Have Pub Sports Been Forgotten?

The founder of ‘Pub Sports Massive’ and Social Sec of Pool and Snooker society have told York Vision they feel Pub Sports are often not treated like a sport at all.

College Pool Rep Joe said it has taken the introduction of bar tabs for people to actually start taking pool, snooker and darts seriously.

Joe told Vision that, during a champions draft event the society had organised, they were shut down by members of staff for not having it properly organised, but when they went to the college to organise the tournament they were just ignored and assumed the event had been confirmed.

“It was as if we weren’t getting taken seriously, but this year after having brought in bar tabs we’ve began to be respected a bit more, which is annoying that we’ve had to earn money for them to value us.”

Social Sec Lauren went on to explain that it’s not just about space, but also the way pub sports are overlooked. In a promotional BUCS video there was “absolutely not one shot of pool in there”.

Vision approached BUCS for comment, but did not receive a response before publication.

Lauren contined: “No one thinks that pool exists but it can actually be very competitive.” 

Joe said, “We have problems with funding, the main funding seems to go to Football, Rugby, and Hockey, because they do spend more than us.”

Lauren said: “All we really need is a pool table in a secured locked room that no-one else can access and cause damage to, but we just can’t get the funding together to pay for that table.”

“A pool table like that would pay for itself in the upcoming years, two, three years down the line you’d have people who’ve never played pool before winning tournaments[…]and when teams win in tournaments they win prizes, so we can fund the society ourselves,” Joe said.

The funding issues aren’t just affecting the practice of the sport, “We’ve struggled this year more with funding to get people to tournaments, which is quite sad.”

“One of our most talented players just can’t afford to go, and that’s such a shame”.

For Joe and Lauren, pub sports offer something no other sport could. Lauren said she couldn’t see herself playing any sports until she found pool and darts, which is “the one sport I can play with a pint”.

An attitude that welcomes everyone and encourages all abilities to get involved is at the heart of the darts. Joe and Lauren invite everyone to get involved and are sure to mention that there’s always a karaoke machine in the corner!

Joe’s said: “If you’re thinking about coming to play, don’t come for the pool and darts, come and just have a good time.”

York Sport Union President Franki Riley said: “I want every student to be able to come to our university and play the sport they love. It is deeply saddening and frustrating to hear of the difficult experiences faced by Pool and Snooker with college staff. 

“I wish that I had greater means by which to financially support our clubs further, but YUSU does the absolute best to ensure our clubs are supported fairly with what we have.

“For our non-conventional sports, that I have made a big point of supporting[…]I know the cost of competing is a big concern and I am looking at ways to help alleviate these pressures. For any clubs experiencing financial difficulties, I would encourage them to consider applying to the Contingency Grant.

“With the help of YuFund, funding for a new pool table has been secured, and I’m very excited about this opporutnity for the club, but now we need the University to be more active in assisting us with finding a suitable location.”