Kelly Fisher got her start playing professional snooker in England.
JULY 13, 2020 — The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Hall of Fame will welcome the most dominant woman player of the last 15 years to the class of 2020. The United States Billiard Media Association (USBMA) today announced that England’s Kelly Fisher has earned induction into the sport’s most prestigious club.
Fisher, 41, who in her first year of eligibility in 2019 was edged out by Canadian Alex Pagulayan in a special run-off ballot, coasted to election in 2020. Fisher will enter the Greatest Players wing of the BCA Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30, at the Norfolk Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk, Va., although travel restrictions and health concerns may force the ceremony to be held in 2021.
Born in West Yorkshire, England, Fisher got her start in cue sports playing ladies professional snooker, much like fellow BCA Hall of Famers Allison Fisher (no relation) and Karen Corr. She captured six world titles between 1998 and 2003. In 2004, Fisher moved to the U.S. to join the Women’s Professional Billiard Association Classic Tour. Her aggressive style was well-suited to American 9-ball, and Fisher quickly ascended to the WPBA top-10 rankings. Fisher captured her first WPBA title in 2005 and won five more events over the next two years. In 2008, Fisher reached the No. 1 ranking, winning three more WPBA titles over the next two years. She captured her first World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) world title in 2011, when she won the World 10-Ball Championship. A year later, Fisher claimed the World 9-Ball Championship. A regular in large tournaments in Asia, Fisher won the China Open in 2012 and the Amway Cup in 2013. She also earned four International Tournament of Champions titles, winning in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.
Medical setbacks and then a comeback
Fisher returned to the United Kingdom in 2013, and then underwent heart surgery in 2014. A year later she underwent a double mastectomy. Fisher’s recoveries from the surgeries was astonishing, as she managed to win women’s pro events in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Fisher completed her amazing comeback by winning the Women’s World 9-Ball Championship for the second time.
“I’m chuffed to bits,” Fisher exclaimed from the home in Dumfries, Scotland, when informed of her election into the BCA Hall of Fame. “It is the ultimate reward. You don’t think about it while playing in competition, but it becomes a dream along the way. I remember seeing players get into the Hall of Fame. They’d been playing for many years and won so many titles. I wondered whether I could get to that level. As I got older, the thought of getting into the Hall of Fame become more meaningful.”
Reflecting, Fisher recalled the career highlights that paved the way for her eventual election.
“I landed in the U.S. in 2004,” she said. “My first win, San Diego in 2005, was very memorable. And then the U.S. Open, followed, of course, by my first two world titles. But winning the World 9-Ball Championship last year meant so much to me. It came out of the blue. I knew I was still capable, but I was over 40 and the quality of play is so high. I remember being very nervous before the final and that surprised me. I had been in many finals, but at that stage you just don’t know how many more chances you’re going to have.”
Despite being joined on the 2020 ballot by men’s stars Dennis Orcullo, Thorsten Hohman (both in their first year of eligibility), Niels Feijen and Corey Deuel, Fisher earned election by a comfortable margin. She was named on 70 percent of the ballots. Orcullo and Hohmann were both named on more than 50 percent of the ballots, receiving 23 votes from the 46 completed ballots. Deuel and Feijen were both named on more than 20 percent of the ballots. Shannon Daulton, Jeremy Jones, Stefano Pellinga, John Schmidt, Vivial Villarreal and Charlie Williams completed the 2020 ballot.
Voting for the 2020 BCA Hall of Fame was conducted by the USBMA Hall of Fame Board, which consists of USBMA members, elected At-Large members and living members of the Hall of Fame. To be eligible for consideration in the Greatest Players category, a player a) must be 40 years old by Jan. 1 of the year of their inclusion on the ballot; b) must have a professional playing career of at least 10 years; and c) must have recorded significant achievements in U.S.-based and international events recognized by the BCA.
About United States Billiard Media Association
Founded in 2007, the United States Billiard Media Association (USBMA) is a non-profit association dedicated to elevating the visibility and status of billiards in the media at large. The USBMA consists of professional print, radio, TV, public relations and Internet media persons who cover cue sports. One of the association’s main functions is electing of billiard media members to the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame Board for the purpose of nominating and electing players and notable figures to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through Billiard Congress of America leadership. The Billiard Congress of America seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody’s game.