Snooker News – 06.05.2022

Slowly but surely we are heading to the 2022/23 season and here are some relevant news, published in previous days/weeks

WST extends the BBC broadcast deal to 2027

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.”

New format for the 2022 Cazoo British Open

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.

WST has also published the draws for the Q-Schools

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.

Click here for the Event One draw

Click here for the Event Two draw

Click here for the Event Three draw

Click here for the format

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.

Q School

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.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ONLINE ENTRY SYSTEM

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.

Click here for the entry pack

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!”

Thai media covering the new announcement

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.”

The Q-Tour play-offs will start in 4 days… this was the previously WPBSA published information

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.

The Q-Tour play-offs draw is now available on snooker.org

2 thoughts on “Snooker News – 06.05.2022

  1. The British Open dates are 9-14 Aug (qualifiers) and then the main event starts 26 Sept. So under the structure outlined, all players will have to participate in the qualifiers, with the scrambled draw. That’s not going to happen of course. What’s going to happen is that the top players will have their matches held over to 26 Sept – they won’t market an event with their ‘big name’ players if there’s the chance that some won’t be there. But this is not detailed in the announcement.

    I’m not saying WST are dishonest, but they have neglected to provide the full details. Those of us who actually care about some of the other players have been given inaccurate information, yet again.

    It was a surprise to me that all the relegated Asian players, plus some new arrivals from China, Thailand and India, have entered the UK Q School, which will be considerably tougher than the equivalent in Bangkok. There won’t be any newly relegated pros in Bangkok, and there are only a few ex-pros who are likely to be there. A return for Passakorn Suwannawat perhaps? Anyway, it must be questionable whether those players will be able to obtain funding to even get here. This Asian Q School venture doesn’t look too good…

    In total, 21 out of 25 relegated players have entered: Hendry and Doherty have been awarded a free pass, Bond and Lichtenberg have retired. Simon Lichtenberg seems to have followed the same path as Stefanov and Filipiak. If only the German Masters had been a bit more progressive, Lichtenberg might have played 4 times at the Tempodrom, in his home city, which might have helped promote the game in Germany and attract some sponsorship which could have helped him. Now, German snooker depends on Lukas Kleckers making it through QS, and he has a very tough draw. On the other hand, many elder British players have once again joined in, and may get lucky.

    In fact, as usual, the Q School draws are very unbalanced. There’s one section where the only ex-pros are Surety, Ajaib, Walker and Sharav. Other sections contain over a dozen, with several very strong contenders. A few players, such as Sunny Akani, have a very bad draw. This, with best-of-7 matches in a manic schedule, means we won’t get the best set of qualifiers, and there will be some very good players who don’t make it, their careers wrecked.

    I’ve outlined before a considerably fairer, cheaper, more inclusive system for Q School. But it’s clear WST aren’t able to get their heads around such concepts…

    • I’m not so sure that WST can’t get their head around the concept, but they certainly believe that most fans can’t. They are probably right BTW. Also, that concept won’t please the bookies because it takes their customers out of their usual patterns and comfort zone. Although WST seems to be seriously looking for alternatives to the bookies, snooker, and sport in general, still rely on them a great deal.

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