The 2023/24 snooker season commenced on Monday amid typically chaotic live scoring scenes for the World Snooker Tour.
The first two groups of Championship League Snooker were delayed at the Morningside Arena in Leicester after problems with WST’s new live scoring system.
While it came as a surprise to absolutely nobody, given the body’s subpar reputation in this area, it was still an embarrassing way to launch a new term.
On Sunday, the WST published an article on its website outlining their intention to release a new site and app later this year.
The post also directed fans to a separate page, where “in the interim period we will have a temporary match centre” for live scores and results.
However, upon accessing the page there has since simply been a ‘Coming Soon’ message while also promising that “calendar, matches, results and live scores will be available soon.”
Naturally, as soon as the play began on Monday, fans were understandably livid with the situation as they were unable to properly follow the opening day’s action.
To compound matters, it was later revealed the WST was advertising tickets for the Championship League even though it’s an event being staged behind closed doors.
Separately, tournament promoter Matchroom Sport signed off on advertising boarding inside the venue that describes the tournament as an invitational.
This edition of the Championship League is, of course, a ranking event.
Amateur hour all round.
In the end, Daniel Wells and Ashley Carty managed to eventually make it through their respective groups in Stage 1 of the competition.
Wells enjoyed a 100% winning record from Group 30 as he overcame Graeme Dott, Andrew Higginson, and David Grace to the loss of just one frame.
In Group 3, Carty took advantage of Neil Robertson‘s late withdrawal to advance into Stage 2 next month.
The Englishman drew 2-2 with Robertson’s replacement Craig Steadman, then recorded the same scoreline against Sean McAllister before a 3-0 triumph over Adam Duffy sent him to the top spot in the round-robin standings.
Stage 1 of the Championship League will take three weeks to complete with a further 30 groups to take place.
Stage 1 draw
|Group 1 (July 10)||Group 2 (July 11)||Group 3 (June 26)||Group 4 (July 12)|
|Ronnie O’Sullivan||Judd Trump||Shaun Murphy|
|Scott Donaldson||Xu Si||Tian Pengfei|
|Rod Lawler||Jimmy White||Lukas Kleckers|
|Alfie Burden||Reanne Evans||Ashley Carty||Andrew Pagett|
|Group 5 (June 29)||Group 6 (June 30)||Group 7 (July 6)||Group 8 (July 7)|
|Kyren Wilson||Mark Williams||Ali Carter||Robert Milkins|
|Andy Hicks||Dylan Emery||Jackson Page||Dominic Dale|
|Asjad Iqbal||Ken Doherty||Long Zehuang||Muhammad Asif|
|Louis Heathcote||Thor Chuan Leong||Ryan Davies||Alex Taubman|
|Group 9 (July 14)||Group 10 (June 28)||Group 11 (June 27)||Group 12 (July 12)|
|Gary Wilson||Ryan Day||Hossein Vafaei||Barry Hawkins|
|John Astley||Michael White||Aaron Hill||Zhang Anda|
|Mink Nutcharut||Himanshu Jain||Martin O’Donnell||Sanderson Lam|
|Ma Hailong||Jiang Jun||Fergal Quinn||Jamie O’Neill|
|Group 13 (July 13)||Group 14 (July 14)||Group 15 (July 4)||Group 16 (July 3)|
|David Gilbert||Ricky Walden||Stuart Bingham||Jimmy Robertson|
|Yuan Sijun||David Lilley||Matthew Stevens||Ben Woollaston|
|Sean O’Sullivan||Peng Yisong||Allan Taylor||Liam Graham|
|Ishpreet Singh||Liu Hongyu||Duane Jones||Peter Lines|
|Group 17 (July 5)||Group 18 (July 11)||Group 19 (July 10)||Group 20 (July 8)|
|Zhou Yuelong||Joe Perry||Noppon Saengkham||Matthew Selt|
|Ashley Hugill||Jamie Clarke||Mark Davis||James Cahill|
|Oliver Brown||Andy Lee||Jenson Kendrick||Andres Petrov|
|TBC||Stuart Carrington||Ross Muir||Sydney Wilson|
|Group 21 (June 27)||Group 22 (June 28)||Group 23 (July 7)||Group 24 (July 6)|
|Chris Wakelin||Joe O’Connor||Fan Zhengyi||Pang Junxu|
|Oliver Lines||Robbie Williams||Sam Craigie||Wu Yize|
|Anton Kazakov||Zak Surety||Fergal O’Brien||Hammad Miah|
|Liam Pullen||Alfie Davies||Ahmed Aly Elsayed||Stan Moody|
|Group 25 (July 8)||Group 26 (July 5)||Group 27 (June 30)||Group 28 (July 4)|
|Si Jiahui||Jak Jones||Jordan Brown||Anthony Hamilton|
|Mark Joyce||Jamie Jones||Julien Leclercq||Ben Mertens|
|Mohamed Ibrahim||Rebecca Kenna||Marco Fu||Ryan Thomerson|
|Haydon Pinhey||Dean Young||Barry Pinches||Xing Zihao|
|Group 29 (June 29)||Group 30 (June 26)||Group 31 (July 13)||Group 32 (July 3)|
|Thepchaiya Un-Nooh||Cao Yupeng||Xiao Guodong|
|Elliot Slessor||Lyu Haotian||Martin Gould|
|Victor Sarkis||Daniel Wells||Ian Burns||Alexander Ursenbacher|
|Florian Nuessle||Steven Hallworth||Rory McLeod|
Featured photo credit: WPBSA