Posts by: Matt Huart

Women to Compete at Snooker Shoot Out

It has today been announced that both Reanne Evans and Emma Parker will compete at the Shoot Out which will be staged at the Watford Colosseum from 21-24 February.

The pair, who both compete regularly on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, have been selected for the professional event among eight wildcard players for the first time and will join 126 other players looking to win the £32,000 top prize.

Dudley’s Evans will face 10-time ranking event winner Jimmy White in a mouth-watering tie during the evening session on Friday 22 February, while former world under-21 champion Parker will play India’s Laxman Rawat a day earlier.

The event will be televised live on Eurosport.

Prior to the event, both players will also be in action at the Belgian Open’s Open in Bruges from 1-3 February. Entries for that event are still being accepted HERE.

Rebecca on the Rise

Since 2005 there have been just two winners of the World Women’s Snooker Championship as leading stars Reanne Evans of England and Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee have firmly established themselves as the dominant forces in the sport.

There are now however signs that perhaps this long-standing duopoly on the World Women’s Snooker Tour could come to an end following the emergence of Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna, who has made rapid progress in the sport since her first event at the Eden Classic in March 2016. That year she reached the semi-finals of the World Women’s Snooker Championship at only her second event, a feat that she has since matched in both 2017 and 2018.

Kenna can also count three ranking finals among her achievements in the sport so far, including at this September’s LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship where she notably shocked eight-time UK queen Reanne Evans with a 3-2 win at the last 16 stage, her second ranking event victory against the player widely regarded as the best-ever woman to have picked up a cue.

Although she was able to follow-up her win with a dramatic black-ball 4-3 victory against highly-rated Thai youngster Nutcharut Wongharuthai, coming back from 3-1 down at one stage, Kenna eventually fell to world number one Ng On Yee in the title match. Nevertheless, it was a strong start to the season and enough to see her rise to a career-high equalling position of number three in the world rankings:

“I was very happy to reach the final of this season’s first ranking event,” said the 29-year-old. “My targets going into the season included to reach more finals [Kenna reached her first final at the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy] and hopefully to win one, so I was pleased to achieve that at the first event of season.”

Practice makes perfect

Since she first joined the tour back in 2016 the improvement in Kenna’s game has been significant, something that she credits to her increased time on the practice table, particularly since the opening of her own shop Cue Sports Yorkshire together with her husband Ash Kenna in September 2017:

“After competing in my first event I was keen to improve my game,” explained Kenna. “Before then I had never tried any practice routines or drills, so I had some coaching and followed drills from books and online and started to see improvements in my game.

“To compete with the top players you need to be on the table for a lot of hours, so I decided that I needed my own table. This came together with the idea for a cue sports shop and so last year we opened with a full-size installed which enables me to get as much practice as possible in between my work as a personal trainer.

“Practice is a pleasure for me, not a chore and I believe that since having my own table my game has improved tremendously. I am very competitive and love competing in tournaments so will thoroughly enjoy trying to better my ranking over the coming seasons!”

Global growth

The women’s circuit is currently enjoying a period of significant growth with the backing of snooker’s world governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the introduction of new international ranking events in countries such as Malta, Belgium and Australia in 2018. With new opportunities both on the women’s tour itself and to compete at prestigious mixed gender events through the World Snooker Federation (WSF), Kenna is excited by the potential of the sport and to be able to follow in the footsteps of her professional heroes.

It was recently announced that this season’s World Women’s Snooker Championship will be held at the spectacular Dubai World Trade Centre in the U.A.E. for the first time, as part of the second WSF Championships following this year’s inaugural edition in Malta won by On Yee.

“I think that I have come into the women’s game at the right time,” continued Kenna. “I can see it growing at every event and also now with having more events abroad it’s a great opportunity to see the world and travel to places I wouldn’t have ever visited whilst playing a sport I love.

“I’m really excited to be heading to Dubai for next year’s World Championship. After being in Singapore and Malta during the last couple of years it will be another different experience and I’ve heard great things about Dubai so am looking forward to it.”

Kenna says that snooker helps her to de-stress and relax, but as well as playing the sport to a high-standard, she is also actively involved in snooker as a coach and recently gained her 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Snooker Coaching in Leeds, enjoying the ‘bonus’ of being able to complete the course with three-time professional ranking event winner Marco Fu earlier in the year.

As committed and determined to succeed in her snooker journey as anyone, she will be hoping that her maiden title on the World Women’s Snooker Tour is just around the corner and that she can be the one to break from the pack and truly challenge the feared top two on a regular basis.

Get involved!

