Tag: Mandy Fisher

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.

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.

U.A.E. to Host 2019 World Women’s Snooker Championship

This season’s World Women’s Snooker Championship will take place at the world-famous Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates from 28-31 March 2019.

Organised by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS), this season’s showpiece event for women’s snooker will again be contested as part of next year’s World Snooker Federation Championships. Current world number one Ng On Yee from Hong Kong will be the defending champion following her incredible triumph in Malta earlier this year during which she did not lose a single frame during the tournament.

This year’s world women’s champion will earn the top prize of €6,000 as well as a coveted place at next year’s professional World Championship in Sheffield at which Ng On Yee and Reanne Evans have competed in recent seasons.

Once again each of the quarter-finalists will receive automatic entry into the mixed gender WSF Championship which carries a first prize of €10,000 and a place on the World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2019/20 season. Last season’s event saw Reanne Evans, Rebecca Kenna and Nutcharut Wongharuthai among those competing, with Evans successfully progressing to the knockout rounds.

This season’s tournament will run with the support of the U.A.E. Billiards and Snooker Association with whom the WSF has worked closely to organise the event.

Mandy Fisher, WLBS President said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that this season’s World Women’s Snooker Championship will be held in Dubai for the first time. Following our successful events in Singapore and Malta during the last couple of years it is exciting to be heading to another new territory as part of this year’s WSF Championships.

“I am already looking forward to being able to welcome both new and familiar faces from across the world to what promises to be an event to remember at a spectacular location.”

Further information, including entry criteria and process will be released as soon as possible.

Free Entry for New and Returning Players

We are today pleased to announce a new policy which is to apply at selected World Women’s Snooker Tour events from the start of the 2018/19 season aimed at encouraging new and returning players to pick up a cue.

Beginning with the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship, people who have either never played at one of our events before or have not entered an event since the start of the 2015/16 season, will receive free entry to the main competition at their first event.

This will apply to the following events:

Mandy Fisher, WLBS president said: “As we continue to expand the women’s tour with new tournaments being added to our calendar, it is equally important that our existing events continue to grow and welcome new players.

“For women and girls who have not played in one of our events before and are perhaps tempted to give it a try, or to players who have been away and are toying with a comeback, we hope that by offering this free entry it will help encourage them to give snooker a try.”

“Women of all levels of snooker experience are encouraged to get involved, meet new people and have fun at one of our competitions. We look forward to welcoming you soon!”

Key points:

  • Free entry will count only for the main event at their selected tournament. An entry fee will still apply for Seniors side-events.
  • The offer is open to people who have not competed in one of our events since the start of the 2015/16 season.
  • Any qualifying players who have already entered an upcoming tournament will be refunded their entry fee.
  • To enter people must still be a member of their national federation (learn more).

Enter now

To view the events currently open to enter please visit our Tournament Entry page.

LITEtask to Sponsor UK Women’s Championship

We are today delighted to announce that LITEtask will once again sponsor the WLBS UK Women’s Snooker Championship this year.

Specialists in the design and distribution of commercial lighting, the Leeds-based company has developed a strong association with the event since it first took over title sponsorship in 2015.

The event, which will again be known as the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship, was won last year by Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, who defeated Reanne Evans 4-1 to capture the title for a third time.

On Yee with UK Trophy

Entries for the event opened earlier this week, with side-events for Under-21 and Seniors players also set to be staged subject to entries.

Mandy Fisher, WLBS president said: “I am really happy that LITEtask will sponsor what is our flagship UK event once again this season. Mark Pears [owner] has been a fantastic supporter of the women’s game for many years now and we are all pleased to be able to continue our relationship with him and LITEtask in 2018.”

Mark Pears, owner of LITEtask said: “Once again we are pleased to continue our sponsorship of the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship next month. Year on year we are continuing to see the standard of play on the World Women’s Snooker Tour increase and I can only see a bright future for the women’s game both here in the UK and overseas.”

Learn more about LITEtask online: www.litetask.co.uk

Learn more about our current partners: www.womenssnooker.com/about/partners

Australia to Host First World Women’s Ranking Event

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) and the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council (ABSC) are today delighted to jointly announce that a World Women’s Snooker Tour event will be staged in Australia for the first time ever later this year.

The Australian Women’s Snooker Open will take place from 25-28 October at the Mt Pritchard District and Community Club, known as “Mounties” in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The tournament will become the third event of the upcoming season and be open to women from across the globe. The event will carry full ranking status, ensuring that it will immediately become a highly sought-after title on the tour.

