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The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Slam'?

Postby PLtheRef

The news from earlier this week with regards to the the 'Race to the Ricoh' that Ding Junhui has earned a spot in the Champion of Champions by virtue of finishing runner-up in the World Championship in May has led to a fair bit of debate and criticism on twitter.

The criticism it would seem is not directed at Ding for receiving an invite - top up invitations (in terms of inviting the highest ranked non qualifying players) are nothing new in the Champion of Champions (where only one edition has seen the 16 man field filled exclusively by tournament winners) - but that Ding's qualification comes ahead of the winners of several events. Although these do include events which essentially are "give them a spot if we really are struggling to get 16" - they also include with the changes brought in for 2016/17 - full ranking events.

Like I said earlier, the Champion of Champions event isn't renowned for finding 16 different tournament winners, which has led to the suggestion that a field of 16 is too many and that a field of 8 or 12 may be more appropriate. Of the other events which have had broadly a similar theme - the original Champion of Champions from 1979 and 1980, the 1985 Kitkat Break for the eight then playing World Champions, the Champions Cup from 1999 to 2001 and the 2011 Premier League, only half of them were filled by players who were Champions at the time.

In terms of a darting equivalent - the Grand Slam of Darts, made up of the winners and runners up of the main ranking events alongside the winners of the lower-profile ranking events is the probably the closest matchup between the Champion of Champions snooker and it's darting cousin.

Is it possible with the advent of inviting the World Championship runner up to compete that - the Champion of Champions could well be expanded into a Grand Slam style event with possibly 24 or 32 competitors competing. It would be an easier field to fill than 16 individual event winners based on present criteria (which has led to a runner-up receiving a spot in the first instance)

Also, irony says it has to be Ding who will win the Champion of Champions this year.

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby SnookerFan

I'm not that fussed, anyway.

People always throw their toys out of their prams for something at the CoC. Either it doesn't include enough champions, or it has champions from too many smaller events. Either way, somebody will moan on about something. Might as well have The Crucible runner up there as anyone. It's only an invitational event at the end of the day.

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby SnookerEd25

PLtheRef wrote:
Also, irony says it has to be Ding who will win the Champion of Champions this year.


Currently 9/1 with Betfair. The other majors are probably much the same. Definitely worth a punt I would say...

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby Cloud Strife

Who gives a rubbish if it's a grand slam or not, or if it becomes one?

There seems to be an overriding need to brand this tournament a major or that event a grand slam. We spend ages discussing what is or isn't a triple crown event.

I mean these are just irrelevant terms at the end of the day. Who gives a rubbish.

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby Dan-cat

Add it to the triple crown, and then we have a Quadruple Crown?

It's all nonsense as Cloudy states. The triple crown just happens to be all the BBC events... Hmmm

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby SnookerFan

Dan-cat wrote:Add it to the triple crown, and then we have a Quadruple Crown?

It's all nonsense as Cloudy states. The triple crown just happens to be all the BBC events... Hmmm


In slight defence of the BBC, the World Championship is obviously the top tournament. There's no real disputing that. And the Masters and the UK are two historic events. No other tournament dates back to the 1970s. The next most established is the Welsh Open, dating back to the early 1990s.

It's the argument about what you consider a prestigious tournament, and in my opinion history does play a part in that. If a tournament has been contested by all the great players in our time, there is an air of importance to it.

Saying that, I agree that this idea that the BBC's pretense that every tournament not on their channel is irrelevant as nonsensical as the rest of you. It's just ignorance on the part of the BBC.

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby SnookerEd25

Cloud Strife wrote:Who gives a rubbish if it's a grand slam or not, or if it becomes one?

There seems to be an overriding need to brand this tournament a major or that event a grand slam. We spend ages discussing what is or isn't a triple crown event.

I mean these are just irrelevant terms at the end of the day. Who gives a rubbish.


Good point. I never bought into the so-called Triple-Crown, just a term dreamt up by the Beeb to promote the tournaments they cover. Nonsense.

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby Iranu

At the end of the day, the most prestigious tournaments are the ones that the players want to win the most. That's it.

The Masters and the Worlds are clear frontrunners to the rest. The UK still has residual prestige because of its history but if it keeps being treated as poorly as it has been in the last half-decade it will fall back into the pack.

The International and CoC are the two most likely to become part of the Big 3/4 but it will take another 10 years of consistently being held and sought after before the players treat them as such. And until they treat them as majors, they can't be considered as majors.

Re: The Champion of Champions - Slowly to become a 'Grand Sl

Postby SnookerFan

Iranu wrote:At the end of the day, the most prestigious tournaments are the ones that the players want to win the most. That's it.

The Masters and the Worlds are clear frontrunners to the rest. The UK still has residual prestige because of its history but if it keeps being treated as poorly as it has been in the last half-decade it will fall back into the pack.

The International and CoC are the two most likely to become part of the Big 3/4 but it will take another 10 years of consistently being held and sought after before the players treat them as such. And until they treat them as majors, they can't be considered as majors.


That's what I objected to originally, when they claimed the International Championship was a major the first year it was created. I get that match length and to some extent prize money go towards a tournament being a major. But I don't think you can just proclaim something a major the first year it's created, just because you want it to be.