2020 Crucible format, Ronnie unhappy about possible crowds and more

WST has yesterday published the format for the 2020 World Championship main event.

The match schedule for the final stages of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible Theatre is now available.

Click here for the draw


Judd Trump will start his title defence on the opening day of the tournament, Friday July 31st. He’ll begin his first round match, against one of the 16 qualifiers, in the opening session at 10am, and they will play to a finish in the evening session from 7pm.

Other top 16 stars in action on day one are Stuart Bingham, Kyren Wilson, Ding Junhui and Mark Williams.

Five time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan enters the fray on the afternoon of Sunday August 2nd and plays to a finish the following morning.

The random draw which pits the top 16 seeds against the 16 qualifiers will take place at 11am on Wednesday July 29th. Details on how to watch it live will be announced soon.

Also it transpired today that there will be a crowd at the World Championship

World Snooker Championship will have a crowd as Government announces test events for live audience return

The 2020 World Snooker Championship has been announced as a test event as part of the Government’s plan to ease live audiences back into sport.

Along with Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival and two County Championship cricket matches, the events will test how feasible ‘stage five’ of the plans for crowds to return are.

The number of spectators that will be allowed into the Crucible has not yet been confirmed, but it will be significantly less than the capacity of around 1,000. The main event of the WST calendar gets underway on 31 July, with the final coming to a conclusion on 16 August in Sheffield.

Well, in my opinion, this is completely irresponsible, or worse … Cricket and horse racing are outdoors sports, Snooker is played indoors and the Crucible is a very intimate venue. Add to it that Sheffield is currently one of the hardest hit areas in Britain.  But, of course, Barry Hearn wants it this way, and the sponsor of the championship is one of the donors to the current party in power in the UK… Surely tha’s just a coincidence as it’s a coincidence that those three are sports that are of high interest to the betting industry. Of course people won’t die on the spot, so if some – or even many – die 2 or 3 weeks later, who cares? Not those with financial interest in the event, surely, and it won’t make the headlines in the press either.

BTW, two days ago, I got an email from the Crucible that there will definitely be NO crowd at the WSS (Seniors Snooker) World Championship, a snooker event held AFTER the main tour Championship. Anyne has an logical explanation? Other than the financial interests at stake aren’t important enough, and the moral compass isn’t low enough to risk peoples’ lives?

Anyway … it might mean a Crucible without Ronnie.

Fuming Ronnie O’Sullivan threatens to PULL OUT of the World Championship and forgo potential £555,000 prize if they go ahead with ‘insane’ plan to let fans in on July 31 as one of the UK’s first spectator trials

Ronnie O’Sullivan has warned he will pull out of the World Championship should crowds be allowed inside the venue.

The 17-day event begins at the Crucible in Sheffield later this month, and plans to let spectators attend.

It has been named as one of three pilot test events for the reintroduction of crowds for sport, with Glorious Goodwood race meet and a county cricket clash at The Oval.

But given the current situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak ‘The Rocket’ has questioned the wisdom of such a move, and would even be willing to forego the potential £550,000 prize money that would come with winning the tournament.


‘The Rocket’ has labelled discussions on allowing fans of the sport back in as ‘insane’

‘I don’t think there should be any crowds in an indoor area until at least 2021 and, to me, it seems insane that we are even talking about it.’

Organisers of the event are not the only people in the sport O’Sullivan is struggling to see eye to eye with at the moment.

Peter Ebdon has spoken about his belief that masks are of no use, but it is a stance that the 44-year-old cannot get on board with.

‘I just think it is obvious that is something we have to do in certain situations, to protect other people and lessen the risk,’ he added.

I would be extremely disappointed if Ronnie wasn’t at the Crucible, and it would make the coming season extremely difficult for him as he had a relatively poor season this year, and will have a lot of points to defend next season. But he is absolutely right. This should not be on.


7 thoughts on “2020 Crucible format, Ronnie unhappy about possible crowds and more

  1. Compare and contrast.

    Monique on 1 March 2020:

    “Regarding the corona virus outbreak, I remain convinced that the reaction to this is over the top and panic is fuelled by the media. It’s obvious that this virus is extremely contagious, and it can be deadly, mainly for “fragile” subjects. But fundamentally, it’s similar to the flu, an ilness that kills dizens of thousands every year in Europe only, the diffrence being though that over the years most of us have developped a natural “resistance” to the flu, even if the flu virus mutates continually, AND that “flu” isn’t feared anymore, it’s there and we just live with it. There are now rumors that the Gibraltar Open could be cancelled too. What’s next? Playing the World Championship behind closed doors, with the players, referees and cameramen in bio suits?”

    Ronnie on March 2020:

    Ronnie played in Derry again yesterday and going by reactions on twitter, the fans loved it. He almost didn’t make it there though… indeed he was due to fly with Flybe and the company went into administration. It was only announced yesterday. Jason Francis who went to collect John Virgo late at the airport the previous evening, stayed there for a birthday drink and heard about it by chance…. phew

    The power of propaganda. Goebbels would be impressed.

    • Yes, I have changed my mind on this and I have explained why as well. When I wrote the above I perceived this as some kind of flu. It isn’t. Even if you recover it often leaves you with serious health issues, some for life.

      • All respiratory infections have the potential to cause chronic asthma (I personally had pneumonia as a teenager, precipitating lifelong mild asthma). I was speaking to someone yesterday, a close friend of someone who contracted the virus. The patient is still being treated 10 weeks after falling ill, not directly owing to the virus but because their lungs were damaged as a result of ICU ventilation.

        Monique, I genuinely believe your assessment in March was the correct one. Ronnie was spot on too. The only difference is the relentless propaganda since then. https://lockdownsceptics.org/

      • I have changed my mind because of two persons I know, not old, in their early 50th, left with kidney and heart damage. The one with kidney damage will need dialysis for the rest of her life. Flu doesn’t do that. ICU ventilation is known to cause long term damage, but sometimes it’s the only way to keep the person alive. Actually, it’s not the virus itself that kills, it’s the inappropriate and over-the-top reaction from our own immune system facing an enemy that they don’t “understand”. Until the disease is better understood, and some vaccine or treatment that blocks the wrong and deadly immune response is found and proven efficient, lockdown and social distancing are still the best way to control and reduce the spread. If the World Championship was played at the EIS, or Ponds Forge, with the public further away from the tables, more space between tables, and more space full stop, I wouldn’t be so reluctant. But the Crucible is small, intimate, and a real cauldron.

  2. We don’t know how many – it could be anywhere between 20 and 200. It’s possible that most of them will be sponsors or corporate guests. I doubt whether they will make much money from the tickets, so it could be just about creating some kind of ‘atmosphere’.

    But as with all of the other conditions, the first step is to gain initial permission, and then the actual measures need to be worked out, before final approval. So there’s a lot more to be decided. My guess it there will be very few people.

    • I hope so. But I’m not too confident. The Crucible isn’t a good venue for such test. Air conditioning will need to work to the max. It once failed, and it was unbearable, even in April. Air conditioning is one of the most dangerous things in the current circumstances, especially if a possible airborne transmission is confirmed.

      • Yes, surely just a token effort so they can claim some kind of ‘progress’. They would be mad to take any risks in the Crucible after receiving such praise for the Marshall Arena events. A huge amount of money is resting on the World Championship, and if it has to be abandoned mid-way, after all these qualifying rounds as well, it’s just unthinkable…

        The time to try spectator procedures is the start of next season, in a relatively minor event such as the English Open.

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