Full Snooker Calendar announced for 2020/21

This has been published by WST today:

The provisional calendar for the second half of the World Snooker Tour 2020/21 season is now available, with potentially 11 events scheduled next year*.

CLICK HERE FOR THE CALENDAR

The Masters at Alexandra Palace in London, snooker’s biggest invitation tournament, will be the first event of 2021.

A minimum of six ranking events will follow between January and March: the BetVictor German Masters in Berlin, BetVictor Gibraltar Open, BetVictor Shoot Out, BetVictor Welsh Open in Cardiff, the Players Championship and the Tour Championship.

Currently, no international sporting events are being held within the People’s Republic of China. However, WST has left room in the calendar at the beginning of March which could see up to three events held back-to-back. Further opportunities are also being investigated should current policy extend beyond February 2021.

The season concludes with the Betfred World Championship in Sheffield, bringing the total number of tournaments in the 2020/21 season to potentially 19 events.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to release a packed calendar for the second half of this season. In these difficult times we are working relentlessly to keep our tour going. We realise the importance of providing competitive opportunities for the players and live snooker for our many millions of viewers globally.

“We will continue to explore all avenues in terms of staging events and providing access for live fans, while keeping health and safety as our top priority.”

In order to align with UK Government social distancing guidelines, the Betway UK Championship first round will now be played at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes from November 23 to 26. The second round onwards will be held at the York Barbican from November 28 to December 6. The decision as to whether an audience will be allowed at the Barbican has not yet been made. WST will inform ticketholders as soon as plans have been finalised.

The seeding cut-off point for this event has been brought forward and now occurs at the end of the BetVictor Championship League on October 30.

CLICK HERE to see where ranking points are added and removed throughout the season.

A limited number of tickets for the 2021 Betfred World Championship are available but selling fast – for details click here.

*All dates and venues are provisional and subject to change, and will comply with Government Covid-19 regulations in each of the host territories.

And here is the calendar

WSTFull ProvCalendar2020:21

And AGAIN, players will have to qualify in the UK for all non UK events. When will that change? When will this UK centric approach be abandoned by a governing body that claims to have ambitions for a GLOBAL sport? Also, suppose that  players do qualify for those Chinese events in March, and later restrictions make travel or actual staging of (some of) the events impossible? What then? There should be no qualifiers unless the event has a tiered structure. If it’s a flat draw it should be played at the tournament location, or close to it, from the last 128 on.

At least this time, the German Masters qualifiers will not be held after the UK Championship when most players are tired and need a break.

One thought on “Full Snooker Calendar announced for 2020/21

  1. It’s more or less what I expected, although I had hoped the UK Championship might be played entirely in York, and open to some public (like me, for instance).

    The 3 weeks in China would potentially allow 3 events back-to-back. My approach would be to hold a best-of-7 tournament, followed by a Shoot-out, followed by a best-of-11 (i.e. China Open). I think it’s important to keep the China Open going because of the high profile and prize fund. It will also be helpful to have a mix of different kinds of events, hence the Shoot-out in the middle. This would only require 4 days, and allow extra time for the China Open matches which are longer. All 128 players could reasonably make the trip, with 3 events to play in, although I’m sure a number wouldn’t go. The high-speed rail links in eastern China make it possible to travel between big cities in a few hours – it would just require a bit of flexibility in match-scheduling. Of course, the biggest issue with all of this is quarantine.

    I don’t see that proposing a Shoot-out in the UK is as reliable, given the way that event is run when in Watford (i.e. crowds, mayhem), although BetVictor might have something to say about that. But it might give Chinese snooker a much-needed boost. If these Chinese events slip away, it’s a huge dent to snooker’s prosperity.

Comments are closed.