As vaccinations continue to roll out, restrictions and curfews from the pandemic continue to be lifted including being able to go to pool halls.
For example, Maryland’s Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. eased restrictions on business activity and social gatherings. Hogan removed limits on retail businesses, religious facilities, casinos, fitness centers, hair and nail salons, and indoor recreational establishments — including bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks and — you guessed it — pool halls.
Here are some things we’ll consider in this article regarding the reopening pool halls:
Why people still love pool halls
Extended closing time for venues; communities slowly edging toward a semblance of normalcy
Ways to stay safe playing pool as restrictions lift
Keep in mind that some governors have lifted restrictions with mask orders and distancing requirements still in place, per the request of professional health experts.
People still love pool halls, with or without a pandemic
The pandemic hasn’t left, yet pool devotees are excited to check out pool halls that have recently reopened around the country. In fact, one publisher reminisces on his childhood and the beginning of his appreciation for pool in a somewhat prosaic perspective:
The pouring out of loud jolly talk and laughter, but most of all the hard clicks of cue balls breaking the racks, […] and the lighter clicks of wooden scoring beads, as men I could not see slid them along strung wires above the green felt-covered slate pool tables in that magic room above.
FULL ARTICLE: WHY I LOVE POOL HALLS
How states around the country are handling the lifted restrictions and curfews on pool halls
In New York, pool players head back to the halls as restrictions loosen. “I was lost, missing this place forever,” said Greg Bombard, an avid pool player from Halfmoon. For months, the pool hall has been closed to the public and its owners, awaiting an OK from the state to resume operation.
Read the full article here.
In Kentucky communities slowly edge toward a semblance of normalcy in 2021. Billiards play in Owensboro is bouncing back even though the COVID-19 pandemic left a mark.
“It drastically impacted billiards play in Owensboro and across the country.” said Quentin Spooner, who has been league operator of the Owensboro American Poolplayers Association (APA) for 14 years. “Billiards is an indoor sport that is primarily played in smaller establishments, which have faced multiple restrictions over the past year.”
Nonetheless, Spooner says with optimism that billiards play is on the rebound. The vast majority of players in Owensboro are still learning the game — and, more than anything else, they play because they like it.
Staying safe while playing pool during Covid
Sanitizing Pool Balls (Manufacturer Recommended Cleaning Process) & Rails
Clean pool balls are always preferred but shiny and pristine is not necessarily the same thing as sterile. It used to be that we just cleaned our dirty balls so they played better and more consistently but now we have a higher bar to reach. We actually weren’t sure what the best way was to disinfect billiard balls, so we reached out to our friends at Aramith. Here is what Yves Bilquin, COO of Saluc recommends:
“To disinfect the Aramith balls, we recommend the use of alcohol (min. 65%), and then it is important to apply the Aramith ball cleaner to recover regular surface properties. The use of bleach is not recommended.”
Also, wipe down rails frequently. You’ll probably be touching the rails more than any other part of the pool table. Keep it as clean as possible.
Bring Some Gloves for Racking
If you don’t have alcohol/ball cleaner available just use some gloves for wearing while you rack the balls. Bring your own pair of work gloves, or some other thin, dexterous glove, like the kind billiard referees use when they need to rack. You don’t know who’s been handling those balls before you!
Practice Playing With Masks Before a Competitive Match
Speaking of communication, masks are a great form of non-verbal communication. They show that you care about the people around you, and that you appreciate some social distance. Come to think of it, they really help with your poker face.
Wearing a mask is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from germs, but I’m not gonna lie: they take some getting used to. If you’re not in the habit of wearing masks, try them on, and maybe run a few racks at home or while warming up. It’s weird at first, but you soon get used to it.
BYO- Bring Your Own Items/Equipment
The chalk and bridges at a pool hall are being touched by everyone, they’re strongholds for germs even on a good day. There’s never been a better time to own your very own chalk. Fortunately we’ve got you covered, with a wide selection of pool table chalk. Hold onto your chalk with a pocket chalker. Some chalkers attach your chalk cube to a stylus that goes in your pocket, others go in a magnetic holder, which grabs onto a clip in your pocket. With a chalker, you’ll know where your chalk is at all times, which means you’ll always know where it’s been.
Bridges? Where to begin… at PoolDawg.com, we carry a broad array of billiard bridges. We’ve got everything from bridge-heads that fit on your cue, to retractable bridge sticks that fit into any accessory pocket, to large, dedicated two-piece bridge sticks. Whatever kind of bridge you choose, a bridge of your own means one less accessory you’ll have to share with everyone else.
Use Your Stick As A Guide For Social Distancing
Most health guidelines recommend keeping about eight feet apart to stay safe. Fortunately for pool players, the game has given us an excellent ruler to measure this distance. A typical pool cue is about 58 inches long, just under five feet. If you hold out your pool cue at arm’s length, you’ll get an excellent sense of how far apart people should be. Be careful not to get chalk on someone, though!
FULL ARTICLE: 10 TIPS FOR POOL PLAYERS TO PREVENT SPREADING COVID-19