McGill Sportsmanship Highlights AT3 (Video Link)

As you may have seen on Twitter this evening, today saw a very unusual incident involving world number 46 Anthony McGill and amateur opponent Yan Bingtao during their second round match at the ongoing Asian Tour 3 event.

You can watch it here at around 1:36.00.

Anthony himself described the incident on Twitter:

“The strangest thing happened in my match today. The kid has the white on the baulk line, he’s nominated pink and he goes down and slaps the long blue in! The referee called a foul and says it was now my shot.

The kid can’t speak English and got his words mixed up. Blue and Pink were on their spots so he was clearly going for the blue.

What would you do in that situation? I said to the ref that the kid couldn’t speak English and he was clearly going for the blue. I told him to carry on with his break.”

It has become almost a cliché these days to talk of the great sportsmanship that exists within snooker, but this is a particularly good example which has drawn deserved praise from professionals and fans alike on Twitter. Every credit to Anthony for allowing his young opponent to continue with his break, in spite of the initial decision of the referee (quite rightly on the face of it), to call a foul.

It was interesting to me watching the video as not knowing the outcome, I wondered whether the referee would agree with Anthony to allow Bingtao to continue with his break, or whether she would insist upon the decision standing but I am pleased to see her use her discretion in this way.

I have seen instances before where the player benefiting from a foul has offered to allow the opponent to continue (for example if they haven’t seen a push shot called by the referee), but the referee has stuck to their guns, but that did not happen today.

Some have compared the situation on Twitter to those where players have confused the colours of balls due to colour blindness, for example Peter Ebdon here, though obviously the situation was slightly different there as Simon had not asked the referee to put Peter back in for example, understandably.

Another interesting perspective came from David Hendon on Twitter, who noted that a Chinese player, with a Chinese referee should not have to nominate in English, which strikes me as a valid point.

As it happened, Anthony went on to record a 4-3 win to move into the next round and an all-Scottish clash with John Higgins. You can view the latest results at snookerorg by clicking here.