Posts by: Matt Huart

Belgian Women’s Open 2020: Tournament Information

Tournament information for this weekend’s Belgian Women’s Open to be held at The Trickshot Snooker Club in Bruges is now available:

The Belgian Women’s Open will be the fourth ranking event of the 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour season and our first in mainland Europe as we return to The Trickshot following our successful first event at the venue last year.

To be held over three days, the event has seen an incredible 50% rise in entries with 36 players set to contest four tournaments, including the main competition and side-events for Under-21 and Seniors players. During a season which has seen a significant interest in new players on the circuit, we are delighted to welcome a further six debutants to the Tour this weekend.

Last year’s final saw world number one Reanne Evans claim the title with a 4-1 win against Ng On Yee in the final, while fellow Englishwoman Steph Daughtery claimed a brace of titles with success in the Under-21 and Challenge Cup tournaments. Belgium’s Caty Dehaene claimed victory in the Seniors competition.

Format

The top two seeds have been seeded straight through to the last 16 stage, with the remaining 33 players drawn in seven round-robin groups of 4/5 players. The top two players from each group will progress to join Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee in the last 16 stage.

There will be live streaming of the event during Saturday and Sunday, available to watch via our Facebook page.

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

Host a WWS Tour Event

World Women’s Snooker (WWS) is inviting expressions of interest from venues and national federations interested in hosting a WWS event during the 2020/21 season.

Over the past four years the WWS Tour has seen new events staged in countries including England, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Belgium, Germany and Malta with prize money and media exposure having increased significantly during the same period.

The tour currently has 145 ranked players and an established calendar of major events spanning three continents, including our biggest World Championship held for a generation earlier this year in Bangkok. This season also saw women’s snooker return to the iconic Crucible Theatre for the first time in 16 years as Reanne Evans claimed glory at the Women’s Tour Championship.

With more and more women and girls around the world being inspired to pick up a cue and take up snooker, we are actively looking to add further events to our calendar to provide more playing opportunities for all.

Women’s Challenge Series

In addition to our existing major tournaments we are currently evaluating the potential introduction of a new tier of events to provisionally be known as Women’s Challenge Series.

Events forming the series will be open to women and girls of all ages and will form part of the overall World Women’s Snooker Tour calendar. They will also carry both ranking points and prize money, at a lower level in comparison to our existing major events.

With lower entry fees and potentially different formats, these events will require fewer tables to run, allowing more clubs to be able to host a tournament globally.

To learn more about our requirements to host an event under this structure please click HERE.

If you are potentially interested in working with us to host such an event, or would like more information about our requirements to host a major tour event, please contact us via our website HERE to register your interest.

Belgian Women’s Open 2020: Enter Now

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

Won last year by world number one Reanne Evans, the three-day event will take place from 31 January – 2 February 2020 and will once again be played at The Trickshot club, situated in the centre of the historic city of Bruges.

The event will include a full-ranking main tournament contested, as well as side-events staged for under-21 and senior players, won last year by Steph Daughtery and Caty Dehaene respectively. There will also be a Challenge Cup side-event held for players who do not qualify for the knockout stages of the main event.

The closing date for entries and payment of entry fees is 4:30pm GMT on Friday 24 January 2020.

Hotel / Shuttle information

We are pleased to be able to offer a 15% discount on hotel rooms at the Hotel Velotel during the tournament and would like to thank Benoit and his team at the Velotel for their continued support. The discount is only available on bookings made directly through their website and full details can be found within the event entry pack.

We can confirm that a shuttle service will be provided between the Velotel and the venue during the event by club owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team.

There will also be a shuttle service provided to/from three local airports, again this can be found within the full event entry pack.

Match schedule

As this is a three-day event, where possible we will consider individual requests to schedule group stage matches e.g. late Friday, or Saturday only for players unable to play on Friday.

Please note however that we may not be able to accommodate all scheduling requests and we will not be able to confirm the final format until final entries are known.

