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Twice a year, in January and July, representatives from the Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco pocket billiards organizations come together to compete in a statewide pocket billiard competition called the West Coast Challenge (WCC). Each city sends their championship team, eight individual competitors, four women’s finalists and a Hi-Lo (Scotch Doubles) team to compete in this three-day tournament.


The WCC began as a match between Los Angeles’ “Hum” team and San Francisco’s “Rainbow Cattle Company” in Los Angeles at Trouper’s Hall on August 18, 1978. At that time the WCC was known as the Inter-city Challenge, a single match race to nine games, which Los Angeles won 9-2. A traveling trophy was thus engraved to memorialize the event.


The second Inter-city Challenge was held at San Francisco’s Mocambo, June 9-10, 1979. In a best 2 of 3 matches, Los Angeles’ “Pure Trash” defeated San Francisco’s “White Swallows” 9-3, 9-7.

The following month, San Diego’s Brass Rail hosted “Pure Trash” where the Trashers trounced the San Diego team in a race 9 to 2 matches (9-2, 9-4). At this tournament an individual’s competition was introduced which was won in a race to 3 games format by Don Carrier of the “Pure Trash” team.


Shortly after this third event, a meeting was held in Los Angeles with board members from Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. An agreement was made to expand the competition to a tri-city playoff. The contest was named “The West Coast Challenge” and given the Roman Numeral “I” to indicate a continuing event. The first West Coast Challenge was held at Troopers’ Hall in Los Angeles between LA’s “Four Star Saloon”, San Francisco’s “Luby’s” and San Diego’s “Club San Francisco”. Luby’s won this event in a double elimination format in which San Francisco had to beat LA twice in the finals to take the trophy. San Francisco individuals took the top 3 trophies in a race to three games format.


At WCC XII, six years later, “Mike’s Corral” represented Long Beach in their first appearance. Held in Los Angeles at the Four Star Showplace the “Four Star” of Los Angeles knocked the initiate Long Beach team out of the competition, but it was San Diego’s “Club San Francisco” who blew the San Francisco’s “D.U.C.K.S.” out of the water 9-7, 9-2 to win the team competition. Los Angeles took the first place individual’s trophy with 2nd and 3rd going to San Francisco.


The next major event in the evolution of the West Coast Challenge was the introduction of Women’s competition at WCC XVI in Long Beach, January 8-10, 1988 at Emerald Hall. Angela Costa of Los Angeles followed by Joy Johnson of San Diego, Stacey Harris of Long Beach and Lauren Ward of San Francisco won the first Women’s Tournament.


At WCC XXI two major decisions were made. It was agreed at this time that the WCC should adopt the rules of the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) for competition. The second decision was to change the format of the Women’s Tournament from 8 participants (2 per city), best of 7 double-elimination format to 16 participants (4 entrants per city) in a race to 3 games, double-elimination format.


At WCC XXV a new tournament was added to the existing three tournaments, a scotch doubles tourney called the Hi-Lo Tournament. The WCC now consists of the following competitions.

  • Team Tournament – 4 teams of up to 6 players (1 team from each city). Race to 9, double-elimination format.

  • Open Individuals Tournament – 8 players from each city. Race to 3, double-elimination format.

  • Women’s Individuals Tournament – 4 women players from each city. Race to 3 double-elimination format.

  • Hi-Lo Tournament – 2 individuals from each city. Race to 3, double-elimination format.

The West Coast Challenge is hosted, on a rotating basis, between the four participating leagues. Policy governing both the administration of the competition and rules of play is set by a twelve member West Coast Challenge Committee comprised of three delegates from each participating city.  A meeting of the WCC Committee is always held on the last day of competition to review the course of the event and to make necessary changes to be effective at the next WCC.

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