Cue stick, billiard stick, shorty cue, jump stick. Every wonder how the cue stick got its name?
In the 15th century outdoor ball and stick games ( e.g. golf, croquet) evolved into indoor ball and stick games. Players used an item similar to a golf club called a mace. A mace was similar to a golf club with a long cylindrical body and a flat wide foot. It was used to shove the balls around on the table rather than striking a ball. Players however found difficulty when the balls were up against the rail cushion; they improvised and turned around the mace and used the tail end to strike the ball. The name cue actually comes from the French word "queue" meaning tail-end.
By 1800, the cue was being used by only "skilled players". Novice players were required to still use the mace because the skilled players felt that the novices would miscue and inadvertently damage the cloth.
Types: There are many types of cues; the one piece cue, the shorty cue, the two piece cue, the three-piece cue and even a four piece cue. The one piece cue is generally found in pool halls. The one piece cue is a straight cue made of a continuous piece of tapered wood. They can range in size from 36"-60", however there is a cue called a "shorty cue". A shorty cue is a one piece stick that is 36"-52" in length and used on tables where there is not enough stroking distance to use a 57" cue. Two and three-piece cues break down into two or three pieces. A four piece cue is usually a "jump cue" or "break cue". Cue sticks can also be differentiated by game such as; Pool, Carom and Snooker.
Parts: Typically there six parts to a cue stick.
Shaft- The cue stick as a whole can be referred to as the shaft. All sticks are tapered at the end. They can be either pro tapered or European tapered.
Tip-Tips can be either slip-on, screwed on or glued on.The can range in hardness from very soft to very hard. Softer tips will wear out quicker than hard tips, but will hold chalk better than the hard ones.
Ferrule- Is found at the end of the shaft. It is primarily used to hold the tip in place and to prevent the shaft from splitting.
Joint-In two piece cues the joint is where the two pieces attach.
Butt- The butt of the stick is where the majority of the weight is located. They can weigh anywhere from 16oz-22oz.
Bumper-The rubber end of the stick. The bumper protects the butt from damage.
Materials: Most cues are made from hard rock maple wood. However, you will find that most snooker cues are made of ash wood.
Famous cue makers include: Balabuska, Lucasi, Meucci, Joss, Jacoby, and Dufferin to name a few.