Women’s Snooker: A Year of Opportunity

The appearance of Reanne Evans at the prestigious Champion of Champions tournament last month was the latest significant moment for women’s snooker during a year which has seen several new opportunities created for female players in our sport at all levels.

Sport for All

In recent years the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), through its subsidiary body World Women’s Snooker (WWS) has helped to create new opportunities for women and girls across the globe to engage with snooker and ultimately compete at the very top of the game.

With 145 players representing 28 different nationalities aged between 11 and 71 currently ranked on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, the circuit has grown significantly over the past 12 months and is now as diverse as it has ever been.

But as well as the women’s circuit, which primarily exists as a participation body with the goal of helping to encourage women and girls to pick up a cue and play, snooker is a rare example of an inclusive sport that can place both men and women on the same field of play on an equal basis. The World Snooker Tour is often erroneously referred to as the ‘men’s tour’ but in fact the professional circuit is mixed gender and as it has always been, open to any player who is able to qualify regardless of gender.

And this season we have seen just that, with women competing at the professional World Championship and 6-Red World Championship, in addition to the highlights detailed below.

Shoot Out Stars

History was made at the Snooker Shoot Out back in February where the record-breaking Reanne Evans and top ranked junior Emma Parker became the first women to compete at the televised stages of a ranking event in England live on Eurosport.

For both the experience was a new one, the quickfire contest having a significantly different feel to it with a shot clock, timed matches, a different dress code and boisterous crowd encouraged to get involved during the frames. Although neither player was able to win their matches, both performed well and took a lot from the experience.

“I felt really proud and honoured to represent women snooker players.”, said Parker. “It gave me the chance to show that women can play snooker and it was fantastic that both Reanne and my matches were televised which is great promotion for the game. I hope that in the future more women s tournaments will be televised and hopefully it will become as big as other women’s sports like athletics, tennis and football.

“I would love to do it again if I was given the opportunity. It would help me with my career in snooker giving me the confidence I need to carry on in the game I love playing.”

Maximum Mink

It would be just weeks later when women’s snooker witnessed another first as Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai became the first female player to compile a verified perfect 147 break during a practice match at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok.

The feat followed an already successful start to the season for the then 19-year-old, who has since gone on to establish herself as one of the world’s leading female players, recently claiming her first ranking event victory at the Australian Women’s Open and climbing to a career-high third in the official world rankings.

Record World Championship

It was at the Hi-End Snooker Club where the World Women’s Snooker Tour would go on to stage its biggest World Women’s Championship for a generation in June as 53 players from 13 countries descended upon the world class venue for a fantastic week of snooker.

While several faces both familiar and new were able to make their mark, including 11-year-old Ksenia Zhukova of Russia who won two matches and Nutcharut Wongharuthai who was able to reach her first world final, it would be England’s Reanne Evans who would go on to win her record-extending 12th world crown and first since 2016.

Crucible Chance

There would be further success for Evans at the inaugural Women’s Tour Championship as women’s snooker returned to the home of snooker – Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre – for the first time in over 16 years this August.

The new event, held as part of this year’s World Seniors Championship, saw the top four ranked women players compete live on television at the most iconic venue in our sport. Ultimately it would be Evans and Ng On Yee who would contest the final, with Evans taking home the trophy and helping to further raise awareness of women’s snooker at the same time.

Champion of Champions

Most recently it was Reanne who would again fly the flag for women’s snooker as she qualified to play at the invitational Champion of Champions tournament following her victory at the World Women’s Championship in Thailand.

There she would face former triple-crown winner Shaun Murphy live on ITV4, recovering from 3-0 down to force a deciding-frame, before Murphy dug deep with a break of 130 to progress. Nevertheless, her appearance once again attracted significant media exposure and demonstrated that women can compete with men in our sport.

2020 Vision

Of course, while women’s snooker is currently enjoying an upward trajectory, both the WPBSA and WWS remain committed to increasing participation among women players by providing more opportunities at grassroots and professional level for females to compete.

