Wikipedia:WikiProject Cue sports/Notability

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WikiProject Cue sports notability recommendations and advice on compliance with Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines

Please note that the WikiProject Cue sports guidelines below are not an official Wikipedia Guideline at present, nor among the deletion-actionable notability criteria enumerated at Wikipedia:Deletion policy. It therefore should not be relied upon in the article deletion process, which is subject to the WP Policies and Guidelines, not WikiProject recommendations.

This WikiProject guideline depends upon and is not intended to conflict in any way with Wikipedia:Notability criteria for article inclusion, particularly the General Notability Guideline (GNG). Rather, it guides article creators/editors on the application of Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines, including Wikipedia:Notability and Wikipedia:Deletion policy, as they apply to the cue sports articlespace and categoryspace. In particular, the intent of this guideline is to help editors avoid the creation of articles that are likely to be deleted for failure to establish notability (verifiability with non-trivial coverage in multiple, independent, reliable secondary sources). It is entirely possible that a subject that does not appear to qualify as notable under the terms in this document is in fact notable under the PNC.

For each broad type of cue sports topic, this WikiProject's editors offer rules of thumb on what is likely to constitute sufficient importance and encyclopedic value as to attract enough verifiable independent sources to establish notability, to help editors create articles that are less likely to be the target of deletion efforts. There is no Wikipedia Policy against including articles on subjects that do not meet this guideline's criteria, but doing so is highly likely to result in the article being nominated for deletion or even deleted immediately. Following the guidelines below will help ensure that the cue sports articlespace is composed of solid, well-researched articles on demonstrably notable topics.

In the guidelines below, must (in italics) means that the requirement is derived from accepted WP Policies, while should (in italics) means that it is derived from non-controversial WP Guidelines. Note that articles that ignore one or more "should"-marked recommendations are liable to inspire other Wikipedians to nominate them for deletion or at best merge them into other articles, while those that violate a "must"-marked requirement will almost certainly be subject to speedy deletion.


For a person to have an article about them and be listed in Category:Cue sports people or any subcategory thereof (Category:Welsh snooker players, etc., they must be important and recognized enough that facts about them can be verified ("published by reliable sources"). They must be neither unduly detracted from nor excessively praised but treated neutrally, nor speculated or personally opined about. They should (if still living, must) not have their privacy violated; must have controversial alleged facts about them cited with references (or this material will be subject to immediate removal from the article); and not have their article populated with potentially self-serving alleged facts from official bios or personal websites or the like, unless verifiable elsewhere. Such biographies should not be substantially self-authored or authored by friends or associates of the subject unless they carefully follow all WP Guidelines and Policies with regard to neutral point of view, original research, verifiability, etc., just like any other biography on Wikipedia, and such editors must not attempt to unduly control the content of the article (including by attacking other editors of the article), must not evidence a demonstrable conflict of interest, nor promote goods/services or personal viewpoints. An article on a person that appears to exist simply for personal vanity or self-aggrandizement will be fast-tracked for deletion. Biographies that appear to be totally bogus (e.g., an article about some random junior high school kid which claims that he won the IPT World Championship) will be flagged for rapid removal as well. This articlespace is watched very closely for garbage articles and edits.

Furthermore, as with biographical articles elsewhere on Wikipedia, subjects of cue sports bios (living or dead) must not be outright defamed or attacked or they will be deleted immediately. Be cautious of categorizations that may be controversial, privacy invasive or unverified allegations of sexual preference, etc. If you detect a serious problem with the biography of a living person, feel that the article is not simply an attack or a vanity piece and thus is worth saving, but have had your attempts to resolve the problem reverted or otherwise thwarted, report the issue on the Bios of Living People Noticeboard.

A biographical article that is based mostly or entirely on an official bio, résumé or CV published by the person on their web site, in their professional tour literature, on the cover of their book, etc., should be carefully re-worded to the extent possible to avoid copyright violation, cited as to the source, and marked as a stub article with {{cue-sports-stub}}. Most bios are not outright falsifications, of course; but many are exaggeratory, omit important facts, or are written in a way that is easy to misinterpret in the most flattering possible light, and as such generally do not have a neutral point of view. This requires article cleanup and broadened reference citations.

Below are specific recommendations regarding the notability of players and non-players. Articles in the cuesports articlespace that do not meet these criteria are likely to be nominated for deletion by other Wikipedians (regardless of the existence of these WikiProject recommendations).


