Reason why snooker players wear bow tie and waistcoats

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The stars of snooker have graced the Crucible in their finest attire for the 2022 World Championship - a tradition that dates back centuries.

In fact, it is as old as the sport itself. The game was born as a variation on the similar pastime of Billiards back in the 1700s. At that time, it was played by the British aristocracy.

Those who wished to participate were expected to wear a waistcoat and bow tie, a practice that has not changed in the hundreds of years since. Of course, a traditional tie would get in the way when trying to play a shot, as would a suit jacket.

The dress code - which also includes smart trousers and a long-sleeve shirt - has been relaxed in recent years. Some events have ditched the bow ties and waistcoats altogether, while more colour variation has been allowed on the traditional black or white.

But there has been increased calls for a total reform. Mark Allen told Eurosport last year: “You look at every other sport. Young people look at TV and go ‘I want to have what they’re wearing’. And unfortunately snooker’s not like that. It could change definitely.

Are the rules outdated? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

Mark Williams enjoying the atmosphere during the match day fifteen of the Betfred World Snooker Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield. Picture date: Saturday April 30, 2022
The stars of the sport have to dress to impress because of tradition

“Polo T-shirts are probably more than enough. If people want to wear nice watches or have good tattoos on their arms, people can say ‘I’d love to have that’.

“At the minute, we’re just stifled in what we can do and I would be pretty confident in saying no one enjoys playing in a bow tie and a waistcoat.”

Sponsors have been allowed, but the choice of clothing limits how much extra income can be made from those deals. It's a stark contrast to the logo-covered outfits which can be seen in the likes of Formula One and darts.

Stephen Maguire during his game against Luca Brecel on day eight of the 2021 Cazoo UK Championship
Stephen Maguire is exempt from wearing a bow tie like his counterparts

The rules still apply for most, but Stephen Maguire is one player who won't be seen wearing a bow tie. The Scot was given a medical exemption which allowed him to bypass the rule.

He explained: "I played with a bow-tie for my first few years as a professional but developed a neck condition and that really put me off.

"I went to the doctor and he managed to get a letter to allow me to play without it. I have really climbed the rankings since then, so I think that was a significant factor."

This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

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