History

Although the New Zealand Amateur Billiards Championships have been held since 1908 (with the exception of 1909), there was no National Organisation until about 1927 when the New Zealand Billiards Association was formed in Christchurch. The name was changed to the New Zealand Billiards Association and Control Council at a meeting of competitors and delegates from the four provinces – Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago, held at the Commercial Travellers’ Club in Auckland on 3rd September 1935. This stayed the name of the national body until it was changed to the present New Zealand Billiards and Snooker Association at the AGM in Wellington on 31st August 1975.

The following are some of the known highlights and various other items of interest taken from programs made available to the NZBSA by Wayne Simons.

1950’s – Alan Twohill sets NZ Billiards Championship record of 222.

1952
– L Stout first player to win both titles in the same year.

1957 – Bill Harcourt, Wellington, sets new national snooker break of 85.

1959 – Tournament hosted by Wellington Amateur Billiards Association and was held at the RSA clubrooms in Victoria St from 24th August to 5th September.
Both events were conducted on an automatic 2 life system. The Billiards title was won by the West Coasts’ Alan Twohill for the 6th time with Canterbury’s Eric Simons the runner-up. Guy Geddes, North Otago, had the high break of 112 and Arthur Albertson had the only other century, 110. The Snooker title was won by J Thomas. This was a notable achievement as it was the first time Thomas had played in the National Championships. 

1962
After an absence of 24 years, New Zealand once again represented at the World Billiards Championships in Perth by Bill Harcourt.

1963 - Otago Billiards Association re-formed.

1964
Clark McConachy awarded M.B.E.
New Zealand hosts World Billiards Championships for the first time. the event was held in Pukekohe from 30th November to 16th December and featured such well known names as Jack Karnem (England), Tom Cleary (Australia), Wilson Jones (India), Manuel Francisco (South Africa), Alfred Nolan (England) and Michael Ferreira (India). NZ was represented by Tom Yesberg, Herb Robinson, Gus Redmond and Des Higgins, who was the runner-up in the 1964 championships.
Introduction of section play format at NZ Championships.
NZ Championships hosted by the Canterbury Amateur Billiards Association and held at the Olympia Billiard Saloon & Post Office Social Club, Christchurch from 24th August to 5th September.
Field sizes had increased with 20 players in each of the events.
Tom Yesberg becomes only the second player to win both titles.

1965
NZ Championships hosted by Wellington Amateur Billiards Association and held at Wellington RSA, Wellington from 23rd August to 4th September.
Billiards 16 players, Snooker 16 players.
Lance Napper, Otago, third player to win both titles.

1966
Taranaki Association formed.
NZ Championships hosted by North Otago Billiards Association and held at Garrison Band Hall and Oamaru Volunteer Fire Brigade, Oamaru from 29th August to 10th September.
Billiards 20 players, Snooker 20 players.
Alan Twohill takes 7th Billiards title and sets new Championship break of 238unf. Lance Napper successfully defends Snooker title.

1967
NZ Championships hosted by Auckland Amateur Billiards Association and held at Majestic Billiard Room and Barton McGill, Auckland from 11th September to 23rd September.
Tournament reverted to the automatic 2 life system and there were 18 Billiards players and 16 Snooker players.
Alan Twohill wins 8th Billiards title. Dick Flutey wins Snooker title.

1968
Lance Napper & Dick Flutey represent NZ at World Snooker Championships in Australia.
NZ Championships hosted by Otago Billiards Association and held at YMCA and Olympia Billiard Room, Dunedin from 2nd September to 14th September. Tournament once again held using section play format.
Billiards 20 players, Snooker 20 players. Alan Twohill wins 9th Billiards title and Lance Napper regains the Snooker title.

1969
Alan Twohill and Frank Holz represent NZ at World Billiards Championships in London. Twohill makes 12 century breaks.
Eric Simons wins Billiards title. Laurie Glozier wins Snooker title.

1970
Laurie Glozier & Kel Tristram represent NZ at World Snooker Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Eric Simons & Brian Kirkness represent NZ at World Billiards Championships in Mumbai (Bombay), India. 
NZ Championships hosted by Canterbury Amateur Billiards Association and held at Canterbury Association rooms and Post Office, Christchurch from 14th September to 26th September.
Billiards 20 players, Snooker 20 players. Lance Napper wins 2nd Billiards title. Kel Tristram wins Snooker title.

1971
Lance Napper represents NZ at World Billiards in Malta.
NZ Championships held at Matamata Club, Matamata from 13th September to 25th September.
Increase in field size to 24 players in each event. Bill Harcourt wins Billiards title for 3rd time and Brien Bennett wins Snooker title.

1972
NZ Championships hosted by North Otago Billiards Association and held at RSA and Phoenix Bowling Club, Oamaru from 11th September to 23rd September.
Billiards 28 players, Snooker 28 players. B Kirkness 1046 bt E Simons 837 in Billiards final and first time competitor Norm Stockman bt Selwyn Rota in the Snooker final.

1973
Norm Stockman & Kel Tristram represent NZ at World Snooker Championships in Wales where Tristram finishes 5th.
First appearance at NZ Championships by future NZ legend Dave Meredith.
NZ Championships hosted by Manuawatu Billiards & Snooker Association and held at YMCA, Palmerston North from 4th September to 16th September.
Field sizes continue to increase with 30 players in each event. Herb Robinson wins his 2nd Billiards title and Winston Hill wins Snooker title.

1974
NZ Championships hosted by Southland Billiards & Snooker Association and held at Commercial Billiard Room and RSA Clubrooms, Invercargill from 9th September to 21st September.
Herb Robinson successfully defends Billiards title. Kel Tristram wins 2nd Snooker title.

1975
New Zealand Billiards Association & Control Council changed to New Zealand Billiards & Snooker Association (Inc) at AGM in Wellington on 31st August.
NZ Championships hosted by Wellington Billiards & Snooker Association and held at Town Hall and Federal Club, Wellington from 25th August to 6th September.
Field sizes increase again to 35 players in each event. Tom Yesberg wins his 2nd Billiards title and Kel Tristram wins his 3rd Snooker title.

1976
NZ Championships hosted by Otago Billiards Association and held at Savoy Restaurant, Dunedin from 6th September to 18th September.
Field sizes increase again to 40 players in each event. Herb Robinson defeats son Russell to 1004 to 834 to win his 4th Billiards title. As far as the NZBSA is aware this is a world first with a father and son playing in the final of a national championship. Dale Kwok wins Snooker title.

1977
NZ Championships hosted by Bay of Plenty Billiards & Snooker Association and held at Whakatane Sports & Cultural Centre from 26th September to 8th October.
Once again the field sizes increase with 40 players for the Billiards and 48 for the Snooker.
Round robin Post Section play to find 1/4 finalists used for the first time.
Snooker played before the Billiards for the first time.
Dave Meredith wins Snooker title for the 1st time and Brian Kirkness wins his 2nd Billiards title.