Championship League Snooker 2012: All you need to know

While the first snooker of 2012 will come in Munich as the PTC12 event draws to a conclusion, hot on its heels comes the return of the Matchroom Championship League, back for its fifth outing as the players bid for a place in next season’s Premier League. Read on for the dates and format details…

The Event

First staged in 2008, the Championship League as staged once again at Crondon Park acts as a qualifying event for the long-standing Premier League tournament.


The dates in full are as follows:

Group 1 – Monday, January 9, and Tuesday, January10
Group 2 – Wednesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 12
Group 3 – Monday, January 23 and Tuesday, January 24
Group 4 – Wednesday, January 25 and Thursday, January 26
Group 5 – Monday, February 6 and Tuesday, February 7
Group 6 – Wednesday, February 8 and Thursday, February 9
Group 7 – Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20
Winners’ Group – Wednesday, March 21 and Thursday, March 22


The groups are as follows:

Group One

Ali Carter
Matthew Stevens
Mark Davis
Andrew Higginson
Shaun Murphy
Mark Selby
Judd Trump

Group Two

Four players from Group One and…

Mark Williams
Neil Robertson
Stuart Bingham

Group Three

Four players from Group Two and…

Martin Gould
Jamie Cope
Stephen Hendry

Group Four

Four players from Group Three and…

Stephen Lee
Mark Allen
Peter Ebdon

Group Five

Four players from Group Four and…

Mark King
Barry Hawkins
Ricky Walden

Group Six

Four players from Group Five and…

Marcus Campbell
Dominic Dale
Joe Perry

Group Seven

Four players from Group Six and…

Ding Junhui
Marco Fu
Ryan Day


As stated on the tournament’s official website:

Seven groups of seven players produce seven winners who play in one further group where the eventual winner plays in the 2012 Premier League Snooker.

In each group every player will play each other once in a best of 5 frame match (21 matches) after which the top four players will contest in the play offs – semi finals and final over the best of 5 frames.

Players will be awarded 1 point for each match won, then most frames won and the least frames lost in the league series will determine their position in the league table. Dead frames will not be played in either the league or knock-out stages.

The play-off winner will progress to the final league of the Championship League Snooker while the players coming sixth and seventh in the group will be relegated and will not feature in any further group matches.

Therefore after the group has played its total 24 matches (21 League matches plus play offs semi finals and final) three players will leave and be replaced by a further three players.

Prize money – group phase
£3,000 Winner of each final. £2,000 runner-up in final. £1,000 losing semi-finalists. £100 per frame won.

Prize money – winners group.
£10,000 overall champion. £5,000 overall runner-up. £3,000 losing semi-finalists. £300 per frame won.

Total prize fund – £200,500.


How to watch

While spectators will not be able to watch the event at the venue, as in previous years the the action will be streamed online by various betting sites. In 2011 the relevant sites were as follows:

  • Unibet
  • Sportingbet
  • William Hill
  • Digibet
  • Stan James
  • Bet365
  • Paddy Power
  • Betclick
  • Expekt
  • Bet-at-home
  • IBC Bet
  • Betfair

For the first time you will also be able to watch via liveworldsnooker.tv

Note that you do NOT have to actually bet on the matches to be able to view them, you just need to register with any of the above websites.

Roll of Honour

2008 – Joe Perry
2009 – Judd Trump
2010 – Marco Fu
2011 – Matthew Stevens


  • http://www.cuetracker.net Ron Florax

    You can also watch on liveworldsnooker.tv . Put some money into the game!

    • matt2745

      Fair point, I’ve edited that in too, ta

  • http://www.paulcollier.net Paul Collier

    You have made a typo with the dates,
    the 7, 8, 9 March should be 7, 8, 9 February !!

    • matt2745

      Cheers Paul! That’ll teach me for copy/pasting last years!

  • Tom

    can any player on the tour register to play at this event? Or is it invitational or rankings based for places?

  • Andre

    To answer Tom´s question, it is based on rankings only. The winner from the Premier League(in his case, Ronnie) is the only one that has an automatic place on next season´s Premier League, The rest have to play this event to absolutely garantee their place, though players like Judd and Selby, for instance, should be in it because they have won ranking events.

  • Tom

    Thanks Andre, I understand how people qualify for the Premier League but my question is how do you enter/qualify for the Championship League?

    Higgins, Maguire, Carter & Dott from the top 16 aren’t on the list above but players ranked from 17-30 (excluding O’Brien) are on the list above?

    I’m assuming it’s a sign-in if you want to play tournament

    • matt2745

      Since 2011 it has been a sanctioned WSA event (it wasn’t before), so as far as I’m aware it’s rankings-based from top to bottom. So Higgins etc just can’t have taken up their invites.

  • Tom

    Thanks Matt I thought that would be the case just surprised so many top16 didn’t enter

  • Cab

    What I’d like to know is how are the groups formed? In darts, in a tournament with a similar format, they’re based on rankings, but that can’t be the case here, as williams and robertson aren’t in group one and ding is all the way down in group 7.

  • sean

    hi matt is this an invitational event?

    • matt2745

      Hi Sean, yes it is.

  • wild

    Totally pointless event these days and i was never a fan of it concept at the start.

    Play More PTC or Spread the PTC from last years congested Dates.

    Scrap the Crap and do something better.

    • Andre

      Yes I agree, this event has become a bit poinless now, and, as you can see, some of the top 16 players have already declined to play in it, because the calendar is so congested nowadays… The ptcs should definately have been spread better, there could have been at least 2 or 3 in the dates for this Championship league for instance….

      I guess this event mens more to those who arent in the top 16 because they can earn a bit more money, and of course qualify for the Premier League, but, apart from that, it has now become a bit pointless in my view.

  • ANON

    Seriously – where does the money for this come from (prize fund is bigger than the Welsh Open isn’t it?). Can’t believe Barry is spending his own money – and I wouldn’t have thought the betting sites pay all that much to show it?

  • roy142857

    I do find this rather weird, as the players in group 7 only have one shot at qualifying for the final, and players in group 1 in theory could have 7 attempts to qualify for the final.

    With that in mind, does anyone know how places were allocated? Or were they simply drawn?