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24 Jul 2014

World Billiards Statement: Looking to the Future

FUTURE EVENTS

We are still in negotiations for a new event in New Zealand, details for which will be announced very shortly, and you will all now be aware of the first ever World Team Cup taking place in Glasgow next month. The 2nd Americas Cup in Winnipeg is pencilled in for late May/early June 2015 and the Canadian Tournament Committee is busy fundraising already; you can follow their progress on www.amcup-canada.com. We are again running an event in partnership with the Home International Billiards & Snooker Federation (HIBSF) in August. It is also envisaged that we will have a World Under 21’s Championship on the calendar within the next couple of years. We have recently unearthed the old UK Professional Championship trophy last won by David Causier in 2000 and we plan to reinstate this championship as an open event as soon as we can do the event justice.

RANKINGS

We are working towards making the World Rankings and Order of Merit more relevant and representative of the world game. This is not an easy task until such time as the game is big enough for everyone to play in a similar number of events and the rankings will then mature accordingly. With the bulk of the events still currently happening in and around the UK it is difficult for non UK players to play in more than a handful of events. Whilst the rest of the world is still playing catch up, UK based players obviously have a significant advantage and it will be some time before this stabilises itself. To facilitate this we are going to apply (minimal) ranking points to NGB organised national championships. This will have several effects: it will increase the amount of ranking points available to all players without them having to travel, it will increase the importance of NGB’s and their national championships, and it will increase the number of players on the ranking list. Also, it is hoped that it will help persuade NGB’s who currently do not stage a national billiards championship to inaugurate one. We are still debating exactly how this will be implemented but we are hoping that it will be in effect for the 2014/15 season beginning September 1st this year.

We are working on a more sophisticated filtering system for the ranking list whereby you can click on an individual country and all players from that country will come up in a separate list; in essence a national ranking list within the world ranking list.

Also remember that the Order of Merit still acts as a ticket to play in the World Championship at Leeds in October, with 16 players being nominated from that list.

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES

We are continuing with our efforts to appoint an International Development Committee (IDC) representing the 5 regions of the world. Currently the Americas are represented by Greg Harder from Winnipeg who has already appointed, and will chair his own 6 person American sub-committee. Subject to agreement with his NGB, CW Steiner from Vienna has also agreed to take the position for (Continental) Europe and we are working to fill positions for the other regions. The remit for the IDC is to promote and organise billiard events within their region. This will include the one ‘Major’ event assigned to the region and all other ‘EBOS’ tour events. It is hoped that in time each region will have its own mini EBOS tour within the WBL structure, much like that which currently takes place in the British Isles.
We are also in the process of appointing a British Isles Development Committee to assist with the organisation of this part of the tour. If and when these other EBOS tours come to fruition it is likely that separate regional Order of Merit lists will operate within the main WBL ranking list, similar to the European & Asian PTC tours in snooker. We are also considering the possibility of bringing back the EBOS subscription for European EBOS events next season, and we hope that in time this will also be replicated in other regions.

EVENT OFFICIALS

We have been gradually adopting some of the policies which have been used by the IBSF and regional federations in their tournaments for a number of years, one of which is the appointment of officials. Part of our remit is to engage with National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) and the regional federations where possible, and to organise our events in conjunction with them. This is a gradual process and in time we hope to be running all of our events in partnership with these bodies and utilising their local resources. The recent Irish Open is an example of how this should operate; the Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association sourced funding, collected entries, organised a social night, promoted and officiated the event as part of their domestic calendar, and WBL sanctioned it as a world ranking event. To grow the sport worldwide we need to increase participation from players and countries and we need to increase participation from NGB’s and their officials. Our aim is to have teams of capable people around the world we can call on to officiate at events.

Having been responsible for scheduling and structuring our tournaments for several years Steve Lock is our permanent Tournament Director. Tournament Controllers and referees are then appointed to officiate each event in conjunction with the host NGB or federation wherever possible.
The IBSF appoint the tournament committee and all officials for the World Championships in line with their tournament conditions. Ideally this means that the host country’s NGB will provide half of the required number of officials, with international NGB’s providing the other half.

We would encourage all interested officials to join their NGB and register their interest in officiating at billiards events with them.

COACHING

We have reached an agreement with WPBSA for Martin Goodwill to head up a new coaching section for World Billiards. As most of you will know Martin is one of the leading experts on the technical side of the game and is also a player of some repute, having won numerous EBOS titles, including the European Open in 2009. In partnership with Roger Morgan, Martin runs the coaching website www.englishbilliards.org. They have also written and self published two books on the subject: The Snooker Player’s Guide to English Billiards and Advanced English Billiards.

This project is still in the early planning stages but the long term aim is to have a network of qualified billiard coaches around the world training our next generation of world champions. This is an exciting development for the game and we hope to bring you more news in the near future. In the meantime if you are interested in becoming one of the first officially qualified World Billiards coaches please send your details to Martin via the Contact Us page.

See the new ‘Coaching‘ section on the website for more details as and when they become available.

LADIES

At the behest of the World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association (WLBSA) we are now incorporating the World Ladies Billiards Championship in to the main World Billiards Championship during October. This will hopefully benefit both events and should help unlock some nominations and funding for lady players wishing to travel to Leeds to play in both the Ladies World Championship, and take up the ladies spot in the main World Championship.

The Ladies World Championship is pencilled in for Monday and/or Tuesday 27th/28th October.