Mosconi Cup

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Logo of the Mosconi Cup

The Mosconi Cup is an annual nine-ball pool tournament contested since 1994 between teams representing Europe and the United States. Named after American pool player Willie Mosconi, the event is comparable to the Ryder Cup in golf and the Weber Cup in bowling.

Team composition and formats have varied over the years. In the most recent edition, each team was made up of five players, plus a non-playing captain and a non-playing vice captain. Players competed over a team match, doubles matches, and singles matches, with the first team to win 11 matches claiming victory.

Team Europe beat Team USA 11–3 on 4 December 2020. By ending USA's two-year run, Team Europe evened out the overall series record at 13–13, with one tie.

History and player selection[edit]

First staged in 1994 by Sky Sports and Matchroom Sport as an exhibition event to increase public awareness of pool in the United Kingdom, the Mosconi Cup was named to commemorate the legacy of American pool player Willie Mosconi, who died in 1993.

In the first year of competition, each team featured six men and two women, with Germany's Franziska Stark and England's Allison Fisher on Team Europe, and Jeanette Lee and Vivian Villarreal on Team USA. No women appeared after the initial event, although Kelly Fisher in 2021 called on organizers to reinstate female players.[1] In the event's early years, professional snooker players Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White, Alex Higgins, and Steve Davis all competed on Team Europe.

Staged in England for its first nine years, the Mosconi Cup from 2003 onward has alternated annually between the US and Europe, with all US-based tournaments taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada and most European tournaments taking place in England. The Mosconi Cups of 2004 and 2006 were held in the Netherlands and the 2008 event was held in Malta.

As time progressed, the event evolved from its exhibition nature into a much more serious and professional tournament. Among the snooker players, only Davis continued into the event's more serious era, competing in the first eleven Mosconi Cups and bowing out only when the event began to clash with snooker's UK Championship, at which he appeared as both a player and a BBC commentator. After Davis's withdrawal, all players had to earn an invitation through their performances at other pool events, meaning that no more snooker players appeared until 2007 when Tony Drago earned a place by virtue of his performance on the European Pool Tour.

Both teams have dominated the tournament for extended periods. Team USA won ten of the first twelve tournaments between 1994 and 2005, including six consecutive victories. The 2006 tournament was a tie, and Team Europe then won ten times in eleven years between 2007 and 2017, including eight consecutive victories. The overall series record now stands at 13–13.

The record for the most Mosconi Cup appearances is 17, held jointly by Germany's Ralf Souquet and the USA's Johnny Archer.

Player appearances[edit]

The players to have appeared in the Mosconi Cup:[2]

Legend P = playing team member NP = non-playing member

Player representation[edit]

European nations[edit]

Players from sixteen nations have represented Europe. Sorted by number of different people, (number of appearances), and alphabetically, these are:

Number of players by country
15 (44)  United Kingdom 6 (35)  Germany 4 (32)  Netherlands 2 (12)  Sweden
2 (4)  Greece 1 (15)  Finland 1 (4)  Austria 1 (4)  Scotland
1 (2)  Albania 1 (2)  Malta 1 (2)  Spain 1 (1)  France
1 (1)  Ireland 1 (1)  Italy 1 (1)  Northern Ireland 2 (2)  Russia

American states[edit]

Players from twenty-two states have represented the United States (Charlie Williams and Johan Ruijsink were both born outside of the US). Ordered as above, these are:

Number of players by state
4 (24)  California 4 (11)  Texas 4 (7)  Illinois 3 (17)  North Carolina
3 (14)  Kentucky 3 (8)  New York 3 (7)  Pennsylvania 2 (4)  Ohio
2 (2)  New Jersey 1 (17)  Georgia 1 (12)  South Dakota 1 (5)  Missouri
1 (4)  Maine 1 (4)  Oklahoma 1 (2)  Michigan 1 (2)  Mississippi
1 (2)  Tennessee 1 (1)  Florida 1 (1)  Kansas 1 (1)  Maryland
1 (1)  Virginia 1 (1)  Wisconsin

Tournament modifications[edit]

There have been rule changes and format changes throughout the tournament's brief history. These include, but are not limited to: "Non-playing captain" roles were introduced in the 2003 event; however these were removed in the 2004 tournament. In 2004 the doubles matches were re-formatted to be scotch doubles. In 2005, a 30-second shot clock was introduced, and caused controversy due to timing malfunctions. The 2006 tournament started with a team-versus-team match followed by two trebles matches. That year also saw the reintroduction of the non-playing captain role.

