A bit “en vrac” this… whilst they finish the rigging in Belfast (hopefully it’s almost finished by now)
On Yee Ng is finally on her way to the UK … safe trip On Yee!
Sheffield to Host 2022 World Snooker Federation Championships
The World Snooker Federation (WSF) is today delighted to announce the staging of the 2022 WSF Championships next February with two prestigious international tournaments set to offer direct access to the World Snooker Tour (WST).
The WSF working in partnership with the WPBSA, snooker’s world governing body, is now set to deliver the most significant amateur competitions held globally in our sport. This season’s event will again include the WSF Junior Championship (Under-18) previously won by China’s Gao Yang and the return of the WSF Championship, last won by England’s Ashley Hugill in 2020.
For the first time, the WSF Championships will be held in Sheffield, considered the spiritual home of snooker globally from 15-28 February 2022. The host venue for the tournament will be the state-of-the-art Ding Junhui Snooker Academy, with additional support provided by Victoria Snooker Academy as the host practice venue.
Both tournaments will once again be open to players of all nationalities and genders, with the winner of each to earn a two-year professional Tour card from the start of the 2022/23 season. Additional opportunities will be earned during the events where places will become available at the World Professional Snooker Championships.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “We are today thrilled to be able to announce the return of the WSF Championships for 2022 as we look to build upon our successful 2020 event in Malta.
“The city of Sheffield is a location synonymous with the rich history of our sport and there can be no greater inspiration for the players who will be competing from all over the world than the sight of the iconic Crucible Theatre nearby.
“In particular, we are delighted to be able to work with two world class snooker facilities, which are both regularly used by some of the world’s leading players on the World Snooker Tour. Together with our city partners with whom we have worked with for many years, we are extremely excited to be able to deliver a fantastic snooker event for all amateur players.
“Our aim at the WSF is to provide more opportunity for players with the ambition to achieve their dreams.”
Entry for both tournaments will be made through WPBSA SnookerScores with further information to be released in due course.
The good news of course is that it’s happening. It’s good to have more amateur snooker back, Sheffield is a great place and those two academies are top class facilities. But … it’s in England, and once again it will be easier, less costsly, less travel hassle, and no administrative paper work for the British players. I do hope that this is only because of the ongoing crisis, because organising events in the UK is easier at the moment for those in charge, and that the trend will not continue in coming year, but this choice of location is only reinforcing the already existing “UK bias”. Remember guys … W in your acronym stands for “World”.
WST has already announced Jamie O’Neill withdrawal from the 2021 Northern Ireland Open. Their livescores pages show that Tom Ford has withdrawn as well. Mark Williams, on the other hand, is still scheduled to play.
Finally … I’m not expecting anything from this tournament. The top 16 seeds will all be “rusty” as they haven’t played competitively for a long time. It’s hard to predict anything.
Judd Trump seems to have the easiest “quarter”, with the notoriously volatile Maguire and Mark Allen who has a terrible record in his “home” tournament.
In the second quarter, there is a real opportunity for either Shaun Murphy or Stuart Bingham as Neil Robertson hasn’t played at all competitively since the World Championship and had other things on his mind… including the small matter of getting married.
Ronnie hasn’t an easy draw: both Stuart Carrington and Andy Hicks are the kind that could cause him problems in the early rounds. Yan Bingtao, Ali Carter and Kyren Wilson are in that quarter as well.
The last quarter is probably the hardest of all, featuring Mark Selby and John Higgins as well as the two men who have won the first two events of the season, David Gilbert and Mark Williams (if he’s able to walk …).