Tour News – the 2021/22 season tour players.

WPBSA has published the list of snooker professionals for this season:

Tour Players 2021/22

The final list of players who will compete on the World Snooker Tour during the 2021/22 season is now confirmed

Due to the non-staging of several international amateur competitions holding tour qualification status over the past 12 months, there will be 122 professional players on tour. Remaining places at events will be topped up via the Q School Order of Merit, or with local wild cards for certain events such as the Home Nations Series, as in previous years.

These amateur tournaments will be rescheduled over the coming months, with places available on the tour for the successful players in time for the 2022/23 season.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “It is unfortunate that we have not been able to stage major international amateur events such as the World Snooker Federation Open and Junior Open over the past year due to the global pandemic. In the past, these events have seen young players such as Iulian Boiko, Luo Honghao, Ashley Hugill, Jackson Page, Aaron Hill, Gao Yang and many others show their promise and earn places on the professional tour.

“We are fully committed to bringing these events back as soon as it is feasible, bringing talented young players from many countries around the globe together to compete, and giving them a gateway to professional status. Internationally, in a vast number of territories across the planet, our sport is in a strong position in terms of participation and emerging talent, despite the challenges we have faced.

“The World Snooker Tour now has 122 exceptional players with a standard we have never seen before. And the leading Q School players who did not earn a card fully deserve the opportunity to compete in ranking events to top up the draws.”

The Top 64 (64)

These players finished inside the top 64 of the official world ranking list at the end of last season and so will retain their places on the circuit, with a one-yearcard.

End of season rankings:

  1. Judd Trump
  2. Mark Selby
  3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
  4. Neil Robertson
  5. Shaun Murphy
  6. Kyren Wilson
  7. John Higgins
  8. Ding Junhui
  9. Stephen Maguire
  10. Yan Bingtao
  11. Mark Williams
  12. Mark Allen
  13. Barry Hawkins
  14. Jack Lisowski
  15. Stuart Bingham
  16. Anthony McGill
  17. Zhou Yuelong
  18. Graeme Dott
  19. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  20. Joe Perry
  21. Kurt Maflin
  22. Tom Ford
  23. David Gilbert
  24. Ali Carter
  25. Martin Gould
  26. Zhao Xintong
  27. Liang Wenbo
  28. Ryan Day
  29. Xiao Guodong
  30. Matt Selt
  31. Michael Holt
  32. Ricky Walden
  33. Gary Wilson
  34. Scott Donaldson
  35. Lu Ning
  36. Matthew Stevens
  37. Robert Milkins
  38. Li Hang
  39. Luca Brecel
  40. Jordan Brown
  41. Hossein Vafaei
  42. Mark Joyce
  43. Liam Highfield
  44. Noppon Saengkham
  45. Alexander Ursenbacher
  46. Ben Woollaston
  47. Stuart Carrington
  48. Martin O’Donnell
  49. Mark Davis
  50. Elliot Slessor
  51. Sam Craigie
  52. Mark King
  53. Lyu Haotian
  54. Anthony Hamilton
  55. Jamie Jones
  56. Andrew Higginson
  57. Sunny Akani
  58. Tian Pengfei
  59. David Grace
  60. Chris Wakelin
  61. Dominic Dale
  62. Joe O’Connor
  63. Jimmy Robertson
  64. Nigel Bond

The Two-Year Cards (27)

These players competed on the main tour in 2020/21 and will start the 2021/22 season on the second year of their two-year tour cards.

  • Jak Jones
  • Pang Junxu
  • Jamie Clarke
  • Robbie Williams
  • Steven Hallworth
  • Ashley Carty
  • Simon Lichtenberg
  • Oliver Lines
  • Zhao Jianbo
  • Ken Doherty
  • Gao Yang
  • Fergal O’Brien
  • Rory McLeod
  • Allan Taylor
  • Aaron Hill
  • Lukas Kleckers
  • Ashley Hugill
  • Peter Devlin
  • Jamie Wilson
  • Ben Hancorn
  • Lee Walker
  • Fan Zhengyi
  • Zak Surety
  • Stephen Hendry
  • Farakh Ajaib
  • Iulian Boiko
  • Sean Maddocks

The Top Eight (One-Year Ranking list) (8)

The top eight players on the 2020/21 one-year ranking list, not already inside of the top 64 of the two-year ranking list or on the first year of a two-year card. They receive a fresh two-year tour card, starting on zero ranking points.

  1. Chang Bingyu
  2. Igor Figueiredo
  3. Xu Si
  4. Louis Heathcote
  5. Chen Zifan
  6. Jamie O’Neill
  7. Andy Hicks
  8. Gerard Greene

Q School (14)

A further 14 will be promoted from the Q School and again they will receive atwo-year tour card.

  • Jackson Page (Q School Event One semi-finalist)
  • Yuan Sijun (Q School Event One semi-finalist)
  • Peter Lines (Q School Event One semi-finalist)
  • Fraser Patrick (Q School Event One semi-finalist)
  • Michael Judge (Q School Event Two semi-finalist)
  • Alfie Burden (Q School Event Two semi-finalist)
  • Barry Pinches (Q School Event Two semi-finalist)
  • Craig Steadman (Q School Event Two semi-finalist)
  • Duane Jones (Q School Event Three semi-finalist)
  • Dean Young (Q School Event Three semi-finalist)
  • Ian Burns (Q School Event Three semi-finalist)
  • Lei Peifan (Q School Event Three semi-finalist)
  • Hammad Miah (Q School OOM)
  • Mitchell Mann (Q School OOM)

China Tour Qualifiers (4)

Four players have qualified via the CBSA China Tour. They earn a fresh two-year tour cards.

