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‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Pink Ball

I was annoyed recently when the BBC said that Willie Thorne never won a major title. He won the Classic — which was 100 per cent one of the biggest titles in the game at the time, including a two-session semi final and three-session final.

This Triple Crown bullocks has gotten out of hand. Jimmy White is routinely referred to as someone who only won two majors. He won the Classic twice, the British Open twice and the Grand Prix twice. When I was growing up, there was fuckall talk of a triple crown, and there were SIX British tournaments that stood out from the rest: the World Championship, the UK Championship, the Classic, the British Open, the Grand Prix and the Masters. On this side of the channel, the Irish Masters (which White also won twice) was seen by most as the biggest tournament of the lot aside from the World Championship. It wasn’t, but it was a very, very prestigious tournament.

I get that four of those tournaments effectively died out, but that doesn’t change the fact they were major tournaments in their day. A lot of players are being done a disservice by this triple crown bull. It’s like they hardly existed or won fuck-all of worth.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Dragonfly

I agree. I mean obviously the worlds is the one to win. And the masters is clearly a prestige event. But a player could win 20 of the other events and be classed as not winning a major title. It is all a bit silly.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby KrazeeEyezKilla

A lot of those ranking finals in the 80's had huge audiences too. Between the massive popularity of Snooker and the fairly small number of proper tournaments then every one of them would have felt like a major.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Juddernaut88

Yep BBC are annoying when they only seem to focus on "triple crown" events. I can remember in the UK championship final last year when Ding Junhui was closing in on victory and Hazel Irvine said something along the lines of "Ding is on course for his first major in 8 years" despite the fact Ding last ranking title prior to this was 2 years ago. That terminology "major" really does my head in especially when it only refers to the triple crown events.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby HustleKing

Kinda just accepting BBC presenting snooker any damn way they please at this point (which I'm unsure will change post the retirements of Hazel, Dennis and Virgo), without getting triggered by it.

As long as the rest of the snooker media and most fans don't buy into the 3 majors over hype, that's the important thing

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerFan

For me, the BBC showing snooker is a necessary evil. The sport needs the freeview exposure. Especially on one of the bigger channels. It introduces the game to a bigger audience. Despite the piffle that they speak.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Iranu

Pink Ball wrote:What tournaments nowadays fit into this kind of bracket?

The Tour Championship, China Open, Shanghai Masters, Players Championship, World Grand Prix, Champion of Champions?

I’d add the German Masters.

The World Grand Prix is I suppose, but I always tend tj see it as a pre-cursor to the Players Championship and Tour Championship. Its format doesn’t help.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Pink Ball

Iranu wrote:
Pink Ball wrote:What tournaments nowadays fit into this kind of bracket?

The Tour Championship, China Open, Shanghai Masters, Players Championship, World Grand Prix, Champion of Champions?

I’d add the German Masters.

The World Grand Prix is I suppose, but I always tend tj see it as a pre-cursor to the Players Championship and Tour Championship. Its format doesn’t help.

I wouldn't include the German Masters, personally. Never had a format to set it apart. I actually don't think I'll include the World Grand Prix, it's definitely the weak link of the Coral series.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Iranu

Pink Ball wrote:I wouldn't include the German Masters, personally. Never had a format to set it apart.

I know what you mean. But I think there’s something to be said for being easily the largest tournament in mainland Europe and being in what’s generally considered to be one of the very best arenas on the tour. It’s a shame its prize fund is so low. It’s the biggest tournament between the Masters and the Players Championship in my opinion.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Pink Ball

Iranu wrote:
Pink Ball wrote:I wouldn't include the German Masters, personally. Never had a format to set it apart.

I know what you mean. But I think there’s something to be said for being easily the largest tournament in mainland Europe and being in what’s generally considered to be one of the very best arenas on the tour. It’s a shame its prize fund is so low. It’s the biggest tournament between the Masters and the Players Championship in my opinion.

I don't think it's been given the respect it deserves. There's a big chance with that tournament to really put it on the map. Even best of 11s up to the semis and a best of 19 final would put it in the god zone. It's the only 'big' snooker venue I've been to that works.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Andy Sparky

Pink Ball wrote:
Iranu wrote:
Pink Ball wrote:I wouldn't include the German Masters, personally. Never had a format to set it apart.

I know what you mean. But I think there’s something to be said for being easily the largest tournament in mainland Europe and being in what’s generally considered to be one of the very best arenas on the tour. It’s a shame its prize fund is so low. It’s the biggest tournament between the Masters and the Players Championship in my opinion.

I don't think it's been given the respect it deserves. There's a big chance with that tournament to really put it on the map. Even best of 11s up to the semis and a best of 19 final would put it in the god zone. It's the only 'big' snooker venue I've been to that works.

Great venue, but a "god zone" requires at least best of 17 in the rounds in my humble opinion; if that seems unrealistic then I agree, because I'm an atheist.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerFan

I always think the term majors is somewhat subjective.

I remember a conversation years ago on break-off. The topic was; "What is more prestigious, the China Open or the Welsh Open?" Now at that time, they had an identical format. I can't remember what the prize money was exactly for each, but I don't think the were much difference in terms of prize money or ranking points for the two.

There was a split in the forum, and people felt quite strongly on both.

