Did you know that 80% of the world's billiards players use Belgian billiard balls?
A billiard ball is a small, hard ball used in billiards games, such as carom billiards, pool and snooker. There are different balls for the various games. The number, type, diameter, colour and pattern on the balls differ, depending on the type of game or match in question. In this way balls used in pool billiards are, for example, larger than snooker balls. The ball's characteristics, such as its hardness, friction coefficient and elasticity are key for accuracy during the game.
Initially the balls were made from a variety of materials, such as wood, clay and ox bone. Then, from the 17th century to the 20th century, ivory was favoured. However, this material is far from perfect, because it is quick to wear out. Worn out balls need to be re-polished regularly, automatically giving the ball a different diameter. Ivory is also a natural product and subject to differences in density, affecting the rolling characteristics and the behaviour of the billiard balls during the game. These days, with ivory processing now banned, billiard balls are made from high quality synthetic phenol resin. Phenol resin has a consistent density and weight, hardly suffers any wear and tear and maintains the same roll and play characteristics for many years.
Belgium is the market leader worldwide in the production of billiard balls. Belgian billiard balls have an excellent reputation for their long-lasting enjoyment and excellent quality. This makes them very popular among both professional billiards players and amateurs alike, and they are used throughout the world by most federations and those organising championships and tournaments. Indeed, over 80% of the world's billiards players play with billiard balls produced in Belgium.
One of Belgium's icons when it comes to billiards is Raymond Ceulemans (°Lier, 12 July 1937) a Belgian carom billiards player. Ceulemans acquired his talents in the art of billiards from the early age of 7 on the table in his father's café. At the age of 23 he won his first Belgian three-cushion title. In 1962 he won the European three-cushion championship for the first time and a year later his first world championships in three-cushion billiards. He became world champion 35 times, was European champion 45 times and Belgian champion 61 times. After winning his hundredth title he was nicknamed Mister 100.