THE country’s female creme de la crème of pool will on Saturday carry their cue sticks and converge on Palace Hotel for the fourth edition of the Zimbabwe Women Pool Association (ZWPA) monthly tournament that will see a maximum of 45 participants fight for the top gong.
The last editions of the contests that featured top lady pool players from all over the country were played in Kwekwe, Harare and Marondera.
ZWPA marketing and publicity officer Flatta “Heavy” Moyo said registration was pegged at US$10 and would close on Saturday morning.
“It’s all systems go with regards to our fourth edition contest that will be played on Saturday in Bulawayo. We are expecting to have 45 plus participants drawn from all over the country. It will be a one-day tournament and registration will close on the day of the event,” said Moyo, adding that the turnout will determine the prize structure.
“We have not yet concluded with regards to prize structure but the turnout that we are going to get on the day of the competition will determine everything.
We will also consider what our sponsor Palace Hotel is going to put in. As such, we are still going to engage and consult further,” said Moyo.
In the first edition of the competition, Marondera’s Maria Mubata was crowned the winner.
The second instalment saw seasoned billiards player Christine Sengwe, who is now based in Harare, conquer all and sundry to emerge as the champion.
Bulawayo’s Petronella “Queen Petty” Sibanda is the title holder after she won the top accolade in the third edition of the monthly event that was recently held in Marondera.
Meanwhile, after recently accompanying Zimbabwe’s only representative Tendai “Inspector” Mubayiwa to the 11th World Heyball Masters Grand Pool Final held in China, Zimbabwe Pool Association (ZIPA) president Ephraim Choto says they are largely considering introducing Heyball in the country.
Heyball, which has profitable prizes, was previously known as the Chinese eight ball and its governing body, the International Chinese Eightball Association (ICEA) has been renamed International Heyball Pool Association (IHPA).
“One major lesson gained from the visit to China was that pool is not only a source of livelihood for players, organisers and referees, but is indeed a potential source of riches if I may use the term. The first prize at the tournament was top prize US$730 000 and our very own Mubayiwa unfortunately missed out on that jackpot.
“As such, we are planning to introduce Heyball in Zimbabwe by year end as it carries very lucrative prizes for our players. IHPA has offered to sponsor (air fares, accommodation and food) for five players from Zimbabwe to attend each of their five annual tournaments. That is if we introduce Heyball here in our country.
“In order to introduce Heyball we need the required type of specially designed tables which cost about US$2 800 each. Therefore, we are inviting all stakeholders willing to partner us in procuring this,” said Choto adding that this would be a worthwhile investment as Heyball was set to be the dominant billiards pool sport of the future.
The invitation to China was extended to African associations that were in good standing with the All-Africa Pool Association (AAPA) in terms of administrative and other sporting requirements.
Asked about the pool standards in China, the ZIPA boss underscored that they were extremely high.
“In order to achieve these (standards), we need good equipment in terms of tables and of course sponsorship for prizes in order to incentivize our players,” he said.
After winning two of his opening matches Mubayiwa failed to advance to the next stage of the tournament after he lost his two last round qualifier matches.
Before Mubayiwa could think of carrying his cue stick for the grand finale, he was supposed to clear an international (no Chinese) qualifiers hurdle.
Twenty players had to qualify into the 64 main event draw, a stage that reportedly has the largest tournament bonus in history. Top 20 qualifiers entered the grand finals to get US$3 000 at least and fight for the top prize of US$730 000.