Like golf, I feel snooker has a reserved body language and sportmanship to it. Excluding dynamic personalities like Ronnie O'Sullivan I feel the game has this sense of respect.

When players get 147 max breaks or perform great shots, there is a lack of smiles or walking off immediately or not shaking hands of fans. Is this the match mindset or just generally the way of being humble and presenting the game?

1 Answer 1


I think it's a lot like golf as well, and I think I can generalize a bit on this.

Sports that have competitors who typically show restraint and reserve typically are those which also expect silence from spectators. These sports are usually sports where a player isn't directly contesting the actions of an opponent; rather, opponents are both trying to do the same thing better than the other. Also, they usually are sports that involve some form of shot-making that requires an extreme level of precision, and that place much more emphasis on concentration and technique than on physical exertion.

Golf, darts, bowling and the various forms of pool occur to me. In all of these it is considered very much against fair play to attempt to use noise to distract a player in the middle of a shot. Darts spectators are a bit louder, but the principle is the same; you don't hear any spectators — let alone competitors — trying to throw a player off by shouting in the middle of a throw. If they did, they'd probably be thrown out.

Tennis is the only "quiet" sport I can think of that doesn't quite fit this model. I'm sure it requires enormous precision and concentration to hit a serve, but certainly no more than is required by a batter in cricket or baseball, and those crowds can get pretty loud.

I think the spectators are loudest in so-called "contact" sports, where players on opposing teams directly prevent each other from accomplishing an objective: the various forms of football, basketball, hockey and so on. All of these sports are characterized by having some form of "defense" as part of the game. And it seems to me that these are the sports where the players "go nuts" the most when they succeed at their game's objective.

  • I feel like this is a good answer - therefore I have accepted it. I am in full agreement with you. Sep 2, 2018 at 5:45
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    I don't see why no one wants to mention culture, class and origins; English culture is more reserved; in particular snooker was originally a 19th-C game between British Army officers and golf was a game for gentlemen; whereas pool, bowling and darts have much more common origins. And the question wasn't about shouting in the middle of a throw/play; by that logic spectators could just keep quiet during each play, then applaud/heckle/boo after. And the question asked about celebrating after a match(/game).
    – smci
    Feb 25, 2019 at 2:20
  • I think that the reason that nobody has mentioned it until now is that the point of view is distinctly attributable to the somewhat holier-than-thou prejudices of an increasingly small minority of the RP set. Furthermore, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the OP probably has a better idea of what the question was about than you do.
    – BobRodes
    Feb 25, 2019 at 22:36

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