The continued growth of the World Women’s Snooker Tour, which this year has welcomed players from countries including Morocco (who also competed at the African Games in August), Iran and Japan for the first time, demonstrates that women can play our sport to a high standard and that there is no reason why we cannot one day see women competing regularly with the world’s best.

World Rankings – Eden Women’s Masters 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings were updated for the final time in 2019 following victory for Reanne Evans at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2017/18 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision points earned at the 2017 Eden Masters were replaced by those earned at this year’s Eden Masters.

Evans Extends Her Advantage

World number one Reanne Evans underlined her status as the number one player in the world by completing the year unbeaten on the World Women’s Snooker Tour with victory in Coulsdon.

Having entered the event with an already commanding lead of 19,100, Evans leads by an impressive 22,850 points after she reversed the final result at this event from two years ago with a 4-2 success last weekend.

With both players set to defend a similar amount of points during the remainder of the season Evans looks virtually certain to remain in top spot for the foreseeable future, while Ng On Yee consolidated second position ahead of Eden quarter-finalist Nutcharut Wongharuthai.

The Top Ten

In fact it was a quiet month in the top ten with no changes of position inside the top eight, the first mover being Germany’s Diana Schuler who returns to the top 10 at the expense of Katrina Wan following her last 16 run in Coulsdon.

The most significant gain was made by Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong, the 17-year-old climbing 11 places to 15th having reached her second semi-final of the season. With no ranking points to defend during the remainder of the season, the talented youngster is well-placed to challenge for a place in the top ten over the coming months.

There are new career-highs for a number of players including Waratthanun Sukritthanes (11), Yee Ting Cheung (17), Connie Stephens (19) and 13-year-old Zoe Killington (34), while debut quarter-finalist Chucky Preston is immediately up to 56th position after her first event.

There are now 145 players currently holding a world ranking, up from 92 just two years ago.

Under-21 / Seniors

Nutcharut Wongharuthai is up to second position in the latest Under-21 rankings after she completed her career ‘triple crown’ of junior titles at the World, UK and Masters events with victory against compatriot Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.

In the new for the season Seniors rankings Jan Hughes retains top spot after she reached the final in Coulsdon, with champion Jenny Poulter moving into second position following yet another success in the over-40s age group.

Please note that for this season ranking points in the Under-21 and Seniors rankings will be awarded in accordance with the new side-events points schedule available HERE.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Belgian Women’s Open from 30 January – 2 February 2020. Entries for the event will open shortly.

Evans is the Master in Coulsdon

Reanne Evans won the Eden Women’s Masters title for a record-extending sixth time last weekend following a 4-2 defeat of Ng On Yee in London, England.

Held for the first time at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon, the event saw 30 players of 12 nationalities – including each of the world’s top ranked eight players – compete for the third ranking event title of the season following previous competitions in Leeds and Australia.

Current world number one and reigning world champion Evans maintained her 100% record of final appearances at the tournament since its first staging back in 2013 with victories against Wales’ Sharon Lewis, tour debutant Chucky Preston of Northern Ireland and Thai starlet Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in the knockout stages.

Awaiting her in the final was Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, winner of the Eden Masters back in 2017 and who was looking to end a ranking title drought which now dates back to October 2018. She began her campaign with victories against Harriet Haynes, top ranked under-21 star Emma Parker and former world number one Maria Catalano, which notably included a stunning weekend-high total clearance of 135 in the final frame.

It was On Yee who struck first blood in the title match with a break of 50 to take the opening frame before Evans quickly drew level in their race to four.

The following two frames would prove to be significant as both came down to the final black, Evans claiming both to move into a 3-1 lead and one away from yet another ranking event title. On Yee responded with a match-high break of 52 to stay in the match, but Evans was not to be denied her sixth Eden Masters title – also her sixth ranking event success of the 2019 calendar year – as she sealed a 4-2 victory in the following frame.

The win crowns arguably the most successful season of Evans’ career to date which has seen her claim six ranking event titles, including her record 12th world championship crown back in June and the Women’s Tour Championship at the Crucible Theatre in August.

