I do not enjoy golf, for me it is a good walk ruined, but even I can freely admit that the Ryder Cup is a phenomenally intense and exhilarating event. The format of the Mosconi Cup is a similar one. For a start it is Europe vs America (and all classic rivalries provide an additional edge in sporting encounters), and secondly, the action is spread over a few days and it naturally, rapidly, builds to a perfect climax.
The Mosconi Cup lasts for four days, and on each day 5 or 6 points are available. Each point is won in a first to 5 frames race. There are doubles, singles, and whole team battles. Each team has a captain who can make tactical selections when the opportunity arises.
The sport is 9-ball – American, pool.
The basic rules of which are simple:
(1) Hit the lowest (numerically numbered) ball first.
(2) Repeat until the 9-ball (numbered ‘9’) is potted.
(3) After contact, a ball must hit a cushion (or pocket).
(4) Fouls result in “ball-in-hand” – place the ball anywhere.
It is reputedly the fastest growing cue sport in the world. At a casual level it is a great leveller, meaning it is easier for a novice to beat an average player than it is, for example, in snooker. At profession level, with huge pockets, and a nap-free cloth, it comes down to pressure – and watching the players handle it is great fun. In a 9-ball environment the players and spectators are a lot more lively than at any other cue-sport I have seen.
I cannot recommend the event, or the sport, highly enough. Even if you’re merely curious or uncertain, give it a go. It is easier to enjoy than you might expect it to be.
A link to coverage via Sky TV’s guide, but not sure how future-proof it’ll be…