Wikipedia:Notability (people) (a Guideline) states (as of May 12, 2010; please confirm with that guideline directly if in doubt about the notability of a cue sports biographical subject):

People who have competed at the fully professional level of a sport, or a competition of equivalent standing in a non-league sport such as swimming, golf or tennis, except for those that participated only in competitions that are themselves non-notable. Note: Participation in and, in most cases, winning individual tournaments, except the most prestigious events, does not make non-athletic competitors notable. This includes, but is not limited to, poker, bridge, chess, Magic:The Gathering, Starcraft, etc.

People who have competed at the highest amateur level of a sport, usually considered to mean the Olympic Games or World Championships.

Further interpretation of WP:ATHLETE varies by sport...

As of this writing, the "Notability (people)" guideline does not address medals, titles and tournament wins, but there is long-standing precedent in Wikipedia:Articles for Deletion that such achievements are in fact sufficient to help establish, or entirely establish, notability, if the events themselves are notable.

Professional players should have their own articles if they have won an international or national championship organized by a major organization in the sport (i.e. local leagues emphatically do not qualify), or are highly ranked in their sport (according to statistics recorded by such an organization). "Highly" is intentionally left undefined, as flexibility may be necessary. In the world of five-pins, at least the top 25 players in the world are certainly notable, and national champions may also be even if not in the international top 25. By contrast, in nine-ball, which has a playing field orders of magnitude larger, at very least the top 100 players in the world, if not the top 250, may be considered notable. But by further contrast, it is doubtful that even the world's alleged number one player of bumper pool is notable (as such) at all, since bumper pool is not an organized sport, and the claim would essentially be unverifiable.

In the case of large countries, if the player has won a major regional championship (e.g. at the state level in the US; or the England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland level in the UK), they may also qualify (by counter-example, the winner of a Province-level tournament in the Philippines is unlikely to be notable). If the pro player has never won first place nationally or internationally but has placed in the top three more than once they may also qualify, even if their career ranking is lower than might otherwise be considered notable. Another suitable criterion would be their appearance on a list of the top 100 (or fewer) players (total, or by gender) in a major game (snooker, nine-ball, three-cushion, etc.) that is produced by an organization or publication influential in the field.

The same international and national criteria apply to amateur and pro-am players from countries that participate in international events — the national amateur nine-ball champ in the Kingdom of Tonga is not likely to be of sufficient notability to warrant an article in the English Wikipedia (the Tongan Wikipedia would be an entirely different matter). Regional am and pro-am players, and national ones that have yet to take a first prize, are almost certainly not notable enough (in their career so far) to warrant an article.

Non-competing professional players (e.g. trick shot artists and skills demonstrators who do not appear in tournaments, notorious hustlers, etc.) warrant, as such, an article only if they have important, verifiable achievements and/or very widespread notoriety within the cue sports realm, or have made truly noteworthy contributions to the sport (but inventing a few trick shots, appearing once on the Today show, or serving as a technical advisor on one movie probably does not cut it unless further notability can be established.) Cue sports instructors and schools do not qualify (anyone that did would have to be influential or widely recognized for some other reason[s], such as tournament victories, publication of numerous books on cue sports, etc., and categorized as something other than an instructor.) Cue sports instruction is simply too small and specialized for even its top "players" to be worth including in a general-purpose encyclopedia. A web index of instructors is probably a much more appropriate way to identify such people.)

Non-player personalities[edit]

Persons who are not notable players (in terms of the subsection above) warrant articles in this categoryspace only if their contributions (or notoriety) in this subject area are truly important and of encyclopedic value. Some examples might include founders or current CEOs of cue sports industry giants (compare: Bill Gates vs. [[Jim McFoo, CEO of BarBazQuux Computer Supplies]], by way of perspective); announcers/commentators or referees with several decades' professional experience with regard to national/international-level events (e.g., "Whispering" Ted Lowe); authors on the topic with numerous relevant publications (or one very influential one) under their belts (e.g., Robert Byrne); nationally- or internationally-recognized artists who specialize in depictions of cue sports (Arthur Sarnoff, the principal "dogs playing pool" painter, certainly qualifies, as might C.M. Coolidge, the originator of the style, but it is doubtful anyone else does); inventors of key technologies in the industry, such as phenolic resin (while new products and patents, gimmick or novelty items, or services or products of no particular uniqueness or importance do not qualify; see also "Manufacturers and other companies" and "Equipment", below); infamous socio-political opponents of billiards with a more-than-regional influence (pool was subject to quite a pogrom in the 1920s to 1960s in the US; the key anti-pool activists in that period are probably worth one or more articles, though they would be general articles about their careers, and only incidentally part of the cue sports categoryspace).

