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Re: Home Nations To Have New Format

Postby lhpirnie

It's terrible. They have wrecked the Home Nations tournaments, for no good reason.

OK, these are not the most presigious events on the calendar, but we can't have World Championships or UK Championships every week, and major international events are still in doubt even going into 2022. But these were enjoyable events, which almost always produce some drama, such as an unheralded player having a good run.

With 128 players in one venue, it's necessarily a compact format. But you get to see the whole tournament from start to finish, in 7 days. As a spectator, you can watch every single player on the tour, and wander between 8 tables. It brings everybody together.

The introduction of a qualifying round smashes the structure. We'll see draws made months ahead of the main event, back-to-back qualifying rounds in Barnsley in August, with only the top-16 automatically at the main venue.

If a player has a bad week in August, he misses out on tournaments in October, November, December and February. His season is ruined. He'll still play in the UK Championship (probably the Sports Hall behind the Barbican Centre) and the World Championship (EIS, 3 miles from Sheffield city centre), and qualifiers for overseas events (Barnsley again).

Basically, this is saying to lower-ranked players: "we don't want you in the main venues", "you're not good enough even to play in Crawley". Valued professionals? Forget it. It's a form of ranking-based apartheid.

Once again, WST have found a way to limit the development of younger players. They'll kill the game of snooker.