV in the United Kingdom and throughout the rest of Europe.
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