Why not join Rebecca on the World Women’s Snooker Tour? With tournaments regularly held for women and girls of all ages, regardless of experience, you will be made to feel welcome by our experienced events team.

Learn how you can get involved and to enter your first event HERE. Whether you aspire to compete at an elite level or wish to play snooker and have a great time meeting new people, we would encourage all women to participate and to give snooker a try!

This article was originally published in the tournament programme for the English Open.

Belgian Women’s Open 2019: Enter Now

Entries are now being accepted for the Belgian Women’s Open as the World Women’s Snooker Tour heads back to Belgium next February.

The three-day event will take place from 1-3 February 2019 and will be played at The Trickshot club, situated in the centre of the historic city of Bruges.

Following victory for Reanne Evans at the European Women’s Masters back in October, the event marks our second trip to Belgium during the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour, which once again will see a full-ranking event staged, as well as side-events staged for under-21 and senior players.

The closing date for entries and payment of entry fees is 4:30pm GMT on Friday 25 January 2019.

Hotel / Shuttle information

There is an agreed rate in place with the Velotel Hotel Bruges (although players are free to stay at any hotel) and we are hoping to provide a shuttle service between this hotel and the venue during the event.

There will also be a shuttle service provided to/from three local airports courtesy of club owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team.

For full hotel/shuttle information download the full event entry pack here.

Women’s Snooker Supports Paris 2024 Olympic Bid

Billiard sports launched its bid to become part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sports programme last Friday at a special ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Hosted by the Billiards 2024 Committee and supported by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and World Snooker, the event represents a significant milestone billiard sports’ bid for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Games.

Among those present were WPBSA Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM and former world professional snooker champion Shaun Murphy, who joined senior representatives from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and other international organisations to support the bid.

Billiard sports previously applied to join the Olympic programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games and three years on is in a significantly stronger position to be successful as cuesports continue to grow globally.

The first step to securing Olympic status for 2024 was taken earlier this year by the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the umbrella organisation representing snooker, pool and carom billiards, when the formal submission for billiard sports to be included as an additional sport at the Paris Games was made with the full cooperation of the FFB.

A sport for all

Snooker in particular has a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes. The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.

The sport is strongly represented at both professional and amateur levels and under the guidance of former WCBS President Jason Ferguson and former General Secretary Maxime Cassis, was successfully included at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw at which leading professional Kyren Wilson of England won the prestigious gold medal.

Snooker’s International Federation the World Snooker Federation (WSF) has since brought together professional and amateur bodies, including women’s and disability organisations, providing opportunities for all to compete on the same field of play.

WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “Today represents an important landmark in what is a serious bid for the inclusion of billiard sports at the Paris 2024 Games. With the levels of participation in our great sport consistently increasing and new opportunities being created by the WSF and its partners for people across the globe to be able to pick up a cue, the sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme.”

Following today’s announcement of the bid, next year will see a further demonstration event staged in Paris which will showcase the Olympic values of billiard sports.

For more information about the Billiards 2024 Committee and please visit: https://billiards2024.paris/

Bruges to Host Belgian Women’s Open

World Women’s Snooker (WWS) is today delighted to announce that the Belgian Women’s Open will be staged in the historic city of Bruges for the first time from 1-3 February 2019.

The new event will be held at The Trickshot, a modern family-friendly club featuring 11 tables, and which is accessible from both the UK (by Eurostar, ferry or air) and mainland Europe. Located close to the historic centre of Bruges, the event will allow players to combine a full weekend of snooker with the opportunity to see the sights of a beautiful area named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

The event will be the fifth event of the 2018/19 season and the second WPBSA Group event held at The Trickshot following a successful World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) tournament earlier this year.

Mandy Fisher, WWS President said: “I am thrilled to be returning to Bruges with the World Women’s Snooker Tour, having had several successful ranking events there in the past. I would like to thank The Trickshot for making this possible. We look forward to welcoming players from all over the world to this prestigious event.”

Olivier Vandebohede, owner of The Trickshot said: “I am honoured that The Trickshot Snooker Club will have the opportunity to host a World Women’s Snooker event for the first time.

“Last year we staged our first WDBS event which was a brilliant experience for us, so I am really looking forward to working together with the WPBSA and WWS on this tournament.

“We have several female snooker players at our club who already can’t wait for this opportunity to play with the best players in the world. I am sure that it will be a great weekend of both competitive snooker and fun times off the table!”

Further information including hotel rate and shuttle availability will be released with the full event entry pack closer to the event.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for the event and you can contact us HERE for more information.

Junior Stars Boost Women’s Snooker

As the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour reaches its midway point, today we highlight the achievements of a number of our talented Under-21 players who have set significant career milestones already this season.