The 2009 tournament included several new features:[4]

  • No pairing in the doubles matches could be repeated.
  • The event included four blocks of consecutive matches, organized so that five slots were available for each side, in which every player was required to play exactly once.
  • In two singles matches, each player was selected by the opposing team captain.

Results by year[edit]

Year Venue Winners Score Losers MVP Ref
1994 Romford, London, England  USA 16–12  Europe [5]
1995 Basildon, Essex, England  Europe 16–15  USA [6]
1996 Dagenham, London, England  USA 15–13  Europe [7]
1997 Bethnal Green, London, England  USA 13–8  Europe [8]
1998 Bethnal Green, London, England  USA 13–9  Europe [9]
1999 Bethnal Green, London, England  USA 12–7  Europe [10]
2000 Bethnal Green, London, England  USA 12–9  Europe [11]
2001 Bethnal Green, London, England  USA 12–1  Europe [12]
2002 Bethnal Green, London, England  Europe 12–9  USA [13]
2003 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  USA 11–9  Europe Finland Mika Immonen [14][15]
2004 Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands  USA 12–9  Europe United States Rodney Morris [16][17]
2005 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  USA 11–6  Europe United States Earl Strickland [18][19]
2006 Rotterdam, Netherlands  Europe
 USA
12–12  Tied United States Corey Deuel [20]
2007 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Europe 11–8  USA Malta Tony Drago [21][22]
2008 St. Julian's, Malta  Europe 11–5  USA Finland Mika Immonen [23][24]
2009 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  USA 11–7  Europe United States Dennis Hatch [25][26]
2010 Bethnal Green, London, England  Europe 11–8  USA United Kingdom Darren Appleton [27]
2011 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Europe 11–7  USA Netherlands Niels Feijen [28][29]
2012 Bethnal Green, London, England  Europe 11–9  USA United Kingdom Chris Melling [30][31]
2013 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Europe 11–2  USA Netherlands Niels Feijen [32][33]
2014 Tower Circus, Blackpool, England  Europe 11–5  USA Netherlands Niels Feijen [34][35]
2015 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Europe 11–7  USA Netherlands Niels Feijen [36]
2016 Alexandra Palace, London, England  Europe 11–3  USA Austria Albin Ouschan [37]
2017 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Europe 11–4  USA Germany Joshua Filler [38]
2018 Alexandra Palace, London, England  USA 11–9  Europe United States Skyler Woodward [39]
2019 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  USA 11–8  Europe United States Skyler Woodward [40]
2020 Ricoh Arena, Coventry, England  Europe 11–3  USA United Kingdom Jayson Shaw [41]
2021 Alexandra Palace, London, England

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Paul Gerni". Official website. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
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  6. ^ "Europe 16–15 USA". Mosconi Cup. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Europe 13–15 USA". Mosconi Cup. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Europe 8–13 USA". Mosconi Cup. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
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  13. ^ "Europe 12–9 USA". Mosconi Cup. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
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  16. ^ "Europe 9–12 USA". Mosconi Cup 2004. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
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  18. ^ "Europe 6–11 USA". Mosconi Cup 2006. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
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  21. ^ "Europe 8–11 USA". Matchroom Pool. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
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  27. ^ "Europe win the 2010 Mosconi Cup". Matchroom Sport. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  28. ^ "Feijen brings it home for Europe". Inside Pool. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  29. ^ "Europe hit the jackpot in Las Vegas". matchroompool.com. Matchroom Sport. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  30. ^ "Mosconi Cup moves to a midweek slot". Matchroom Sport. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  31. ^ "Europe retain Mosconi Cup". Matchroom Sport. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  32. ^ "Mirage named as 2013 venue". Kozoom.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  33. ^ "Mosconi Cup XX Live Blog". matchroompool.com. Matchroom Sport. 4 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  34. ^ "Blackpool Tower Circus to host 2014 Mosconi Cup". matchroompool.com. Matchroom Sport. 15 January 2014. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  35. ^ "Mosconi Cup: Europe wrap up victory over USA in Blackpool". Sky Sports. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  36. ^ "New Tropicana in Las Vegas to host 2015 Mosconi Cup". Sky Sports. 19 March 2015. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  37. ^ "EUROPE WIN BETFAIR MOSCONI CUP XXIII". Matchroom Pool. 9 December 2016. Archived from the original on 10 December 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  38. ^ "Europe are partypoker Mosconi Cup XXIV Champions". Matchroom Pool. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  39. ^ "USA are partypoker Mosconi Cup Champions". Matchroom Pool. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  40. ^ "USA are partypoker Mosconi Cup Champions". Matchroom Pool. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  41. ^ "Europe regain partypoker Mosconi Cup". Matchroom Pool. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2021.

External links[edit]