Now I'm one for the longer formats but have warmed to the shorter versions of the game which I've done in my time as a referee. Matches of best of 7 frames are not as unappealing as they were before the revolution began. For the record, in terms of frames the longest distance I have refereed is best of nine frames.
All of that however doesnt mean I like shorter tournaments and I still believe that the UK should have been a two session event even if this meant that matches in the earlier rounds were best of 13 frames up until the semi-finals with semis 17 and final 19. Of course providing a schedule of 24 matches over five days on TV would need to be considered but with the roll on, roll off format the tournament became known for now being more available as sessions would only be 6/7 compared to 8/9 which naturally made the scheduling more awkward unless a third television table or acceptance of untelevised venue tables was accepted.
We now have a circuit where the majority of the events are now played using best of seven frames as the format. Now many will argue that this is only bringing forward the winning post by one frame, the way in which sessions work has changed. No mid match intervals in these best of 7s means that the idea of winning the four frame minisession 3-1 no longer applies.
It also can provide the false diacotemy that the best of 11 is now a middle of the road format. - Now I know that many will say that I proposed something which is no more different in the 13 frame UK matches considering what snooker's basic sprint has been but a two session dynamic is totally different to a one session dynamic in terms of preparation.
But now that we have a growing calendar where nine frame matches once the stable diet of snooker tournaments are now being scaled back, is the best of 7 format now snooker's standard sprint race?
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