Stephen Hendry has criticised the new ranking system, which sees the list revised four times a year rather than at the end of the season.

The seedings for the UK Championship and Wembley Masters will be determined after the second European Players Tour Championship event in Bruges in October.

Hendry is currently 11th in the official rankings but is going through a poor run of form and is sweating on his place in the elite group.

He told 110sport.tv, the website of his management group: "A number of top 16 players are looking over their shoulders and it is worrying that a bad patch could have major consequences.

“I am not moaning because I am down there just now – I just don’t think its right that it isn’t based over a whole season and a lot of players have worked very hard to get into the top 16 in the first place.

"Over the season each of these players will hit a run of form but if they have a bad patch at the start of the season they could be in trouble.

“Another bad run and I could find myself missing out on the Masters at Wembley. It is a very punishing system.”

Indeed it is. It has already cost Liang Wenbo his top 16 place after just a few months - or rather he has, by not winning enough matches.

The idea of the new list is to reward success and no longer protect players who can't win a match.

Many players love it because it gives them the chance to scale the heights but others, like Hendry, are worried because it puts extra pressure on them at a time they are struggling for form.

There are arguments on both sides but I think it's better that a player who wins a tournament receives an immediate benefit from that success.

There have been top 16 players in the past who haven't won a match all season but have still been seeded through to the Crucible while ranking tournament winners have had to qualify.

Top 16 players have also kept their places by winning no more than a handful of matches all year.

Hendry, of course, is more entitled than most to express a view on this but it is surely a reflection on his own current plight.

When he was the undisputed king of snooker, I doubt he could have cared less what the ranking system was.

He would have been at the top regardless.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Your right. Let's get with the times snooker.

What other sport would you see players still being in the top 10 after a previous bad season? Can you imagine Federer and Nadal having a distinctly average 2011 season and still being in the top 2.

This is the best thing to happen to the game. Move it forward, players being rewarded on a monthly basis now, rather than a yearly one. Resting on laurels has been the downfall of the game for a long time - with players who don't deserve to be in the top 16.

As for Hendry - I am surprised. I hope he hasn't been put up to this by 110 or Doyle? They know his name will generate press, unlike other moaners like Mark Allen and Mark King who generate nothing.

Thanks, Joe

Mignon said...

Right, the 110 Sport anti-Hearn campaign goes on.... Wrong side of the barricade this time, Maestro....

Ramona Dragomir said...

I couldn`t agree more with you, Dave!

Cloudyman said...

"I just don’t think its right that it isn’t based over a whole season and a lot of players have worked very hard to get into the top 16 in the first place."

But the ranking is based on two years play Stephen - and if you drop out of the top 16, it's not that you've had a bad run recently, it's your run over two years.

I want to see the best players meet at the business end of tournaments - the old (outdated) system meant that out of form players qualified on merit, and some form players met in the early rounds. (Maguire v O'Sullivan in the first round of the Worlds was a fine example - when that year it could have been a final)

Anonymous said...

I think the new system is much more fair. If Hendry wants to remain an elite player, he should compile some better results and knuckle down! It's in his hands.

Anonymous said...

I feel really sorry for him - NOT!

CHRISK5 said...

I greatly admire Stephen Hendry,
the player,the legend.

But he is totally wrong on this issue - As Dave said,in the 1990s,
he wouldn't have cared less how
the rankings were calculated.

Joe is correct,Snooker must move with the times & the new system,
for it's all teething problems,
is the best way forward.

So long as WS remove events from
the 2 year list at precise points,
there should be no more confusion.

Roll on 2012/2013 - When we should move to a one-year rolling list.

Hendry should be thankful,if the
one year list was in operation now,
he would be outside the Top 20 !!

kildare cueman said...

Hendry has been in decline for many years now, and for the past few seasons has had a run in the world championship, which has enabled him to keep his position.

What Hendry fails to realise, or at least failed to mention, is that the rankings ARE based on a full season -all of last season, plus three quarters of the previous season, and only a quarter of the current season.

It takes several years for a player to become established as a "star", or well known celebrity. Hendrys management group obviously find these players more marketable than an up and coming player, and understandably, manage several household names.

