Snooker (pronounced UK:, US: ) is a cue sport that was first played by British Army officers stationed in India in the second half of the 19th century. It is played on a rectangular table covered with a green cloth called baize, with six pockets: one at each corner and one in the middle of each long side. Using a cue stick, the individual players or teams take turns to strike the white cue ball to pot the other twenty-one snooker balls in the correct sequence, accumulating points for each pot. An individual frame of snooker is won by the player who has scored the most points. A snooker match ends with one of the players having won a predetermined number of frames. Snooker gained its identity in 1875 when army officer Sir Neville Chamberlain, stationed in Ootacamund, Madras, and Jubbulpore, devised a set of rules that combined black pool and pyramids. The word snooker was a well-established derogatory term used to describe inexperienced or first-year military personnel. In the early 20th century, snooker was predominantly played in the United Kingdom where it was considered a 'gentleman's sport' until the early 1960s, before growing in popularity as a national pastime and eventually spreading overseas. The standard rules of the game were first established in 1919 when the Billiards Association and Control Club was formed. As a professional sport, snooker is now governed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
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