Whether it be career-best performances or new career high rankings, it has already been a memorable season for several junior players who have shone so far this term, as encapsulated at the recent Eden Women’s Masters which saw four players aged 19 or younger progress to the quarter-finals against experienced opposition.

Below we turn the spotlight on a few of the players who have shown their potential already so far this season, in no particular order…

Emma Parker

It has already been a landmark season for 19-year-old Emma Parker, who has twice broken new ground in recent months on the WWS circuit with career-best performances at two events.

Competing at the European Women’s Masters in Neerpelt, the youngster from Hornchurch reached her first ranking event quarter-final, notably defeating Thai star Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the first of three meetings during the weekend to top her group. She then recorded a 3-2 victory against former world championship quarter-finalist Diana Stateczny to progress to the last eight, where  Wongharuthai would turn the tables with a 3-0 win.

Parker however would have the last laugh during the weekend, a 2-0 success in the final of the Under-21 event in Belgium to not only claim her fourth junior title, but one that saw her climb to the top of the Under-21 ranking list for the first time ever.

Her biggest success to date a month later in Gloucester however as she defeated Stephanie Daughtery and then world number six Laura Evans 3-2 to reach her maiden ranking semi-final. Although she would lose out to eventual champion Reanne Evans, her performance saw her reach another significant milestone as she broke into the top 10 of the world women’s rankings for the first time.

Nutcharut Wongharuthai

Also achieving this feat earlier in the season was the prodigious Nutcharut Wongharuthai, another 19-year-old who looks to have a big future in the sport in front of her.

Having competed at the mixed gender SangSom 6-Red World Championship in her home country back in September, the Bangkok native made a strong start to her campaign on the World Women’s Snooker Tour by reaching the semi-finals of the UK Women’s Championship in Leeds, narrowly losing out a black-ball game to Rebecca Kenna. She would at least have the consolation of claiming her third Under-21 title with a 2-1 victory over Shannon Metcalf.

Better was to come in Belgium however as she stunned Ng On Yee at the last 16 stage before taking the scalp of home hero Wendy Jans in the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory to progress to her second ranking final. Just as at the first, the result would be a defeat to 11-time world champion Reanne Evans but her performance was enough to see her break into the top 10 for the first time.

Another semi-final run would follow at the Australian Women’s Open in Sydney later in the month, On Yee this time gaining the upper hand on her way to her latest title, but Wongharuthai – or Mink as she is better known – had done enough to end 2018 at a career-high ninth position and with a reputation as one of the most talented players on tour.

Shannon Metcalf

But while Parker and Wongharuthai have grabbed a number of the headlines, also among the silverware so far this season have been Shannon Metcalf and Stephanie Daughtery.

For Metcalf, the start of the season saw the 16-year-old broke her title duck by taking the Challenge Cup title at the UK Women’s Championship with a 3-2 victory against world number seven Suzie Opacic.

Having previously lost six side-event finals, Metcalf then made it a title double at the Eden Women’s Masters by defeating Stephanie Daughtery 2-0 to capture her first Under-21 title and secure a return to top spot in the Under-21 rankings having fallen behind Emma Parker at the previous event. She also made it through to her second-ever ranking event quarter-final in Gloucester to underline the development made with her game in recent months.

Stephanie Daughtery

Despite losing out to Metcalf in Gloucester, it was nevertheless a weekend to remember for Stephanie Daughtery after the 17-year-old captured her third side-event title by claiming the Challenge Cup with victory against ninth ranked Diana Schuler of Germany.

Perhaps the most memorable moment for the youngster from Wakefield however came in the under-21 event where she earned a hard-fought win against Emma Parker in the semi-finals, turning the tables after losing her previous four matches to Parker since the start of the 2017/18 season.

Career bests

It is not just the title winners who have shown promise however, 11th ranked Aimee Benn reached only her second ever ranking event quarter-final at the Eden Masters recently, while Chloe White achieved a new career-high ranking of 22nd after the Hampshire potter progressed to the last eight of a ranking tournament for the first time in Gloucester. Wakefield’s Claire Edginton too has reached three side-event semi-finals in 2018, including at her first two events during the current season.

Debut stars

As well as our regular players in recent years we are also delighted to have welcomed new players this season who have also impressed. Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in particular made an immediate impact with a shock 2-1 victory against world number three Rebecca Kenna at the UK Women’s Championship on her debut in September, eventually losing out to top ranked Ng On Yee at the quarter-final stage.

And most recently we welcomed 12-year-old Zoe Killington to the Eden Women’s Masters, the Merseysider impressively winning two frames against significantly more experienced players to demonstrate her potential.

