On Yee Ng has entered the Asian Q-School in a bid to regain her tour card

Following Bai Yulu’s victory at the WWS 2023 British Open, Ng On Yee has been relegated from the main tour. According to the Hong Kong media, she is determined to try to regain her tour card via the Asia-Oceania Q-School.

Hong Kong’s Ng On-yee not giving up fight to win back World Snooker Tour place, will join Q-school events in Thailand

The Hongkonger has dropped out of the elite circuit after her poor showing at the Landywood British Open last weekendBut the women’s world No 3 will get two chances to grab one of the four WST cards on offer at the qualifying events in June

Mike Chan

Mike Chan

Ng On-yee will try to win her World Snooker Tour place back next month. Photo: WTS

Hong Kong’s Ng On-yee is taking her fight to remain on the World Snooker Tour to Thailand next month, where she will compete in two qualifying tournaments.

The back-to-back Asia and Oceania Q School competitions will run for 12 days in Bangkok, and give a 128 players the opportunity to battle it out for one of four cards up for grabs.

Two finalists from each event will be awarded a spot on the game’s top tier for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

I knew it would not be easy winning the British Open to get back on the tour,” Ng, the women’s world No 3, said. “Especially with all the new young talents like Bai Yulu.

The 32-year-old said she would base herself in the UK “for as much practice as possible, and focusing on my game” ahead of the tournaments, which begin on June 1.

Ng, who reached the final of the UK Championship and Masters of the World Women’s Snooker Tour this season, lost 3-2 to eventual champion Bai in the quarter-finals of the Landywood British Open on Sunday.

That left Ng out of the WST picture for the next two seasons, after she failed to overtake 12-time world champion Reanne Evans in the rankings.

Evans, despite losing 4-3 in a nail-biting final, climbed back to world No 1 and received a new two-year card to the WST, alongside reigning world champion Baipat Siripaporn of Thailand.

Bai Yulu takes the crown at last weekend’s Landywood British Open. Photo: WTS

Alan Wong, a coach at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, believed the days for any women player being “as dominant as before” were over.

The standard of the ladies game has risen by a lot in recent years,” he said. “In terms of skills level, I do not think there is much difference between the top few ladies.

So, it mainly depends on who has a stronger mentality and performs more consistently on the day.”

Ng On-yee in action during the quarter-finals of the Landywood British Open. Photo: WTS

Wong said while he felt Ng’s confidence had dipped in recent months, she would bounce back.

On-yee does lack a bit of confidence at the moment because of some not-so-good performance in the last few ladies’ tournaments,” Wong said. “But that was because she was trying too hard to protect her points to remain in the pro tour.

Now that all is settled and with the burden off her shoulders, I believe she will be able to play her normal game again in the coming events.”

Asia and Oceania Q School events are open only to players who are a resident in either of these regions, and players are not permitted to enter both the Asian and UK events.

Matches are decided by best-of-seven frames and there will be no seeding as players will be drawn randomly to play in the two individual knockout tournaments.

Players falling off the WST from the 2022-23 season, however, will be placed at random in the draw but seeded apart from one another in the opening rounds of the events so that they do not meet before the second round.

I’m glad that On Yee will give the Asia-Oceania Q-School a try. It shows that she wants to be on the main tour by right. It will not be easy though. But at least she’s trying.

Her coach says that her confidence is low. That’s hardly surprising: she won only three matches during her two seasons on the main tour, earning 8500 points, She still did better – significantly better – than Reanne Evans who will stay on tour as Women’s number 1. All the same, they are the two lowest ranked players amongst those in their second year on a tour card and that doesn’t reflect well on “women in snooker”.

Jason Ferguson insists that snooker not being a physical sport, there is no reason for women not being able to compete with men but you have to wonder. There is the obvious: cue power. Cue power is largely a matter of timing but are the person’s height and muscular strength irrelevant? I’m not sure. There are several examples on the tour of Asian players, short in stature, who definitely struggle when it comes to cue power. There is what every parent or teacher will know from observing young children: boys are gifted “on average” with better natural hand eye coordination than girls, and that’s essential in snooker. It’s likely to be the result of dozens of thousands of years of evolution where the men had to be food providers and the hunters. Nature doesn’t evolve as fast as society does nowadays. And of course, it’s a number game: significantly fewer girls than boys are attracted to the game and supported by their family/environment in trying themselves at it.

Jason’s Ferguson’s goal in inviting the best women to play in the main tour is to grow the profile of women in snooker. I’m not sure that it’s been working the way it’s gone over the last two seasons but equally, I’m not sure that the women’s tour is the answer. I really, honestly, do not know what’s best.

A bit of a side note but… I’m currently reading “Unbreakable” and there is one chapter where Ronnie discusses practice and cueing. One thing that surprised me is his affirmation that ” you cue from the hips”. That’s something I never heard before. I’m not sure what exactly he means by that, but one thing I knows for certain is that this is one body “area” where women are definitely built differently from men. Our hips are wider, our pelvis bones more “open” and our ligaments more lax under hormonal influence. That, and of course boobs coming in the way when cueing. Coaches in snooker tend to teach you what the “ideal stance” is – Stephen Hendry being often cited as a model to follow – but I wonder if there ever was any research into finding if this stance is ideal for women as well, given the anatomical differences. We do know that very tall players, like Ricky Walden for instance, had to adopt a different stance to be able to play efficiently. Maybe gender specific differences are worth some research too?

4 thoughts on “On Yee Ng has entered the Asian Q-School in a bid to regain her tour card

  1. Am I only the one wonder why entries of asian qschool draws still not updated?

    • After some search in wst.tv
      Tuesday 16 May 2023 10:03AM
      The entry deadline for 2023 Asia and Oceania Q School has now been extended to Friday May 19th.

      A bit strange the UK qschool entry deadline ends much more earlier(slightly more than a month, Thursday 20 April 2023).

  2. Meanwhile back in China the Haining Open is taking place, which used to be one of the best Pro-Ams, won several times by Mark Selby. Several professionals are in the field, although Lei Peifan and Si Jiahui lost to Liu Hongyu and Pang Junxu lost to Yuan Sijun. Wu Yize had a 143 in a 2nd round win. Other players of note are Zhang Anda, Xu Si, Mei Xiwen and… Luo Honghao. Matches are live on Huya.

  3. Glad On Yee is trying and good luck to her.

    Like I said many times I don’t think the women’s game does any good to the women playing it. Maybe it has improved a little bit now that there are more than just Evans and “the also run”, but it does not feel competitive enough. Now it might be true that even if it is not a physical sport per se, there are innate physical differences that will put women into a disadvantage, but I don’t see how a women’s tour could be a solution for anything. And even though numbers and averages will most likely always favour men, some women, even if in a much lower percentage might emerge and be interesting. Mink certainly impressed at occasions last season. There was an interesting comment on fb in response to what you, Monique posted on Evans’ tourcard: that Bai at the age of 19 has the kind of game 16-year old guys have. Well, slower development and lower percentage can be one of the gender differences. I would like to see if these young and certainly ambitious women are able to do anything, or it becomes a failed experiment. So far it is not working well, that much is obvious, but like it was said before, inviting the “best women” on the women’s tour, may not mean the best woman fit for the main tour and while I’m happy that some inroads were made for women, it is unfortunate that some of the selections does not reflect well on them.

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