Slowly but surely we are heading to the 2022/23 season and here are some relevant news, published in previous days/weeks
World Snooker Tour Extends BBC Broadcast Deal To 2027
Snooker’s biggest tournaments will continue to be broadcast by BBC for another five years following an extension to the current agreement with WST.
The World Championship, UK Championship and the Masters will receive comprehensive live BBC television coverage and online streaming until 2027, bringing the sport to many millions of fans across the UK.
The current agreement originally ran until the end of the 2023/24 season but has been extended by a further three years.
The World Championship, snooker’s biggest event, is currently underway at the famous Crucible in Sheffield and runs for 17 days each Spring. Last year’s final attracted a peak audience of 4 million. The UK Championship takes place in York in November while the Masters, with an elite 16-man field, is staged at Alexandra Palace, London in January. Collectively the three events are known as the Triple Crown Series.
WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “Extending this partnership demonstrates what a successful relationship we have built with the BBC over a period of more than 50 years. Our relationship allows us to tap into the huge reach that only the BBC can deliver while providing world class sporting drama to BBC audiences. Snooker belongs on the BBC and it’s important for our sport to be seen by a massive audience throughout the UK. Millions of people enjoy snooker’s biggest events on the BBC and the quality of their production is outstanding. BBC’s coverage is an integral part of the rich history which surrounds our Triple Crown tournaments.”
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport said: “It’s wonderful news for snooker fans across the UK that the Triple Crown events will remain free-to-air. We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with WST and delighted to see it continue to 2027.”
Cazoo To Sponsor Snooker’s British Open
Cazoo, Europe’s leading online car retailer, which makes ordering a car as simple and seamless as buying any other product online today, is expanding its snooker partnership with the World Snooker Tour to become the main sponsor of the British Open for the first time.
The 2022 Cazoo British Open will run from September 26th to October 2nd at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and will see prominent Cazoo branding on the main set, players’ waistcoats and interview and media conference backdrops and will have extensive live coverage on ITV and a range of broadcasters across the globe.
This deal extends Cazoo’s portfolio of prestigious snooker sponsorships, which also includes the Cazoo Masters, Cazoo UK Championship, Cazoo Champion of Champions and the trio of Cazoo Series events.
Cazoo is now one of the biggest sports sponsors in the UK with a portfolio that includes football (Everton, Aston Villa & the EFL), cricket (The Hundred), rugby (Welsh Rugby Union & 2021 Rugby League World Cup), golf (European Tour), horse racing (Epsom Derby & St Leger) and darts (PDC). Cazoo will also sponsor Spanish LaLiga football teams Real Sociedad and Valencia FC and French Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille, from the start of next season.
Cazoo was founded in 2018 by renowned British entrepreneur Alex Chesterman and has already sold over 60,000 cars in the UK since its launch as consumers have embraced the selection, value, transparency and convenience of buying and selling used cars fully online. Cazoo has grown its team to over 4,250 across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Snooker’s British Open was first staged in 1985 and remained on the calendar until 2004, then returned in 2021 after a 17-year gap. Mark Williams is the defending champion having beaten Gary Wilson 6-4 in the final in Leicester.
It’s the only tournament on the WST circuit to include a random ‘FA Cup style’ draw for each round. Last year, matches in the early rounds were the best of five frames, but this year that has been increased to best of seven for the early rounds, best of nine for the quarter-finals, best of 11 for the semis and best of 19 for the showpiece final on Sunday October 2nd.
Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo said: “We’re excited to extend our partnership with WST and Matchroom to include the 2022 Cazoo British Open. This deal will grow our audience as we continue to build Cazoo into a household brand and deliver the best car buying and selling experience across the UK and Europe.”
Steve Dawson, Chairman of WST said: “We are thrilled to join forces once again with Cazoo for the fantastic British Open which proved a great success when we brought it back on to the calendar last season. Cazoo have an outstanding set of snooker properties across the season, bringing massive global exposure for their brand. With extensive free to air coverage on ITV and the best players in the world competing for the title, the Cazoo British Open will once again reach a vast audience of snooker fans. We are excited to work with the Cazoo team on building this far-reaching partnership.”
It’s good to see another tournament getting out of the “bookies sphere”. It’s also great to se that the matches will be slightly longer next season. I hope this is only the start of a trend. The 2022 World Championship has amply demonstrated the value of longer matches when it comes to tension, drama and spectacle, and the fans have responded very positively.