Persons notable in an incidental connection to cue sports do not belong in the cue sports categoryspace (for example, if someone made the headlines for killing 4 people with a pool cue, they should not be categorized here.)

Celebrities famous for something besides cue sports, such as actors, should emphatically not have their articles cross-categorized in the cue sports categoryspace just because they are known to be aficionados of pool, snooker or billiards, unless they are also particularly notable for something in connection to cue sports directly. Jackie Gleason is perhaps the only one who qualifies to date, both having been a skilled amateur player and having played one of the world's two most famous fictional pool hustlers in a movie so influential it is well established to have had a marked positive impact on the revival of interest in pool (and to inspire a real professional player to adopt Gleason's character's nickname, for life.) Jerry Auerbach, the Rat Pack, and Mars Callahan don't cut it (again: in the cue sports categoryspace; they may very well merit entries in entertainment-related categories). However, a (reference-citing) "List of celebrity pool players" (or snooker players, etc.) article could be an appropriate addition to the relevant non-player personalities subcategory.

Fictional characters[edit]

Fictional characters (e.g. Edward "Fast Eddie" Felson, Vincent (Vince) Lauria, and the original, fictional "Minnesota Fats", from Walter Tevis's novels and the movies based on them) should be written about in the articles relating to the works in which they appear; they do not warrant their own articles (as of this writing; if WikiProject Books or a general consensus of editors of articles about those works splits the characters out into their own articles, Wikiproject Cue sports will revise this guideline to compensate.)


National and international organizations (whether non-profit or commercial) that sponsor tournaments, are industry associations, or otherwise play some identifiable and notable role in cue sports (e.g. the Billiards Museum and Archive) are good article candidates. Regional organizations (e.g. on the state-wide level in the US) might also be, if not simply divisions, affiliates or chapters of larger ones. Widespread amateur leagues like the Billiard Congress of America and American Poolplayers Association / Canadian Poolplayers Association would certainly qualify. Local leagues do not qualify unless they consistently have at least 200 active players/members, have existed for 10 contiguous years or longer, and have year-round or near year-round activities (for example the city-wide San Francisco Tavern Pool Association might qualify — but individual players, staff, teams and events sponsored by it certainly do not — while the much smaller, newer, and more neighborhood-based Sunset Pool League and San Francisco Pool League in the same city do not qualify.) Smaller leagues or those not as well-established are better off in a simple list article of leagues. Non-cue-sports organizations (such as the YMCA) who sponsor cue sports tournaments should not be cross-categorized in this categoryspace (though an article about the event series itself might be, and the organization itself may have an article in other categories.) Editors, please remember that articles about organizations must not be wholesale copy-pastes from their websites (edit the material carefully to reword it enough that it does not violate copyright), and should not be authored by representatives of the organization.

Manufacturers, suppliers and service providers[edit]

Major companies that have contributed very significantly to the evolution or advancement of the sport are potentially good topics for inclusion (e.g. Brunswick, Saluc, Simonis). Makers of an obscure or new product, even a very popular or innovative one (e.g. a particular brand of cue tip tool or a fancy mechanical ball rack), are not good article subjects (though in rare cases the product itself might be suitable for article or article-section treatment; see "Equipment", below. Articles about commercial providers of a cue-sports-related product or service, like biographical articles, must adhere to the Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines for good article writing; see "Persons", above, for details. Articles about companies must not be wholesale copy-pastes from their websites (edit the material carefully to reword it enough that it does not violate copyright), and should not be authored by representatives of the company. We are unaware of any cue-sports-related websites that could plausibly merit an article, though an article that was a list of online cue sports resources might be a good article. Similarly, manufacturers of less than industry-wide renown might be placed into a list article. Suppliers and retailers emphatically should not be put into any such article, as that would simply be begging for wikispam. Wikipedia is not a webmall and is not Yahoo! or Google.

WikiSpam will be deleted mercilessly. This includes (obvious or disguised) advertising in article text, as well as blatantly commercial links to web catalogs or to ads for offline or online products/services.


