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Snookered by the chief examiner

IN THE days before Stephen Hendry, the sign of a misspent youth was skill at the snooker table. The former pupil of Inverkeithing High showed there are fortunes to be made, and to a lesser extent the likes of Jocky Wilson did the same for darts.

But none of that is worth a treble top to the Scottish Qualifications Authority which has said that darts, snooker and pool are not the sort of sports which should feature in its exams. A letter to schools describes them as "inappropriate activities" which pupils should not introduce into their Standard grade physical education exam papers.

The PE principal examiner has called foul because pupils have been writing about "activities which do not form part of the teaching" of the subject. Candidates persisting in showing intimacy with the green baize will find themselves well and truly snookered.

Alan Craig, secretary of the Scottish Billiards and Snooker Association, said he was "surprised and disappointed". Snooker was recognised by the British sports councils and there were "aspects of the game which are helpful to youngsters in teaching them discipline".

Centres are asked to co-operate in discouraging candidates from writing about 147 breaks and darts scores of 180. So what are "acceptable activities"? That is not spelt out. On greyhounds and pigeons there is silence.

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