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.”
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.
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.
We are today delighted to welcome the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation (OBSF) as the latest full member of the World Snooker Federation (WSF).
The WSF continues to welcome the support of national and regional bodies that share its commitment to both good governance and the expansion of amateur snooker across the globe. With its rich history in the sport, the Oceania region is a key area for strategic development over the coming years and both the WSF and OBSF are excited about the opportunities ahead.
As previously announced, Oceania will be granted a place at this year’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand, with a qualifying tournament to be staged in July. This is just the beginning as WSF align the interests of Oceania’s many players with the World Snooker Tour.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am today pleased to be able to welcome the OBSF to the WSF family. The Oceania region has played a significant role in a long history of billiards sports. OBSF President Frank Dewens and his team work tirelessly providing a strong framework for our sport to develop and I am very excited to be able to harness this passion and commitment within our group.”
We are today pleased to announce further information in respect of six international qualifiers who will compete at this year’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship in September.
The tenth staging of the event won in 2017 by Mark Williams will take place from 3-8 September in Bangkok, Thailand, with a mix of the sport’s top professionals and leading amateurs making up a top class international field.
Following discussions between representatives of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), WSF and the tournament organising committee it has been agreed that six of the qualifying players will be selected as follows:
- 1x Africa qualifier
- 1x U.A.E. qualifier
- 1x European qualifier
- 1x Oceania qualifier
- 2x WSF qualifiers
Former professional world number 95 Mohamed Khairy of Egypt will represent Africa following his victory at the 2018 African 6-Red Championship in Cairo last month.
He will be joined by 2007 Asian Indoor Games snooker gold medallist Mohammed Shehab of the United Arab Emirates, a well-known and highly decorated player in the region which is working closely with the WSF in respect of ongoing and future projects.
New professional Luo Honghao of China and Marvin Lim Chun Kiat from Singapore have also qualified as the best two performing Asian players at the inaugural WSF Championship in Malta earlier this year.
The names of the final two players are still to be confirmed, with the winners of this week’s EBSA European 6-Red Championship and of a 6-Red qualifying tournament to be staged in Oceania this July to also earn their places in Thailand.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “This is another significant demonstration of our global strategy of collaboration with the many regional and national federations who have pledged their support to the WSF to date. We are proud to be able to provide a pathway to significant international tournaments such as the SangSom 6-Red World Championship as the event celebrates its tenth anniversary this year in Thailand.”
The announced players will join 16 professionals from the World Snooker Tour, as well as a further 10 amateur players to be invited by the tournament organising committee.
Read how Mark Williams captured the title for the first time last year HERE.