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A Look At The 2012/13 Tour Calendar…

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:-

Section One

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.

Section Two

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.

Section Three

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.

Section Four

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.

Section Five

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…

 

  • snoopy2608

    think this may be a better balance 10/11 full events and 10 PTCs (the players will certainly say so).

    Will be interesting to see if the ranking tariffs format stays the same or not.

    Also will those who are getting 2 year cards get starter points or not – and is it just qualifying school qualifiers who get a 2 year card or the other 12 qualifiers too?

    Also would love to know how they plan to expand from 96 to 128 – I’m assuming there could be 25+ places up for grabs at qualifying school.

    Overall it shows snooker is continuing to go in the right direction.

  • RM

    I think the potential event in March is probably the Indian ranker we were meant to have this year. The calendar looks to be very busy next season, can’t wait! Still don’t get why the cut off for the worlds can’t be right before the qualifiers. Also, having qualifiers and main stages of tournaments at different sides of a cut off point is pretty stupid.

  • Trevorp

    What is the golf date in july ?.also are the two invitational dates for power snooker or proper snooker events ?.

  • ali

    great stuff.
    hopefully the extra events will be on eurosport.
    whats the international open? is that a new tournament.

  • http://www.snookerpractice.com Mike Dunn

    This is a great bit of writing,as a player it explains things to me much better than just a calendar.

    Thanks Matt

  • ANON

    Have they given any indication how the 96 for next year / the year after will be made up – will there still be nominations through the EASB / IBSF / Scottish Snooker (!) etc?

  • http://tmv23.blogspot.com/ tmv23

    i think 5 ranking tournaments in china are one or two too much. “global” does not mean “uk+china”. but ok, there is a huge market and all in all things move into the right direction.

    i also see that both tournaments, which had the least attendance (at least by what i saw on tv) – brazil masters and the world cup in thailand – has been removed or moved to another venue (i guess that the china team event is a world-cup-like tournament)

    it will be interesting to see where the european ptcs will take place. i’d like to see some new countries (maybe in scandinavia, austria/italy or something in the southeast of europe) added.

    i could even imagine that the “last 16 at venue only”, which they did at ptc12 in germany might be a good way to decrease the travelling costs.

    apart from that snoopy2608 mentioned some good points in his posting. the transformation from 96 (or 99) to 128 players is still a little unclear. but all in all i am not to unhappy with the calendar so far. looking forward to an exciting season.

    • ali

      I respectfully disagree with your opinion on tournies in china.
      The more the merrier. If organisers are willing to pump funds into the game, that’s fine by me.

      Hopefully they will be covered by eurosport.

      • A.B.

        It feels like the chinese ranking events try to balance the PTC series, which is a lot of snooker and obviously can’t take place in China.

  • Matt Johnson

    Anyone got any idea what the format will be for Wuxi next year now it is a ranking event? By that I mean will there be wildcards like other overseas events or will it just be seeds + 16 qualifiers?

  • kildare cueman

    Think the calendar is too cluttered. They should publish a separate one showing post qualifying Ranking events, prem league finals, masters, shootout and PTC finals. Be a lot easier to digest then.

  • 15redswithblacks

    How do you know that for example Wuxi Classic is a ranking tournament? Being listed in the seeding cut off points does not mean that since invitational events are also there (two “potential” and the Masters) and usually they don’t yield ranking points (at least the Masters doesn’t).

    • matt2745

      It’s definitely ranking, was leaked a while back on Snooker Scene Blog.

  • Martin Jobling

    The fact the Wuxi Classic has qualifying rounds this time suggests it is now a ranking event.

  • 15redswithblacks

    Ok, thanks, it’s good if it’s a ranking tournament, since I’m living about one hour’s drive away from Wuxi, and now it’s more interesting to go see that!

  • kildare cueman

    Hard to digest the WS calendar in its current format. Think Snooker Scene’s presentation is the clearest. I’d like to see a calendar that leaves out the qualifiers and PL fixtures. i.e just ranking/PTC finals and televised invitationals. Would be easier to absorb then.

  • Trevorp

    Matt why have the uk ptc’s been cut from 6 too 4 events any offical word on this ?.as it does not seem these events have been replaced.

  • Phil Robinson

    Where’s the power snooker?