Is it just me, or is too little made of the under-21 World Championship? Is it really being promoted as much as it should be, and is it really a tournament for the best young players in the World? First of all it seems to be played in all sorts of far flung destinations each season, in uninspiring set-ups, and it hardly gets any publicity.
Well, remember how a few weeks back I touted the idea of a day off before the World Final? The problem we seemed to be encountering was that there was nothing to fill the gap, and things like third-place play-offs are never the most exciting occasions.
So how about this? Get the eight, twelve or sixteen of the best players under the age of 21 to play at the Snooker Academy in Sheffield, while the main event is on at the Crucible. Try and get red-button coverage from time to time, and a run down during the BBC's highlights show? Use the current format that's in place for the UK Championship, ie best of 17 until the best of 19 final.
And, how's this for an incentive? Play the final at the Crucible on the third Saturday, so the finalists can have a rest day.
Again, I understand that this day-off idea is not the most popular, but I believe most of the players would support the idea. Also, this is giving some badly needed publicity to the younger generation, and they get some early experience of a Crucible final.
This idea came from the All-Ireland football & hurling championship finals (the two biggest days on the Irish sporting calender), where the under-18 finals are played as curtain raisers to the big event. It's a system that works well, and it shocases younger players on national television, and at Croke Park.
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