New Q School Offers Chance Of Snooker Stardom
Budding snooker players from anywhere in the world dreaming of a shot at stardom will have the chance to qualify for the World Snooker Tour via the new Q School.
The Q School is set to run from May 11-31, 2011 (subject to entries), and it's a brand new system of qualification for the professional circuit, with 12 places on the Tour up for grabs.
There will be three tournaments, each a week long, with the semi-finalists in each to earn a coveted place on the 2011/12 World Snooker Tour. Any player can enter - amateurs or those dropping off the 2010/11 pro circuit.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "The new Q School will give any player, from the UK and overseas, a shot at earning a place on the professional tour. The event will take place under immaculate playing conditions at our Academy in Sheffield - and players only have to be there for three weeks so, if they have other commitments in their life, they don't have to spend a whole year trying to earn a place. This is a particular advantage for players from overseas who prefer to avoid the expense of living in the UK for a year.
"The pressure at the Q School will be intense - there are 12 places on the circuit up for grabs but the standard is sure to be very high and it will be all about who can thrive with so much at stake. The cream will rise to the top and we will have the very best emerging young talents in the world playing on the main tour. And the reward is enormous - the chance to play on the professional circuit in snooker's new era, with millions of pounds of prize money available and the chance to play against the top stars at the big venues. I'd urge anyone who thinks they have a chance to get involved and give it their very best shot.
"We've already seen hundreds of amateurs competing successfully in the Players Tour Championship series this season and it's obvious what great stength in depth there is out there, even outside the pro Tour.
"This system is one that has been successful in golf for many years and the Q School brings us up to date with the best method of qualification for professional status."
Top players are giving their support to the Q School. China's Ding Junhui said: "The Q School is great idea because it will give players the chance to qualify for the pro circuit without having to spend a whole season living in the UK. I know how tough it was for me when I first came here from China, as it is for some of my Chinese friends who are trying to get on to the main tour. The Q School will mean that they only have to come for a few weeks, and if they are good enough they will earn a place."
Belgium's top player Bjorn Haneveer added: "It's good for the foreign players to have a chance to come to the UK and qualify in one go. You have got to be in the right shape and make sure you peak for those three weeks, but if you are in form then you have the chance. Plus we have the Players Tour Championship events as well so that's a great opportunity for amateur players to compete throughout the season and prepare themselves for the Q School."
The Q School is now open for entries. The deadline is March 1, 2011, but players are advised to enter as soon as possible to make sure of their place in the event.
For details see www.worldsnookerqschool.com
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