Mosconi, Willie

Mosconi, Willie

Mosconi, Willie (William Joseph Mosconi), 1913-93, U.S. professional billiard player, b. Philadelphia. After a brief period as a child prodigy he did not take up the game again until 1931. He won his first world championship in 1941, and defended it successfully through 1955 in all years except 1943 and 1949. Beginning in the mid-1950s, Mosconi gave numerous exhibitions and helped to popularize the game. He wrote Willie Mosconi on Pocket Billiards (1954).
The Mosconi Cup is an annual nine-ball pool tournament contested between teams representing Europe and the USA since 1994. The trophy is named after American player Willie Mosconi. It is based on the format of the Ryder Cup in golf. The 15th edition of the event will take place at the Hilton Hotel, St Julian's, Malta, Thursday 11 through Sunday 14 December 2008, and will be sponsored by

Famous players

The tournament has featured some of the most famous players in the sport, including Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer, Jimmy White, Alex Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, and Steve Davis.

In its earliest days, the Mosconi Cup was created by Sky Sports and Matchroom Sport as an exhibition event to increase public awareness of pool in the UK. As a result, players on both teams were generally picked for their ability to entertain the crowd. As a result, early European teams featured a high percentage of famous snooker players, in order to draw snooker fans to the event.

In the first year of competition some of the WPBA's top players played alongside the men in their respective teams. These included Franziska Stark (Germany), Allison Fisher (England), Jeanette Lee (US) and Vivian Villarreal (US).

As time progressed, the event evolved from its exhibition nature into a much more serious and professional tournament, and earning a place in the event has acquired a great deal of prestige. Of the snooker players, only Steve Davis remained into the event's more serious era, bowing out when the event began to clash with snooker's UK Championship. From this point, all players had to earn an invitation through their performances at other events, although the 2007 event saw snooker favourite Tony Drago earn a place on merit by virtue of his performance on the European pool tour, winning the tournament's Most Valuable Player award for his unbeaten run in the singles matches.

Most appearances

The players to have appeared in the Mosconi Cup:

European representation

Konstantin Stepanov, who in 2007 was the first Russian player to appear, took the total number of nations who have represented Europe to eleven (in order of total representatives, alphabetically in the case of ties):

Number of players by country*
11:  5:  4:  2: 
1:  1:  1:  1: 
1:  1:  1:  1: 

* In snooker, as in many other sports, some non-sovereign sub-national entities of the United Kingdom are treated as separate countries for sport governance purposes.

Television coverage

In the UK, Sky Sports shows this event every year, and until the 2005 tournament had the only live coverage of the competition with a total of 22 hours of coverage across Sky Sports 1, 2 & 3.

Tournament modifications

There have been rule changes and format changes throughout the tournament's brief history. These include, but are not limited to: "Non-playing captain" roles were introduced in the 2003 event (the first Mosconi Cup not played in the UK); however these were removed in the 2004 tournament. The doubles matches were re-formatted to be scotch doubles in 2004. In 2005, a 30-second shot clock was introduced, and caused controversy due to timing malfunctions. The 2006 tournament started with a single team-versus-team match followed by two trebles matches. That year also saw the reintroduction of the non-playing captain role.

Results table

2008 St Julians, Malta Europe - USA -
2007 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Europe 11 USA 8
2006 Rotterdam, Netherlands USA 12 Europe 12
2005 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA USA 11 Europe 6
2004 Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands USA 12 Europe 9
2003 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA USA 11 Europe 9
2002 Bethnal Green, London, UK Europe 12 USA9
2001 Bethnal Green, London, UK USA 12 Europe 1
2000 Bethnal Green, London, UK USA 12 Europe 9
1999 Bethnal Green, London, UK USA 12 Europe 7
1998 Bethnal Green, London, UK USA 13 Europe 9
1997 Bethnal Green, London, UK USA 13 Europe 8
1996 Dagenham, London, UK USA 15 Europe 13
1995 Basildon, Essex, UK Europe 16 USA 15
1994 Romford, London, UK USA 16 Europe 12

See also

Similar competitions in other sports


External links

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