A very important message from Jason Francis regarding the Seniors World Championship line-up

This message was share by Jason on Facebook yesterday. It explains how the line-up for the 2020 Seniors World Championship was decided.

As I did read some criticisms about this line-up myself, I thought it’s important to share Jason’s explanation on this blog as well.

Dear all,
I was made aware of a thread started on Facebook last night around the validity of the 16 players who received invitations to the Rokit world seniors snooker championship and although no one has asked me directly, choosing rather to jump to incorrect conclusions, I am happy to explain the rationale.
I don’t expect everyone to agree, the game is all about opinions, but to claim any personal friendships played any part in selections is quite frankly very disappointing to see.
The criteria of our world championship has always been very transparent. A minimum 25% of the field to come from qualifiers, 50% to come from invited legends of the game who bring Commercial value to the event (this ensuring ticket sales and broadcast interest, and 25% to be used by the WSF to extend continental invitations to the senior champions of the continents.
Of course if this season had been fully played there would of been 6 spots for qualifiers, exceeding our pledge, as we all know covid has wrecked our season as well as much of many other sports.
It would have been very easy to cancel the world seniors championships, with no audience the tour is deprived of its major income stream of course. But we didn’t give up and we not only decided to stage an event but also secured the BBC as our broadcast partner.
These two important victories came as a result of brilliant work by the new additions to the board. These people were put in place by Jason Ferguson and I to ensure the tour is able to be sustainable in years to come.
I am disappointed to still see this referred to as the legends tour or snooker legends tour, it’s quite clearly the WPBSA World Seniors Tour so that’s very misleading.
Also misleading is that only one player qualified by right, our event in Toronto was won by bob chaperon who because of covid travel restrictions was unable to take up his place. People seem to have forgotten that.
Again because of Covid the WSF were unable to extend continental invitations this year, denying the champions of other continents the chance to send their nominations
So in a landmark deal, which helps secure the future sustainability of the tour, current professionals over 40 ranked 65-128 can choose to enter qualifying events from next season.
This season the continental places have been awarded to 4 Former world seniors champions. No member of our tour has lost out because of this.
Some players won their right to a final stage TV event in Coleraine to see it cancelled. They earn their right and are rewarded with their place.
8 spots are taken by the commercially selected legends, all multiple ranking event winners or former world professional champions. Without these, with all due respect to the rest of the tour there would be no TV, no crucible and no prize money.
None of these invited legends have taken a place of a tour player.
The last three places were made up from our official ranking list, top ups in exactly the same way world snooker do. Complete transparency. We put emphasis on our ranking list and if we had ignored it that would have been an insult to those who had consistently performed to get where they are.
If after Reading this then you still think the board have made mistakes then that’s a personal opinion but to start a thread full of inaccuracies is quite frankly disrespectful to those who have been invited on merit.
So in conclusion
1, it’s not a legends tour
2, the selection criteria given the position covid put us in is transparent even if you don’t personally agree with it
3, no one person is making these decisions
4, all those selected will do our event proud.
So can I ask the tour as a whole now gets behind the event and uses social media to promote it rather than criticise the 16 who in my opinion are the deserving ones on Merit
And spare a thought for bob chaperon
Thanks
Jason

Supporting “Silence of Suicide”

This was announced yesterday on the “World Seniors Snooker” Facebook page:

Following yesterday’s announcement of the ROKiT Phones World Seniors Championship we are delighted to follow on and announce that we have adopted SOS Silence of Suicide as our Official Charity.
The Charity was founded by Seniors Board Director Yvette Greenway-Mansfield and her husband Michael Mansfield QC. The aim is to raise £14,700 to help provide a permanent phone line where anyone within the snooker family who is suffering from any mental health issue can call and someone will be there to listen.
The Charity currently offers a free, confidential, one to one online chat support service between 1-6pm every day, because of our previous fundraising with the ‘First Poke’ Challenges we are pleased to say that during our World Seniors Championships a standard rate phone line will launch.
This will start on 19th August between the hours of 5pm and 7Pm which will be between the sessions of play.
Around 800,000 people a year are dying by suicide (Source: WHO).
If what we do as a snooker family can prevent one of these deaths, it will stop another family being devastated.
On average if your shot time ever hits 35 seconds during that thinking time someone somewhere in the world has taken their own life. Makes you think.
We want to encourage everyone to speak up and eradicate the shame, stigma and silence that surrounds suicide and mental health in general. Please visit the SOS Silence of Suicide website and read their story, learn what they do and how they do it.
Once our events are able to host an audience we will provide a safe and secure place where anyone suffering with mental health issues can talk to one of the SOS Team. ‘First Poke’ will also continue to contribute to SOS.
We look forward to announcing many more initiatives in the new season with this fantastic charity.
SOS support at Crucible

Please support this great initiative by sharing this post. Thank you.