Periodical publications with significant non-local readership may warrant articles, or entries in an article about such publications. Articles about publications must not be wholesale copy-pastes from their websites (edit the material carefully to reword it enough that it does not violate copyright), and should not be authored by representatives of the publication.

Tournaments and other organized events[edit]

As with players and organizations, for an event (such as a championship or an industry tradeshow) or event tour to be notable it generally must have more than local or small-region significance, and be verifiable and neutral as to the information in the article. A special event, such as a celebrity charitable tournament probably is not important enough for an article (expect other Wikipedians to challenge you to justify it in an AfD) unless it is a large, regular event (annual or bi-annual). [However, note by way of comparison that even the enormously popular stand-up comedy fundraiser Comic Relief featuring Whoopie Goldberg, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, which has been running for over a decade, does not have a Wikipedia article as of this writing, in Nov. 2006.] Articles about events must not be wholesale copy-pastes from the event's website or those of its organizers, hosts, promoters or sponsors (edit the material carefully to reword it enough that it does not violate copyright), and should not be authored by representatives of the tournament organizers, hosts, promoters or sponsors.


If a game (meaning roughly "a set of rules that have evolved to be played with specific equipment"; "nine-ball" is a game, "carom billiards" is a class or family of games) that has not been played at least recreationally for at least a generation by more than 10,000 people on a regular basis, it is almost certainly not worthy of an article, unless it is the field of a national or international competition. (Thusly Finger pool is a valid article, but one about the decidedly unsanitary but real game of "mouth pool" is not; even so, mouth pool might actually have a place as a mention in some other article. "Penis pool" surely doesn't.) You should not create articles for (or edit existing articles to include) games you and your friends have invented, variants of pool played at your local watering hole or college, game rules you heard from someone else or remember from a website somewhere, found mentioned in patent filings (patents are filed for all kinds of junk that never goes anywhere in the real world), or read on the instruction sheet included with a novelty cue game. Regional rules variants that more or less entirely and consistently cover a wide area (like an entire US state, Philippine island, UK county, etc.) are of enough encyclopedic interest that they might be good additions to a "Variations" topic in the article for the traditional game they modify, but they should definitely not be their own article. Even the "Texas express" nine-ball rules, and the "bank the 8" variant of eight-ball, which have been immensely popular for many years, do not and should not form an article unto themselves. (Should the main articles grow to such a length that spitting is recommended, this guideline will be modified to account for this situation.)

In rare cases, a variant ruleset has widespread national or culture-wide usage (e.g. Irish standard pool, not to mention the origin of snooker), or is sanctioned by international organization(s) in professional tournaments (e.g. black-ball and, again, snooker), such that it comes to be a widely-recognized game "unto itself" and deserves its own article. Major game variants descended from and played on the same equipment as an originating game or more general game variety (e.g. straight-rail and three-cushion versions of carom billiards) may also deserve separate articles if the main article becomes too large, and enough unique material can be written and sourced about each game variety to not leave the new split-off articles in stub state.

Genuinely common and widespread "folk" games (such as three-ball and "bar rules" eight-ball) that have an overall consistency as to goals and method of play but widely differ on detailed rules from place to place or source to source, may deserve articles (as with three-ball) or an article subsection (as perhaps with the latter). But they must be careful to cite as many of the conflicting sources of rules as possible, catalog the source-consensus points with specific (rule-by-rule if necessary) citations as to the "overall" rules, and then list common and verifiable (not all) variations secondarily. Such an article should not be a list of multiple complete rulesets, nor include rules that are entirely local, can't be documented and are unlikely ever to be, or (except possibly to mention them in passing as a curiosity) that would render the consensus rules that the other sources do agree on largely or entirely controverted. Monkeys don't have gills, and cue games articles should not record irrational rules or ones incompatible with the general consensus. See the three-ball article for an example of how to go about documenting a folk game.

