The World Snooker Championship qualification criteria for the fast-approaching 2019 edition of the blue riband event has been announced.
Mark Williams will obviously be back as the defending champion, hoping to emulate his surprise third success in Sheffield from ten months ago.
Like always, the top 16 in the official world rankings after the conclusion of the China Open will automatically be seeded through to the tournament, meaning the likes of Mark Selby, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and Judd Trump will definitely be in the line-up.
That leaves 16 additional spots up for grabs in the 17-day championship that gets under way on April 20th and is branded the “Marathon of the Mind”.
Each cuiest will require three victories in order to experience walking out into the Crucible Theatre and be in with a shout of landing the sport’s most coveted prize.
The World Snooker Championship qualification field will comprise the 112 remaining professionals – or top-ups from 2018’s Q School Order of Merit if required – as well as 16 amateur competitors invited by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
Those amateur players will be:
4 – Challenge Tour 2018/19 – top four ranked players (Brandon Sargeant, David Grace, Mitchell Mann and David Lilley)
5 – EBSA European U-21 / U-18 Championship 2018 semi-finalists (Jackson Page, Aaron Hill, Ross Bulman, Dylan Emery, Florian Nüßle)
2 – World Women’s Snooker Tour – top two ranked players (Ng On Yee, Reanne Evans)
1 – World Seniors Snooker Tour – top ranked player (Jonathan Bagley)
1 – African champion (TBC)
1 –Americas champion (Igor Figueiredo)
1 – Oceania champion (TBC)
1 – CBSA nomination (TBC)
The eagerly anticipated world qualifiers draw will be undertaken after the completion of Beijing in early April, with the action at the English Institute of Sport getting under way on April 10th.