 

 

 

The 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship is ON !!!

This was announced today by WPBSA

ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker (WSS) is today delighted to announce that the 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship will once again be held at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from 19-22 August.

Won a year ago by the ever-popular ‘People’s Champion’ Jimmy White, the tournament will see a distinguished line-up of 16 players including ‘King of the Crucible’ Stephen Hendry and 1997 champion of the world Ken Doherty, battle it out to lift the trophy at the home of snooker.

For the first time the tournament will be broadcast live on BBC digital platforms with selected matches available on the ‘Red Button.’ Coverage in China will be shown on major digital TV platforms and across the USA via the Matchroom.Live.

ROKiT Phones – pioneers of the glasses-free 3D phone with onboard Value Added Services – will once again be the title sponsor to the event, continuing a partnership which saw the telecommunications company become the naming rights partner of the WSS Tour in 2019.

The event will be held behind closed doors with no tickets available for spectators due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALL-STAR LINE-UP

An international field of 16 players will be led by defending champion Jimmy White, who will be joined by seven-time world professional champion Stephen Hendry, the ‘Darlin of Dublin’ Ken Doherty and reigning UK Seniors champion Michael Judge as the four seeded players kept apart until the semi-finals

The remaining 12 players will be randomly placed in the draw, including former world champions Dennis Taylor and Joe Johnson, as well as former top 10 duo Tony Knowles and Tony Drago. Also set to compete at the Crucible are former World Seniors Snooker champions Peter Lines, Nigel Bond, Aaron Canavan and Darren Morgan.

The draw will be completed by WSS Tour players Leo Fernandez, Patrick Wallace, Rodney Goggins and Gary Filtness.

The inclusion of current professional players has been made possible following a landmark new agreement between WSS and World Snooker Tour which will now allow lower ranked tour players over 40 to compete at WSS eventsPlayers not automatically invited to tournaments will be eligible to enter future qualifying events.

Jason Francis, WSS Chairman said: “The ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Tour has gone from strength to strength and despite these difficult times globally we are delighted to be able to deliver a truly world class event live on the BBC and around the world. I would like to thank our title sponsor ROKiT Phones for their continued support and look forward to seeing some fantastic snooker played later this month.”

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “It is always such a treat to see snooker’s grand masters reappear at the Crucible Theatre. Few could forget the great sporting moments and entertainment   these former champions have given us.

“The WPBSA strategy is to grow a sport for all, from aspiring juniors, elite amateurs, professional tour players through to the incredible entertainment of the ROKiT World Seniors Tour. Snooker is a sport for life, and I would like to thank ROKiT Phones, our broadcasters, and partners for the opportunity to add this great event and tour to our group.”

Michael Coombes, ROKiT Phones CEO UK said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship to play a part in the Championship, and what will be without doubt, tension filled matches between prestigious players. To celebrate, all our viewers will also be able to benefit from an exclusive offer that will be shared on our website Partners page.”

Jonathan Kendrick, ROKiT Chairman said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with World Seniors Snooker, its great fans will be able to enjoy the action live on their ROKiT Phones for the very first time.”

The 2020 ROKIT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship takes place from 19-22 August at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.

This is absolutely fantastic news!

The bold highlight has been added by me.

Note that “lower ranked players” mean “not in the top 64”. This is also great news and only right, allowing players reaching the end of their career to smoothly make the transition to the seniors circuit.

 

Important message from Jason Francis regarding the next scheduled events

Jason Francis, Chairmam of WSS shared this on Facebook today:

ANNOUNCEMENT – LEEDS 24TH-26TH JULY

Dear ROKiT World Seniors Tour Players,

I hope this finds you all safe and well, we know we are in unprecedented times not knowing when our clubs can open, if our clubs and open but not play snooker and also when we can stage Senior Events.

We’ve been waiting on clarification from the Government and been in constant contact with the Northern Snooker Centre about the last qualifier of the season 24th – 26th July. Sadly after discussions with them, and the viability of being able to stage an event which adheres to the strict covid policies, it is with regret we are forced to cancel.

We understand players may see clubs open, and professional snooker on the television but the sheer amount of work and testing that has been involved in that, not to mention the costs of testing, make an amateur qualifying event at this stage not possible.

Everyone who has entered will be offered a refund of course and I will write to you separately.

The Seniors Board are working hard to try and make sure our World Championships go ahead in August at the crucible, we’re also already planning as to how next season could look with restrictions still likely to be in place.

