Definition of skittle

An upright pin, which looks like a miniature bowling pin, cone or obelisk. Skittles, as employed in billiards games, have been so-called since at least 1634. One standardized size, for the largely Italian and South American game five-pins, is 25 mm (1 in.) tall, with 7 mm (0.28 in.) round bases, though larger variants have long existed for other games such as Danish pin billiards. Depending upon the game there may be one skittle, or several, and they may be targets to hit (often via a carom) or obstacles to avoid, usually the former. They are also sometimes called pins, though that term can be ambiguous. Because of the increasing international popularity of the Italian game five-pins), they are sometimes also known even in English by their Italian name, birilli (singular birillo). Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots. #Flat, thin rectangular skittles, somewhat like large dominoes, approximately 6 in. tall by 3 in. wide, and placed upright like an obelisks on the table in specific spots, are used in the obsolescent and principally Australian games devil's pool and victory billiards. Depending upon the exact game being played, there may be one pin, or several of various colors (e.g. ten white and two black in devil's pool), and they may be targets or obstacles, most commonly the latter. They are usually made of plastic, and are increasingly difficult to obtain, even from Australian billiards suppliers. A black obelisk skittle of this sort features prominently, as a particularly dire hazard, in several scenes of sci-fi/pool film Hard Knuckle (1992, Australia). Skittles as used in billiards games date to ground billiards (13th century or earlier) played with a mace, and hand-thrown games of bowls from at least the same era using the same equipment. Ball games using a recognizable form of skittle are known from as early as ca. 3300 BCE in Ancient Egypt.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Either of the two longer rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table, bisected by a center pocket and bounded at both ends by a corner pocket. Also called a long rail.
The motion of the cue stick and the player's arm on a shot;
The strength, fluidity and finesse of a player's shooting technique; "she has a good stroke."
A combination of finesse, good judgement, accuracy and confidence.
A 7 inch (17.8 cm) square box drawn on a balkline table from the termination of a balkline with the rail, thus defining a restricted space in which only 3 points may be scored before one ball must be driven from the area. It developed to curtail the effectiveness of the chuck nurse, which in turn had been invented to thwart the effectiveness of the Parker's box in stopping long, repetitive runs using the anchor nurse.
To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
Also known as "Break and Dish". In pool games, when a player breaks the racked object balls, pockets at least one ball on the break, and commences to run out the remaining object balls without the opponent getting a visit at the table.
This is the apex ball in the triangle, racked on the foot spot in a normal game.
Also in the zone. Describes an extended period of functioning in dead stroke ("She's in the zone").
When you have completed a shot by pocketing a ball into a pocket.
A rule in blackball whereby after an opponent has faulted and thus yielded two shots, if the incoming shooter pots a ball on the first shot, (s)he is still allowed to miss in a later shot and take a second shot in-hand (from the "D" or from baulk, or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere)—even on the black, in most variants. Also called the "two visits" rule; i.e., the two penalty shots are considered independent visits to the table, and the limiting variants discussed at two shots below cannot logically apply.
A bank shot is when the shooter (player) bounces the cue ball or the object ball (after it is hit by the cue ball) off a rail in an attempt to make the shot. A successful bank shot will result in sinking the object ball or a defense that will make it very difficult for the opponent to attempt their shot.
When playing 9 Ball, a dead ball is an object ball the falls into a pocket when a foul has been committed (for example, the shooter scratches or does not hit the lowest ball first). If keeping score by counting balls fallen, neither player gets the point for that ball.
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
North American Poolshooters Association. Mission: To provide a competitive and fun amateur pool league competition with cash and prizes awarded to the players at the local level.
This refers to the cluster of balls remaining in a similar position to where they were within the break
Same as back spin.
Same as solids, in New Zealand. Compare little, small, reds, low, spots, dots; contrast overs.
American Cuemakers Association. This organization was formed in 1992 to help bring value to the development and advancement of cues in the United states.
Ten Ball is a rotation is a rotation game very similar to nine-ball, using ten balls instead of nine, and with the 10 ball instead of the 9 as the "money ball".
The object of the game is pocket the 10-ball on any legal shot.
A situation where the cue ball is directly in front of another ball in the line of the shot such that the player is hampered by it, having to bridge over it awkwardly with the likelihood of a foul looming if the object ball is inadvertently touched.
All-Africa Pool Association. The AAPA is a member of the WPA.
This term refers to a foul in snooker golf.
This is to direct the cue ball by barely contacting an object ball.
Also goose neck rest. Same as swan.
This playing to a number less than eight in a game of one pocket.