WPBSA Rules Committee Statement Regarding Yesterday’s Incident

Following yesterday’s incident in the Allen v Hickx match, the WPBSA Rules Committee has published this statement:

Statement by the WPBSA Rules Committee on the incident during the Mark Allen – Andy Hicks match at the 19.com Scottish Open on December 10, 2019.

Multiple Rules were involved in the incident; Section 3 Rule 10 (Fouls) states that “If a foul is committed, the referee shall immediately call FOUL.”

Under paragraph (c) it states that “If a foul is neither awarded by the referee, nor successfully claimed by the non-striker before the next stroke is made, it is condoned.”

Paragraph (i) states: “If a striker fouls any ball including the cue-ball prior to striking it, the appropriate penalty will be imposed.”

According to these Rules, it could be assumed that once the stroke was made, the feathering of the cue-ball is condoned, and no further action must be taken.

However, the Rule was not made for situations like these. Let’s be honest, if striking the cue-ball directly after feathering will condone the infringement then it may become common practice because there simply may not be enough time for the referee, or the non-striker, to react.

Therefore, Section 5 (The Officials) of the Rulebook comes into operation.

Rule 1 (The Referee) paragraph (a)(i) states that the referee shall “make decisions in the interest of fair play for any situations not covered adequately by these Rules.”

Paragraph (c) states: “If the referee has failed to notice any incident, they may at their discretion take the evidence of the marker……or, if available, they may view a camera/video recording of the incident to assist their decision.”

Rule 2 (The Marker) states that “the marker shall……assist the referee in carrying out their duties.”

The marker was made aware, through his headset, by the broadcaster that an incident had occurred and therefore made the decision to notify the referee before the incoming player played his next stroke. The referee then stopped play to review the incident and felt that, in the interest of fair play, the feathering of the cue-ball was part of the striker’s action to execute the stroke and therefore made the decision to penalise the striker for the infringement. The referee then decided that the incoming player had the usual options after a foul.

The WPBSA Rules Committee has decided that the whole incident was correctly handled by both the referee and the marker.

The Committee would also like to stress that in no way, shape or form it was assumed that the action of the striker was wilfully unfair. It was just an unfortunate incident that required a Ruling based on fair play.

No further statements on the matter will be made.

This is a very clear and useful explanation about the situation and the rationale behind the way it was dealt with. As a fan of the sport, I really appreciate the Committte’s efforts to clarify the rules involved and the solution that was found by the referees in order to be fair to both players. Thank you.

Arbroath Nights of 1000 Centuries – 22/23 November 2019


22 November 2019

For what transpired it was a very good exhibition and Ronnie played really well.

Jason Francis on twitter:

Thank you @shotz147 great night with @ronnieo147

3 centuries and one of the best 79 clearances you’ll see… more of the same tomorrow we hope

And a few images shared by the fans

23 November 2019

Ahead of the show, Ronnie posted this on Facebook:

Looking forward to tonight with JV, jason and marc and Ryan
4 smokies done so far…

Earlier this week he had posted

Want to take me on Friday and Saturday? Bring smokies and we will play for them

Good to see the Scottish fans taking him to his word!

This is Jason’s report on twitter after the second nigth, another great one…

Sneaky 142 tonight and 2 other centuries. Thanks to @shotz147

The “victim” of the 142 wasn’t too dispirited. He tweeted this 

It’s not every day you get to meet one of your heroes. Even played a frame with @ronnieo147: he broke off and I played what I thought was a decent safety shot… then he cleared up with a 142 break! Still a night I’ll never forget.

And pictures shared by the fans:

And maybe Csilla can tell us more…

Also this short video popped up on youtube:

Arbroath itself is a lovely place, and not just because of the smokies…

Here are some pictures albums from three weeks ago

Walking around Arbroath harbour

Arbroath old Benedictine Abbey

The coastal trail between Arbroath and Auchmithie – sspectacular sceneries

Meet Ross Bulman, Ronnie’s next opponent.

