Played on a table four times the size of a regular pool table, Knokkers is a new sport that combines elements from both billiards and bowling.
Back in 1985, Steve Wienecke, from Fredericktown, Missouri, was playing in a local pool league, and one day he got it in his head that it would be great to actually play on the table. The former semi-pro football player and cage fighter, currently working as a parole and probation assistant is also an inventor in his spare time, so once the idea was born in his head, it was bound to become reality. His other inventions were deemed unoriginal, but he knew no one had ever built a giant pool table like the one he had in mind.
The idea for his Knokkers table lingered in his head for quite a while, but Steve finally started working on it in 2008. His wife originally thought he was crazy, but seeing his idea take shape, she began encouraging him to realize his dream. Local businesses provided the materials our inventor needed (38 railroad ties, five truckloads of gravel, and 4. 1/4 yards of concrete) and after 200 hours of hard labor, his Knokkers table was complete. “It’s exactly like a regulations pool table, only everything is scaled up four times.Even the dimensions of the pockets are the same, just a lot bigger.” said Steve Wienecke.
Since you have to push your own balls into the pockets, and not your opponents, using direct shots or the rail, only without a cue, you have to have solid skills in both pool and bowling, to play Knokkers. The balls used are regular bowling bowls painted as billiards balls, and shots are taken from behind the scratch line, while standing on the playing surface. Just like in pool, the player who pockets the first ball determines who plays solids and who plays stripes.
Knokkers pretty much follows the rules of 8-ball billiards, except for the fact that you’re allowed to pick up the cue ball, but once you’ve touched it, you can’t move until you’ve taken the shot. This considered, having long arms is definitely an advantage in Knokkers.
While Steve’s Knokkers table is fixed, along with two friends, he has created a portable table made of plastic that can be transported anywhere. He’s now looking for investors that can take his game to a whole new level, including theme parks, cruise ships, restaurants and even independent franchises. He certainly has big dreams for Knokkers, and hopes his new sport will be around for at least 300 years.