During the recent World Championship qualifiers, World Snooker published the provisional calendar for the 2013/14 season, which as in 2012/13, sees a number of significant changes as the professional circuit continues to expand.
Click below for a summary of the main changes, together with a ‘cut-off by cut-off’ round up of how the calendar shapes up…
- Click here to view the provisional calendar for the 2013/14 season
- Click here to view the letter to the players from Barry Hearn
The headline stories from the new calendar are as follows:-
- There will be six mid-season seedings revisions, as opposed to four during the current season.
- The Premier League has disappeared from the calendar, freeing up several dates previously unavailable during the first half of the season.
- New venues for 2013/14 include Rotterdam, Doncaster and Barnsley, with other events yet to be confirmed.
- Nine of the twelve full-ranking events will have all 128 tour players starting at the first round. The only exceptions are the Australian Goldfields Open, Shanghai Masters and World Championship events.
- The UK Championship, Welsh Open and PTC Grand Finals will have all players competing at the final venue.
- There will be no matches held-over to final venues
- For ranking purposes as the system looks to switch to a prize-money based ranking list, seeded losers in tournaments staged under the ‘old system’ will receive only half-money towards their ranking.
- The World Snooker Academy will no longer be used for qualifying matches, with the South West Snooker Academy, the Doncaster Dome and the Metrodome in Barnsley all staging qualifying events during the coming season.
- Wildcards for Chinese events will be reduced from 8 to 4, with no ex-tour players being granted wildcards and each wildcard only being allowed to participate during one event per season. Wildcards will be drawn to play one of the lowest 32 seeds at random.
- There will be eight ‘European Tour’ events held, with the PTC moniker being dropped from this season onwards. Again the Top 24 from the Order of Merit will qualify for the PTC Grand Finals.
- There will also be at least four Asian Tour events held also, with the top eight from the Asian Order of Merit qualifying for the PTC Grand Finals.
Looking at the calendar cut-off by cut-off, the schedule unfolds as follows:-
As was the case a year ago, the new season will begin with the start of Q School on 11 May, which will run at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield until 25 May 2013.
There will then be an extremely quick turnaround for those who qualify from the third Q School event in particular, as the Wuxi Classic qualifiers and Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers will then be held back to back at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester from 27 May 2013. The Wuxi Classic in particular will be of particular interest, as 128 will be whittled down to 64 over the course of two days, to determine the 64 players who will fly out to the venue in Wuxi.
Just three days after the conclusion of the Aussie qualifiers, the players will then head to Sofia for the first event of the European Tour, the last 128 stage being held between 7-9 June 2013.
From there, it is destination Asia for the first event of the Asian Tour in Yixing, China, before the venue stage of the Wuxi Classic takes place between 17-23 June 2013. This event will then be followed by the Asian Indoor Games, before the professionals hit Australia between 8-14 July 2013 for the final stages of the Australian Goldfields Open.
Four days later, the tour will then head to a new venue in Rotterdam for what will be the second event of the European Tour, played out between 19-21 July 2013.
Following this event comes the first mid-season seedings revision, which will determine the seedings for the Shanghai Masters and a potential new ranking event to be held in October 2013.
With the seedings revised, the next main tour event following the World Games in Cali, Colombia, will be the Shanghai Masters qualifiers and potential ranking event qualifiers, held back to back at another new venue, the Doncaster Dome between 7-12 August 2013.
Snooker will then stay at the Dome between 15-18 August 2013 for the third event of the European Tour, before then heading to Furth the following week for the ever-popular Paul Hunter Classic, aka European Tour Event Four tournament between 22-25 August 2013.
From there comes the 6 Reds World Championship in Bangkok, which noticeably has been moved from it’s previous July slot, to 2-7 September 2013.
Rather shockingly, there then appears to be a whole eight days without snooker, before the start of the venue stages of the Shanghai Masters from 16-22 September 2013.