Cue case prize

Earlier this season we announced the creation of a new award for the 2018/19 season which will see our Under-21 Player of the Year receive a special cue case donated by RR Cue Cases in recognition of their achievements.

If you want to get involved and potentially stake your claim for what is set to be a fabulous prize, why not learn more about how you can join the World Women’s Snooker Tour and our thriving junior circuit HERE.

World Women’s Snooker

We are today pleased to announce that World Ladies Billiards and Snooker will now be known as World Women’s Snooker (WWS) as the organisation continues to develop its strategy.

This new name is instantly recognisable and completes a gradual transition which has seen the introduction of the World Women’s Snooker Tour and a full rebrand of our most prestigious events including the World Women’s Snooker Championship in recent seasons.

Since WWS became a subsidiary organisation of snooker’s world governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) in 2015, both organisations have worked closely together to provide increased opportunities for women and girls globally to participate in snooker.

From a tour predominantly based in the UK, to a truly international circuit that has staged events in Singapore, Germany, Malta, Belgium, Australia and next year in the U.A.E. with the 2019 World Women’s Championship in Dubai, the tour has seen significant expansion during the past two years with over 100 women now included on the latest world women’s ranking list. Total prize money will increase to a minimum of £50,000 during the 2018/19 season with the expectation that this will continue to grow for aspiring female cueists across the world.

With the support of important international organisations including the WPBSA and the World Snooker Federation, WWS also provides a clear pathway for the world’s best women players to compete against men in prestigious mixed gender competitions.

England’s Reanne Evans has already proven her ability on a number of occasions, famously defeating Finland’s Robin Hull 10-8 to become the first woman to win a match at the professional World Championship in 2017, having previously become the first woman to qualify for the venue stages of an event at the Wuxi Classic four years previously.

Together with fellow top female players including Nutcharut Wongharuthai of Thailand and Rebecca Kenna, Evans also won matches against male players at the mixed gender World Federation Championship earlier this year and has been joined by current world number one Ng On Yee in competing on the World Snooker Challenge Tour.

Mandy Fisher, WWS President said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for women’s snooker and today’s announcement is another important step in our development. Snooker and in particular providing opportunities for women to compete has been my life for nearly 40 years since we founded the organisation back in 1981 and it is now fantastic to see the progress that is being made.

“I have seen first hand the improvement shown by a number of our players recently and I am looking forward to seeing their continued development over the coming years.”

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “I firmly believe that snooker is a sport for all and the work that we are undertaking to increase participation in snooker among women is a significant element of our global development plan. The professional World Snooker Tour is open to all players and there is no reason why women cannot compete alongside men at the final stages of our prestigious international tournaments including the World Championship in Sheffield.”

View the calendar for the remainder of the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour here.

World Women’s Rankings – Eden Women’s Masters 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the final time in 2018 as the season reached its midway point following victory for Reanne Evans at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Eden Women’s Masters (Derby) were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at this year’s event held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.

Evans closes the gap

Reanne Evans has closed the gap to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee to 7,050 points following her record fifth triumph at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

Having entered the event 10,800 points behind her Asian rival, Evans duly maximised her opportunity to home in on the current world number one with On Yee not competing at the tournament.

Interestingly, although she claimed the maximum 7,500 points on offer by taking the title in Gloucester, the gap between the top two has only narrowed by 3,750 points as we head towards the Christmas break. This is because Evans was defending maximum points at the corresponding event in January 2017, while On Yee only reached the quarter-finals of that event in Derby, meaning that she had fewer points to defend at this update.

With 10,400 more points to defend than Evans between now and the end of the season however, On Yee must have a strong finish to the season if she is to retain her number one ranking next summer.

The top 10

Elsewhere there was a new entry to the top 10 as Emma Parker climbs four places to 10th following her maiden semi-final appearance in Gloucester. The 19-year-old replaces Aimee Benn, who herself had a positive weekend reaching only her second quarter-final, but was defending last 16 points from two seasons ago.

With no points to be removed from her total however, having not competed in the corresponding event in January 2017, Parker gains 3,750 points as she continues her rise up the ranking list from 22nd position 12 months ago. In fact only six players have earned more points than her so far this season meaning that if she can maintain her current form then she has a real chance to rise further still.

Otherwise the top 10 remains stable, players including Rebecca Kenna (3), Laura Evans (6) and Suzie Opacic (7) consolidating their positions having all reached the quarter-final stage or better at the Eden Women’s Masters.

Rise and fall

Outside of the top ten, there are career-high positions for Hong Kong trio Ho Yee Ki (12), Fong Mei Mei (17) and Pui Ying Mini Chu (18), who despite not competing in Gloucester have gained positions because they were not defending points from 2017.

