Yesterday was a day off in York , as BBC was installing their lighting and cameras.
So I thought that I could maybe gather a few interesting bits
Luke Simmonds enjoyed his match against Ronnie (source BBC)
UK Championship: Luke Simmonds says it was ‘worth £200 entry fee’ to play Ronnie O’Sullivan
Former world amateur champion Luke Simmonds says it was “worth the £200” entry fee to play Ronnie O’Sullivan at the UK Championship in York.
Simmonds, 38, won the first frame against ‘The Rocket’ but O’Sullivan recovered to ease into round two 6-1.
The game’s governing body, World Snooker, last year abolished tournament entry fees for tour professionals but amateurs still have to pay to enter.
“It was good experience and worth the £200,” Simmonds told BBC Radio Solent.
“In years gone past, I think it was £600-£700 to enter. I knew when I entered that it wasn’t a random draw because it was seeded, so I knew I would be playing one of the top two or three in the world.”
Despite feeling he got value for his money, Simmonds – who beat Ryan Day to win the World Amateur title in 1998 – questioned why non-professionals have to pay entry fees to round out the field of 128 players.
He added: “It’s a bit strange to me, they abolish the entry fees for the tour players but the top-ups still have to pay to enter.”
A break of 56 gave the Isle of Wight factory worker the first frame at the Barbican on Thursday and, after O’Sullivan levelled, 128th seed Simmonds had chances to win the third.
However, six-time UK champion O’Sullivan pinched it before pulling away to win with breaks of 97, 118, 112 and 77 – despite saying he felt unwell during the match.
O’Sullivan has courted controversy with comments about lesser-ranked players in the past but Simmonds said the world number three offered plenty of praise after their first-round encounter.
Simmonds added: “He said I cued really well and he couldn’t understand why I’m not on the main tour. He was good, bless him. I was pleased with how it went and I enjoyed it, it’s just a shame that I didn’t play a little bit better.
“Even though he had three frame-winning breaks, there were some opportunities for me to change the course of the frame. But he just mops them up and you have to take your chances when they come along.”
Shaun Murphy takes a trip to Paris (source BBC)
Olympics could become pinnacle of snooker – Shaun Murphy
Former world champion Shaun Murphy says Olympic snooker could become more important than the World Championship, as cue sports aim for Paris 2024.
The World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) – the body representing snooker, billiards and carom – is making a bid for Olympic recognition.
An effort to have snooker played at Tokyo 2020 failed.
Murphy, who won the 2005 world title, said: “The World Championships is our pinnacle but that could change.”
The 36-year-old Englishman added: “The cue sports family has to go into the Olympics. It is never just going to be snooker, billiards or nine-ball – it has to be them all together.
“If we could get in there and that iconic gold medal was an opportunity, I think that would be a massive game-changer.”
Billiard sports launched its bid at a ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Friday, with backing from the French Billiard Federation.
The combined cue sports bid is “in a significantly stronger position” than the snooker one which failed three years ago in the cycle for Tokyo, according to the WCBS.
It highlighted the global audience and participation levels of cue sports as one of the bid’s major strengths.
“The sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme,” Jason Ferguson, president of the World Snooker Federation said.
Snooker Supports Paris 2024 Olympic Bid
Hosted by the Billiards 2024 Committee and supported by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and World Snooker, the event represents a significant milestone billiard sports’ bid for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Games.
Among those present were WPBSA Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM and former world professional snooker champion Shaun Murphy, who joined senior representatives from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and other international organisations to support the bid.
Billiard sports previously applied to join the Olympic programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games and three years on is in a significantly stronger position to be successful as cuesports continue to grow globally.
The first step to securing Olympic status for 2024 was taken earlier this year by the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the umbrella organisation representing snooker, billiards and carom, when the formal submission for billiard sports to be included as an additional sport at the Paris Games was made with the full cooperation of the FFB.
A sport for all
Snooker in particular has a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes. The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.
The sport is strongly represented at both professional and amateur levels and under the guidance of former WCBS President Jason Ferguson and former General Secretary Maxime Cassis, was successfully included at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw at which leading professional Kyren Wilson of England won the prestigious gold medal.
Snooker’s International Federation the World Snooker Federation (WSF) has since brought together professional and amateur bodies, including women’s and disability organisations, providing opportunities for all to compete on the same field of play.
WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “Today represents an important landmark in what is a serious bid for the inclusion of billiard sports at the Paris 2024 Games. With the levels of participation in our great sport consistently increasing and new opportunities being created by the WSF and its partners for people across the globe to be able to pick up a cue, the sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme.”
Following today’s announcement of the bid, next year will see a further demonstration event staged in Paris which will showcase the Olympic values of billiard sports.
For more information about the Billiards 2024 Committee and please visit: https://billiards2024.paris/
I’m not really sure how snooker would really fit into the Olympics: it would necessary be short formats and I would be very surprised if the TV coverage was anything but minimal. However, being recognised as an Olympic sport would probably mean that it would be recognised as an actual sport in mainy countries where, for now, it’s just seen as a game. That in turn would mean access to funding for grassroot and development, something that is badly needed but not currently available.
Alan Taylor’s Impressions
As for Worldsnooker … they went for a christmas meal (and drinks I guess)