Ross Bulman from Ireland is only 18 and had some really good results during the last Q-school. He’s now been invited to play in the UK Championship and his opponent is none other than the defending champion, Ronnie.

Ross was interviewed by the Irish press

Youghal snooker sensation Ross Bulman ready to face his hero Ronnie O’Sullivan

YOUGHAL snooker prodigy Ross Bulman is ready to take on one of the greatest players of all-time in the UK Championship.

Ross Bulman

The 18-year-old faces Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Barbican Centre in York next Thursday in his second professional tournament, the toughest of tests. Still an amateur, Bulman pulled off an upset at the Northern Ireland Open recently by beating Zhang Jiankang, world number 89.

“Playing in Belfast in the Northern Ireland Open was a great achievement and just playing in the event was brilliant. To win in my opening match was unreal.

“I had been waiting for that for a long, long time. I felt I played well against Joe Perry in my second match and with a bit of luck, it could have gone 3-3 and anything could have happened after that.”

He found out earlier this week he’d be facing the iconic Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“I was at home after having a few frames in my club at Youghal CYMS and got an email from World Snooker. I looked at the draw and kept scrolling down for my name, then I looked at the top and saw it was actually me and Ronnie. I couldn’t believe it. Inside 20 minutes the whole town knew!”

Ronnie O’Sullivan has always been Bulman’s idol.

“It will be a packed-out arena and that will be a new experience. Hopefully I can play well and get a few frames.

“Ronnie is probably the best player ever to pick up a cue, but I have to just play my own game. I am not going to change anything much. I will concentrate on the game ball by ball, frame by frame and hopefully I can play a bit well anyway, so let’s see what happens.”

The local support for Bulman means a lot to the Youghal native.

“I’m thankful to my family, my club Youghal CYMS, and my sponsor Bertie’s Bar with Paul and Carmel. In Belfast, I wasn’t in the main arena so this will be in the main venue and that is really exciting for me. I am practicing six to eight hours a day and getting this match is going to help my confidence a lot for the future.”

The young man can play – his results in the Q-school prove that; he reached the QF in Event 1 and the last 16 in Event 3  – and comes across as quite level-headed. He is coming to York with the right attitude.

Snooker news – 26 October 2019

So … some updates on the events mentioned yesterday

Michael Judge, from Dublin, Ireland, has beaten Jimmy White by 4-2 in the final to become the 2019 Seniors UK Champion.

Michael Judge WSS UK Champ 2019

Congratulations Michael !

You can read all about it here:

Day 1 in Hull in Pictures

Day 2 in Hull in Pictures

Thepchaiya Un-nooh has won the Haining Open, beating Li Hang in the Final


Congratulations Thepchaiya!

All the results are available on snooker.org

Meanwhile, some players went back to school

Jackson Page and Elliot Slessor were among players who visited Ziwei Primary School in Haining during the China Billiards and Snooker Association tournament this week.

The two British stars were joined by Chinese potters Zhao Xintong and Bai Yulu, along with Jason Ferguson and Nigel Mawer of the WPBSA.

They played snooker with ten students in grades three and four, before meeting the school’s Headmaster.

Ziwei Primary School was established in 1906 and is renowned for extracurricular sports activity. It has a snooker course which has given coaching to more than 300 students. Coaches from the Haining Billiards and Snooker Association visit the school twice every week to develop the technical skills of young players.


It’s nice to see a female player involved for once. After all there are about the same number of girls and boys in primary school, kit’s important to break the “snooker = male only” image. Bai Yulu (center) plays in CBSA events along the men. She’s only 16 and a very promosing prospect.

Snooker news – 25.10.2019

First … Ronnie has arrived in China. He shared this video on twitter:

My guess is that this is Shanghai.

