It has been announced by the African Billiards and Snooker Confederation (ABSC) that snooker will be included at the African Games for the first time later this year, representing a landmark development for our sport in the region.
Now organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), the African Union (AU) and the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC), the African Games were first staged in 1965 with approximately 2,500 athletes from 30 countries taking part. The 2019 Games represent the 12th edition of the event and will take place from 20 August – 1 September in Casablanca & Rabat, Morocco.
The decision to include snooker as a medal sport for the first time comes following significant work undertaken by the ABSC and in particular its president Mohammed El-Kammah who has worked tirelessly to make this dream become a reality.
It has been confirmed that member countries of the ABSC will be eligible to nominate players to compete at the Games. Non-member countries are therefore encouraged to become members of the ABSC so that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to pick up a cue and ensure that snooker is strongly represented in Morocco.
Among the most successful players to have emerged from the region include South African Perrie Mans, who reached the final of the world championship at the iconic Crucible Theatre back in 1978, losing 25-18 to Ray Reardon. Other players to make an impact at this time were former British Open champion Silvino Francisco and his nephew Peter, who rose as high as 14th in the world rankings and more recently competed at the World Games in Wroclaw in the summer of 2017.
Egypt’s Basem Eltahhan was the winner of the African Snooker Championship in 2017 and currently competes on the professional circuit, notably coming close to causing an upset against Mark Selby in the opening round of the UK Championship during his debut season before losing 6-4.
Mohammed El-Kammah, ABSC President said: “It is a dream that came true. Only 26 sports will be included in the African games and Snooker is one of them. Africa is a big continent and being in the African Games will create opportunities for every company working in the cue sports business. Players in Africa will be recognised for their achievement and probably talented players will be able to find sponsors and earn money. My next stop will be the Mediterranean Games and with the cooperation of my good friend Mr. Jason Ferguson, we will make it.”
Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “Any true global sport should reach out to every corner of the word to create opportunities for all. This is the true meaning of sport and is a further demonstration of development in cooperation with the WPBSA Group and the World Snooker Federation membership.
“Africa as a region has always made a significant contribution to snooker and this will help to develop opportunities for funding which will help aspiring players across the continent. I would like to offer my profound gratitude to my friend Mohammed El-Kammah for his lifetime of work that has helped to make this possible.”
Further information will be released here by the ABSC in due course.
The 2019 Pan American Snooker Championship will come to the United States, as the newly formed Pan American Billiards and Snooker Association (PABSA) will host this prestigious international snooker event at Q Ball Snooker & Pool in Houston, Texas, from January 30 – February 3.
The competition will have the top 48 players from North and South America including former professionals from the region. It will be spearheaded with players such as Igor Figueiredo and Itaro Santos, will also have pool professionals including Corey Deuel participate in the competition. Top players from Canada, USA and Bermuda will also be competing to win the prestigious Pan American snooker championship.
The Championship will commence just days after the conclusion of the 2019 World Seniors Snooker Championship qualifying event at Q Ball Snooker & Pool, giving those eligible players the opportunity to compete in both competitions.
PABSA will also be holding regional billiards event, the first of it that will be held in Winnipeg, Canada in May of 2019. Women’s and Masters events will be held from 2020 as a part of the Pan American Championships.
Prior to the Championship, PABSA will hold their first meeting, and it is anticipated that Jason Ferguson, the chairman of both the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association (WPBSA) and the World Snooker Federation (WSF), will be present.
Ajeya Prabhakar, PABSA president said: “We are extremely proud to be able to hold the Pan American Snooker Championships in the US and we are looking to grow from strength to strength in our region. We have a lot of history with snooker in the region and we are happy that its again growing with clubs and viewership expanding here. We would like to thank the WSF and especially Jason Ferguson for patiently working with us and the unwavering support he has given us.”
Learn more about PABSA at its website: www.pabsa.org
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.”