By definition, many of these star or veteran players, having been around so long, are now in the twilight of their careers, and in many cases are viewed as a nice draw for hungry young newcomers.

It is therefore, in 110's interests, to have a ranking system that protects the established players.

When Hendry says a bad run of form might cost a player his masters place, is he saying that the established loser should be given the place at the expense of somebody who is constantly winning?

Does Hendry not also realise, that should a player lose his top 16 place, unlike last year, where he would have had to wait at least a season to get back, he will now have the opportunity to get back straight away, by winning matches.

The ranking system still has a bit to go before its ideal, but its a million times better than the previous system, regardless of what 110's players say

SupremeSnooker.com said...

There was a biased story on 110sport a few weeks ago about the ranking system. They're only moaning because the players they represent aren't generally doing too well at the moment.
The best thing they can do to put this right is to win some matches, frankly.
I suspect this has more to do with Lee Doyle not liking Barry Hearn than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone needs to tell Hendry the ranking list is actually worked out over two years

In both of which he's played rubbish

Anonymous said...

The lengths 110sport are going to in trying to make people think Hearn is bad for snooker is down right hilarious.

Hendry - you are a legend of the game but you're making yourself sound ridiculous with statements like these. People will be laughing at you if you carry on in this vein, 7 world titles or not.

Betty Logan said...

The new ranking system is certainly a more accurate reflection of form, so in theory better for the game if it produces a higher quality of televised snooker. It is unfair to a certain extent, but only for top 16 players that drop out this season; for example, Wenbo was provisionally top 16 for most of last season but has had to wait a year for his top 16 place and now has lost it, so you can argue that he has been shortchanged out of his year in the top 16! Once next season kicks in it becomes a moot point because you can't complain about dropping out if you didn't have delayed entry. Maybe they should have phased it in, and have just one cut-off point halfway through this season and then moved to quarterly next season.

Anonymous said...

Hendry is a snooker dinosaur nowadays and is influenced by fellow dinosaurs in 110 Towers in Scotland.
Leave them to their gripes I say.
Did his article mention that any player who drops out of the 16 can get back in within 3 months under the new system?
That suits the current Hendry who is slipping down the rankings, under the old system he'd never be seen again.

Anonymous said...

Strange comments

He didn't play in 3 ptc events, if he had he would have earned more ranking points which would have helped him pull himself out of the mud

Anonymous said...

I see both points of view here, Hendry has not played well enough to deserve a top 16 place in any place, (why he didn't play in the first 3 ptc's i don't know), however at the end of last season he finished 10th in the official rankings which entitled him to a place at the Masters and at the Crucible.
As has been mentioned before, Liang Wenbo fully earned his place in the 16 after his performances last season but has lost it after five months. No he hasn't played well since but it's still slightly unfair. The idea of rolling rankings is a good one but maybe for this season they should have had one cut off point at the end of the UK.
I have little sympathy for Hendry who only has himself to blame, but for players like Wenbo, they've been a little hard done by.


Simon Day said...

In reply to the first comment by Joe. You use tennis as a comparison in ranking systems. Kim Clijsters just won the US Open yet she moved DOWN two places in the rankings. Just wanted to point that out!

In my opinion it is in a sports best interest to protect their rankings somewhat. I mean this from a commercial and viewership point of view. You want your top stars to remain at the top in order to attract mass viewers.
I can see the flip side to this point too, in that the game must move forward etc. However, let's face it, the top 32, even top 48 is mostly made up of players that have been around a very long time and have had many chances to break into the top 16 and failed.

Anonymous said...

PR meltdown in Stirling?

Whoever wrote this story might have mentioned to Mr Hendry that when he was all for the TSN World Tour a decade ago it would have featured a rolling-ranking table. Oops.tv

He was all for it then. But then he was getting paid then to say the right things. As Dave rightly points out, Hendry now takes notice of rankings when back then it was nothing to really worry about.

Last week it was Mark Allen complaining about prize money. This week Hendry about rankings. Good job 110 don't have any darts players or they'd be moaning about Barry as well !

Cloudyman said...

"However, let's face it, the top 32, even top 48 is mostly made up of players that have been around a very long time and have had many chances to break into the top 16 and failed."