The Championship League Groups 3 and 4 were played earlier this week with Gary Wilson beating Kyren Wilson to win the first one, and Scott Donaldson beating Graeme Dott to win the second. Group 4 was very eventful, with several match incidents involving Matt Selt triggering a lot of social media activity – at this time I’m still not sure what this was all about – and Scott Donaldson becoming ill and then recovering enough to win the thing.

Group 3 results (snooker.org)

Group 4 results (snooker.org)

The WSS ROKiT Phones.com UK Championship is underway in Hull 

This is my “report on Day 1 in Pictures”




Snooker News – 22.10.2019

More happened last week than just the English Open.

The Women’s Tour was in Australia where Mink (Nucharut Wongharuthai), still only 19, won her first ranking event, beating On Yee Ng by 4-2 in the final.

Here is WPBSA report

Maximum Mink Wins First Ranking Title

20th October 2019

Nutcharut Wongharuthai has defeated Ng On Yee 4-2 in the final of the Australian Women’s Open to capture her first-ever ranking event title on Sunday.

View tournament information

Held for a second time at the Mounties venue in Sydney, Australia, following last year’s inaugural event, the competition saw 24 players battle it out to become champion across four days of hard-fought action.

It would be the top two seeded players who would make it through to the showpiece match, Thailand’s Wongharuthai ominously doing so for the loss of no frames, while defending champion On Yee made it back-to-back finals in Sydney with victories against Jessica Woods and So Man Yan in the latter rounds.

Contested over the best of seven frames, the final saw 19-year-old Wongharuthai make the faster start by moving into a 2-0 lead, before former world number one On Yee hit back with a run of 70 to get herself off the mark. Mink, as Wongharuthai is also commonly known, took the fourth frame to restore her two-frame advantage, only for On Yee to again close the gap with a second 70 break to stay in the match.

Wongharuthai was not to be denied however, runs of 38 and 37 in the sixth and ultimately final frame proving enough for her to claim glory for the first time on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

Victory for the Thai star adds to a career-best year which has already seen her reach her first World Championship final and become the first woman to make a verified 147 break back in March. She is now also guaranteed to climb to a new career-high ranking of number three, overtaking Rebecca Kenna who did not compete in Australia.

Wongharuthai’s success also represents the first ranking event win for a player other than On Yee or Reanne Evans on the circuit since Maria Catalano claimed victory at the Connie Gough Trophy back in February 2017 and the Thai star also finished the week with the highest break after her run of 90 during the group stage.

All at World Women’s Snooker would like to thank the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council for their hard work in running this event during the week.

Congratulations Mink!

This week, the Championship League Snooker continues with Groups 3 and 4.

Group 3 is in its second day and you can follow it on snooker.org

Meanwhile, this week a significant number of main tour players are already plaing in China, in a CBS event: the Haining Open.

Non Chinese main tour players: Mark Selby, Barry Hawkins, Jackson Page, Michael Georgiou, Jimmy Robertson, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Craig Steadman, Billy Castle, Jordan Brown, Mark Davis, Mark King, Michael Holt, Igor Figueiredo, Ricky Walden, Stuart Bingham and Elliot Slessor

Chinese players who compete(d) in the main tour or the Q-School: Zhou Yuelong, Zhao Xintong, Wu Yize, Zhang Yong, Zhang Jiankang, Pang Junxu, Mei Xiwen, Chang Bingyu, Zhang Anda, Fang Xiongman, Luo Honghao, Ju Reti, Lu Ning, Xu Si, Li Yan, Si Jiahui, Li Hang

Note that Barry Hawkins and Mark Selby withdrew from the Championship League to play in this one.

The full draw is here: http://bems.crandtec.com/index.php?g=&m=Index&a=huiwaisai_live&e_id=NzU%3D&s_id=MTcw&type=1


Snooker News – 13.10.2019

As the players get ready for the first of the Home Nations tournaments, the English Open, the focus is understandably on that event. There are however other snooker news worth a mention.

