How A Snooker Table Is Made

The snooker season pretty much lasts for 12 months, the 2012/2013 season has already started and runs from April to April, finishing with the biggest snooker tournament on the calendar, The World Snooker Championships held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
The key to the whole sport is the table. For as long as snooker has been around, the sturdiness and as funny as it sounds, flatness of the table has been paramount. But have you ever though how a snooker is made and how the manufacturers can guarantee that the slate that makes a snooker table, is perfectly flat.


The Flat Surface
Well the answer is simpler than you think, due to the way slate is formed (through centuries of sediment being compressed together) slate can naturally split leaving very flat edges. This is exactly what snooker table manufacturers take advantage of, taking large pieces of slate, they can be split to reveal very straight edges, the manufacturer can then use machinery to, in effect, sand and polish the slate, leaving a blemish free perfectly flat surface with nature taking the leading role. Some of the top table manufacturers use 21st century technology to use precision laser technology to ensure the perfect finish.

The Cloth
If you have ever watched snooker on TV, you will always have heard people talk about the cloths used on a snooker table. Sometimes, they’re fast, sometimes they’re slow, it’s hard to tell which is good and which is bad!
Strachan cloth is recommended by everybody in the Snooker world. It is also the type of cloth that is a key requirement for all major snooker tournaments. What affects the cloth can be the thickness of it, the thicker the cloth, the slower the table plays. The atmosphere and humidity can all affect the cloth on a table as well.

The Cushion
The cushion on a snooker table is made from wood and rubber. Have you ever seen how many times you can make the ball cross a table? If you hit a ball width ways across a snooker table, it will only hit the cushion three times. If the cushions are not always of the same standard, then you would never be able to play on different tables to the same standard.

The Kick
The kick I hear you ask? Well this is a phenomenon where by when the white ball hits the coloured ball, energy is released in the wrong way, instead of the energy being transferred between the balls, it makes them jump. It’s very hard to see with the naked eye and generally results in a ball going the wrong way or losing its energy and not rolling as it should.
The reason this has been raised is that it doesn’t seem to be the build of a table that does it, many theories have been bandied about from the cloth, to the chalk used and even the lighting in tournaments. The fact of the matter is, you can have the finest materials, and the best craftsmen, but you may still lose a game of snooker to an event that cannot yet be explained.

Jamie is an avid snooker fan and writes on behalf of Simply pool and snooker who are a supplier of snooker tables.

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