Side-tournaments

Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai claimed her third career Under-21 title with a 3-0 final victory against compatriot Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.

Having previously won both the World and UK Championship titles at junior level the win sees the 20-year-old complete her own personal ‘triple crown’ of Under-21 titles. During the weekend Wongharuthai was also presented with her award for being the WWS Under-21 Player of the Season by Rob Reed of RR Cue Cases, receiving a stunning handmade cue case bearing her name.

In the Seniors tournament it was veteran potter Jenny Poulter who claimed her first silverware of the season following a 2-0 victory against Jan Hughes. Having seen off debutants Annamaria Wilkins and Amanda Cox, the 59-year-old saw off UK winner Hughes to claim glory.

World number seven Suzie Opacic claimed her first WWS title since April 2017 in the Challenge Cup side-event for players who had exited the main competition prior to the quarter-finals following a 2-1 victory against tour debutant Harriet Haynes. Opacic defeated Zoe Killington, Kristina Mladenovic and Jenny Poulter to reach the final before her success against Haynes.

All at World Women’s Snooker would like to thank event title sponsor Eden Resources and our hosts at Frames Sports Bar who have both provided fantastic support for the event.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour returns in 2020 with the Belgian Women’s Open in Bruges from 31 January – 2 February.

Eden Masters 2019: Tournament Information

Tournament information for this weekend’s Eden Women’s Masters to be held at Frames Sports Bar in South London is now available:

The Eden Women’s Masters will be the third ranking event of the 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour season as the circuit moves to Coulsdon for the first time with a field of 30 players set to compete for the final time this calendar year.

It is another strong field comprising 12 nationalities and the world’s top eight players, including defending champion Reanne Evans, who will be looking to win this competition for a record-extending sixth time. The event will also include side-tournaments for our Under-21 and Seniors players. We are also delighted to welcome a further nine players who will be competing in their first WWS event this weekend, taking this season’s total to 28 new players to the tour from just three events.

The top two players from each of the seven round-robin groups will join top seeds Evans and 2017 champion Ng On Yee in Saturday evening’s last 16 stage.

It is anticipated that there will be live streaming of the event from the start of the quarter-finals on Sunday via our Facebook page.

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

Wongharuthai Wins New Under-21 Award

World Women’s Snooker (WWS) is today pleased to announce that Nutcharut Wongharuthai has been selected as the inaugural winner of the new WWS Under-21 Player of the Season for the 2018/19 season.

The new award is sponsored by RR Cues Cases, who will provide a stunning bespoke cue case (pictured below) for the 20-year-old star, bearing her name upon its handle and the wording ‘WWS Under-21 Player of the Season’ on its interior.

The announcement, delayed as Wongharuthai, who is also known as ‘Mink’, was unable to attend September’s UK Women’s Championship to be presented with the case, follows a career-best season during which her achievements included:

  • Reaching three ranking event finals, including her first World Championship final in Thailand
  • Becoming the first female player to make a verified 147 break during a practice match
  • Breaking into the top four of the WWS world rankings for the first time

Mandy Fisher, WWS President said: “Following her incredible achievements last season there could only be one winner of this new award and it is with pleasure that we can announce Nutcharut as our first ever WWS Under-21 Player of the Season.

“Ever since her first event back in 2017 we have all been impressed with her technique, hard work and dedication to our sport and are excited by what the future holds for her.

“I would however also like to acknowledge the efforts of all of our junior players who will be keeping her on her toes for years to come, including our current junior number one Emma Parker and our new World Under-21 champion Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.”

The presentation of her case will take place during the upcoming Eden Women’s Masters at Frames Sports Bar which is set to run from 23-24 November 2019.

Learn more about RR Cue Cases online.

