2015/16 Awards and honours

Yesterday was the Annual Awards day in the Dorchester in London and here is Worldsnooker report on the evening.

John Higgins was named snooker’s Player of the Year at the sport’s annual awards ceremony in London tonight.

Higgins won two ranking titles during the 2015/16 season, the Australian Goldfields Open and International Championship, and climbed from 13th to 6th in the world rankings.

Mark Selby was named Snooker Journalists Player of the Year after winning the World Championship and finishing the season top of the world rankings. Selby’s Crucible triumph also earned him the Performance of the Year award.

The Kunlunshan Fans Player of the Year award, which included votes from fans on Twitter, Weibo and WeChat, went to Ronnie O’Sullivan, who won the Masters and Welsh Open.

Darryl Hill from the Isle of Man won the Rookie of the Year award after climbing to 92nd place in the world rankings during his debut season.

The Magic Moment of the Year category was won by Ali Carter for winning the Paul Hunter Classic, his first tournament victory since returning to the tour following battles with cancer.

Former World Champion Stuart Bingham was inducted into snooker’s Hall of Fame, alongside Rex Williams and Sindhu Pulsirivong.

Snooker legend Steve Davis, who announced his retirement last month, was given a special Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel also helped raised money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, which is World Snooker’s official charity – for more details see

http://www.bluebellwood.org

Full list of awards:

World Snooker Player of the Year: John Higgins

Snooker Journalists Player of the Year: Mark Selby

Fans Player of the Year: Ronnie O’Sullivan

Rookie of the Year: Darryl Hill

Performance of the Year: Mark Selby

Magic Moment of the Year: Ali Carter

Hall of Fame inductees: Stuart Bingham, Rex Williams and Sindhu Pulsirivong.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Davis

I’m not sure I fully agree with the list …

Whilst winning the World Championship, despite being far from is best, was a fantastic effort by Mark Selby, I think that a few other performances this season could have been recognised as “performance of the year”:

  • Kyren Wilson winning the Shanghai Masters as a qualifyer
  • Alan McManus reaching the World Semi finals as a qualifier, at 45, 23 years after getting there for the first time.
  • Ding reaching the World Final as a qualifier, especially considering the enormous pressure he’s under all the time, carrying China’s expectations. Not forgetting he broke several records in the process.
  • Or Ali Carter winning the Paul Hunter Classic, returning from two hellish seasons, battling cancer: this was more a performance than a “moment” in my eyes.

I’m also not convinced that awarding John Higgins “Player of the year” for winning the Australian Open and International championship is the best choice. How is that better than winning the Champion of Champions and UK Championship (Neil Robertson) or the Masters and the Welsh Open (Ronnie O’Sullivan)?  Granted these are two ranking events, but frankly the Australian Open isn’t the most prestigious, or one with a particularly strong and motivated field. Both the UK Championship and the Masters are far more prestigious and coveted titles than any  Higgins won.

And for me the “magic moment” of the year was China Team B, two teenagers, celebrating their win over seasoned pros at the World Cup. The sheer delight of the two boys, so genuine, so refreshing, so spontaneous it was infectious.

Honouring Steve Davis was of course totally appropriate and deserved.

Also I believe that mentioning and rewarding how well Stuart Bingham acquitted himself of his ambassadorial duties as a World Champion should have been appropriate.

Today, Ronnie will be at Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE … I wonder if he will wear a tie for the occasion.

And, yes, Ronnie said, during the snooker awards ceremony, that he will play more next season … he needs to!

3 thoughts on “2015/16 Awards and honours

  1. How on earth was Higgins the player of the season? Yes, he wasn’t bad in 2015 but he hasn’t produced anything since last October…

  2. The best news is that Ronnie will play more tournaments next season. I guess that the many exhibitions which he played this year have damaged someway his safety game, which was the only aspect of his game that didn’t work against Barry Hawkins. I believe he needs more tournament practice.
    Best wishes for his visit at the Buckingham Palace for receiving the OBE title. He deserves it.

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