Reflections on 2019 and what’s around the corner in 2020.
What a great year 2019 was for the ABIF.
We started the year holding the very first State based Nationals at Bar Eight in Melbourne.
Over 150 players playing over 5 days, Australian Champions were made, titles were won and dreams were started to be made.
14 Teams attended the EBA Nations Cup in Cyprus during November 2019, this saw the ABIF take its maximum amount of teams and over 90 players to the event.
Many players not only playing for their country for the first time but also leaving their country for the first time.
The way the players embraced the event was fantastic. Memories were made, friends around the world were made and everyone can feel proud of their achievements.
We saw 6 of our 14 teams make finals with 3 teams going on to make the grand final.
Men’s B, Seniors A and Masters B all going for the title and looking to be the first Australia Blackball Champions at an event.
Sadly the Seniors A and Masters B teams fell short of the title losing out to 2 very good and Experienced English teams.
This left the Men’s B team going for the title against a very good Welsh team. The match was electric and I am very proud to say the team got over the line to claim Australia’s first Blackball Title.
We have also had the introduction of the ABIF new website for all the up to date info and history.
I have many people to thank for the last year, I will try and remember everyone, apologies if I miss anyone.
First Matt Whitton his help throughout the year, Bar Eight for being our Nationals host for 2019, Lyndal Ellement for all her work on the Nationals and Kenny Nicol for the nationals streaming.
To all the state organisers for getting your teams together, Toni Greenwood and Benni Rosmann for helping out at the nationals with fund raising.
To all the captains at the Nations Cup and also all the players.
Cheryl Congram for managing the Ladies at the nations cup then lastly my wife Samantha Cottingham as without her work so much would go undone.
Her work goes on behind the scenes and she gets missed as the force behind so much. Her support as always is much appreciated and words can’t say what it means to me as she has to put up with a lot I can tell you.
Now we close on last year we have so much to look forward to in 2020.
First up Nationals in Perth during May to be held at the WA HQ, can I thank Long Dang for his help on setting up this years event.
Then we move on to the major event the Blackball International World Championships in November 2020 being held in Geelong.
This will be the first time an eight ball pool World Championships as been held in Australia.
We aim to put on a great event as we welcome so many players from around the world to our great country for the first time.
Excitement is high for the worlds where we will be hoping that we can have some Australian winners during the Championships on our shores.
The only 2 ways you can be involved in playing at the worlds are either qualification for a team during the nationals to which more details will be released on soon or by winning your place through a satellite event that will be held in different locations around Australia.
Extra place will be limited to each section and only satellite winners get a spot. There will be NO direct entries into the worlds.
2020 will also see the ABIF buy 20 of its own tables for future National Championships something that is truly fantastic to achieve in just over 3 years which again shows the progress we are making within the game.
These tables will be available from the 2021 Nationals onwards.
We have so much more to give, Blackball is continuing to grow year on year. We will have new Blackball events being announced during the year as we continue to push the game forward within Australia.
Thank you to everyone who is being part of the journey that the ABIF is taking. Happy times ahead.
If you wish to get involved with Blackball either by being on the committee, starting a league or just playing find out how you can by getting in touch.
Yours in Sport
President of the ABIF