Although billiards have been played for many hundreds of years, the game in its present form dates from the early part of the nineteenth century. It was introduced into New Zealand in the late 1880s and became popular in the decade following. The first New Zealand firms specialising in the manufacture of billiard tables were founded in Wellington (1892) and Auckland (1893). Although the New Zealand Amateur Billiards Championships have been held since 1908, there was no national organisation until about 1927 when the New Zealand Billiards Association was formed in Christchurch. In the early 1930s this was replaced by the New Zealand Billiards Association and Control Council which now controls amateur and professional billiards and snooker in New Zealand. The following eight provincial associations are affiliated: Wellington, Canterbury, Auckland, Southland, Otago, Northland, North Otago, and South Auckland – while the NZBA & CC is, in turn, an affiliate of the British Billiards Association and Control Council.