Jason Francis, the man behind the ever-popular Snooker Legends exhibition tour, has announced details of a new World Seniors Championship.
The event will take place from March 21st to 25th at Baths Hall in Scunthorpe and is open to any player who is aged over 40 and is not currently on the Main Tour.
Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry has confirmed his participation in the tournament alongside the likes of Cliff Thorburn, Dennis Taylor and John Parrott.
Joe Johnson, who played a huge part in reigniting the very idea of a World Seniors competition back in 2010, is also among the top eight seeds with Willie Thorne, Tony Knowles and Irishman Patsy Fagan.
They will be joined by four further qualifiers who will be predetermined at qualifying events in England, Germany, and Ireland – with Dublin’s D’arcy McGees getting the nod as the venue for the latter.
The overall champion will receive £10,000 and an invitation to compete in the professional World Championship qualifiers.
This initiative marks a vast improvement on the previous format for the World Seniors Championship which quickly developed into a farce when the likes of current elite competitors Mark Williams and Mark Davis emerged with the title.
The whole idea of the tournament was to offer fans of the sport the opportunity to watch some of their old favourites from years gone past.
When the age limit was reduced to 40 and it allowed the likes of Williams and many others on the Main Tour to enter, it belittled the event’s entire premise and scared away the majority of ageing cueists who most followers were interested in seeing.
Francis has already proved his ability to put on a good show at his Legends nights, highlighted by the fun weekend enjoyed by players and fans alike during the Legends Cup between Ireland and England at Goffs in County Kildare earlier this month.
It’ll be interesting to see who out of the Irish contingent will fancy their chances of chasing the Crucible dream, with 42 year-old Michael Judge currently in dominant form on the domestic scene in Ireland.
We wait eagerly to find out.