West Coast Challenge: About the WCC

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West Coast Challenge: About the WCC

Each year, representatives from the historically LGBT pocket billiards organizations from Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco come together to compete in a statewide competition called the West Coast Challenge (WCC).

Each city sends its championship team, eight individual competitors, four women’s finalists and a Hi-Lo scotch doubles team to compete in this three-day tournament.


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

The second Inter-city Challenge was held at San Francisco’s Mocambo on 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 and the Trashers trounced the San Diego team in a race to 2 matches by a score of 9-2, 9-4. At this tournament an individual competition was introduced, which was won in a race to 3 games format by Don Carrier of the Pure Trash team.

Becoming the West Coast Challenge

Shortly after this third event, a meeting was held in Los Angeles with board members from the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco leagues. 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 WCC was again held at Trouper’s Hall and featured 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 defeated LA twice in the finals to take the trophy. San Francisco individuals took the top 3 trophies in a race to three games format.

Over the next few years, some additional changes were made:
– At WCC XII, Long Beach was added to the league roster, making its first appearance with the team representing Mike’s Corral.
– At WCC XVI, a women’s competition was introduced.
– At WCC XXI, the WCC adopted the rules of the Billiard Congress of America (BCA).
– At WCC XXV, a scotch doubles tournament called the Hi-Lo was added.

A 45-Year Tradition

Since then, the WCC format has been largely stable and features the following competitions, all with a double elimination format:
– Teams: 4 teams of up to 6 players (1 team from each city), race to 9.
– Open Individuals: 8 players from each city, race to 3.
– Women’s Individuals: 4 women players from each city, race to 3.
– Hi-Lo: One team of 2 individuals from each city, race to 3.

The West Coast Challenge is hosted, on a rotating basis, by the four participating leagues. Policy governing both the administration of the competition and rules of play is set by a twelve-member WCC Committee comprised of three delegates from each 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 any necessary changes ahead of the next WCC.