When I started this blog back in 2008 there were relatively few snooker sites on the internet, indeed that was one of the reasons behind my decision to start this humble website. In 2011 however the snooker landscape has changed somewhat and here is my third annual guide to following snooker on the net…
So where to start in 2011? The logical place to do so is by looking at the sites that I visit the most and as has been the case for the past five years, the first snooker site that I check when I log on in the morning is David Hendon’s Snooker Scene Blog which continues to provide a good mix of the latest news and opinion from the professional circuit. Well-written as you would expect from Snooker Scene’s Assistant Editor, the content is second to none and a must-read for anyone wanting to know what is going on in snooker.
On the subject of Snooker Scene Blog, David recently put up a few of his 2011 end of season awards and winning the best website category was Hermund Årdalen’s WWW Snooker site, a decision that I would certainly not disagree with. While the site is far from new, during previous years its main purpose for me has been as a source of research as it has an archive of results from the 1990’s that is probably the best on the internet.
During the last year or so however it has returned to the fore as not only the most clear, but also the most up to date source of the latest results from professional tournaments. White the official World Snooker website is slowly improving, finding the latest results in a quick and easy manner is like trying to find a needle in a haystack but at WWW Snooker it is very easy to do. As an added bonus its simple layout makes it quick to load on my mobile phone at work so it has proven to be an invaluable resource for me during the 2010/11 season.
Moving on, the site that last year I described as the best new website to pop up over the past 12 months was the Snookerbacker blog and one year on the site has firmly established itself as one of the big hitters. As well as offering a betting angle which is always going to draw people in, what also sets the site apart from many of the other blogs out there is the fact that it offers something different and comes with a unique sense of humour that probably makes the site more love/hate than most.
One of the other key factors behind the success of the Snookerbacker blog is the enthusiasm and love for the game that SB clearly has and that is something shared by Roland Cox who is responsible for the Snooker Island website. While I had always associated the site with being a forum, in recent times it is the series of excellent interviews published on the site that have really caught eye, in particular those with Dominic Dale and Graeme Dott which you can read here. I think that there is more to come from this one over the coming 12 months.
Another blog to have popped up during the last year is the On Cue blog and while I must confess that it is not one that I check on a daily basis, it is a well written site which has carried some interesting interviews recently, notably with Barry Hearn.
One question that I am often asked is where can people find a reliable list of the leading century break makers and the answer remains Chris Turner’s Snooker Archive which contains a comprehensive list here.
What of the players? When I first wrote this article back in 2009 the one that I highlighted was Mark Selby’s website and in truth little has changed since then as for me his site remains the benchmark with its regularly updated blog which is always worth reading. Following his example appears to be Shaun Murphy who recently re-launched his website during the World Championship which also contains a blog which should be a good read over the coming seasons.
While I may have described trying to find the latest scores over at the official World Snooker website as like trying to find a needle in a haystack earlier, generally the content at the site is steadily improving and most importantly they have finally been able to put in place a relatively reliable form of live-scoring for the major ranking events. There is a lot of work to do yet in my view before the site is quite where it should be for the sport’s official website but hopefully they are slowly getting there.
I cannot discuss snooker on the internet without mentioning Twitter which during the last year or so has seen the rise of a fun, banter-filled snooker community involving fans, players, referees and bloggers alike. While there have been a few additions since I wrote the article, see my guide to snooker and Twitter here for more.
While as usual I am sure that I have forgotten a few sites (indeed there are so many out there these days), those mentioned above are among those that I visit the most at the moment and by following them you will not go too far wrong in my opinion.