People are only discovering why snookers tables are green… incredibly, the answer is 100 years old | The Sun

PEOPLE are only just realising why snooker tables are green.

There are a number of theories and misconceptions, but the true answer is remarkable in its simplicity.

Fans have speculated that the table is green to reference the origins of snooker as a lawn game.

Therefore, the theory goes, the green base mimics the grass on which the sport was first played.

But the real reason is far simpler.

Up until the 1870s, orange was the usual colour for snooker tables.


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But this often lead to disagreements between players over ball position as the contrast between red balls and orange fabric made it hard to see exact movements.

Two players – Arthur Terry and Riland Metcalfe – ended up in court over fight during a game of snooker in 1871.

It is claimed that Terry was convicted for his role in the violence, but escaped a punishment as the magistrate agreed that the colour of the table was partially to blame.

The official concluded that "henceforth the cause of harmonious play would be advanced if the snooker tables were manufactured in standard green, giving strong contrast to the red of the ball."

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It is true that the green surface allows players to see the balls better.

The colour allows players to keep track of the balls for a long period and makes the table less strenuous on the eyes for both them and the viewers.

And given that snooker is played over many hours, it would be impractical to have a bright table surface that would tire out the eyes or a dark one that would make it hard to see what was going on.

It comes after people were baffled to discover why football is called ‘soccer’ in the US.

And fans were amazed to find out why snooker is called snooker.

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