We are pleased to provide details of the new Challenge Tour which will run for the 2018/19 season, as a secondary circuit to the World Snooker Tour.
This was announced by World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn last April and we are now in position to provide initial details on how the Challenge Tour will be structured. Confirmed dates and venues will be announced in due course.
2018/19 Challenge Tour Summary:
- Ten events, played over two days using a minimum of eight tables
- Each event will consist of the top 64 from the 2018 Q School Order of Merit (who have not qualified for the World Snooker Tour) plus a maximum of eight wild cards, giving a maximum field of 72 players.
- If any of the top 64 do not enter an event, the eight wild cards will then be added. If there are still less than 64 players in the event, we will use the Q School Order of Merit to top up to 64.
- Events will be played in a mixture of venues being used by World Snooker for other events, plus selected snooker clubs.
- Players will be allowed to play in both World Snooker Tour and Challenge Tour events if eligible.
- Once agreed, a tender will be issued for clubs to host events in the UK and National Governing Bodies to host events in mainland Europe.
- The events are likely to be played at regular intervals between May 2018 and March 2019, taking place in a mixture of venues in the UK and continental Europe.
- The Top Two from the final Challenge Tour Order of Merit at the end of the season will receive World Snooker Tour cards for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
- The prize money breakdown for each Challenge Tour event will be:
Last 16 £200
Last 32 £125
- Each event will have an entry fee of £50. World Snooker will retain all entry fees and issue draws/formats
- All matches best of five frames.
Snooker has never been more popular worldwide…and the opportunities for players have never been better
A spokesman for World Snooker said: “This is fantastic news for the amateur game, providing established and up-and-coming players with opportunities to hone their skills in a competitive environment. The Challenge Tour will be a significant boost to our sport on the amateur side and we expect to see very competitive events as players strive to make the step up to the World Snooker Tour.
“We hope to see a record number of players signing up for Q School and many of them will go on to show their skills on the Challenge Tour. It’s time to chase your dreams!
“In the darts world we have seen Rob Cross come from the Challenge Tour and go on to become World Champion in less than a year. The opportunities are there in snooker for a player to do the same. On our global tour we now have nearly 30 events and prize money of over £13 million.”
Rob Cross came through the darts Challenge Tour
Pic: Lawrence Lustig
Darts World Champion Cross said: “The Challenge Tour helped me to prove to myself that I could actually do this, and getting my first win there was massive for me, such a relief. It made everything feel more possible and you go from strength to strength. When I joined the ProTour I had a lot of belief.
“The last year or so has been unbelievable and winning the World Championship was amazing – but I’m not finished yet. I want to be world number one. Everything that I do, I want to be the best and push for that.”