Competition, enthusiasm ratchet up as Illinois state billiards championship gets underway


Play in the American CueSports Illinois State Billiards Championship began Wednesday at the Oakley-Lindsay Center and will run through Sunday. | Noah Klauser photo

QUINCY — Quiet moments inside the Oakley-Lindsay Center are nearly impossible to find this week.

From the sound of balls clacking off each other to the on-going conversations and music blaring over the loudspeakers, there’s always something going on during the American CueSports Illinois State Billiards Championship, a five-day event which began Wednesday. 

Quincy residents and pool enthusiasts statewide have flocked to the Oakley-Lindsay Center, which is playing host to the championships for the second consecutive year.

“It’s an atmosphere of people who love to play pool,” said John Ellis, a Quincy resident participating in the event.

More than 100 pool tables have been set up to accommodate an ever-growing field. Event organizers estimate there are 200 or more participants compared to last year.

Play begins as early as 9 a.m. with the final matches typically starting no later than 5 p.m. each day. The event is open to the public with free admission, and spectators come and go throughout the day.

It’s a casual environment with players and spectators chatting between games, new friendships emerging and long-time friendships being rekindled.

Aside from the ongoing competition, vendors have clothing, pool cues, cue bags, and more for sale at various stands. Clothing ranges from t-shirts to hoodies. Food and drinks are offered at the concession stand, allowing for everyone to make it an endeavor not just a pit stop.

This event draws all ages. Parents bring babies in strollers and teenagers roam the venue, reminding everyone pool is a sport for all ages. Most of the competitors in these tournaments have played pool since they were children, but it is never too early or late to play.

“From the moment you can see over the table until you’re 100,” Tom Fankhauser said of playing pool.

Fankhauser has refereed at many tournaments, including some in Las Vegas and Puerto Rico. He loves playing the game and now has the opportunity to watch others enjoy it at the Oakley-Lindsay Center this week.

Kelsey Bockenfeld, a Quincy resident, played in her first state tournament last year when she won the women’s standard singles championship. Bockenfeld said she would go to the event even if it does not stay in Quincy in the future.

“This was such an eye opener for me,” Bockenfeld said. “It was very interesting to be able to be a part of it and to be a part of this experience.”

More than 100 pool tables have been set up inside the Oakley-Lindsay Center to accommodate the high value of skilled players participating in the American CueSports Illinois State Billiards Championship this week. | Noah Klauser photo

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Related Articles

Muddy River Breakdown

Follow the Scores

Championship aspirations: Depth, talent, know-how give QND baseball players confidence they can chase state title

Wosman’s walk-off single allows Hawks to rebound and split GLVC doubleheader

Now part of American CueSports, Quincy pool players relish chance to compete in state event

Southeastern’s Stephens picks up two more all-state plaudits, IBCA honors 10 area players total

Load More