World Snooker and Rileys have released details of how to enter the pre-qualifying competitions for the new World Open.
This fantastic and innovative tournament is giving amateur players the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Neil Robertson if they can go all the way to the televised stages. It's snooker's version of the FA Cup, with the possibility of a rags-to-riches story if one of the club players can reach the business end.
Competitions will be staged by 20 different clubs, ten Rileys and ten independent (listed below), around the UK over the coming weeks. Each competition will produce one winner, who will go through to the professional qualifying rounds at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield from August 21-24. They will then be battling for a place in the televised stages, at the SECC in Glasgow from September 18-26, when the sport's star names will be fighting for the trophy and a prize fund of £500,000.
A spokesman for World Snooker said: "This is a chance of a lifetime for anyone who has dreamed of playing snooker on the biggest stage to step up and show us what you've got! We're encouraging anyone who fancies their chances to get in touch with the nearest club staging a competition, enter it, get practising and then see how far you can get. There have to be 20 club players going through to the professional stages and IT COULD BE YOU! It would be fantastic if just one of those got all the way to the TV phase.
"We're delighted to be working alongside Rileys and other independent clubs on this brilliant initiative which we hope will generate more interest in playing and watching snooker thoughout the UK and beyond."
Rileys Chief Executive Maurice Kelly said: “Rileys are delighted to support snooker's new World Open. Initially, all 120 Rileys clubs nationwide will be participating. Players who win their opening-round matches go through to our ten regional finals. The ten winners then go into the competition proper.
“The knock out format is definitely going to throw up some surprises when the minnows come up against the big boys! And the £500,000 prize fund guarantees everyone will be on top of their game. Rileys and World Snooker are working to make sure the World Open gets off to a flying start.”
For more information, including the rules of entry, click here
Tickets for the final stages at the SECC in Glasgow are now on sale, for details call 0844 395 4000 or visit http://www.worldsnooker.com/tickets
The World Open receives equal funding and support from EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.