Category: Women’s Tour Championship

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.

Evans is Queen of the Crucible

World number one Reanne Evans has won the inaugural Women’s Tour Championship title at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

The event saw the world’s top four ranked players Evans, Ng On Yee, Rebecca Kenna and Nutcharut Wongharuthai take to the baize as women’s snooker returned to the home of the snooker for the first time since 2003.

Evans began the day with a dramatic black-ball victory against 19-year-old Wongharuthai in what was a repeat of this year’s World Championship final. Having split two high-quality opening frames the match came down to a re-spotted black, which Evans would eventually ‘treble’ into the middle pocket to book her place in the final.

There she would meet long-time rival Ng On Yee after the Hong Kong star defeated third ranked Rebecca Kenna 2-0 in the second semi-final. After On Yee took a scrappy opener, the match was highlighted by a stunning clearance of 47 by the three-time former world champion to seal victory.

The final between the world’s top two players would be played as a single frame shoot-out and it was On Yee who had the first clear chance to build an advantage. A surprising miss on the black however would prove to be her final shot as Evans made no mistake with a decisive break of 79 to clinch the title.

The victory sees Evans pick up from where she left off after a six-title 2018/19 season which saw her regain the world number one ranking and claim her record 12th world title.

“To come back and soak everything up with the one-table set-up, I have absolutely loved it and hopefully it’s a step forward for women’s snooker and for me in general.” said Evans.

“We were happy just to be come and play here as the top four women players at the Crucible Theatre of dreams, every snooker player no matter who you are wants to play her. Then we were told that it was live on TV which added pressure, but it lets people know that we play and people will try to support us more and hopefully we can put on a good show.”

The tournament was held as part of this year’s ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship, which has seen 20 of the world’s best over-40 players compete in Sheffield this week with live coverage in the UK and Ireland broadcast by Freesports TV.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour returns next month with the UK Women’s Snooker Championship from Leeds on 14-15 September 2019. Enter the event now online HERE.

Women’s Tour Championship 2019

The draw and format for the Women’s Tour Championship to be held tomorrow (Saturday) at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield is now available.

The inaugurual event, which will be televised live in the UK and Ireland by Freesports TV, will women’s snooker contested at the sport’s spiritual home for the first time in over 16 years.

All matches will provisionally be played over the best of three frames, subject to change depending on timings during the day.

Tickets for the event are still available HERE for just £1.47 when purchased alongside a full-price ticket for the ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship.

World Women’s Snooker Announces 2019/20 Calendar

We are today pleased to announce our provisional calendar of events for the 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour.

As during last season, world ranking tournaments will be held in England, Australia, Belgium and Thailand, with the showpiece World Women’s Snooker Championship set to return to the Hi-End Snooker Club in June 2020.

Crucible return

The season will be launched at the iconic Crucible Theatre in August with the invitational Women’s Tour Championship, as women’s snooker returns to the spiritual home of the sport for the first time in 16 years.

The all-new event will see the top four ranked players including reigning world champion Reanne Evans battle to claim the first silverware of the new season in Sheffield.

Ranking calendar

The ranking event calendar retains a familiar structure to last season with at least seven ranking tournaments to be staged, culminating in the World Women’s Snooker Championship won last month for a record 12th time by England’s Reanne Evans.

Following the hugely successful running of the 2019 event together with our friends at the Hi-End Snooker Club and the Billiard Sports Association of Thailand, we are delighted to be able to already confirm our return to what is a world class venue for next year’s event at this early stage.

We are also pleased to be revisit the Mounties Club with the support of the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council and The Trickshot in Belgium run by Olivier Vandenbohede and his team, following successful competitions for the first time in 2018/19.

Once again, we will also return to the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England for two events, a venue which has strongly supported women’s snooker for many years.

We hope to be in a position to confirm the venue for the Eden Women’s Masters as soon as possible.

Additional events

In addition to the currently confirmed events we are continuing to evaluate options for the staging of additional ranking events for the upcoming season and would welcome expressions of interest in hosting an event from venues and national federations.

For more information on our requirements to stage a World Women’s Snooker event please contact us.

Partnership opportunities

With the growth of women’s sport including women’s snooker in recent years there has never been a better opportunity for you or your business to be involved with the World Women’s Snooker Tour by supporting one or more events.

Learn more about the opportunities available to become a tour partner HERE.

Provisional 2019/20 calendar

17 August 2019

Women’s Tour Championship – Sheffield, England

14-15 September 2019

UK Women’s Championship – Leeds, England

17-20 October 2019

Australian Women’s Open – Sydney, Australia

23-24 November 2019

Eden Women’s Masters – Venue TBC, England

31 January – 2 February 2020

Belgian Women’s Open – Bruges, Belgium

3-6 April 2020

Festival of Women’s Snooker – Leeds, England

June 2020 TBC

World Women’s Snooker Championship – Bangkok, Thailand

 

Please note that all dates are provisional and subject to change