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My ideal tour

Postby Tubberlad

Over the last few seasons, we've been served up a stale tour with only six or seven ranking event. To make matters worse, staid venues like Bahrain and Telford have become commonplace while The Guild Hall and Reading's Hexagon have fallen by the wayside. A change is needed, and here's how things could be if I held the power at World Snooker.

First of all, I think each tournament should have 32 players at the final stages (with the exception of the Grand Prix which could become snooker's FA Cup). 48 and 64 man events see too many journeymen. I also feel that a rolling ranking system based on the last two year would be more desirable than the current system. Why? Well Graeme Dott was seeded second for the 2008 World Championship in spite of six first round exits in a row. Is this right? Also, a golf style order of merit could be put in place, with a cash bonus and trophy for whoever earns the most ranking points over the course of the season.

Now onto the events (haven't decided on dates)

European Open (Paul Hunter Classic, Ranking event)
Mainland Europe has many, many snooker fans, far more than the Middle-East which has had events in Bahrain and Dubai in recent years. I would like to see the Paul Hunter Classic given ranking status and go round to a different venue in mainland Europe each season. Areas like Berlin, Prague and Moscow are all feasible.

Shanghai Masters (Ranking event)

British Open (Ranking event)
Hasn't been scheduled since 2004, it should be back. I'd like to see it at the Glasgow Conference Center (not the Kelvin Hall)?

Grand Prix (Ranking event, major)
One of 5 'majors' on my tour. My reason for this is because the tour would benefit from an FA Cup style event, and it could have 64 players. Keep the open draw, credit to World Snooker for once, it was an excellent idea. Matches best of 11 up until quarter-finals, best of 17 semi and best of 19 final. One and a quarter times ranking points.

Welsh Open (Ranking event)
Improvements could be made. It should stay on tour but need more 'wow' factor. We've seen darts tournaments at Villa Park and the Reebok stadium... The Millenium Stadium would be a massively far-fetched venue but all avenues should be looked at.

UK Championship (Ranking event, major)
This great event needs an overhaul, as I've already pointed out in a seperate UK Championship thread. Best of 17 for first and second round, best of 19 quarter-finals, best of 25 semi-finals and best of 31 final. Revert back to the two table setup and for God's sake hold at the Guild Hall. One and a half time point

Premier League
Eight players instead of seven would be a wise move. The defending champion, world champion and UK champion should all qualify automatically, with the next four positions based on World Rankings on a particular cut-off date. A wildcard could then be awarded to the eighth player. I'd like to see two matches on Wednesdays as well as Thursday.

The Masters (Major, Invitational)
Top 16 based on rolling rankings along with a qualifier and a wild card. Best of 11 until the quarter-finals, best of 17 semi-finals and a best of 19 Final.

Shot Clock event (Invitational event)
Not sure about where it could be staged? It would bring in a bit of variety at least.

Australian Open (Ranking event)
Probably the most far fetched event here...but it would be great to see. Maybe there's interest generated here by the likes of Neil Robertson?

Irish Masters (Ranking or invitational)
Was always a great event. I think it should be a ranking event but some may argue that it was a greater spectacle as an invitational.

Players Championship (Ranking event)
Hasn't been staged since Jimmy White's famous win in 2004, but I'd like to see it back on the tour as it was pretty much an ever present on the calender.

China Open (under a new name, major ranking event)
Give it a new, more prestigious name (you'd be surprised how a name change improves the image of a tournament), The World Matchplay, International Open, etc. Best of 11 up until quarters, Best of 17 semi, Best of 19 final. One and a quarter points.

World Championships...same format

Hopeful perhaps considering those in charge.