A great argument for the new rolling rankings. In theory now, a decent young player with some decent early results will move up quicker, and see some of these "journeymen" drop down the rankings quicker.

Anonymous said...

Its still very hard for a young player to come through when top 16 players get substantial points just for turning up and losing.
When first round losers points are done away with or at least reduced to a third instead of a half, players might have a chance then.

Anonymous said...



Greg P said...

Stephen, isn't the upside of it that if you do drop out, you aren't neccessarily condemned to a whole season of qualifying like you would be under the old system?

Funny how he forgot to mention that.

But you know what? I think a season like that actually might do him some good considering how long the old system has been pampering him.

If Hendry wants to win an eighth world title he has no chance of doing it while keeping this whiny attitude up. Right now I wouldn't even back him to sink the black that Dennis Taylor potted to win the 1985 world title.

Anonymous said...

decent early results = Barry Pinches hardly young lol

Cloudyman said...

Decent early results = Anthony McGill.
19 years old. Already in the top 64 - would have to wait all season under the old ranking system.
What's your point 5:37pm.
And why are you laughing?

Anonymous said...

laughing = joking lol

dont take everything serious.

i totally agree with you Anthony Mcgill is Rank 63 in his first season already thats great and Igor Figueiredo is also close to top 64.

Stephen has to win matches it really is that simple.

so far hes played 2 PTC/EPTC and Shanghai Masters and won 1 match thats not good enough and more importantly shouldn't be good enough.

Anonymous said...

Hendry is a spent force. All he ever was is a good potter, and now thats gone he hasnt got the safety or positional play to keep him up.
Sullivan, higgins and even davis will be playing long after hendry is gone.

Anonymous said...

I was against the new system but must admit its been a breath of fresh air.its not just benificial to the younger players who are coming through it has also a new lease of life to some old timers like pinches burnett and white so in my opinion everyone benifits if they are good enough so stop moaning and start playing gents

Anonymous said...

6:45 your comments are a joke. Stephen Hendry was just a potter was he? Well how come he has won 7 world titles and more ranking events than anyone in the history of the game? Perrie Mans was just a potter.

I'm against the new system. Average players are being rewarded for playing well in nothing events held in a booth in Sheffield with nobody watching. If you earn a place in the top 16 at the end of the season you should, at the very least, play in the Masters the following season. With so many events now carrying ranking points, there'd be every chance of a lot of movement at the end of the season without the 2 earlier revisions. But then again if you'd rather have Tom Ford, Judd Trump or Barry Pinches in the top 16 instead of Stephen Hendry etc - good luck getting those new sponsors and people at the venues.

Anonymous said...

who r the top 16 players who never won a match and played at the crucible dave?

Dave H said...

Alain Robidoux in 1998 was one

Anonymous said...

For once I have to diasgree with my all-time hero. The system rewards excellence and consistency which is what all players should strive for. Under no circumstances should the rankings be a safety net for the top players.

If they can't perform there has to be a price. The new ranking format delivers exactly that. Sorry Hendry, but it is time to shine on the table and forget all about resting on the laurels.

Anonymous said...


Hasn't Hendry been omnipresent in the rankings for 20 years while the sponsors have dropped like proverbial flies?
He hasn't exactly drawn anyone to the game regarding sponsors has he now?
The game needs sexing up and Hendry is a moaner from the past, a past which stopped endearing anyone to the game.

Anonymous said...

Message to Messurs Hendry/Doyle/Carroll (in that order)

Read the above very carefully, its all - and i've not seen a more one-sided group of posts for a while - true.

There's a new sherriff in town... with a more than able deputy, and its sink or swim time. What was it Ian Doyle once said to me - and many others too - i've no doubt?
"You cannot reward mediocrity".

And to Messurs D.Hill & P.Ebdon.
You 2 have changed your tune ?

Anonymous said...

for all of you who think this statement was the doing of lee then you obviously do not know Stephen Hendry personally.

i do, and i can say you are talking rubbish!

Anonymous said...


What exactly is your point?
You know Hendry right?
And you can confirm that he said the things written in the headline thread of this blog, marvellous sour grapes then eh?

Anonymous said...

