The ranking system is to receive its first major overhaul in two decades as part of Barry Hearn’s new plans for snooker.

The list will receive an official revision twice during the season rather than solely at the end of it.

This means that the field for the Masters and the players guaranteed to be at the World Championship will not necessarily be the top 16 as it stands now.

This is controversial because players have spent the last two years competing in tournaments unaware that a major change was coming.

But though some players will be aghast, many others will see it as a chance to more quickly rise up the list and have their success rewarded.

I understand that the first revision of the list will come at the conclusion of the World Open. The top 16 will therefore be seeded through to the final stages of the UK Championship and will be at the Masters.

The second revision will most likely come after the Welsh Open, which will give us the 16 players seeded through to the Crucible.

The new system should, in theory, better reflect current form. After all, the 16 players at the Masters are not the best 16 players in January, they are the best 16 players based on a two-year list which ended eight months before the Wembley event.

The old system caused stagnation in the game. How can it be right for players in the top 16 to win just one match in each event and hardly budge?

Hearn’s ethos is that the more success a player has, the more he should see the benefits.

Let’s take one at random: Tom Ford. He’s a good player and was a Crucible qualifier last season.

Imagine if Tom won the Shanghai Masters. Under the previous system, he would have to wait an entire year until the same event the following season to earn any reward.

Under the new system he would go up the rankings, possibly enough to get in the top 16 straight away.

Peter Ebdon dropped out of the top 16 after 16 years just last month. If he performs well at Shanghai and Glasgow he could be back in a matter of just months rather than having to wait a whole season.

I can understand some players being unhappy with all this. The system has barely changed at all since the early 1990s when it was decided to award thousands of points at a time (younger readers may be surprised to know that ranking event winners used to get just six points).

But it fits into Hearn’s aspiration to have players aiming high and receiving the rewards when they achieve.

And actually as it stands right now only two top 16 players – Ryan Day and Marco Fu – are outside the elite bracket on the one-year list, with Jamie Cope standing 15th and Ken Doherty 16th.

I can think of three players – Doug Mountjoy, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui – who have won the UK Championship, the biggest ranking title in the run up to the World Championship, and still had to qualify for the Crucible (Ding missed out).

Indeed, it was theoretically possible to win every title on the circuit and not be guaranteed a Crucible place.

Equally, it was possible – and it has happened – that a top 16 player can lose every match during the season and still be guaranteed a place in Sheffield.

Why should this level of protection apply to a player who is not producing the goods on the table?

And furthermore, why shouldn’t snooker try something new?

It would certainly create more media interest because it would effectively create the ‘Race for the Masters’ and the ‘Race for the Crucible.’

As with everything else in this new era, it may not be a perfect idea and it may not have the support of everyone.

But the old ranking system was like swimming through glue. The new one should at least guarantee that those who achieve on the table see the rewards - the very essence of what sport should be about.

EDIT: World Snooker have been in touch to say the list be actually be revised three times during the season, not twice. It will be after the World Open, the UK Championship and Welsh Open.


Anonymous said...

I didn't see too many complaints when the top 16 were seeded through to the last 32 of every event around 7 or 8 years ago.
Previously the top 32 came into the tournaments at the 64 stage except for Sheffield.
The managers with block votes of leading players wanted the rankings to move slowly or grind to a halt until the vote was extended to the top 64.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this blog is back because I've learned more about what's happening next season during this week than on every other snooker website combined

Dave H said...

It was TV who wanted the top 16 coming in at the 32 stage because it guaranteed they'd be in front of the cameras

Anonymous said...

This new system has got to be better than the old one

Anonymous said...

That was the excuse always wheeled out at the time yet at the UK the BBC have been hiding some of the last 32 matches to pre-tv stages and only holding back the top 4 seeds for TV.
The Grand Prix has been round robin and/or open draw for 4 years now and The Masters is invitational.
This leaves the World champs which has always been the same format.
To cite TV as the reasons is not only incorrect but naive, it was encouraged my people with a vested interest in players who were at the top, namely top managers who hoped they could stay there indefinitely.


At last the repressive ranking system is being amended somewhat- I would like to see them taken a step further and change after every tournament.

This step, hpwever, would be difficult to employ as there wouldn't nessesarily be a corresponding event from two years ago to eliminate.

They could have been done by the calendar month either, for instance, when Septembers points are added on, the points from September 2008 would be eliminated, thereby providing a "relatively rolling" ranking system.

These add ons could be held back by a month to enable draws and publicity material.

Mustn't grumble though. Its a progressive change and will offer immediately reward to successful players, which is what pro sport is all about.

