The Mosconi Cup
is an annual nine-ball pool tournament
contested between teams representing Europe
and the USA
. The trophy is named after American player Willie Mosconi
. It is based on the format of the Ryder Cup
. The 15th edition of the event will take place at the Hilton Hotel
, St Julian's
, Thursday 11 through Sunday 14 December 2008, and will be sponsored by PartyCasino.com.
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.
The players to have appeared in the Mosconi Cup:
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*
|| 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.
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.
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.
|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 || USA||9|
|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 |
Similar competitions in other sports