Also setting a new high watermark in their respective careers are players including Chloe White (22), who reached her first quarter-final at the weekend and Jackie Ellis (23), after she reached the knockout rounds for the first time.

A little further down the list both Yvette Greenway (39) and Connie Stephens (40) have broken into the top 40 for the first time having also made it through to the last 16, while there are three new entries on the list as the circuit continues to expand.

With players on the rise it is inevitable that others have dropped down the list, most notably So Man Yan (24) who is down seven places following the expiration of her points from reaching the final of the event two years ago.

Others to have slipped down are Jenny Poulter (down four) and notably Vicky Shirley, a quarter-finalist in Derby who has played only one event since which sees her drop to 90th position on the latest list.

Under-21

For the second time in three events there is a change at the head of the under-21 rankings after Shannon Metcalf captured her first Under-21 title to reclaim top spot at the expense of Emma Parker.

Stephanie Daughtery consolidated third position after an impressive win against Parker at the semi-finals stage of Gloucester’s junior event, although she would ultimately finish as tournament runner-up to Metcalf.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return in 2019.

Five-Star Evans Wins Eden Masters Title

Reanne Evans defeated Rebecca Kenna 4-0 to win the Eden Women’s Masters for a fifth time in Gloucester last weekend.

First staged in 2013, the Eden Women’s Masters returned to the South West Snooker Academy as the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour season reached its halfway point.

Installed as top seed for the tournament, 11-time world champion Reanne Evans was looking to maintain her 100% record of final appearances at the Masters event and duly did so with victories against Louise Cothier, Chloe White and Emma Parker.

Joining the 33-year-old in the title match was third ranked Rebecca Kenna, who recorded comfortable wins against Jackie Ellis and Stephanie Daughtery, before defeating Suzie Opacic 4-1 in a deceptively tight semi-final to reach her second ranking final of the season.

Kenna has two previous victories against Evans to her name including a 3-2 success earlier this season at the UK Women’s Championship, but it was Evans who ran out a 4-0 winner at their most recent meeting at the last four stage of the European Women’s Masters last month

Having taken a 40-minute opening frame in Sunday’s final, Evans then survived a scare in the second after Kenna had gained a snooker on the blue to double her lead. Although Kenna continued to battle to the end it was not to be her day as Evans added the following two frames to complete her fourth whitewash of the weekend and secure the title with a perfect 100% record, replicating her achievement at the same tournament back in January 2017.

The triumph was Evans’ second title of the season following her success at the European Women’s Masters last month. The world number two also claimed the high break prize with her final day run of 62 and closes the gap to top ranked Ng On Yee at the top of the world rankings heading into the second half of the season.

As well as the finalists, the tournament was also significant for a number of promising junior players on the tour with four Under-21 players progressing to the quarter-finals of the main event and 19-year-old Emma Parker building on her recent progress by reaching the semi-finals of a World Women’s Snooker Tour event for the first time in her career.

Side-events

The Challenge Cup event for players who had not reached the quarter-finals of the main competition was won by Stephanie Daughtery, who defeated Sharon Kaur, Connie Stephens and Germany’s Diana Schuler 2-0 in the final to claim the title.

It was a busy Sunday for Daughtery who also reached the final of the Under-21 event following a notable 2-1 win against Emma Parker in the semi-finals. There would not be a title double however as she was defeated by Shannon Metcalf in the final, a result that takes the Leeds youngster back to the top of the Under-21 ranking list ahead of Parker.

Finally there was a maiden Seniors event victory for Tanja Ender of Germany who defeated Bugsie Cothier, Sharon Kaur and Maureen Rowland to take home the top prize.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return in 2019. View the latest calendar of events HERE.

Eden Women’s Masters 2018: Draw and Format Released

The draw and format for this weekend’s Eden Women’s Masters is now available:

The event is the fourth event of the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour season and as in 2017 will be the final competition of the calendar year. The players will return to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester with top seed Reanne Evans gunning for a record fourth Eden Women’s Masters title since the event was first held in 2013 and looking to close the gap to Ng On Yee at the top of the ranking list.

She will be joined by several talented women including this season’s UK Women’s Championship finalist Rebecca Kenna, former world women’s number one Maria Catalano and Welsh star Laura Evans, who reached the final of the event back in 2015.

Alongside the main tournament there will also be side-events for Under-21 and Seniors players, with players to note that both of these competitions will begin on Saturday. There will also be a Challenge Cup event for players who have been knocked out of the main competition before Sunday to guarantee snooker on both days for all players.

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team via our website.