Tournaments in those days were mostly being played to BAPTO rules.
It's not possible to overview the history of pool in England, or the United Kingdom, without mention of the role of the British Association of Pool Table Operators. BAPTO was established in 1975 as a non-profit organisation seeking to unify the activities of those who supplied pool tables to the licensed trade.
BAPTO published a standardised set of pool rules. The posters laying out those rules were to be found in pubs and clubs throughout the country. In 1976 that organisation first put in place a national competition which continues today and has become the UK's longest running annual pool tournament.
The demand for competitions played to BAPTO rules proved so great that in 1998 an enhanced English counties structure was introduced. In that first year there were nine counties. In the second year this doubled and the inaugural English Pool Counties Federation (EPCF) 'Finals' were held in Hengar Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall.
Incidentally, all BAPTO organised events are now played to blackball rules.
It was in late 2005 that the aforementioned European & UK Pool Federation (E&UKPF) became a member of the World Pool Association (WPA) which had the year previously announced its intention of unifying the 'small-table' game worldwide. The game which was to become widely known as blackball.
On joining the World Pool Association the E&UKPF reinvented itself as the European Blackball Association (EBA).
With the introduction of blackball pool to the United Kingdom and worldwide, the EPCF was renamed the English Blackball Pool Federation (EBPF).
The EBPF have in place a structure throughout England facilitating the management and promotion of regional, county and local league pool. The EBPF's affiliation to world recognised governing bodies of pool means the organisation can offer its members the opportunity to participate in competitions at all levels up to and including the World and European Championships. The EBPF aims to...
- Manage, promote, and support the game of 8-Ball Pool throughout England
- Act as representative for the members in relation to International and other events.
- Host events in England on behalf of the EBA, WPA and associated Organisations.
- Co-ordinate the advancement of the Sport, including but not limited to :
- Management of International Structure
- Management of County Structure
- Organisation of local, regional, and national team and individual events
- Co-ordination of sponsorship and promotion of the Sport
- Be responsible for the constant development of the Sport
Blackball International is an organisation who's primary remit is to administer the bi-annual World Blackball Championships.
In England regional borders are agreed by a National Committee before the start of each season. Counties are placed within a regional league with the aim of minimising travel for county players.
Counties wishing to join apply to the nearest Regional Director or contact a member of the EBPF Committee who will redirect their enquiry to the appropriate region.
In addition to league events there are annual 'National Finals' at the end of each season.
The EBPF County Finals are the culmination of the county season where the top teams from each region come together to compete until the eventual national team champions are crowned.
In addition to the team competitions there are tournaments for individual players in the various categories. These are open to all players, so even if a player's county team has not qualified he or she may still apply to enter a singles competition.
The National Finals are generally held over 5 or 6 days and at a single venue.
The top players in each category with the highest individual points over a season are also invited to take part in trials for places in the English Men’s, Ladies' and Senior’s national teams.
All eligible Masters, Under-23 and Youth players are automatically invited to trials.
The international spaces which are to be filled are made known by the International Committee at the start of a season. England trial dates and venues are released by the weekend of the National Finals.
Those events are run alternately in the latter part of each year.
The image shows Team England at the 2016 World Championships.
In addition the European Championships are held annually in the first half of the year. English players have had considerable success in both singles and team events in European blackball.
There is even more about English blackball on this web site.
For example the Blackball England EBPF Survey allows you to share your views about how the English Blackball Pool Federation is organised and run.
There's a web page in which the numbers of blackball title wins for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in Europe competition have been compared and analysed.