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.