As many of you have spotted, last Friday World Snooker published the provisional calendar for the 2012/13 season and while the dates remain subject to change, we at least have an idea of what to expect. Click below for a few thoughts and a breakdown of the differences to this current season…
- Click here to view the provisional calendar for 2012/13
The headline stories from the new calendar are as follows:-
- There will be four mid-season seedings revisions, as opposed to the three during each of the last two seasons.
- There will be five full-ranking events in China, the Wuxi Classic in July and International Championship in October joining the Shanghai Masters, China Open and Haikou World Open.
- The amount of PTC events appears to have been reduced from 12 to 10, four based in the UK and six dubbed as ‘European Tour’ events set to be staged in Europe. How many events players will be required to play in to qualify for the Grand Finals is as yet unclear.
- Venues to be confirmed for next season include York (UK Championship), Sheffield (World Championship), Beijing (China Open), Shanghai (Shanghai Masters), Berlin (German Masters), Fuerth (EP1).
- The UK Championship qualifiers will be staged at the Academy in Sheffield, not Gloucester as was the case in 2011.
- The seeding cut-off for the World Championship has been moved later in the season until after the World Open.
- There is room in the calendar for a further potential ranking event in March 2013, beginning immediately after the World Open.
- There is room for two invitation events in the early part of the season, in addition to a ‘China Team Event’
Looking at the calendar cut-off by cut-off, the schedule unfolds as follows:-
As was the case in 2011/12, the Q School begins the week following the conclusion of the World Championship at the Crucible and will run from 13-31 May as the line-up for the main tour is finalised.
The first change from last year however is that the professionals will have to be back from their holidays earlier than was the case last season as the qualifiers for the Wuxi Classic and the Australian Goldfields Open are played out in Sheffield from 5 June 2012. The first full-ranking event of the season for the top 16 will be the Wuxi Classic as the venue stage gets underway on 25 June 2012.
This compares to 2011 when there was a PTC event staged in June in addition to the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers.
Moving into July, the month begins with the Sangsom 6 Red World Championship, ahead of the venue stages of the Australian Goldfields Open in Bendigo, the first UK PTC of the campaign and then the qualifiers for the Shanghai Masters.
August then begins with the second UK PTC of the campaign, which will be the final event before the first mid-season seedings revision. This will determine the seedings for the inaugural International Championship at the end of October, as well as two potential new invitation events and the China Team Event.
As during 2011/12, mid-August sees the return of the Premier League, however the big change is that effectively what was PTC3 has now become the qualifying event for the new International Championship, while the Paul Hunter Classic remains in place at the end of the month, prior to a four-day slot for a potential invitation event.
September sees the continuation of the Premier League, as well as the third UK PTC of the season. The Shanghai Masters then follows, slightly later than it was in 2011, ahead of the new ‘China Team Event’ which appears to begin on final day.
Compared to 2011, the month is at first glance a little more manageable for the players than in 2011 where there was an additional PTC event as well as for some the Brazilian Masters.
Moving on to October, a busy month sees four Premier League events staged around two European PTC events, as well as a potential invitation event, the Seniors World Championship and finally the International Championship ranking event in China at the end of the month.
Noticeably there does not appear to be a qualifying event in place for the Seniors World Championship as there was in 2011.
Following the International Championship will come the second mid-season seedings cut-off, which as with the first cut-off in 2011/12, will determine the seedings for the UK Championship, Masters, Shoot Out and German Masters.
The third phase of the season will begin in November with more Premier League events, as well as the fourth and final UK PTC event of the campaign and the fourth European PTC event of the season. By the end of November there will have been eight PTC events staged in total then, in comparison to ten during the previous season.
Again, the UK Championship qualifiers will take place, though this time later on and back at the Academy in Sheffield as opposed to in Gloucester, while the month will be rounded off by the German Masters qualifiers for those ranked outside of the top 16 and the Premier League final for those who have qualified.
As in 2011, December begins with the UK Championship in York, however that is where the similarities end. This season of course saw two PTC events held (well, one and a half) due to the issues with the floor in Munich where PTC12 was set to be staged, prior to the seedings revision in early January.
This time however, the third seedings cut-off will come earlier in the season, immediately after the UK Championship in York. This will determine the seedings for the Welsh Open, World Open, China Open and the potential new ranking event in March.
Following the UK Championship, the fifth European PTC event will be staged in mid-December, ahead of the qualifiers for the Haikou World Open, which this season did not begin until the middle of January. Concluding on 21 December 2012, this will mark the end of the 2012 snooker year.
Moving on to January, the year begins like the previous one with the final PTC event of the season, as well as the commencement of the Championship League and then the China Open qualifiers, brought forward from their late February slot in place of the World Open qualifiers.
From there the next phase of the season follows a familiar pattern, the Masters, followed by more Championship League, the Shoot Out and then the third German Masters. Then come the Welsh Open qualifiers, followed by the venue stages in Newport.
As recent readers will know, this year the final seedings cut-off to determine places for the World Championship followed the Welsh Open, but in 2013 this will not come until after the venue stages for the World Open, concluding on 3 March 2013. There is also a place just prior to this for the qualifying rounds of the potential 11th ranking event in March.
And it is this potential new event which could kick off the final phase of the season, but otherwise the run-in is much the same as this time around, the PTC Finals, Championship League Winners Group, China Open and finally the World Championship bringing the season to a close.
So what do we think? Please feel free to comment below…