Snooker – a game of precision, starting at the factory floor

There are few sports that demand the levels of craftsmanship and manufacturing skill as those necessary for the construction of your average snooker table. And when we’re talking world championship standard snooker tables, you’re in an altogether different league. This is the environment that Riley, an English manufacturer of snooker, pool and billiards tables is used to, having produced tables for all the World Championship matches from 1992 to 2004. The professionalism of the game has obviously had a major impact on the manufacturing side of things too. The best players demand the best in turn from both cues and tables, which is where modern technology comes into play. For instance, the same machinery that can be used to cut stone for top-end construction work can also be used to cut slate for a snooker table to exactly the right size and angle. Sometimes it’s technology that makes a break-through, at other times it’s more a question of thinking outside the box. Some ideas, however, are very much of their time and place – the concept of a snooker dining table was popular in the earlier years of the game, but seems to have fallen somewhat out of favour these days…

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