According to World Snooker, next season’s Northern Ireland Trophy is moving back from what appeared to be a successful November slot to its original home in August.
It will be held from August 24-31 and will thus start on the last day of the Beijing Olympics.
Snooker in Belfast in August did not attract much in the way of crowds in 2005 and 2006 because it is, technically at least, still summer.
Also, any pre-tournament publicity will be seriously affected by the Olympics.
But to be fair, booking busy venues such as the excellent Waterfront Hall is not a straightforward business and it appears this was the only slot available. It’s much better that the tournament is on this particular week than not on at all.
It could also be that this is the only slot available because there are more ranking events to be added later in the season.
However, the knock-on effect is that the Northern Irish event now cuts right across the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth, Germany from August 28-31.
As tickets for this have already gone on sale, it cannot be rescheduled, which will surely mean a much depleted field of top players for what has become a very popular few days for all involved.