In pool it is often said by the commentators that a player/team is "on the hill", or if the match goes to the last rack: a "hill-hill game".

Where were these terms first coined, and by whom?

The term on the hill is used when a player/team is one rack away from winning their match, for example the commentator might say:

... and Joe Public wins the rack to put him on the hill in this race-to-5 match.

The term hill-hill is used when both players/teams are one rack away from winning the match, for example:

... and Team Europe win this rack to square up the scores, and take us to hill-hill.

  • The only definition of on the hill in combination with an author and date is Wikipedia, but there's no reliable source if it was the first mention of that term.
    – dly
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


It comes from when two armies are in battle, the army that reaches the high ground (ie 'the hill') is likely about to win the battle. (see also 'The Grand Old Duke Of York' nursery rhyme)

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