Greg P said...

Wouldn't it make more sense to revise them after the UK. That way the "race for the Masters" would be more exciting.

Anonymous said...

Are they also going to introduce some logic into how point are awarded? Maybe get back to 10 points for the winner, 8 for the runner-up, 6 for quarters etc.?

Anonymous said...

Exactly what the game needs, a fresh approach and a fairer system for ALL!

CHRISK5 said...

Ok then,there will be 20 events carrying ranking points.

The first revision will take place after the World Open - The psuedo
7th ranking event of the season.

The second revison will occur after the Welsh Open - The proxy
17th ranking event of the season.

Looking at the calendar - by the
end of 2010 - 15 events would have already been played,with a further
5 events from the start of 2011 to
the World Championships.

Which is good - because there is still room in the calendar for
new events in future - though more likely they would have to be in the
'second half' of the season,
where there are still some gaps
in the calendar.

I agree the the ranking system needed overhauling - we now have a more proactive system that better reflects form & will stop complacency setting in.

The new ranking system will deliver more competitiveness &
only the blinkered would be against these much needed changes.

Dave H said...

10.17 - It's neither naive nor incorrect. I was actually in one of the meetings when it was discussed with representatives from TV who were asking why they should cover snooker tournaments when the top players lost before the cameras arrived.

Dave H said...

I should explain this was when I worked for the WPBSA.

Anonymous said...

do we know fully how this work - will it be a 2 year rolling ranking, ie at end of World Open points from NI trophy, Shanghai and Grand Prix in 2008 are removed and points from PTC, Shanghai and Grand Prix in 2010 are added.

- also what happens with starter points given out in 2008, 2009 and for new players this season?

Dave H said...

My assumption is that the one-year list from last season gets added to as the campaign goes on

Anonymous said...

that would be simplest but would also create an interestingly unbalanced system (ie rankings would include 2 Shanghai Masters but only 1 World championship)

it may be that they will eventually move to a rolling system but starter points make that too complicated to start with

when will there be an official announcement?

Anonymous said...


though its got some minor faults - this is a splended idea.

I really couldn't give a stuff whether a young gun bails out to a journeyman or vice-versa, at the halfway stage of the rankings. Like you say, top 16 players should be more consistant and not live of past performaces from 2 years previous, don't see this in tennis,golf et al.

The system will reflect current play and form and, for me, that has got to be good for the game and players of all ages coming from outside.

Watch the mediocre and average players of the top 16.


CHRISK5 said...

Thanks for the clarity from
World Snooker !?!?

So,revisions will take place after the World Open (7th rank event),
the UK (15th event) & Welsh Open
(17th event)

Or are they going to change their minds again - before this gets posted !

I do like the new fluid system -
But it still takes some mathematical genius to work out
all these combinations.

I take it the new ranking system
wasn't meant to be grasped by
the casual follower ! (never mind,
at least they have the Shootout!)

And yes,I do agree with Ron that
the points systems should be
simplified (again) in future - though it might take another 5 to
10 years to get there.

At least my calculator will still
be useful to me in the meantime !

Anonymous said...


3 times is even better, the WPBSA cobwebs are beginning to be blown away....

Just what i've wanted, the new era of snooker is really giving me hope for this game that for so much of the past and, especially, the last couple of months, had a dark cloud hanging over it.


Dave H said...

Breaking news...they're going to dig up Alan Turing to see if he can fathom how it all works

Dave H said...

Scrap that! I have the answer...

It will be a two-year rolling ranking list. Therefore, after the World Open the points from the 2008 NIT, Shanghai Masters and Grand Prix will be removed.

Anonymous said...

thanks for info Dave on it being a rolling list.

What about starter points though - for those on the tour who were given some at start of last season, presumably they'll lose some of these.

these starter points 5850 were based on Mahitthi's points from the 2008/2009 season. So will they lose the points he earned from those 3 tournaments (2,225) or a certain percentage?

Will starter points be issued for new players this season and will these also account for both last season and the season before (otherwise the rankings revision will affect them least as their starting point will be so low)

Anonymous said...

The only problem with the rolling system is that it penalises players who have done well

Ronnie O'Sullivan received 4,000 points for winning the Northern Ireland. First round losers got something like 700.

So he will be losing a big chunk off his overall total while those who did no good will lose hardly anything. This doesn't strike me as tackling mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

dave i know im moving away from the point a bit here but any news on when the premier league line up will be revealed?

Anonymous said...

the rolling ranking list was mentioned yesterday in the post from our new house poet if you look back.

