We can today share our latest update in respect of our planned return to play during the second half of 2021 following the current tour suspension due to the global pandemic.
Following our previous update of 7th March, we have been encouraged to see that in England the government’s roadmap out of lockdown has so far proceeded successfully, with the country having entered ‘Stage 2’ yesterday (12 April).
As a result, our friends at the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards (EPSB) have therefore now published an updated calendar of events for the planned return of club-based national competitions from July, including outstanding competitions from the 2019/20 EPSB season.
Following discussions, it has been agreed that with the support of World Women’s Snooker, a national competition will also be organised by the EPSB alongside these tournaments, open to all female players across England. This will of course not carry ranking points to the WWS Tour but will mark the first step of our return to competition and provide a welcome opportunity for a number of our players to meet once again.
It is anticipated that this event will take place across the weekend of 31 July – 1 August 2021, with further information to be finalised in due course. We will also be consulting with players via our WWS Players Facebook group as to the potential format of this event.
As we have continually stated since the onset of the pandemic, we have made a strong commitment in recent years to develop the WWS Tour into a truly international circuit. This is now more significant than ever following the welcome decision to recognise our circuit as an official qualifying pathway to the World Snooker Tour.
It is the case that the current uncertainty with regards to international travel is a barrier to a number of our regular players being able to compete in events outside of their country. It is vital that the timing of our return to ranking competition is balanced against this fact.
In the circumstances however, we have provisionally made arrangements to stage the 2021 UK Women’s Snooker Championship at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, across the weekend of 4-5 September 2021. This of course will be continually reviewed, subject to the coronavirus restrictions in place at the time.
As this is more than four months away, this will give us the opportunity to conduct a thorough review of the planned EPSB competition in July, while the position in respect of international travel and the extent to which our players could be affected, could be very different by that time. We will continue to monitor this closely and also consider any measures open to us that would support our international players.
We will continue to share with you further updates when possible and hope that you are all staying safe as we look forward to an exciting second half of this year.