League Games Format
In the 1960s when many of our older members started their league careers the format for the evenings were much different to the present day. Thursday was still match night as this fitted in nicely with our church and chapel commitments.
An important part of early match nights was the refreshments which usually arrived around 9:30pm and the match would stop for a short while.
A tray of cups and saucers would be brought in from the kitchen area and the away players would be invited to take some refreshment first before the home teams turn. These refreshments were not large spreads and a plate of biscuits usually accompanied the tea.
The brews of some league members are well remembered and only Hob Hill Guild, before they left the league, offered biscuits and tea was brewed by Jack Bredbury. The current league members are all based at clubs with bar facilities.
Early Billiards Format
In the 1960s the format for the evening ‘on the table’ was 5 games of billiards 100 up. The teams were handicapped not the players. The scores were added together at the end of the night and the team handicap introduced. The winners were the team with most points scored so even if you lost your game the points you scored were vital. The winning team was awarded 2 points or 1 each for a draw.
Like today, markers for billiards were found alternatively from each team. Games were watched with interest by team members not playing and by the cards players when their matches finished. The markers kept strict order during each game.
By 1960s teams were struggling to provide separate card teams, though some maintained the 1950s pattern of fielding 3 partnerships (It was officially reduced to 3 games by the mid 1960s). The game was played over as many hands as it took for one team to score 15 points and points were scored based on the number of tricks a team won. It was best of 3.
Green baized tables were provided and the cards were normally played in a separate room to the billiards. You cut for deal and this rotated clockwise during the game. At new hands the dealer offered the cards to his opponent on the left to cut for trumps and then to the right opponent for the deal.