Pool, also more formally known as pocket billiards (mostly in North America) or pool billiards (mostly in Europe and Australia), is the family of cue sports and games played on a pool table having six receptacles called pockets along the rails, into which balls are deposited as the main goal of play. Popular versions include eight-ball and nine-ball. An obsolete term for pool is six-pocket.
There are hundreds of pool games. Some of the more well known include eight-ball, nine-ball, ten-ball, straight pool, one-pocket and bank pool.
There are also hybrid games combining aspects of both pool and carom billiards, such as American four-ball billiards, cowboy pool and bottle pool.
As a competitive sport, pool is governed internationally by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), which has multi-national, regional affiliates comprising the All Africa Pool Association (AAPA), Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU, including the Middle East), Billiard Congress of America (BCA, Canada and the US), Confederation Panamerica of Billiards (CPB, Latin America and Caribbean), European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF, including Russia and the Near East), and Oceania Pocket Billiard Association (OPBA, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands) The WPA represents pool in the World Confederation of Billiard Sports, which in turn represents all forms of cue sports (including carom billiards and snooker) in the International Olympic Committee.