The World Snooker Federation (WSF) has announced the beginning of its own official WSF Championships, which will run from 14-24 March 2018.
The event will be played at the Dolmen Hotel, Malta and provide new and exciting opportunities for amateur players.
The winner of the main WSF Championship will receive a first prize of €10,000 and earn a two-year tour card for the World Snooker Tour.
The four semi-finalists of the event will all be invited to compete at the 2018 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, which this year carries a record first prize of £425,000.
The WSF Championships will also consist of the official 2018 World Women’s Snooker Championship, with the winner also gaining entry into the 2018 World Snooker Championship qualifying rounds in April, along with a cheque for €6,000.
There will also be an event staged for players over 40 years of age, to be known as the WSF Seniors Championship.
There will be a first prize of €6,000 for this competition and, following the recent WPBSA announcement regarding an official World Seniors Tour, the winner will receive a personal invitation to compete in a major international World Seniors event.
The top eight players of both the Women’s and Seniors events will automatically qualify to play in the main WSF Championship, providing equal opportunities for both men and women to earn a two-year tour place on the World Snooker Tour.
The events will also be played on Star tables, further preparing players before they join the lucrative professional circuit.
WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “The announcement of our first WSF Championship marks the beginning of a new dawn for amateur snooker across the globe.”
“The Championships will provide equal opportunities, exciting bonuses for elite performers, and clear a pathway to a career in our wonderful sport.”
Further information, including event entry details, will be released in due course.