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Too Pool for School: The Pool and Foosball Tables Return to Campus

Frances Howe, LLB 

Jared Harris, third-year BA History, became the first student to play on the new pool table at 12:45 PM on Wednesday 19 January 2022. Playing on his own, Jared described the experience as ‘incredible’ saying the table ‘has this really smooth feel about it.’ He continued, ‘the balls are perfectly smooth with a great weight to them.’ 

Not long after, at 12:47 PM Sushant Singh, masters of law student, challenged Jared Harris to a match asking him if he was ‘ready to win or lose.’ Before the game Singh stated that he was ‘feeling excited’ and that it was a great thing to have a pool table back. He said it was not just about the game but also ‘a way to interact and communicate with people.’ He said it was a ‘must’ to have at SOAS, especially considering it is an indoor activity keeping people socialising whilst out of the cold. 

Harris potted the first ball and Singh quickly followed. Harris met Singh’s pot by sinking two more quickly after. Singh then potted the white ball but Harris, now having an additional shot, failed to make the most of the opportunity. At 12:55 PM Harris attempted to pot the ball by putting the cue behind his back but failed to do so. Harris could be heard saying ‘it’s time to start trying now.’ Singh did not speak much throughout the game whilst Harris could also be heard saying ‘that is perfect placement there’ about his own strikes. Singh potted the white ball a second time, Harris again
failed to take the opportunity presented to him. Singh pots a second ball at 12:57 making the score sit at three to two with Harris in the lead. Singh quickly sank a third ball, evening the score. Harris could be heard saying, ‘I have to say it, credit where credit is due.’ To which Singh responded, ‘keep saying it.’ Harris was also heard telling bystanders that he was being thrown off by the light, the wind coming through the door, and by the gloss of the new table. 

“Harris was heard explaining his tactic was to use pythagoras’ theorem as he attempted to sink his final ball.”

Over the next few minutes, both players continued to sink balls but Singh was the first to sink all of his balls and begin attempting to sink the eight ball. Harris was heard explaining his tactic to bystanders as utilising Pythagoras’ theorem as he attempted to sink his final ball. At 1:07 PM, Harris sank his final ball and immediately after sank the eight ball. At the end of the game the players shook hands. 

Following the match, Singh told the SOAS Spirit that Harris ‘played well.’ Harris told the Spirit, ‘All I can say is, he had a lot of fair chances at the end there to monopolise on my mistakes. At the end of the day I was the better player, the disparity between our skill set really shone at the end.’ 

The players exchanged numbers with the plan to organise another game. 

Khaled Ziada, Commercial Services Manager at the Students’ Union, spoke to the SOAS Spirit inviting students to ‘come to the bar’, but to keep it clean and tidy and not to put food or drinks on the tables. 

Harris also went on to christen the foosball table with Jay Atherton, BA World Philosophies, with Atherton taking home the winner’s title. After the match Atherton spoke to the SOAS Spirit saying: ‘I came down not realising these tables were back. My face filled up with glee. The competitor in me that’s been dormant for a long time was reawakened.’ 

Anna Draperi, 2nd year BA Arabic and Anthropology, was a part of the second game played on the pool table and spoke to the SOAS Spirit saying: ‘I literally can’t believe there’s a pool table and a foosball table. No work will be done.’ Gabriel Rahman, second year BA Politics and Development Studies, was instrumental in organising two foosball tournaments at Dinwiddy in 2021 said: ‘It’s very nice to have it back. I think it builds a sense of community. It was a core part of lockdown [in Dinwiddy] so it’s nice to have it back.’ 

The pool table costs one pound to play and the foosball is free. 

Photo Caption: Jared Harris playing pool on 19 January (Credit: Frances Howe) 

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