We hope it won’t be too long before you are able to visit your clubs to play again, and you supporting those clubs is now more important than ever. As soon as we have more news we will update you,

Kind regards

EmptyClub

Jason

There is no doubt that Jason does everything he can to get the players playing, but it’s not in his hands, and the health and safety of everyone involved – players, referees, club staff – are the most important things to consider. We are going through uncertain times and, hopefully, when this is over, the WSS tour can resume with every single member safe, healthy and eager to play. Take good care of yourselves.

Canada will host the Pan American Snooker Championships

And the winner of the Seniors event will get a spot in the WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2020 World Championship

Here are the informations about the Pan American World Championships

Canada to host Pan American Snooker Championships
filed on Monday, December 9, 2019.   10:44am PT/USA

The Pan American Snooker and Billiards Association (PABSA) have announced that the 2020 Pan American Snooker Championships will be hosted in Canada at The Corner Bank in Toronto from March 23 – 29.

2020 Pan American Snooker Championships - The Corner Bank, Toronto, Canada. March 23 - 29

After a successful 2019 staging by the United States Snooker Association (USSA) earlier this year at Q Ball Snooker & Pool in Houston, Texas, it is the turn of the Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association (CBSA), who have chosen to play the Championships at one of Canada’s premier cuesports facilities which is located in the Scarborough administrative division of the city of Toronto.

The Corner Bank in Toronto, Canada - Photo courtesy of The Corner Bank
The Corner Bank in Toronto, Canada

Photo courtesy of The Corner Bank

 

In a change from 2019, PABSA have expanded the 2020 Championships which will now encompass the main 2020 Pan American Snooker Championship event, and the 2020 Pan American Seniors Snooker Championship event for players aged 40 and over. The Seniors event will be played first from March 23 – 25, followed then by the Main event from March 26 – 29.

A view of the snooker tables in The Corner Bank - Photo courtesy of The Corner Bank
A view of the snooker tables in The Corner Bank

Photo courtesy of The Corner Bank

 

The Championships are open to entry from a player who is a citizen of any of the 41 countries which make up the Pan American Olympic movement, with a special dispensation for players who have been a legal permanent resident of one of those nations for a continuous period of the past five years, and have not had any previous representation for a foreign nation in any international snooker competition.

The United States is expected to have several participants competing in both events.

Players interested in entering should visit the PABSA website for further details: www.pabsa.org

The Seniors Tour goes “Down Under”

Adelaide

The following was announced today on social media (Facebook) :

 Breaking News…

The ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Tour is proud to announce an agreement with the Australian Billiards Snooker Council (ABSC) which will see a qualifier for the World Seniors Championship staged at Snooker SA in Adelaide between the 22nd – 24th May 2020. The event, which will be open to any player over 40 will see the winner progress to the famous Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in August 2020 to line up alongside legends of the game including Stephen Hendry and defending champion Jimmy White.

Jason Francis, Chairman of World Seniors said
“It fantastic to expand our qualifiers to yet another continent. I am very aware of how good the snooker scene is in Oceania and this will give local players, as well as those who wish to take a trip of a life time, the chance to walk out at the famous Crucible Theatre”

Frank Dewens, President of the ABSC and the OBSF said “Australia are pleased to involved in the promotion of snooker and in particular, being host to a qualifying World Seniors Championship in Adelaide next year. This event will give our players the opportunity to test their skills against some of the top players in the world for a spot at the famous Crucible Theatre in the UK”

Full details of the event will be announced soon @snookeraustralia

 

World Seniors Snooker Announces Extended Partnership with ROKiT Phones.com

World Seniors Snooker Announces Extended Partnership with ROKiT Phones.com

Here is the Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

World Seniors Snooker Announces Extended Partnership with ROKiT Phones.com

World Seniors Snooker is today delighted to announce an extension to its current tour sponsorship agreement with technology company ROKiT until 2021. The new deal with the creators of the glasses-free 3D mobile phone, will see the tour become known as the ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Tour.

In line with the recent extension of the title sponsorship agreement of Formula 1 team Williams Racing, the new agreement made today at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield comes on the eve of this year’s  World Seniors Snooker Championship, which will now be titled as the ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Championship.

The event will see 20 players from 13 countries battle it out over four days to become this year’s world champion, with a line up which includes Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Dennis Taylor, John Parrott, Cliff Thorburn, Tony Knowles, James Wattana and Tony Drago. The event will be shown live in the UK and Ireland on Freesports TV and also in China on the Superstar Online platform.

Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman of ROKiT said: “Snooker is a global sport beamed into over 1.6 billion households and we are a global company associated with some top-level sporting teams. To extend our partnership with the World Seniors Snooker Tour and rebrand to ROKiT Phones makes perfect sense and in line with our company strategy and vision.”

