SnookerFan wrote:You could argue that amateur boxing can stay, because that's different rules to real boxing, so could be considered in some ways to be distinct from proper boxing. But that's the only real exception I can think of.
Its interesting that you mention boxing. As you say, the Olympic boxers are amateurs. This opens up another possibility - that snooker is included in the Olympics but only amateurs are allowed to enter. The Olympic games could become the pinnacle of amateur snooker.
Another thing that is interesting about boxing is that Cuba has historically been the dominant nation in amateur boxing, but, because it is a Communist country, they don't become professional (a few have defected to the US to turn pro but you take my point). The Olympic games is the only opportunity most of the world has to watch these boxers who, in spite of the word "amateur", are extremely accomplished at what they do. I wonder if anyone plays snooker in Cuba? I wonder if theres a potential Hendry or O'Sullivan there that we don't know about?
The difference being that Amateur boxing is that it's a different discipline to professional boxing. It could almost be taken as a different sport based on several differences between the Amateurs and the Professional game.
The scoring is different, what with three judges trying to award punches based on the punch scored, rather than who won each round. Also there are only three rounds per fight, the gloves having more padding and the combatants use head gears for added security. (Though I'm aware at the Commonwealth Games recently they had a trial period whereby the men didn't wear head guards.) Quite a lot of differences, and a couple of quite significant ones.
If you just let amateur snooker players into the Olympics, it would still fundamentally be the same game. 15 reds, and the colours. It'd just be full of people who weren't good enough to make it professional.