Tag: Jason Ferguson

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.

Ladies Day Returns to Betfred World Championship

Ladies Day returns to the Betfred World Snooker Championship on Wednesday 26th April 2017 at the Sheffield Winter Garden close to the Crucible Theatre.

This year marks the fifth staging of the day as World Snooker, in partnership with the WPBSA and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker, aims to encourage women to participate in snooker, as players, fans or officials.

The day will see students from Spire Junior School visit the Cue Zone to try snooker, under the guidance of WPBSA World Snooker coaches Pete Odell and Danielle Findlay. They will be joined by players and officials from the WLBS World Women’s Snooker Tour including 11-time world champion Reanne Evans and together with members of the public will complete a variety of challenges throughout the day.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said:

“Our development work has proved that there is enormous interest for ladies to play snooker across the world. As a world governing body we have a responsibility to demonstrate equality and diversity within our sport. Ladies Day is an exciting, fun and engaging day which proves snooker is truly a sport for all.”

The event will also raise money for World Snooker’s official charity Jessie May, with players on the day wearing t-shirts in support. Fans are encouraged to wear purple, with goodie bags available for spectators who do so subject to availability. There will also be a selection of cakes on sale, with a proportion of money from every sale going to the charity.

The following WLBS players will be in action on Ladies Day:

Reanne Evans

Rebecca Kenna

Shannon Metcalf

Maria Catalano

Aimee Benn

Stephanie Daughtery

Sharon Kaur

Michelle Brown

Diana Schuler

Referee: Sarah McManus

Increased Prize Fund for Eden World Women’s Snooker Championship

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) has today announced that the 2017 Eden World Women’s Snooker Championship will carry a total prize fund of £15,000.

The event will be staged at the Billiard Lagoon in Toa Payoh, Singapore, where the champion will take home a top prize of £5,000, more than four times the sum won by Reanne Evans in 2016 as she claimed an unprecedented 11th World Crown.

Following a recent restructure, which saw WLBS come under the governance of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), it is the first time in over 20 years that the most prestigious ranking event in women’s snooker will be held outside of the UK.

WLBS President Mandy Fisher said: “We must thank our title sponsor Eden Resources and the fantastic support we have received from Cuesports Singapore. These are exciting times for us as we see continue to see our events grow.“

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson added: “Assisting WLBS in its growth is a vital part of our sports global development. The talent is there in the women’s game and I am sure that with more events and with increased prize money to play for, more women and girls will fight their way through to compete on the World Snooker Tour.”

The updated entry pack for the event can be found at www.wlbsl.com

Photo of Reanne Evans with UK Trophy

Evans Above

It has been another record-breaking year on the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) circuit for Dudley’s Reanne Evans, who claimed four of the five ranking events held in 2016 to remain the undisputed world number one in women’s snooker.

The highlight came at the Eden Resources World Championship in April, where she won a landmark 11th world title with a 6-4 success against Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, winner of the event in 2015.

Further victories came against her closest rival came in the final of the Eden Classic in March and most recently at the semi-final stages of the LITEtask UK Championship in October on her way to a record eighth title, while she also successfully defended the Connie Gough Memorial Trophy in February.

Evans would not enjoy a clean sweep in 2016 however, as world number two On Yee defeated her 4-1 in the final of the inaugural Paul Hunter Ladies Classic in Fuerth, Germany.

On the rise

Few would dispute the status of Evans and On Yee as the leading players on the WLBS tour, but which players have impressed behind them in 2016?

Ending the year third in the rankings is Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva, whose highlights this year included a first WLBS ranking event final at the UK Ladies Championship, as well as a run to the semi-finals of April’s Eden World Championship. The 33-year-old also came to the attention of the wider snooker world at the professional Riga Masters in June, where she lost out to Marco Fu 4-1 in a deceptively tight encounter, two of the frames decided on the final black.

Fourth placed Maria Catalano has enjoyed another solid year, reaching the final of the Connie Gough Memorial Trophy and the last four of the Paul Hunter Classic to stand behind only Evans and On Yee in terms of points earned during 2016.

Next up on that criteria are Laura Evans and Rebecca Granger, who have both made significant moves up the ranking list during the year. Welsh number one Evans returned to the tour with a bang at the final event of 2015, reaching the final of the Eden Masters and has taken that form into this year, consistently reaching the latter stages of events. She ends the year ranked up inside the top 10, with the scope to climb higher if she can maintain that level of performance.

Close behind her is Keighley’s Granger, who having reached the semi-finals of the Eden World Ladies Championship at her first attempt, is already up to 14th in the list and eyeing a place inside of the top ten.

Finally, German national champion Diana Stateczny has also impressed in 2016, reaching the quarter-final stages of each of the two events that she has entered, enough to see her climb to 23rd in the list.

Young Talent

The calendar year has also seen three under-21 events staged in support of the main Women’s World Ranking Series competitions.

The first was held at Derby in support of the Eden Classic, with 19-year-old Yana Shut defeating Claire Edginton to take the title to Belarus.

There was also an overseas winner at the Eden World Ladies Championship as India’s Varshaa Sanjeev defeated South Korea’s Jeong Min Park 3-0 in the final. It was a particularly memorable event for the 19-year-old, as she completed a title double having already won the Plate competition with victory against Suzie Opacic the previous evening.