Newly minted games (e.g., custom ball sets with playing card-inspired markings for playing poker-influenced cue games; a smaller adaptation of bocce balls to be used on a pool table; a twenty-nine-ball pool game with a giant diamond rack; a hexagonal table with "zones" drawn on the cloth and pockets at the apexes of all of the corners; etc., etc.) absolutely should not be given articles, especially if they are trademarks, covered by unexpired patents, or have copyrighted rules. Should such a game ever come into widespread play (e.g., bumper pool), it may warrant an article or article section, but the vast majority of such games are flash-in-the-pan (at best – some are outright vaporware) novelty items and gimmicks with no value to a general encyclopedia. At some point WikiProject Cue sports may come to a consensus that a (single) article is needed to (carefully) catalogue such games, but as of this writing the consensus is that the cue sports articlespace should not be polluted with what are very likely to either be thinly-disguised commercial advertisements on the one hand (if written about by the suppliers of the new games) or intellectual property violations on the other (if posted by third parties), while if neither of the above, probably still of extremely dubious merit. If this gathering article does come about, entries in it about such games must not be wholesale copy-pastes from the game's website or those of its creators, marketers, or retailers (edit the material carefully to reword it enough that it does not violate copyright), and should not be authored by the game's creators, marketers, or retailers, nor their representatives.


[This paragraph does not actually reflect current practice.] As of this writing, information about items of cue sports equipment (balls, cues, tables, chalk, etc.) in general should be placed in (and remain in) Cue sports equipment, which will summarize any major differences between the equipment variations from game to game. If enough material is written that the article becomes unwieldy, it might be split into more specific sub-articles ([[Pocket billiards equipment]], etc.) Variation from the equipment generalities in Cue sports equipment on a per-game basis should be covered in each game's article unless and until such time that so much unique material is available on the topic of that particular game's special equipment that the game's main article become unwieldy and a non-stub equipment article can be created to cover this sub-topic. Presently it is considered a bad idea to create articles such as [[snooker cues]], [[billiard balls]], [[pool tables]], etc., and such articles will probably be merged.

Information about cue sports equipment from a non-generic point of view, e.g. the cues of specific cuemakers like George Balabushka or the tables manufactured by the Brunswick Corporation, belong in the articles on their makers, not in new and redundant articles like [[Balabushka cues]] or [[Brunswick pool tables]].

In rare cases, a particular branded piece of equipment might warrant an article, if its effect on the sport has been revolutionary or it has been, and remains for a long time, adopted by international tournaments as official equipment. The Sardo Tight Rack is one of the only potential candidates for this status, and even so should not be an article but be covered at Cue sports equipment#Ball racks. Entries about such equipment must not be wholesale copy-pastes from the product's website or those of its creators, marketers, or retailers (edit the material carefully to reword it enough that it does not violate copyright), and should not be authored by the product's creators, marketers, or retailers, nor their representatives.

In exceedingly rare cases, an individual object may warrant an article (such as the Celtic Prince cue, the most valuable artisan cue in the world [as of 2004]). The copyright and autobiography/advertising/neutral-point-of-view restrictions that apply in the case of branded equipment, immediately above, apply here as well.

It is anticipated that in the future, comprehensive articles may be written on cuemaking, pool table construction, the manufacture of phenolic resin billiard balls, and so forth. This guideline will be revised as necessary to loosen the articlespace and categoryspace to accommodate any such wealth of equipment-related information.

Please note that "advice" articles or sections about what brands of equipment to purchase (including what features to look for, since this is unprovable personal opining intended to lead readers to specific suppliers) is essentially WikiSpam, and will be deleted.

Under no circumstances should raw materials (Italian slate, phenolic resin, worsted wool, Canadian maple, chalk, etc.) used in the manufacture of equipment be cross-categorized into the cue sports category space, no matter how important the material may be to the game or the industry.


Most pool/billiard/snooker halls are not notable, just as most local restaurants and bars are not. Some may establish notability via the General Notability Guideline, but this is rare.

As of this writing, only one location, the Ray Edmonds Snooker Centre, is absolutely positively a notable venue that is suitable for an article in this categoryspace (though of course if a site or structure is notable in some other, verifiable way, it could well have an article in other categories; cf. Crucible Theatre). The future creation of something like a World Snooker Arena or the like – a permanent structure of national or international stature, devoted exclusively to cue sports – would clearly qualify. So will any truly historic billiards, snooker or pool hall, that is/was provably historically significant (to cue sports or in some other way, e.g. the epicenter of a major fire, etc.)

Broader locations, such as Las Vegas, Nevada, should not be categorized in any way in the cue sports categoryspace simply because they host a large number of cue sports events. Same goes for hotels, resorts, convention centers, etc., which host a very wide variety of event types. The Crucible Theatre is an exception, as "the Crucible" has become synonymous with "the World Snooker Championship" in snooker jargon (meanwhile "the Riviera" has not become synonymous with pool championships, despite being the most frequent host of various international pool league championships over the last two decades).

See also[edit]