③ President Lee Son Hai of the Vietnam Billiards Federation “More than 10 million billiard club members”

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Vietnamese player PBA line is a natural choice for individuals“but you will find out where the true sports organization is later”“There are more than 10 million billiard club members. In particular, the carom (1, 3 cushion) event, which is rapidly rising in popularity, is scheduled to hold a single event national competition next year. As much as billiards are popular, Vietnam is a market with great potential for the development of the billiards industry. I want to spread this to the world and further expand Vietnam’s territory on the world billiards map.”

This is the resolution and goal of Lee Son Hai, president of the Vietnam Billiards Federation (VBSF), who took office two years ago.

VBSF was launched in May 2021 thanks to the rapidly rising popularity of Vietnamese billiards from several years ago.

VBSF absorbed all regional federations in Vietnam at the same time as it was launched. Three federations, including the newly launched Vinh Thuan Billiards Federation, the Ho Chi Minh Billiards Federation, which was born a year before the VBSF was launched (2020), and the existing Hanoi Billiards Federation, have become organizations under VBSF. The plan is to encourage the launch of billiards federations in major cities in Vietnam, such as Da Nang, which is famous as a resort, to grow in size.

VBSF is an organization that oversees all billiards in Vietnam, from carom to pocketball and snooker. It controls tasks such as hosting competitions such as the Vietnam Championship, where games are held by event, selection and management of national teams participating in international competitions, and support for them. On May 25, at the site of the 3-Cushion World Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, President Lee Son-Hai had no time to rest between taking care of the tournament and answering interviews. (Right before the interview with MK Billiard News, he responded to an interview with VTVCab (subsidiary of VTV, a Vietnamese state-run broadcaster).) In a

short 30-minute interview, Chairman Lee Son Hai talked about his determination as the first president of VBSF, the current status of billiards infrastructure in Vietnam, and the potential for development of the billiards industry. Seong, expressed his views on the entry of Vietnamese players into the PBA.

▲ Nice to meet you. When did you become president?

= He is the first chairman of the VSBF, who was inaugurated two years ago (2021). The term of office is five years until 2026. He is not a former player, but an ordinary amateur billiards club. However, I am proud to say that my passion for billiards is at the level of an athlete. haha.

▲ Is there anything you paid special attention to when hosting the 2023 Ho Chi Minh World Cup?

= It was hoped that the recently launched VBSF would form a stronger relationship of trust with UMB (World Carom Federation) and ACBC (Asian Carom Billiards Federation) through this competition. We will do our best to continuously host the 3-Cushion World Cup in Ho Chi Minh.

▲ I am curious about the Vietnamese billiard world. First of all, the number of friends.

= (Because it is in the early stages of the launch of VBSF) It is difficult to grasp the current status of the billiards world in Vietnam, so please understand that the figures are estimates. The number of club members is estimated at more than 10 million. (As of this year, the population of Vietnam is about 100 million, so 1 out of 10 people is a billiards club.) As much as that, Vietnam is popular for billiards, and there are many people who enjoy it. Billiard tables are also being placed in luxury resorts and private homes.

▲ Out of 10 million club members, what is the carom (1, 3 cushion) population?

=About 60% of all billiards clubs in Vietnam are carom-centered clubs. In addition, more than 90% of carom-centric clubs are all located in Ho Chi Minh City. Considering this, it would not be wrong to say that most of the carom fans are in Ho Chi Minh City. Exact numbers are hard to pin down.

▲ A single national carom event will also be held.

= Yes. Vietnam enjoys not only carom, but also all billiards such as snooker and pool (pocket ball). And the popularity of each event has changed over time, but recently, carom is rapidly emerging as a popular event. There are also several world-class rankers such as Tranquiet Trien. Accordingly, VBSF will hold a new single national carom competition from next year. It is a new competition separate from the Comprehensive Billiards Championship, the highest billiards competition in Vietnam.

▲ In September next year, the ‘World 3-Cushion Championships’ will be held in Vietnam. This competition arena is special.

= It is the largest carom stadium in Asia. There are as many as 100 tables set up.

▲ I am curious about the size and current 안전놀이터status of the billiard equipment market in Vietnam.

= It is difficult to know exactly the figures such as market potential value, but the potential for development is high. However, it is highly dependent on foreign countries. Recently, a number of factories related to billiard equipment have entered Vietnam, but they are all foreign-owned. In addition, almost all billiards goods distributed in Vietnam are foreign products. It is estimated that about 70% of them are made in Korea.

▲ Over the past few years, many excellent Vietnamese players with international competitiveness have been produced. VBSF support for them is.

=The number of players supported by VBSF for participation in international competitions (airfare, stay, etc.) is usually between 3 and 5 players. (The standard for application is world ranking.) If the support player performs better than expected, more support is given to the player to finish the tournament.

▲ Several Vietnamese players recently chose the PBA.

=All sports are affected by social and economic circumstances. It is natural for some Vietnamese players to choose to enter the PBA due to personal circumstances. Only later they will know where the true sports organizations are and where true sportsmanship can be achieved. VBSF will strive to create an atmosphere in which players play with true sportsmanship throughout the Vietnamese billiard world.

▲ Lastly, as the first president, what is your resolution?

=By 2026, when my tenure ends, I will widely publicize the contents of the Vietnamese billiard world, including Vietnamese billiard players and the billiard industry, not only in Vietnam but also around the world. I want to gradually expand Vietnam’s territory on the world billiards map. series end. 

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