Post a reply

So then, about that flat draw for Shanghai

Postby PLtheRef

As people may or not have been aware 2014 marked the end of World Snooker's present contract with the Shanghai Masters.

Arguably the biggest philosophy that Barry Hearn has banged the drum about time after time in the last couple of years was the conversion of the ranking events on tour to the 128 system. For this he has always intimated no exceptions. Yes there would be an honouring of the present contracts in certain cases, namely Shanghai and Australia, but once those contracts were up for renewal those countries would be expected to conform to the 128 man flat draw format.

Hearn confirmed this in the statement he issued back at Crucible in April

BARRY HEARN wrote:"Further steps to strengthen our tour by moving closer to a completely level playing field with a 128-player flat draw are always on my mind. I want a system in snooker that's totally open, totally transparent and totally available to every player that picks up a cue, based on fairness and quality of play.

We're currently negotiating with Shanghai and Australia to fall into line with 128 players in round one - from 2015 for Shanghai and 2016 for Australia.

Until a flat-draw system is introduced, the top 16 players seeded through who do not win a match will receive their prize money but none of it will count towards their world ranking with effect from the 2014/15 season.

Fast forward four and a half months and there is an educated guess in the air that potentially the 128 man flat draw format could well be kept back for the Shanghai Masters of 2015 ... r-new-deal

HECTOR NUNNS wrote:Shanghai were one of the three ranking tournaments along with Australia and the World Championships that did not want to fall into line with Hearn’s vision of all players in at the 128-man stage. And Inside Snooker is sticking to its prediction made a week ago that the format will remain the same, with a draw of 32 including 16 seeds through to the venue, 16 qualifiers, and eight Chinese wildcards.

Obviously this could all turn out to be just a myth but there is a real chance that this guess could well be on the money.

It could well be argued that Ding failing to qualify for Wuxi has been the catalyst for this!

In my view, it'd be rather disappointing to see the 32 man format retained when there has been many attempts made by Barry Hearn and Jason Ferguson to sell the merits of moving tournaments to 128 formats. When there has been such an insistence (almost forced obligation) on other tournaments to switch to a 128 format, to see another tournament retain its tiered structure.