The WPBSA has axed the Pro Challenge Series after only four of the seven scheduled events were staged.

They say this is because of “low entry levels for the first four events.”

Event four in January was cancelled and events six and seven will now not take place.

The Pro Challenge Series was conceived as a way of providing additional playing opportunities, particularly for lower ranked players.

This is to be applauded (and it was by me when it was announced) but I also pointed out that not linking it to the existing ranking structure would discourage participation.

And so it proved. The most recent event attracted only 39 entries from the 96-man main tour and four of them failed to turn up.

Also, a number of lower ranked players have jobs and can’t always take time off to play, however none of the Pro Challenge tournaments were held over weekends where it would have been easier for them.

Mixing six reds into the equation never made any sense either.

According to WPBSA chairman Barry Hearn, next season there is likely to be ten Pro Tour tournaments staged over weekends.

It will have its own order of merit and the top 16 or 32 players at the end of the tenth event will take part in a televised Players Championship, as happens in PDC darts.

This should be a more attractive proposal to players, and not just those in the lower reaches of the rankings.


Steve said...

Hope this new Pro tournaments will be staged at lots of different venues around the country (South England please ^^) and also would be nice if the Players Championship will be on Eurosport, dont have Sky Sports :(

Anonymous said...

Its a disappointement for all concerned.
The futures so bright, I gotta wear shades.

jamie brannon said...

Can you reveal Dave, whether the TV coverage will be provided by ITV 4 as they do the darts eqiuvalent championship? I understand if you can't reveal it.

Dave H said...

I've no idea which channel it will be on

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic I appreciate.
Is there any truth in the rumour I heard that John Higgins could hear what his wife Denise was saying on Mr & Mrs the other day?
Their answers were spookily alike.

Kildare cueman said...

I would like to see main tour points awarded to the players' championship events.

If the winner of each event received say, 800 or 1000 points each time, it would allow talent to break through quicker and enable those ranked 14-18 and 30-34 the opportunity to consolidate their place in their respective elite.

This would not only attract some star names, but would provide another media opportunity in the updating of the provisional rankings.

When a new major is found it could just replace one or two of the minor events.

Another incentive which could be introduced is that any minor event winner would be guaranteed qualification on the following years main tour.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you! It must be very frustrating and for some worrying about the games future. There is a Plan B with a guarantee but sadly only known to a relatively few.

Barry’s ultimatum is due on March 31 with absolutely no hint as to what way the board has moved, It is assumed Dave that Steve Davis and the lesser board members has given Barry (as requested) the right of dictatorship as they are hand picked by Barry.

It is great for the Dave Den blog members to know that that there will be no further discord in the WPBSA or W/S. Instead some stability and regular TV snooker.
The main thing of course for Barry is to maintain his credibility as a sports “Trouble Shooter” with the Matchroom magic touch.

Any bright ideas by Dave’s blog members that may help Barry and Steve should be trumpeted here for both approval and ridicule but mainly for serious discussion. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

any idea whether pr tour events will be for the 96 on the main tour or opened up wider than that - and whether they will carry ranking points (say of 1/10 a normal event)

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Hey You can you answer the question Ian W posed to you on tales from the circuit# 2?

Are you 87 year's of age or

A wind up merchant?

Simple question really?

John F said...

Actually, that could lead to an interesting situation where, if a non-tour player has an excellent run in these minor events, it could propel them into the top 96, or potentially the one year list, which would be an added pressure on the lower-standard players who may win a few matches all season and rely on the 1-year for their Tour place (e.g. Lee Spick). If you introduced the rule that all Tour debutants had their starter points doubled, and any non-tour players doing well in these minor events could get a Tour place for next season (or possibly a fully funded year on the PIOS), you'd see new talent getting moe of a chance.

Just my opinion.

jamie brannon said...

Does anyone think Rod Lawler should have acheived more as in the mid nineties he reached a ranking final and almost beat John Parrott at the Crucible, but since then has been your archetypal journeyman. Recently though he has shown a slither of form, and finished with a flourish in his opening World qualifier.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr 12:00. Hello Dave
Yes Mr Noon it is technically true about my age 87 but not actually true till the month of Jane. I apologise dear sir for any delay in reply as this PC thing can be temperamental and I am a slow starter.

If you are interested sir in the Fine Art blog . I started off with comments on “Eurosport” got barred and moved onto 606 and got barred again.
Each time by well known snooker people objecting to old truths that must not be heard. The 606 bar gave a strict warning “Barred for Ever” extended to include the new Snooker Forum.

In mitigation I only quote snooker material from my own books. Last month I was warned over using my own copyright quote! “All Snooker coaching is by the copycat method” (Someone objected).
I also added that all coaching is the “Watch Me” and I’ll show you again method. Mr hey you.

PS The Fine Art has never posted an "Untruth" DM