Mounties is a community club offering full facilities such as four eateries, licensed bars, ten full-size snooker tables and much more. The tournament will be sponsored by Mounties and will carry a total prize fund of AUD$9000.00, with AUD$8000 to be won in the main event, including a top prize of AUD$3000 for the champion. A further AUD$1000 is allocated for the Challenge Cup event for players who do not qualify for the knockout rounds of the main competition.

Australia has a strong history on the women’s tour, with Lesley McIllrath one of just two non-UK winners of the World Women’s Snooker Championship (alongside current champion Ng On Yee) following her title triumph back in 1980. In more recent years Jessica Woods has also enjoyed success both at home and abroad, recently claiming her fifth national women’s championship winning 21 of the 24 frames that she played.

Mandy Fisher, WLBS President said: “It has always been an ambition of mine to see a World Women’s Snooker Tour event take place in Australia and therefore I could not be happier with today’s announcement. This is an important milestone in our history as we continue our global expansion as a body and I would like to thank both Frank Dewens and World Snooker Federation Treasurer Mike Peachey who have both contributed significantly to helping make this prestigious new event happen.”

Frank Dewens, ABSC President said: “It is indeed a great pleasure in opening up our Women’s Australian Open Snooker Championship to the world. We are looking forward to seeing the best women players in the world competing against Australia’s best.”

Further information, including full entry details will be released in due course.

For more information about Mounties visit their website: www.mounties.com.au

View our latest 2018/19 events calendar: www.womenssnooker.com/events

Huart Co-opted to WLBS Board

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) is today pleased to announce that Matt Huart has been co-opted to its Board of Directors.

Matt has regularly supported WLBS as part of his role as WPBSA Media Officer since 2015 and will now join the existing board of Mandy Fisher, Nigel Mawer QPM and Diana Schuler responsible for the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

As part of his new role Matt will continue to provide official media content from WLBS and its events, as well as working with external media outlets to effectively promote the women’s game to a global audience.

Matt also brings strategic experience to the board from his involvement in tournaments staged by bodies including World Snooker, World Disability Billiards and Snooker and the World Snooker Federation, and will work with the rest of the board to further develop women’s snooker over the coming seasons.

WLBS President Mandy Fisher said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Matt onto the board. He has been involved with the WLBS for the past couple of years and he has worked hard to promote women’s game globally. With Matt on board women’s snooker has a great future in safe hands.”

Matt Huart said: “I am delighted to have received the opportunity to join the WLBS board and to be able to be a part of the team moving forwards. During the past few years I have enjoyed getting to know the fantastic group of players and supporters that we have on the women’s circuit and to have been a part of the development of a tour which has seen events staged in Germany, Singapore and most recently Malta for the first time.

“I see no reason why women’s snooker cannot continue to grow over the coming years and am looking forward to working with the rest of the team to deliver a tour of prestigious events that will encourage more women to participate in snooker.”

Vicky Shirley profile picShirley leaves the board

WLBS has also announced that Vicky Shirley has recently left her position as director and company secretary with immediate effect.

Vicky has been involved with our events for over 25 years, firstly as a player and also as a director since 2010. Everyone at the WLBS would like to take this opportunity to thank Vicky for her many years of hard work for women’s snooker and we look forward to welcoming her back to future events as a player next season.

Learn more about the WLBS Board of Directors HERE.

 

Women’s World Snooker Championship – A Potted History

The 37th World Women’s Snooker Championship gets underway this Wednesday at the Dolmen Hotel in Malta and represents the start of a new era for women’s snooker as the tournament will be held as part of the WSF Championships for the first time.

But as the likes of modern day greats such as 11-time champion Reanne Evans and Asian trailblazer Ng On Yee prepare to contest this year’s event, where did it all begin for women’s snooker?

Below we take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of our distinguished past champions…

Vera Selby MBE – our first ever world champion

The Early years

First held back in 1976, the inaugural World Ladies Snooker Championship – as the tournament was originally known – was won by Vera Selby, who defeated Muriel Hazeldine 4-0 in Middlesbrough to claim the title.

Gosforth’s Selby, who in 2016 was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for her services to snooker and billiards, would go on to win a second world crown five years later. In doing so she succeeded Australia’s Lesley McIlrath, who until 2015 remained the sole non-UK winner of the tournament.

Selby’s opponent in the 1981 was Mandy Fisher, who following the tournament was devastated to learn of a risk that the tournament might not be held again, at a time prior to the ‘snooker boom’ that would come within the UK during the 1980s. Aged just 19, she played a key role in the foundation of World Ladies Billiards and Snooker, the body that remains responsible for women’s snooker and billiards to this day with Fisher serving as President.

Through the new body, Fisher was instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the World Championship, which was won by Sue Foster in 1983, before Fisher herself claimed the title the following year with a 4-2 success against Maryann McConnell of Canada.