  1. Wu Yize
  2. Zhang Jiankang
  3. Cao Yupeng
  4. Zhang Anda

World Women’s Snooker Tour (2)

The top two players from the World Women’s Snooker Tour rankings will be awarded a two-year card.

  • Reanne Evans (No.1 Ranked)
  • Ng On Yee (No.2 Ranked)

Deferred Tour Card (1)

Andrew Pagett was due to join the tour for the 2020/21 season but this was deferred on medical grounds. He will begin a two-year card.

  • Andrew Pagett

Invitational Tour Cards (2)

Two players have been awarded a new two-year Invitational Tour Card for the upcoming season.

  • Marco Fu
  • Jimmy White

This is the link to the current Q-School Order of Merit

The part I put in bold in bold in the above quotes means that Sanderson Lam, Michael Georgiou, Si Jiahui, Soheil Vahedi, Michael White and David Lilley will have the opportunity to play in most events, maybe even all of them. They are handed what is effectively the equivalent of a one year tour card, without the pressure to defend their ranking. For some of them – and I’m thinking Si Jiahui, Soheil Vahedi and Michael White – this might be even better than a return to full pro status. They will have opportunities to play, and earn, with less pressure and should come into the next Q-School with the best possible preparation. They may even not need the Q-School if they do really well during the season.

WST have been speaking to Sandy Lam and to Michael Georgiou. They have also interviewed three Chinese pros ahead of the season: Zhou Yuelong, Zhao Xintong and Tian Pengfei.

All interviews are interesting and well worth the read. Michael, Zhou, Zhao and Tian all speak about some of the additional problems and difficulties oversea’s players have to face. The UK centric structure of the snooker pro tour puts them at a diadvantage at the best of times; the covid-19 crisis, the lockdown and the travel restrictions have magnified the issues big time.



10 thoughts on “Tour News – the 2021/22 season tour players.

  1. It is all very nice not to have pressure to accumulate points and still participate in the tour and earn, but it is different if you are British and if you are not: so what does it mean for people like Soheil Vahedi and their visa situation? It’d be terrible if they had made home, wife and child is here and they had to go because Vahedi does not have a tour card and therefore no job and no work-visa…

    • Not always but in most. I can’t remember having more than two wilcards in any event and unless all but at most one pro enter the event – which is exceptional – the 6 will always have the opportunity to play

  2. That’s assuming Si Jiahui and Soheil Vahedi will be able to compete in the UK. Of course, if they were given a 1-year tour card, then they would be able to stay. Michael Georgiou has moved back to England, giving up on the idea of trying to develop the game overseas whilst still having professional ambitions himself.

    The WST interviews are as always very welcome. It shows that media and broadcasters are actually missing out on some interesting stories and issues. But of course they feel under pressure to report exclusively on the big names.

    One added side-effect of the Summer Championship League is that several of the Chinese players will wait until the British Open (16th August), rather than coming back one month earlier for probably just 1 day’s live play with few ‘ranking points’ on offer. I also wonder if all of the top players will choose to play. It’s likely players in the 20’s of the Q School Order of Merit will be involved in that tournament.

    With the wrecking of the Home Nations tournaments, I’m not sure if I’ll be attending any live snooker this season. My preference would be some of the qualifiers in Barnsley, but even if they are open to the public, 4 tables is a much less attractive set-up.

    • Lewis do you know something I don’t? You seem absolutely certain that there will be just 4 tables at qualifiers and the venue and that this is why they have the qualifiers in the first place. Is there no possibility of a longer format? A return to best of 9, maybe without interval as this seems to be an issue for the broadcasters at times? And with the top 16 being held-over at the main venue, the lower ranked players who draw them will be on telly. The others wouldn’t be on it anyway.

      • The number of days allocated makes it pretty clear they are looking to use 4 tables in almost all the events, except of course the UK Championship and World Championship qualifiers. I think there is one group of qualifiers where they may need more (the best-of-9 German Masters). But for example, the English Open has 4 days of qualifiers for 48 matches, and then the main event is 7 days for 79 matches. It can only be 4 tables with the L16 and Q-finals played on Friday. They have actually been quite clever to maintain flexibility to keep open the possibility of additional tournaments. That’s why I was previously wrong to assume all the Home Nations qualifiers would be player back-to-back in August.

        People often speculate about increasing lengths of matches, usually regarding the UK Championship. This is nonsense – where have matches been increased? The trend is quite the opposite.

        Having only 4 tables has advantages. More venues are suitable, the installation and maintenance of the tables is much quicker and requires fewer staff. Also, by having qualifiers last for two extra days increases the number of days’ play per season, a metric which they have been keen to promote. I am extremely unusual in that I actually like 8-table set-ups and watching players on outside tables. The 4 tables avoids these often unwatched matches. It’s a big blow to me that the Home Nations tournaments, which used to be inclusive, are now fractured. The qualifiers will be played in Barnsley and Leicester. Only the British Open will feature all players in the same venue. It provides a ‘nupty-free zone’ to satify Ronnie and the other top players, who call the tune.

      • If you are right, will probably also increase the proportion of matches showed on streaming/TV which would be good. You know my stance: there should be NO qualifiers at all and all events should be played entirely, in one go, at or near the final venue. I know that it’s not going to happen any time soon. WST is far too close to the UK snooker bodies, far too UK centric to go that route.

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