Post a reply

No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby snooker_loopy

According to a post I read on another snooker-related forum, Barry Hearn is not switching to the new 128 (all players start at round 1) format for next year's WC. If this is correct, why is Hearn allowing this? Seems slightly hypocritical given how Hearn has been so vocal against the previous format where the top 16 players were 'safe' from being knocked out too early in ranking events. He said it would be a level playing field for everyone.

I doubt the 128 format would alter BBC's coverage of the event. They could retain the current format with the final 32 stage being broadcast. The earlier rounds would not be shown on tv.

Anyone have any thoughts on this and why Hearn appears to be inconsistent or reluctant/unable to switch to the 128 format for the sport's most prestigious ranking event.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby Cloud Strife

Hearn is smart to keep things as they are for World Championship.

I just don't see the fascination with 128 flat draws. I can understand why they have it for normal rankers, but if they did it for the WC it would ruin the event as we know it.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby snooker_loopy

I think you can make a case for and against the 128 format - both camps have compelling arguments - but Hearn has been very vocal against retaining the old system which protects the top 16. If he really does believe in what says he needs to implement the format for all events in the snooker calendar. Indeed, you could make a case for the WC being the one event where the 128 format is mandatory. If it's the ultimate tournament to win then all the players should start at round 1.

I'm not a huge fan of Barry Hearn (his personality, I mean, seems a bit too arrogant and dismissive of players' opinions) but he's done a lot of good for the sport - loads more events and more prize money - however he needs to sort out the 128 format. All events should be 128 or none at all. But don't leave it like this as it makes the format look inconsistent. Apparently the BBC doesn't want the WC to change to the 128 format. The BBC's current contract with snooker ends next year, I believe, so I guess change will happen.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby Snooker Overdrive

The World Championship is perfect as it is.

It's already a very long tournament - 17 days. You can't possibly make it any longer. Also it would mean the end of the Crucible and that's unacceptable. The World Championship has to stay exactly as it is now for as long as possible.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby snooky147

Wildey wrote:i think World Championship and UK Should be with qualifiers and every other event flat 128

Absolutely agree there. The UK in particular should not be devalued anymore than it has been and The World Championships should not be touched in any way.
Although, we all know he will mess with the format in some way.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby roy142857

I'd like a switch to the 16 seeded players being the best 16 from the current season (including the China Open!) rather than the best 16 over 2 years, makes sense to me to move away from the flat 128 for a World Championship at the end of a season IF it's direct reward for performance in that season.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby PLtheRef

The 128 has grown on me as the last couple of years have gone on. I appreciate all the complaints the top players have had about having to work their way up, Learn their trade and work their way up the rankings playing players of a similar standard, and to tell the truth there aren't many faults with the old system. For anyone just breaking into the top 16 at the time of the change gets a lot of sympathy from me. That said there was never going to be a perfect time to make a change.

The 2012 World Championships two years ago suggested that a flatter format would work in the competition sector. But I do think a lot was rushed through, particularly introducing it midway through a season. The format was nothing new, but it seemed a race to get it on, and led to venues needing to accommodate more players than they were prepared for. That said 128 has worked well and initial fears seem to have subsided.

The World Championship needs to keep the qualifiers though. This is what makes it unique, players are on the road to the Crucible, the race is on to get there and the battle to be in the 16 to be assured of a place at Sheffield is on. It needs to be there, to make the race intense, otherwise it becomes another tournament on the calendar.

One thing I would change is how the World Championship Qualifiers are conducted, With 112 players, I'd conduct that in the flat format. With the 96 players outside the top 32 making up 48 first round ties, with the 16 seeded players in the qualifiers joining the 48 winners to make a second round of 64 players, the 32 winners then contesting the Crucible places. It would mean three rounds but still the same number of matches as this week has needed. The difference being seeds winning two matches rather than one.

You could seed the draw so that seeds 33-48 couldn't face 17-32 opposition until the third round.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby Andre147

AC or LT? wrote:Personally I think the Worlds is the one tournament that should remain seeded. It gives players an incentive to work their bottom off all season to get seeded in it and it's the worlds so the best players i.e the top 16 need to be there.

Yeah but it was a farce this season that the China Open didn't count towards Crucible seedings <doh> instead seen as almost a "warm-up" event for the Worlds, which can't be like that.

The Big tournaments like UK and Worlds should not have 128 flat draw, of course the UK has and will probably have for the future years but I hope they never touch with the Worlds formats.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby snooker_loopy

Some breaking news...

