In 1921 our league was formed compiling of just a few teams. The teams players were mainly members of the Fort Osborn Army Barracks, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Although the army barracks are no longer there, we must remember their contribution to the forming of the league. 

Originally, each team rated their players as #1, #2, #3 etc. and they played against the other teams same rated player.  ( Player #1 on one team would play Player #1 on the opposing team )  After a while; some players were increasing their skills to the point of the matches were becoming unfair. So a handicapped system was adopted into the league. Exactly when, is disputed, but in 1949 when Tom Hargreaves joined the league it was in place. Tom Hargreaves is a life member of the Veterans English Billiard League with a total of 49 years in the league. 25 years of that, Tom was the secretary/treasurer of our organization.  

At one point in time, each match night consisted of 3 matches. Partially due to some clubs only had one table and the amount of players on each team. When matches were played at these clubs they tried to start the matches as early as 5:30pm (instead of 7pm) as to be able to finish the matches that night. But as the popularity of the game of English Billiards grew in the Winnipeg Area, they found that 3 matches per Thursday night wasn't enough so they adopted to four matches per Thursday night. Our league at one time supported 22 individual teams, and is presently supporting 10 teams.

At this time, we all must take a moment to thank the 4 life members in our league, 

Tom Hargreaves (Deceased 2008),

Ray Trinder (Deceased 2013)

Jim Simm (Deceased 2019)

Alan Senkiw

Without their grit and love for our great game, we might not be here. THANK YOU.

I would like to thank Tom Hargreaves for his support and the above information in order to preserve the memories of all that have come before us. 

And thanks to Tom's dear friend and original member of our league, Harry Lockwood, who educated Tom on the early beginnings of our league.

The League

The Veterans English Billiards League is a handicap league. The game is played to 200 points using a handicap system. There are approximately 10 to12 teams with an average of 8 players per team. Matches are held throughout the Veteran Clubs in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The handicaps range from plus 50 to over minus 400. New players start at plus 20 or whatever their ability is and increase by 10 points for a win or decrease by 10 points for a loss for their first 10 matches. After 10 matches it decreases to 10 points per match.

Four games per club are played each Thursday night starting at 7:00 p.m. The home team must put up 4 names and the visitors may match any of their players against the home team. For example the visiting team captain can play a minus 250 player against a plus 20 player. The minus 250 player must make 450 point while the plus 20 player needs only to make 180 points. Each match is refereed by a player from the home team. Three round robins are played during the season with the top Eight teams playing off for the championship shield.

Rules are those used by Pan American Billiards & Snooker Association & World Billiards.

During regular season individual tournaments are played.



In much the same way as golf, English Billiards demands high standards of etiquette and behaviour from all players, at all levels, at all times. These Rules applies in the same way to a league match as it does to a final match in the Lockwood (Canadian Championship) Tournament. 

For League, Play down, Event or Fundraising tournament matches: 

• Shake hands with your opponent(s) at the start and end of a match.

• Declare all your own fouls, at all times.

• Do not stand in line of an opponent’s shot.

• Do not volunteer remarks about an opponent’s luck whilst a match is in progress.

• Do not concede a frame or match when you have missed a shot or whilst your Opponent is still at the table

• Wait for your opponent to finish their visit before conceding.

• Do not complain about playing conditions whilst a match is in progress.

• Do not argue with the your opponent or the referee.

• Do not display anger openly or in an intimidating manner.

• Respect other players and keep noise to a minimum.

• Do not walk past another table whilst someone is playing a shot.

• Respect equipment and leave the table as you would hope to find it.

• Do not flip a coin over the table or leave chalk on the table.

These standards of behaviour are also just as important during practice!



The IBSF rules are clear on players that openly display anger during a match, it is considered intimidation towards your opponent and/or referee/official.

Open displays of anger go against the organizations that we call home, the ANAF units and Royal Canadian Legions where we play our VEBL matches are based on friendship and a common bond!

All VEBL players should act according to the above Etiquette Rules in an effort to attract more players into the league and to attract sponsors. 

Our best players should set the standard for Etiquette in the league and should do their best to inform and teach Etiquette to other league members and new recruits.