Follow RR Cue Cases on Social Media:

Facebook: fb.me/rrcuecases
Twitter: @rrcuecases
Instagram: instagram.com/rrcuecases

World Rankings – Australian Women’s Open 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings were recently updated for the second time during the 2019/20 season after Nutcharut Wongharuthai claimed her first ranking event title at the Australian Women’s Open last month.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2017/18 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, no points were removed, with those earned at this year’s Australian Women’s Open added.

Maximum Mink on the Move

Although a number of the world’s top 10 were absent in Sydney, there was a significant move in the top four as Nutcharut Wongharuthai moved above Rebecca Kenna into third place, a new career-high for the Thai youngster. Having entered the event 3,350 points behind Kenna, ‘Mink’ as she is also known more than did enough to break new ground in Australia as she defeated second ranked Ng On Yee in the final to bag the maximum 7,500 points.

With Kenna set to defend semi-final points at this month’s Eden Masters from two years ago, an event which Wongharuthai did not play in, the Thai star is already guaranteed to end the calendar year in at least third position. Next in her sights will be three-time world champion On Yee, with the Hong Kong star mathematically within reach in Coulsdon later this month if Wongharuthai were to go all the way with On Yee losing out early.

While this would appear unlikely, On Yee does have 7,250 more points to defend during the second half of this season than Wongharuthai meaning that we are set for a real battle for the number two spot behind runaway world number one Reanne Evans over the coming months.

Notable Movers

Elsewhere, Jaique Ip Wan In returned to the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2017 after reaching the semi-finals in Sydney to become the second highest ranked player from Hong Kong and with fewer points to defend this season than anyone else inside the top 14 will be hoping to consolidate her position over the coming months. There is also a notable rise for another Hong Kong native as Pui Ying Mini Chu climbed to 18th position after her own run in Sydney.

Of the Australian players competing on home soil Judy Dangerfield consolidated her position as the highest-ranked in 28th, while quarter-finalist Jessica Woods moves up to 31st, a gain of seven places. Also reaching the last eight from Australia was Carlie Tait, who improved upon her last 16 run in Sydney a year previously and climbs 27 places to number 42.

Also breaking new ground is Tani Mina of Japan who moves to 51st position, while South Korea’s Jeong Min Park is up to 39th after she reached the quarter-finals.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Eden Women’s Masters from 23-24 November 2019. Enter online HERE.

Maximum Mink Wins First Ranking Title

Nutcharut Wongharuthai has defeated Ng On Yee 4-2 in the final of the Australian Women’s Open to capture her first-ever ranking event title on Sunday.

Held for a second time at the Mounties venue in Sydney, Australia, following last year’s inaugural event, the competition saw 24 players battle it out to become champion across four days of hard-fought action.

It would be the top two seeded players who would make it through to the showpiece match, Thailand’s Wongharuthai ominously doing so for the loss of no frames, while defending champion On Yee made it back-to-back finals in Sydney with victories against Jessica Woods and So Man Yan in the latter rounds.

Contested over the best of seven frames, the final saw 19-year-old Wongharuthai make the faster start by moving into a 2-0 lead, before former world number one On Yee hit back with a run of 70 to get herself off the mark. Mink, as Wongharuthai is also commonly known, took the fourth frame to restore her two-frame advantage, only for On Yee to again close the gap with a second 70 break to stay in the match.

Wongharuthai was not to be denied however, runs of 38 and 37 in the sixth and ultimately final frame proving enough for her to claim glory for the first time on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

Victory for the Thai star adds to a career-best year which has already seen her reach her first World Championship final and become the first woman to make a verified 147 break back in March. She is now also guaranteed to climb to a new career-high ranking of number three, overtaking Rebecca Kenna who did not compete in Australia.

Wongharuthai’s success also represents the first ranking event win for a player other than On Yee or Reanne Evans on the circuit since Maria Catalano claimed victory at the Connie Gough Trophy back in February 2017 and the Thai star also finished the week with the highest break after her run of 90 during the group stage.

All at World Women’s Snooker would like to thank the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council for their hard work in running this event during the week.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour continues with the Eden Women’s Masters which runs from 23-24 November at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon, England. Enter the event online HERE.