So it's over then. 120 matches and we finally have the last 16 line-up.

Hopefully what has happened over the last five days will spell the end of the round robin format at the Royal London Watches Grand Prix.

There have been too many dead games, too much confusion, poor crowds in Aberdeen and, far worse, all sorts of insinuations about the integrity of certain matches.

None of this has done the sport any good whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you entirely! A round robin format based in an isolated city in the East of Scotland with half a dozen people watching matches is not a good choice for a ranking tournament in my view. Are certain interests in WPBSA deliberately sabotaging the game? What a load of crap!

Mat Wilson

andy said...

Hi Dave et al,

I'm not sure I entirely agree with your opinion on the group stages. If I may be so bold, can I point you to my views on the subject of whether groups stages are good or bad.

Maybe the person who left the previous comment has a good point on the location of this kind of tournament.



Dave H said...

Andy, you are perfectly entitled to your well argued views, however I disagree with them almost entirely, particularly in saying dead games aren't a problem because people come to watch exhibitions.

The Grand Prix is one of snooker's oldest ranking events and its reputation should be respected. Steve Davis said as much on the BBC the other day, and he's seen every format under the sun.

The crowds were low last year until the knockout phase. They see to have built up again today.

It is a red herring to blame the Aberdeen location for this. I've been at the Scottish Open in the past were audiences have been full at 10am.

The Premier League finals weekend in December at the same venue is already sold out.

Anyway, here's to what should be an exciting conclusion to the tournament.

andy said...

OK, you've just about convinced me on the dead games topic. Maybe I was a little over exuberant there. As an additional comment and in response to someone who commented on my post regarding the group format not lending itself well to TV, I added the following:

"The format not lending itself well to TV coverage is, in my view, the fault of the BBC and/or the WSA. Take other sports with this format, most noticeably the Champions League (football), all of the tables are always up-to-date on the BBC website and free to view on the Champions League website. The BBC are not publishing the tables on their site and I think the only way you can see the tables on the WSA site is to subscribe. That's if they're there, I'm not too sure because I refuse to pay a subscription to the website."

But, I have to say, I still really do like the group phase of the tournament and, yes, maybe I'm in the minority. And I, like you, am still looking forward to the knockout phase. :-)


Anonymous said...

As a viewer, it was extremely difficult to follow. Neither Ceefax nor BBC online was giving any information on group standings or order of play. The commentators on BBC also seemed not to update very much on the significance of each match. On the up side, Richi Parsad is a good addition to the team. He treats it much more like a proper sport and not like a fireside chat with chums like Hazel does.

Dave H said...

Andy - you don't have to pay to access the World Snooker site, just register

I think four man groups would work better if they must use this format because there would be fewer dead games and it would be easier to follow

andy said...

Aha! Didn't you used to have to pay on the World Snooker site in years gone by? Ah well, I guess I'll register.

Dave, do you mean start the group phase with 32 players rather than 48 players but still have 8 groups, 4 players in each group and the top 2 from each group going through to the last 16. Yep, I guess that would be a pretty good compromise.

I found the sporting life website to have up to date group standings today, but I'm not too sure how up to date (or live) it has been from the start of the tournament.


Anonymous said...

@ Andy: Registration to the World Snooker website has always been free of charge. But a couple of years ago you had to pay a fee for using its live-scoring facility, which is now also for free.

The best place to follow the event live on the Internet is the, as always, very well updated Global Snooker Centre. Well, apart from the technical problems this site was facing over the last couple of days, of course...


Anonymous said...

Global snooker seemed to be suffering from the heavy traffic they were getting, and it's not surprising seeing as they seem to be the only website providing up to date information, clearly laid out and promptly updated.
The past two days they have been back to their normal speed and there was an apology for the problems they faced on Monday which they resolved by investing in more band width. And its all free, no registration, so long live Global Snooer.
If you dont know the site you can find it at www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk

Anonymous said...


Anon mentioned in his blog what a great addition Rishi Pershad is to the BBC team, I have always rated him since I saw him fron the Beebs World Bowls coverage - do you know if he is set to be a permanent fixture on the BBC team this season.
On to the format of the Grand Prix, like everyone else I have found it difficult to follow - we have had round robin formats before, most recently in the Champions Cup and if I recollect there was a question over the integrity of one of the group games then. Interesting that I read in the new Snooker Scene that the Malta Cup will be following the same format later in the season. Will you and your Eurosport team be covering the event?
On the other hand though World Snooker does need to experiment with new formats to bring new people into the game.


Dave H said...

Not sure about the exact details of the Malta Cup as of yet

I assume Rishi has been recruited because Ray Stubbs has been on football duty but it's nice to know he has gone down well with viewers