I’ve always been opposed to a shot clock in snooker because it would create a false kind of the game.
I would defend its use in the Premier League because it is a non ranking invitation event and distinguishes it from all the other tournaments. It creates a unique 'brand' for the League and that is fair enough.
However, players play at their own pace. Some are fast, some are not so fast and some are slow.
A true test of a player is how they cope against all styles – including the grinders.
A shot clock doesn’t take into account the different forms of snooker. Many people enjoy watching bouts of safety play because they demand high skill levels.
If every frame was long red followed by century it would soon become boring.
Also, when players rush they tend to make more mistakes. There is a rule on time wasting at the referee’s discretion if he thinks a player is deliberately dragging a match out.
And would the conclusion of the Dennis Taylor-Steve Davis world final in 1985 have been more exciting if they were running round the table?
A permanent shot clock of 25 seconds would rid the sport of its many nuances. It would be, to use the modern phrase, 'dumbing down.'
Yes, the Premier League usually has full houses but it did before the shot clock was introduced.
Sky's viewing figures for it aren't much different to when they used to show ranking events.
So they are the arguments against, but my position has softened a little through commentating on the Agipi Masters, a 3 cushion billiards event.
In this, the shot clock is 40 seconds rather than 25 as in the Premier League.
It does make for a satisfying pace of play but players tend not to have to rush. They can take two time-outs per match.
Very few shots in snooker require longer than 40 seconds of thought. If a player is snookered, it seems logical not to impose a time limit but a clock would cut out some of the needless time wasting we have seen in recent years (no names mentioned but if you watch snooker regularly you can probably remember particular matches where this has been the case).
A 40 second shot clock would encourage positive play and without meaning that safety is a thing of the past.
Overall, I’m still against a shot clock of any length being introduced for all tournaments.
But I’m not quite as against it as I was this time last week.
Your thoughts, please…