Welsh Open format revised for 2011

Variety is the spice of life apparently and we will see a little more this season as the format for the Welsh Open tournament has been amended in a move which will see just two tables required at the televised stages rather than three…

For a number of years the Welsh Open has arguably the smallest major ranking event on the circuit, often running unsponsored, being untelevised on the main BBC TV stations and also offering a relatively small prize fund, certainly in comparison to the other ranking events prior to the introduction of the PTC.

In a bid to shake things up therefore, it has now been announced that all matches in the tournament up to and including the last 32 stage will now be the best of seven frames as opposed to the best of nine. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will remain at 9, 11 and 19 frames respectively.

Personally as an unashamed fan of the longer format matches I do feel that this is a shame from a match point of view, particularly as the mid-session interval will be lost, something that can always change the direction of a match that otherwise appears to be heading only one way.

As demonstrated at the World Open however, enabling the viewers to watch every match at the venue stage is a positive move and something that will now happen in Newport as both tables will be covered. For that reason alone therefore I would suggest that the changes are not without merit and it is good to see that the latter stages will remain over a longer duration.

What do you think?