Mosconi Cup New Shot Clock Rule

As final preparations get underway for the 2005 Mosconi Cup, players and their entourages are starting to arrive at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as they prepare to do battle for pool's most prestigious team event.

Taking place from Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th December at the Studio Ballrooms A & B, the Mosconi Cup features two six man teams from both sides of the pond in a series of singles and scotch doubles matches.

The first team to reach 11 points on Sunday afternoon will carry off the trophy which the Americans have won nine times to the Europeans two victories.

The play though, is preceded by the now traditional Players' Banquet where the teams are introduced to an awaiting audience of family, friends, press, media as well as fans. Following the dinner, the Mosconi Cup Film is then screened, showing the history of the event since 1994, and focusing on the 12 players selected for this week.

This takes place on Wednesday night and captain's Johnny Archer (USA) and Europe's Mika Immonen are probably more nervous about the speeches they will have to make rather than the tournament itself.

Some tickets for the tournament are still available and can be reserved via the MGM Grand Box Office on 800-926 1111.

For the first time in the event's history a shot clock will be introduced. This allows players just 30 seconds per shot, although there is one 30 second extension allowable per rack in the singles matches and two per rack in the pairs.

The shot clock will not commence until the first ball has been struck in open play, allowing players as long as they like to appraise the table after the break.

Commented a spokesman for promoter Matchroom Sport, "This should liven it up a bit! 30 seconds though seems plenty. We have used a 25 second clock on our Premier League Snooker event and it kept the game moving perfectly and the players loved it.

"It will just add a little more drama to what is already a very exciting four days."