So then, this Shootout…

Tomorrow sees the start of a new event, the Shootout as the top 64 (the ill Liang Wenbo apart), fight it out for the £32,000 top prize. Click below for information as to the rules and format…

The basics

Staged in Blackpool, the new Shootout event sees live snooker other than the Premier League return to SkySports for the first time in over half a decade this weekend. With all of the top 64 involved, it will be interesting to see how another new format is received by both players and spectators alike, and whether the viewers at home will take to it.

The Rules

As is implied by the name, speed will be of the essence at this event as matches will last for a maximum of just ten minutes, with a 20 second shot clock, reduced to 15 seconds after five minutes, in force. Some players such as Marco Fu have been noted to struggle during the Premier League so it will be very interesting to see how they handle 15! Expect to see the extended rest down the side of the table being used more during this weekend than during the last 20 years combined.

The other notable rule is that any foul will result in the players being allowed to place the cue ball not just inside the ‘D’ as is normally the case, but anywhere on the table. The shot clock will start once the player has taken the cueball.

Additionally, the players if they do not pot a ball with a shot, must hit a cushion with either the cue ball or the object ball.

In order to decide who is to break, the players must ‘lag’  with the winner being given the choice to either break or put their opponent in.

Finally, should the points be level at the end of the frame, there will be a blue ball shootout with the cueball placed inside the D.

Tournament Schedule

The match schedule can be found over at where I expect that it will be regularly updated throughout the weekend.

At the moment however, the schedule looks like this:

Friday, January 28

6pm start

Tony Drago w/o Liang Wenbo
Mark Allen v Ryan Day
Stephen Lee v Michael Holt
Nigel Bond v Joe Jogia
Stephen Hendry v Fergal O’Brien
Robert Milkins v Martin Gould
Andrew Higginson v Jamie Burnett
Tom Ford v Stephen Maguire
Ding Junhui v Dominic Dale
Jimmy White v Ali Carter
Michael Judge v Alan McManus
Mark Williams v John Higgins
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Marco Fu
Peter Ebdon v Steve Davis
Jimmy Michie v Marcus Campbell
Mark King v Jimmy Robertson

Saturday, January 29

12pm start

Barry Pinches v Neil Robertson
Peter Lines v Barry Hawkins
Shaun Murphy v Rory McLeod
Alfie Burden v Matt Selt
Ricky Walden v Joe Perry
Judd Trump v Dave Harold
Graeme Dott v Matthew Couch
Jamie Cope v Ken Doherty
Adrian Gunnell v David Morris
Gerard Greene v Rod Lawler
Matthew Stevens v Mike Dunn
Stuart Pettman v Bjorn Haneveer
Joe Swail v Mark Davis
Andy Hicks v Mark Selby
Anthony Hamilton v Anthony McGill
Stuart Bingham v Ian McCulloch


All last 32 matches (a random draw for the last 32 will be made once the first round is completed).

Sunday, January 30


All last 16 matches





The TV Schedule

Similarly, the SkySports schedule can also be found at World Snooker.

Friday January 28
Sky Sports 1.
6pm to 10pm

Saturday January 29
Sky Sports 2
12pm to 4pm
6pm to 10.30pm

Sunday January 30
Sky Sports 2
2pm to 4.30pm
7pm to 9pm

The Prize Fund

As detailed at World Snooker:

Winner: £32,000
Runner-up: £16,000
Semi-finals: £8,000
Quarter-finals: £4,000
Last 16: £2,000
Last 32: £1,000
Last 64: £500

Highest break: £2,000

Total: £130,000

Will it work?

As many of you will know, I am something of a traditionalist when it comes to snooker but compared to events such as Power Snooker, this does at least stick largely to the traditional game, albeit in a somewhat speedier fashion!

With £32,000 on offer for the winner you can be sure that the players will be well up for this, treating it as a serious event, and that can only be a positive factor for everyone involved. Sure we do like to see the players smile and have a laugh (and I am sure that we will see some of that this weekend), but you cannot beat competitive snooker with something on the line for both players.

I will certainly be watching anyway and it will be fascinating to see who takes to the format and who does not, though in truth I suspect that with so little time it will become something of a lottery. We shall see.

You can read David Hendon’s thoughts on the event here.