World champion and President – Mandy Fisher with Steve Davis and Alex Higgins

The Fisher years

As Mandy found herself devoting an increasing amount of her time to the administration of women’s snooker however, it would be another Fisher who would go on to make a name for herself in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Sussex’s Allison Fisher – no relation to Mandy – had started to play snooker at the age of seven and just a decade later would go on to claim the first of a then record seven world titles against Stacey Hillyard in Solihull. She subsequently became the first player to successfully defend the title at the same venue the following year, before securing further titles in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1994, the last in New Delhi, India as the Championship left the UK for the first time.

The perpetual World Championship trophy

Her rivals at the time included Ann-Marie Farren, who reached three consecutive finals between 1987-1989 (winning the first at the age of just 16 years and 48 days) and Northern Ireland’s Karen Corr, who reached six finals during the 1990s, emerging victorious from half of them including her first on the day following her 21st birthday.

It would be a third Fisher however who would go on to become the sport’s dominant player around the turn of the century, as for six years the final stages of the World Women’s Snooker Championship were held alongside its professional equivalent, at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Yorkshire’s Kelly Fisher had rapidly ascended the world ranking list, having taken top spot whilst still a teenager and in 1998 won the title for the first time with a 4-1 victory against 1997 champion Corr. Adding further titles in 1998 and 1999, she became the first player to have won the title on three successive occasions, before she won the title on a further two times either side of victory for Lisa Quick in 2001, to take her total tally to five.

Reanne Evans won a record 11th world title in 2016

The Evans years

As the tournament moved on to what would become its new home for eight of the following nine years in Cambridge in 2005, by now there was another player ready to make her mark on the world stage. Dudley’s Reanne Evans had reached the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time in 2002 as a 16-year-old, before she repeated the feat the following year.

In 2005 though there would be no stopping her, as she would go on to claim the first of an unprecedented ten successive world titles with a 6-1 victory against Scotland’s Lynette Horsburgh. With her attacking style of play, at one point Evans won a record 61 consecutive women’s matches and has since seen her go on to compete on the professional circuit, becoming the first woman to qualify for the venue stages of a full-ranking event at the 2013 Wuxi Classic and become the first woman to win a professional World Championship match against Robin Hull in 2017.

The defending champion – Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee

A rival emerges

Given the dominance of Evans, statistically by far the greatest ever female snooker player, it was therefore a huge shock when she fell at the semi-finals stage of the World Championship to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee in 2015, the 24-year-old going on to defeat Emma Bonney 6-2 in the final and become the first Asian player to win the tournament.

Although Evans was to win back the crown a year later with a 6-4 success, it was the charismatic On-Yee who would claim a remarkable victory when the tournament was staged in Singapore for the first time in 2017, defeating Evans 5-4 in the semi-finals and then first-time finalist Vidya Pillai from India following another deciding frame 6-5 on the pink.

Having proved that her maiden success was no one-off, On Yee has since gone on to underline her status as a legitimate challenger to Evans, becoming the world’s top ranked player for the first time early in 2018.

To Malta

And so to 2018 as the world’s best women players will descend upon Malta’s Dolmen Hotel to battle it out for a first prize of €6,000 and the chance to add their name to a prestigious roll of honour.

Will Ng On Yee complete a hat-trick of world title victories, can Reanne Evans create history once again by claiming the title for a record 12th time, or will we see a new winner lifting the trophy next Saturday?

Further information, including confirmation of event entries and the round robin draw will be released shortly and you will be able to read regular updates from the tournament here at www.womenssnooker.com

 

Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee

Eurosport to Broadcast Women’s Classic Final

The final of the WLBS Paul Hunter Women’s Classic will be broadcast live via the Eurosport Player for the first time this Sunday.

Won last year by reigning world women’s champion Ng On Yee, the event marks the start of the 2017/18 World Women’s Snooker Tour and sees the best women players in the sport return to Fuerth, Germany hoping to capture the title.

In a landmark move for Eurosport and women’s snooker, Sunday’s climax to the event will be available to watch live on the Eurosport Player from 1:00pm CET, with full commentary provided by former professional world number 3 Neal Foulds.

WLBS President Mandy Fisher said: “This is fantastic news for women’s snooker and another significant step in the development of our sport. Eurosport have made a huge contribution to snooker in recent years and I am delighted that snooker fans will now have the opportunity to watch this year’s final in Germany using their Player service.”

The group stages (view latest results) of the tournament are already underway, with 14 qualifiers set to join the top two seeds Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee in the knockout rounds.

Live coverage of the final will also be available to watch via the WLBS Facebook page.

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