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with ROKiT. So much of our sport is available now on multiple viewing platforms, including of course mobile phones. The 3D aspect of the ROKiT hone is astounding and I cannot wait to see some snooker in 3D on there.”

To learn more about the ROKiT Phone go to www.rokitphones.com

For any press or media enquires please contact the WPBSA Head of Communications Matt Huart matt.huart@wpbsa.com

 

WSS ROKiT 2019 World Championship – Great Sponsoring / Partnership News!

The build-up series will continue tomorrow, but today is the time to share two great pieces of news regarding sponsoring and partnership.

This is the first one:

Canadian Legend Cliff Thorburn has today announced he will be working with Purple Pharma at next week’s ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship promoting and encouraging people to carry Bleed Kits

Trauma is the leading cause of death for people under 40 in the Uk, having a bleed control kit on the scene means quick and immediate action to control a catastrophic bleed before the emergency services arrive.

Cliff said “When I played I was known as a tough match player, someone once said of my play that every shot was a pint of blood, I was stunned to hear how many lives could be saved if more of these kits were on site and people learnt the skills to make a difference”

As part of Cliffs promotion of Purple Pharma every ROKiT World Seniors Event will carry Bleed Kits on site. A kit like the one pictured costs just £32.50 plus Vat and delivery. You can get one by calling 07383 432 627 or email orders@purplepharma.com

Bleed Control Kits, helping reduce deaths from catastrophic bleeding.

Bleed Control Kit

(source Jason Francis on Facebook)

And this is the second one:

The ROKiT World Seniors tour today welcomes Chamberlain 1875 as its Official Watch Partner for the 2019/20 Season.

Chamberlain1875.com is a Belgian company developed and created by Snooker Historian Nico Smeets who is a player himself.

Nico has long had a fascination with the origins of our game, invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain in Ootacamund in India. His company pays homage to the games creator and honours him with the creation of 20 swiss handmade time pieces.

Chamberlain1875.com watches will be available to purchase at all ROKiT World Seniors Events and Nico himself will be on hand to talk you through the history of the game and his watch collection.To celebrate the launch of this partnership Chamberlain 1875 are going to present a watch to the player who makes the highest break during the tournament. The piece, aptly named ‘The Crucible’, is a stunning piece of Swiss watchmaking and has a value in excess of £1000.
Jason Francis, Chairman of ROKiT World Seniors said “I have been so impressed with Nico’s passion in honouring the memory of Sir Neville Chamberlain, who invented our great game, but also his commitment and attention to detail in producing his watch range, all of which commemorate or pay homage too a part of the sport of snooker. The person who wins ‘The Crucible’ Watch has a time piece to rival anything out there in terms of quality but of course is unique in its connections to our history”The price range of the watches is from 699 to 5000 Euro. Chamberlain 1875 is available online and in selected stores.

Jason Francis, Chairman of ROKiT World Seniors said “I have been so impressed with Nico’s passion in honouring the memory of Sir Neville Chamberlain, who invented our great game, but also his commitment and attention to detail in producing his watch range, all of which commemorate or pay homage too a part of the sport of snooker. The person who wins ‘The Crucible’ Watch has a time piece to rival anything out there in terms of quality but of course is unique in its connections to our history”

The price range of the watches is from 699 to 5000 Euro. Chamberlain 1875 is available online and in selected stores.

(source Jason Francis on Facebook)

Chamberlain1875-3

 

WSS ROKiT Tour News

Rankings

Following the UK Championship 2019 Q1 in Bruges, the ranking list has been updated. Patrick Wallace is the current n°1.

You were fantastic in Newbury

snowdrop

Together in Newbury you all raised over £1000 for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. That’s not taking into account that some players have decided to donate their prize money as well, and that will add to the total.

Thanks so much everyone who participated

No launch dinner in Sheffield … 

The players involved in World Championship 2019 at the Crucible in August take it very seriously and want to prepare properly. With the matches starting right in the morning, the decision was made – wisely – not to have a launch dinner on the tournament’s eve.

… Instead  we will have a Champion’s PARTY!

Join all the legends at the Champions Reception party after the World Final on Sunday 18th August. Players Hotel Jurys Inn Sheffield.

DJ and Karaoke is the legendary Lee ‘The Shirt’ Richardson

Buffet included as well as the comeback performance of “El Legendaros” Thorburn, Taylor, Virgo and Johnson, the karaoke Kings!
Dance and singing till late.

Tickets are just £15 but limited numbers. Reserve yours now by messaging on here or email info@snookerlegends.co.uk