New WST Pro Series Added To Snooker Calendar
The WST Pro Series, a brand new ranking event with an innovative format, has been added to the WST 2020/21 calendar and will take place between January and March next year.
The tournament will feature 128 players split into 16 groups of eight, competing in a round robin format. The 16 group winners go into two further groups of eight, with those two group winners to contest the final. All matches will be best of three frames.
The event will be staged in three phases
Groups one to seven: January 18-24
Groups eight to 16: March 9-17
Final stages: March 18-19 OR March 20-21
The WST Pro Series will have total prize money in excess of £300,000, and the winner will earn a place in the 2021 Champion of Champions.
The 2021 Championship League has also been added to the WST calendar for the second half of the current season. This will be a non-ranking event promoted by Matchroom Multi-Sport.
Due to travel restrictions and government quarantine rules, WST cannot stage any events in China this season.
WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to announce our updated calendar for the remainder of the 2020/21 season. Between January and May we will have ten tournaments, and in a spell of 121 days we have 109 days of scheduled live snooker. This is absolutely fantastic for the fans around the globe who have a relentless appetite for watching our sport on television and online, as well as the players who will be kept extremely busy competing for titles and prize money.
“I believe that snooker has adapted to the challenges posed by the current climate better than any other sport. In 2020 we will stage a total of 20 events, and this announcement keeps that momentum going into 2021.
“I am particularly pleased to reveal plans for the new WST Pro Series with an exciting format. In the group phase, players will have to contest seven matches in a single day so it will be a test of skill and stamina. This will be a ranking event so that all 128 tour players have the chance to battle for the inaugural WST Pro Series title.”
Venues for these new events will be announced in due course, as well as broadcast details.
WST 2021 updated calendar
3–9 Championship League Stage One. Venue TBC
10-17 The Masters. Alexandra Palace, London
18-24 WST Pro Series rounds 1-7. Venue TBC
27-31 German Masters. Venue TBC
4-7 Shoot Out. Venue TBC
8-14 Championship League Stage Two. Venue TBC
15-21 Welsh Open. Venue TBC
22-28 Players Championship. Venue TBC
1-7 Gibraltar Open. Venue TBC
9-17 WST Pro Series rounds 8 – 16. Venue TBC
18-19 or 20-21 WST Pro Series final stages. Venue TBC
22-28 Tour Championship. Venue TBC
29-April 4 Championship League Stage Three. Venue TBC
7-14 Qualifiers: Betfred World Championship. English Institute of Sport – Sheffield
17-3 May Betfred World Championship. Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
I’m not sure that the Pro Series will thrill the top players so much, but I do believe that it will be good for the lower ranked players, the younger ones in particular. Even if those are very short matches, and it’s just one day, it’s playing against seven different opponents, each proposing a different challenge.