Then follows the second mid-season seedings revision, which will determine the seedings for the 2013 International Championship
The following day from the Shanghai Masters sees the second Asian Tour event held in Zhangjiagong between 23-27 September 2013, before snooker then heads to Barnsley for the first time for the International Championship qualifiers between 30 September-1 October 2013.
There are then just two days before the resumption of the European Tour, which sees its fifth event staged at Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany between 3-6 October 2013, though interestingly this will also clash with a potential Power Snooker event on 5-6 October 2013.
There will then be a few days grace before the venue stages of a further potential ranking event are held between 13-19 October 2013, immediately followed by the Seniors World Championship at a venue to be confirmed and the start of the Asian Tour 3 event between 19-23 October 2013, again at a venue still to be confirmed.
This section will then be concluded by the venue stages of the second International Championship in Chengdu, which will run from 27th October 2013 to the 3rd November 2013.
The event will then be followed by the third mid-season seedings revision, which will determine the seedings for the 2013 UK Championship.
November is where the calendar starts to get complicated, with European Tour Event 6 or 8 pencilled in for either UK or Europe between 7-10 November 2013. Notably though, this is described as ‘Option 1’ with further options pencilled in during December 2013 and February 2014.
More concrete appears to be European Tour Event Seven between 14-17 November 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium.
This is then followed by a potential invitation event between 19-24 November 2013 (possibly the Premier League?), before the staging of the UK Championship between 27 November and 8 December 2013, which will see all 128 players appear at the venue stages in York.
This event will then be followed by the fourth mid-season seedings revision, which will determine the seedings for the 2014 Haikou World Open, German Masters, Masters and Shoot Out events.
While once the UK Championship tended to mark the end of snooker for the year, December 2013 sees plenty of room for further tournaments with the German Masters qualifiers and Haikou World Open qualifiers staged over four days at the Barnsley Metrodome between 10-13 December 2013.
There are then a couple of option dates between 14-22 December 2013 for European Tour events 6 and 8, which will bring snooker to a close for 2013.
January then begins in earnest with potential ranking event qualifiers at a venue to be confirmed between 3-5, before the first Championship League Option is pencilled in for 6-9 January 2014 at Crondon Park.
The following events are then similar to how they were in 2013, with the Masters returning to the Alexandra Palace in London between 12-19 January 2014, followed by the Shoot Out in Blackpool between 24-26 January 2014 and then the final stages of the German Masters from 29 January 2014 and the 2nd February 2014.
Then will come the penultimate mid-season seedings revision, which will determine the seedings for the 2014 Welsh and China Open tournaments.
A busy February then continues with option dates for the Championship League between 3-6 February 2014, before the final option date for the European Tour 6 event between 5-9 February 2014. This will then be followed by further option dates for the Championship League between 10-13 February 2014.
There will then be a return to ranking event snooker with a potential ranking event pencilled in between 10-15 February 2014, prior to the China Open qualifiers between 17-18 February 2014, again at the Barnsley Metrodome, though this venue is still to be confirmed.
The month will then be rounded off with the Welsh Open tournament from Newport, which like the UK Championship will see all 128 players competing at the venue between 19 February and 2 March 2014.
We then head into March with a further Championship League option between 3-6 March 2014, before the fourth and final Asian Tour event will be held between 4-8 March 2014 at a venue to be confirmed.
This will then be followed by the last 64 of the Haikou World Open between 10-16 March 2014, which will conclude just two days before the Players Championship Grand Finals at a venue to be confirmed.
Interestingly, this event will then be followed by the final seedings revision of the season, which will determine the seedings for the 2014 World Championship. Notably, this differs from this season, when this revision did not come in until after the China Open, immediately prior to the Crucible qualifiers.
The final leg of the 2013/14 season kicks off with option dates for the Championship League between 24-27 March 2014, before the final stages of the China Open are played out between 31st March and 6 April 2014 in Beijing.
The World Championship qualifiers then follow from 8-16 April 2014 at a venue still to be confirmed, before a long campaign is then brought to a close with the 2014 World Championship, here from the Crucible Theatre between 19 April and 5 May 2014.