Out of Left Field: Trinity Pool Society

A closer look at the GMB’s third floor residents.

The Graduate’s Memorial Building is famed predominantly for the Wednesday and Thursday night debates held by the College’s Historical and Philosophical societies, respectively. It is a landmark associated with rhetoric, oratory, wine receptions, guest speakers and intellectual exercise. However, once you take the time to see past these endeavours, or simply make your way to the third floor, you will discover that there is far more to this remarkable edifice than speeches and formality. Indeed, the Trinity Pool Society (PoolSoc) has made the GMB’s summit its own. Here you will not find podiums, famed couches, or rows of chairs. Instead, you will be met with pool tables, cues, and as one member of the society put it, “friendly faces.” PoolSoc, while operating predominantly under the radar, prides itself on offering a valuable alternative to the pressure of other on-campus sporting endeavours, providing what the society’s Public Relations Officer Sean Daly refers to as “an atmosphere where anyone can feel at home.


“Indeed, the Trinity Pool Society has made the GMB’s summit its own”

The simple reason people play pool would appear to be that it is fun. It is a sport which is suitable for people of all shapes and sizes, and yet, it is one which provides the same social benefits. It is important to note that there is far more to this particular game than the odd frame or competitive wager. Daly explains that the society is in fact incredibly active. “On a Tuesday, we have a tournament where there is a two euro entrance fee. This takes place at 5pm, and we operate it on a winner takes all basis, so it can get pretty competitive!” he says, detailing PoolSoc’s weekly events “Then, on a Thursday, we have a free practice session between the hours of five and eight.”

The idea behind these kind of events is that the society remains open to beginners through the training sessions, while also providing an environment where more experienced players can thrive by way of the weekly tournament. There is a little something for everyone, as would appear to be the PoolSoc way. It seems to be a club you could easily find your feet in, and quickly feel a big part of. This is something which can prove to be more difficult with the larger sporting societies on campus, which can often serve to intimidate, if not scare, more introverted potential members, by way of sheer scale. 

“There is a little something for everyone, as would appear to be the PoolSoc way”

That said, the society’s modest size does not in any way hinder it’s national involvement, or reputation. Daly recounts how the society sends select groupings to a varsity tournament every year. “Each year we send three separate teams to to varsities to compete against other colleges, with all four provinces represented.” This gives members the chance to interact with pool enthusiasts from all over the country, all the while engaging in some fierce, albeit healthy, competition. Having taken part in the tournament himself last year, Daly looks back on the weekend fondly, noting the great memories he made. He draws particular reference to the astonishing breakfast in the hotel, and aptly describes the competition as “a great weekend of beer, pool and leisure.”

Unlike many sporting societies, Daly notes that PoolSoc is more about socialising than it is competition. He goes on to observe that even if the sport itself is not your thing, this type of trip can be an excellent way of settling in to college life and meeting new people. There is definitely a familial quality to this particular grouping that College’s larger sports teams seem to lack, which is enhanced, not only by this marquee trip, but by the fond way in which Daly describes his time within the society. 

Plus, there is always something to be said for a good breakfast. 

In terms of how the Pool Society wraps up its year, the enthusiastic PRO draws attention to a large tournament, which begins towards the end of the year, with prizes on offer for “both the runners up and winners.” This is yet another indication of how active the society is. Events are constantly happening and newcomers are always welcome. 

On that note, Daly reaffirms that “the PoolSoc Facebook page is a great way of learning about upcoming events,” while also “gaining an insight into the genius brain of the PRO,” he jokes. It is, in his own words, “a great way to meet people, have a few beers, play some pool, and to be assured of having a bit of craic throughout the year.” Signing up is something he would, unsurprisingly, highly recommend. Even for those who are not interested, it is advised that you take a look at the Facebook page, for both insight into the society itself, and an array of comedic content. 

Indeed, from my interactions with Daly, PoolSoc appears to be one of the more relaxed environments on campus. In a year imbued by essay deadlines, the stresses of TEP, and the general all-action nature of college life, this may be just the type of thing you didn’t know you needed to help keep the stress at bay.

Out of Left Field is a new, recurring segment for the Sports section at Trinity News. We are hoping to shine a light on some of Trinity’s smaller sporting societies, highlighting the diverse and interesting make up of sport in Trinity. If you are a member of a small sporting society, please contact the Sports section by emailing us at [email protected]

Jonathon Boylan

Jonathon Boylan is a Deputy Sports editor of Trinity News, and a Junior Sophister Law student.