Anonymous said...

the one good thing about the system is a top 16 player can no longer save his place by winning a couple of games in the world champs when doing nothing in other events.some players have done this for years. on another note dave the biggest issue when there was only 6 events was i felt as a player that every tournament was of equal importance cus of the lack of chances.so i didnt agree that the uk and world should have been such bigger points difference than the others.

CHRISK5 said...

Let's attempt the impossible & make some sense here.

10,000 pts - World Champs
8,000 pts - UK Champs
7,000 pts - World Open,China Open
& Shanghai Masters
5,000 pts - Welsh Open & presumably
the tariff for German Masters
3,000 pts - PTC Finals
2,000 pts - Other PTC events

I thought just the points tallies
from the 2009/2010 season would count towards the starter allocations for 2010/2011.
(eg) Ding Junhui being provisional
number 1 on 27,200 pts - which would be his points tally until he competes in his first PTC event.

Obviously - New pros on tour will still get some starter points.

I can't understand how results from
autumn 2008 (2 years ago) can somehow affect any of this ?

The official rankings from May 2010
after WC will determine the
seedings for the next 5 PTC events & Shanghai,World Open events.

Then they get revised.

Carol Vorderman would struggle
with all these complexities !

Dave H said...

2.45 - it's being announced next month


Anon at 2.oo-

Ronnie O'Sullivan will have the opportunity to win the next event, same as any body else.

Why should a tournament from 2 seasons ago have any bearing on a players ranking for that matter anyway?

Surely it is this anomaly that brought about the need for the rankings to be changed in the first place.

Conversely, when it comes around to the tournaments that he performed badly in, he will have the opportunity to shoot back up.

I sense a tone of trepidation amongst some bloggers, and even yourself Dave, as if there is some asset being risked in search of a better one.

There is nothing being risked. Change always brings doubt, but in this situation its a no brainer.

Some players will be temporarily disadvantaged and some will benefit, but after the initial bedding down period, snooker, and its fans, will be the winner

Regarding starter points, they could be distributed as usual, with a third of the points eliminated after the first ranking change, another third after the second, and so on.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
Thanks for the many posts! You have been very generous Dave giving copy to the “Fine Art” © method. It was nice to hear you say “Out Loud” that you set your own demarcation lines without Snooker Scene censorship.

Basically Dave you have given “Snooker © The Fine Art Method” more advertising space “Free” than my many requests for “Space Hire” to Snooker Scene.
Congratulations Dave on a very busy blog. Sorry I cant contribute to this line of thread.

To Mr 7:51pm that says Snooker belongs to a Roll on System of current player to manage is 100% wrong. The game of Snooker is not copyright only the written word on the rules of playing and “Art of Coaching Snooker” is copyright. Mr Hey You



The format has to be complex to be fair.

Once you start trying to simplify it you get anomalies.

Looking at the list of points on your entry, however, I am dumbfounded to see the difference between the UK and the Chinese tournaments are only 1000 points.

Surely the Welsh open and the Chinese should be equal. What is the difference?

I would have 7500 points for the UK, and 5000 for all other best of 9 rankers.

Anonymous said...

4.24 YAWN.

CHRISK5 said...

What people are forgetting is that there will should still be an end of season ranking list.

After the World Champs in early May until the first PTC event
in late June - there is still a
7 or 8 week gap.

Also,the year end list would have to determine who is promoted &
relegated from the main tour for the following season.

In the several weeks between the
World Champs & next season PTC - you would still need Q-School &
other results to shake up entries to the main tour.

The 3 revisions during the season
is to determine seedings (not necessarily ranking position),so to stop the same,usual matchups repeating throughout the season.

The starter points for 2010/2011 would still continue through the seeding revisions until the end of the season - as said,to determine who gets promoted & relegated from the main tour after the World Championships.

Then the process repeats again.

Betty Logan said...

A 2 year rolling ranking system is the best solution. I've always felt one season was too short based on the number of events we have. I don't get how "punishing" Ronnie O'Sullivan for winning an event two years ago and not winning it this year is a bad thing - if his ranking is based on winning the event two years ago and he doesn't win it this time around then he should go down in the ranks!

I don't see why they can't update the rankings after every "proper" ranking event though - Shanghai/World Open/UK etc. The seedings for each event could just be taken from the rankings on the day the draw for the event is made, and in the case of the world championship when the qualifier draws are made. If a player is seeded into the last 16 but not officially there by the time of the main event it's no big deal really, it will still be much better than the annual fixed rankings.

Anonymous said...

The gladiators ride the rolling rankings like riding a huge wave,
Its all for the good, say the new brigade,
The old school wish for the return of 3 years rankigs and a closed shop,
Those were the days they say with dreamy eyes.

