POOL, is one of the most popular social sports in Namibia and although there is a more formal league in place the social league is entering a new competitive phase after quite some time since organized regular competitions open and accessible to all have been hosted.
In 2017 Loekie van der Merwe came up with the idea to identify the best pool players in Windhoek and contacted Theuns Dreyer to help to launch this new initiative that started as a single player competition that is evolving.
During the first year, different clubs hosted satellite competitions where the ideal was that 16 players entered for N$ 50 and played on a knock out format to identify a winner. The entry fees of the satellite competition were used as the prize money of N$10 000 for the competition. The winners of these satellite competitions (the aim was to get 16 players for the competition hence the name Top 16) went through to the final where they played for the total of N$10 000 in prize money.
The top 16 players came together one weekend and had to play against a few opponents to identify the eight players with the highest score. These eight players went through to the quarter finals where they played on a sudden death format. The four winners went through to the semi-finals. The two winners of the semi-finals played each other in the finale to determine the winner and the other two played for third and fourth place.
The finale saw Wellem Sheehama beat Tony Viljoen and him walking away with N$6000.00, Tony received N$2000 and player three and four received N$1000.00 each.
In 2018 the format of the Top 16 was adapted to allow more players to enter and to achieve a more structured league. This was also the year a ladies team entered the league and competed with the various men’s teams. The ladies challenged themselves to improve their own skills continuously against the stronger competition from the traditional men’s teams. We also received a sponsorship from Tony Viljoen from Lucky Jokers of N$10 000. With the new structure two rounds were played. The first round consisted of teams of three (eight teams of three entered) who played on a round robin format to determine the winners. The entry fees of N$ 500 per team was used for trophies as well as prize money for the best team. The first ever team round was won by Extra Hot who received trophies as well as a cash prize of N$2 000.00.
At the end of the first round the 16 players with the most points accumulated during the team round went through to the singles round to compete for the top eight places on a round robin format. The top eight players competed in the quarters, semi’s and final one Saturday at Lucky Jokers. Tony Viljoen and Victory Shiyuka competed for first and second place with Tony being the winner. Jaco Kotze played against Lee-Heino van Rooi for third and fourth place. Jaco ended third and Lee-Heino fourth. Again the price money was divided between the top four.
This year the league started in March and will run until end of October, and 16 teams entered. Once again, we received a sponsorship of N$ 10 000.00 from Tony from Lucky Jokers as well as an additional N$5 000 WOC for the Top 16 singles round winners (up to 8th place).
We also received an additional sponsorship of N$5 000 from Jaco Kotze for the team round which increases the prize money for the teams to N$11 000, of which N$2000.00 will go towards trophies for the winners, and the rest of the prize money will go to the first eight teams.