Snooker Main Tour
The Snooker Main Tour is a game season of the sport of snooker , which consists of predetermined tournaments. This includes world ranking and invitation tournaments. The Main Tour begins in late summer and ends with the highlight of the season, the Snooker World Championship , in early May. It is organized by the WPBSA (World Professional Billards and Snooker Association).
The number and venue of the tour's tournaments change relatively frequently; however, some tournaments, such as the UK Championship , which is considered the second most important tournament, have been an integral part of the season for decades. Historically, most tournaments took place in the UK . In the course of time, however, several other countries have been added (see map), so that the majority of tournaments now take place outside of Great Britain. In Germany in the 2020/21 season, the German Masters 2021 will probably only be held one ranking tournament; the Paul Hunter Classic invitation tournament in Fürth was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic .
Compared to other individual sports, the number of tournaments was very small for a long time. Up until the 2009/10 snooker season , there were usually less than ten tournaments at which world ranking points were awarded. The number of tournaments has increased significantly in recent years. 19 ranking tournaments were played in the 2019/20 season. As of August 2020, only 13 tournaments are planned for the 2020/21 season; due to the corona pandemic, no tournaments outside of Europe are planned.
128 players usually play on the Snooker Main Tour (as of 2019). The ranking of these players is based on the results that they have achieved in the ranking tournaments over the past 2 years. The ranking list points achieved in the tournaments correspond to the prize money in British pounds (GBP). They range from a few hundred pounds in the first round of qualifying tournaments to £ 500,000 (2019/20 season) for the winner of the World Cup. The ranking list is updated several times a year after important tournaments.
In addition to this official ranking, a so-called Provisional Ranking is kept , which is constantly updated, i.e. also during ongoing tournaments. There is also a season ranking in which only the prize money for the current season is recorded.
Tournament participation - seeding list
Until the 2013/2014 season, the positioning of a player on a seeding list was decisive for participating in individual tournaments. The defending champion usually had first place on the seeding list, the reigning world champion (if not also defending champion) second place. The other places went to the other players on the Main Tour in the order of the ranking. The first 16 players were automatically qualified, the others had to qualify through one or more qualifying rounds. The list position decided the number of qualifying rounds; the players in positions 17–32 only play one qualifying round, all those placed below two rounds or more.
The 2013/2014 season saw a transition to a flat structure. A number of tournaments are played with no preliminary qualifying round. All 128 players on the Snooker Main Tour are eligible to play. Due to the high number of individual games, the first rounds are only played over a short distance (usually best of 7 , i.e. up to 4 winning frames). If a qualifying round is planned, all participants play the same number of qualifying rounds. Only in a few tournaments (e.g. the World Cup) are the top 16 players automatically placed. There are also 3 tournaments in which only the top 32, top 16 and top 8 players of the current season are eligible to play.
Qualification for the Main Tour
The qualification of the players for the Main Tour is decided at the end of each season (after the World Cup and Q School ). The 64 best placed snooker world rankings automatically keep their place. The players who came to the tour in the season that has just ended will also stay, as they have only participated for one season and have therefore not been able to collect points over two years.
The rest of the seats will be reallocated, with the exact mode of World Snooker not being determined until the end of the season. 4 starting places (until 2019 8 places) go to the most successful players (outside of the already qualified players) of the season ranking . Another 12 places will be awarded through the Q School , a series of qualifying tournaments that will take place immediately after the World Cup. Other players qualify via a Challenge Tour, regional amateur championships or regional rankings. In individual cases, players of special importance for the Snooker Main Tour received invitational tickets (e.g. Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Jimmy White).
Participation in the Snooker Main Tour is also open to women. However, no player could qualify so far. However, seven ranked tournaments specifically for women will be played in the 2019/2020 season.
Germans on the main tour
Lasse Münstermann ( 2000/01 season ) and Patrick Einsle ( 2006/07 season and 2010/11 season ) were the first two Germans on the Main Tour. Einsle received the Main Tour ticket twice with a wildcard, Münstermann by winning the Eurotour 2000. However, both fell out of the world rankings after one season because they could not collect enough points. With the EBSA Qualifying Tour 2012/13, Patrick Einsle secured another Main Tour place for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons , but was unable to establish himself on the tour again.
Lukas Kleckers , the German champion from 2013, took part in the Q School in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and qualified for the Main Tour in 2017 at the third attempt. Simon Lichtenberg also qualified for the Main Tour by winning the U21 European Championship in 2018. Neither of them could establish themselves on the tour and dropped out after 2 years.
Lichtenberg (via Q-School) and Kleckers (via the Challenge Tour) were able to qualify again for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.
- Full Calendar. Retrieved August 24, 2020 (American English).
- Rankings Archive. Retrieved November 2, 2019 (American English).
- Betfred World Championship. Retrieved November 2, 2019 (American English).
- Coral Tour Championship. Retrieved November 2, 2019 (American English).
- World Snooker: THE TOUR 2020/2021 SEASON QUALIFYING CRITERIA. (PDF) Retrieved November 2, 2019 .
- 2015/16 Tour Qualification: Making 128 (ish) - WPBSA. Retrieved February 17, 2017 (UK English).
- Calendar 2019/2020 - snooker.org. Retrieved November 2, 2019 .
- Official website of the World Snooker Tour
- Official website of the WPBSA
- Current player lists and results