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Tour Structure 2014/15: Making 132

As we enter the closing weeks of the 2013/14 season, today we will see another tour place for next season confirmed as Ireland’s Josh Boileau takes on Leeds’ Oliver Lines in the final of the European U-21 Championship in Bucharest.

Though nothing has officially been confirmed as far as the exact tour structure for next season is concerned, if we are to assume that the structure is to remain relatively unchanged from last season, we can speculate as to how the tour is looking next season…

The Top 64 (64)

It is traditionally the case that the top 64 in the official two-year ranking list at the end of the season will automatically retain their main tour place for the following campaign.

Though the principle remains the same this time around, the important difference to note is that it will be the top 64 on the new two-year prize money list at the end of the 2013/14 season who will automatically retain a main tour place for next season.

  • Click here to view who is currently in position to finish inside the top 64 on the latest provisional money list

Players qualifying via this route will receive a one-year tour card for 2014/15 only.

The ‘Second Years’ (Max 36)

Remember last season that everybody who gained or regained a tour card for 2013/14, who began outside of the top 64, was awarded a two-year tour card?

This means that everybody who is highlighted in green on the latest provisional money list, eg the 36 players who joined or survived on tour last season without having finished inside the top 64 during the previous season, will remain on the tour for the second year of that two-year card.

Though there are 36 players who fall into this category, it is possible that Gary Wilson and David Morris in particular may earn enough money after just one season, to finish up inside the top 64 and retain a tour place via that method, which would reduce the numbers qualifying via this way.

The Top Eight (ET Order of Merit) (8)

Williams

Robbie Williams – Safe

As was the case in 2012/13, the top eight performers on this season’s ET Order of Merit, not already qualified for next season (eg inside the top 64 on the two-year list or already on a two-year card), will earn a tour place.

At the time of writing, those eight players are:

  1. Sam Baird (16,351)
  2. Robbie Williams (9,115)
  3. Joel Walker (7,199)
  4. Ian Burns (6,266)
  5. Michael Wasley (6,049)
  6. Barry Pinches (5,949)
  7. David Grace (5,283)
  8. Tony Drago (5,266)

Although the European Tour has now concluded, there is still scope for this list to change, depending upon how the money list fluctuates between now and the end of the season.

For example, should one of the above players break into the top 64 on the main money list, then an extra place could be opened up to the European Tour.

Whoever the eight qualifiers are will receive a two-year tour card.

AT Order of Merit (4)

Similarly, four places will go to the top four players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, to players not already qualified for the main tour via other means.

The top four are:

  1. Ju Reti
  2. Liu Chuang
  3. Lu Chenwei
  4. Zhou Yuelong

Chuang

Liu Chuang – safe

Note that Zhou Yuelong is not bolded as he has already qualified for the tour by winning the 2013 IBSF World Championship, so it would appear that his spot will instead go to next man Rouzi Maimaiti.

It also remains possible that Liu Chuang with a good run between now and the end of the season could climb up into the top 64 on the main money list, opening up another spot on the Asian Tour.

These players will receive a two-year tour card.

Q School (8)

In a change to last season, the amount of qualifiers from the Q School will be reduced from 12 to just eight.

The event will see two tournaments staged in quick succession with the semi-finalists of each earning a place on the main tour for next season.

These players will receive a two-year tour card.

EBSA Play-Offs (3)

The 2014 EBSA play-offs took place alongside the World Championship qualifiers on 12-13 April 2014 at the Ponds Forge venue in Sheffield and the following players came through to earn two-year cards:

  • Ian Glover
  • Zak Surety
  • Steven Hallworth

The three successful players will receive a two-year tour card.

International Nominations (9)

Assuming that the international nominations remain as they did last year, that leaves 9 places up for grabs as follows, assuming that they all choose to accept their nominations.

IBSF:

  • 2013 IBSF World Champion – Zhou Yuelong
  • 2013 IBSF World Under-21 Champion – Lu Ning

ACBS:

  • 2014 Asian Champion – Chuan Leong
  • 2014 Asian U-21 Champion – (tbc 5-11 April 2014)

EBSA:

  • 2014 European Champion – (tbc 1-11 June 2014)
  • 2014 European U-21 Champion – Oliver Lines

Americas:

  • One nomination – tbc

Oceania:

  • 2014 Oceania Champion – Steve Mifsud

Africa:

  • One nomination – tbc

These players will receive a two-year tour card.

Overall position

If the above does prove to be accurate, that could mean that there will be up to 132 professional players during the 2014/15 season, which if nothing else makes it easier to understand why the amount of Q School qualifiers has been reduced for next season.

At this stage, some of the above is yet to be confirmed, but as and when the tour criteria for next season is published by the WPBSA, you will find the details here at PSB…

  • mikets

    The dates for the EBSA play-offs appear on the calendar on the scores and results section of the World Snooker site: 12th and 13th April, alongside the World Championship qualifiers.

    Since Oliver Lines has now qualified for the tour his place in the play-offs will presumably go the next-ranked player – I believe that should be one of Kishan Hirani or Michael Tomlinson who are ranked equal 9th.

    • Matt

      Good spot, nothing like keeping it under the radar!

    • Matt

      I have Tomlinson on his own at 200, Hirani and Jones 180?

      • mikets

        I’ve rechecked the results on World Snooker and Hirani has two last 16’s and two last 32’s – 60+40+40+60

        • Matt

          Interesting, I’m looking at the order of merit I had emailed to me after the event and he’s down as 60+40+40+40 on that. There is a mistake somewhere!

  • roy142857

    Hello Matt, any idea what will happen re the IBSF World Under 21 Championship / Champion, given that the event is earlier this year and the Champion will be known before the Pro season starts? Will World Snooker accommodate two players, make the new Champion wait a year, ditch the place for the 2013 Champion Lǔ Níng (I’d certainly hope not!), or take advantage of Zhōu Yuèlóng qualifying through the Asian Order of Merit, treat him as qualified through that and both Under 21 Champions as the two IBSF places? If not the last, could they still take Zhōu Yuèlóng as though from the Order of Merit and give a place to the IBSF Runner-Up Zhào Xīntóng ? (Sorry, all questions!)

    • Matt

      In short I don’t know. I assume they’ll stick to the usual routes, but everything I know is in the post really. Time will tell!

    • likahokeith

      It’s not necessary to worry about the Champion of 2014 IBSF World Under 21 Championship, because the nomination will be taken part in 2015/16.

      About the qualification of Zhou Yuelong, I think he will be nominated by “2013 IBSF World Champion” because he firstly won IBSF World Championship than Asian Order of Merit. Same as Hossein Vafaei.

  • likahokeith

    Another problem. 2014 Asian U-21 Championship had changed the date to early June, so we have to wait for further announcement for this nomination.