The Woolston Lawn Billiards
& Bat-and-Trap Society

Not so much an ancient game, more a state of mind


End of the Season and Uniforms

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on May 7, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Well, I call it successful. Before last September no-one played Lawn Billiards. Now not only do we have keen players, but we also have a pretty good handle on the subtleties of the game and have seen skill matched against skill with measurable results. This, I think, is what truly matters in a game if it is to be considered a worthwhile pursuit; without a certain level of skill the game remains a game of chance, which unless there's money riding on it, becomes pretty darn boring pretty darn quickly.

That brings me to a note of principle. One of the reasons I put these efforts in to ensure this wonderful game is still played is the inherent amateurism of it. As far as I have been able to ascertain there has never been any professionalism in the game and over the last few years I have come to utterly despise professional and shamateur sport. Not that I ever believe Lawn Billiards will ever come within cooee of being a pro sport, it's just that professionalism ruins an otherwise dandy pastime. It takes all that's good about playing games and reduces them to spectacle. It takes it out of the hands of the people and reserves it for a highly paid elite. The stakes involved in entering that elite are so high that players and sponsors alike are willing to make any kind of compact, be it with dodgy corporations or with injected substances. But the Devil will have his due and now in my country, rugby players are subjected to ludicrous expectations by the public, for example 'role modelling' - what 'role' may I ask? And who are they modelling for? Certainly not youth, who stand very little chance of entering the elite. Nor the spectators either, who have been reduced to the status of consumers and statistics for television ratings or pay-per-view sales figures.

Arrest me in mid-flight! I looked at various ways to raise money to get things like equipment, uniforms, publicity materials and found myself in the Bill and Ted Conundrum:

Bill: Ted, while I agree that, in time, our band will be most triumphant. The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar.

Ted: Yes, Bill. But, I do not believe we will get Eddie Van Halen until we have a triumphant video.

Bill: Ted, it's pointless to have a triumphant video before we even have decent instruments.

Ted: Well, how can we have decent instruments when we don't really even know how to play?

Bill: That is why we NEED Eddie Van Halen!

Ted: And THAT is why we need a triumphant video.


Now while I do not think it completely necessary to have Eddie Van Halen on guitar to make Lawn Billiards a popular sport, having the money for niceties like more equipment, uniforms, publicity materials and the like would be quite nice and the standard ways of raising that money look decidedly wobbly. Pub Charity? The leavings of the hopeless addicted, the subsidy of the people who can ill-afford to lose things like grocery money, the mortgage, their self-respect. The City Council? We're not actually an incorporated society yet. Indeed we only exist through the indulgence of the three friends I have managed to con into making up the four best players in the world, and so far vigorous promotion amongst other fiends and contacts has yielded exactly zip. So even the modest requirement of fifteen members and perhaps one witness to incorporate the society is a fence to high for this old war-horse.

I did a job for an agent I know in return for alcohol. After all, I innocently reasoned, it may attract people to a game when there's free grog. Said servant of Satan has yet to make good on his thus far empty promise, so I thought I might put the moral squeeze on him for some payment in kind and have him design a promotional campaign for us.

In the mean time I have spoken to a cossie designer about blazers and to a uniform supplier about trousies and w'isco'ts and by hokey, they're more do-able than I supposed, if the folk are willing that is. Black trou with burgundy and gold piping down the outside seams come at around $70. flat skull caps in burgundy and black with gold piping are $18:00. Moreover, Tete a Tete in Shand's Emporium on Hereford St have pith helmets for $35:00.

When I have pictures of the blazers I will post them. Until then, goodnight.

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