Snooker SA History

How it all began


In 1913 a group of well known talented billiard players held a meeting at the Exchange Hotel in Grenfell St. Adelaide and formed the Amateur Billiards Association of South Australia. Mr. S.J. Jacobs was appointed President, Mr. C.J. Graves, Secretary and Mr. E.G. Crispin, Treasurer. The first state championships were held in July 1913 under the auspices of Mr. Brady at his Palace Billiard Rooms in Adelaide Arcade. They continued annually until 1933. Billiards of course being played exclusively. In 1923 South Australia hosted the Australasian Championships.
aus_billiards1923Click image to see a photo from the 1923 championships. In 1934 the Association moved and rented 1st floor city premises in central Grenfell St. where 3 tables were installed, the necessary finance was provide by 20 members who purchased ₤5 ($10) & ₤10 ($20) debentures to a total of ₤200 ($400). These were finally redeemed in 1948. The main benefit from this move was, of course, meant we had control and were the sole tenants of the area rented and admission restricted to financial members of the Association only. The advantages that stemmed from such arrangements are obvious and it became the association’s policy to endeavour to maintain this situation at all times. Unfortunately in late 1957 the Grenfell St. building was demolished to provide for the construction of much larger premises and we became temporarily homeless, as at that time suitable premises were unavailable. However, to maintain continuity of membership a small room was rented nearby over a café where members met for social discussion, just waiting for the opportunity to obtain premises suitable to the needs of the Association. In the meantime the 3 tables were stored. The following year the Postal Institute kindly made 3 of their tables available on 1 night per week. By this time the membership had dwindled to 12 and each of them contributed ₤5 ($10) annually to keep the Association afloat.

In September 1959 we became aware of the availability of basement accommodation in the A.N.A. Building, 45 Flinders Street, Adelaide, 2 blocks south from Grenfell St. and with the co-operation of the previous tenants, the Bookmakers Club of S.A., the A.B.A. was able to take over the lease of these premises. To be affectionately known as “The Dungeon”, in years to come. Modifications to suit our special requirements were affected and the 3 tables removed from storage and installed. During the subsequent years, another table was donated by a Vice Patron and in 1968 a 5th table was purchased. In 1984 after 25 good years at 45 Flinders St., the ANA Building changed ownership and our very generous lease was terminated. The Association was able to obtain a short term lease on suitable premises at 133 Port Road, Brompton, and following minor alterations was able to re-commence operations in October 1984. In March 1985, the Association was required to remove reference to amateur from it’s name and rules, and consequently the Association became the BILLIARDS AND SNOOKER ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED.

After 3 years at Brompton, accommodation was again acquired in the city at 288 Waymouth St. on the 1st floor. After 3 years it was becoming difficult to justify staying in these premises with such a high rental and after a special extraordinary meeting was called, the association members decided to sell the tables to a private concern who set up a business at these premises and was known as the Cue Club and invited the Association to use the said premises as our clubrooms.  This arrangement was good for both parties for the 8 years it lasted, but due to another special meeting of the members in 1997, it was decided to once again move to premises at another city location, at 176 Pulteney St., which was located at the rear of the building which was leased by UQ2, another privately run establishment, who welcomed us to set up our clubrooms at the rear of their rental premises. In April 2001 the committee voted to acquire a poker machine license, which was duly permitted.

We also moved upstairs with 6 full size tables and established our “Williams / Barrie” match room which was officially opened in May and named in honour of Max Williams and Bill Barrie. 2 of South Australias’ most decorated players. October 2001 saw the running of the inaugural SA Snooker Open, Which was won by Neil Robertson (Vic). Runner-up was David Collins (Vic). February 2003 the Association was forced to move out of its Pulteney St. address through no fault of its own. Since September 2003 has had a good relationship with another private concern at 20 Shannon Place ADELAIDE. This establishment is called “The Matchroom” . The Association has since relinquished the gambling & liquor licences and sold the 6 poker machines it was licensed to operate, and invested the money to keep the association operating with the interest funds received from this investment.
Venue SetupIn mid 2015 the Billiards & Snooker Association of South Australia established their own rooms at The Venue, Level One, West Adelaide Football Club located at 57 Milner Road Richmond. 12 Shender tables were installed with the first tournament commencing on September 20th 2015 (IBSF World Billiards).
Click image to see a video of the setting up of this venue.