New Academy Opens in Malta

New Academy Opens in Malta

Yesterday saw the successful opening of the Malta Snooker Academy situated at the Maria Assumpta School, Hamrun.

The Academy is the result of a successful project launched by the Malta Billiards and Snooker Association with the support of the World Snooker Federation (WSF) and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). The launch follows the first staging of the WSF Championships in St Paul’s Bay back in March, with seven of the tables used at the tournament now installed at the academy and an eighth planned for future use.

The Academy also houses five ‘Little Star’ tables donated by the WPBSA to encourage future development, with all future Maltese divisions and ranking events set to be played at the venue.

The Academy is a fantastic legacy of the WSF Championships and the WSF team would like to wish everyone in Malta the best for the future.

Snooker Supports Paris 2024 Olympic Bid

Snooker Supports Paris 2024 Olympic Bid

Billiard sports launched its bid to become part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sports programme today at a special ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Hosted by the Billiards 2024 Committee and supported by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and World Snooker, the event represents a significant milestone billiard sports’ bid for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Games.

Among those present were WPBSA Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM and former world professional snooker champion Shaun Murphy, who joined senior representatives from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and other international organisations to support the bid.

Billiard sports previously applied to join the Olympic programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games and three years on is in a significantly stronger position to be successful as cuesports continue to grow globally.

The first step to securing Olympic status for 2024 was taken earlier this year by the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the umbrella organisation representing snooker, pool and carom billiards, when the formal submission for billiard sports to be included as an additional sport at the Paris Games was made with the full cooperation of the FFB.

A sport for all

Snooker in particular has a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes. The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.

The sport is strongly represented at both professional and amateur levels and under the guidance of former WCBS President Jason Ferguson and former General Secretary Maxime Cassis, was successfully included at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw at which leading professional Kyren Wilson of England won the prestigious gold medal.

Snooker’s International Federation the World Snooker Federation (WSF) has since brought together professional and amateur bodies, including women’s and disability organisations, providing opportunities for all to compete on the same field of play.

WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “Today represents an important landmark in what is a serious bid for the inclusion of billiard sports at the Paris 2024 Games. With the levels of participation in our great sport consistently increasing and new opportunities being created by the WSF and its partners for people across the globe to be able to pick up a cue, the sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme.”

Following today’s announcement of the bid, next year will see a further demonstration event staged in Paris which will showcase the Olympic values of billiard sports.

For more information about the Billiards 2024 Committee and please visit: https://billiards2024.paris/

U.A.E. to Host WSF Championships 2019

U.A.E. to Host WSF Championships 2019

The World Snooker Federation (WSF) is today delighted to announce that the 2019 WSF Championships will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E).

The Championships will run from 28 March – 7 April 2019 and be staged at the spectacular Dubai World Trade Centre, a stunning purpose-built complex for events and exhibitions. The event has been organised with the full support of the U.A.E. Billiards and Snooker Association (UAEBSA) which has provided invaluable support to the WSF over the past 12 months.

Following a successful inaugural edition of the event in Malta this March, next year’s event will once again include several top-class amateur snooker tournaments for amateur players from across the globe. The 11-day event will be highlighted by the WSF Mixed Gender Championship which last year saw 18-year-old Chinese prodigy Luo Honghao take victory to secure his place on the World Snooker Tour.

Next year’s winner will again be guaranteed to claim a two-year professional tour card from the start of the 2019/2020 season, together with a top prize of €10,000. All four semi-finalists of the main competition will also be invited to participate at the 2019 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield where just three more wins will stand between them and a place in the final stages at the iconic Crucible Theatre.

The WSF Championships will also incorporate the 2019 World Women’s Snooker Championship run by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker and won this year for a third time by Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee. Once again next year’s champion will take home the top prize of €6,000 and will be invited to compete in Sheffield at this season’s professional World Championship qualifiers, looking to follow the example of England’s Reanne Evans who in 2017 became the first woman to win a match at the professional World Championship against Robin Hull.

Finally, the event will also see the second staging of the WSF Seniors Championship, won last year by Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo in Malta. Open to players over-40 years of age, the event will provide another opportunity for senior players to claim the €6,000 first prize and earn a place in a major World Seniors Snooker international ranking event.

Format

Both the Women’s and Seniors events will run across the first four days (28-31 March 2019) with each to include two days of round robin group matches followed by two days of knockout matches.

As was the case this year, the top eight players of both the Women’s and Seniors events will automatically qualify to play in the main WSF Championship, which will begin on 1 April 2019. This provides equal opportunities for both men and women to earn a two-year tour place on the World Snooker Tour amongst the other opportunities to which will be available to players.

Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “Since our visit to Dubai last year, we have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from the UAEBSA. In particular the support that we have received from Mohamed Shehab, both a highly decorated athlete in the region and a true friend of the WSF has been valuable in the announcement of this event.

“The U.A.E. is fast-developing as a key strategic location in snooker’s global development. During the long season, many of our professional players are passing through this area and with the excellent vision of the UAEBSA we are sure to develop more opportunities ahead. We thrilled and proud to announce that the WSF Championships will be staged at this prestigious location in Dubai.”

Mr. Sultan Al Joaker, UAEBSA said: “We are very positive that the 2019 WSF Championships in Dubai will be both a very special and unique event. The UAEBSA has played a major role is the development of snooker in Asia and now it is the right time to shift our targets towards the global game under the professional guidance of the WSF.”

Further information, including event entry details will be released as soon as possible.

WSF Meetings Held in Thailand

WSF Meetings Held in Thailand

The World Snooker Federation (WSF) held its latest board meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on the 4th of September during the staging of the 2018 SangSom 6-Red World Championship.

For many years Thailand has played host to meetings involving international federations from across the globe. This year’s meetings were held as part of the ongoing sports development plans by the WSF and WPBSA.

Topics discussed at the meeting included the future strategy of the WSF, multi-sport events and the support of the bid for cue sports to be included as part of the programme at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Delegates in attendance included WSF President Jason Ferguson, WSF Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM, WSF General Secretary Maxime Cassis and WSF Treasurer Mike Peachey.

On the 5th of September the WSF board were joined by its regional and continental members. The European Billiards and Snooker Association (EBSA) was represented by John Terry, the Pan American Billiards and Snooker Association (PABSA) was represented by President Ajeya Prabhakar and the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation (OBSF) by President Frank Dewens. The Billiards and Snooker Association of Thailand (BSAT) were also respectfully invited as observers.

WSF President Jason Ferguson said “The past few days have been both positive and exciting. There are so many fantastic projects ahead like the development of Pan American Championships, the 2019 Africas Games and finding more opportunities for players who have to travel vast distances from places like Oceania. We have much to do, but with the passionate team of people we have seen this week we are confident that the future of our sport is bright.”

WSF Statement: WCBS EGA

WSF Statement: WCBS EGA

Today on the 16th August 2018 an Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) was held in Frankfurt, Germany.

It was unanimously agreed at the EGA that the membership status of the WCBS will be made up of the World Pool-Billiard Association (pool), Union Mondiale de Billiard (carom) and that the snooker membership will now made up of the WPBSA and the IBSF as equal independent members.

This decision is dependent on the WPBSA and IBSF reaching a formal agreement to work together by 16th December 2018.

Africa Joins World Snooker Federation

Africa Joins World Snooker Federation

We are today pleased to announce that the African Billiards and Snooker Confederation (ABSC) has become the latest regional body to become a full member of the World Snooker Federation (WSF).

The agreement follows positive discussions between both organisations in recent months during which it has become clear that the interests of the WSF and ABSC are aligned for the ongoing development of snooker both regionally and globally.

The WSF is hugely excited by the potential of the Africas region as part of snooker’s worldwide development and is committed to supporting the activities of the ABSC to grow the sport and to provide opportunities to African players to compete at the highest level.

It was recently announced that this year’s African national champion Mohamed Ibrahim of Egypt has been awarded a main tour place for the next two seasons. His countryman and reigning African 6-Red champion Mohamed Khairy will also take his place at September’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship as an international qualifier.

Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am honoured to be able to work with Mohammed Kammah and his team at the ABSC. He has worked hard for many years in leading our sport in the region, including the organisation of the All-African Championships and more recently by creating a landmark opportunity to develop snooker further in the region through inclusion in the All-African Games.

“This is a vast region with many players and huge potential to play a key role in our ongoing development work for snooker globally. Already we are pleased to have provided a pathway for African players to the World Snooker Tour and I am optimistic that with the commitment shown by Mohammed and his team, we will see even more talented players from Africa competing at the highest level.”

Mohammed Kammah, ABSC president said: “The ABSC cares about the players, referees and promoting the sport in Africa. The amateur circuit is the blood veins of the professional circuit and both bodies have to work together for the welfare of the sport. It is every player’s dream to play in the professional tournaments and we are keeping that dream with the respect and good cooperation between the ABSC and the WPBSA Group.

“We are very pleased with the support we are getting from the WPBSA Group and I am sure that together we will achieve a great future for Africa.”

Today’s news follows the recent announcement that the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation has also joined the WSF.