UK PTC1-4 Players Pack Now Available

As well as the draw for the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers, World Snooker today made available the Players Pack for the first four UK PTC events of the season and as always, there are a few interesting points to be pulled out of it…

While the publication of a players pack might at first glance appear something of a non-story, I always find them to be interesting as they offer us snooker fans a look at the tournament rules and as proven last season, can be of real consequence. Remember the confusion caused by the ambiguity in the wording surrounding the topping up of PTC events and whether amateur players should be seeded? Or the situation concerning Jack Lisowski at the PTC Grand Finals, which was answered by the players pack?

So what is of note this time around?

It is noticeable that unlike last year, the entry dates for the PTC events have been spread out a little, compared to the ‘block’ entry system of 2011/12, though this is caused in part by the fact that the UK PTCs which this pack addresses are in themselves spread out between July-November. There will also be more regularly updated seedings for each event to reflect this.

Another difference is that while last year’s pack specified that events falling short of entries would be ‘topped up’ by entries from the PTC Order of Merit, this year that wording has been tightened up, to more clearly define the composition of each event and hopefully avoid some of the confusion caused last season.

It is confirmed that in addition to the seven places in the PTC Grand Finals on offer to players via the APTC events, there will be a further 25 places via the PTC Order of Merit. Interestingly however, it is clarified that those inside the top 25 must have played in at least five PTC events, two in the UK and three in mainland Europe, to be eligible.

Perhaps of most interest however is the fact that it is confirmed that as was the case in 2011/12, the top eight amateurs on the PTC Order of Merit, either amateur or professional, without a tour card already for 2013/14 will earn a main tour card.

While last season there was only one amateur (Craig Steadman), able to qualify for the tour through the PTCs, with the number of tour players having been awarded two-year cards this summer, as well as the fact that those outside of the top 64 will start on zero points, this effectively means that the top eight amateurs on the PTC Order of Merit next season will earn a tour card. This will be well worth keeping an eye on as the season unfolds…