The International Billiards and Snooker Federation – the world governing body for amateur snooker – is to stage a World Championship for the six reds game in April.
Six reds snooker is particularly popular in Asia. The World Grand Prix, first held in 2008, returns to Bangkok, Thailand in July and is expected to attract a field full of big name players.
Ken Doherty was among the organising committee for the inaugural Six Reds World Championship in Killarney last December.
The IBSF tournament is imposing some rule changes.
The miss rule is abandoned completely. After any foul, players will be given three options:
1) Play themselves from where the balls come to rest
2) Get their opponent to play from where the balls come to rest
3) Play from the D
This is not hugely revolutionary as players already have the option to play themselves or put their opponent back in from a foul.
Putting the white in the D does not guarantee any sort of advantage as it obviously depends on where the ball on is positioned on the table.
The option to put the cue ball anywhere – as in 9 ball pool – would have seen frames speeded up but possibly too much. There are, after all, only six reds on the table to start with.
The other major change is that all fouls will be worth six points, apart from on the black which will still be worth seven.
I’m not sure why this rule has been introduced but it may be that as the miss rule has been scrapped, fewer fouls are expected so they should count for more.
My attitude to six reds snooker has not shifted: I don’t want it to replace the established 15 red version of the game but I have no problem with any events that give players more competitive opportunities and increase interest in the sport as a whole.
Barry Hearn, the new WPBSA chairman, has said six reds do not feature in his plans for new events but this does not mean he will discourage anyone else putting them on, although the IBSF is an entirely different organisation.