Anonymous said...

The World Open should never carry the same Ranking points as the Shangai Masters or China Open if anything it should be in line with the PTC Final.

Sonny said...

Another good blog Dave H. You've outlined exactly why the previous system was a joke and why it needed to be overhauled.

I see some are confusing themselves about how the new system will work. It's actually pretty simple.

As soon as you hit refresh and the rankings are static for the next few tournaments, there will be a provisional list which has already knocked out the dead events from 2 years ago and the players and followers will simply add up the points per event in the mean time to get to the total which will form the next static period.

The best thing about it for the fans is that more events will hold more exciting matches with more pressure and more significance in early (and later) stages of certain events, in particular the Welsh Open where some will be playing for their automatic Crucible spot.

I expect the only ones you'll hear moan about the new system are those with poor form who fail to defend their points from 2 seasons ago, or those who thought last month they were guaranteed a spot at the 2011 Crucible who end up losing out.

Anonymous said...

I like it. There is nothing wrong with reflecting current form. However, I have a VERY selfish question: does this make it harder for my darling Steve Davis to qualify for the world championship?

It will take some time for my tiny snooker brain to fathom the new system...

Although this may, unless he finds form, send Hendry into darkness I applaud the changes. Just imagine what we would have with Walker still being in charge. Rejoice!

But can Davis still qualify as 'easily'? Anybody?

CHRISK5 said...

During the season all these lists will get reguarly updated.

The 2010/2011 Ranking Chart -
Which should include starter points & all the 20 events added
to the players overall tally.
(this then becomes the official rankings for start of 2011/2012)

The Provisional Seeding list -
Which gets updated 3 times,so
the line-ups for the Masters &
last 32 of the World Champs is more keenly contested than ever &
is constantly evolving.

The PTC Order of Merit - The top 24
earners get to the Finals event &
8 lower ranked players who do well
in PTC keep their tour card.

It is difficult to agree or disagree with any of this.

Understanding it all is the
toughest part - But,I keep trying !

CHRISK5 said...

Two-year list - rollover points
that contribute in some way further down the line.

One-Year list - to determine offical rankings & promotion or
relegation from the main tour.

Provisional Seedings - to determine
a better entry/draw for players
in form.

PTC Order of Merit - Top 24 for PTC Finals & beneficial to
eight players down the ranking list.

I was hoping Mr Hey You could shed some light on this subject.

No...I mean World Snooker ! LMAO

Greg P said...

Alright Barry that's the last idea you're getting from me for free.

Anonymous said...

apart from the PTC events have the ranking points for other events actually been released yet (rather than assuming they are the same as last year)

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr Cricks @10:46 pm, Hello Dave
How are you both! Thanks for the plug Mr C! Sorry I can’t help out with the points system.

I could tell you immediately with mental arithmetic how many articles you could purchase at 3 and 3 farthings (old money) for £ 1,500,000 but your points system is less straight forward and doesn’t equate.

Applying your equations to “Snooker Coaching” it has some similarities Sir like:
Persuading a Top Snooker Player that his favourite and sometimes successful style of play will have to be “Dismantled and scraped”.
Simply to introduce a “Correct Technique” is an almost impossible task; just like this new points system. Mr Hey You.

CHRISK5 said...

Mr Hey You -

I think i've cracked the points system on the above thread.

If there was a SSB copyright for
being eccentric,off subject &
off message - You have it signed &
sealed ! (though not so sure about the royalties that follow) LMAO

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr Cricks @ 4:55pm
I am sorry kind Sir, but I find you’re “Patter” confusing. The modern way of communization with school girl text and home made abbreviations are sadly beyond me.

If you wish to insult me please be more specific Sir. Are you jealous that I have the worlds only copyright on “Snooker Coaching” or the sole owner of a ”Copyright” in Sport.

Are you aware Sir that the original Joe Davis method on coaching was declared “Null and Void” therefore “Snooker The Fine Art” book which was written over twenty years ago as an alternative is now the sole copyright.

Please don’t be confused Mr Cricks all will be revealed in the future possible before or during the alleged “Trials” now on hold. Mr Hey You.

Betty Logan said...

I think they could go slightly further and make the Main Tour semi-open. It's still effectively a closed shop from the start until the end of the season. Maybe they could put aside an extra 8 places in the qualfiers throughout the season which can be filled by the top 8 players on PTC at the time the qualifiers start. It means that those who are playing well won't have to hang around for a season to get on to the main tour. Towarsd the end of the season of course these players will become increasingly occupied by the players who will graduate to the main tour so the expereince will stand them in good stead.