School on cue with new billiards program

Tel Aviv's oldest high school plans to introduce billiards sessions from the beginning of the coming school year.

Tel Aviv's oldest high school, the Herzliya Gymnasium, is proving that it can hit a ball into a pocket in a new venture designed to introduce students to the game of billiards, reports School managers have decided to introduce two hours of billiards for seventh-graders every week in an attempt to eradicate the negative image of the popular game and to allow the youngsters to experience it at a professional level. According to the report, the school plans to introduce the billiards sessions from the beginning of the coming school year. "We want to remove the negative image that has been created towards billiards," a school spokeswoman said. "Once students experience it at a professional level, they will take it seriously and will get to know the game, which will only contribute to them." Although billiards (or pool) and its cousin snooker are considered innocuous games or professional sports in many other countries, in Israel they have long had unsavory reputations and have been relegated to seedy clubs populated by shady figures. Their images have not been helped by movies such as the 1975 cult classic Hagiga Basnuker ("Party at the Snooker"), starring Ze'ev Revah and Yehuda Barkan as a pair of hoodlums who swindle innocents out of their money in snooker games.