7.36, Id much rather watch Ford or Trump(not pinches)than Hendry.
They are two of the most attacking and entertaining players on the circuit.

Mignon said...

You know what Napoleon used to ask when gifted officers were recommended for promotion to generals? He used to say: “Fine, he’s a great asset but tell me this: is he lucky?”

I loved you post, Anon 10:14 PM ! Yes, there’s a new sheriff in town. He’s smart, he’s daring, and he’s lucky!

Anonymous said...


well said!

Anonymous said...

The rankings should be left alone, and as an earlier poster said there are a lot more events now carrying ranking points. In football you can be promoted or relegated after a FULL season. QPR won't be promoted because they are top of the championship after 12 games.
Should West Ham be relegated if they don't win in their 1st 10-12 games or should they be judged on a FULL season?

Anonymous said...

Any one reading this would think a hundred and ten had just got rid of there internal spin doctor who would never have had allowed anything like this story to print.

Anonymous said...

Someone claiming to be the author of the 110sport article has appeared on Snooker Island saying Hendry wasn't having a go at the ranking system

Make yer minds up!

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether Hendry would have been quoted had he praised the new system?

Anonymous said...

"Should West Ham be relegated if they don't win in their 1st 10-12 games or should they be judged on a FULL season?"

Under the new ranking system, players are judged over two FULL seasons.

Anonymous said...

So are we to assume that 'Hulk Hogan' works for 110 sports?

Not another has-been on their books!

Anonymous said...

The football analogy is bogus. The teams are relegated after ONE "tournament" which has no knock-out fase. It is called the Premier League. You can't refer to matches as tournaments. And the snooker players do NOT lose all their previous points after every tournament.
Is the criticism based on myths alone or are there any real objections? Hendry's arguments are poor as well: although he may fall down the rankings quickly he can also climb equally fast.

Dave H said...

'Hulk Hogan' stated on Snooker Island that he had sent a comment to this blog about the story which was rejected.

This is untrue. I did not receive any such comment although it's true sometimes comments disappear into the ether for reasons unknown.

Anonymous said...

1102, if you cant understand what my point was, there is no hope for you in getting it explained a second time

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Hendry on this point, the ranking system has become too complicated for supporters to understand now where I understood the previous two year cycle system perfectly - things that are over complicated don't work and don't appeal to the public, and instead of it being a great achievement for a player to nick a place in the top 16 at the end of the season with a brilliant run at the Crucible, that hard work isn't necessarily going to be rewarded with a full season, and there are people who are notorious slow starters to the season who will be disadvantaged too and you won't get to see the best of them later in the year as they will slip down the rankings.

Anonymous said...

Tech support: when you publish a comment and it jumps to the top but the 'pending approval' (or whatever the english version says) doen NOT appear then go to the bottom and push it again. The second time always works.

It took a while for me to figure this out. I just thought Dave was a ruthless dictator. He may be, but it does not show itself in terms of censorship..

Dave H said...

There's a curfew of no posting past 10pm

The 'boys' will be round in the morning...

Anonymous said...

6.45 what a truly ridiculous statement

Sonny said...

10:09pm - you are in a minority there friend. If you "understood perfectly" the way the previous ranking system worked (which many didn't), then you should have no problem understanding the current system. The benefits far outweigh any drawbacks, whatever they might be (I can't find any).

The "notorious slow starters" comment is pretty lame, especially when you consider the number of events taking place over the summer which wasn't previously the case.

Who are these notorious slow starters anyway?

Anonymous said...

i understood the previous rankings much better and without any confusion.

now there is confusion of when points come off and who will have to qualify for what after updates...

i agree with the previous poster that for the general public, who make up the high % of viewers, its not worth their bother.

Anonymous said...

Alot of the comments on here are unfortunate. The Marjory criticise Hendry for his comments, you claim that the new ranking system will help younger talent and end mediocrity.

Are you the same people who criticised Mark Allen for complaining about not getting to Glasgow? You know one of the younger players who missed out to has been's like Davis, White and Ebdon?

Anonymous said...

In fairness, Marjorie's always been quite cutting

Anonymous said...

How many ranking titles has Mark Allen won then?

When he's got a trophy on side he can moan about being overlooked: but not before