I’m pleased to see the World Open qualifiers have already attracted more than 500 entrants from the UK.

In recent years, participation levels in Britain have fallen, even though snooker remains a popular television sport.

Snooker clubs are not just places to go to pot balls. They are social hubs.

The smoking ban in the UK certainly hit them hard with many now closed down. The general decline of the sport’s image has also had a negative effect.

The World Open is being touted as the FA Cup of snooker as it gives 20 players the chance to take part in the pro qualifying rounds in August, with a chance to battle through to the TV stages.

This development, along with the new Players Tour Championship, also open to amateurs, may well help to reignite interest in the amateur ranks.

Snooker, like the black pudding industry, relies on a steady supply of fresh blood.

There is much competitive snooker going on that is barely reported but it serves as a training ground for stars of the future.

The champions of tomorrow need to believe that all the effort is worthwhile. They also need to have stars they can look up to.

Ronnie O’Sullivan would accept he has not always been the perfect professional but his mentoring of Joel Walker through the Rileys Future Stars scheme gives that youngster an enviable insight into the game.

Ronnie, at his best, is an inspirational person to be around. He can help improve Joel’s game but also help build confidence, such an important commodity in any sport.

It is also another link between the pro and amateur games. For too long they have existed in isolation. The fact is, it’s one game and deserves recognition at all levels.

Usually at this time of the year there is nothing happening. This year there is a sense that snooker is beginning to get back on its feet with new ideas and – crucially – more playing opportunities for players wherever they are in their careers.

The World Open is a controversial addition to the tournament calendar but what it does do is open the door of top level snooker to hundreds of hopefuls and give them a peek of what is waiting inside if they ultimately make the grade.


Anonymous said...

I'd rather be coached by Mark Williams than Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave
I have strayed from the thread of counting points. Would you please hold this note till a new “High them High” discussion? DM

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secrete is wasted if not shared
Dear Steve Davis
How are you ole chap! An open letter comrade from a Union Rep of some experience; but from the “Fighting” branch of the union as opposed to the blind politics and “Collar and Tie” section with generous pensions. .

Your place Steve should be with the SPA members. A Union member that “Shoots and Wounds” the boss must have had provocation or involved in a terrible accident.

Your silence Steve is grounds for your resignation as NO union member should ever stand alone. The sad fact that “Other Members” may have a say or opinion does not Steve make your inactivity and silence acceptable.

Barry’s new head of discipline seems to have a “Get Out” clause in his contract as there is no credible reason for bailing out of his first case or trial. Mr Hey You

Anonymous said...

I know I should keep up more but could you tell me whether they are all played in the same place?
Also how do you qualify to play for the £60k, how many would be eligible and will that be in Sheffield as well?

Anonymous said...

Surprise surprise. SS Blog does a piece on the rankings yesterday and snookerbacker does the same. SS Blog does a piece on joel walker today and what does snookerbacker do? yes the same. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery dave. In that case you must have been tipping loads of losers.



I think the world open is a great concept, in that it has the potential to attract an entire new audience to the game.

A sports' chances of success or failure is very similar to that of a nations economy.

In good times, everybody wants to get involved, there are no shortage of investors, and there is a constant stream of new blood competing for places and numerically exceeding those who retire.

In bad times, sponsors and TV coverage fall off. The number of youngsters taking up the game diminishes and opportunities flounder.

Like the economy, it is very difficult to change the direction of the games health, i.e success begets success and failure breeds failure.

The previous board(s) failed to realise or admit the downward spiral that was prevalent in snooker.

Like a bad political party papering over the cracks by highlighting the small few positives in a failing economy, instead of doing something about it, The Walker regime used spin and careful dripfeeds of information to convey the impression that all was well, thereby retaining their lucrative part time positions for as long as possible.

While standard best of nine ranking tournaments offer a fair and consistent method of ascertaining who the best players are, it became obvious some time ago, that the tried and tested method was not enough to resuscitate the games' dwindling fortunes.

Events like The World open, The Sky challenge and even the PTC tour are all likely to bring in new audiences, which in turn will attract newspapers, websites bookies, etc.

This in turn gets more kids playing which creates more clubs, more media interest, and more interest from sponsors.

The success effectively begets success.

Whether things turn out like that or not, only time will tell. One thing is certain, and that is, without a radical change in the games presentation, we were going nowhere but down.

At least now theres a chance.

Anonymous said...

"Snooker, like the black pudding industry, relies on a steady supply of fresh blood."

Best line of the day!!:-)

Regarding snooker clubs as social hubs, we had a great Rileys club in the centre of Newcastle, decent rates and somewhere to meet all the lads you'd known for 20-odd years. Newcastle City Council, in all their wisdom decided to compulsory purchase the building and rebuild it as a 'modern' art gallery (read talentless garbage outlet). Now the project has gone so far over budget it's been put on indefinite hold. What bunch of hapless tossers the council is!!!

Mat Wilson

Dave H said...

3.16 - there are 12 PTC events. Six are scheduled for Sheffield and six for Europe, with at leasdt four in Germany.

The top 24 in the order of merit will play in the end of season finals.

Anonymous said...

cluskey1. I know who you are.

Anonymous said...


Didn't you do a piece on here about Rileys having to sell up or was the business in financial ruin?

Well, i certainly hope this breathes air back into the business. It certainly needs it!

Thanks joe

CHRISK5 said...

500 entrants for World Open - that is simply awesome !

Snooker is on the way back ....not that it ever left anyway!

If this is Ronnie's first gig at serious coaching - it may be the
re-invention of him.

Janie Watkins said...

Mat W - "hapless bunch of tossers" !!!

Oh how I miss those happy Snookerheed Days.

good to see you on here.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secrete is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave
It’s sad Dave the death of Trade Unionism. I thought that my blog @ 2:36 pm would have pricked the conscious of one or maybe two old timers.
The apathy of your blog members is understandable Dave as there sole purpose in life is to help reorganise W/S into Matchroom Snooker with a series of “Large Pro Ames” events.

The natural progression Dave is “Appearance Money” to encourage the big names to enter or a seeding system to allow them to enter at the last sixteen or possible eight.

The truth is Dave; Snooker is dead except for us “Snooker Addicts”. The game is bursting with great young players but sadly like clones from an assemble line.

The only player not “Cloned” was Jimmy White in the eighties. Or the whole world would now be playing the “Jimmy White” method.
Had Jimmy’s game been recorded in detail and then “Copyrighted”; others would have improved further on the wee mans Timing, Elegance and Finesse.

The real tragedy of snooker is Jimmy like all Snooker Pros doesn’t know what he is doing right or doing wrong. The game is built on the “Copycat” system of “Watch Me” and I’ll show you again. Mr Hey You