It only took a couple of days but the decision has been rightly taken to alter the snooker Challenge Tour changes.
On Monday, World Snooker and the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association announced a proposal for the next edition of the secondary circuit.
It was hastily met with widespread criticism and drew ire from players, professionals and amateurs alike.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn even responded to the backlash on social media, agreeing that the amendments were “dumb”.
Fair play then to the powers of the game for quickly realising their mistake, listening, and acting accordingly.
On Wednesday, World Snooker released the following statement on its website regarding the 2019/20 snooker Challenge Tour:
“Our announcement earlier this week about the structure for the 2019/20 Challenge Tour has prompted discussion among professional and amateur players. Taking this feedback on board and with due consideration, we have decided to amend the criteria for winning the two available World Snooker Tour Cards.”
“The player who finishes top of the Challenge Tour rankings after ten events will be awarded a Tour Card. The next eight players in the rankings with go into a play-off event, with the winner of that event to receive the second Tour Card. The draw for the play-off will be seeded with the player highest in the Challenge Tour rankings drawn against the eighth highest, and so on.
“All other details for the 2019/20 Challenge Tour remain as previously announced.
“It will include six events in the UK and four in Europe. Snooker clubs and federations will be given the chance to bid to host events. Clubs do not need to use Star tables but those in the UK must be affiliated to the WPBSA’s 147 Club scheme. The prize money for each event will be £10,000.
“The field for events will be made up as follows:
• The top 56 players from the 2019 Q School ranking list
• Eight Wildcards, to be selected with the intention to promote the development of grassroots talent
• If necessary, the last-64 round will then be topped up with players on the Q School ranking list
• The top 56 players from the 2019 Q School ranking list. All 56 will be directly entered into the last 64.
• Eight Wildcards, to be selected with the intention to promote the development of grassroots talent.
• An unlimited number of further entrants will compete in pre-qualifying stages, playing down to the available places in the last 64.
“The two available World Snooker Tour Cards will be for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
“Further details including the dates and locations of the events will be confirmed when available.
“Q School 2019 takes places in Wigan in May with 12 World Snooker Tour cards available. The closing date for entry is THIS WEDNESDAY March 27 at 12pm. For all details click here”
— Mark Allen (@pistol147) March 27, 2019