It looks like the Malta Cup will be on as a ranking event this season which, if confirmed, represents good news for snooker.

It will mean there will be nine ranking events this season.

Let’s not get carried away. I remember when there were ten.

However, with the Bahrain Championship added to the calendar it means there will be two more ranking tournaments this season than last and the most there have been in any single campaign in seven years.

In the tough economic position all sports find themselves in, this is a cause for celebration.

What everyone involved in snooker will hope is that these events can all be confirmed for next season as well.

And then the next priority must be in creating new events.

I think it’s quite likely there will be a third ranking event in China next season. I hope Germany – that other great growth area – also features in the governing body’s plans.

With a sprinkling of independently promoted tournaments, not least the World Series, as well it looks as if snooker is, slowly but surely, beginning to sort itself out.

Sponsors are still badly needed but the game has three key broadcasting contracts with the BBC, Eurosport and CCTV in China, which are helping to spread the snooker word to millions around the world.

More can be done.

I return to my point of a couple of weeks ago: the qualifiers need to be streamed on the web in some capacity. This would also increase interest.

Also, World Snooker really need to flag up good news a little more.

The main story on their website for nearly a week has been Ryan Day’s wedding – which happened three months ago!

There is a perception that snooker is on the rocks. It isn’t.

But people need to know this and also to be given the impression that there are actually things happening in the sport – between tournaments as well as during them.

That is one reason why I write this blog. It may not be a hard news week but there's always something to say about snooker if you put your mind to it.


Anonymous said...

There is also the ladies' snooker to promote. True they aren't (yet) at the level of the men. But how would they? With current prize money - linked at least partially to lack of covering and sponsoring - they can't make a living out of it. The only way to see them progress would be to increase visibility hence interest and "value" ... attracting more young girls to the game and giving them the opportunity to dedicate themselves to it.

Women's Wytech Masters & UK Championship are just over ... and went almost unoticed. :(

Anonymous said...

Yes, the ladies get none publicity,
but honestly, there are very few
girls playing snooker and so the
chance for stars diminish.
You could say it is a demographic


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, great news regarding rankingtournaments.
I´ll celebrate with a glass of red!
I have tried to get the subject of
time/space regarding the qualifications up and running.
The calendar is getting crowded,
so isn´t it time to do two tournaments in one week?!
If you can have FA-cup draw in Aberdeen, then you can easily
decide that a topdraw should stay,
with a reshuffle, for two tournaments, in Pontins.
The bottomhalf would play at The
Sheffield Academy in the same time.

Masters qual. could double for a
rankingtournament as well.
BBC wouldn´t care.


Anonymous said...

Yes there's alway plenty going on to write about and cover.
Over at GSC we're suffering from information overload.
In the past few weeks and coming weeks, in addition to the Main Tour and Premier League there has been and upcoming:
The Home internationals - Darren Morgan winning the Masters there with his Welsh colleagues (both from the Matchroom I'm pleased to say!) England won everything else.
The Ladies Masters & UK generously sponsored and streamed live by Wytech via GSC.
The PIOS draw for event 4 out and plenty of very good matches to look forward to.
The Newbridge Pro Am won by Ken Doherty over David Morris last weekend.
It's Festival week in Pontin's with Five individual events going on and some great play.
The Belgian Pro Am this weekend and the Austrian Open already crammed full of top names, to look forward to in October.
Don't forget the billiards either. A double win for the remarkable Pankaj Advani at the IBSF Billiards. and closer to home the EBOS series continues.
The Pontin's Pro Am series continues in October and the Pontin's Under 21s is attracting what looks like a record entry - get in quick and download your entry form from GSC front page.
bored in snooker - there isn't time!!
and another newly announced event this week - The Cue Factor Welsh Championship being run in eight clubs with a first prize of £2,000 up for grabs and that is for everyone who's ever picked up a cue. the handicap system creates inclusive snooker whereby everyone can participate
and don't forget either the excellent work done by Northern Snooker Centre, with their £10 a time Pro-ams attracting more grass roots players into competition.
And of course all the Northern hemisphere countries are just starting their seasons so watch out for English Pro-Ticket, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, European etc...
and Aus and NZ just coming to the climax of their seasons too.
No. there's not much happening in the sport is there. You wouldn't think there was if you read wsa site!

Unknown said...

There’s so much in Snooker, we from the Snookerblog.de want to cover everything, too. World Snooker’s view is just too narrow on the Main-Tour. It would be great if we could see tournaments via internet pay-per-view or qualifications for free.

Imagine having the PIOS series broadcast that way. First rounds for free, from the last 16 on payed. there would be many people paying for that.

BTW: Will anyone visit the Austrian Open? I plan to be there and provide liveish scoring and probably commentary again. It was a great tournament last year. If only I hadn’t to visit it on my own expense. A sponsor would be warm welcomed :)

Anonymous said...

GSC do a great job at covering the qualifiers. If there were one fixed camera on say the best match of the day in the qualifiers, that would really liven things up - imagine Doherty v White the other day. And as for the World Champs final round quals - that is essential viewing for everyone and I wouldnt mind paying a few pounds two to do so if it made the difference as getting up to the EIS can be tricky for some. I'm surely plenty feel likewise.

NewsBrain said...

hi dave

Been reading your blog or a whie, it is really excellent.

however, little has bene mentioned of what I see as a key factor - the lack of tournaments on sky, setanta and ITV4. Ok the premier league is on sky but what is the inside track on why other channels are not being targeted?

Dave H said...

Interesting point, there

Sky haven't shown much interest in snooker in the last few years outside of the Premier League.

Setanta have, but are yet to show any tournaments.

I definitely think ITV4 is a viable option. They show a lot of sport, including hours of live darts last year, and snooker fits the demographic (working/middle class mainly male sports fans).

Anonymous said...

there is so much snooker on, you have to wade through the dullest websites on Gods earth to find ...

Anonymous said...

snooker is not going yo grow in popularity until it gets more publicity and the only way to get more publicity is to have more ranking events because masters aside these are the only tournaments that receive any attention in the main stream media