Challenge Tour Nominations Announced

Challenge Tour Nominations Announced

The WPBSA and World Snooker have today announced further information in respect of the nominated players who will participate in the new Challenge Tour.

To operate as a secondary circuit to the World Snooker Tour, Challenge Tour will comprise 10 events to be staged across the UK and mainland Europe during the 2018/19 season.

Players

The top 64 players on the final 2018 Q School Rankings, excluding those who have qualified for the main tour, will be eligible to compete in each Challenge Tour event.

Up to eight more players will be added to the tour based on the following criteria agreed by the WPBSA in consultation with the World Snooker Federation (WSF):

European WSF Member Federations hosting Challenge Tour Events

  • National Champion of Latvia
  • National Champion of Belgium
  • TBC – EBSA Host European Federation

Players who reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Snooker Federation Mixed Championships

  • Kacper Filipiak of Poland
  • Kristjan Helgason of Iceland

World Women’s Snooker Tour

  • Ng On Yee of Hong Kong (2018 WLBS World Women’s Snooker champion)
  • Reanne Evans of England (2017/2018 season end WLBS World Women’s no.1 ranked, or next in line if the same as world champion)

The eighth nomination was the WSF Championship runner-up Adam Stefanów, however it was recently announced that he is now to join the World Snooker Tour from the 2018/19 season.

Should any of the above players not enter a Challenge Tour event, any further players will be selected based upon the Q School Rankings. National federations will not have the option to transfer these invitations to other players.

Challenge Tour will provide a direct pathway to the World Snooker Tour, with the top two players on the final Order of Merit to receive a two-year professional ticket from the start of the 2019/20 season.

There will be a total prize fund of £100,000 to be provided by the WPBSA as part of its ongoing commitment to amateur snooker which has recently seen the formalisation of the International Federation for Snooker, the WSF.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “I am delighted to see the gap between amateur and professional snooker getting smaller with the introduction of the World Snooker Challenge Tour in Europe. We have seen many young talented players coming through in China through competing on the CBSA Tour which provides excellent playing opportunities for leading players in the region. There is a strong appetite from elite performing amateur players across Europe to have similar opportunities as they look to develop a full-time career in our sport.

This new Challenge Tour will not only provide the opportunity to compete at a high-level in match conditions, it will also be a place where as a world governing body we can educate the next generation of players and officials to safeguard our sport’s future.”

The first Challenge Tour event gets underway this Saturday at the Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton and will run for two days with a total prize fund of £10,000.

On Yee Wins Third World Women’s Title

On Yee Wins Third World Women’s Title

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has defeated Maria Catalano 5-0 to complete the successful defence of her WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship title and claim her third world crown overall on Saturday.

On Yee completed a dominant week in Malta with a convincing victory against world number four Catalano, who earlier in the day had stunned 11-time world champion Reanne Evans with a 4-3 win to progress to her fifth world final and first since 2013.

It was also a fifth final for On Yee, who last month became world number one for the first time in her career and following previous victories against Belgium’s Wendy Jans and third ranked Rebecca Kenna, routed Catalano to seal the title without the loss of a single frame.

The success sees On Yee become only the third player ever to win the title on three or more occasions, joining an elite group comprising Reanne Evans (11), Allison Fisher (7), Kelly Fisher (5) and Karen Corr (3).

The 27-year-old will also extend her lead at the top of the WLBS rankings when they are revised next week, while beaten finalist Catalano will rise one place to number three following her run.

A delighted On Yee later revealed that she came into the tournament carrying an illness, but that this could have actually worked to her advantage.

“I am absolutely over the moon to win my third title,” said On Yee. “I did not have great expectations coming into the tournament as I was coughing and sick so just tried to play every game, every ball. But looking back now I think that this took a lot of pressure off me and I started to play a little better.

“When I saw the knockout draw I thought that was a tough draw, playing Wendy Jans in the first knockout match, but I just tried to focus and to enjoy the games. I would like to say thank you to all of my team, including family and friends, as well as my coaches at the Hong Kong Sports Institute who have supported me even late at night.”

And having enjoyed her time at the tournament in Malta, the Asian star now turns her attention to Sheffield where she will compete at the professional World Championship qualifiers following her latest triumph.

“It has been great to be here in Malta for the first time with very nice weather, a beautiful ocean view for breakfast in the morning and to be surrounded by nice people.

“As well as the title, the most important thing for me is that I have now qualified to player at the professional World Championship in Sheffield which I am really looking forward to.

“The first time there when I played Peter Lines [in 2016] I was so nervous about the atmosphere that I did not play well. Last year against Nigel Bond I had more expectations, but I still didn’t play well, so hopefully this year I can just enjoy the match.”

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return for its final event of the 2017/18 season with the Women’s Festival of Snooker, which runs from 13-16 April 2018. Entries for the event are still being accepted HERE.