Interleague 2010

April 19, 2010

I’m just back from the National Interleague finals in Great Yarmouth. And now I’m going to bravely, or foolishly, attempt to explain what it’s all about.

It’s a pool tournament organised by the English Pool Association. The EPA has divided England into seven regions. You can find out why by reading this, but put simply, it’s to make it easier to play other teams. For example, a London team would find it more convenient to play a team from, say, Kent rather than a team from, say, Cornwall or Leeds. And this is where Interleague comes in. Throughout the year there are regular tournaments in all the 7 regions to determine the top two or three teams (the number of teams going through to the finals determined by the size of the region… I think) and then these top teams all head off to a caravan park in Great Yarmouth to play each other. We all stay in caravans and we all play pool and at the end of the weekend one of the teams wins. And then they are the best pool team in England.

I play in the Waterloo Pool League. There are ten teams in the Waterloo Pool League and we play our matches on Tuesday nights. I play for JFK’s Allstars, currently sitting third in the league.

And then there are the Interleague teams. There are 7 teams in the Interleague league. These matches are played on Sundays, and the team I play for is made up of players from the ten teams who play on Tuesday nights. I play for Waterloo 2. There is also a Waterloo 1. And, with the standard of my play, I am sure, in time, there will be a Waterloo 3. Even if it is a team of only one.

This year both Waterloo 1 and 2 qualified for the Interleague finals in Great Yarmouth.

So, off we go.

Here’s some pics to try and keep you interested.

2010 Interleague finals- the trophies

Mark Christensen, Michael Clayton, Will Tweed

Here you can see three of Waterloo 2’s finest; Mark The Danish Christensen, Mickey Cassius Clayton and Will Big Willy Tweed. We all have nicknames. I’m SimonThe Stick Hickson.

So, firstly it’s the group stages. 96 teams, 32 groups. Three teams in each group. In our group we had Leeds and South Norfolk. The top team goes through to the knockout stages. We lost 10-8 to South Norfolk and 11-7 to Leeds. I played one frame in each match and lost both. Sorry lads.

Waterloo 1 had a good go. They won their group and then beat Bilston 11-10 (9-9 and then a 3 frame decider) making it to the last 16 teams. They were beaten 10-8 by Leicester. A shame but well done all the same. If you want to know how it all played out you can find the results here.

Thanks for bearing with me on this one. Any questions are welcome, but I doubt I’ll be able to answer them.

Some more pics I think.

Alex Lawrence, Waterloo 1

Alex with Mickey looking on

The final- PJ's Stourbridge v Trent Trophies A

As I took the pictures of the tables been dismantled three of the bouncers asked me why I was photographing that and not them. These are the guys who keep 1000 pool players under control, especially on the Saturday night when we all head off the the V Lounge to see some poor teen pool player have cream sprayed into his underpants by one of  Great Yarmouth’s top strippers.

They used to have a dodgy comedian too. But not anymore. I asked why and the organiser said it was because we always gave him too hard a time. It’s true. We would heckle and boo. And it was only right that we should. Just because we are a bunch of pool players it doesn’t follow that we should have to listen to an endless stream of racist, sexist and hate fuelled jokes.*

So that’s that for Interleague 2010. Along the way I met Chris Minns. He plays for South Norfolk and he came out with one of the more obscure heckles I’ve ever had. The opposing team always has some line in “harmless banter” ready for when we really mess up. My favourite this year (and every year) is “should have gone to Specsavers”. When I did a particularly bad shot in my frame against Carl Clack Chris shouted out “that was no Bridge over the River Kwai”. I still don’t understand. But it hurt. And this from a man who constantly shouted at me to “shake my shorts”.

Me and Chris Minns

* Ok, so it’s rich of me to go on about racism and sexism when I’ve been watching strippers, but if it’s any consolation… oh, what the hell. I have no defence.

Oh, and Flat Stanley had a good time too. I didn’t let him see the strippers.