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It's Mosconi Cup Time 2020 By Emily Duddy

What is the Mosconi Cup?

For pool fans the end of the year brings one of our most famous & anticipated events, the Mosconi Cup. Similar to the Ryder Cup of golf, the competition consists of 2 Teams, EUROPE VS USA baby! Each team has 5 male players, a captain & a co-captain. The trophy is named after the late American player Willie Mosconi. It was created in 1994 by SkySports & Matchroom Sport as an exciting event to increase public popularity of pool in the United Kingdom. Considering snooker has always been the dominant cue sport in the UK, this was a worthy endeavor that has become a tremendous success. One of the most remarkable factors of the Mosconi Cup is how large the exuberant crowds have become, packing huge arenas in the UK & Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event is streamed live around the world & continues to grow more popular each year. This shows that pool has a real chance of achieving a higher level of mainstream success. As a life-long pool fanatic & professional player I have religiously followed the event for 10 years & was able to attend in person in Las Vegas 2017 & in London 2018. I can say without a doubt, it is the greatest pool event in the world & I consider it a bucket list item if you love pool. I was in awe of the crazy energy in the room during the whole event! It is fueled by an appreciation of excellence, blinding patriotism, competitive upsets & copious amounts of alcohol. Bottom line... it’s a giant party with the best pool players in the world at the epicenter!

If you are a newer USA fan to the Mosconi Cup, like myself, you might have probably felt the pain of Europe’s domination over the last 10 years; however, the history is interesting in that from 1994-2019 the overall record is USA 13 - Europe 12 with 1 tie in 2006. Check out the color coded details!

So why did the USA dominate the Mosconi Cup in the 90’s and Europe dominate in the more recent future?

1.) I believe this demonstrates how effective SkySports was in achieving their goal -- to increase interest in pool in the UK! Considering snooker is a more challenging game, in terms of pocketing & fundamentals, it was easier for them to switch to American pool. Afterall many champion pool players were originally snooker players.

2.) Leadership makes all the difference in a team! With all due respect to every Mosconi Cup Captain, there is one who stands out. Johan Ruijsink’s record speaks for itself. He is a Dutch professional pool coach who captained Team Europe 7 times from 2006-2014 with 6 wins & 1 tie. Then somehow Team USA managed to acquire Johan in 2017 & even though they lost that year, under his guidance they won in 2018 & 2019 after an 8 year losing streak. Great job Johan!

3.) The team must be humble & support each other at all times.. As a competitor who has played/captained on teams for 15 years & won the 2009 BCA Team Championships, I can tell you a winning team is a feeling! If you pay attention you can FEEL the difference between a group of competitors playing as a cohesive unit and a group of individuals playing with their ego. America has had many pool superstars that have played Mosconi together, yet I think they struggled training & playing for the team instead of for themselves. Let’s be real, pool is most often an individually played sport! I can say many pool players, including myself, feel the most pressure in team competition. Then let’s add the whole world is watching, yikes! I believe the younger Mosconi Cup team of the last few years has broken through & are playing better as a whole!

Did you know?

The first Mosconi Cup in 1994 had WPBA Players, including Jeanette Lee & Vivian Villarreal for the USA & Allison Fisher & Franziska Stark for Europe. Just one year really? This is 2020 & it’s all about equality. I believe an all female Mosconi Cup could be incredibly successful! Or a start could be including one female player on each team. Who’s with me?

Playing During a Pandemic with No Fans

First off I must acknowledge what a professional job it appears Matchroom is doing to make sure players are Covid free & wearing masks. All pool fans are very grateful we will be able to watch our favorite even during the challenging times. Secondly, I am fascinated to see how the players will perform without the noise & cheering?

Where to watch?

Don’t miss out on the action! Get all the info at:

By Emily Duddy

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Emily Duddy
Emily Duddy
Dec 02, 2020

Great thoughts on the topic Mike & I really appreciate you sharing them! Thank you for your support of women in pool over the years & with men like you in our corner, I know we can have a brighter future.

All the best,



Mike McDonald
Mike McDonald
Dec 02, 2020

Ok let me first start off by saying the only criteria we should be looking for is ability, sportsmanship, and be team oriented. Whoever that is can be considered to be put on the team. Those that excel in those areas above all others should be on the team. Gender should not even be a factor to exclude someone. I have heard so much over the years men are better at pool than women. I say bull crap on that. This is a game of intelligence not brawn. It is chess not checkers. Kim White Knewsome can tell you I have supported her Gulf Coast Women's tour for years through my company Alamo Billiards. Emily is right it is 2020,…

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