Balls

2015 Provisional Calendar Published

balls1

As well as the announcement of the return of snooker’s World Cup this summer (see my look at who might be involved in that competition at WPBSA.com), World Snooker have also published a provisional calendar the rest of 2015, which you can view here.

So what are the obvious talking points to arise from the calendar?

The first is the loss of the Wuxi Classic, replaced by the revived World Cup, which will be held at the same venue.

While it is never good to lose a ranking event, this does mean that there will be a longer break between the end of this season and the start of next, with the first event of the season to be the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers at a new venue in Crawley at the start of June. This compares to last year when the Wuxi qualifiers got underway on 24th May 2014.

Moving on through the summer, the Riga Open will again be the first European Tour event of the season, moving a week earlier in the calendar compared to this season, as have the Shanghai Masters qualifiers, creating room for a further run of as yet unspecified qualifiers between 10-13 August 2015.

From there, the Paul Hunter Classic and Shanghai Masters both move a week later to make room for an extra Asian Tour event, before the International Championship qualifiers will again be held at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Interesting, the Ruhr Open and Bulgarian Open European Tour events have switched places on the calendar this year, while thankfully there is now set to be a rest week between the International Championship in China and the Champion of Champions event in Coventry, which this season were of course held back to back.

From there, the calendar looks to mirror that of this season, with the UK Championship set to be followed by a fourth European Tour event in Portugal and a couple of qualifying events to round off 2015.

What do you make of the provisional calendar?

  • Sarah Mount

    It’s great to see the European Tour events becoming regular events in Countries like Latvia, Bulgaria and of course Germany where events are well supported. Nice to see Portugal on the list again too. A huge shame to have lost Wuxi though as it will increase the cash flow problems for players during the first six months of the season. There are a lot of entry fees, flights and hotels to pay for in those first few months with prize money not being so readily available. It is there to be earnt but in reality, because of the delay in payment for Chinese events, players will find little coming in. Excluding those who qualify for the World Cup, the only prize money payments that will be made other than the smaller APTC and PTC events will be Australia in late July (where you get half of what you win and have to claim the rest at a later date), Shanghai in November and the International in December! Champion of Champions and the Six Reds will give some players additional opportunities to earn quicker paid prize money during the last 6 months of 2015 although, arguably, the players involved in those events probably don’t have the same cash flow issues as those outside the top 32. In my opinion it would be nice to spread the earnings more evenly or address the issue of prize money from China taking 3 months to get paid. I’m also wondering why India isn’t back in its October slot as it would reduce the congestion of Feb/Mar. I’m pleased to see the World Cup return though although it’s a real shame it’s at the expense of a ranking event.

    • Matt

      Good point that Sarah, something to revisit in another post perhaps.

      I wonder what the unspecified qualifiers are…

      • Sarah Mount

        It’s something Paul and myself have mentioned to Barry and Jason in previous seasons as it is a huge issue for those outside the top 32. I appreciate that certain tournaments will have a preference for when they wish their event to take place but the easiest change that would make a huge difference would be to get players paid sooner from Chinese events. I’ve never understood why World Snooker don’t get paid the money in advance from China and then pay it out to each player. It’s not like they don’t know how much it will be as one player will get the winners amount, one will get the runner up amount, two will get the semi-finalists amount etc etc. World Snooker used to offer an advance to players who were owed prize money but last I heard they had put a cap on it at £1500 per player which can easily be absorbed in tour expenses before even worrying about living costs. In previous seasons we have always provided the advances for our players to assist with the finances etc but, as we will no longer be around after this season, we have contacted our players to point out the importance of holding back enough money from prize money from the last few tournaments of this season to ease financial requirements until the end of 2015. As for the unspecified qualifiers, India may perhaps slot back in to the first six months of the season? I’ve also heard rumours of two new events in Europe and Asia (Not China) although how true they are I am not sure!

  • Rob Freeman

    It’s a shame they can’t move the Australian Open into the gap between the Shanghai Masters and the Paul Hunter Classic, with the qualifiers in mid-July. Have a two month off-season, stop the players getting burned out. Every other sport does it.

  • Bob Lockhart

    while its a shame to lose a ranking event.im glad to see the world team cup back I remember in the 80s its was popular with snooker fans.myself included and china now is the big power in snooker with so many events over there. I find it staggering that it takes so for players to be paid it should be looked at.on a financial position for players outside the top 32 it must be very hard.i remember when james wattana first come on the scene his then manager tom moran said how it cost to finance his first season.it ran into the thousands back then unless you have a good sponsor you have very little chance of staying on the tour.without this and a good run of results.you hear of players doing partime jobs to supplement there icome which means thay don’t practice as much and there game suffers.so there selective what thay enter.i do wish world snooker would introduce a 3 year tour card instead of a 2 it would give more of a buffer the calendar is ok but it could do with tweeking here and there.