Yesterday Worldsnooker announced the provisional calendar for the first half of the 2016/17 season and clarified how the seeding will be made for each event.
Tuesday 23 Feb 2016 10:58AM
The provisional calendar up until December, showing the first half of the 2016/17 season, is now available.
Click here for the calendar.
Below is the seeding structure for tournaments in 2016/17.
Top 16 seeded at the final venue. Remaining 128 players compete in qualifying, flat draw with top 64 seeded, as is the case for this season.
Flat draw with 128 players. Number 1 plays number 128, 2 v 127, 3 v 126 and so on as was the case this season.
International Championship, China Open, Indian Open and potential new tournament in China
Flat draw with 128 players. The first round will see seeds 65-128 drawn at random against seeds 1-64. The top 64 will be placed in the draw so that Number one is seeded to play number 64 in second round, 2 v 63, 3 v 62 and so on.
The Home Nations series (Welsh Open and new English Open, Scottish Open and Irish Open)
Flat draw with 128 players. Top 16 seeds placed into the draw, as they were for this season’s Welsh Open. Remaining 112 players drawn at random.
German Masters and new European Championship
Flat draw with 128 players. Top 32 seeds placed in the draw. Remaining 96 players drawn at random.
Top 16 seeded at the final venue. Seeds 17-32 in fourth qualifying round. Seeds 33-64 in second qualifying round. Seeds 65-128 in first qualifying round as was the case this season.
Paul Hunter Classic, Riga Open and Gibraltar Open.
Completely open first round draw with no seeding.
A few observations about this calendar:
The Australian Open isn’t scheduled during the first half of the season; yesterday Barry Hearn on twitter wrote that the event was “doubtful”. What transpired is that the sponsors want the top 16 seeded at the venue whilst Barry Hearn insists for a flat draw. This tournament is not a great hit with the players: the travel to Bendigo is extremely tiring and long and the prize money is very low, with high tax rates to make it worse. The sponsors obviously want to be 100% certain that Neil Robertson will be there otherwise it may be a complete flop.
There were doubts about the fact that the three “ex-PTC” events – Riga Open, Gibraltar Open and Paul Hunter Classic – would still be open to amateurs. Looking at the calendar, they are still played over 5 days, with qualifying days – so it seems that they will remain pro-ams. Wether they open any spots to the pro circuit for those doing well is still unclear to me.
The Home Series offers a £1000000 bonus for anyone able to win all four. That’s a big, big ask. And for such big “carrot” to be put into place, I suspect that the prize money proper will not be very attractive. Time will tell.