There is a press conference on Wednesday and Barry Hearn is to announce changes to the WC format. In the past Barry Hearn has said there would be no changes to the WC format so good to see Barry is following in the footsteps of such honourable people as Nick 'no tuition fees' Clegg.


Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby Cannonball

Dear Barry Hearn,

If you are on here (and if you're not you should be!), please reduce the WC to a qualifying tournament, flat 128, so the winner can challenge the reigning World Champion to a match over 2 weeks, best of 199 frames. This would gain enormous viewing figures and be of real worth. I don't see why Ronnie has to waste his time playing dafties when we all know he's the greatest ever. An even better idea might be to let the player of the year, i.e. Ding, challenge Ronnie for the WC. Justice would pick this match all day. By April, the player gaining most ranking points would earn the right to challenge. Watching Bingo v. Ken is a total turn-off and the public will simply switch over. The solution is to remove this rubbish from out screens.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby SnookerFan

There was some rumour of a format change yesterday.

By rumour, I mean they were banging on about it on Eurosport.

My guess is a decision on whether to let Hendry and Davis play as wildcards is going to be announced.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby PoolBoy

My understanding of today's announcement is that there are two significant changes to the World Championships.
a. Wild cards for former champions
b. Changes to the qualifying format.
No matches will be less than 19 frames at any stage which is good.

a.) The first is the introduction of 'wild cards' for previous champions - a bit like golfs Masters tournament having life-time invitations for previous winners.
So, in theory, as well as Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, the likes of Joe Johnson, Terry Griffiths, Ray Reardon, Dennis Taylor, John Parrott and Cliff Thorburn would technically get invited to enter qualifying.

b.) Qualifying is where the other major change is planned.
The top 16, as now, will automatically get to the Crucible. Not sure yet when the 'cut off' point is but it'll likely be similar to now.
But the players ranked 17-32 will now no longer have that nerve-jangling 'play off' for the Crucible - instead they'll have to win through THREE rounds to make the venue! For example, from this year, Graeme Dott wouldn't be just one game from 'Sheffield', he'd instead have to win 3 rounds to qualify.

It seems there will be 144 players competing. Less the 16 seeds straight through to the Crucible = 128 players battling in qualifying.
Round 1 : 128 players
Round 2 : 64 players
Round 3 : 32 players...with the 16 winners qualifying for the Crucible.

The initial 128 qualifiers would comprise the current tour players supplemented by the former champions wild-cards plus top-ups from 'developing snooker nations'.

Basically, if you're not seeded straight through to the venue, you have to win 3 games to qualify.
The rest all start at the same stage, whether you're Graeme Dott (for example), Stephen Hendry or an unknown invitee from Singapore (?)! Interesting times ahead.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby snooker_loopy

With the greatest of respect, the announcement about wild cards/former world champions being let back into the game seems a lot of hot air. Let's be brutally frank here, if you're not good anymore you're not good anymore so trying to pretend you're still good enough to

A) qualify for the last 32 of the WC

B) qualify to stay on the main tour

is pointless. History proves this:

Jimmy White got a wild card to play in the 2010 Masters. He played badly and lost 6:2 to Mark King.

But the 47-year-old, who won the Masters in 1984, was candid when assessing how he performed. "It was woeful. It was sickening to play like that," White told BBC Radio 5 live. "

If wild cards are given to veteran players it won't make them better, won't make them win more matches. The idea is a non-starter in terms of enhancing the sport. It's just old players making a few quid coming back and losing in the earlier rounds. If Hearn thinks great players of the past deserve a comeback, why not create a 'Classic Players' League. Sort of like the Premier League Snooker on Sky but for older players only. The League can run for much of the year, six to eight months, and you win ranking points and some decent prize money. This league has nothing to do with the main pro tour for all the other players.

I think something like that would be the best compromise.

Hearn's approach is a mish-mash. He goes on about stopping the top 16 being protected but then wants to bring his pal, Steve, back onto the tour. It smacks of favouritism or hypocrisy. That may not be Hearn's intention but that's how it comes across.

It's also silly not to have the 128 format or whatever number it is (144?) for the WC. In hindsight, Hearn should have guaranteed all events in the snooker calendar were the flat 128 format - all contracts signed - before announcing this major change. But as it stands, the most prestigious tournament - the WC - is not 128 whereas lesser tournaments are so it seems inconsistent and gives the impression Hearn is making it up as he goes along or contradicting earlier decisions.

Re: No 128 format for 2015 World Championship?

Postby vodkadiet

The World Championship should be a flat 128 format for all players. It works at the major tennis events. Higher ranked players shouldn't be spared playing 7 rounds to win the title. They should run with that and work out the logistics from this premise.