Back to School!

All eyes are on Sheffield of course but for some they are over at the English Institute of Sports for Q School 2020.

There’s a great preview over on the WPBSA site –

Like most of our lives at the moment there is a different feel about Q School this year and it remains to be seen as to how this event pans out.

The rewards are similar, 12 cards for the semi finalists of each of the three events, but no cards for the top 4 of the Order of Merit this time.

The Order of Merit though will be significant in that the top 32, other than the 12 who earn their cards, have automatic entry to the new Q Tour – which you can read more about here:

The strange, overlapping, format is the main difference this year and the draws have lots of byes as many ‘at-risk’ professionals were included, just in case.

There does seem to be a lot of very big names who do have to fight for their place on the tour and this may be due to the very competitive nature of the tour these days.

As Michael Day points out in the WPBSA preview –

Some of the names falling into the latter category are: two-time ranking event winner and former top 16 member Michael White, 2018 Shoot Out champion Michael Georgiou, former world championship quarter-finalist Lee Walker and past Crucible qualifiers Alfie Burden, Sam Baird and Craig Steadman.  

Could this be the chance for Reanne Evans, the only woman to be involved this year, to prove her supporters right and earn a place on the tour?

Event 1 breaks off at 9:00am and I will be following the scores come in on snooker.org

Updated: 09/08/2020

To see the results as they come in –

The WPBSA are bringing us results periodically and can be viewed here:

Results are also published on snooker.org as follows:

Event 1 – Finished

Match winners earning a two-year WST card

Lee Walker 4-1 Simon Blackwell
Peter Devlin 4-2 John Astley
Simon Lichtenberg 4-1 Leo Fernandez
Fan Zhengyi 4-2 Michael White

Event 2 – Finished

Match winners earning a two-year WST card

Jamie Jones 4-0 Michael Georgiou
Zak Surety 4-1 Leo Fernandez
Oliver Lines 4-2 Paul Davison
Ben Hancorn 4-0 Kuldesh Johal

Event 3 – Finished

Match winners earning a two-year WST card

Rory McLeod 4-2 Paul Davison
Jamie Wilson 4-3 Haydon Pinhey
Farakh Ajaib 4-2 Brian Ochoiski
Steven Hallworth 4-2 Alfie Burden

The names underlined are players who have made it as a professional snooker player for the first time.

Out of the 12 main-tour places on offer at this year’s Q School, 4 players are new to the professional ranks, 4 are bouncing straight back on after relegation this year and 4 are returning after a season or more away from the tour.

Although Ronnie O’Sullivan’s claim that those coming through the professional ranks aren’t good enough to be amateurs seems a little exaggerated, there is something in what he is saying.

This year’s World Snooker Championship format has seen a return to the tiered system, which I believe should be used in all professional tournaments.

Jamie Wilson, at 16, is the youngest of this year’s Q School graduates. Is it fair to pit him against the likes of O’Sullivan or Judd Trump straight away? Let him work his way up. It makes sense.

So school’s out for another year and congratulations to the graduates.