Most recently, Wakefield’s Stephanie Daughtery claimed the U-21 competition at the LITEtask UK Ladies Championship in Leeds, completing a successful defence of the title that she first won 12 months earlier.

To Singapore

The action continues in 2017 with the Eden Women’s Masters at the Cueball, Derby in January, before the players will fight to win the Connie Gough Trophy in Dunstable a month later.

From there, the tour will head east for the 2017 Eden World Women’s Championship, which for the first time will be held in Singapore at the Lagoon Billiard Room on 13-19 March 2017 with the support of Cuesports Singapore and their chairman Christopher Chuah.

“Earlier this year I was contacted by Mandy, who asked whether Singapore would be keen to host next year’s WLBS World Championship,” said Chuah. “We were only too happy to do so and are now extremely excited by the prospect of hosting the WLBS Eden World Championship next year here in Singapore.”

The event will mark the first time since 1995 that the biggest WLBS tournament will be staged outside of the UK, as the circuit continues to expand globally.

WPBSA supports WLBS

It has been also been a significant year in the development of the WLBS off the baize, as it became a subsidiary body of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), in December 2015.

The following year has seen new events staged with the support of the WPBSA, including the Paul Hunter Ladies Classic, which saw the WLBS hold an event outside of the UK for the first time this decade.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “As world governing body, the WPBSA must demonstrate equality and diversity in our development plans. The World Professional Snooker Tour is open to anyone who is good enough, however we are now making a conscious effort to encourage more women to take up our sport through their own organisation. We are delighted with the progress made by the WLBS and there is no doubt that in the future we will see more women competing at the top level.”

WLBS Announces 2016/17 Calendar

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) has today announced its provisional calendar for the 2016/17 Women’s World Ranking Series.

For the first time since 1995 the Eden Ladies World Championship will be held outside of the UK, at the Lagoon Billiard Room in Toa Payoh, Singapore.

The season will begin with the Paul Hunter Ladies Classic, a new event in Fürth, Germany which will run alongside the long-standing World Snooker Tour professional competition. The early rounds of the event will be played at a separate venue, with the semi-finals and final to be played at the Stadthalle.

The event will be followed by the LITEtask UK Ladies Championship in Leeds and the Eden Ladies Open Championship at the Cueball in Derby, before the one-day Connie Gough Memorial Trophy returns to Dunstable.

Following the Eden Ladies World Championship in Singapore, the season will conclude with the LITEtask World Festival of Ladies Snooker in Leeds, which will include mixed pairs, ladies doubles, seniors and under-21 competitions, as well as an innovative new 10 reds format competition.

WLBS President Mandy Fisher said: “I am delighted with our first calendar of events as the newly-formed WLBS and am really looking forward to the start of the season. This is the beginning of a great future for the ladies game and I would like to thank Eden Resources, LITEtask and the Northern Snooker Centre Leeds for their continued support.”

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of our efforts to engage more women and girls to take up competitive snooker. Fundamental to the growth of WLBS is that players all over the world have the opportunity to compete and the events in Germany and Singapore mark a new beginning. It is our view that engagement with the regional and national governing body network will see more women stars emerge and compete for place on the open to all, World Snooker Tour.“

The WLBS has also unveiled new branding to be used from the start of the 2016/17 season, including a purple logo design based upon that previously seen at World Snooker Ladies Day.

Restructure For World Ladies Snooker

The World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association (WLBSA) has become World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) after becoming a subsidiary company of the WPBSA.

As part of a rebrand the WLBS is looking to restructure ladies snooker to ensure events and governance falls in line with WPBSA processes. The WLBS is looking to develop its events into a global calendar and is looking to work with National Governing Bodies to provide a fuller calendar of events and give opportunity for a fair rankings system for female players across the globe.

The former WLBSA board all retain their positions within WLBS, joined by WPBSA vice chairman Nigel Mawer who will be responsible for Discipline and Governance. WPBSA chairman and World Snooker director Jason Ferguson will also assist the board in an advisory role.

WLBS Board members:

President: Mandy Fisher

Vice President and Sports Development Director: Sharon Kaur

Company Secretary: Vicky Shirley

Marketing Director: Diana Schuler

Finance Director/Tournament Director: Clive Brown

Discipline and Governance: Nigel Mawer

Advisor to the board: Jason Ferguson

The WLBS board is currently working on development plans to increase female uptake of participation, refereeing and coaching.

WLBS President Many Fisher said: “I am looking forward to a bright future for Ladies Billiards & Snooker. These are two of the few sports where gender is no barrier and there is no reason why women can’t compete at the highest level, alongside men.”

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “There should be no boundaries to participate in sport. As Snooker’s World Governing Body we have a responsibility to provide opportunity for all. There is a demand for ladies snooker and there is no reason why ladies can’t compete at the highest standard. I am delighted to see this latest development coming together.”

The WLBS is looking to launch its new calendar for the 2016/17 season at the World Championship in Sheffield in April 2016.

More information on 2015/16 events can be found at www.WLBSL.com