Anyone relegated from the main tour will have to fight for their jobs back against some of the best amateurs in the world. Well, those that can afford to take 3 weeks away from their normal routine and pay for hotels etc anyway. Far from a level playing field in my opinion.
At least the better players will be seeded and won’t have to face each other in the early rounds.
Ponds Forge in Sheffield will be the setting for the “3 weeks of hell” where dreams come true, or are shattered!
Personally I don’t like the format. Literally anyone with £1000 to spend can enter. But being an open event like this doesn’t mean the best players in the world will be there. Many players from outside the UK simply will not be able to afford it. Some might not even be able to get visas.
There should be local qualification where best are chosen, and paid for, to enter Q School to take on the relegated pros. And when i say local, I mean countries or even regions. This bias towards the UK players has to stop and give the rest of the world a fair crack of the whip.
Yes, this season sees the first of the Asian/Oceania Q Schools that were planned before the pandemic. A small step in the right direction.
Another argument for Q School is the income that it generates – £200k+ before expenses. But whatever that money is used for, is it fair to take it off players who are deluding themselves by entering? If an unproven amateur happened to have a very good week and qualify, would they be able to maintain a place on the tour? Doubtful.
Let’s have a proper system of qualification for the World Snooker Tour, based on merit, rather than for some misguided attempt at promoting the game.
There are much better ways to promote snooker rather than have lots of unknowns playing.
Cut the size of the tour. Make it more of a progressive system and give the players every opportunity, and support, to prove themselves.
Q School is madness and has no place in modern sport in my opinion.