Q School Draws
The draws and formats for all three 2022 Q School events are now available. The event will run from May 16 to June 2 at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
There will be three tournaments, with the four semi-finalists in each to receive tour cards, so 12 players will graduate to the main circuit.
It’s a strong line up with the likes of Michael Holt, Fergal O’Brien, Kurt Maflin, Martin O’Donnell and James Cahill in the field.
To read more about Q School and the new Asian Q School, click here.
These are the infos previously published about the Asian Q-School aand linked above.
Snooker’s first ever Asia-Oceania Q School will take place later this year, giving new opportunities for the most talented players in those regions to graduate to the professional tour.
Asia-Oceania Q School 2022 will take place in Bangkok, starting on June 1st . Two tournaments will be staged, with the finalists from both to earn a two-year card to the World Snooker Tour. So in total four players will be awarded a place on the professional circuit for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons.
The event will be open to anyone who is resident in Asia and Oceania, with an entry fee of £400.
Meanwhile, a separate Q School event will be staged at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, open to anyone in the world. There will be three tournaments, with the four semi-finalists in each to receive tour cards, so 12 players will graduate to the main circuit.
It will run from May 16th to June 5th (subject to the number of entries) with an entry fee of £1,000.
Closing date: Wednesday 13 April 2022, at 12 noon. Please enter via the tournament online entry system and by logging on using your unique username and password.
Players cannot enter both Q School events. Details of how to enter the Asia-Oceania Q School will follow soon.
WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “This is a very significant moment in terms of providing opportunities for the best talent in key growth regions to qualify for the elite World Snooker Tour.
“Q School has been running since 2011 but for the first time now we are staging a Q School event in Asia. Snooker is not a UK sport, it is a completely inclusive sport which belongs to the world, and it is so important to provide development pathways for all young players.
“We are thrilled to be working with our partners in Thailand on Asia-Oceania Q School, especially as they have a long history of hosting successful tournaments. Snooker has huge popularity in this region, and while we already have many successful players from China, Thailand and Australia competing on the pro tour, there is undoubtedly a vast talent pool of cueists who will welcome this opportunity. I am sure that the standard of play at the Q School event in Bangkok will be incredibly high.
“Equally, we are delighted to stage Q School in the UK for the 12th consecutive year as it is the best and fairest route to qualification for the tour. Over the years we have seen many players come through that system and go on to reach the world’s top 16 and win tournaments.
“This a fantastic time for young player to turn professional as our sport looks towards an exciting future. Wherever you are in the world, it’s time to prepare for Q School 2022!”
Mr. Suntorn Jarumon, President of Billiard Sports Association of Thailand, said: “We are absolutely delighted that WST and WPBSA have given us the opportunity to be the host country for this first ever Asia-Oceania Q School Event. This will enhance the chance of young players in these regions to earn the spots for the main tour without having to travel all the way to UK and can also save a lot of expenses in doing so. I strongly encourage players who have always dreamed of becoming professional to take this golden opportunity to earn their tour card right here in Thailand for the next two seasons. We will be looking forward to seeing you soon.”
WPBSA Q Tour – Play-Offs Information
The 2021/22 WPBSA Q Tour Play-Offs will run from 10-11 May 2022 at the Q House Snooker Academy in Darlington, with the winner to earn a two-year card on the World Snooker Tour.
The event will see the 16 highest ranked players, excluding already qualified World Snooker Federation Champion Si Jiahui and Sean O’Sullivan, compete for the right to turn professional from the start of next season.
Matches will be played on eight Xing Pai tables at the fantastic Q House Snooker Academy, which will host a WPBSA sanctioned tournament for the first time.
Two rounds will be played during each day, with session times provisionally scheduled for 10:00am and 1:00pm. All matches up to and including the semi-finals will be the best of seven frames, with the final played over the best of nine.
The draw will be fully seeded, based upon the final Q Tour Rankings. For the avoidance of doubt, the final position has been won by Hamim Hussain on countback following his run to the quarter-finals of Event 4 earlier this month.
All qualified players have already been contacted via their registered email address and are required to confirm their participation in the play-offs by no later than 4:30pm on Friday 15th April.