Worldwide Billiard Industry Comes Together to Support the New USA Blackball Pool Association

Blackball Pool is a very similar variation of English 8-Ball which produced American Pool champions like Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, and Chris Melling all from Great Britain.  Now for the first time the USA will attempt to enter the world of Blackball by sending a team of five American pool players to compete in the 2022 World Blackball Championships in Tangier, Morocco October 8-15, 2022 in the Senior Division.  This world class event is sanctioned by the World Pool and Billiards Association (WPA) under their Blackball International (BI) division.  Other WPA divisions include Artistic Pool (WPA-APD), Pyramid Pool (IPC), and Chinese Pool (ICEA).

The President of BI and World Blackball tournament promotor MYcherif Zine Elabidine nominated, with BI board approval, Steve Lillis to be the first President and Founder of the USA Blackball Pool Association (USA BPA) and also to occupy a seat on the (BI) Blackball International Board of Directors as General Secretary.  Steve served as the first Chairman of the WPA (APD) Artistic Pool Division back in the early 2000’s when WPA Artistic Pool was just starting out under the direction of founder Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman.  Steve Lillis has played professional tournament pool for almost 50 years and has traveled the world as a professional trick shot artist with Gospel Trick Shot for the past 25 years.  Mike Massey won the first of many WPA World Artistic Pool Championships back in 2000 with Tom Rossman eventually won the world title as well.  Both Mike and Tom appeared many times on ESPN’s Trick Shot Magic and the World Cup of Trick Shots and won numerous titles while Steve served as Chairman of the WPA APD.    Tom, Mike, and Steve have been partnering for decades doing Artistic Pool tournaments and Gospel Trick Shots in 30 countries and are once again united on the USA Blackball Pool team in the Senior Division.

This first USA Blackball team has four American WPA Artistic Pool players, a French translator, and a top coach from South Africa who will not play but will coach and manage the USA team.  Other USA players that were considered will be competing at the same time in the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships in Atlantic City, NJ with Matchroom Pool under the WPA banner as well.  Co-Captains of this USA Blackball team will be BCA Hall of Famers Mike Massey and Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman.  Steve Lillis and Michael Hewitt a good player from the Midwest who has experience in both pro Artistic Pool and pro tournament 9-Ball make up the first four players on the USA Blackball team.  Local pool player from New Jersey Phil Ball will serve as the 5th player and the team’s French translator as the language of business in Morocco is French.  Top Blackball pool player Wayne Parker from South Africa has been selected as the team’s coach and manager.  Coach Wayne Parker also has many international connections and experiences in the World of Blackball.  All five of the USA Blackball team players are 50 and over and will play in the seniors (over 40) and the masters (over 50) divisions. 

A host of USA and International sponsors have stepped up to help launch the USA (BPA) Blackball Pool Association.  The main sponsors are McDermott Cues, CSI USA Pool Leagues of California, and Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.  Other sponsors include the Tweeten Fibre Co., Inc. of Chicago, IL, AZBilliards.com and the Buzz Magazine of Phoenix, AZ, Accu-Stats Video Productions of Pheonix, AZ, United Pool Tables of Johannesburg, South Africa, Corsair Custom Cues of Fountain Valley, CA, Meucci Cues of Byhalia, MS, Good Times Family Billiards of Lakewood, CA, Anaheim Senior Center and BobbleBall.com of Anaheim, CA, Indiana Wesleyan University of Marion, IN, Dr. Cue Promotions of Cloverdale, IN, Chino’s Billiards of Riverside, CA, Mega Pool of Tangier, Morocco, and www.HoroTips.com of Lisboa, Portugal.  In addition to the WPA and BI we have also partnered with the South African Pool Union (SAPU) which has under its umbrella Blackball South Africa, South Africa 9-Ball, Artistic Pool South Africa, and Chinese Pool South Africa.  We also plan to work closely with WPA (APD) Artistic Pool Division to help promote Artistic Pool using Blackball tables and equipment worldwide. 

The USA Blackball Team has already begun training under the leadership of USA Blackball Pool Association President Steve Lillis with the help and guidance of Coach Wayne Parker of South Africa.  The first training site was set up in the home of John English of Downey, CA, owner of the CSI CA USA Pool League and Good Times Family Billiards in Lakewood, CA, in August 2022 with the first known Blackball table made in America by Chino’s Billiards of Riverside, CA.  Tom Rossman and Steve Lillis used 9 mm McDermott Blackball/Snooker shafts on their McDermott cues with Mike Massey using a 10 mm custom Blackball cue made by Meucci.  Training sites will also be in New Jersey where a Blackball table will be delivered to Steve Lillis from Tangier, Morocco compliments of Mega Pool and MYcherif Zine Elabidine the President of Blackball International (BI).  Another training site will be at the Rising Hope Church in Muncie, IN which has three 7-foot pool tables and a set of Blackball Pool balls in their recreation center and where USA Blackball team player Michael Hewitt now resides and ministers as a pastor.  Two other churches are involved in supporting and hosting Blackball players and assisting with rides and accommodations when and where needed.  Steve Lillis, who also serves as the President and Founder of Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc., has his home church the Hawthorne Gospel Church hosting in New Jersey and in South Africa the Acts Church in Johannesburg where Coach Wayne Parker attends, stands ready to assist as well in the future.  With all these partners, sponsors, and supporters, we are hoping for success in the USA for Blackball Pool as we become part of the more than 25 countries that will be represented at the 2022 World Blackball Championships in Tangier, Morocco October 8-15.        

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2 comments

  1. Blackball Pool is a very similar variation of English 8-Ball which produced American Pool champions like Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, and Chris Melling all from Great Britain. Now for the first time the USA will attempt to enter the world of Blackball by sending a team of five American pool players to compete in the 2022 World Blackball Championships in Tangier, Morocco October 8-15, 2022 in the Senior Division. This world class event is sanctioned by the World Pool and Billiards Association (WPA) under their Blackball International (BI) division. Other WPA divisions include Artistic Pool (WPA-APD), Pyramid Pool (IPC), and Chinese Pool (ICEA).

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    That is very cool. Variety is the spice of life. More people interested in cue sports is a good thing.
  2. It's a big world out there and with so many cue sport disciplines there is something for everyone who likes to handle a cue stick! The more disciplines a cue artist participates in the more they learn about our amazing sport of pool and billiards! Special thanks to the WPA for sanctioning and approving a variety of cue sports!

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