My answer was that they were similar in terms of prestige, but if I had to pick one I'd go for the Welsh as an older tournament it had more history. Others said it was China, with one person (I forget who) saying the fact it was held in China made a difference. China being a bigger country and was seen as a hotbed of snooker at the time. (Which wouldn't have come into it for me when discussing prestige.) The Welsh Open was in Newport at the time.

Over time on Snooker Island, I've seen the opinions that longer matches = prestige. Which is why the UK Championship is considered less of a major than it used to be. Also, I've seen people claim that Prize Money indicates determines whether a tournament is a major. The more prize money, the bigger a major it. Again, I disagree that prize money itself directly makes something a major. But I do think there's an indirect correlation. (The more people who believe a tournament is prestigious, the more people will watch it. The more viewers the tournament gets, the more sponsorship it's likely to receive and the more prize money can be offered.)

So, we have an issue where some people think that a tournament with a long history makes it prestigious, some people think the longer matches make it prestigious, some people who think prize money or how much it affects a players rank makes it prestigious.

In short, there's no right or wrong answer. The BBC claim The World Championship, the UK Championship and The Masters are the most prestigious. Now, a lot of fans at home will agree with this. Some because the BBC tell them it is, some because they are probably the three tournaments that get the highest viewing figures, at least in the UK. And though this doesn't bother me in itself, because as I said what constitutes a major is so subjective, the other side of that argument is that because it's so subjective it can make it all the more annoying when the BBC pretend other tournaments don't exist. It's not so much the fact that they spunk themselves so much that they're tournaments are important. But, like Pinkball said, when Ding won the UK, the BBC made it sound like he hasn't won anything in eight years. We know that's not what they were actually saying, but a more casual viewer might be conned into thinking that Ding has done nothing for a longer period of his career than is actually true.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerFan

Dan-cat wrote:SF has gone full Saviour too. We are screwed!


rofl rofl rofl

Yeah, that was probably unnecessarily long.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerEd25

Dan-cat wrote:SF has gone full Saviour too. We are screwed!


Don't be daft; it was coherent. :no:

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Prop

Good post, SF. I agree entirely with your point about how the Beeb omit other tournaments from discussion. Like they don’t want to acknowledge other broadcasters and in doing so don’t acknowledge a player’s achievements in those tournaments. “I haven’t seen much of this player” is a staple in the BBC comms box.

They’ve clung onto the term ‘majors’ and try to sustain the notion that the BBC tournaments are more prestigious than others.

Personally I look forward to the Players and Tour champs more than I do the UK. The Tour champs especially feels more of a major, but as long as the Beeb are effectively monopolising the term, the casual viewer might not hold it in as high regard as they perhaps should.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerFan

Prop wrote:Good post, SF. I agree entirely with your point about how the Beeb omit other tournaments from discussion. Like they don’t want to acknowledge other broadcasters and in doing so don’t acknowledge a player’s achievements in those tournaments. “I haven’t seen much of this player” is a staple in the BBC comms box.

They’ve clung onto the term ‘majors’ and try to sustain the notion that the BBC tournaments are more prestigious than others.

Personally I look forward to the Players and Tour champs more than I do the UK. The Tour champs especially feels more of a major, but as long as the Beeb are effectively monopolising the term, the casual viewer might not hold it in as high regard as they perhaps should.


Yes.

Like I say, it's not so much that they refer to the tournaments as majors. More the reasons why they do it. (To make the other tournaments seem meaningless in comparison and to promote their channel.) Notice Eurosport don't pretend the tournaments solely on ITV4 are meaningless, neither do ITV4 do it with other tournaments. That's purely a BBC thing.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby McManusFan

Aside from the weird denial about the rest of the season, the BBC coverage is really pretty good. You don't have to put up with adverts, you get table choice, you get Hazel (easily the best presenter), you get a decent highlights programme, and a wide roster of commentators.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Ck147

McManusFan wrote:Aside from the weird denial about the rest of the season, the BBC coverage is really pretty good. You don't have to put up with adverts, you get table choice, you get Hazel (easily the best presenter), you get a decent highlights programme, and a wide roster of commentators.

Agree with most of what you said, but have you seen Jill on ITV? I suspect not.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Iranu

McManusFan wrote:Aside from the weird denial about the rest of the season, the BBC coverage is really pretty good. You don't have to put up with adverts, you get table choice, you get Hazel (easily the best presenter), you get a decent highlights programme, and a wide roster of commentators.

Their table choice is awful, though. During their abysmal weekday evening coverage the second table gets relegated and the first table gets stuck on red button.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Ck147

Iranu wrote:
McManusFan wrote:Aside from the weird denial about the rest of the season, the BBC coverage is really pretty good. You don't have to put up with adverts, you get table choice, you get Hazel (easily the best presenter), you get a decent highlights programme, and a wide roster of commentators.

Their table choice is awful, though. During their abysmal weekday evening coverage the second table gets relegated and the first table gets stuck on red button.

Can still watch both tables online though.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby HustleKing

Also, why does the red button option not seem to work on Sky the last few years, but it always works on Freesat? :chin:

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerEd25

A wide variety of bottom-of-the-barrel commentators, in my opinion.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Iranu

SnookerEd25 wrote:A wide variety of bottom-of-the-barrel commentators, in my opinion.

+ Hendry & Angles

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby SnookerEd25

Angles doesn’t do BBC does he?

And Hendry dumbs down seemingly.

Re: ‘Majors’ in snooker

Postby Iranu

That’s true about Hendry. Angles has been doing both BBC and ITV for the last season or two.