In the wake of the successful Ryder Cup model, the Mosconi Cup has become the pinnacle of team competition in nine-ball pool. As the 2023 event unfolds at Alexandra Palace from December 6 to December 9, live on Sky Sports Arena, pool pioneer Allison Fisher believes it’s high time to introduce a women’s version of the Mosconi Cup.
Fisher, who participated in the inaugural edition in 1994, expressed her enthusiasm for the idea. While women already have the Solheim Cup in professional golf, Fisher sees great potential for a similar event in the world of nine-ball pool. Notable players like Allison Fisher, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, and Kristina Zlateva dominate the European scene, while the Americans boast talents such as Kaylee Mcintosh, Caroline Pao, Janet Atwell, Savannah Easton, Emily Duddy, and Monica Webb.
“I think women could have their own Mosconi Cup,” Fisher shared with Sky Sports. “We could call it the Jean Balukas or Fisher Cup.”
Jean Balukas, considered one of the greatest players of all time, competed with men in professional play during the 1990s. Fisher reminisced about the European team’s dynamic format, featuring six men and two women, that left a lasting impact on the tournament. Despite enjoying mixed-format games, Fisher acknowledged that the Mosconi Cup has now evolved into a distinct event.
The Mosconi Cup, attracting legendary players from Earl Strickland to emerging talents like Joshua Filler, has become a premier platform for showcasing skill and rivalry. With Team Europe leading 15-13 overall, Team USA aims for redemption after losing the last three tournaments. Fisher highlighted the substantial growth in appearance fees, reaching £40,000 per player in the winning team and £20,000 for the runners-up.
Fisher emphasized the significance of the Mosconi Cup in players’ careers, with many striving to earn a coveted spot in the team. Captains play a crucial role in selecting players, combining ranking-based choices with wildcard picks, adding an element of excitement to the tournament.
The European team, captained by Ralph Eckert, features standout players like Jayson Shaw, Joshua Filler, Albin Ouschan, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, and David Alcaide. Team USA, led by captain Jeremy Jones, boasts Shane Van Boening, Fedor Gorst, Skyler Woodward, Tyler Styer, and Shane Wolford.
Fisher anticipates a closely contested event at Alexandra Palace, predicting that Team USA, with the addition of Fedor Gorst, will present a formidable challenge. The passionate British fans at Ally Pally are expected to create a vibrant atmosphere, making the tournament a thrilling spectacle and contributing to the global growth of the sport.
Every moment of the Mosconi Cup will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena, starting from 6.30pm on Wednesday, December 6, and continuing at the same time each day until Saturday, December 9. Sky Sports will provide daily reports and exclusive video coverage on their website and app, capturing the highs and lows of this enthralling nine-ball pool competition.