Tomorrow, in a way, the season starts in earnest with qualifying rounds for three tournaments: the Indian Open, the European Masters and the World Open. Ronnie hasn’t entered any of those events, and I don’t intend to cover them in any detail on this blog unless something extraordinary happens.
There have also been a few announcements by Worldsnooker:
- The World Grand Prix 2018 will be held in Preston next February
- The Players Championship 2018 will be played in Llandudno end March
- for what it’s worth … The Shootout 2018 will take place in Watford
Also, Kyren Wilson has won Gold at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland . He beat Ali Carter in the – best of 7 – final. There were only 16 snooker players involved in total, mostly amateurs and snooker was by no way the organisers priority judging by how little live coverage it was allocated according to the initial official event calendar/agenda. Worldsnooker though gave it rather extensive coverage, whilst completely ignoring the International Challenge in Shenzhen despite the presence of three World Champions (Ronnie, Willo and Dotty) plus China Number 1 and flag bearer Ding. Surely the latter raised more interest than the former? Kyren is a top player, as is Ali, and surely Kyren is a worthy winner and deserved the exposure, but why not cover both events? Neither is a WS event and both were sanctioned.
The only reason I can see for this, is that the World Games are somehow surrogate Olympics for sports that are not in the Olympics. It is one of the main goals pursued by Jason Ferguson to try to get snooker in the Olympics, and, although I don’t think that snooker fits well in there, it would certainly help the sport to be recognised in many countries, like mine, where it’s not actually seen as a sport and therefore cannot benefit from structures and funding available to other sporting disciplines.
Whatever, it didn’t go down well with Mark Williams, Joe Perry and Michael Holt who expressed their discontent on twitter. Willo in particular was quite upfront and got into a bit of a row with Barry Hearn today, about that and other things.
One of these other things is the fact that qualifiers for events in China are held in the UK and, every new season, a number of Chinese players miss some because they don’t get a visa in time. Mark Williams insists that this situation is both absurd and unfair and he is absolutely right. A flat draw should mean no qualifiers and everyone starting in last 128 at the venue. The way it’s done now is a massive bias in favor of UK players.
And finally there is THIS
Following an inappropriate and unconstitutional attempt by some members of the International Billiards and Snooker Association (IBSF) to control seats within the World Confederation of Billiards Sports, the WPBSA will be distancing itself completely from the IBSF.
All World Snooker Tour places allocated to the IBSF will be removed with immediate effect. Any organisation staging events which hold two-year WSL tour cards for the winners should check with the WPBSA before taking any entries.
The WPBSA has had serious concerns for some time about governance standards within some Cue Sport organisations. The WPBSA is committed promoting the principles of good governance in sport and will continue to work with National Federations who share the same vision for the future.
So that old plague of snooker – rival governing bodies getting involved in power and control fights – is raising its ugly head again… This statement tells nothing about the actual facts so it’s impossible to assess the situation, or to identify responsibilities, but whatever it is, it’s bad news.