Malta to Host New World Snooker Federation Championships

12th October 2019

  • Luo Honghao wins trophy

The World Snooker Federation (WSF) and Malta Billiards & Snooker Association (MBSA) are today delighted to jointly announce the staging of the new WSF Championships as major amateur events providing qualification to the professional tour.

Two events will be held from 4-17 January 2020 at the Malta Snooker Academy and the San Antonio Hotel, the World Snooker Federation Junior Open (for players aged 17 and under) and the World Snooker Federation Open (All age groups). Both competitions will be open to players of all nationalities and both men and women equally, with the winner of each tournament to earn a two-year tour card to the World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2020/21 season.

Each recognised National Snooker Federation will be given the opportunity to nominate two players to each event for their national champions and top ranked players. This respects the valuable contribution many National and Regional Federations make to the development of talented players. In addition to these nominations, direct entries will then be accepted from players online, making this a truly open event for all players around the world who have aspirations to carve out a career in our sport.

Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “This groundbreaking new open format for world level amateur events is a significant step forward to ensure we are a sport for all. The WSF are thrilled that this season’s tour qualifying events will be open to all, regardless of nationality, age or gender. Only the best in the world will make it to the World Snooker Tour.

“I am particularly proud that the WSF is developing a focus on junior talent. It is fundamental to the future of our sport that the next generation of talented players are presented with playing opportunities at world level with the unlimited prize of full graduation to the professional sport.

“I would like to extend my thanks to our friends at the MBSA who have once again shown us fantastic support during the planning of this tournament. Our inaugural Championships held in Malta back in 2018 were a real success and it is testament to the quality of the team in Malta that when the opportunity arose to return there for this tournament that we did not hesitate to say yes.”

Frans Bugeja, MBSA President said: “We are delighted to welcome the WSF back to Malta for these prestigious events. We look forward to building upon the success of last year’s great Championships and to see who will follow in the footsteps of 2018 champion Luo Honghao by lifting the open title.”

How to enter

It is anticipated that entry for both events will open during the week commencing 21st October. Confirmation of the entry process will be distributed to all national federations and posted on our website and social media platforms as soon as possible.

Entry for the WSF International Junior Open will be open to players 17 or under up to and including 31 December 2019.

The entry deadline for each event will be 8 December 2019 at midnight.

This is of course good news. When the first WSF event was played in Malta nearly two years ago, it created a lot of hopes and expectations. Unfortunately they didn’t really materialise until now. This time there is no Women nor Seniors event, the focus clearly set on the Juniors. The only concern I have is about the hotel, which is quite a luxury and expensive one. Hopefully the event being played in the winter the prices will be “softer” than what is their usual standard otherwise this might be a real hurdle for some juniors in particular. Of course, setting up a number of snooker tables, in good conditions, requires space and adequate environment, which this type of hotel is usually able to offer.

Worldsnooker has published the resised draw and format for the Yushan World Open

The draw and format for the Zhiyuan Huanbao Yushan World Open following the completion of the qualifiers is now available.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The world ranking event runs from October 28 to November 3 in China

Basically they added the wilcards to the draw. Ronnie will play his held-over match against Dominic Dale on the opening day in the afternoon – morning in Europe. Should he win he will play Fergal O’Brien the next day, in the afternoon again. Hopefully, Ronnie will be able to fly to China a few days ahead as to get over the worst of the jet-lag.

Finally, the Women were playing a competition in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Masters. 

It was Bex Kenna who won it – her first title – beating Bai Yulu, a 16 years old from China, in the Final. The score was 4-1. Bai Yulu has been mentioned a few times on this site by Lewis who is our “China expert”. She plays along the men in the CBSA events. Bex – as she mentions in the above article – came quite late to the snooker and her progress has been truly remarkable. She played in her local league but faced a sexist attitude in some clubs who wouldn’t allow her to play in their premices. She fought – still fights – for herself and all the female players and is a great promoter of the Women’s game. Well done Bex!