PUB-GOERS have helped revive a classic bar game in York - and say it is becoming ever-more popular.

Regulars at The Phoenix in George Street, The Golden Ball in Cromwell Road and The Fulford Arms in Fulford Road have been competing in a bar billiards league this season, trying to spark new interest in the table-top game.

Until recently, The Golden Ball had the only table in York but the other pubs have also added their own.

The Phoenix won the championship with a 4-3 victory on the final ball of the final game, and a second season is now to be held.

A five-team tournament was also being held last night in the Fulford Arms, including the three regular pubs, a team from The Knavesmire pub and a team from the University of York.

The league has proved popular and matches at The Phoenix are even filmed and broadcast live on the pub's big screen.

Ben Thorpe, from The Phoenix team, said: "Progress so far since we've started seriously pushing has been as we hoped."

For match reports, more details and fixture dates, visit

Fact file

Bar Billiards is believed to have started in Kent in the 1930s, after a man called David Gill was inspired by similar games in Europe.

He commissioned the first table at the Rose and Crown in Elham, and other pubs followed suit.

The game is played on a table with nine holes, each with a score ranging from 10 to 200 and players must knock one ball on to another and down a hole to score.

There are also three pegs on the table, and players incur penalties for knocking them over. Balls are returned to be re-used for a set time, but once the time runs out the game ends once all balls have been potted.